Over in the other thread, we've been discussing people (mostly heroes) who died during the Silver Age. Some of them, surprisingly enough, are still dead! That's as it should be, dead should mean dead, but it usually doesn't happen. But in a few cases, it absolutely should.

There used to be a term in fandom that I heard: Bucky-dead. It means a character whose death was so momentous, so memorable or so intrinsic to the stories that were told after the death that the person would never be brought back to life.

Sadly, that term either needs a new name or it needs to be eliminated altogether, on the basis that there is no character who some writer won't want to revive, and their editor will think that's a good thing.

Even so, here's my list of characters who I think should remain Bucky-dead:

 

1. Bucky.

2. Uncle Ben

3. Barry Allen

4. Gwen Stacy

5. Jonathan and Martha Kent

6. Thomas and Martha Wayne

7. Aquababy

8. Battling Murdock

9. Abin Sur

 

Any others? Anybody want to make a case that the MU or DCU would be better off with one of these characters alive instead? Anybody willing to bet their house on one of these that will NEVER be revived? Frankly, I don't think I am.

 

-- MSA

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But does anyone else think Aquaman was MORE interesting as a family man than not? Or am I the only one who was disappointed when they offed the little ankle-biter?

I think he was more interesting because, as you point out, it would be difficult for him to be less interesting. It made him unique; the problem was that nobody saw that uniqueness as a feature, they just treated it as a bug.

As with Gwen, killing the curtain-climber cleaned up a irritating situation, which was that he never much amounted to much and he wasn't getting any older. That points to a complete lack of imagination rather than a compelling storyline.

Michelinie probably saw it as a dramatic story that could boost Aquaman as he went from Adventure into his own series again and cleaned up a plot bit that "freed up" the hero again. Yeah, freed him up to go back to being the most boring super-hero imaginable.

Actually, I was a lot like Cavalier, just on the other side: When Aquababy was killed off, I was in graduate school, and what happened to the most boring character in the most boring super-hero's world did not make much difference to me. I knew of it, I later picked up the back issue, but I can't say I was disappointed when it happened. No doubt, considering how little he'd been used, I wasn't at all surprised..Just another wasted opportunity.

Marriage and babies take some of the dramatic tension out of fictional relationships, but it ought to be able to ADD some, too. It never seems to, though. Maybe, to put it in the best light, writers figure that readers won't relate to those situations as well.They probably aren't great at bringing in new, younger readers to replace the older ones moving on.

BTW, Aquababy's death is about to be reprinted in a TPB, so we can all relive the excitement.

-- MSA

Mark, I think the Peter David Supergirl -- the one that started out as a protoplasmic blob from a parallel dimension and ended up an Earth angel -- had a previous marriage revealed as Linda Lee II. Hard to remember, though: That character made my eyes glaze over no matter what anybody did with it. (Sorry, Peter!) I mean, just consider the phrase "protoplasmic blob from a parallel dimension who ended up an Earth angel" for a second or two, and see if you don't zone out a bit. Like Cable's back story, it doesn't pay to dwell on it.

 

Craig, I enjoyed your essay about Aquababy. I never really considered agitating for the character's return -- as you say, it wasn't likely to do much more than burble and poop its diaper for eternity -- but it adds to my long-standing belief that Aquaman doesn't need to be cyclically rebooted, he needs to be completely revamped. New powers, maybe new costume, either make him a king full time or drop Atlantis. As I was alluding to earlier, he needs to be at least as powerful or more powerful than Mera, and bring something to the Justice League besides being able to ask Snapper Carr's pet goldfish if he's hungry. Brightest Day seemed like a launch in the right direction, and I'm still holding out hope (although the latest solicitations indicate they're going backward to the one-handed Peter David version).

 

A thought that occurred to me would be to do go explore what you expressed as a missed opportunity -- and have Mera get pregnant again. Maybe "families" of superheroes were an anomaly in the Silver Age, but audiences have changed and now they're all the rage. Even the HULK has a "family" of friends and relatives he shares his book with. So-called loners like Spider-Man, Wolverine and Batman are on more teams than you can shake a batarang at. Even Deadpool is on two teams, and his Deadpool Corps is being revamped as, yes, Deadpool Family. So the time seems right to re-visit the Aqua-Family concept.

 

The elements are already there: There's a new, more interesting Aquagirl from Sub Diego (who is also a Teen Titan) and a new Aqualad (with actual super-powers). If you beefed up Aquaman and knocked up Mera, you'd have the foundation of an Aqua-Family that mirrors the old one but is essentially new. And maybe now writers would see Orin's new responsibilities as a plot springboard instead of a prison that he had to be liberated from. Plus, I really like Mera -- I had a crush on her as a kid, when she was drawn by Nick Cardy -- and her back story is getting more interesting in Brightest Day, too. But she really has no connection whatsoever to the DCU -- not even any friends -- without Aquaman. So she needs to branch out (maybe by joining a team) or be joined to Aquaman at the hip, so that they adventure as a no-friction team, like the Hawks used to do so well (and I had a crush on Shayera, as well -- that tank top was pretty daring in the early 1960s!). I'm more than tired of bickering couples and tension-filled relationships -- I'd love to see a series about some honest-to-Poseidon ADULT superheroes, who accept their responsibilities without whining, who love each other without reservation, and who preside over a growing family of adolescents that could carry all the soap opera melodrama. That's an Aquaman that I'd buy. (Of course, I bought all the others too ...)

 

Incidentally, not only did Aquaman have "hard water" powers on Batman: Brave and Bold, but so did the old Aqualad in the Teen Titans cartoon and the new one in the Young Justice cartoon. The new Aqualad in Brightest Day appears to have them. Maybe Aquaman needs a blood transfusion from Mera to really join his own team!

 

And by the way, Mark, I was watching those old Starsky & Hutch shows, too, and it was a standing joke among my friends that any girlfriends who were introduced in a given episode of any cop show of the time had to die by the end of the show, and we'd speculate on the method of execution. 

 

But who are we, as comics fans, to ridicule TV? That was no different than Supergirl's many potential boyfriends in her Silver Age Action Comics days -- they'd all have to be revealed as super-villains, frauds, secretly her horse or allergic to Earth's atmosphere by the end of the story so that Linda could return to Dick Malverne. The status quo must be maintained! And think of the terrible fate of so many wives/girlfriends of superheroes, from Gwen Stacy to the infamous Kyle Rayner gf in the refrigerator, to serial widowers like Daredevil and Sub-Mariner. Momma, don't let your girls grow up to date superheroes.

After the death of Supergirl in COIE, her death played a role in the storylines of the Super-books. One of the stories I haven't seen, from Superman #415, revealed she had married an alien called Salkor during an episode of amnesia.

"If you beefed up Aquaman and knocked up Mera..."

 

Uh-huh-huh-huh...

 

"...secretly her horse..."

 

Mmm-heh-heh-heh...

 

I'm forty-seven-and-a-half years old.  Emphasis on the "seven-and-a-half."

 

 

Of course, you can't talk about girlfriend bodycounts until you mention Bonanza. If you were a single woman and saw one of the Cartwrights give you a wink and don't run in terror, then you just have a death-wish!
You know, you gotta wonder if Comet the Super-Horse ever gave Brainiac 5 the evil eye when he was in the 30th century, because the Legion knew that he wasn't a horse yet treated him like a horse! Those Legionnaires!

The Baron said:

"If you beefed up Aquaman and knocked up Mera..."

 

Uh-huh-huh-huh...

 

"...secretly her horse..."

 

Mmm-heh-heh-heh...

 

I'm forty-seven-and-a-half years old.  Emphasis on the "seven-and-a-half."

 

 

I'm surprised no-one's mentioned it before now, but isn't DEADman's whole schtick that he is, you know, DEAD?

 

(Although Johns obviously spotted the opportunity to subvert the accusations that he was generally just reverting his favourite - white - characters to where they were in the 70s.  It also pushes his core tenet of 'Dead DOESN'T mean Dead' into a - gasp - whole new area.  I gotta admire that.)

Actually, the funny thing about Deadman was that was his circus name before he was killed! Since he performed without a net, he always said that people came to see if he would miss, and it could happen at any time therefore he was a Deadman walking!
I'm surprised that there isn't an 'Earth' where all the dead comic characters go and can carry on having adventures - Earth X-tinct.
It's funny you mentioned Earth X, because Paradise X, the final sequel to that story had just such an Earth...

If you beefed up Aquaman and knocked up Mera, you'd have the foundation of an Aqua-Family

Well, if you think it'll be good for circulation, I'm willing to knock up Mera, if she's drawn by Nick Cardy. But someone else will have to beef up Aquaman.

I think Aquaman has a real disadvantage, much as Sub-Mariner always has--and maybe not everyone feels as I do, but I always found S-M the least interesting Marvel hero--because his adventures take place in an alien world among people who have no connection to anything I see anywhere else. It's not impossible to make that interesting, but it takes more work, and nobody has ever much accomplished it.

What if, on land, Aquaman had the usual hydro-villain powers? He could turn himself into liquid or control all water, make his body incredibly dense (which it would have to be anyway, right?). He needs something so he can interact on land without running for a water glass every hour.

I don't know that an Aqua-Family by itself helps; it just compounds the problem, especially if the other characters are more interesting--and I think we agree that they would be.

I really like the Aquaman on Batman: Brave & Bold, but I don't think he's a lead character I'd follow for many issues. He'd get wearing. But at least he's got a personality. I think a guy living under the sea would have an interesting perspective on things, and that never seems to come across.

Not to mention, I'd really be interested in seeing an Atlantis that actually takes into account that it's underwater and that gravity is nowhere near as strong. It typically is treated like Bikini Bottom, and I'd be more interested in visiting if it gave me something to think about.

And, to bring this back on topic, they could even re-introduce Tula to the Aqua-Family!,That would leave Prince Ra-Man as the only on-going casualty of Crisis. How long could that last?

-- MSA

If they bring back Batman's parents, that's how we'll know comics have jumped the shark.  Even Bucky should never have been brought back in any shape or form.

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