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:
2. Uncle Ben
3. Barry Allen
4. Gwen Stacy
5. Jonathan and Martha Kent
6. Thomas and Martha Wayne
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.
No-one should be brought back if their death initiated a landmark or turning point in a major character's life. So no return for Jor-El and Lara, no Thomas and Martha, no Uncle Ben and no Jack Murdock.
I also think that no major or supporting character should ever be killed off - even temporary. Too often these 'deaths' are done simply for the sake of making a media headline outside of the world of comics and the publicity it generates. The so-called 'death' of characters of iconic super-heroes really tick me off. Killing a major character is disrespectful to their creators.
No-one should be brought back if their death initiated a landmark or turning point in a major character's life.
I would have thought that was pretty well understood, but apparently Bucky and Barry Allen don't fall into that category, and I think they absolutely should have, especially since they were actual characters we could mourn, as opposed to a plot point as the others were. That makes their deaths more significant, not less so.
The "disrespect" aspect is a good one to note. It's pretty clear that the creators who wrote their stories, and those that followed them for decades, intended those characters to be dead forever. Undoing that established situation requires a level of urgency about using that character that I don't think has been reached.
That's different from the death of, say, Captain America, which was just a ploy. It amazes me that people still get caught up in a frenzy over that stuff and it makes the news. Talking about it is one thing, but anyone rushing out to buyextra issues just isn't paying attention, no matter what the companies promise.
The problem with Cap's death is that it's one more brick in the wall that keeps us from caring, because we know they're just jerking our chains. The problem with the Bucky-Barry revivals is that it makes the original stories less significant and it cheapens stories going forward, because we know it'll all be undone.
And we think less of our heroes for spending any time mourning heroes who will be at tomorrow's meeting
Characters who should be dead? How about any character who debuted as an adult 70 years ago or longer?
I mean, really! :P
Well...according to Neil Gaiman, every generation has their own Martha and Thomas Wayne who give birth to a new Bruce/Batman. (Whatever Happened to the Caped Crusader? - 2010)
Paul Pope's Batman: Year 100 has some form of Bruce still jumping around on roof-tops in North America a century from now.
And Grant Morrison has now confirmed that Bruce is at the dawn of humanity AND the last second of the universe. (The Return of Bruce Wayne - 2010)
So, try all you want Joker and company...the dude just ain't going.
I like Barry Allen. I thought his death had one of the biggest impacts at that time. The only problem I have with reviving him nowadays is that he overshadows Wally. From Baron to Messner-Loebs to especially Waid, Wally has gone through an amazing self-journey for a character to rise from under the shadow of their mentor to claim their mantle and make it his own.Now that Barry is back, how many times has Wally been seen?
Oh, I'm willing to bet the house, the car, the dog, and the toaster that Uncle Ben stays dead.
I agree that part of Wally's character is coming out from under Barry's shoulder while learning from his life and death. After they killed Barry, and Wally started to incorporate that, I thought Barry worked better as a character dead than he would if he were alive. They often referred to him and he had a presence that Wally had to live up to. So yeah, bringing him back undercut all of that, IMO.
He does have a history and a relationship with many of the heroes, but most readers don't remember those days, so I'm not sure that matters to them. It might even make them feel like an outsider, since now there are things going on between the characters that they don't know about, but some readers might.
I would tend to agree Uncle Ben stays dead, if only because his death was so straight-forward. Same with the other origin-based characters. Although Jor-El and Lara didn't stay dead, so I'd be careful with those bets...
I'd say most of the human characters killed in typical ways would remain dead, except Alfred was crushed under a boulder and was examined by the World's Greatest Detective before being put into a coffin in a mausoleum (but not embalmed) and he apparent just had a flesh wound. So you never know.
"Don't you understand, Skeezix? I keep getting older and older, but I can't die!"...I have written a little here - and have meant to write more - about the contemporary GASOLINE ALLEY strip , and , it should be said , they do be trying to , even if reluctantly , set the stage for killing off Uncle Walt...He's been explicitly stated in the strip as being 110 years old !!!...
Twice he found Bucky robots, and both times he allowed himself to believe they were really Bucky alive again. So he really wanted Bucky to be alive, was willing to believe he was despite the evidence against the idea. So yes I think he would have gone looking for proof one way or the other. And once he found the slightest sign of a cover up he wouldn't rest until he found out exactly what was really going on.
Mr. Silver Age said:
It's true, he's clearly not infallible. They told him Sharon Carter was dead, and he cried big tears for her too. Then she turned out to be as dead as Bucky.
Yeah, okay, I admit it, I'm on shaky ground. There's not much he could do and no reason he'd have done it. I just don't like it. It's wrong.
As a great man once said, "4) If anything can happen in a story, we don’t care what eventually does." I think that's the way I feel about reviving Bucky. If he's alive, how can I take any threat seriously? I went for 40+ years thinking something pretty fundamental to Cap and the MU, only to be told it wasn't so. That covers a lot of ground when other things probably aren't so, either.
I don't want to know what they are. It's already enough that I know about Bucky and Gwen's kids. Stop the madness!
Don't remember where I saw it, but someone did a gag strip where Skeezix, commenting about how real time took place in his comic and he was now an old man, was talking to Uncle Walt who was a skeleton but Skeezix either didn't notice or didn't care.
Emerkeith Davyjack said:
The Baron said:"Don't you understand, Skeezix? I keep getting older and older, but I can't die!"...I have written a little here - and have meant to write more - about the contemporary GASOLINE ALLEY strip , and , it should be said , they do be trying to , even if reluctantly , set the stage for killing off Uncle Walt...He's been explicitly stated in the strip as being 110 years old !!!...