I just heard on the nightly news that movie heart throb and JFK stand-in Cliff Robertson has passed away.

 

Of course, Spider-Man fans will recognise him as the actor cast to portray "Uncle Ben Parker" in the movies.

 

I remember him mostly from "PT109"  and later from the movie "Obsession".

But he also played Hue Hefner in "Star 80" to great aclaim.

 

At the risk of sounding flip, "Do you think Uncle Ben will stay dead?"

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It's sadly less flip than we'd like to think. I posted my Great Moments in Death list from an old column here (http://captaincomics.ning.com/forum/topics/silver-age-deaths), as an indication of just how hard it is to stay dead.

Characters from the SA especially continue to pop up, as publishers recycle trademarks (and creators avoid having to produce a character of their own). With DC, there's more leeway, since there have been so many versions of Earth with all the resets. Just because Prince Ra-Man is dead on Earth-1 (and he is) doesn't mean that he is dead on New Earth, Earth-DCnU, etc. (and he probably isn't).

There used to be a saying that a character was "Bucky-dead," in that the death was so intrinsic to the storyline and subsequent events that he would never be revived. The new story could never be good enough to justify it.

Obviously, the term has to be changed. I think "Uncle Ben-dead" would probably work, but you never know. He wasn't exactly revived in Ultimate Spider-Man, but he lasted a whole lot longer than he did the first time around. There also have been stories told about him back when he was alive, which isn't the same thing. It truly wouldn't surprise me to see him revived, but I think he's as dead as a character can get.

In the upcoming Hogan's Alley, I wrote an essay on how hard it is to stay dead and how publishers continue to expect us to believe in death. It doesn't work, led by the notion that they expected us to care that they killed Captain America only slightly after reviving his partner who had been dead for many, many decades. But, as long as the media keeps eating it up, they'll keep doing it.

I noted that I fully expected dead Johnny Storm to be alive by the time HA readers were reading the article. I figured I was safe, because HA has such a loooong deadline that I figured it wouldn't even be close.

But I have it on good authority that HA #18 will be out in December (just making it in this calendar year to keep their record of once a year on track) and it will include my column (second line from the bottom on the above cover). So the clock is ticking. I'm not worried; FF #500 is coming soon.

I also wrote the feature highlighted in the upper right. How could I not? So keep an eye out!

-- MSA

Yeah, my money's on FF #500 as well... after all, we're at the 50th anniversary of the FF, so why not. Some fanboy's were talking when the torch died in the local comic book shop...

and the smart money was on a one year absence...especially because it was about issue 488 and 12 more puts it at #500...  


Other cited 'clues' were that Annilius basically means "death"...but all we get is a shred of Johnny's uniform, instead of a body.  They're suggesting that his body will/was reanimated by Annillius into something to turn against the FF and Reed in particular...

Gotta weigh in here to say despite loud arguements that Bucky should always have stayed dead, I thought the execution of bringing his story up to date, along with the requirement that he technically DID DIE, and also paid the price for having his arm caught in the plane was extremely well done.


Now, as far as bringing Uncle Ben back...  He never was an important character, and as a result, I see more value in his remaining dead... than coming back even in a White Event "What If" when wanda allows him to live and Peter to have a second shot at life.

 

I still think Marvel missed a good opportunity to reveal Aunt May was really an impersonating Skrull when they jumped off the bandwagon with "One More Day".  I think it should have been revealed in an autoposy in the hospital after Peter and  MJ decided to let May Parker go... and then learned she wasn't really back after all...it had all been a skrull either out of her head, or with memory lapse...  Think of the possible ramfications....

Another thought about Bucky's return.

 

It came carefully plotted over a 12 issue, one year arc that was carefully thought through...

But I recall back in the silver age no less than three separate stories where Bucky returned, and was revealed to be a robot, or a gimic, by a Villian (frequently the Red Skull) who was trying to un-nerve Cap.   If my memory serves, Tales of Suspense #89 or so, and Captain America #131 or so pop to mind. It just became comical after a while. Surely Cap would see through this time and time again.

Can you recall any others?

Kirk G said:

Another thought about Bucky's return.

 

It came carefully plotted over a 12 issue, one year arc that was carefully thought through...

But I recall back in the silver age no less than three separate stories where Bucky returned, and was revealed to be a robot, or a gimic, by a Villian (frequently the Red Skull) who was trying to un-nerve Cap.   If my memory serves, Tales of Suspense #89 or so, and Captain America #131 or so pop to mind. It just became comical after a while. Surely Cap would see through this time and time again.

Can you recall any others?


True. There was a circa 1980s issue of Captain America (during the J. Marc Dematties/Mike Zeck run) where Bucky shows up on Steve Rogers' doorstep, and Steve immediately clobbers him, demanding "What are you? A clone? A robot? WHAT?" Then "Bucky" tells him he's Jack Monroe, the Bucky from the 1950s.

"Captain America #131 or so pop to mind"

 

It was even sillier than that.  As it was eventually explained (about 10 years later), "The Hood", who was revealed to be "Baron Strucker", was really a robot (who didn't know he was a robot) built by Machinesmith (who didn't know he was really dead either). So that "Bucky" was an LMD created by Modok in order to fool a FAKE Baron Strucker.  You wound up with 2 robots in the story, neither of whom knew they were robots! Madness...

ClarkKent_DC said:
True. There was a circa 1980s issue of Captain America (during the J. Marc Dematties/Mike Zeck run) where Bucky shows up on Steve Rogers' doorstep, and Steve immediately clobbers him, demanding "What are you? A clone? A robot? WHAT?" Then "Bucky" tells him he's Jack Monroe, the Bucky from the 1950s.

 

Captain America # 281 (May, 1983).

 



That's the one!

Hell, he didn't even LOOK like Bucky... (at least, not the masked Bucky that we last saw clinging to the plane...)
I guess nobody knew what a grown-up Bucky was supposed to have looked like.... at least, not yet.

 

I'm wondering if we ever got an answer on what was under the old castle that Dr. Doom and the Red Skull were excavating for in the Captain America annual most recently.... was that ever explained?  Or is that a dangling plot thread?  Or did it fit into some other earlier storyline (like, gulp, Super-Villian Team-Up)?

despite loud arguements that Bucky should always have stayed dead, I thought the execution of bringing his story up to date...was extremely well done. Now, as far as bringing Uncle Ben back...  He never was an important character...

Switch the words "Bucky" and "Uncle Ben" in those sentences, and you've just made a case for when Uncle Ben will return. Bucky was not an important character to anyone reading comics in the 1960s--heck, Captain America wasn't an important character. His only role was to be the cautionary tale and regret that Cap carried with him about remembering how dangerous his job was to himself and others around him.

I'm not sure how loud the arguments were besides mine, but I'll repeat that I have no argument with the execution of the stories; I just say the concept is wrong, and that the story could have been told with another character without changing that fundamental piece of Marvel's history.

The point is: if Bucky isn't dead, who is? And if they aren't, why should we care? What astonishes me is that they so quickly "killed" Captain America (and even got the media and Joe Simon to take the bait) after that. How could I care? They've killed Bucky, Sharon Carter and Cap in dramatic, tear-jerking ways. Which one is still dead? None of them.

as a result, I see more value in his remaining dead... than coming back even in a White Event "What If" when wanda allows him to live and Peter to have a second shot at life.

There are some characters who are more useful dead than alive. Uncle Ben is one, but I would have said Bucky and Barry Allen were two more. Given that writers don't seem to agree, the odds are not in Ben's favor for continuing his dirt nap.

I give Gwen a 50-50 chance of showing up someday, especially now that she's the featured player in the movie. BTW, I saw a photo of Emma Stone dressed as Gwen Stacy in Entertainment Weekly this summer, and it looked like she'd been drawn by John Romita!

-- MSA

 

 

I think I may have just fund the original model for Peter Parker...  

Tim Considine!

http://www.jonprovost.com/images/timc.jpg


I saw him in an episode of THE UNTOUCHABLES where his mother complained that he "looked like an adult, acted like an adult, he never was a kid!"


At the end of the story, his father gets killed in a shoot-out, and for the first time, he cries.

WOW!!!!!!!!! Dude.

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