Tuesday, January 25, 2011

A Death in the Family


Doug: Here is an excerpt I saw today at Comics Continuum:

The Human Torch dies in Fantastic Four #587, Marvel Comics has confirmed.

"Whether the Human Torch comes back or not is really a question that will be answered in time," Marvel's Joe Quesada told the Associated Press, which broke the story late Monday night. "While I will never discount that a character can come back from the dead because it is one of the staples of comic book story telling. I'm not going to tell you if he will, or when he will and if he does, how he will, but I can assure you that it's going to be very, very interesting and not what anyone expects."

"Jonathan Hickman (writer of Fantastic Four) came to us two years ago with a vision for evolving the characters and concepts introduced to fans 50 years ago in Fantastic Four #1 and quite frankly his vision blew us away," said editor Tom Brevoort. "The death of the Human Torch is the first major move in this incredibly exciting evolution of the legendary Fantastic Four franchise and a necessary part of the larger story we will be telling featuring the beloved characters moving forward."

Doug: Would someone please wake me up when it's time to care about modern comics? If you're looking for me, I'll be stuck in the Bronze Age.

17 comments:

cerebus660 said...

Hey, I'll see you there, Doug...

Edo Bosnar said...

Quite frankly, I'm blown away that there's still anyone with the temerity to describe one of these "death of a major character" stories/events as an instance of exciting evolution...

Richard Williams said...

I agree, I think that type of story has been done to death now (pardon the pun). This is a great blog and as I'm a bronze age baby myself, I'm thoroughly enjoying your posts!

Inkstained Wretch said...

I share your cynicism Doug. The Torch's death will, I am sure, have all of the finality of the deaths of Jean Grey, Adam Warlock, Electra, Bucky, Captain America, Professor X, Sasquatch, etc., etc ...

That being the case, why should I care?

Richard Guion said...

Agree 100%. The only place left for me are my long boxes of old comics. I think the last good run of FF was the Mark Waid / Weiringo issues. Should go back and re-read those, the Lee/Kirby issues, the Thomas/Buckler, and Byrne stuff too.

david_b said...

Yep.. Doug, save me a seat next to the candy ailes. I'll be the one with the turkey on rye sandwich.., waist deep in 'Tales to Astonish'.

J.A. Morris said...

Yep, the Torch is dead...until the next writer or editor comes along and says he's not dead.
Maybe when he comes back, they'll have Mephisto wipe out his Skrull marriage.

Joplin John said...

I'm lucky in a sense: I wasn't allowed to read comics as a kid. As an adult I've discovered them and completely fallen in love; the twist here is that I discovered silver and Bronze age comics (and the golden age, natch!). So, I've got all this wonderful stuff ahead of me to be read, and I don't even have to raise an eye over this kind of idiosy. I grew up in the 70's and so have a particular fondness for the Bronze Age...so count me in, Doug! Someone has to keep the magic aliv!

Karen said...

Killing off a character was exciting back when Gerry Conway did it, or heck, even the first time Phoenix died. But now it just seems like a sign of laziness, or a lack of creativity. Mainly because we know no character stays dead any more. I give the Torch two years tops. Heck, they probably already have a plan in place to bring him back!

Karen

Doug said...

There is no longer death, but merely the perception of death on the part of the characters who surrounded the "deceased".

Which in itself can make for some emotional stories. It bothers me that no one thinks it's important to be genuine in their writing -- everything is done these days with an "out".

Doug

Anonymous said...

How does pretending the Human Torch dies (since we know he'll be back sooner than later) "evolve" anything?

Death is the antithesis of evolution.

It's just crappy marketing per usual, trying to grab a headline and draw in a few readers. That's what they're doing now since they've destroyed their readership by taking comics out of drug stores and newsstands where kids (like myself) used to browse and buy the ones that looked cool. No kid even sees a comic book nowadays unless his parents drive him out to a specialty shop--assuming there is one nearby! No wonder there are no readers...not that I'd let my kids read the graphic sex and violence they publish nowadays and call "mature."

Anonymous said...

Wow, I'm surprised at some of the comments on here, as I've been following Hickman's FF and find it to be quite well done. Nor is there "graphic sex and violence" in it--his FF is fairly kid-friendly, and in fact there's a strong emphasis on Franklin and Valeria having adventures, just like the grown-ups. I actually find the title to be an oasis of old-fashioned storytelling in today's comics market.

I haven't read the latest issue yet (I only make it to my local comic store once or twice a month), but my impression from the previous issues is that all the unfortunate marketing hoopla surrounding this issue has little to do with Hickman's actual writing, which I imagine will be as well-crafted as after.

--Thelonious Nick

Doug said...

Discussion of death in the Silver Age (and beyond) is happening now at Silver Age Comics:

http://sacomics.blogspot.com/2011/01/modest-defense-of-death.html

Doug

Whalehead King said...

Ferro Lad.

Karen said...

My husband bought the issue in question, so I've had a chance to read it. SPOILER---

We don't actually see Johnny die. He gets surrounded by Negative Zone goons but you don't see a spear go through him or anything that actually signifies death. For all we know, they might have captured Johnny and taken him to Annihilus. This was definitely over-hyped.

Karen

Anonymous said...

The torch married a Skrull? That must have been quite a shotgun wedding. Was she a looker? I'm guessing they got back their power to shape shift, in that case?

Actually, don't tell me. It'll probably only upset me.

Richard

Anonymous said...

A lot of comics (and TV shows) labeled "adult" or "mature" should be labeled "adolescent" or "sophomoric." The attitude toward sex is what you would see and hear in a high school locker room.

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