When it comes to comic book deaths these days, it sure does seem like very few readers take them seriously. Heck, even something as long-standing as Jason Todd’s demise was eventually overturned by DC. Fortunately, that payed dividends because he’s really caught on as the Red Hood in the time since.
In the case of Marvel, they’ve been guilty of this practice just as much. Perhaps a big part of the problem is that the Big Two will bring characters back only a few years after killing them off, as opposed to decades. Wonderfully executed as it was, the death and return of Wolverine could be cited as a prime example (Logan was gone for only three or four years).
While speaking at a Swedish convention, Marvel’s Editor-in-chief, C.B. Cebulski, said the following regarding taking these matters more seriously:
“I don’t want death to be used to boost sales or to use as a shock value so people go ‘Oh my God, Johnny Storm is dead!’ or ‘Wolverine is dead!’ knowing that they’re going to be coming back. If we choose to do it now, we’re going to add a little more weight and permanence to the situation.”
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When this plan will be put into action is anybody’s guess, as Loki was just killed off in War of the Realms and will soon headline his own series beginning in July. We’re yet to see how this all plays out, sure, but that’s about as impermanent as it gets.
For now, all we can do is hope Marvel stays true to their word going forward. Don’t get me wrong, I’m all for powerful storytelling, but perhaps deaths should just stay permanent, or be contained to out-of-continuity tales like DC is doing with their Black Label stamp.
What do you think, though? As always, feel free to share your thoughts down below.