Posted Jun 27, 2010 in Cool Shit | 1 Comment

The Comics Pimp – The End Is Never the End

If there’s one rule in comics, it’s that nothing is ever written in stone, even a super hero’s epitaph. Since the beginning of comics, superheroes have perished fighting the good fight. Until relatively recently, the one to go was almost always the quintessential sidekick.


Captain America was first to lose his buddy, Bucky Barnes, the affable, eager teenager who died at the end of WWII. Though the most popular sidekick death of all time has to be the death of Robin. In 1988, his fate was left in the hands of readers, who phoned in his death. The Joker carried out the gruesome act, bludgeoning the teenager with a crowbar. Though Jason Todd wasn’t the original Robin, his murder signaled a darkening of mainstream comics.

Other sidekicks and heroes have also died. Supergirl and the Flash were both eradicated from history in the classic Crisis on Infinite Earths. Eventually, someone else adopted their superhero identity, and in the Flash’s case, his own sidekick!

It wasn’t until 1992 that DC Comics changed Superhero death by killing off their biggest gun, Superman. Fighting off the greatest threat to Earth, Superman went down defeating a murderous monster called Doomsday. DC replaced him with four pretenders, until his inevitable return. Since Superman isn’t human, he was never really dead, just in a state of alien recovery. Yeah, I know, only in comics!

That story began a trend, and for years since, DC and Marvel have “killed” and brought back some of their classic characters. Batman’s been forced to retire because of a broken back, and recently died at the hands of the villainous Darkseid. But no one has remained dead, and even Bucky and Jason Todd are back!

Truth be told, no comic aficionado believes a superhero can actually be dead forever, but it’s the journey we’re curious about. It’s one of the riskiest stories to tell, but it can have the biggest pay off. Next month, I explore the best-told superhero death and resurrection, Bucky and Captain America.

As I write this, DC is publishing Bruce Wayne’s resurrection in the appropriately titled, Batman: The Return of Bruce Wayne.  You can download a free preview.

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  1. i like this ..nice

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