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Wednesday, October 17, 2007

Good Idea/Bad Idea

(With apologies to Animaniacs, and to all the other blogs that have made these points in more detail.)

Good idea:
The Hunger Dogs.

Bad idea:
The Death of the New Gods.

Good idea:
If you have to kill a character who's a fierce and skilled warrior...dying valiantly in combat against overwhelming odds in a climactic battle.

Bad idea:
Being murdered...off-panel...in the kitchen.

Good idea:
Earth-3 having a heroic version of the Joker.

Bad idea:
Killing him off almost immediately after his introduction.

Bad idea:
Any version of the Joker whose grin is an actual Glasgow Smile.

Phenomenally bad idea:
The Joker's first words to Batman being "Bunny!"

Good idea:
A bunny (and his crew) getting a new mini-series.

Interesting idea:
A respected novelist doing a revival of a semi-obscure cult character from the '70s.

So far, seemingly pointless idea:
The first issue of said revival being an almost exact rewrite of the original first issue.

Better idea:
Giving Steve Gerber and Mary Skrenes a chance to finish Omega the Unknown the way they want.

Bad idea:
Ending the Green Arrow/Black Canary wedding with a "shock ending" cliffhanger of Dinah killing Ollie.

Bad idea:
The tired "Oh, it was actually Everyman" twist. (Can that revelation even be called a twist anymore?)

Good idea:
Killing Everyman.

Good idea:
All giants are magic (simultaneously acknowledging and sidestepping the Square-Cube law).

Generally bad idea:
Fill-in issues.

Good idea:
Roger Stern writing an Atom story that so perfectly captures the spirit and style of the series that I didn't even realize it wasn't Gail Simone until I went back and read the credits after finishing the story.

Bad idea:
Double Down. (Seriously, is there anything to this guy apart from the pseudo-Clive Barker imagery?)

Good idea:
The death of any DC Universe character can be improved by imagining Neil Gaiman's Death meeting said character.

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5 Comments:

At 4:49 PM, Blogger Scipio said...

I agree with you about Everyman, but I loved Barda's death precisely because it was so untypical for her.

Barda dying in a big fight is sad, but not a tragedy. Dying silently in the kitchen after grocery shopping is Barda's tragedy.

 
At 8:23 AM, Blogger E said...

Yeah, the Barda death, felled by a cosmic embolism r virus or somethin, would be really poignant, if kitchen deaths hadn't been done, done again, done again, ridiculed, bemoaned and then done again.

 
At 1:50 PM, Blogger Timothy Liebe said...

Scipio, sure - it'd be really clever and ironic...if it were Batman, or The Flash, or any male Green Lantern, or even Jimmy Olsen or Jim Gordon or Perry White. But like e said - for women, superhero comic pointless deaths have been DONE to death - I'm just surprised she didn't get stuffed into a fridge while they were at it!

OTOH, Erich's right - a whole issue of Big Barda having a "Jack Kirby Does Ingmar Bergman" argument about dying w/Gaiman's Death would totally rock, :)

Best,
Tim Liebe
Dreaded Spouse-Creature of Tamora Pierce

 
At 5:04 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I disagree on the usage of Gaiman's Death. Most comic characters never stay dead, so the appearance of an anthromorphic representation of "the real Death" only serves to cheapen both characters.

If the character is dead, never to return, ever, ever again, then I could see it as cool and a good idea. Otherwise it is just pandering.

 
At 10:13 AM, Blogger Erich said...

I might have more readily accepted Barda dying in a manner unbefitting a warrior if the scene had been about HER, and how she faces death when she doesn't have a chance to fight it. Instead, the scene came across as if the only thing that mattered about Barda's murder was how Scott reacted to it.

 

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