Wednesday, November 23, 2011
Spoilers ho. You were warned.
Fantastic Four #600 is out today and people are back from the dead and shit. I won't ruin who it is that is back from the dead, but just that I don't think that whomever it was was actually very dead and they might have prematurely had a funeral for him. And that he lights on fire. And his name starts with J. Okay, so I spoiled it. Who fucking cares? Really? Did you think that Johnny wasn't going to come traipsing out of a portal at some moment with a smile on his face and something smart to say? Especially when the Fantastic Four are a hugely marketed property with two Hollywood blockbusters behind them. Johnny ain't never gonna die. All these characters are like the gods of old. They are all going to die a million times because they keep throwing themselves in front of the bus, and they are going to come back because they make a fuckload of money for companies because people have an attachment to them and can't wait to welcome home an old friend with open arms.
Comics are kinda like an old gramma, ready to give you a fucking embrace at the drop of a hat, except they come with an entry fee. We, as readers, know what we are getting into. We know that the deaths are coming and the resurrections are right behind them. I was listening to Scott Snyder talk on Talksplode the other day and him and Josh Flanagan were talking about a conversation between Superman and Swamp Thing, as they had both come back from the dead, and how it is an interesting conversation as it brings up emotional content for the both of them. Scott pointed out that most of the bigger heroes in the DCU had died, and they have: Superman, Wonder Woman, Green Lantern, Green Arrow Batman, The Flash and a whole shitload of other heroes have kicked the bucket and come back from the grave without any maggots spilling out of their anuses or some such thing. It would be an incredibly amusing scene to see all of these heroes together talking about how they have died and what they saw on the other side. Maybe that should have been one of the closing stories for JLA before the relaunch. That would have been fucking cool.
According to market studies most of the readers for comics are a little older, and while we may be stunted in our maturity we are definitely not stupid (I think the IQ of a comics reader is probably higher than most). So it goes without saying that we should be able to predict these things. Why is than that people get so upset? It is the story between the covers that actually matters isn't it? The execution of how the writer and artist (writer/artist) and crew pull off the story between the covers. Do they pull off amazing character moments? Are they putting the characters through hell and bringing them back to sanity? Are the plot points being hammered home and concluded in a satisfying way? Is the art incredible? Are you, after so many years of reading comics being thrilled in ways that you never imagined? This is what matters. This is what the creative team is responsible for bringing issue to issue and what keeps us as an audience shelling out our hard earned dollars at our LCS.
But if you want to shed tears and cry and moan and rip at your hair, feel free, but it is stupid as shit. Because if you are old enough to remember, they used to spoil the entire issue on the covers, and that make you used to buy the comic. Remember that? I sure do. It never stopped me from coming back for more. And more. And more.