Monday, January 31, 2011

He's dead....or not

I meant to mention this last week, but it escaped my mind, but as a comic book collector I feel almost compelled to mention something about the "death" of the Human Torch, late of the Fantastic Four. More specifically, I feel compelled to try and figure out why there were literally thousands of articles appearing about this.

It isn't the first time in recent years that a comic book hero has gotten mainstream attention. Captain America died a few years ago, and yeah, I kinda got that. Marvel did a good job hiding what was coming and considering all the turmoil going on in the US, killing Captain America will get you some headlines. There's also the matter that it was a really well written story. Ed Brubaker spent two years building up to it and the death worked. Hell, he even did a good job on the stories for the next two years after the death. There was more than one comic fan who saw little reason for the original Captain to come back, that's how good Brubaker's stories were during that period.

Alas, Cap's resurrection was the worst part of the story arc. Pity.

We had Batman die a couple of years ago, which nobody believed for five seconds, but still got lots of play. The lead-up was also handled in a confusing way, so was his death and his resurrection was pretty bizarre. I haven't read it, but I also haven't read many good things about it either.

But as for the Human Torch, the publicity around it is just weird. The Human Torch isn't quite in the same league as Batman. Everyone knows he's going to be back soon (The 50th anniversary of Fantastic Four #1 is a year away. Hazard a guess when he's coming back) and it's not like the Fantastic Four is a stranger to death. Go to this site for a genuinely hilarious look at all the times members of the group have died over the years. Not to mention the death of Sue Storm's fashion sense in the 90s. Dear God...

Still, I'm looking forward to reading the story when it's collected. The Fantastic Four were the first super hero comics I ever read. Before that it tended to be comics based on toys (Godzilla, Micronauts, Shogun Warriors). I believe FF #188 was my first one. So yeah, I've loved the characters, even if they haven't been well treated over the years. I'd say over the past 30 years there's been about three really good runs on the series. Current writer Jonathan Hickman might be developing one of those classic runs.

I've been reading the collected books since he started on the title and I'm suitably impressed. He obviously has long term plans for the series, is one of those annoying writers who has so many good ideas that he can just casually toss around brilliant stuff and not worry about developing it further because he knows he has much cooler stuff in his bag of tricks.

We'll see how it all pans out. Apparently the issue is quite well written, despite the massive publicity machine around it. All you can do now is hope the next year or so is well written and so is the Torch's resurrection. And if it gets a few more people to read a good series, I guess I shouldn't complain too much.

But really, how desperate are you to fill copy if your a mainstream media outlet and you're covering this?

Last Five
1. Blowing bubbles - The Pursuit of Happiness
2. Murder city - Green Day
3. Love's grave - Amelia Curran
4. Working on a dream - Bruce Springsteen
5. Part one - Band of Horses

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Funny, no one commented on this...