What Were They Thinking- The Death And Rebirth Of Superman

This week, I'd like to talk about a quite contentious subject, something I like to call the Jesus Effect. Of course, we all know that comic book characters don't age like we do, but apparently they don't die like we do either. And the blame for this I lay squarely at the feet of Superman.

Now, don't get me wrong, his was not the first rebirth. It happened as far back as 1963, when Lightning Lad from the Legion Of Superheroes managed to die in January and then be resurrected in September (only for that to be reteconned as some-one else using his form, gotta love DC continuity), but after extensive research, I can only find four others who have died and been resurrected prior to the death of Superman story in 1993. These being Lex Luthor, who died in a plane crash but was then later revealed to have cloned himself to escape death by cancer and faked his other death (?), Iris West Allen, who was killed by Reverse Flash but resurrected in the 30th century, Alfred Pennyworth, who was crushed by a boulder but then returned to life using a regeneration ray (Holy WTF Batman!?) and Kang The Conquerer, who, let's be honest, has so many alternate forms it doesn't really matter when he dies.

However, if we look at the list of characters resurrected post-DoS, the list is alarming (and consists only of DC and Marvel characters I might add). 69 for DC, 102 for Marvel. Now that is just ridiculous. When a list contains a fairly decent Avengers team, the big 3 of DC, 3/4 of the Fantastic Four and Aunt May from Spider-Man, you kinda have to admit things have gotten out of hand. It's the ways these deaths are removed as well, some of them are clumsy at best (see Captain America) were as some they just couldn't be bothered (Graviton I'm looking at you there).

I know all characters are valuable intellectual property, and killing them in an event is a good way to boost its sales, but this is getting ridiculous. When even a long forgotten character like Barney Barton (died 1969) can be brought back to life (resurrected 2011), I think it's time to take a step away from that big red reset button and say "Hold on, I think this one has been over done before, maybe we should think of something else."

Sorry about the rant. Just had to get it off my chest.

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JR19759

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