June 27th, 2007

Newsarama posted a Previews solicit for an upcoming Spider-Man story:

“HEADED FOR THE CHOPPING BLOCK?

“Black Cat, Mary Jane, and Aunt May?

“Is it one of these ladies that take a dirt nap in the upcoming storyline ‘One More Day’? You heard it here, folks. A re-assuring voice and shoulder-to-lean-on is going to be taken out permanent-style in this four-issue storyline, which kicks off in Amazing Spider-Man #544 and Friendly Neighborhood Spider-Man #24. This body check is whipped up by war horses J. Michael Straczynski and Joe Quesada. Pain is promised. No tissues will be issued!

“Who next gets thrown under the bus like the long-lost Gwen Stacy? Details are hard to come by, but what we do know is that there ain’t much joy in Mudville. Spidey’s gonna get left out in the rain again, and oh, how the tears will flow.”

Translation: “Hey, kid! Wanna see a dead body? Buy our book! Ba-HAW!” C’mon, man. Whoever wrote that is happily announcing the death of a character. Haven’t companies and writers always told us that the point of a character’s death to have an impact on both the character and the reader? If that’s the case, why the hell is it being advertised like an episode of XMC or TV’s Bloopers and Practical Jokes? If the people behind the scenes don’t give a damn, how are we supposed to? Are we even supposed to care at this point?

It doesn’t get more full circle than this. When Peter Parker’s girlfriend Gwen Stacy died long ago, it was a big shock. People weren’t expecting it to happen and were shocked and saddened by it. Decades later, not only are they telling us that someone’s going to die long in advance, but they’re joking about it. “Who next gets thrown under the bus like the long lost Gwen Stacy?” It’s like Snidely Whiplash typed this out with one hand and twirled his handle bar moustache with the other. “Nyah-ha-HAAA!” There’ve been quite a few other cases of snarky promo speak like this during other big storylines. One of those “Avengers member goes psycho-beta and starts killing other Avengers” crossovers (either the Crossing or Disass) had a checklist with jokes for each dead or injured character. Again, it’s hard to feel any weight to the events when the company itself is cracking jokes before the corpse is done smoking.

I’m not saying that the staff should wear black armbands and set up little shrines to every dead character and poor some Snapple out on the curb for their super-homies. I’m just saying that maybe a little class is in order. I mean, at least pretend like you give a damn. See, those faithful fans that stick on a book no matter how bad it gets only do so because they care about the characters. What’s going to happen when even these people stop giving a crap? If sales drop, companies are going to find out the hard way.

2 Responses to “Stay Classy”

  1. “If that’s the case, why the hell is it being advertised like an episode of XMC or TV’s Bloopers and Practical Jokes?”

    Haha the sad thing they actually sound like there trying to make jokes (or are idk).

    There already saying too much by pretty much giving the involved characters and that there lives are at risk. And hasn’t May’s life been at risk for a while now?

    BTW why is that all comics today have to end in tragedies? Seems like happy endings are just out of the picture these days. I know they’ve always been around but can’t I just hear about popular comic that isn’t trying to be so extreme and dark and have the hero actually succeed. Not everyone has to live a life of tragedies like Batman. Alright I’m done ranting all over your blog(and getting of topic), nice post Prime.

  2. If you read the promo carefully, they ask ‘Is it one of these ladies…’ instead of flat out saying that ‘one of these three ladies will get snuffed for your sick enjoyment!’ But it’s still as crass as a ghetto strip club ad.

    As far as the endings go, I’m with you on that. The people who like sad endings will tell you that they’re better because a.) they’re more true to life and b.) so many stories have good endings that bad endings are unexpected. With option a, screw that. It’s called escapism for a reason. For b, your statement proves that nobody expects happy endings anymore. Just about every big crossover either ends badly or leads into another long-ass storyline. I’ll also cosign that Batman statement. Trying to force every character or universe’s corner into the same mold just makes everything too one note.

    BTW: since you’re one of the few people reading this crappy blog, you may as well rant away whenever you feel like it!

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