Thoughts on the Fantastic Four Death…
I’ll eventually review the issue in question (I’m thinking of just doing a big ol’ review on Hickman’s whole run), but I just wanted to make a note about the death in today’s Fantastic Four #587 (don’t read any further if you don’t want to be spoiled about who dies in the issue)…
An interesting thing I’ve noticed about the coverage of the death of the Human Torch is the heavy spotlight we’re getting on the impermanence of superhero deaths, and how with this death, we are seeing different responses from the creators than we normally get in these instances. To wit, in CBR’s coverage of the death, they quote Joe Quesada as saying, “”Whether the human torch comes back or not is really a question that will be answered in time…While I will never discount that a character can come back from the dead because it is one of the staples of comic book story telling . I’m not going to tell you if he will, or when he will and if he does, how he will, but I can assure you that it’s going to be very, very interesting and not what anyone expects.”
That’s a far cry from when Superman died, or even when Steve Rogers died four years ago.
I suppose the “only” four years between Cap’s death and the Torch’s death makes it tougher to sell it as a “death” death, but I think that that concern is a bit silly.
Jonathan Hickman obviously has a story planned, and it involved the Torch dying. Just like Ed Brubaker obviously had a story planned that involved Steve Rogers dying.
This is not some willy-nilly gimmick.
And obviously, the book has received a lot of hype, but really…
A. That’s not Hickman’s “fault”
B. Why is pushing a good comic book a BAD thing anyways?
The Death of Captain America was a good storyline, Three has been a good storyline, does it really matter if they get a lot of mainstream attention and get sold to people who think that they can finance their kid’s college education with copies of the issues in question?
And when you’re getting good comic books, what does it matter if it involves a time-old tradition of impermanent superhero death? If the story itself was stupid, then yeah, of course, hype around a dumb story is annoying – but hype around a good one? That works for me.
It is kind of funny, though, to look back at Marvel’s statements about how they were putting the book into a black bag to cut down on spoilers, since we knew then that they would almost certainly end up spoiling it themselves on the morning of the book’s release (which they did). It’s not like anyone could begrudge them for wanting to sell more copies of the book by putting it in a black bag like the Death of Superman, so pretending as though it was a spoiler-deterrent was a bit unnecessary.