Since I’ve enjoyed some of these open discussion posts we’ve had of late, I thought today might be a good time to open up a discussion about creators killing characters, and what makes or breaks a good story for you. I’m interested both as a fan and as a creator who has done my own share of killing characters and will do much much more of it before I’m done (though thank the universe for nice bright shiny happy Jem and The Holograms in which…spoiler alert…nobody dies!)
[No spoilers, except that Game of Thrones killed some characters in their finale last night, which shouldn’t really be a shock for anyone who lives on the planet Earth.]
So, anyone who watched Game of Thrones last night knows why this post is particularly relevant right now. I mean…OMG, you guys. But turn your attention to comics and you’ll find plenty of beautiful (and terrible) deaths over there too. As just one example, last week’s absolutely excellent Saga #29 ALMOST gave the finale of Game of Thrones a run for its money as it killed between two and four characters this past week (we’ll see, but it looks pretty grim for all involved to be honest) and three of the characters are significant players. The previous issue had another supporting character biting the dust too – in a quite literal blaze of glory.
Unfortunately, we seem to have come to the point where the logical extension of making violence an all-ages-friendly subject, means that death in comic books is no longer shocking, it is boring.
In our current social climate, the one high impact event that it is acceptable to use as children’s entertainment, is violence. The most extreme outcome of violence is death, therefore when it came to creating some high-impact events in Ultimate Spider-Man; first his uncle was killed off, then his father was put in a coma, and now his mother has been killed off. In less than 22 issues poor Miles Morales is finding out that the price of being a young superhero published by a mainstream company is death all around him.