Previously in my uber-cynical breakdown of superheroes becoming horrible people, I looked at some of the paragons of the DC Universe. Now it’s time to take a look at the Marvel Universe.
Archive for Spider-Man
This week, I continued looking at some Hulked-Out Hero books and was sad I did. Basically, as part of World War Hulks, a bunch of Marvle heroes turned into Hulk-like beings. There were a few mini-series that were these Hulked-out superheroes slugging it out for no reason. They mostly revolve around jokes about how the Hulk’s speech patterns sound stupid.
The bad news is that this week’s reviews are about the weakest of the miniseries. Next week I’ll do Captain America versus Wolverine, which was actually pretty decent. Until then, take the rare moment to enjoy me giving level-headed criticism instead of acting like a chimp with poor impulse control.
One of the oldest traditions in superhero comics is that the good guys don’t kill. There are exceptions out there, such as Wolverine, who is currently leading a child-killing death-squad in X-Force (okay, they only killed one child so far, and the repercussions are being handled pretty well) or the Punisher, whose body count is somewhere in the thousands. But in general, superheroes haven’t killed since the Silver Age or even before. But the question is, why? Certainly some villains (*cough*Joker*cough*) deserve their necks snapped. Why is it that these guys who dress up in pajamas and pursue vigilante justice don’t do what sometimes needs to be done?
In an attempt to answer that question, or at least look at how the code against killing developed, here’s a look at some of the more iconic superheroes and why they don’t kill.
Comic book deaths are a punchline these days. A few years ago when Captain America died, no one expected the death to last more than two years, even though Marvel swore up and down that it would stick (sort of like how Spider-Man unmasking during Civil War was supposed to stick and not get retconned away thanks to a deal with the Devil). Despite the fact that a comic book death currently translates into little more than a cheap sales gimmick, there have still been some really good ones over the years. Even if they didn’t stick, they were chilling, touching, or otherwise hugely influential. What follows is my totally biased opinion of the best deaths comics has had to offer.
If DC Comics made a dollar for every time Superman killed Lois Lane during the Silver Age, they’d probably be the second-largest comic book company in America or something. Superman used to kill Lois Lane on a monthly basis. I didn’t think anyone could be more of a dick to the woman he loved until recently when Spider-Man sold his marriage to the Devil. So now I’m wondering who the bigger dick is. Why not pit the two sides against each other in a fight? Will Superman kill Lois Lane in the first round? Will Spider-Man use Mary Jane as bait? Will the women team up to throw off the shackles of their spandex-clad oppressors? Let’s find out.
I recently managed to convince my mother to check out the film adaptation of The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy. Whether she likes it remains to be seen, but I know I enjoyed it, even though it wasn’t particularly faithful to the previous incarnations of Douglas Adams’ work. Of course, since I’m a fan of pretty much all things Hitchhiker-related, I didn’t expect it to be true to the other sources anyway. Following its release, a lot of fans complained about how the film strays from the book, but relatively few folks seem to realize that the book isn’t the one true source anyway.
Every once in a while I stretch my virtual legs and take a stroll down a random path in cyberspace, just browsing through various Internet sites and seeing where I end up. Most times, this results in me trying to gouge my eyes out with chopsticks because I’ve stumbled across some ungodly porn site. One day, I happened across a site called Women in Refrigerators. The site presents a list and reactions of the various women who have been killed, brutalized, or otherwise made to suffer in comic books. The title of the site comes from an issue of the Green Lantern comic in which Kyle Rayner comes home to find his girlfriend killed and stuffed into a refrigerator by a villain. Now the site itself doesn’t seem to have too much of a particular agenda, but it makes the same mistake that a lot of people do when they try to show discrimination against one particular group: they don’t compare and contrast to other groups.