Monday, June 13, 2011

Dear Comics: Stop Killing People

As you know, if you read my blog or follow me on twitter (@retconning), I haven't been able to keep up with comics in the buy-them-every-week way.  I don't have the money, as I am one of the horde of underemployed people in the world.  But I follow in other ways, via comic blogs and twitter feeds, and I've kept pretty much up to speed on storylines and the various developments involving my favorite characters.

But somehow I'd missed the news that Bucky Barnes was dead.

When I finally found out, it hit my like a sucker punch to the gut.

I wrote about why I love Bucky in the role of Captain America nearly two years ago.  Not much has changed in that time.  And, yeah, I knew they were going to give the role of Cap back to Steve Rogers because of the movie.  I was okay with it.  I figured Bucky could head somewhere else, do good work, be the same interesting and intense guy he is, just without the shield.

But, nope.  Had to kill him.

Why?  Does this change anything?  Help to character growth?  Steve already lost Bucky once.  The Avengers already lost Captain America.  Natasha has lost lovers.  This isn't new.

Then I got angry.   I can understand how fans of Captain America felt when he was killed, but there was never any doubt he'd be back.  And I know what you're saying now: "Psh, it's comics.  He'll be back."


Maybe, but it was still a pointless death of a great character to "advance" the storyline of a character who hasn't done anything new in forty years.

I won't compare DC's treatment of legacy characters to Marvel's.  They both have their faults.  But DC doesn't seem afraid of letting its second and third generation characters exist next to its originals.  There are currently three Flashes: Jay Garrick, Barry Allen, and Wally West.  There are two Green Arrows: Oliver Queen and Connor Hawke.  The universe isn't worse for it, they're better, because those other characters are awesome.

Besides, Bucky isn't a second generation character.  He's been with Steve from the beginning.  He was never "Kid America", he was Bucky and then he was Winter Soldier and then he was Captain America. He wasn't a sidekick, he was a scout.  And then he was a hero.  And the he was a leader.

And now he's dead.

And it still feels pointless.

RIP, Bucky Barnes.

1 comment:

  1.  I will guess by now you know (hopefully) that Bucky is alive (for now, nobody knows what the Infinity Formula will do to HIM) and even has his own series (Winter Soldier) (and if not, maybe I'm bringing good news? Also when Nick Fury told Steve they lied to him about Bucky actually dying, he pretty much punched Nick's head through a wall... bonus. For the story, Fear Itself 7.1 >.>) Anyway. Even knowing that, finding this post via a random unrelated search and reading it made me cry a little bit, because, yes. Bucky is his own man and hoping that he keeps on kicking the baddies is... something I've recently discovered and loving very much.

    TY for the post, I guess.