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Sunday, 20 April 2014

Ink - Alter Egos Exposed S1E02 - Death & Resurrection




So why, you may ask, post this particular episode on Ink -Alter Egos Exposed?  Well, I think the title says it all. Back in the 1970s, on UK TV, Stan Lee pointed out (and he has done this many times since) that without that threat of possible death what the super hero does is boring. Okay, Doc Ock has a nuclear bomb and he's going to blow up New York -no problem. Spider-Man beats him and end of story. Spider-man answering the call to find that has walked into a trap -and Aunt May is trapped with him as the seconds tick away, now that adds the peril.

The Death Of Speedy by Jaime Hernandez is a classic that maybe a few editors and wrtiters of super hero comics ought to read to see "how it's done" -including not resurrecting the dead character in a re-boot.

With Crisis On Infinite Earths, DC Comics found just how profitable it was to kill off entire groups of characters, Earths and even the multi-verse. That this lack-lustre , run out of ideas on how to rip off comic readers is still working is down to one thing and one thing only: dumb-ass comic readers.  "Oh! It's a new series re-boot -gotta grab that new #1....and all the variant covers!"

Why?  There used to be a joke that Hawkman had more #1 issues than any other character.  Poor guy -now that means nothing. Are those new first issues going to make you rich? Is it a shrewd investment for the future? Well, yes...if you track down and destroy every other copy of that particular first issue. Let me know how that goes.

There are certain creators who have prima donna hissy fits and leave Marvel to go to DC -"I'll never ever work for the big stink Marvel again: they would not let me have my way!" Then they have a hissy-fit at DC for the same reason and "It's great to be back at Marvel!" These are egotistical comic whores who really have no interest in the characters because the important thing is....themselves.

Now, comic artists tend to be quite egotistical and you have to be careful how you refer to something they've drawn. Tread very carefully. But comic writers...oy.  I once had one comment on the old Yahoo 360 CBO that writing that only "the writer did a great job of adapting the story" was a personal insult. "They (the artists) only did a good job because of my writing and guidance. Without that it would have been nothing!"  He posted the same sort of thing when I reviewed the next book he had scripted. Did it matter that the excellent artists were being smacked in the face and insulted by him? No:HE was the important one.

Denny O'Neil I think wrote some good stories but, lords, he comes across as preachy -this was the problem with a lot of DC comics: look at entertaining, well written Avengers stories in the 1960s/1970s and look at the Justice League of America at the same time. DC had very preachy social issues and the writers today seem to think they were Shakespearos!

"It's only a comic character -you get that, right?"  Yes, but a comic character that stood for something. Spit in the eyes of the fans and they'll giggle along because it's Ed Brubaker or Denny O'Neil or whoever. If you cannot invest some piece of yourself into a character and care what happens to them they why bother buying the comic -is it because comics are currently cool?

John Byrne states that if you take away death as the ultimate threat you have nothing.  Other creators just chuckle: "Hey, kill the characters off -who cares it boosts sales!" Well, fuck you. Why am I not reading Marvel or DC comics any more? Because, like many others, I am sick of the crap they have become.

If a character faces a deadly situation and he dies it is not easy for the creator of that character to write that scene. But I have allways adhered to the "you die you stay dead" policy.  It's what happens in real life and though there are paranormal characters in Black Tower Comics that addage still applies.

In Return Of The Gods: Twilight Of The Super Heroes I put characters I had been living with for 30-40 years into deadly situations and there was no script.  Everything was drawn "as it happened" and on one occasion I actually said "No. I can't kill him off!" but, once done it was done. Even though I argued and struggled with myself on ways to make it not happen -"He/she was an android"....no.

I was asked a couple times when I was bringing the dead characters back? I said "Never. They're dead!" But then you get the "Oh, right. Like that happens in comics!"

So let me make it very clear to those clinging to the belief that all companies and creators in comics lie and they allways bring back the dead:In Black Tower Comics when a character dies he/she is dead FOREVER.

Now, watch the episode and watch the sincere "it's what the fans want" comic creators smirk at how good they are at ripping comic fans off and how insignificant comic characters are to these comic whores.

This has been Terry Hooper-Scharf:super star and god-like creator on an Easter Sunday -and, yes, I know: even the Bible re-booted Jesus and brought him back from the dead......have I just shot myself in the foot, there???

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