In some ways, comic books are like soap operas. You follow certain characters each month and look forward to seeing what adventures or developments they go through. When characters have a huge level of popularity, you can almost follow their exploits weekly, depending on how many different titles they have or guest appearances they make. What happens to those certain characters you enjoy but aren't popular enough to warrant their own title? What happens when your favorite team member is written out of a book? They end up in Comic Book Limbo.
== TEASER ==
For most characters, their lives are non-stop action. The heroes pretty much experience super-villain battle after super-villain battle. Are we to believe that once their book is canceled or they leave/quit a team they get the opportunity to just sit around all day and watch television? Are they still experiencing superhero adventures but they're just not on a large enough scale to earn a telling in a printed comic book?
Some might say that if a character isn't popular or selling books, it doesn't matter what they do when not seen in comics. Out of sight, out of mind? It's not just the boring or lame characters that drop out of books. There are several characters that have come back with success.
Moon Knight has always been one of my favorite characters but for some reason continuously suffers from canceled series. Just in 2006, Charlie Huston and David Finch brought Moonie back with a great new series. Then it was canceled but immediately re-launched into Vengeance of the Moon Knight. Then that series went away right before Shadowland but we know he'll be returning in May courtesy of Brian Bendis and Alex Maleev. Moon Knight has pretty much always been a dedicated crime fighter. Is he still fighting evil when he doesn't have a series or is he enjoying some alone time with his longtime girlfriend Marlene?
Another character I didn't really think about being in Comic Book Limbo is Jim Gordon Jr. We saw him as a baby in Batman: Year One. After Jim Gordon and his wife split, there wasn't much mention of him. I honestly thought he had been killed by the Joker or some other crazed Gotham City killer. Now after all these years, he's returned to Gotham City in the pages of Detective Comics. With him, we don't really know what he's been doing all these years. That's what is making his story so interesting as we get hints that the Commissioner and Barbara are incredibly uncomfortable with his return.
What about other characters that seem to be MIA? What have Havok, Polaris and Rachel Summers been doing since they became part of the Starjammers? How come we've barely seen Wally West since Barry Allen returned? Is Ka-Zar still hanging out in the Savage Land? Is Elektra out killing people or doing her nails when she's not making tiny appearances in Heroes For Hire? What's Madman been doing since Mike Allred's been busy drawing I, Zombie?
Sometimes characters return and it goes unnoticed. They might sneak their way into another character's book and you might miss the appearance. If we're to believe in who the different characters are, it doesn't seem possible that they suddenly stop doing anything interesting just because we're not seeing them in today's comics. If each character has their own life and with all the characters that aren't currently making appearances in comics, imagine all the untold stories we're missing out on. In some cases the writer that brings back a character will fill us in on what happens. Other times, we're just left hanging.
Am I giving this too much thought? It's real easy to get invested in an interesting character developed by a good writer. I just can't accept missing characters are just sitting around waiting for someone to start using them in a book again.
I'm curious to hear how others feel when a character they like is written out of comics. Do you just forget about them until they (hopefully) return or do you think they're having some other sort of adventures that just aren't being told?