I want Jean Grey back
Death and the Return of Characters: Jean Grey
The worst thing about comic "non-deaths" is the cynicism it instills in readers. When a character's death means nothing, neither does that character's life, and if the characters don't mean anything, why should we bother to read?
That's a faster and less TL;DR to get to the point of what I was trying to say!
@lurkero: I think you have a good point and my comment was going to be along a similar path. A year or so ago on the CV podcast they mentioned that some characters were saying it was miserable while dead. I think if Marvel made it canon that when a character died they were in some kind of hell or miserable purgatory then their death would still be meaningful while also allowing a comeback to not be cheap.
What do you and others think about that or the likelihood?
Also, what's worse: coming back from the dead (via science/magic/etc) or the character never having died (a clone was killed/they were saved from the fall/etc)?
It really does take away from the story and sometimes the future story. Like when Cap died I was furious but I very quickly learned to love Bucky Cap then of course even more quickly they brought back Steve. I always felt cheated that we didn'y get more time to see what Bucky would have done as Cap.
It has become a joke. I don't remember what issue it was, but I do recall an issue of X-Men where Psylocke makes a comment along the lines of "You're not a real X-Man until you've returned from the dead." I don't mind a character coming back every once in a while, but this is a regular thing. It shouldn't happen constantly. There should definitely be a limit on the amounts of times too. How many times have Jean and Apocalypse come back? What's the point in even killing them anymore? A friend told me about the Human Torch's death and I just kind of shrugged and said, "We'll see him again within the next year or two."
Sure, I'd love to see some discussions on other characters. Maybe Jason Todd. Mainly because his return was so controversial.
The trouble with writers playing in the Marvel and DC sandbox is that at the end of the day someone else will get the chance to play with those same toys. There are never any permanent changes for anything. At some point the reader realizes that and either embraces it or will feel the need to find entertainment that isn't serialized commercial open ended soap opera. I love many of the characters, but it's hard for me to get past that concerning the Big Two. When the driving force behind the characters is the corporation instead of individuals, there's always going to be a lack in depth... At least to me. I think when James Robinson stated on the last podcast that he and his artist were in the process of getting a costume change for a character approved was a great illustration of this.
On the subject of Jean Grey dying, I think the behind the scenes stuff was the most interesting. As much as I liked those old Claremont/Byrne issues of the X-Men (almost entirely because of JB), clearly the creators at some point got a bad case of tunnel-vision.
Killing off one of the original members of the X-Men is clearly something that you can't do and is something that will never be permanent. Claremont and Byrne actually worked themselves into a corner, though. They had no intentions of killing her off, they were just going to have her stripped of her powers. I think it was Jim Shooter, who was the editor (in chief?) that stepped in and said "Nope. You just had her kill a few BILLION people. You can't just strip her of her powers and everything is okay. She HAS to die, now." And of course, they had the X-Men heroically step up to defend their friend and Jean was given the redeeming trait of self sacrifice, because it clearly was best way out for the character. You allowed her to act heroic again in the end... But she HAD to die, even if killing off one of the original characters is a mistake, also.
I think some of today's editor's are greatly lacking in understanding the more far reaching implications of the creative decisions under their noses. Tony (in that 'fiery' podcast episode where he, Sara and Corey got into the heated debate about whether or not Batman should have killed the Joker) was completely right in saying you can't go back once you've had a hero kill, no matter what 'fans' thought about the decision. At least DC has gotten it right with one of their two flagship characters in that regard.
Bottom line, though, is that when DC or Marvel kills a character off, it's not if they ever come back, but just a matter of when. It's not the return that diminishes the death, it's the fact that the reader knows they're not going to stay dead in the first place.
I think it depends on how the resurrection is handled. I personally think Jean's first resurrection was handled very well, and I'm also a fan of how they "brought back" Nightcrawler.
On the other hand, you have things like the death of Batman, who was revealed to be alive the issue after he died, or Thor. Do we all remember Thor's most recent death? If not, you might not even have noticed it. It seriously lasted like a week.
So yeah, I have no problem with the death/resurrection cycle, as long as the death is given time to breathe, and the resurrection is written well
It would really depend on the circumstances of how a superhero came back for whether it would be lacking in appropriateness or not. For my taste, if someone made a heroic last stand to go down, bringing them back is just a cheap way to invalidate their great sacrifice. Jean Grey of course is just one of many examples of this but is probably the representative paradigm of death and return in characters for Marvel, whereas Barry Allen's return to DC for the Final Crisis is probably the representative example for DC. I don't like either personally, but hey, what can you do?
It doesn't really diminish much for me after all spy tv series and movies, do thisall the time . Also looking the the series of Alias and yes 24( Tony Almeda) where they did this with their main characters so I have no problem. as long as it's explained well . and lets face it to me the MU superheroes have alot in common with the spy world literature be it tv movies or books . to some degree. with the exception of cosmic events etc. but in that you can use those to explain why the deaths don't last. more so then the spy world. has. which has barrow form sci-fi often too, but some times has a hard time explaining them selves some times. their more reasonable explanation's with in the comic's at time then other mediums. well depending if they went that far to Explain it proper i mean. I've never thrown a fit over this and don't a point ot when other place's/ mediums have done this as well and not jump over those franchise ever.
In defense of Jean, her namesake implies that she will eventually rise again so I don't know why people were so shocked when she did eventually return. It just makes sense in her case. The Dark Phoenix Saga is still a brilliant story despite her return and while it would've had more weight if she stayed dead, Jean did become quite a tough chick after her return (particularly in the 90s) all on her own. Writers only started "LAME-IFYING" her storylines in the early 2000s. Im enjoying young Jean's stories in All New X-Men and the writing is much better. The fact that writers who don't care for the character keep killing her off is idiotic and demonstrates piss poor writing on their behalf. If you don't know what to do with her, stick her in "comic limbo" or something and have her pop up only from time to time.
yep the name say's it all. the name fit's her well . but keep her aways from wolverine I'm sick of his projecting what lost feelings of rose he has on her and every red head ( hudson's from alpha flight ) he meets just to give who that lady was dating before in came to town greif.. he's way to much like his old man Thomas blech.
hilarious video. ty for posting.
Yes it cheapens it. No it's not the end of the world or good stories, but I don't find deaths in mainstream comics anything more than irritating at this point. That's not how it should be.
Arguably it's Superman's fault. He wasn't the first, but he was the biggest.
What I think you forget to bring up in this article(which by itself is fine) is what about when characters "sort of" come back? You know, as in the AoA Nightcrawler instead of the regular Nightcrawler, and pre-Phoenix Jean in All New X-Men? I think its an okay compromise, but I hear some people who are annoyed by it, since its not the "real" character.
In a way I think it's an appeasement to the fans while at the same time a way to pump more marketing out of the character. We had Jean Grey, then Madelyne Pryor (not sure what Claremont's idea was before Byrne brought back Jean), Rachel Summers (Phoenix), Jean Grey again, Sinister's clones, and now young Jean Grey. About 5 different versions of her.
I enjoyed AoA Nightcrawler but seems X-Men are really stretching it with all these alternate versions of themselves (not sure if Astonishing had alternate versions or just X-Treme, couldn't keep track with all the titles).
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On the Jean Grey subject, i'm still confused why, after all these years, people are still puzzled as to why a character named PHOENIX is repeatedly reborn/revived after an untimely death...
Since she is the Phoenix, Jean is really the one person who is entitled to come back from the dead multiple times without it being weird.
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With regards to jean, I find it extremely ironic that she is singled out and/or has a negative reputation due to her death history.
I mean a Phoenix is a mythical bird known for resurrecting after death.
If anything it's hilarious that she was dead for so long, given her Phoenix code name, when other characters have died and returned.
I read the dark pheonix saga as a young kid, actually the death of Jean Grey funeral issue was one of the first issues I really remember picking out myself. Storyline had a huge impact on me, and had mixed emotions on the return. Here's how i see the death and return thing in characters : if it's done correctly then it shouldn't be an issue, but i feel that if a character is to die...it should stay that way. Some returns are done pretty well....................Bucky Barnes's return as the Winter Soldier was exceptional and made sense. Jason Todd as the Red hood same thing. But as we know...some are the gimmick/shock value., we all knew Superman would not stay dead...the only good thing the storyline did was birth some cool characters (Connor Kent, Cyborg Superman). All in all.......feel that Jean should've stayed dead.
I think personally that death is a good thing in comics when done correctly, but due to the constraints of inconsistent writer adopting of stories (one writer redirecting or taking the direction of one icon away from the direction of another often former writer or co-producer) or company/commercial rushing the technique to becoming an overused gimmick.
Death should be treated like a cigarette for a reader:
You don't want to waste a cigar just by breathing it in as quickly as you can but with time and enjoyment. Likewise with death, it should be taken with time and should be able to flesh out the situation within their respective story to a point where their death doesn't so much as subtract from the experience but adds to it by creating different possibilities for a series. Take the X-men for example: there are very contrite deaths here not only for individuals, but also for people and communities as well. I look at House of M as a good influence for the X-men because it changed the dynamics of the series substantially and made it go in new directions, as now it made the X-men an endangered species rather than a simple new and ominous sub-species.
One thing that I would suggest for deaths from authors would be not to focus so much on just killing a character and make him come back from the dead normal and unscathed, but make it so that there is always something different that comes back to them to make their character change in a good, dynamic way so that their death has impact.
<p>So you fault the character? Honestly I fault the writers for not being able to write a resurrection well and equally for not realizing when they just shouldn't have killed the character. Seriously Claremont was right to want to back away from having jean stay evil or die at the end of the phoenix saga, he had the foresight yo say wait we need her still. So he brings in Rachel grey who is Jean from the future. Okay what about scott? Well lets bring in housewife jean too so now we have the walmart of redheaded jean wanna be's starting which doesnt stop even after she comes back which granted is sort of lame in a universe with reality warping people out there and high sorcerers who probably could have explainably just thought her back for no bettwr reason than to get her recipe doe muffins like strange jamie braddock and jim jaspers who only became more prolific. So telekinetic underwater bird egg I give you is lame and could have been done much better and messed with scott a bit in the process but this is not a literary masterpiece and we will get sloppy writing now and then. Besides Maddie goes evil which was actually cool till they offed her in inferno but for a moment any way scott had his own villian that was from a twist in his story. Jilted ex bent on making his life a living hell and you can really only write one storyline for that? Watch a few crime dramas some time marvel add super powers and demons to murderous jealous ex and roll with it.</p><p>Then 7 years ago she is killed by who? Xornneto? Really? By a stroke? And that leaves her dead while we get a soldier jean doll by the name of Hope to replace her and kid sister jeanie with her boyfriend scooter as replacements of which the first one has some promise the second is a blatant appeasement to fans to give them back Jean but not have her jack slap both scott and wolverine and tell them both to get bent because of what has happened in the last installment of Bendis I gotta write an x book but I really wanna write the avengers and shield until I kill all the X fans from boredom and bad plots. Oh and while we are on the subject of regurgitating polts can we get past days of the future past? M day was a mistake they had to reverse it for almost every character they depowered can we get take the x books in a different direction already? Like maybe what happens when there are enough mutants that large populations of them can actually shake up human politics in a country kind of like Tea psychos now a days. Instead M day takes us right back to the pre 90s x men and kills the ability to make new characters heroes sure, but villains are the real loss seriously we know all the x villai ns goals mo's favorite colors political affiliations third grade teachers etc. The writers need new and just about across the board. So I would propose 1 no rewriting histories you need a character with x background make them seriously. Or resurrect one that had like 10 or less pannels. 2 new direction completely like, What happens when the numbers start saying evolution is happening I doubt anti mutant humanity is going to give up quietly and let a paradigm shift just happen.</p><p>You want scott to be accountable for AvX let Adult jean smack him stop trying to give us substitutes since that is just admitting that you should uave never killed her in the first place</p>
man, that toothpaste is out of the tube already..Death in Comics means nothing.
Sure, you can make the death meaningful and have a impact like Jean or Ted Kord or just pointless gimmicks. but with the numerous reboots, alternate imprints and time travel storylines no one stays dead in comics.
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