Point/Counter-Point: Should superhero mythos end?

Alan Moore has at one point, to quote Wikipedia: “stated that one problem with the genre was the lack of a definitive end to the story of most heroes, in the manner that the Norse Gods for instance, had a definitive end. He felt that this prevented superheroes from achieving the iconic status that they might otherwise acquire and praised Frank Miller's Batman: The Dark Knight Returns as an effort to provide such an end point for at least one DC hero” Would superhero mythos benefit from a definitive ending?

Point: Yes they should. If one believes that comic books are the closest thing to mythology, we have here in these days (like say Alex Ross) then they should have an ending like say King Arthur (who died of old age after defeating Mordred) or Hercules (who was poisoned by his wife, who in turn was manipulated by Hera), that help punctuates the major elements of heroes life and struggle and provides them with an ending that is significant to their mythos. 
Stories like the above metioned do exist: Batman: The Dark Knight Returns, Whatever Happened To The Man Of Tomorrow?  and Spider-man: Reign are very much classic "mythological" endings, but they are just "imaginary tales" so they can't be considered "real"...
 Spider-Man: Reign

 Whatever happened To The Man Of Tomorrow?

 The Dark Knight Returns




Counter-Point: Well first of all it won’t matter if the stories are canon or not, they are still “real”, they’ll still be told and with all the rebooting, revamping and retconning going on in comics nothing can really be considered to be “real”. Secondly people have different perceptions of what the heroes are supposed to be like, for example many people tend to ignore the more ludicrous parts of the Batman mythos preferring the grim and gritty “gawd damn Batman” (speaking of Frank Millar). So since there are multiple ways to perceive the story there are multiple ways to end it (even the ending to the Arthurian legends varies depending on the sources). Since the shared universe is an essiential part of most superhero stories published by the "big two" shouldn't it have an ending aswell, like say Ragnarok...

Ah yes, The Rainbow Creature!



Point: Sure he does. But like you said there are as many ways to end a story as there is to tell them. But you can’t please everybody, some like the sad ending, some like the happy ending, but the story still needs to be told. Some parts of canon were/are very controversial material (like the clone saga or that other, more recent spider-man story that people really need to get over) but they haven’t been retconned out of existence because the fans were pissed (we will just have to see were the latter goes with that...). As of the whole “Twilight Of The Superheroes” thing, there are already stories that tell of the end of their respective universes, like Kingdom Come (which was a commentary on the evolution of the DC universe and the industry as a whole) and Earth X (which was… Weird)...

Epic, Biblical:  Kingdom Come

Epic, Wierd: Earth X!


Counter-Point:  As true as that may be, we are still beating around the bush: Publishers do not won’t to end their long running franchises, just for story purposes. Remember when 2099 and Kingdom Come were considered the canon future of their respective universes? Do you know why they changed it? It limited the stories, if the future is written in stone the heroes can’t continue their endless adventures.  Some comics are written with an ending in mind, but they aren’t exactly considered “tentpole” series…

What do you think?




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Posted by J1ml33

interesting point . it has inspired me to finish writing the next two volumes of my web comic  and my first graphic novel on this subject . thanks for the inspiration my brand new friend ! this has shown me the answer I have been looking for all this time .