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"We're going to kill a character every quarter."

Old 02-11-11, 09:42 PM
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"We're going to kill a character every quarter."

http://www.bleedingcool.com/2011/02/...every-quarter/

From the ComicsPro retailer summit, David Gabriel, Senior Vice President of Sales at Marvel Comics has announced that as a result of the Fantastic Four sales and media coverage, Marvel are going to kill a main character every quarter.

He also added “this is not a joke”.

But as I revealed earlier this week, they already killed another one off this Wednesday without any press attention…

UPDATE: Gabriel did however specify that these storylines are NOT about killing characters. What’s key is what comes AFTER the deaths. For example, after the Human Torch death, Spidey joined the team and the concept of “FF” got an entirely new focus as Future Foundation.

Following that concept, he also claims that the new post-“Death of Spider-Man” storyline will result in the biggest media exposure Marvel’s ever had. He didn’t mention what it is, but he stated to the audience that this vague revelation is “confidential and not to be tweeted.”

So no tweeting!
Wow. This just proves that the House of Ideas no longer has any good ideas. Heck, I don't think they have had any really good ideas since before the XXXTREME 90s.
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Old 02-12-11, 01:19 AM
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Re: "We're going to kill a character every quarter."

I'm surprised that there are readers who eat up these major-character-dies stories. I can imagine if there were still kids reading comics but come on.

There were though, in my opinion, some good stories that involved the deaths of a major character, that should have stayed permanent.

Norman Osborn impaled by his own goblin glider.
Harry succumbing to mental illness and dying.
Kraven.
Elektra.
Phoenix.
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Old 02-12-11, 01:38 AM
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Re: "We're going to kill a character every quarter."

Originally Posted by brayzie View Post
There were though, in my opinion, some good stories that involved the deaths of a major character, that should have stayed permanent.

Norman Osborn impaled by his own goblin glider.
Harry succumbing to mental illness and dying.
Kraven.
Elektra.
Phoenix.

I agree with all of those except Phoenix. It always amazes me when people didn't expect for her to come back. The phoenix is a mythical bird that is always reborn from its fiery ashes. Of course she was coming back.

I agree with the rest of them though. Its so sad how much of a joke death has become in comic books. Back in the 70s and 80s, characters were rarely resurrected. I was sad when Gwen Stacy and Norman Osborn died because I truly felt they were gone for good. Ditto for Jason Todd. Harry Osborn's death in Spectacular Spidey #200 almost made me cry because it was so emotional. I actually did cry when Aunt May died in Amazing Spidey #400. The last page made me bawl like a baby.

Then I cried in anger and frustration when they later retconned it and said it was just a genetic actress and not the real Aunt May.

ASM #400 was the last time death actually meant something in comic books. Nowadays its just a big joke, and when a character dies, even if its a character I like, I don't care because I know he/she will be back within a year.
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Old 02-12-11, 11:38 AM
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Re: "We're going to kill a character every quarter."

Wow. I laughed pretty hard at the Marvel guy's almost threat to kill a character every quarter. It akins to someone threatening to kill a kitten or a puppy.

So, so lame...
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Old 02-12-11, 01:50 PM
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Re: "We're going to kill a character every quarter."

Originally Posted by kgrogers1979 View Post
I agree with all of those except Phoenix. It always amazes me when people didn't expect for her to come back. The phoenix is a mythical bird that is always reborn from its fiery ashes. Of course she was coming back.
That's true. I just didn't like how they cheated and said it wasn't really Jean Grey that died.

Harry Osborn's death in Spectacular Spidey #200 almost made me cry because it was so emotional.
Yeah, that was one of the big moments in Spider-man. All to be undone by Joe Quesada...


Nowadays its just a big joke, and when a character dies, even if its a character I like, I don't care because I know he/she will be back within a year.
I'm kind of surprised that when someone dies in the comics, the superheroes don't say, "Can any of us really die, though?"
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Old 02-12-11, 10:27 PM
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Re: "We're going to kill a character every quarter."

Have any major characters ever stayed dead? It seems like they always turn up later, recovering in the Fortress of Solitude, or frozen in ice.

I'm not counting the literary device where the Son of Frankenstein or the Son of the Green Goblin simply takes up where his father left off.
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Old 02-12-11, 10:45 PM
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Re: "We're going to kill a character every quarter."

Companies used to try to rely on solid storytelling and dynamic artwork to sell comics, but the suits figured out that stunts like this work in the short term to boost sales. Everyone knows the dead character will eventually be back.
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Old 02-12-11, 10:59 PM
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Re: "We're going to kill a character every quarter."

Originally Posted by Nick Danger View Post
Have any major characters ever stayed dead? It seems like they always turn up later, recovering in the Fortress of Solitude, or frozen in ice.

I'm not counting the literary device where the Son of Frankenstein or the Son of the Green Goblin simply takes up where his father left off.
I looked it up on TV Tropes. I was unaware of the Barry Allen story.
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Old 02-13-11, 01:19 AM
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Re: "We're going to kill a character every quarter."

Originally Posted by PhantomStranger View Post
Companies used to try to rely on solid storytelling and dynamic artwork to sell comics, but the suits figured out that stunts like this work in the short term to boost sales. Everyone knows the dead character will eventually be back.
The star wars EU has had many major character deaths. I think at the start of the trend, there was the claim that it was to 'show' readers that the writers had that much control over their stories and no one was telling them to 'hold back.'
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Old 02-13-11, 10:47 PM
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Re: "We're going to kill a character every quarter."

After Jason Todd, Bucky, and Barry Allen came back, nothing was sacred. I half expect Gwen Stacey, Spidey's parents, and Batman's parents to show up at this point.

I'll have to read that full article from that Marvel guy, but that just sounds ridiculous. Oh, but it's all about the story, not trying to get sales boosts or anything, so I guess it's ok. Geez.

Jean Grey's still dead, right? I still don't like this whole White Queen/Scott thing, even though it's been going on for so many years now. Ugh.
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Old 02-14-11, 01:25 AM
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Re: "We're going to kill a character every quarter."

Originally Posted by Ranger View Post
The star wars EU has had many major character deaths. I think at the start of the trend, there was the claim that it was to 'show' readers that the writers had that much control over their stories and no one was telling them to 'hold back.'
I don't think I EVER heard this. When the first major death occurred, an editor at the publisher said the death was to basically make readers realize that there would be serious consequences to the New Jedi Order storyline.

I never heard an editor say they did it as a pissing contest. That pisses ME off. I never understood the reason you would kill Chewie.
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Old 02-14-11, 05:52 AM
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Re: "We're going to kill a character every quarter."

Originally Posted by Nick Danger View Post
Have any major characters ever stayed dead?
Major characters used to stay dead. Norman and Harry Osborn, Jason Todd, Barry Allen, Hal Jordan, etc were all dead for decades. Its like the Death and Return of Superman arc opened the floodgates. Superman was the first major character to undergo a death and resurrection (not counting Phoenix where it was expected) and after Superman came back practically all the other dead people started coming back too.


Originally Posted by fujishig
After Jason Todd, Bucky, and Barry Allen came back, nothing was sacred. I half expect Gwen Stacey, Spidey's parents, and Batman's parents to show up at this point.
Gwen has come back if you count clones. Her clone from the Clone sagas (both the good 70s saga and the bad 90s saga) is still out there somewhere. Spidey's parents also came back in the very early 90s. It was around ASM #360 give or take a few issues. It was ultimately revealed that they were robots built by Chameleon and Harry Osborn. Peter completely flipped out and nearly lost his humanity and started calling himself "The Spider." He very nearly beat Chameleon to death. That was a very good story, and it was one of the last good Spidey stories before the Clone saga hit and ruined the Spidey books forever.
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Old 02-14-11, 12:09 PM
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Re: "We're going to kill a character every quarter."

How as Hal Jordan dead for decades? I mean, they certainly destroyed Hal Jordan the character, but he was around in some form or another at all times (and I understand he was literally dead as the Spectre, but unlike Bucky o Jason Todd or Barry Allen, he was in circulation and ready for a comeback at any time)

And I disagree with you about both Jean Grey and Superman. I still believe Jean Grey's death was supposed to be permanent, Phoenix Force or no... I mean, there was a lot of emotional impact over her death, which is part of what made that original story so good... and then they teased us for years and years, even allowing Scott to move on with a look-alike and have a baby, etc. I don't believe it was part of some master plan to eventually bring her back to form, of all things, X-Factor (the original X-men in disguise with sunglasses, pretending to hunt mutants but really helping them... really?)

Superman, however, everyone knew he was coming back. It was definitely intended to have him be resurrected at the end of the storyline. It did start this whole "spectacle" thing that continued with Bane breaking Batman's back, etc., all stuff that you knew wouldn't really last, but that spiked sales temporarily because of the "shock" value to the general public.

Usually minor character deaths are meaningless because it's at the whims of the work-for-hire writer. To make his villain seem big and bad, the common thing is to have him kill a bunch of B-heroes (exemplified by James Robinson in that Starman issue with the Mist and the remnants of Justice League Europe, but also used in countless other places). That B hero is inevitably somebody's favorite hero, and someone else comes along and rewrites them as resurrected. I understand that, and I don't necessarily have a problem with that... but I do have a problem with doing it just for shock value every quarter.

Didn't they retcon Peter's parents into agents of SHIELD or something? Ugh.
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Old 02-14-11, 01:01 PM
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Re: "We're going to kill a character every quarter."

Almost every new writer on a series attempts to establish credibility by killing a long-running secondary character in the beginning of a new run. It is a way for them to mark the series as their own and to show they are in "control," always a problem with popular series from DC and Marvel with long continuities. The problem has only grown in the last two decades as big-name writers are used as promotional brands to sell issues.
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Old 02-14-11, 01:50 PM
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Re: "We're going to kill a character every quarter."

This is just as bad as when the bean counters said that they were going to charge an extra buck just to see if the market would bear it. Not because costs had gone up, but just to see if fanboys would pay 3.99 for a comic book.


During the presentation, Turitzin gave an overview of Marvel — a “cash machine,” he called it — and the various ways it makes money, from publishing and licensing to the more recently added Marvel Studios division. Like I said on Friday, one of the more interesting portions came when a comic fan in the audience asked about recent cost increases on some of Marvel’s more popular titles from $2.99 to $3.99.

“We’re always testing our pricing on our comic books to see to the extent to which it is inelastic, and we can increase our profit in that business,” Turitzin said. He added that different books have different price points, noting the most popular titles saw a price increase, while the lower-selling monthlies, as well as the comics aimed at kids, did not.

“We’re just looking to maximize our profits for that business while not alienating our own fan base by making them feel that they’re gouged, which I hope you don’t feel,” he told the fan.
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Old 02-14-11, 01:57 PM
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Re: "We're going to kill a character every quarter."

Originally Posted by burnside986 View Post
This is just as bad as when the bean counters said that they were going to charge an extra buck just to see if the market would bear it. Not because costs had gone up, but just to see if fanboys would pay 3.99 for a comic book.


During the presentation, Turitzin gave an overview of Marvel — a “cash machine,” he called it — and the various ways it makes money, from publishing and licensing to the more recently added Marvel Studios division. Like I said on Friday, one of the more interesting portions came when a comic fan in the audience asked about recent cost increases on some of Marvel’s more popular titles from $2.99 to $3.99.

“We’re always testing our pricing on our comic books to see to the extent to which it is inelastic, and we can increase our profit in that business,” Turitzin said. He added that different books have different price points, noting the most popular titles saw a price increase, while the lower-selling monthlies, as well as the comics aimed at kids, did not.

“We’re just looking to maximize our profits for that business while not alienating our own fan base by making them feel that they’re gouged, which I hope you don’t feel,” he told the fan.
That sounds like something to say at a shareholders' meeting, not a fan con
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Old 02-14-11, 02:49 PM
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Re: "We're going to kill a character every quarter."

How I understood why characters come back was because of copyright reasons. If Gambit dies and stays dead long enough so that the character likeness is not active, a second party could create a Gambit-like clone for a rival company. I'm not sure if that is true... or if only the original creator can do it? I'm sure someone smarter them me here knows the correct answer.
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Old 02-14-11, 02:57 PM
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Re: "We're going to kill a character every quarter."

Originally Posted by fujishig View Post
Didn't they retcon Peter's parents into agents of SHIELD or something? Ugh.

This was not a retcon. I have heard a few other people think it is a retcon, but it is not. Stan Lee provided the backstory of Peter's parents in Amazing Spider-man Annual #5, which can be found in one of the Marvel Masterworks books. That story revealed that Peter's parents were SHIELD agents killed by Red Skull. So it was never actually a 90s retcon pulled out of thin air.
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Old 02-14-11, 11:56 PM
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Re: "We're going to kill a character every quarter."

I think Jason Todd was the one was the one that really opened the flood gates, and even that was, IMO, was disingenous when it came to the purpose. DC saying they were surprised at the media coverage. They had a 900 number to vote on whether he should die or not.

Then when the media covered The Death of Superman story DC again said they were shocked at the media coverage. After all, comic characters die all the time, they said.

The problem is that these characters are owned by big corporations and becuase of that the intergrity of the story is more likely to be compromised.
Not saying that only Shuster and Siegel should have worked on Superman, but after so long, it kind of loses something.

I mean, they don't have to die, but maybe they should end and maybe alot later redone for a new generation, kind of like the Batman cartoons or Astroboy.
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Old 02-17-11, 02:00 PM
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Re: "We're going to kill a character every quarter."

Originally Posted by brayzie View Post
I'm kind of surprised that when someone dies in the comics, the superheroes don't say, "Can any of us really die, though?"
Final Crisis by Grant Morrison (2nd issue, I think), Superman, eulogizing J'onn J'onzz prays for a speedy resurrection, or something to that effect.
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Old 02-17-11, 04:56 PM
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Re: "We're going to kill a character every quarter."

Peter David's X-Factor had a scene where Siren was told that her father, Banshee, died, and she kind of ignored it saying he would come back later anyway.

I thought the resurrections at the end of Darkest Night were the only ones that were going to happen in DC for the foreseeable future, so at least they're trying to clamp down on that for a while.
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