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Thursday, November 08, 2007 

Jim Starlin: I think it's past his bedtime

Back in 1982, when Jim Starlin wrote the Death of Captain Marvel, where Mar-Vell of the Kree, who'd been written as an allusion to defects from Communist Russia when he first appeared in 1967, died of something like leukemia, that was a definite masterpiece that also took an ideal path of having its star protagonist die via illness instead of being beaten to death by his enemies.

Unfortunately, lightning doesn't strike twice in the same place, and if you ask me, I don't think it did when Starlin wrote Batman's Death in the Family storyline in late 1988, where 2nd Robin Jason Todd, since revived, was shown dying at the hands of a bomb the Joker had left to blow him up with after banging him senseless with a crowbar. What was done back then was more or less a tasteless publicity stunt. And by now, I think that with the new miniseries called Death of the New Gods, Starlin has really worn himself out, and I cannot see the point of something that must think its greatest achievement is to have Big Barda murdered, in hers and Mr. Miracle's home kitchen (H/T: Facination Place).

In an interview with Comicon's Pulse:

THE PULSE: Why does DC want to do something like this? Why get rid of characters who, at least looking at some of the articles we've posted on the subject, have made such lasting memories on comic fans?

STARLIN: When Marvel Comics approached me about killing Captain Marvel, then editor in chief Jim Shooter was very up front about the fact that his writers just didn't know what to do with Captain Marvel and that they wanted to kill him off and start over from the beginning. That's basically what DC Comics is doing. Kirby created this series with great potential that was never fully realized, even by Jack himself. For the last thirty some years DC has, every few years or so dusted these characters off and given them another shot. DC has gotten mixed results with this approach but never a really big success. So the plan now is to take the names and restart from there.
I'm afraid that it may be more than three decades too late now, and coming at a time when deaths have been so frequent in the DCU, practically an emphasis for some time now, that's what makes me less encouraged to read this, because, while Starlin may not get into details here, it doesn't take much to figure out that this is a forced editorial decision, and the way Barda was struck down was certainly forced and in poor taste, and could've been editorially edicted (surprise surprise).

Plus, there's no telling if they have any idea of how to relaunch the New Gods and the Fourth World even now, and one can only wonder if, when they do, they'll go the PC-route, and make the New Gods into something more like multiculturalist "minority group" members, without even truly good storytelling to help it.

In fact, if all they can do is kill them off, it just shows how they truly lack any true creativity today. What then have they accomplished?

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  • I'm Avi Green
  • From Jerusalem, Israel
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