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Friday, January 23, 2009 

Marvel's next target for death: Ms. Marvel

Not content with replacing Capt. America, Black Panther and She-Hulk, Marvel's editorial has now decided to make Carol Danvers their next target for death, and replacement by Moonstone, the onetime Thunderbolts member. The Examiner, which writes about this, is being pretty sugarcoated about it, and says:
In these days of big, company-wide events like "Secret Invasion," "Dark Reign" and "Final Crisis," no one is safe. Marvel killed off Captain America in 2007 and DC just offed Batman. Now that the majors are running out of major characters to kill, I guess they're moving over to minor ones.
Uh, didn't they already do that with minor characters, if what began in Identity Crisis and later in Infinite Crisis is any indication (and even Avengers: Disassembled)?
The strategy actually appears to be working. What generally happens is that the compaines kill off a beloved and established character, and then put a younger one in their stead.
In what way is it working? Artistically, financially, or both? I'm not sure it's working so well now. And the only time it really worked was when Wally West took up his uncle's role as the Flash, because that was done respectfully enough. It didn't work well with Kyle Rayner taking over for Hal Jordan as Green Lantern because they didn't give Hal a respectable send off. What's more, when you kill off/replace as frequently as they've been doing now, it has less impact, if at all, and looks more like the cynical attempt to stir publicity stunts that it is. Nor is it very shocking. Rather, it's just insulting.
Over at "Captain America," it's now James "Bucky" Barnes. a former Cap sidekick, who now wears the Star Spangled costume - not to mention a gun! One can argue that Capt. America has never been so interesting.
Gimme a break. The gun actually makes the concept less imaginative.
My theory is this: These characters have more often than not been around since the 50s or 60s (in some cases, the 30s). There's little one can do with them that hasn't been done before. Put a kid who needs a little seasoning in their place, however, and you get someone who makes mistakes, still needs to learn the ropes...someone who is just like us, one might argue - and a little more interesting than crusty old Batman, Captain America, or even Ms. Marvel.
Wow, what a defeatist that writer is! Not only does he criticize the characters instead of the writers, he even insults their very creation by calling them crusty and old, and ignores that Moonstone, Carol's designated replacement, isn't exactly a kid anymore either. Nor does he even suggest what new or inspiring ideas could be done with them, the biggest hole in the argument.
My prediction? Ms. Marvel will get more attention when she's about to die than she ever did in the many years in which she has been alive.
Maybe not. The book was mired in crossovers when it first began, and I certainly won't buy it now when it's being put under an editorial mandate that's even worse. But if it actually does get mainstream press attention, it's disgusting that only when a character dies should there be given any attention at all. The press should be ashamed if that's the only time they're going to take notice.

That aside, I don't see Moonstone's usurping Ms. Marvel's role garnering much success, and it certainly doesn't deserve any if this is how they're going to go about their business.

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