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Wednesday, October 20, 2010 

7 of the worst resurrections in comics

The website of Blastr features their choices of at least 7 of the worst resurrections of all time in comics. Their number one selection is none other than Aunt May Parker's from 1998, ruining one of the best, most simple passings ever thought of in 1994. We have Bob Harras to thank for that, of course. (Also Howard Mackie, because he didn't know when to quit as writer and save his reputation.)

Strangely, the article does seem to get a few things inaccurate: Gwen Stacy was Peter Parker's college sweetheart, not high school. And it was in Spider-Man #98, not #75, where this took place (during the "Final Chapter", one of Spidey's poorest moments). And I think both Mary Jane Watson and her Aunt Anna were present with Aunt May and Peter during what should've been her real demise.

The second choice is Jason Todd's. They cite how Superboy-Prime, a Mary-Sue if there ever was one, made for one of the most idiotic excuses for how to "justify" the history changes DC editorial mandate made during Infinite Crisis. Todd's resurrection has since proven pointless. Blastr does make a worthy point though of the hows and whys of Todd's original demise:
I seem to recall that Jason was fairly popular when first introduced, and equally unpopular once he'd morphed into the "total douche" version of Robin after the CRISIS ON INFINITE EARTHS (or "Ass-Hat-Robin," as he was known at the time). But rather than just "improving the writing" (a tactic abandoned in a number of comics throughout the nineties), DC had a phone-line poll to see if the brat lived or died.
I have to admit that there's a valid point signified in this. Here they had a chance to just scrap whatever unappealing traits he'd been given for no good reason and provide Todd with a personality easier to accept. Instead, they turned him into a pawn in a game of death, setting a very poor example of how to deal with a character whose depiction is dreadful. Sure, it could have some upside in retrospect, like being a variation on Elektra's original death at the hands of Bullseye in 1983, something that was undone just a few years later. But long term, it may have unintentionally set a very disturbing trend for how to deal with a character whose characterization is terrible: instead of fixing that, the answer is to just kill them outright. Does that really help? Nope.

Update: here's an old item from Mania's Comicscape (formerly part of Cinescape) from about 2005, where they discuss the subject of Jason.

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