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Cronin Theory of Comics – Good Characters Should Be Written in Comics

by  in Comic News Comment

Really, it sounds like a no brainer, doesn’t it?

When one wants to make good comics, one should use good characters.

So if a good character is available, a writer should use it.

However, it appears as though there are those who feel that there is a better idea out there…

To quote Judd Winick, from a nice interview by Hilary Goldstein at IGN, We all threw around names of characters who would be the one to carry the story, knowing it’s going to end with their demise. That’s important that there’s someone who discovers everything and dies for it. And in the very short list we kept coming back to Blue Beetle. And everyone in the room said, “I could do a great Blue Beetle series.” And that’s why he has to go, because he’s actually the one who means something. And now he’s gone and eleven years from now someone will bring him back and we’ll be angry men about that. It’s generational. See that?

I could do a great Blue Beetle series….and that’s why he has to go.

The two statements, they really should be mutually exclusive.

In addition, I do not know if Winick is intentionally ignoring history when he makes his “And now he’s gone and eleven years from now someone will bring him back and we’ll be angry men about that. It’s generational.” point.

For Jim Starlin did not kill off Captain Marvel (the example Winick cites in his interview as an inspiration for their handling of Blue Beetle) because he thought there was a lot of great Captain Marvel stories to write in the future.

Jason Todd was not put in a position to be killed off because Starlin had lots of ideas for Jason Todd stories.

It was exactly the opposite.

If you think you can write a good series featuring a character, that is always better than killing off said character.

Always.

Good comics come from writing good characters well.

Holographic foil covered 100th issue anniversary comics are not worth the discarding of them.

Death scenes added to make a story seem more “historic” are not worth the discarding of them.

Launchs of company-wide crossovers are not worth the discarding of them.

And what is so particularly amusing about this instance is that, even if a reader were to disagree over whether a particular character is “good,” here we see that the writers themselves thought that the character was “good,” and that gave them more reason to kill off the character.

Pretty damn silly.