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Death and the superhero: The teens ‘had dollar signs, not tears, in their eyes’

by  in Comic News Comment
Death and the superhero: The teens ‘had dollar signs, not tears, in their eyes’

Amid the flurry of media coverage of the death in this week’s Fantastic Four #587 — Has it been spoiled for everyone yet? No? — comes two brief but solid pieces that lay out the great circle of life (and death, and life) of mainstream superhero comics.

Warning: If you don’t want to know which member of Marvel’s First Family bites the dust, don’t click on any of these links!

The first is by George Gene Gustines, The New York Times’ go-to guy for comic books, who delves into the newspaper’s archives for Frank Rich’s coverage of the frenzy sparked by 1992’s “Death of Superman”: “The teen-agers who lined up at the nation’s newsstands and comic book stores on Wednesday had dollar signs, not tears, in their eyes. The issue of Superman in which the superhero from Krypton is killed by Doomsday, a villainous escapee from a cosmic insane asylum, was bound to be worth more than its face value of $1.25 someday. Or so its publishers would have young consumers believe.”

The second is by comics critic Douglas Wolk, who narrows his focus from the history of superhero deaths to just those involving members of the Fantastic Four. (Spoiler alert! There have been several.)

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