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The Bystander Effect

by  in Comic News Comment
The Bystander Effect

It’s a weird time when stuff like the ending of Death of the New Gods #1 elicits probably more amusement than anything else, and what we basically think is “I bet someone ELSE is going to be really mad at this.” However, that sentiment is basically said by everyone – “I bet this is really going to piss someone ELSE off – but not me, I’m too jaded by now.” So it is a situation where people see something they think is bad, but are completely apathetic to it, because we’ve just grown too used to it all. Read on for some spoilers.

So the ending of the issue is Mister Miracle discovering Big Barda dead on their kitchen floor surrounded by groceries (which she apparently got while wearing her costume?). Mister Miracle is, of course, perturbed by these events.

Right off the bat, we have to get the qualifiers out of the way –

A. The book IS called the Death of the New Gods.

B. They’ve already killed off prominent male New Gods.

C. This is all most likely temporary, probably in preparation of a reboot of the New Gods (I hope!).

But still, all the usual outrage should apply here, right?

But that’s the thing, we’ve become USED to it, to the point where it IS the “usual outrage.” And when outrage becomes normalized, it is not exactly outrage anymore, is it? It’s a shrug of the shoulders. It’s gallows humor.

In short, it’s essentially the bystander effect.

It’s not that we’re NOT irked by it, we are. But we know everyone else is seeing the same stuff we are, so we figure someone ELSE will end up doing the complaining, because we’ve grown so tired of complaining about this stuff ourselves. But since everyone ELSE feels the same way, the end result is that NO one really ends up complaining about it at all.

Weird times…

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