Amph Resurrecting Characters

Discussion in 'Archive: SF&F: Books and Comics' started by NYCitygurl, Jan 3, 2010.

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  1. NYCitygurl NSWFF Manager

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    Based on the discussion in the Salvatore thread :p

    What do you think when authors "kill off" characters and then bring them back? Are you happy they're still alive or annoyed that everyone had to go through that? What authors do you think did it well and which ones did it badly?
  2. Rogue...Jedi Administrator Emeritus

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    Jan 12, 2000
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    Depends. If an author does it once or twice, I probably won't have a problem with it. If it becomes a real pattern, though, I'll get tired of it quickly.

    EDIT: probably also depends on the character, too :p
  3. emilsson Chosen One

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    Oct 5, 1998
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    For me it definitely depends on the character returning. Michael Stackpole resurrected Corran Horn so many times that it got very tiresome. In general, it's easy to see it cominhg since it tends to follow a standard pattern. But one major exception IMO was George Martin when he brought back one character at the end of the third novel of A song of Ice and Fire. Because his characters died and stayed dead that return was very surprising.
  4. Idrelle_Miocovani Force Ghost

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    Feb 5, 2005
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    It entirely depends on the character and the situation, for me. I'm not a big fan of the "Oops, I killed off my character that audiences love, so let's bring him/her back in the next book due to some trippy incident" gig. As with everything that happens in a novel, first of all the death of the character has to have a good reason (because "shock value" doesn't count as a good reason for me) and then there needs to be just as good and logical reason to resurrect them. Like Gandalf. :p
  5. Rogue...Jedi Administrator Emeritus

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    Very much disagree on this one. How many times did he really resurrect Corran? The Lusankya time, yes. But beyond that? Not so much. One might argue the second battle of Borleias, but this really too short to qualify. Its a very few pages, and there's no point where the reader or any characters really think he's dead.

    There are several places where Corran thinks he's going to die, but there's a difference between having a character get badly injured and recover and actually killing them off. Even the Lusankya time the reader is well aware that Corran is alive the whole time, though I would still count this because many characters do believe he is dead. If you want to argue that Stackpole has Corran on the brink of death too many times without actually letting him die, fine - that's understandable, though I don't mind it personally. But to say Stackpole actually kills off Corran and resurrects him is a different thing entirely.
  6. emilsson Chosen One

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    I admit I may have got it mixed up. It's been over a decade since I read Isard's Revenge, which was the book I had in the back of my mind :).
  7. Rogue...Jedi Administrator Emeritus

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    I guess you could count that as well... but since its the entire squadron that is thought dead, and that only in the minds of the background characters (reader and principal characters both know the squadron survives), I wouldn't.
  8. DarkEagle Jedi Grand Master

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    Jan 10, 2009
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    I guess it depends on the author's plan for the story. Was it planned from the begining and flows well/quickly between books as waiting several books down the line for the resurrection isn't the best imo (unless it involves the other characters seeking a way to resurrect the dead for those books, maybe)? Or was the author finished with the story at one point and decides to return and continue writing? Basically Gandalf vs Sherlock Holmes:p Both can be done well, not-so-well, or just-plain-aweful
  9. ILuvJarJar Force Ghost

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    Oct 19, 2008
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    It depends on the 'way' that they are brought back. Most of the time if it is in physical form I don't like it, but if it's in spirit or ghost then I don't have a problem.
  10. NYCitygurl NSWFF Manager

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    What happened with Sherlock Holmes? I've only read a couple stories.
  11. Rogue...Jedi Administrator Emeritus

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    Not familiar with it personally, but I believe it was that he was killed off to end the series and then the author later went back and resurrected him just to be able to write more.
  12. Havac Former Moderator

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    Doyle killed off Holmes because he was tired of writing the stories; they were so popular that people were just clamoring for them, and he wanted to focus on more "serious" literary works he had in mind to do and put Holmes behind him. So he killed the character to put an end to it. This, of course, only quintupled the public outcry for more Holmes stories, so after a while (and an appeal from his mother) he rather reluctantly brought Holmes back (by explaining he hadn't died in his fall from the top of a waterfall) and he wrote several more Holmes stories before he stopped for good.
  13. NYCitygurl NSWFF Manager

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  14. Jedi_Johnson Force Ghost

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    Can't be as bad as DC when the killed of Batman/Bruce Wayne. Wait a year and go 'oops we want to bring him back'. And then to do it they take elements of how Marvel resurrected Captain America.

    Maybe as a comic fan I am far too jaded as to character resurrections. Death rarely sticks in the comic world so half the time I expect that in other things like movies and books. About the only death that stuck for a long time was Barry Allen as the Flash. They waited around 20 years to resurrect him.
  15. Sauntaero Force Ghost

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    Jul 9, 2003
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    I think I agree with this most. Killing off a character can be a really dramatic, emotional plot device that: a. shouldn't be overused, and b. needs to be permanent to be effective. If it's set up for them to exit the story, keeping them in can almost stop the plot from fully developing. The character can still affect the plot, and it's always kind of bittersweet to see their ghost or even just a memory, but it has to be understood that they've moved on.

    Otherwise it is just dragging the thing on for too long.
  16. Jedi Ben Chosen One

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    And you believed Batman was really dead in a comic written by Morrison? More fool you then, although, to be honest, I'm amazed at the number of people DC did indeed sucker with the "death" of Batman. I'm reasonably certain when it's all told, the stories of Cap and the Bat will quite distinct from each other, only being linked by chronological coincidence.

    That said, I agree with your main point: Death in superhero comics has way too many escape doors built in, which have been used too liberally the last few years, I mean look at Blackest Night.

    It has to be said in books I'm hard-pressed to think of that many examples of out and out resurrection, there's some fooling the reader - Tad Williams' Memory, Sorrow and Thorn is an especially good example at the end. Neal Asher every so often revives the Jain, but they're never really dead anyway.

  17. Darth-Lando Chosen One

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    When it comes to comic deaths and resurrection the list begins and ends with one person: Jean Grey. It's literally become a running joke in X-Men books.
    [image=http://xrayvision.today.com/files/2009/02/jean-grey-phoenix.jpg]
  18. Jedi Ben Chosen One

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    Funny you should mention that, there's this upcoming story entitled X-Men: Second Coming....
  19. Jedi_Johnson Force Ghost

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    To say I actually believed it would mean that I could actually follow the RIP arc. That was all over the map. The whole death of Batman thing just reeks of a cash grab to me though, especially after Marvel had 'killed off' what you could argue was their Batman equivalent. Honestly I've liked Cap since Bucky took over and I've liked Reborn.

    Honestly the first thing I thought after RIP, was 'how long will they let this last?' I'm hoping they keep it up for a while, I like the current Batman and Robin being Dick Grayson and Damien Wayne. In contrast, when the killed Cap all I could think was 'Holy crap, they actually did it.' It took me a couple weeks before I started speculating on how they'd bring Steve Rogers back... and I'm surprised they waited this long to pull the trigger.
  20. Darth-Lando Chosen One

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    Except that's about Hope Summers, not Jean Grey. And I refuse to believe otherwise! :p
  21. Jedi_Johnson Force Ghost

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    Well one of the rumors is that Hope will be key to Jean's next resurrection.
  22. Darth-Lando Chosen One

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    Yeah I know. I just get really bothered by Jean Grey most of the time. Ever since the 90's TV show where it seemed like every other episode was a half hour of her and Cyclops calling out for each other.

    Cyclops: "Jean!"
    Jean: "Scott!"
    Cyclops: "JEAN!"
    Jean: "SCOTT!"
    etc...

    She should stay dead.
  23. Jedi Ben Chosen One

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    Except the "death" did not happen in Batman RIP but Final Crisis. I can well accept that Morrison is an acquired taste and you either get it and love it, or don't and hate it, there's no middle ground but to accuse it of being a cash grab isn't really accurate.

    The story has been told in Batman and save for Final Crisis, which Morrison linked to, the story has remained in one title, except that's now Batman & Robin. A cash grab would be to have 10 spin-offs and 20 tie-ins a la Marvel Event X - look at Siege for an an example - there's 32 comics across 4 months tying into that monster. Morrison Bat-arc has been about 20 issues of Batman, 7 issues of Final Crisis and so far 6 issues of Batman & Robin, across at least as many months, arguably a bit more.

    I think you're mistaken in thinking either death was truly intended to be permanent, both Morrison and Brubaker may well have made it appear that way, which is their job as the writer, to get you to buy into the story as they tell it - and marketing would have sold it as that - but they wrote it knowing the readers would be trying to work out the return angles the whole time.
  24. darth-sinister Manager Emeritus

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    There's a difference. Morrison outright said that Bruce Wayne wasn't going to die, around the time "R.I.P." ended. And even had to redo the final page of "Final Crisis" #7 to make it clear that Bruce was alive in the past with Anthro. Brubaker had made it look like Steve Rogers was dead. DC never outright said that Bruce Wayne was dead and gone. The media ran with it and focused on "R.I.P." more than "Final Crisis". Morrison's story with Bruce Wayne lost in time was already set up in "Final Crisis" #6 and further back in "Seven Soldiers: Mister Miracle", when he introduced the Omega Sanction, which causes people to be lost in time. Living multiplie lives that become increasingly worse as it goes on. Morrison had Norman Shilo survive it with the aid of a Mother Boxxx and now Bruce has to survive it without one.

    "R.I.P." was about Batman's fight with the devil who wanted to break his spirit and the general public thinking that Batman died that night. "Final Crisis" was about Batman's fight with the God of Evil, in Darkseid, and is when the superhero community thinks he died.
  25. Jedi Ben Chosen One

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    Jul 19, 1999
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    A small presentational difference to me really, I mean, I don't know anyone who really thought Steve Rogers was dead, despite Brubaker being very attentive to closing off obvious avenues of return, the general response was: How and when Rogers comes back, not if. Arguably the bigger surprise with Cap was the success of Bucky Barnes in the role.
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