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By Mark "The Shark" Gillins
The Top 12 Reasons Why They Should Stay Dead
The Top Twelve
12 Wally West - We're not even 100% sure yet if the third Flash is actually dead (I don't think that last part in #150 proves anything), but we all know he's going to come back if he is, and that kind of bugs me. Why? Because we all know that it's going to be another one of those romantic things where he comes back because Linda is his anchor to reality. I don't know about you, but I'm getting awfully sick of those excuses. Sure, it's good for their relationship and all that junk, but that's the only reason why he ever makes it back in any of his journeys. Besides, we've had enough characters make "noble sacrifices" and then return from the dead -- let's keep this one genuine, eh?
11 Wonder Woman - The first Wonder Woman comic books I had read in a long time came out when Diana bit the dust fighting against Neron in hell. While this storyline was pretty cool, we then got dragged into a very lame next few months where we KNEW that Diana was coming back in one form or another, yet we still had to watch her with all this Greek god/goddess crap that I can't stand (which is why I don't read the book too frequently). If she had just stayed dead, we wouldn't have had to deal with so much of that. Besides, where did returning to Earth get her? She was stripped of pretty much any quality she had that made her a goddess -- it was a very pointless (and boring) story in my opinion!
10 Oliver Queen - Another character that we know is coming back from the afterlife sometime soon. Give us a break! Most of the fans grew to know and love Connor Hawke (it's weird to think that most people liked the GA replacement yet still despise the GL replacement) and have dealt with Ollie's death in one form or another. Now what's Connor going to do? Be the new Speedy? He better not stay in that monastery until Ollie croaks again! Just leave Ollie alone and let him be remembered as a hero.
9 Darkseid - Oh, man. I shouldn't even have to say a whole lot here. He died during that REALLY lame "Genesis" storyline a couple years ago -- do you remember that? Or are you one of the lucky ones that burned all of your copies and erased it from your memory? I can't believe they dragged us through that. The only significant change that really took place was the death of Highfather! If Darkseid would stay dead it would have been that much of a significant story, but he came back after what seemed like a few days. Sure, he's a great villain, but why make it look like some big deal that he got merged with the Source if it really doesn't mean ANYTHING?
8 Barry Allen - Whatever happened to Waid's refusal to bring back Barry? I thought he meant that he wouldn't bring him back in any way, shape, or form, but apparently he was just talking about bringing him back AFTER he's died and doesn't mind doing this if it's a temporal anomaly deal where Barry's actually come to the present BEFORE he died in the Crisis. Come on, Mr. Waid -- don't weaken your word. He's a legend that doesn't need to be dealt with anymore than he has.
7 Superman - Sure, if it wasn't for his return then a lot of great things wouldn't have happened (like Hal Jordan's going psycho), but the entire story of his death, funeral, and return seemed to last a year (even longer for me, since I had to literally go to California and Utah to find issues I had missed up here in Washington). Don't drag us through another huge ordeal when Supes is still coming back! Ok, he returned. NOW what? His sales are low, he's had several very stupid storylines (can you say static-cling?), and fans haven't been too pleased with the writers. Hopefully this will all have been worth it when the Superman creative team gets revamped in 2000.
6 The Anti-Monitor - I actually read a post on a JLA message board where some kid proposed a few ideas of what he would do if he wrote the JLA. The first thing he said was, "Bring back the Anti-Monitor." … Does anyone else see the problem with this? The Crisis has already been degraded with this Hypertime excuse that, sadly, Waid and Morrison came up with, and bringing back the main villain would only make it that much more meaningless. What did Barry die for if the Anti-Monitor can just come right back and wreak his havoc again? Besides, even though we had a year to get to know the guy, it's good to have a villain who we don't know a million things about stay dead and mysterious. His recent appearance in Flash was enough for me -- let's not deal with another crisis for a while.
5 Hal Jordan - Actually.. they probably should have killed him off BEFORE he became Parallax, but that's beside the point. This is another case in which his death and sacrifice become meaningless to us. They actually had a great ending in Final Night when he died stating the Green Lantern oath, redeeming himself as the sun burned green. His recent return in "Day of Judgement" not only makes me care less about Final Night now, but he's supposedly receiving a whole new superhero identity!!! Why can't he stay as Green Lantern? It's much less confusing to have him keep one identity than to give him his third identity in 5 years. At least somebody recognized Hal's value and sort of undid what damage Ron Marz has done.
4 Supergirl - This entry doesn't make as much sense as the others, because I'm talking about Supergirl as a whole (meaning Pre-Crisis and Post-Crisis combined), not just the one we have today. You see, after the Crisis, if they had decided to leave Supergirl good and dead, we wouldn't have this Matrix chick running around in her own book, growing fire-wings and acting like some sort of angel. Come on! Supergirl is now "angelic"? I didn't mind the character when she only appeared in the Superman books, but now she's got her own creative team mingling with her origins and messing with her appearance. Let me have the good old days, please.
3 Kryptonians - One of the major changes that occurred as a result of the Crisis was making Kal-El the one and ONLY survivor of the Krypton explosion. In Pre-Crisis stories things got a little out of hand -- we had a Superpup (didn't he even have his own TV series for a short time?), Supercat, Supergirl (she was his cousin, I believe), and several other "Super-s" that got out of hand. With so many Kryptonian survivors, it made Kal-El less unique. Now that they've all been wiped out of continuity (unless Hypertime gets involved), Superman can reign as the one true survivor and champion.
2 Deadman - If Deadman weren't DEAD, he wouldn't be Deadman! I LOVE this guy! He cracks me up in every book he appears in -- I hope he continues to make his fantastic dialogue in the "Day of Judgement" mini. His appearance in "Kingdom Come" was also really cool, and the way he was painted was excellent. Without Deadman, I think I'd be forced to deal with death seriously.
1 Doomsday - One of the biggest things that bugs me about DC Comics is the refusal the writers have to leave this guy alone! I sincerely wish he would have been left alone after Superman's death -- leaving his origin and life a mystery, making Superman's death that much more seemingly pointless. Now we have "Superman/Doomsday: Hunter/Prey" which gives him a complete origin, "Superman: The Doomsday Wars" which creates an easy window for writers to bring Doomsday back anytime in the future, and even Doomsday's CLONE fighting Wonder Woman! Give us a break, please! What was once a truly horrifying, mindless, savage beast is now another overused, understood, and unappreciated villain in the DCU.
The overall point I'm trying to make in this month's column is: IF YOU PLAN ON BRINGING 'EM BACK, DON'T KILL 'EM AT ALL! Death means nothing in comic books anymore because writers can always erase their mistakes with the wonderful temporal anomaly trick, or the glorious fight back to humanity, or something as weird as a romantic anchor to Earth. We don't need this -- there are better stories than death and returns, especially when we are told in advance that the team isn't done with that character yet. Superman #75… Final Night #4… Crisis on Infinite Earths #8… Green Lantern #81… Genesis #4… they all mean nothing now because they're all coming back. Let's just leave them alone and use our creativity to think of NEW characters to work with that would be just as successful -- like, say, Connor Hawke! In the words of the Beatles… "Let it be."