Here we go again. A major news outlet has enthusiastically run the exclusive story that a major comic book character dies in a comic released today. Superhero deaths and their inevitable resurrections have been a staple of comics for decades thanks to the sales bump they tend to get from press coverage. But the giddy acceptance of superhero deaths is starting to crack.
Since the heady days of “The Death of Superman,” mainstream news has loved a dying superhero icon. In 1992, Superman’s death was such a big deal, newspapers were writing hand-wringing editorials about what it could mean for the state of America. Right from the start, DC Comics only guaranteed he would be dead until March 1993, but somehow that got lost in the din of cultural symbolism and frenzied collectability. People really thought he was dead, even if they sensed it was financially the stupidest thing DC could do. Needless to say, Superman came back. And ever since, it seems Marvel and DC have been chasing that same media buzz by (temporarily) killing off their marquee characters, whether it be Batman, Captain America, Spider-Man or even the Human Torch. But with each passing media blitz, an interesting thing is happening: Mainstream outlets are beginning to become just as jaded about superhero deaths as we longtime readers are.
Digital comics | Technology journalist Andy Ihnatko discusses the significance of DC Comics’ expansion of its digital-comics availability from comiXology and its branded app to the iBooks, Kindle and Nook stores: “Now, all of the company’s titles have a presence in the same bookstore where hundreds of millions of people worldwide buy the rest of their content.” [Chicago Sun-Times]
Conventions | Steve Morris reports in on this past weekend’s Thought Bubble convention, in Leeds, England, which sounds like it was amazing. [The Beat]
Conventions | Meanwhile, on this side of the pond, Young Lee has an account of Durham’s NC Comicon. [Technicianonline.com]
Chris Evans, star of Marvel’s Captain America: The First Avenger, appeared last night on CBS’s Late Show with David Letterman to deliver the list of “Top Ten Things Never Before Said by a Superhero.” I won’t ruin it for you, but I will say that Aquaman still can’t get any love, even with the impending DC relaunch.
Captain America: The First Avenger opens July 22 nationwide.
In addition to starring in Marvel’s upcoming Secret Avengers title, the former Captain America is also getting a miniseries of his own. Announced yesterday at the Diamond retailer’s summit in Chicago, the four-issue series, titled Steve Rogers: Super-Soldier, will be written by Ed Brubaker, naturally, with art by Dale Eaglesham (Fantastic Four). The first issue (above) features a cover by Carlos Pacheco.
“It felt like Bucky was doing a great job as Cap, fans dig him in the role [and] I enjoy writing him as Cap,” Brubaker told Marvel.com. “And it occurred to me that Steve was going to get put through the wringer on his way back to the present, and may have reasons for not wanting to put the Cap uniform back on and go all public for a while, if not forever.”
He added that Rogers would be operating in secret, “more like a James Bond for the Marvel Universe, operating covertly to save the world.”