Sitting in front of me, right now, waiting for review, is the graphic novel Captain America: Reborn. This is awesome for several reasons – one, I didn’t pay for it. This is a perk of the job. Two, it’s written by Ed Brubaker and pencilled by Bryan Hitch, both creators I have tremendous respect for.
The only problem is the word ‘Reborn’. It reminds me of why the entire comic book medium is so difficult to defend – characters die and then reappear later on, depending on how popular they are, like an unending American soap opera. Someday, Spider-Man will die. Then, within two years, he’ll reappear and everyone will make a song-and-dance about it.
Sometimes, these comic book deaths are extremely well-handled and the return of said characters is a little less cynical – the return of Green Lantern Hal Jordan and the recent revival of The Flash Barry Allen are good examples – but it happens way too often for it to be considered a big deal, any more. The long-term effects are negligible.
Still, I look forward to reading Captain America: Reborn. Perhaps this’ll be the book that turns my perceptions of superhero deaths upside down.