missing the mark with tension & realism via death

Discussion in 'Transformers Comics Discussion' started by Ayleron, Sep 2, 2012.

  1. Ayleron

    Ayleron Autobot Vanguard

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    I may be in the minority here but I am really getting tired of rampant deaths in the IDW continuity. I get that they want to convey a sense of mortality and danger but it doesn't work any more. It's just obnoxious. I am greatful some obscure characters are getting to see the light of day but then they are usually killed off right afterwards. There has to be a more middle ground point for deaths, its hard to invest in the characters if whenever I really like one they die, often terribly to boot. The Wreckers at least have a history of dying and we expect it from their story lines. But everybook having these piles of dead characters seems excessive.

    Anyone else agree or disagree?
     
  2. Snoop

    Snoop Member

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    I more or less agree. Not all the deaths in IDW TF are pointless, but a lot of them seem to be.

    Character death is an important aspect of most good writing. Or rather, the risk of death done in such a way that the reader perceives it as a real threat, is an important aspect of good writing.

    Even when you know a character will not die -Superman, Batman,Captain America- there is at least the real threat of their world being forever altered in an manner than has a lasting impact. (Though, not the way Marvel/DC like to reboot things! *rimshot*)

    Hand in hand with that "threat", the reader has to care about the character. If you are indifferent to the character you don't care one way or the other what happens to them.

    In another thread I was discussing Last Stand of The Wreckers with someone. That mini-series is wall to wall carnage, right? But you never have much time to feel any sort of connection with the characters who are being killed. So its just violence for the sake of violence.

    No real character development takes place for the new Wrecker recruits, so as they get killed the emotional impact on the reader is pretty minimal.

    The exception in LSOTW that I would offer is Ironfist/Fistitron -character development occurs, you learn about him. He becomes someone you can relate to and sympathize with. So his death has impact.

    Same goes for Springer. Having only recently started reading TF comics I only knew him as some random 'Bot from the 1980's movie. But they spend enough time building his character up that I felt a real pang when his face got ripped off. :p 


    "It's a story of sacrifice and betrayal, and of good people dying in stupid, pointless ways." -Verity Carlo

    I don't know who Verity Carlo is, but that pretty much sums things up.

    A more recent example of "good death" might be in the most recent issue of MTMTE (#8?). People on the forums seem intrigued/affected by Flywheels death, because they had some time to get to know him (not much, I grant you). Same with Fulcrum's failed attempt at selfless sacrifice.

    Its really important to create a bond between reader and character on some level before you kill or maim them.

    Death and violence for the purpose of moving the narrative forward is fine. It can add a real sense of weight to events. But when it serves no real purpose, as you are saying (and I agree), then it cheapens the character death and becomes empty spectacle.
     
  3. Anguirus

    Anguirus Well-Known Member

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    Aside from that one issue of RiD where Prowl kills half the Decepticons who have ever lived, I actually don't find this a problem in IDW continuity.
     
  4. SPLIT LIP

    SPLIT LIP AKA Beve Stuscemi

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    Fixed.

    The problem certainly existed, but it's not really a problem any more. In fact, characters are getting harder to kill. I mean, Rung got his head blown up and is still alive.
     
  5. Ayleron

    Ayleron Autobot Vanguard

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    I admit flywheels is what kicked this problem up to the point of wanting to discuss it for me, with Rung being a previous issue. I really loved flywheels, for whatever reason he was my facorite of the Scavengers. It almost seems like they feel as though there is a expansive enough library of characters to continue to draw from killing one per issue (on average) is ok. The Necrobot's list is pretty hamfisted "foreshadowing" that makes it feel like they are already dead in a way.
     
  6. WoundSave

    WoundSave Well-Known Member

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    hyperbole much- he killed 6, arcee killed 1.

    bear in mind that the six people he killed were using mind-control drones to control other bots. Think what kind of damage that could do if Bumblebee, Metalhawk, or even Prowl himself got planted with one of those drones. Any chance of peace on Cybertron would be gone. From a logistical perspective (which is what Prowl is all about) - leaving those 6 alive would have been a near certain disaster for the fledgling government.


    i do recognize you are saying you dont find the deaths in the others issues problematic- just everytime i read the Prowl killed all those decepticons i think 'well yea, he pretty much had to."
     
  7. Avengers

    Avengers Banned

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    Part of the reason I stopped buying all IDW TF comics in January 2012. Was due to all my Favorites getting killed off in 2011.

    Galvatron and Megatron got killed off in the same issue. Overlord got destroyed beyond repair in that Wreckers mini series.
     
  8. WoundSave

    WoundSave Well-Known Member

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    Megatron is not dead (the Ironhide futre vision issue sort of prooves that,plus Prime keeps saying he 'knows megatron is still out there.'

    Overlord is definetly not dead (he never was, they said as much in LSotW, just imprisoned.

    Galvatron kind of killed himself off, but he isnt necesarily dead. - he dematerialized like Optimus, but OP wasnt dead- so Galvatron could be out there somewhere-

    honestly Avengers- you are missin the best TF comics in forever, just because you thought some characters died (2 of 3 who CERTAINLY didnt)
     
  9. Sso02V

    Sso02V Injector Has a Posse

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    Maybe you should start buying comics again...
     
  10. Wreck n rule

    Wreck n rule Well-Known Member

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    I'm sorry, did you read LSotW? If you did, you might have noticed the important character moment where Impactor chose to spare Overlord, and force him to go through a trial instead.

    Anyway. Unfortunately, I haven't read much of the new stuff. However, I have never had an issue with too much character death. I like it because it drives home the point that these are not harmless situations, and that almost anybody could theoretically be offed.
     
  11. Anguirus

    Anguirus Well-Known Member

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    Oh-oh! Someone caught me using hyperbole again! What are we going to dooooooo?

    Actually, the Constructicons are as boring as stale bread, but they are very popular and their death strangles story possibilities instead of enhancing them. I'm more peeved that they killed off Bombshell, who is by far the best Insecticon and is an endless font of interesting stories. They just decided that he was insane and stupid for no reason at all.

    I guess they killed Sunstorm too, but apart from the people who give a fuck, who gives a fuck?
     
  12. Bass X0

    Bass X0 King of Muay Thai

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    Death is just a way to say "we're done with that character now" otherwise the cast will be too big. If they were still around, the big names won't let the smaller names get a chance. Kup is too important to not take center stage if he were still here. Same with Grimlock, Bludgeon, Megatron, Galvatron and others. They're either dead or incapaciated somehow, and rightfully so. There's no shortage of characters to write about and we do have to keep moving on. Story must take precedence over characterisation. Not enough room to give decent characterisation to every one. Just appearing in a few issues is good enough for some minor characters.

    I favor number of appearances over whether a character lives or dies. Vroom only ever appeared in the background of one panel but lives. Flywheels appeared in several and got some characterisation but dies. Flywheel wins here.
     
  13. Ayleron

    Ayleron Autobot Vanguard

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    I think it would be totally possible to give characters things to do off screen that don't require their death. Writers always want to use them later and have to contrive their return somehow. I am looking at you Sunstreaker and Ironhide. Returning from the dead also makes all deaths more obnoxious in general.
     
  14. Snoop

    Snoop Member

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    Oh man, YES.

    When death is impermanent it stops having any weight at all. Look at Marvel and DC Comics. The death of Superman. the death of Captain America -utter garbage. They're not dead, or they won't stay dead, and when they come back avnet the publishers lame money-grab gimmick evy thing will reset to exactly no it was before the death.

    I disagree with the suggestion that killing characters somehow makes room for new ones to take the spotlight. It's pretty easy for a writer to decide to just write about new characters, and for editorial to approve or disapprove the request.

    MTMTE is a great example of this. You could focus on new characters every moth from the crew of the LL if you wanted to.
     
  15. King Henrik

    King Henrik Well-Known Member

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    i don't mind all the death, transformers has always been about the WAR of the autobots and decepiticons, if you ask me way more characters should be dead.

    as for all the resurrections, the only one that bugs me is ironhide, his resurrection was just a load of crap, and i don't like "younger" ironhide anywhere near as much
     
  16. Nope

    Nope Predacon

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    I agree. I mean, it can be annoying at times, like when a character is killed randomly without consequence. But fortunately, most of the dead IDW characters received a lot of nice characterization, which isn't necessarily a bad thing. To me, Flywheels used to be that Duocon who helped Ultra Magnus defeat those zombies in the Marvel comics, but now he's a favorite of mine and I went ahead and bought his toy last week. Another example is BW Drill Bit. He was always that universally hated BW basic toy, but I loved his characterization in The Gathering, and he now stands proudly amongst my Predacon collection.

    Another thing I really like is that Dirge isn't dead. This must be a new record.
     
  17. Star Saber

    Star Saber Cybertron 5th Commander

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    In some cases, it's just easier to develop, it happened with Rodimus Prime, it happened with Barry Allen/Wally West and Hal Jordan/Kyle Rayner. The fact these characters are popular means there will come a day they'll eventually come back. It's comics after all.

    In any case, if no one died like most of the first two seasons of G1, there'd probably be people complaining that there's no realism in TF comics, war should have deaths etc. Honestly, this fandom is impossible to please :lol 
     
  18. Anguirus

    Anguirus Well-Known Member

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    Oh yeah, just look at the Prime forum. Those guys are incensed that Bulkhead continues to live.

    Weirdly, the Marvel comic actually established a great system for bringing back any given character, yet keeping very very dark overtones. Any Transformer can be brought back to life, sure, IF you have the energy. But the fact that they have no energy is the central point of the whole series. At any given time there were like a hundred dead guys that they were agonizing over being unable to revive.
     
  19. Snoop

    Snoop Member

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    Oh yeah, totally. I'm not disagreeing with that. Even as a little kid, the lack of character death or even real injury in the cartoons annoyed me.

    But I think its a balancing act.

    You need enough to show how dangerous the world in which these guys live is. But two much and it's just as unbelievable as the total lack of death.
     
  20. Coeloptera

    Coeloptera Big, bad beetle-bot

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    While I do think that showing that death can happen is important, it is getting a little stale with killing a character almost every issue.

    If it's this dangerous after the war, I can't imagine how there was anyone left on Cybertron.

    The Constructicons? Sure. They had it coming.

    Bombshell? Honestly, little perfunctory. The Insecticons had this big buildup that frankly, went pretty much nowhere.

    The Wreckers? Handled very well.

    Flywheels? Made me feel bad for him, that's for sure, and that's good writing.

    Pharma? Had it coming.

    Damn, the list is pretty long, isn't it? I'm not even listing all the deaths in only 8 issues of 2 series.

    - Coeloptera
     

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