Daken, Dark Wolverine, Understands The Death And Return of Superman All Too Well
If you’ve haven’t already seen Max Landis’ wonderful short film The Death And Return of Superman, I recommend you watch it now:
But, for those who are pressed for time, all you need to know is that this 1990s Superman arc opened the flood gates for super heroes to come back from the dead. I would argue against the idea that Superman’s return broke the concept of death in comics, because it was already broken. Bad guys came back to life all the time, it was just that the good guys rarely returned back from the grave. Superheroes were usually killed off because they were unpopular and it was an easy, dramatic way to get rid of their character, so there was no temptation to bring them back before this event, but now, the idea of killing a superhero and then triumphantly bring them back is too totalizing (and profitable) to ignore.
Just recently,Johnny Storm of the Fantastic Four was killed, but he returned less than a year later. Daken (who is the son of Logan/Wolverine if you’re keeping score at home) was friends with him and was sorry he’d died, but wasn’t exactly turning cartwheels when he returned.
JOHNNY: Daken… [Daken snubs him and walks passed.] Hey! I thought you’d be pleased to…
DAKEN: Real people stay dead when they die, Johnny. [Daken continues to leave] You standing here is simply… an insult.
That’s what I’m talking about! Bringing a character back to life and doing it so shamelessly is insulting to comic book readers and, on some level, anyone who’s ever lost someone they loved in an untimely fashion. Toying with your fan base in this way is never advisable, and showing such a blatant disregard for their intelligence is a dicey move, but somehow, Fantastic Four (or Future Foundation, or FF, or whatever it’s called these days) has managed to lumber on with crappy stories (although not usually this ridiculous) for decades. Maybe now they’ll get what they deserve, but in the mean time, kudos to Daken writer Rick Remender for saying what we’re all thinking in a comic book published by the same company!