The Fairness to Sack Fan Club

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How can a writer effectively kill off a character in a comic book? Why is it that nobody stays dead but Uncle Ben?

Warning: This article may contain SPOILERS about the X-Men story arc, Second Coming. If you haven’t read it yet, punch yourself in your genitalia, go read it, and come back to the computer.


I’m from the FTSFC. You may know us by our longer name, Fairness To Sack Fan Club. You may be asking yourself, “Who in the hell is Sack?” I will tell you in just a moment. Here is the list of X-Men characters killed in Second Coming:  Ariel, Nightcrawler, Sack, and Cable.

Some people may also consider Vanisher to have been killed; but since he was still shown alive last time he was on panel, I won’t count him.

I know the rule about death in comics books: “Nobody stays dead but Uncle Ben,” - and while that’s all well and dandy, Second Coming was an unbelievably well-written and emotional comic. I won’t lie, I cried when Nightcrawler died.  These deaths had some serious impact on the other characters in the comic.  Logan’s loss of Nightcrawler rocked him to his core and had a profound impact on him. Hope continued on, wanting to be the soldier Nathan had trained her to be. These deaths had staying power on these characters and matters.

That’s why it pisses me off so much when the writer says fuck it and just brings them back for no reason.

To start off with, Ariel just got back! Rejoice! Everyone’s favorite character is back! Say what? You haven’t heard of her? Join the rest of the casual X-men readers. She was in the car with Wolverine and X-23 when it got blown up. Although her death didn’t have a massive impact on any of the other characters, the solemn look from Logan and Laura that told the reader she was dead was well done.

Yet, She was brought back in issue 260 of X-Men: Legacy; she was revealed to use her doorway based teleportation powers to jump from the car as it exploded. But because she couldn’t create an exit door, she was stuck in an alternate dimension, exploding constantly. With the help of X-Club, Hellion, Rogue, Rachel Summers, and Pixie, she’s back! Why was she brought back?  To give Rogue a lift to the Xavier Institute … and I’m sure that’s the last we’ll of Ariel for a bit. SUCH AN AMAZING REASON TO BRING HER BACK, RIGHT!?!?!

Next up on the queue, there’s Cable. This one, I have less of a problem with this one because it has some purpose AND it’s written by one of my favorite comic writers, Jeph Loeb. Cable is back in the present with only a little bit of time until his body fully succumbs to techno-organic virus. He’s attempting to kill the Avengers one by one because they supposedly are a threat to Hope. I can get behind this story arc as long as his return doesn’t hamper Hope’s individual character growth too badly.

Then there’s the ultimate slap to the face. The new Nightcrawler. To be fair, it’s not Nightcrawler being brought back from the dead. It’s the Nightcrawler from the Age of Apocalypse. I absolutely 100% hate this character. He is a slap in the face to the legacy of the old Nightcrawler. Kurt was the heart and soul of the X-men, the moral compass, and the representation of all that is good about the Christian faith and how that can affect people. This new Nightcrawler just spits on the old and takes away so much of what was good about the old character. While I would never hope the old Nightcrawler was killed, with every page I flip I hope that this one buys the farm.

So now that I’ve finished laundry listing X-Men that have Jesused their way back into the series, what am I actually getting at? What I’m getting at is, if you’re going to just bring a character back, why kill them in the first place? DC is much better about this; they took YEARS to bring back Green Arrow, Hal Jordan, and a good deal of others (Batman not included). So, why Marvel? Why cause all that emotion in your readers if it was for no reason at all?

Since you’ve brought back every other character that was offed in Second Coming, bring back Sack. Why the hell not, Marvel? I’m sure he probably had a bigger following than Ariel did and it’s only fair! Just make the job complete! And while you’re at it, bring back Big Daddy in the conclusion of Kick-Ass 2. Because, screw any sort of sense or realism. It’s not like you’re trying to be decent story tellers, right?


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About ChrisX

Comic geek, addicted gamer, future murse, and sometimes a writer. The three coolest things ever are X-Men, Back to the Future, and Doctor Who. Just saying. You should be awesome and follow me on twitter.