A post from my old Marvel blog concerning the resilience of the Marvel characters and their ability to live through bad stories.
Here’s the thing: the characters are invulnerable.
I’m not talking about super-powers here; I’m talking about the ability to survive bad stories and bad times and to live on and prosper again. The primary Marvel characters have been around for four decades at this point, and have been translated into animated cartoons, movies, television shows and more toys than you could ever hope to collect. They’ve become immortal, and a part of the pop culture landscape.
But I keep seeing nervous nellies all across the net lamenting whether such-and-such may spell the end of a given character–forever! One person at the Baltimore convention even asked Joe Quesada and myself if we were worried that what was happening with Spider-Man might destroy the character for all time.
Please. It’s not going to happen.
The characters are indestructible. The worst you can do to them (assuming you’re behaving somewhat responsibly) is to tarnish them, and to make them unpopular for awhile. But literally anything can be fixed–and nothing repairs a character like good, compelling, exciting stories. As long as you can produce that, you can’t go wrong.
Think of the worst mistakes you can come up with from years gone by: Professor X dead? Fixed. The Human Torch married? Fixed. Spider-Man a clone? Fixed. And then think about all of the stuff you’re worried about that’s happening today–do you truly believe that it’s any more difficult to repair or redeem any of it than what we’ve seen in the past? I sure don’t.
The best of the Marvel characters are now functionally immortal–created before I was born in most cases, they’ll survive long after I’m dead and gone. So tone down the drama queen rhetoric, huh? Change isn’t the enemy, and there’s practically no story that can be written that another story can’t fix.