They’re the guys who’ll decisively travel back in time and kill baby Hitler.
Stories, sides, life. Things tend to be seen in black and white, evil and good, dark and light. It’s a distinction that lies in our most primal archetypes, a desire for epic scales and stakes, for the world to make sense.
And then there’s the reality of everything in-between. Those who aren’t wholly good, nor wholly bad. Those defined by the codes they reject as much as by the codes they hold. The grey. Fifty shades of…what do you mean I already used that title gag? That was a completely different topic!
I don’t feel hopeful that they’ll beat the odds and succeed; I feel resigned to their deaths, and think it’d be nice if they met it with dignity.
Logan does a lot right. Well-paced, good balance of action and emotion, very elegant conservation of information that is transmitted smoothly in a plot-relevant way, all of which are difficult to achieve in any film, let alone an action-fantasy. Does a lot for the comic book movie genre to bring more mature storylines to light, along with all the other ‘serious fan’ pontifications. Proves that good writing can transcend genres and categories, surpassing supposed restrictions with creative execution.
In fact, there’s only one thing it fails to do: Make me happy.
“We have to retrieve Blue Beetle’s soul from the Phantom Zone and his body from Gorilla City and get Etrigan to stick the two together!”
Ah yes, death. The final answer. The culmination of a gripping battle or a long march. A powerful tool in the writer’s arsenal, meant to create SHOCK and DRAMA. For surely all will be touched by the loss of their loved one, the legacy and memories they leave behind, and all the emotions that come with it.
And then there’s comic book deaths.
As part of my usual target audience, you’re more than likely familiar with the concept. A character ‘dies’ only to come back to life later, sometimes to joyful celebration and other times to rolled eyes. And of course, you know the various ways this happens: clones, robot doubles, magic, time travel, bad/mad science, fight with Death itself, it was a dream, reality gets mixed up, the works. And of course, the classic “The fans/profits demanded it.”
There are plenty of articles to discuss this particular trope’s merits and faults, both from a literary and in-universe perspective, but I won’t be going into those. Instead, I’ll do my best to present the usual ways this plays out, and hopefully give you some fun and some tips about writing along the way. Because really, discipline aside, it IS important to have fun with writing.