Action Comics #870 has been one of the big controversy issues this week, concluding with the death of someone close to Superman.
Even though it’s already been spoiled by certain news sources, it’s probably best to warn for spoilers anyway. So you are duly warned.
Anj of Supergirl Comic Box Commentary considers the move thusly:
So, a lot has been written about the need for Pa to die. Was it a necessary plot point to move the Superman character forward? I grew up in an era where both Ma and Pa were dead. Part of what motivated Superman was that despite his powers he couldn’t save either of his adoptive parents. For me, I do think that the loss of Pa’s life will further remind Superman that he cannot save everyone, that people die. It will increase his humanity through his growth from grief. I don’t know if I am saying that I am for Pa’s death … more that I don’t mind it. I only hope the fact that Superman was saving Kandor at the time does not weigh him down with guilt.
Blogger Diamondrock is less sanguine in his open letter to Geoff Johns:
Was that really necessary? Did it serve any purpose other than to continue the obsession people at DC seem to have with the decidedly mediocre Richard Donner Superman: The Movie?
I question the decision as it doesn’t really seem to bring anything but unneeded pathos to the character of Superman. I mean, that story has already been done. Probably a half dozen times, maybe more. The Braniac elements of this Action arc have been very inventive. Your little surprise was not.
While the Nerdy Bird finds the move of using daily news outlets to spoil the event more noteworthy:
The real shock to fans was not Jonathan Kent’s death, most read the signs and knew it was coming, but that DC used the Daily News as an outlet to “spoil” the event. This has many fans fuming mad. Read the comments on the Comic Book Resources and Newsarama articles and see for yourself. It’s clear DC is trying to gain new readers by exposing them to comics in the mainstream media but is it at the expense of die-hard fans?
I find it hard to take a side here. I’m a big avoider of spoilers and I’ve become awfully adept at it over the years. Unfortunately not everyone can do that nor can they live their lives wary of spoilers at every turn. That being said, if this tactic can get more people into their local comic shops and boost the industry as a whole, that’s a good thing.
So what do you think?