Category Archives: My Life
In a Little More Than 2 Years, Nearly Every Single One of My Favorite Comic Book Characters Has Been Killed
As a longtime comic book reader, I have my personal list of favorite characters. Everybody has one, right? Those characters that you love to read about and see pop up in new comics. For a lot of people, their favorite characters are big name superheroes, like Spider-Man or Batman. For me, I tend to prefer the smaller supporting characters. That’s just what happens when you read a lot of comics and are exposed to a lot of characters.
As such, when I started this blog back in 2011, one of my earliest Lists of Six was my top six favorite comic book characters of all-time. With the exception of one name, that list has remained pretty firm over the past eight years.
In the past two years and a couple months, nearly every character on that list has been killed. Several characters in my Honorable Mentions addendum have been killed. And a couple other characters I love have either been killed or nearly killed within this time frame.
I don’t…I don’t know what’s going on.
I don’t presume to think this is some sort of targeted attack on yours truly. I think this is just the unfortunate cost of loving minor comic book characters, the sorts of characters that can be chewed up and spit out as any given writer sees fit.
But damn, this has been pretty hard on the soul.
And I guess I just felt like listing them off, as if that would help me somehow. Let’s start with my favorite characters list:
Multiple Man was killed in Death of X #1 in October 2016.
He’s still dead. Multiple Man has returned to comics, replaced by one of his duplicates. And his character has been re-written as a feckless coward. So that’s some good salt in the wound.
The Mimic was killed in Extermination #5 in December 2018.
This one was really disappointing. He made a surprise appearance in Extermination after being out of comics for a few years. I knew from the moment he appeared that he probably wouldn’t survive the series, and I had to wait several months for those fears to be confirmed.
Phil Urich was killed in Amazing Spider-Man #797 in March 2018.
Phil was my favorite superhero as a kid, and the first comic I actively started collecting on my own, issue-by-issue. I endured years of him being transformed into an unrepentant villain before they finally put him out of his misery.
Tim Drake was killed in Detective Comics #940 in September 2016.
Thankfully, his death was a fake out. He survived and returned to service shortly thereafter. He’s even gone back to being just “Robin” instead of the far more ridiculous “Red Robin”. So there’s at least one happy ending in this list.
That’s it for my list of favorites. I listed “Robin” on that list as more of the concept of the character. Damian Wayne, the current Robin, is still alive…but if I’m being honest, he hasn’t really been ‘Robin’ in a long time. The concept of ‘Batman and Robin’ as a team is pretty dead. So does that count? Not to mention that Damian was killed in early 2013. So for a short while there, Robin was dead.
The Spot is also still alive, but he’s the one character I would probably take off my list of favorites. I’ve always been a big fan of the Spot, and will always be a big fan of the Spot, but there are characters I like better. Which is probably why he’s still alive.
How about some of those Honorable Mentions at the bottom of the page?
Mach X was killed in Thunderbolts #12 in April 2017.
The Scorpion was maybe killed in Venom Annual #1 in October 2018.
I’m not too sure about this one. It does appear that Venom kills the Scorpion, but then Scorpion has been showing up in the pages of Amazing Spider-Man recently. I may have to check and see if there’s an explanation.
Strong Guy was killed in Uncanny X-Men #12 in February 2019.
This is the most recent, and inspired this list. Strong Guy is Multiple Man’s best friend, and one of my favorite duos in comics. And now they’re both dead, and neither one particularly cares about the other these days. So just bleakness all around.
Avalanche was killed in Uncanny Avengers #1 in October 2012.
That happened a year after I started my blog and he’s still dead. The recent X-Men Gold comic introduced a new Avalanche, but I didn’t read it, and I’m pretty sure the character didn’t stick around. The X-Men have since ignored the new Pyro also, and he joined the X-Men towards the end of that comic. So that’s not looking good.
That’s the major list. Eight of my favorite comic book characters have been killed since I started this blog, most of them within the past two years or so. And only one of them has been properly ‘resurrected’ in that time. It’s just a little soul-crushing.
That’s not counting the time Stingray was nearly killed in a recent Avengers comic. Or the speculation that Simon Baz, my favorite Green Lantern, is probably going to be killed in Heroes in Crisis.
I don’t have any larger point to make. And I’m largely just whining. But c’mon. There’s only so much my soul can take. Is it really so wrong to have favorite comic book characters? Is there somebody specifically targeting me?
When will it stop?
All I really know is that Beta Ray Bill had better be very careful now that he’s a member of the Guardians of the Galaxy. There’s almost no way he’s going to survive that comic.
It’s that time of year again! My annual roundup of the pop culture I enjoyed, just like every other website and blog worth its salt. But unlike those fancy pants websites with their paid writers and access to advanced screenings, I’m just a schlub typing away at his computer, enjoying what sweet little things come my way!
2018 has been an OK year, I guess. I don’t have any major accomplishments to brag about. I’m still working on making my own comics, with more Gamer Girl & Vixen news to come in the new year. I haven’t lost any weight, but I remain confident that maybe I will someday. And I’m not dead yet! That always counts for something.
The following list is just my favorite, most memorable shows, movies, toys and whatnot I encountered in 2018. Some things, like movies, were released on 2018. Other things, like TV shows and comics, are often ongoing and extend beyond just 2018, but they were my favorites in 2018. It’s not that complicated. And, as always, I am wholly out of touch with new music, so that’s not a category.
Feel free to share your own favorite things from the past year in the comments!
Due to popular demand (from the one of you readers who actually comments on my Facebook posts), I’m going to take the time today to introduce you all to my original Star Wars character. I’m sure we all have one. We’re all creative and imaginative types here. Surely the depth and breadth of the Star Wars universe has opened all of us up to an original character idea or two. I know I’ve got a couple.
But there’s one that exists at the top of my creative ladder, who I will cling to in the desperate hopes that I get my hands on some creative Star Wars project someday.
And that character is Stormtrooper Bounty Hunter. I haven’t really given him a proper name yet. But I have created him via LEGO, sort of. The design isn’t final.
Stormtrooper Bounty Hunter is from the post-Return of the Jedi/pre-The Force Awakens time period, and is basically little more than a bounty hunter wearing Stormtrooper armor — an idea both he and I have stolen directly from Boba Fett.
Way back in the day, before Attack of the Clones gave him an origin story, and before The Clone Wars cartoon explored the Mandalorians, the prevailing theory about Boba Fett was that he was just a badass bounty hunter who used the armor of a long-lost warrior race to look really cool while doing his job. We didn’t know anything about Boba Fett or the Mandalorians, just that he’d repurposed their armor into his cool bounty hunter look.
So I thought to myself: what if somebody does that with an old set of Stormtrooper armor sometime in the future, after the Empire is gone?
You take the classic Stormtrooper set and then deck it out with cool accouterments, like wookiee pelts or a jet pack or guns or bandoliers. I dunno, whatever looks cool. And there you’ve got another cool bounty hunter character to exist in the Star Wars universe.
Personality-wise, I picture him as a Deadpool-type. Not the crazy stuff or the Fourth Wall-breaking. Just the Merc with a Mouth stuff, where he’s smarmy, quippy and a charming jackass. Stormtrooper Bounty Hunter would be a risk-taking, devil-may-care asshole who is just funny enough to be likable.
Oddly enough, my character idea is very similar to Stormtrooper X.
Stormtrooper X is a pirate who also wears old, re-purposed Stormtrooper armor, and is a bit of a universal badass. Stormtrooper X and Stormtrooper Bounty Hunter share many similarities, but I assure you, this is merely coincidence. Stormtrooper X has only ever appeared in a single article about interesting bounties from the sixth issue of Star Wars Gamer magazine, which came out in 2001.
I have never read Star Wars Gamer magazine. This is just a cosmic coincidence of two people thinking to re-purpose old Stormtrooper armor into something badass and cool down the line.
Hopefully someday, I can flesh out Stormtrooper Bounty Hunter some more and make him into a real character. My dream is to become a comic book writer for Marvel, who are currently publishing Star Wars comics. So in the world of my wildest dreams, this could happen. And what kind of world would it be if we couldn’t cling to our wildest dreams?
Also, if you fancy yourself a fan of teenage fan fiction, you’re welcome to read my Star Wars prequels fan fiction from when I was…oh jeez, looking at the date on this thing, I was a freshman in college when I wrote this. I was that old?! Jeez louise…
Anyway, here’s the link, if you have nothing better to do with your afternoon. It’s full of really bad fan characters.
And hey, feel free to share your own Star Wars OC in the comments below! We’re all Star Wars fans here.
This is a fine how do you do. I’ve been writing this blog for nigh on to a bunch of years now. Once upon a time, I thought it might make me a big deal, but it hasn’t really caught on with anybody important. I just write my stuff and hope that you good people read and enjoy.
Well check out this surprise when I ordered some Spider-Woman trade paperbacks this week.
You can double check the book’s Amazon page if you don’t believe me!
I loved Dennis Hopeless’ Spider-Woman comic. I was going to make it my favorite comic of 2017 before I checked and saw that only a couple issues came out at the start of the year. It’s a great comic and I stand by that blurb on the cover!
I’ve been blurbed, people! Blurbed! It truly is an honor.
Hey everybody! Just a little social media update for anybody interested. Since I started this blog and first joined Twitter all those years ago, I have used the handle @hench_4_hire. I didn’t understand Twitter at the time. Those underscores are pretty gnarly. But the full “Henchman4Hire” name was already taken by some yahoo who wasn’t using it, so silly old me went with that mouthful of a backup.
I stink at Twitter. But it’s a pretty important social media in this day and age, so I’m going to try again. I will still use @hench_4_hire to post blog-related stuff on Twitter. But to post about my burgeoning career as a comic book writer, along with personal anecdotes, I’m going to use a new handle.
Follow me @seanianmills
Or don’t. I’m a blog writer, not a cop.
I’m not claiming it’s going to be the hottest handle on Twitter or anything. But I’ve never liked @hench_4_hire, and I’m a terrible procrastinator, so it’s taken me this long to finally put my foot down and make some positive changes!
Follow me this weekend for my trip to New York City for Flame Con! Should be a fun adventure!