That's basically the gist of it. Today, after months of seemingly screaming into a void, I got acknowledged. First it was in a brief article on Bleeding Cool about responses to Arena #10's death. But then it got a bit surreal, when the man himself reached out to me. I had a lot to say about that conversation (and I mean a lot), so I wrote it up in a blog (along with screenshots/transcript of our exchange), and I figured I'd share it here if anyone is interested.
Hopeless talked to me. I talked back. Read about it.
it is just a comic.
Don't take this personally, but this may be the single most trite and vapid thing I have ever been told by a comic fan, and I get told this all the time. It is meaningless. The emotional connections and responses people have to things are not fictional. Nor are they stupid or infantile. Many comics and characters were created to inspire -- if being "just a comic" does not make it stupid when it inspires heroics, hope, strength, etc. (because I can't remember the last time I saw the "it's just a comic" posted on a positive story), then it cannot be called stupid when it inspires depression, anger, sadness, or feelings of loss.
You know what has me seething the most about all of this..aside from the stupid deaths on awesome characters like Sister Grimm? Its the fact the writer is probably patting himself on the back saying with a big grin "Oh im an awesome writer cause I shocked my audience" like im sure he ACTUALLY belive he did something original with this stupid meat grinder..This WASENT in anyway a contributive comic..most of it makes no freakin sense "oh yeah nobody noticed there gone yet" err what?
"stupid probably never explained arcade goodhood!!" I know its probably a technological dung pile thingie but geez. Now if this was a title about "okay see if theyd do something like this a bunch of vs each other to the death THIS is how it would be".. I could live with that I dont mind titles that show you stuff that arent canon or real but THIS ..freakin THIS There is NOO reason whatsoever for this story to even exist.. it dosent contribute in ANY ways to the Marvel universe development its just a stupid way to kill off character so writers never have to use em.God if you cant write em leave em alone!! Geez
*Magically ressurects Nico from the dead and teleports her and the rest of the Runaways right on the door of Titans Tower with a note saying "Take good care of them*
Stuff like this is why ill always consider DC the superior franchise
@calligraph: I'd agree, I honestly do not think he sees what he is doing as a meat grinder. Which he himself acknowledged -- our definitions differ. I have a feeling that his definition differs with many fans; but there are people who are saying Nico's death was great (in fact, someone even said on BC that it was superior to Nightcrawler's death, which blew my mind, but there you go), so Hopeless is not alone.
I think that this story would have made a fantastic What If. I may have actually bought it, and I may have actually really appreciated Nico's death, among other things.
Anyhow, this is your first post? Hopefully you find better things to do at CV than just complain about Arena. My first post on this site was also to complain about Arena, but I ended up really liking the Vine and made it a bit of a home. Hope you feel welcome :)
I think people just enjoy meaningless death cause its "grim and dark" and I dont like those at ALL I mean my favorite Marvel character is Cessily Kincaid...right now she is pretty much on the bench but STILL alive. sigh but Nico was one of the characters I love also ( Asian and Goth? my two weakness heh :P) I mean they still have a small exit door with Nico with her last spell.. I mean im pretty sure the "Staff of One" aint just gonna stay there for the rest of eternity.. that would be very anti-climatic (not to mention stupid waste of ink and stories) So like someone else said to me this titles isint canon.. it dosent exist Nico is still alive and well and complaining about something somewhere like she always does. Im probably gonna write a fan fic about her...I cant do worse then "Hopeless" ( what an ironic last name heh)
And no I had an old account but lost the password that was linked to my now hacked email so I had to make a new one
@calligraph: Well, unfortunately, Hopeless confirmed multiple times on Twitter that Nico's spell is not reviving her, and that she is dead until Marvel decides to bring her back. As for the Staff, canonically I don't know what the rules are but considering they seem to have already been ignored it wouldn't surprise me at all if someone else just picks it up and starts using it. By all means do write fan fic though. I know it has been cathartic for others.
I think the claim of "meaningless death" is not that appropriate... the comic is about a kill-or-be-killed scenario and if nobody dies then you can't tell the story. If it was not Nico then it would have been another character who would have meant something to somebody else. Also the story is not over yet so it's a bit harsh to wail on the guy until we see the full picture.
@ohcrumbscomics: To what/whom specifically are you referring when you say "wail on the guy?"
I'm very critical of Hopeless, and objections like the end of Runaways and the fridging of Mettle and the inconsistency of characterization are all very valid and not dependent on the future of Arena...but I think if you read my entire article, you will find that I was probably easier on him than I ever have been before.
"meaningless death" is a term im using for a title who has OBVIOUS purpouses of killing of characters so the writers dont have to bother with them anymore...there no other point to Avengers Arena...Also whats the point of it if you know X-23 wont die cause they dont have the balls to do it cause of her fanbase..I dont WANT Laura to die im saying there is no suspense to it..and it probably wont even be mentioned anymore...and what of the Runaways?.. Say Chase dies next..do they even have something to go with.. I think not.. again "Meat Grinder"
@calligraph: I said that five months ago, that X-23's inclusion in this book is stupid. If she doesn't die, people will say they predicted that from the beginning based on her popularity. If she does die, people will say they predicted that because her surviving was too obvious.
No matter what happens, a large contingency of people will be upset, either because someone they liked will have died and they'll blame Laura's popularity for it being them instead of her, or because Laura is dead. It's a lose/lose scenario that has absolutely no room for a narratively interesting outcome because both possible ends are equally predictable.
Perhaps my choice of words were wrong but Hopeless is writing a book were people need to die there is no way around that and I imagine it must be hard on him every time a character dies that he gets that characters fans questioning his writing.
In interviews he says "The important thing is to give each character a chance to shine. These kids were chosen carefully and with specific story beats in mind. We definitely plan on taking advantage of the broad personality spectrum we have in play. Even the characters [that] die off early make their mark on the story. I didn't throw anyone into the book as cannon fodder" and I would like to give him some credit on this point that he is trying to tell a good story with characters that he is a fan of himself. He seems like a nice guy and worked hard on a story that he appears passionate about with characters he likes and before it is even over you are campaigning to have it reconnected out of existence. While criticism is always fair and you raise some interesting points I think it is a bit far to start campaigning for Nico to be resurrected and questioning the motivations behind the story until the whole plot is revealed.
Also I would say "it is just a comic" people die and they come back it's the nature of things, no beef against you its just my opinion and approach to comics. Of course Nico will come back it's just a matter of time.
@ohcrumbscomics: I know what he has said in interviews -- and I consider Avengers Arena to contradict them. I consider both what he has written and how he talks about it (in the letters section, with jokes like that, and in response to some other people on Twitter) to undermine his claim to love the characters and I think characters like Mettle and Red Raven (particularly the latter) were nothing but cannon fodder.
But that's kind of the point of my article. I asked the guy how he reconciles his behavior with his claim to love the characters and rather than try to explain himself all he said was it's a deathmatch. I asked him why does he have to rub salt in the wound, and all he said was that he needs to wound. No explanation of the salt. No explanation of how a person who cares could act in such an uncaring fashion.
Whatever impact Nico's death was going to have has already been made. Resurrecting her won't undo that impact, so it's hardly disrespectful to the writer. I think the people who would consider a proximal resurrection a way of rendering this death meaningless would do well to remember that many of us consider the death meaningless already. Its only purpose is to progress Arena's plot -- it serves no purpose outside of that, and it serves neither Nico's development nor that of Runaways. That purpose has been achieved, and it can have no meaning beyond that. So bringing her back allows her to have meaning once more in a way her death precludes.
Hopeless himself said "it's a death match series" and that it's always been that. That's the purpose of this book. It's how it was marketed, it's how it has always been talked about. There is not a grander scheme to it. We already know Arcade's motivations from issue 7, and there is nothing in them grander than a show of power and a refusal to be taken advantage of. It's a revenge-through-murder story with a sadist on the throne. I do not need to wait until the end to talk about the problems I have with the way it has always been marketed and written and discussed in interviews and played out within the pages of the book itself. The only things which would make my anger subside have already been officially confirmed not to be the case (like the virtual reality thing).
As I said in my article, it'd be one thing if he were just some honest guy trying to do his job and he had to write this and he loved the characters and didn't want them to die any more than other fans did, but he had to kill them, so he tried his hardest. But he picked these characters to kill them. And he makes jokes about it after. So no, I don't think I'm being unfair to him at all.
I see way too many fans who's criticisms cross the thin line from "this is bad because it fails at what it's trying to do" to "this is bad because it's not doing what I want it to."
Sure, it sometimes there's an idea so bad it's an uphill battle by default, and you could argue that's the case here. And sure, it sucks when you've held out faith for something for a long ass time, only to get a definitive no. But having faith shouldn't blind you to your actual situation, and in this case your situation is seeing characters who were doomed to or already trapped in the crossover ghetto escaping into memorable sendoffs, while you repeatedly complain that it contradicts the imaginary comic you wanted to exist some day.
Lemme tell ya, I'm one of the biggest Runaways fans you'll ever find, and the whole team was more or less dead to me after vol. 3. So on my end at least, hearing Nico got to go out in a blaze of glory is a relief.
@colonelrunaway: I have three questions.
The first: did you read the article?
The second: Explain to me how Mettle, Hazmat, and Reptil were already doomed to or in limbo, when their book was actually cancelled to start this book. Suggesting that an almost 40-issue series which had just concluded had entirely used up the potential of the characters in it, justifying killing any of them off, strikes me as a rather hard thing to defend.
The third: On what grounds do you make the assertion that I "repeatedly complain that it contradicts the imaginary comic you wanted to exist some day"?
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