Vote Yes on I-594

yes594Here in Washington State we have two Initiatives regarding gun control on the ballot. These initiatives are the result of massive campaigns that acquired enough signatures from registered voters to be eligible to be on the ballot for a vote of the people. It’s pretty much the only kind of gun control even a liberal state like Washington can manage because most politicians are too cowardly to go up against the gun lobby’s NRA.

The first initiative is I-591. It does it’s level best to weaken what background check and gun control laws we have because, y’know, FREEDOM. I’m more than a bit biased about this but seriously, is there even one example of some guy who died because he was unable to get a gun that would have saved him because of a background check? More people have died from Ebola in this country than have died due to a background check on a gun. Voting against this gun-lobby endorsed piece of garbage wannabe legislation only takes the ability to rub two brain cells together.

The first initiative is I-594. It basically required background checks for people who want to purchase firearms in this state and specifically eliminates the .gun show loophole’. It also scares the hell out of some gun owners because they’re under the impression that if they’re at the range and they let their buddy shoot off a few rounds they’re suddenly going to be arrested because their buddy didn’t submit to a background check. To their credit, I-594 isn’t the best written initiative that I’ve ever seen and it does have its flaws. However, I don’t see a lot of otherwise law abiding citizens getting locked up for gun violations anywhere in the entire country. Not even in places like Chicago or Washington DC where gun control laws are extremely strict.

I understand that people who want to vote against I-594 are doing so out of fear, but it’s fear of stuff that hasn’t happened and isn’t happening anywhere else. Whereas people all over the country are getting their hands on guns that they wouldn’t otherwise have if they simply had to go through a background check.

There are 30,000 gun deaths in America every single year. No amount of gun control legislation will stop all of those deaths and not even the biggest proponent of gun control thinks that it will. We can’t stop all of the deaths. But we can stop some. And we don’t stop them by having a ‘good guy with a gun’. Two thirds of those gun deaths are suicides. So I’m a bit lost as to what I’m supposed to do as a good guy with a gun against a guy who’s going to shoot himself. (“Don’t shoot yourself….or I’ll shoot you.”?) Background checks can stop some (again, it’s not going to stop all) of those deaths. As for the others, the truth is that it’s exceedingly rare for a ‘good guy with a gun’ to stop a ‘bad guy with a gun’ and this is despite the fact that we have a bunch of good guys with guns throughout the country. We have many more accidental gun deaths than we do justified gun homicides. So either the good guy with a gun thing is a myth or gun owners are slacking on the job.

I happily voted down I-591 and voted for I-594. I-594 is like a lot of things we end up voting for. It’s far from perfect, but it’s better than what we have.

- Jack Cameron

What’s Next From Marvel Studios

Guardians of the Galaxy is the biggest movie of the year. Marvel Studios has become the most profitable franchise in history. Millions of people who will never read a comic book are flocking to see these movies and Marvel just announced what movies we’ll be seeing from them over the course of the next five years.

I’m going to go over each of them and my thoughts about them. For those of you wondering where the X-Men, Fantastic Four, or Spider-Man films fit into this, they don’t. Years ago when Marvel was far from a household name, they sold the rights to those franchises to other studios. For more information on that, feel free to click here where I talk about it more.

So what’s next for Marvel?

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May 2015 – Avengers: Age of Ultron
The next Marvel Studios movie is the second Avengers movie. They’ve just released the teaser trailer for this. Everyone (except for Loki) is back for this along with some new faces. Joss Whedon is writing and directing again so the dialog will be snappy and the possibility that a major character might die will be ever present.

For those who don’t know Ultron is an artificial intelligence bent on destroying humanity. In the comic books he was created by Hank Pym, but in this one, it looks like it’s going to be Tony Stark who makes the mistake. In addition to Ultron, other new characters include the Scarlet Witch, Quicksilver, and the Vision.

Quicksilver and the Scarlet Witch were both seen in the after credits sequence in Captain America: The Winter Soldier. It’s worth noting once again that this Quicksilver has nothing to do with the Quicksilver in X-Men: Days of Future Past. While both based on the same character, it’s safe to say that Quicksilver and his sister, the Scarlet Witch will have very different origins in Age of Ultron as Marvel can’t use mutants (or the father of the two characters in the comics, Magneto).

The first Avengers movie made over a billion dollars and is still an incredibly watchable movie. I expect much the same will be true about Age of Ultron.

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July 17, 2015 – Ant-Man
This year the big risk from Marvel Studios was Guardians of the Galaxy. It was the first of the Marvel Studios films not to have any major film star or popular comic book characters. Needless to say, the risk paid off. Next year’s big risk is Ant-Man. While a founding Avenger in the comic books, he’s still relatively unknown and after the big action of Avengers: Age of Ultron just a couple of months earlier, Ant-Man is going to seem like a dramatic shift in gears.

For those who don’t know, Ant-Man can shrink to insect size, talk to ants, and grow really big. He does this using something called ‘Pym Particles’ named after their inventor and original Ant-Man, Hank Pym. In the movie he’s played by Michael Douglas while Paul Rudd is playing Scott Lang, who eventually becomes the new Ant-Man.

Originally this was going to be the funny Marvel Movie with Shaun of Dead’s Edgar Wright writing and directing. Unfortunately, creative differences forced Wright to leave. He’s been replaced with Peyton Reed who’s a less original voice but still capable of bringing the funny.

There’s also the question of whether or not Ant-Man might make his debut in Age of Ultron which would definitely help this movie’s success at the box office.

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May 6, 2016: Captain America: Civil War
Winter Soldier is my personal favorite super hero movie and the fact that the same creative team is back for Captain America: Civil War makes me all sorts of excited.

In the comic books, Civil War was a massive crossover in which hero fought hero. Essentially the fight boiled down to Tony Stark and others believing that heroes need to be regulated and registered and Captain America and others feeling otherwise.

Robert Downey Jr. has been confirmed as a costar in Civil War. So it’s clear that the movie will likely follow similar themes. It’s also worth noting that in the comic books, Civil War ended with Captain America getting killed.

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Nov. 4, 2016: Doctor Strange
There’s a lot of buzz about this movie right now because Benedict Cumberbatch is said to be playing the illustrious Dr. Strange. He’s a fine choice and I hope that it turns out that he gets the part. (Though personally I wanted Alan Rickman.)

This will be another risk because it will be the first Marvel Studios movie dealing with magic. They grounded Thor and his magic by basically saying they’re an advanced alien race rather than Gods. It will be interesting to see what grounding, if any, they give Dr. Strange.

It’s been said that this will not be an origin story. This is probably a good idea if only because half of all super hero movies end up being origin stories. It’s too bad though because I like the origin of Dr. Strange. He’s an arrogant world-renowned surgeon who crashes his car and crushes his hands. He then seeks out a new path in Asia and becomes Sorcerer Supreme. Fun stuff.

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May 5, 2017: Guardians of the Galaxy 2

Not much is known about the sequel except that much like the Cap movie, everyone is back again, both in front of and behind the cameras. Given how much fun the first Guardians of the Galaxy was, this one is likely to be even more so since they don’t have to spend time establishing characters. We’ll likely get to see more about Star-Lord’s father and I wouldn’t be surprised if we get a bit more Thanos. After all, so far we’ve only seen two Infinity Stones, and we need six for the Infinity Gauntlet.

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July 28, 2017: Thor: Ragnarok
Last time we saw Loki he was on the throne in Asgard pretending to be Odin. Nothing good can come of this so it’s not a surprise that Ragnarok is the result. Marvel seems to be keeping the solo movies to three movies so it also makes sense to end the Thor trilogy with Ragnarok.

Given how much The Dark World embraced the Thor mythos, we can only expect that Ragnarok will embrace it even more so. The question remains as to whether or not the happenings in Ragnarok will be connected in any way to the rest of the Marvel Cinematic Universe or if it will be like the first Guardians of the Galaxy movie where it’s still in the same universe but nowhere  near anything else that’s happening.

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Nov. 3, 2017: Black Panther
Most Marvel Comics originated back in the 1960s at a time when African Americans weren’t even allowed to vote. Diversity in classic superheroes is rare. The Black Panther is an exception. He originally appeared in 1966. Leader of the technologically advanced fictional African Nation of Wakanda, the Black Panther is both monarch and hero. At the press conference today, they announced not only that the character of Black Panther would make his debut in Captain America: Civil War, but that he’s going to be played by Chadwick Boseman.

I’ll be honest, I haven’t seen much of Boseman’s work, though his guest appearance as ‘Flex’ on Justified a few years ago was memorable and so far Marvel’s casting has been spot on. So while I would have LOVED it if Michael K. Williams got the part, I’m still looking forward to Boseman. No director has been announced for this one yet.

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May 4, 2018: Avengers: Infinity War – Part I
Since we first saw Thanos smile at the end of Avengers, the seeds of Infinity War were planted. This was no surprise. The big surprise is that they’re splitting it into two movies. While there was an Infinity War comic book crossover, it’s safe to say that these movies will much more likely be drawing on Marvel Comics’ The Infinity Gauntlet for inspiration.

In the Infinity Gauntlet Thanos kills literally half of the universe with the snap of his fingers (such is the power of all six Infinity Gems together). Needless to say, the remaining heroes show up to stop him. The interesting choice is that they aren’t doing Part II next. There are two movies between Infinity War Part 1 & 2. Do they continue the story of Infinity War or are they entirely separate? What will be their connection, if any? We’re going to have to wait and see.

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July 6, 2018: Captain Marvel

Captain Marvel is a well-used name. Over at DC Comics, it’s the other name for Shazam. At Marvel Comics more than a couple of people have had the title ‘Captain Marvel’. However, at the press conference today they made it clear that Captain Marvel in the Marvel Cinematic Universe is Carol Danvers.

This will be the first solo female hero movie by Marvel Studios and it’s a good choice (though there’s an argument to be made that Black Widow should have had her own movie). Carol’s known for being both Earth-bound and cosmic. It’ll be interesting to see which direction they take it. Perhaps she’ll be part of the glue between the Avengers and the Guardians of the Galaxy.

With the movie only announced today and a release date four years away, almost everything else is speculation.

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Nov. 2, 2018: Inhumans

Over in Marvel Comics, there has been a big push for the Inhumans so it’s not surprising that they’d be featured in their own movie. Inhumans are basically humans that were genetically modified by the Kree thousands of years ago and once exposed the mists from special crystals they manifest unique super powers. In the comics, there was a worldwide bomb set off that caused random people with trace amounts of Inhuman blood to develop powers.

If this sounds a lot like the X-Men, there’s a reason for that. Marvel can’t use mutants, but they can use Inhumans. So this basically gives them the ability to tell whatever mutant stories they might want to tell by using Inhumans instead.

That’s not to say that the Inhumans are mutant ripoffs. They have their own back story and they have some genuinely unique characters. Their leader, Black Bolt has a voice that can shatter mountains. So he doesn’t talk except when using his voice as a weapon. It’ll be interesting to see what sort of actor they get to play a part that’s essentially non-speaking.

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May 3, 2019: Avengers: Infinity War – Part II

Four and a half years from now, the Marvel Cinematic Universe culminates in Avengers: Infinity War Part II. Given that by this time Robert Downey Jr. will be 54 and many of the actors playing other characters might well be tired of playing those characters, there’s a reasonable chance for some major changes.

This will be the end of an era for Marvel Studios and it will mark the start of something new. What comes next after the Summer of 2019 for Marvel is anyone’s guess.

And of course this isn’t even taking into account Marvel’s Agents of SHIELD and Agent Carter shows, much less Netflix’s announced Daredevil, Luke Cage, Iron Fist, Jessica Jones, and Defenders shows, all of which also take place in the shared Marvel Universe.

All in all, it’s a great time to be a Marvelite. And as I’ve said before, if you can’t wait five years for all of this, don’t. Get down to your local comic book shop and start reading.

- Jack Cameron

In Marysville Today No One Got Ebola

Obama hasn’t had much to say about gun violence despite an overwhelming amount of deaths compared to Ebola

Today, Paul Allen announced that he’s donating at least one hundred million dollars to Ebola research. President Obama has appointed an Ebola Czar and today he hugged the brave and heroic nurse who contracted Ebola but is now cured. The world over people are remarking that we are treating Ebola the way we should have treated AIDS in the 1980s. Despite the media’s absolute paranoia about Ebola, it is somewhat inspiring to watch as various governments, individuals, and organizations come together to stop a global problem from becoming worse.

Since 1976 there have been 7,842 known cases of people getting an Ebola related virus. Of those, 4,494 people have died from it. Over half of those deaths have been since March of this year. The Ebola virus while not nearly the pandemic that some reports would have you believe is most definitely an increasing danger that we need to put our various resources towards stopping in its tracks. And let me be clear that I’m glad we are making these efforts to contain and eradicate the Ebola virus.

Today in Marysville, Washington a young man walked into his high school and shot five people, killing at least one and critically injuring others before turning the gun on himself. Unfortunately, such an event is nothing new. We average four of five school shootings a month these days. And school shootings account for an incredibly small percentage of gun violence overall. We hear more about school shootings because they are considered more tragic and more frightening as they strike at the youngest among us and those we care for the most. Our children are precious and the idea that they are becoming used to the schools we drop them off at going into lockdown is a tragedy in and of itself.

Every year 30,000 people in America alone are killed by people using guns. Guns are so easy to get in America that even Mexican drug cartels come north to get their weapons. Two out of three of these gun deaths involve only one person. The amount of suicides committed using a firearm is staggering.

Almost three times as many people shoot themselves every single year as have ever been infected with the Ebola virus in the last 38 years. Even our yearly gun deaths from homicides outnumber the number of people worldwide infected by the Ebola virus. More people were shot and killed today in Marysville than have been killed by the Ebola virus in America.

And yet absolutely no one expect President Obama to appoint a Gun Control or Mental Health Czar. No billionaire is going to spend one hundred million dollars to help curb the epidemic of gun violence in this country. Paul Allen, who is an amazing philanthropist has put $500,000 towards local gun background check Initiative 594. Or to put it another way, he’s given .05% as much towards gun control as he’s giving to stop Ebola.

Whether you want to blame lack of gun control or lack of mental health care (and I really don’t understand those who aren’t capable of blaming both), practically nothing whatsoever is being done by politicians, billionaires, or organizations to stop your child’s school from being the next place a disturbed person chooses to start firing his gun. But don’t worry, they probably won’t get Ebola.

- Jack Cameron

If You Watch The Movies But Don’t Read The Comics, You’re Missing Out

spider-man“Spider-Man isn’t a super-hero. He’s just a kid who got his powers in an accident on a field trip.”

“No. He’s earned his place as a super-hero. He’s saved lives. He fights crime. And he uses his powers to do it.”

“Still, I mean he shoots webs and swings around and that’s about it. He’d probably be dead without his spidey-sense. You know what  would make Spider-Man scary? If he shot spiders instead of webs out of his web shooters. Criminals wouldn’t fuck with that.”

The above conversation didn’t take place in a local comic book shop. The two people talking weren’t nerds. They were high school cheerleaders on the bus I was on yesterday. If I had a time machine and could talk to the me in high school and tell him that about twenty years from now the conversations you have with your comic book friends will be the conversations cheerleaders are having I would have called future me crazy and questioned the wisdom of the guy who played Chaplin being Iron Man.

People who haven’t been collecting comic books for the last twenty-five years might not be aware of this but up until this century, if you knew something about super-heroes, you weren’t likely to be a high school cheerleader. Also, if you wanted to watch a movie based on a Marvel Comic, they looked like this.

Comic book characters aren’t only cool, they’re cooler than they’ve ever been. And it’s not just a passing fad. Both Disney’s Marvel and Warner Brothers’ DC Comics have movies planned all the way through the year 2020 with top tier talent involved. This year’s top selling movie has almost made a billion dollars worldwide and it’s a movie with Rocket Raccoon and Groot the walking tree. We are in comic book geek nirvana right now.

Characters that originated in comic books have gone mainstream. Marvel’s series of movies are literally the most successful movie franchise in history. Millions of people are tuning in weekly to TV shows like Agents of SHIELD and Gotham. And yet, if I asked ten of these people what they think about the Red Onslaught or Future’s End, at least nine of them wouldn’t have the slightest clue what I was talking about.

Let me put it another way, while I’m absolutely as excited as anyone that the Marvel Cinematic Universe is talking about Infinity Gems and Thanos and making a lot of moves that look like there’s going to be some big battle between all of the heroes and Thanos on the big screen, I also already read The Infinity Gauntlet when I was in high school back in 1992.

Since then I’ve read hundreds of stories every bit as good as any Marvel film and a quite a few that are better than any superhero movie ever made.

The reason for this is that there’s a good amount of creative freedom when it comes to comic books. That’s because it doesn’t cost $200,000,000 to make a comic book so the Powers That Be aren’t so afraid you’ll screw something up since they can always fix it next issue if you do.

Maybe you’re not sure that you’d like comics or you don’t want to spend any money to find out. That’s fine. Take a moment and check out Astro City #1/2. It’s literally one of my all time favorite comics. It’s an eight-page story available on from Amazon. And it’s FREE.

Here’s the link: http://www.amazon.com/Astro-City-1996-2000-Kurt-Busiek-ebook/dp/B00EKN0IMI

If you’re already sold on comics and want to know how to be part of the cool kids table and where to start, might I suggest Brian Michael Bendis and Alex Maleev’s Daredevil run. It’s modern. The art is amazing. And when Netflix comes out with their Daredevil TV series next year, you can know what standards you’re expecting out of it.

The Faith of an Atheist

damnLast week I talked about my religious beliefs and how eventually I lost my faith and became an atheist. (Not that there’s any ceremony or anything in ‘becoming’ an atheist.) There was one thing I neglected to point out and it has consistently been the thing people seem to find most confounding about me because despite my atheist tendencies, I do have absolute faith in something for which I have no objective proof.

I have faith that it’s all going to work out. This is a malleable faith but it is also steadfast. Despite whatever adversity may occur in my life, I have an overriding sense that it’s going to be alright eventually. I have had life-threatening ailments. I’ve been in horrendous car accidents. I’ve had friends die. In one six-week period a couple of years back, I was hospitalized, my (now ex-)wife kicked me out of my house, my son almost died in an accident, my grandmother died, and my friend killed himself. I’ve had the shit hit the fan in many ways and sometimes all at once. And still I had faith it would work out.

Don’t get me wrong. This faith has wavered on more than one occasion, but it’s always come back. Sure, I’ve had two marriages that didn’t work out. Yes, I’ve had unimaginably painful losses, but I’ve also had incredible luck. Just because something didn’t work out the way I thought it would doesn’t mean it didn’t work out.

If I wanted to, I could list off all of the things in my life that don’t seem to be going my way and make the adversity seem insurmountable and overwhelming. And there are times that I do just that. Then I reevaluate it and realize that certain things are true:

- I am alive

- I am not in danger of starving or losing my home

- I have a support network of friends and family who are willing to help in time of need

- I have a job and means to get another one if necessary

- I’m not done yet

All of these things remind me that not only could things be worse but I have the capability of making things better. There are things you’re unable to change, but the one thing you can change is your reaction to the situation. Making positive changes isn’t easy. It requires work and it requires faith that it’s all going to work out.

There are those who might say that it does not always work out. One could even argue that things haven’t always worked out for me (though I would disagree). However, I contend that believing things are going to work out and working towards that goal is important even when it turns out you’re wrong. As with anything else, if you don’t think you can win, then whatever chance you had of winning is gone.

Right now I have a few significant challenges. I have faith that each of them will work out. When I worry that they won’t, I ask myself a simple question: What is the worst case scenario in that situation? More often than not, it’s not nearly as terrible as I’ve initially imagined. Yes, there will be times that your world falls apart, but that’s often because there’s a new world ready to be built.

I’m sure this all sounds fairly naïve or hopelessly optimistic. And maybe it is. But if I’m right then it’s worth it. And if I’m wrong then at least the disappointment is only at the end. I suppose someone could make a similar case for believing in the Almighty. And they’re welcome to do so. I just believe it’s all going to work out and you don’t need to believe in God to believe that.

Did This Post Just Give You Ebola?

fearbolaNo, it’s not that I’ve given up on this ‘posting every day’ thing after only a week. I’ve decided taking weekends off is a good idea and yesterday I was sick and figured you didn’t want to hear all about my body doing all the things that bodies do when they’re sick.

For the record, it wasn’t Ebola. Of course it wasn’t Ebola. Ebola has killed exactly one person in the United States. That was in Texas. I’m in Washington State. There is virtually zero chance for me to get Ebola any time soon. The same is true for you.

And yet, if we go by media coverage, Ebola is EVERYWHERE and we’re all in constant danger of getting Ebola. A recent poll shows that nearly 40% of Americans are ‘very concerned’ about a major Ebola outbreak in America. In Maine, a teacher who attended a seminar in Dallas, miles from the nearest of the three infected patients has been placed on leave out of fear of Ebola. Again, there have been THREE cases in the entire country of 280 million people and only one death. To put this in perspective, there have been more Popes in the last three years than there have been deaths in America from Ebola.

Hunter S. Thompson’s final book of original material was called The Kingdom of Fear. The title refers to post-9/11 America. We are told over and over again what we need to fear whether it’s mass shooters, ISIS, or Ebola. Each of these things make for great television. They all pass the old ‘If it bleeds, it leads’ test. And they all have virtually zero chance of having a direct impact on your average American unless of course you include the fear of these things.

This isn’t to say that things like Ebola or ISIS or mass shootings aren’t bad. They are. And there are definitely things that we as a country should do about them. However, if you are not directly involved in these things, there is no reason for these things to occupy much headspace and you sure as hell have better things to spend your time worrying about.

The problem is that the news doesn’t really get anything out of telling you, “You are eight times more likely to get married to Larry King than you are to die of Ebola in America.”  At that point, any further talk of Ebola likely isn’t going to interest you all that much. Whereas going into detail on how death from Ebola happens and how there’s the faint possibility that someone on an airplane somewhere might have Ebola and they could be ANYWHERE is much more likely to make you keep watching.

So what’s to be done? A friend of mine recently asked people on Facebook where they might find an unbiased source of news that wasn’t part of some partisan agenda. No one had a good answer for them.  The solution I’ve found is simply to not allow fear to dictate your feelings on a given topic. If you find that there’s a lot of fear about something in the media, take a closer look. Do the numbers match up to the hysteria? Is this thing directly affecting you in any way right now? If not, what chance is there that they will? Rather than buying into headlines that end in question marks like “Does A Missing Passenger On A Plane Have Ebola?”  Ask questions of your own.

- Jack Cameron

In Comics When You’re Dead, You’re Dead….For A While

Death-of-Wolverine-McNiven-coverThis past week in Marvel Comics, the X-Man and Avenger Wolverine died. This happened in a four-issue miniseries called The Death of Wolverine. So it wasn’t exactly a surprise. The miniseries was much better than I expected it to be and his death was well handled.

From what I can tell the series has met with mixed reviews with virtually no one thinking that Wolverine’s death will be ‘permanent’. Cries of ‘He’s not really dead!’ can be found in any comments section on any website talking about it. Of course he’s not ‘really’ dead. He’s not real. He’s a fictional character often drawn and written by some of the best people in the comic book business and occasionally played on screen by Hugh Jackman. So no, he’s not really dead.

That’s not their point though. When it comes to comic book, death is a bit of a revolving door. Since 2007 Marvel has killed off prominent characters such as Captain America and Human Torch with mainstream publicity about each ‘death’. And both are back, alive and well. (Although recently Cap has become an old man resulting in his old buddy, Falcon taking his place and Human Torch has lost his powers, but no one expects those things to last long either.)   Heck, one of the Death of Wolverine epilogue books is about the response his old friend Nightcrawler has to his death. Nightcrawler himself was dead up until a few months ago.

Why is death so temporary in comics so often? Because it’s profitable. People buy issue where the character dies. People buy the issue where the character comes back. And some characters are just too dang popular to keep them dead.

Even in the Marvel Cinematic Universe both Agent Coulson and Bucky Barnes have been brought back from ‘death’.

For some fans the temporary aspect of death in comics cheapens the story and makes the comics less enjoyable. I understand their point. If you have a hero sacrificing her life knowing they’re going to come back, it’s not all that big of a sacrifice, is it?

As a long time comic book reader, I’ve found a way to reconcile this. Much in the same way that when I read a Marvel Comic I let myself believe a man can have a skeleton laced with the fictional metal of Adamantium, I allow myself to believe that when these characters die, they’re dead. It’s worth noting that when these characters die, none of them seem to be aware that they might come back. This is despite the fact that they’ve seen many of their friends and loved ones die and return to life. I just go along with their own belief that when they die, they die.

One time I tried to think of X-Men who have never thought dead in the 75 year history of Marvel Comics. I came up with Iceman, but I could be wrong about that.

So Wolverine is dead (and not actually for the first time). But this one may stick longer than most. Word on the Internet is that Marvel Comics is downplaying any characters they don’t have movie rights to such as Wolverine, but we’ll see.

- Jack Cameron