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Tag: Comics

The Impermanence Of Death – The Weird World Of Comics

Martin

Over the last few instalments of this column we’ve looked at a few superhero identities that have been used by more than one character (Robin and Captain America, for the new or forgetful). Legacy characters like this are popular in comics because they’re a way of keeping names, and trademarks, alive and relevant (and to learn the importance of that, just ask DC about Captain Marvel). Individual characters aren’t always as timeless as the superhero identity or idea in general, so it pays now and then to get rid of them and replace them with a more relevant version. One of the best ways to sell this change has been to kill off the original as it immediately gives the new character an empty stage on which work and feel important.

DC Takes The Fire Out Of Hellblazer

Hattie Evans

Making his debut in #37 of Swamp Thing in the late eighties, Alan Moore’s supporting character of Constantine hit our pages as a… a bit of prick. A sorcerer, a deviant and a swindler, Constantine was the devil on the good-natured swamp thing’s shoulder. The wayward scab that itches to be picked, and then gets very, VERY infected. And once given a life of his own, he didn’t change much in nearly thirty years. Swamp Thing’s publication without the Comic Code Authority’s stamp of all ages approval, and the newly rated ‘suggested for mature readers’ umbrella,  gave birth to DC’s darker stylized publication house Vertigo, and more importantly, formed a new direction for DC, with Hellblazer as the main attraction.