Monday, February 15, 2010

An Open Letter to James Robinson

Mr. Robinson:

You have written some excellent comics.  I won't deny that.  In fact, I've greatly enjoyed your work.  But you've developed a bad habit that worries me.  I first saw signs of it in Starman #38, when you killed off Blue Devil, Amazing Man and Crimson Fox.  I later found out that you had only intended to kill off Crimson Fox, but DC editorial told you to kill off the other two as well.

But it was the beginning of a disturbing trend.  Recently, you've killed off quite a few characters, often with little or no introduction.  You made Plastic Man - the epitome of a fun-loving, goofy hero - into a depressing, angst-ridden mess.

You brought back the most vile, disgusting villian ever to blight the pages of DC Comics.  You killed him off soon afterwards, but his presence was an unwanted taint on the comic.  He degraded and derided a character I love.  But she defeated him.  Her victory should have left her proud and triumphant.  Instead, she was left naked and broken.

You congratulate yourself on creating a well-rounded character who happened to be gay, but in that same issue you killed off his partner, destroying a happy couple that you had created.

You took a character whose most prominent trait was putting her family above all else, and you had her killed as she attempted to murder one of her family members.

You reduced two strong, independent women to mere notches on a man's bedpost.

But through all this, I kept telling myself that things would improve.  "He's a great writer.  Things will get better."

Then you killed one of my favorite characters.  Off-panel.  You left it open for his eventual resurrection, but it was too late.  Even if he is alive and well at the end of the story, his death was the last straw.

I cannot enjoy your writing anymore.  You've killed too many, snatched the joy from the characters who survived, made light-hearted characters bleak and taken the fun out of reading about them.

Mr. Robinson, you probably will never read this, but I hope you do.  Because I want you to know this: you've lost a fan.

Lady Momus

Edit: I have since learned that the favorite character I mentioned was killed off in another book not written by James Robinson.  But that isn't enough to win me back.  It seems like every character Robinson has touched lately has ended up dead, angst-ridden or acting out-of-character.

I cannot and will not be a fan of a writer who kills off characters without a thought and doesn't bother to do any research about the characters he writes.

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