(The post where Meljean tries very hard to avoid spoilers for those of you who are DC Comics fans.)
Yesterday, I read the conclusion of a comic book mini-series that I hadn’t been terribly happy with from the first issue, but because it tied in to the main Justice League of America series, I kept plugging along. And when I got to the end, this is pretty much how I felt:
You know, there’s very little that upsets me when I’m reading a story, watching a TV series, or following a comic. Not that I don’t get invested in the characters and emotional (just ask me how long I bawled at the end of Buffy S2), but if I already enjoy a series, I’ll follow the writers pretty much anywhere, even when I don’t *like* what’s happening. People get killed off? I might shriek, but I won’t quit. A budding romance doesn’t go where I want it to? I’ll be disappointed, but I’ll accept it.* Because when someone tells a story, I assume they are leading up to something, and that there’s going to be a payoff that will make the pain all worth it.
Every once in a while, though, I just have to stop and say, “No.” DO NOT WANT. Usually, that’s when characters seem to become victims to a storyline rather than an active participant in one. In this case, it was a [SPOILER OMG LOOK AWAY IF YOU PLAN TO READ CRY FOR JUSTICE] a superhero’s young daughter being killed — a little girl who has long been a part of this well-established superhero’s life — so that both he and his mentor can go through big “rise and fall” character arcs.
Character arcs that will probably last … oh, a year or so.
So it’s not that I don’t see the purpose behind her death in a storytelling sense. It’s not that I haven’t seen a kid’s death handled well. And since this is comics, sure — maybe she’ll come back (although kids usually don’t.) But this superhero was one of the few single fathers in comics, and his daughter living added to his character in a way her death never could. Now, he’s just another hero destroyed by the death of a loved one (oh, and he’s an archer who also just got his arm ripped off, but I guess that WASN’T ENOUGH TRAUMA to head into the rise-and-fall storyline — and who wants to deal with pesky kids when Daddy is trying to cope with the loss of his arm and whether he can still be a hero and how his daughter sees him now? That wouldn’t be interesting AT ALL).
Get the buckets of pig blood; cue Meljean’s rage.
Anyway, it’s the end of the mini-series so it’s not like I’ll be dropping the comic now. But I can and will be disappointed. Bitterly. And angry, bitterly.
What are your tipping points? Where do you go from “I don’t like this” to DO NOT WANT! Can you think of a scenario that worked for you in one movie or show or book, that didn’t work for you in another? Why do you think your reaction was different? (If you are posting SPOILERS, please clearly mark them in your comments!)
And in other news — Ilona is moving to Portland this weekend, and I won’t even be around! I’m heading off to the coast where I will be writing writing writing while my family plays (one awesome thing about Portland is that you’re only about an hour drive away from either the beach or the mountains). But here’s a little video I found with some things to do on a weekend here.
Powell’s is easily my favorite. Okay, the donuts and cupcakes and food carts don’t suck, either.
*except, of course, in a romance novel. Then I better get my happy ending, dammit.