Friday, June 30, 2006

Ridiculous Ways To Die, Part the First

Since death in a comic book is so impermanent, characters tend to have to shuffle off this mortal coil in amazingly over-the-top fashion just to make their probably-soon-to-be-undone death memorable and meaningful, if fleetingly.

First off: Azteka. Yeah, the girl version of Aztek who only existed in the alternate future caused by Superman destroying a big heart-shaped rock that was actually a New God-created map of time and space, thus allowing Darkseid to take over the Earth. Why yes, this story was written by Grant Morrison.

The alterna-Earth's League consisted of her, a powerless Wally West, a ringless Kyle Rayner, Connor Hawke, Argent (of the then-current craptastic Teen Titans), the Atom, Aquaman, Amazo and Wonder Woman. I'm reasonably certain that we have the most names starting with A on any team ever, right here. Anyway, they've got a table in their post-apocalyptic clubhouse devoted to the relics of predeceased members:Left to right: Steel's (hilariously long) sledgehammer, Doctor Fate's (hilariously ventilated) helmet, a chunk of Robin's tunic, Captain Marvel's man-bracelets, Mister Miracle's cape and mysterious metal bangles, Jack Knight's cosmic rod and Superman's chest logo circa his Breakin' 2 era.

We're told that Superman committed suicide after mercy-killing a roboticized Lois Lane, Martian Manhunter was thrown in a particle accelerator so as to destroy every single atom in his being and it's pretty clear how Fate was killed, but the rest of the deaths are left to the reader's imagination.

There're probably half a dozen deaths over the course of this storyline that merit inclusion on this list besides Azteka's (Darkseid's chief amongst them), but this one is the most utterly insane.

Azteca and Argent are dispatched to the moon so as to shut down Darkseid's Zombie Factory while the rest of the team (plus a beaten-to-Hell Batman) confront the big D himself in Las Vegas. When Argent is mortally wounded, Azteka remembers that Grant Morrison created her and, fittingly, her suit is powered by abject madness.She done flipped the switch.
Dying in such a manner? Totally validated by the befuddled look on Darkseid's face.

7 comments:

CalvinPitt said...

"Buh?" Truly that's Darkseid's greatest moment.

Me though, I'm more befuddled by his chin and that upside horseshoe symbol on it. Damn, that is a large chin. Can't stop staring at chin. . .

Jon said...

It's an Omega. The end of the alphabet. If it was Porter's idea, it's the best one he had that whole run of JLA, probably. If it was Morrison, it's pretty much par for course.

Anonymous said...

I'm sorry, but why, exactly, was this a ridiculous way to die? She sacrified herself tfor the greater good. She deliberatly stopped holding her power in. I don't think you've made your point very clear..

Jon said...

It's not the why, it's the how. Noble sacrifices are a dime a dozen; suicide bombs powered by the fourth dimension are slightly more, I don't know, ridiculous.

googum said...

Love that issue, except it's, what? Part four of six, and five and six fade in comparison. Or was it part five?

Jon said...

It's part five. Six was a forty-eight pager, though.

Erich said...

Responding to the earlier comment about what makes this "a ridiculous way to die": There's also the whole idea of her armor basically having a self-destruct switch (was it "GalaxyQuest" or some other movie where a character asked "Why do we even HAVE a self-destruct button?"). What's more, the way it's phrased, it's more like a "keep from self-destructing" switch, as if "self-destruct" is the default setting.

And then there's her last words "And guess what I just did"...I just can't help but hear those words delivered in a child-like, taunting sing-song.