Has a comic ever made you cry? The question put to the BG for this week's Roundtable, your Friendly Neighborhood Editor believed, would bring forth thoughtful, meaningful discussion about what makes good drama. But what if our writers are a bunch of unfeeling robots? She'd never considered the possibility before, but then she thought about Quixote reading all those Hulk comics on his computer....oh dear. This could go horrbily wrong, couldn't it? Maybe the question should be did a Roundtable ever make you cry?
Bill - I teared up when I dropped a long box on my foot... so I guess that means 300-400 comics made me cry.
You are SO getting The Look.
Chris - ONE MORE DAY! Tears of RAGE!!!
Your FNE hates you all.
The General - I actually don't think that I've ever cried while reading comics. Because A) it would be really hard to cry and read at the same time (what, with the tears blurring your vision and everything) and B) because I'm Tough As Nails™. That said, I can’t believe how much I was affected by the death of U-Go Girl in X-Force #128. Edie Sawyer (aka U-Go Girl) was a member of X-Force during Peter Milligan and Mike Allred's short-lived, but critically acclaimed run on the title. During their run, they dumped the old cast, and replaced them with a pantheon of shallow mutant celebrities whose primary attributes were their desire to be famous and their notably short lifespans. But somehow, despite this conceit (or because of it), Milligan and Allred actually crafted one of the most interesting and complex characters to come out of Marvel comics in recent years. And the only character whose death has left me feeling shaken. I knew they'd probably all end up dead at some point...but didn't realize I'd actually care. RIP Edie Sawyer.
Finally someone follows the rules.
Mr. Jackazz - I don't think a particular comic made me cry, but I once poked myself in the eye with a comic book and that got me pretty misty.
Doug - Oh come on, you know you cried like a baby when Wendell got bumped off in Annihilation!
Mr. Jackazz - *crying*
Betsy - Age of Apocalypse, at the end. "Kitty didn't phase."
Matt - Vigilante #50 was a hard comic book for me to get through. Not only is this the last issue of the series, it is the last, tragic ending of Adrian Chase. Adrian led a tortured life, mobsters killed his family and he decided to seek justice as the Vigilante. As the series unfolds we find that his actions become more violent and his decisions often come back to haunt him. He tried to retire as Vigilante and go back to being a judge but was drawn back into the violence after his replacement became unstable. Adrian tracked down and killed his replacement not knowing it was his friend. With issue #37, it is more apparent that Vigilante was heading down the wrong road; he becomes more conflicted, unstable and even angrier. He is unable to handle the problems he faces. In the last issue, he becomes more aggressive and accidentally kills some police officers that were after him. Finally, unable to deal with his life, he takes his gun and commits suicide.
While this book didn't make me cry outright, it left me saddened that he made the decision to end his life. My cousin tried to commit suicide years ago by overdose and we were lucky not to lose him. He now leads a more fulfilling life and even though it was a comic, it was powerful enough to make me wonder what life Adrian would have had if he had help.
Betsy - Oh, and also in the AOA, "He knew that his Jean was no Phoenix."
Vocal Minority - Blankets is a book about first love, and everything that comes with it.
It's the kind of topic that makes me think of a bad Hollywood chick-flick. But what makes this book special, and what touched me, was the ending. So, look away now if you haven't read it.
The thing about romance in fiction is that it generally either works out, or is tragic in a plot-defining tragic way. The thing about romance in real life is that for the most part it doesn't work like that. The end of this book, for me, perfectly captures that feeling when something that matters to you stops working. When your heart wants nothing more than to keep what it has, but life moves on without a care for it.
And that, eventually, you see things differently. This book bought a tear to my otherwise dry and cynical eye by being honest about what happens to everyone who doesn't get a 'happily ever after', and the quiet tragedy of its loss.
Matt - Oh, also X-Men: Deadly Genesis #2.
FNE's note: Certain Bad Genious writers have strong, perhaps even inappropriate love for characters like Banshee and Quasar. Your FNE tries her best to keep this sick, dirty, nasty love hidden in a cold, dark place (the basement), but alas, sometimes these things are brought to light despite her best efforts (someone stole the key).
Dan – Out of the four or five season of The Real World that I watched in the 1990s, only Season Three ever stuck with me. Mostly for Puck, the dirty, nasty, seemingly hateful bastard and Pedro, the quiet, sweet, ill Latino. Pedro became the face of AIDS Awareness for a time during and after the show until his death in November 1994. Six years later another castmate, Judd Winick wrote and illustrated Pedro and Me, a graphic novel telling Judd’s version of time on the Real World and his and Pedro’s friendship.
While the friendship moments are touching, the parts of this book that got to me were the details of Pedro’s health struggles, which were never really shown on The Real World. From soaking the sheets due to night sweats to not knowing there were medicines to ease his irritable stomach, Pedro’s fight against AIDS in the early 90s reminds us just how far medicine has come. The AIDS “cocktail” of drugs was approved the year after Pedro’s death and with the new medication, AIDS-related deaths dropped 60% in just three years. The real tearjerker of this book is the simple and heartfelt presentation of Pedro’s passing and the amazingly positive impact it made on several lives. A wonderful story told in a simple, cartoony style that tugs at your heart the whole way through.
Jon Quixote - I'm a pretty big Superman fan, and those who know me have probably heard me talk about how sad I think the idea is. Not tragic. Just sad. His story has a lot of sacrifice and duty and loneliness, and those qualities are ingrained in Superman not just as a character, but as a symbol. Truth. Justice. Humanitarianism. It's kind of solitary work.
Superman: For All Seasons is a 4-issue series by Jeph Loeb and Tim Sale that looks at Superman early in his career, through the eyes of the people in his world - His father. His enemy. His girlfriend. They all, in their own way, try to get to the bottom of who and what Superman is. This god on Earth who'll never really fit in but who devotes his life to helping strangers. A lot of people think Superman is boring because he's so good, but I find that fascinating. You have a guy who can do whatever he wants, without consequence, and he devotes his life to good deeds. Where does that much goodness come from?
Issue #1 has Superman trying to figure out his place in the world, what to do with his abilities. At the end, dressed in his uniform for the first time, he saves a small child from falling off a building. "Nice costume," the boy says. "Thanks," says Superman, with a wave. "My mom made it for me."
Cue the waterworks. I can't even think of it without getting choked up. And it answers the question, perfectly.
Happy Mother's Day.
See. Not a robot at all. There was never anything to worry about. Which really is probably a good thing since your Friendly Neighborhood Editor never researched whether her ax (Skrullf*cker) would be effective against a killer robot attack.
Your FNE would also like to say that she teared up quite a bit at the end of Identity Crisis #1 depsite never having heard of Sue Dibny (your FNE's a Marvel girl) and sobbed like a baby after reading Good-bye, Chunky Rice.