Tuesday, June 10, 2014

DC's May 2014 in dismemberments

Dystopian Future Captain Cold (drawn by Ethan Van Sciver) and Dystopian Future Batman (Jesus Merino and Dan Green), The New 52: Futures End FCBD Special Edition #0, May 3rd

Hawkman (Mike McKone), Justice League United #1, May 14th

Power Ring (Doug Mahnke and Scott Hanna), Justice League #30, May 21st

A polar bear (Dan Jurgens and Mark Irwin), The New 52: Futures End #3, May 21st

Frankenstein (Aaron Lopresti and Art Thibert), The New 52: Futures End #4, May 28th

Swamp Thing (Paul Pelletier and Sean Parsons), Aquaman #31, May 28th


Anonymous said...

Is it weird that I somehow thought there would be more?

Diabolu Frank said...

When I was a kid, my play time stories were full of dismemberment. I wasn't deranged-- my cheap knock-off action figures were constantly breaking off thumbs and limbs, or got chewed on my animals. It was a practical concern that had to be addressed in the narrative. Now, toward the end of my time for it to be reasonable to play with toys, I did get involved in more burning/intentional scarification. Usually, I was just amplifying past amputees with nail arms and such, and where there's a nail arm, there's going to be stabbing. Again, there was some practical motivation, and I can plead early adolescent emotional turmoil.

Grown men at late middle age are getting off to insuring that Captain Cold cannot wipe his own ass without prosthetics. I've been reading a lot more Avatar books lately, and even they aren't down with that kind of senseless cruelty for its own sake. And they produce explicit gore porn. DC Comics need to be talked down off the bell tower.

Evan said...

I think the logic behind this is obvious. DC wants us to be worried about the characters. But they know that they've trained us disregard comic book death, since we know the character will come back.

The solution? Make us worried that the character will be in pain and temporarily disabled instead. And dismemberment is one of the best ways to do this in a visual medium.

And it works. That's the most I've been worried about Hawkman in a long time.

Unknown said...

I get it now! DC Comics doesn't stand for Detective Comics Comics. It's Dismembered Characters Comics.

David Charles Bitterbaum said...

Caleb, if I ever ask you to do only one thing, it is to please, PLEASE make this a regular monthly feature!

Greg said...

I second David. This was awesome.

Caleb said...

I think the logic behind this is obvious. DC wants us to be worried about the characters....That's the most I've been worried about Hawkman in a long time.

I've heard that reasoning before. (Maybe from you in a comment here?) And it certainly sounds logical. However, in all of the above cases, the limb-chopping was either followed directly by the character's death (Captain Cold, Batman, Power Ring, that polar bear) or it was someone who immediately healed/suffered no real damage (Frankenstein just sewed his hand on, Swamp Thing just regrew his arms).

And worry not for Hawkman! Apparently, Nth metal now gives him limb-regenerating powers, as he's got a Wolverine healing-like factor now that allowed him to regrow his arm and keep fighting Lobo in this week's issue!

I've always found it ironic that Geoff Johns put Aquaman's arm back on, given that was a rare example of a permanent-ish maiming in the DCU...

PLEASE make this a regular monthly feature!

I actually thought about it, because I wasn't sure if May had more arms being chopped up than the average month, or I just happened to notice it more (a lot of those instances are from FUTURES END, which, being set in the future, allows for more death and dismemberment than usual...and it's weekly!)

ZombieKingz said...

Keep dismemberment in comics where it is/was needed like in The Preacher or in dystopian What If.. stories, but just for a short shock in regular issues?
Do i care more about the character because he/she is limbless? Yeah, if done right, like stated before in Aquaman. Otherwise it seems more like a public stunt done by Image Comics in their earlier years.
But if it pushes the sales, the Black Knight in Monty Pythons Holy Grail must be brought into DCs New 52.

SallyP said...

Remember when death and dismemberment was actually...shocking? This is getting out of hand, and it has become a cliche.

A ridiculous cliche.

But yes, a weekly count of who is losing what, would be delightful.

Anonymous said...


Remember when character development was actually shocking?

LissBirds said...

I see this as lazy storytelling. Can't DC's writers find other ways to show how their characters can be vulnerable? In other words, find what a character values, and strike at that. And not necessarily loved ones, but ideas, values, reputation, motivation, something. DC's storytelling method of lopping off limbs to show a hero's "weakness" is as subtle as chainsaw art.