Earlier this week, I was looking at CBR’s previews for next week’s new comics and I was reading the preview of the next issue of New Mutants, a pretty decent comic book by two of my favorite writers. The story in the preview was about Cypher talking a psychiatrist about his ridiculous comic book problems. Suddenly I got very sad.
You see the conversation was about how Cypher died. (If you’re wondering he got killed by a character called the Ani-Mator. Yeah, post Claremont X-Men sure was something else.) Anyway, what depressed me was about the fact that they brought back Cypher. Every character has their fans, but he is, at best, a c list character who went un used for like 20 years.
It bothered me in a way that something like Before Watchmen didn’t. Yes, Before Watchmen is a creatively lazy endeavor that precisely no one not getting paid to make it needed to happen. However, Watchmen is super popular book and sequel to it is going to make stupid amounts of money, even if its going to be a mistake regarded in several years with the kind of embarrassment we reserve for the Dark Knight Strikes Again. I understand the logic of Before Watchmen, even if I don’t agree with it.
But bringing back Cypher makes me sad (which admittedly, happened years ago under another writer). Because there is no financial incentive for bringing him back, which means that it was either done because there were no better ideas or because smoeoe couldn’t let go of the past. He died years ago, and not only have countless other young X-Men characters been created since who have fallen into disuse, but X-Men is a concept tailor made for creating new characters.
Big time projects like Before Watchmen, Flash Rebirth, and Green Lantern Rebirth are typically the projects that lament the lack of creativity in mainstream superhero comics, but for me, the worrying things are in the margins. If we can’t find some room for experimentation and creativity in the more obscure titles of the comics universe, where are we going to find it at all?