Should Barry Allen, Supergirl and Jason Todd have stayed Dead, Hal Jordan have stayed Parallax and Barbara Gordon stayed paralized.

Now first off as far as financially bringing back Barry Alan, Supergirl, Jason Todd, Hal Jordan as Green Lantern and Barbara Gordon as Batgirl have made DC a lot of money and produced some great stories. So in that regard hard to argue they made a mistake and given the Flash TV show it would not be as good for sales if Barry Allen was in the show but new fans it created picked up Wally West comic books.

But narrative I think that it has hurt DC to undo so many of those things.

Yes, the thing about comic book characters never staying dead has been mostly true for pretty much all their lives. I mean how many people really thought Superman would stay dead or Batman would never heal? (OK they dragged out Knightfall, etc so much I started to believe Jean Paul Valley was sticking around briefly, but I was young and naive.)

But even then the stakes never seemed completely the illusion they do now. For a time it was at a point where Barbara Gordon was paralized and The Oracle, Wally West Was the Flash, Jason Todd was dead, Hal Jordan was insane and Kyle Rayner was the only Green Lantern, and while only the audience knew Supergirl had been phased from peoples memory her sacrifice forgotten by everyone.

At that time the stakes seemed real. No matter how many others came back Jason Todd was still dead, Wally West was a reminder of the price Barry Allen paid, Hal Jordan showed that anyone could become corrupt if they hit a low enough point in the battle against such overwhelming odds, and Oracle’s life was still changed forever. The stakes were still real even if most got a “do over” not all did and anyone could be the next one to not get the second chance most did.

But one by one over time all of it was undone and while the stories themselves were good now when a superhero is killed off they pretty much have to admit it isn’t permanent while having characters morn their deaths.

Maybe I am just biased because the post-crisis almost in it’s entirety was when my comic collecting was at it’s highest, so as good as comics were before and after that time, that is still the DCU I always think of when thinking of DC Comics. But I think in editors zeal to bring back their childhood favorites as well as money counters ability to make more money (not that that isn’t their job), they took away some of the peril aspect Super Heroes face to the point the danger has never seemed as big since then.

Is it just me?

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Barry: Yeah. Wally was always the more interesting Flash.
Supergirl: No. COIE killing her off was a mistake.
Jason Todd: Arguable, but I’ve come around to no.
Hal Jordan: Honestly he should still be The Spectre right now. That was a great button on his whole character arc, and he was more interesting in that role than Jim Corrigan.
Barbara: YES. The undoing of Oracle is inexcusable.


Will give you him as The Spectre worked also, just had mixed feelings about him coming back as Green Lantern. I like Hal Jordan, but after all the work getting fans on board with Kyle I don’t get why they undid it.

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Barry: Yes. Wally is far more interesting and better developed. Barry was far more interesting as an ideal Wally had to wrestle with living up to than as a hero whose personality basically amounts to “is nice.” (Well, “nice,” other than erasing his best friend’s entire family from history because he was sad about his parents. I would not blame Wally for killing Barry at this point, honestly.)

Supergirl: Meh. Her death is one of the best in comics, and her reappearance was poorly handled, but they killed her off for such stupid reasons and had so many contrived substitutes that they might as well have just brought the original back all the earlier.

Jason: He should’ve stayed a villain, but his return itself was well-handled. I actually think it was a mistake to kill him in the first place, but it worked out in the long run. They got some good drama out of it, but Jason-is-dead-and-that’s-sad had run its course, and Jason’s return was an interesting development. A little awkward coming so soon after the fakeout in Hush, but interesting nonetheless. I just can’t stand anti-hero Jason. Frankly, I think at this point they should kill him off again.

Hal: No. Emerald Twilight was a train wreck of a story. I have nothing against Kyle Rayner, but getting him was not worth everything we lost. I might rather see Hal treated as more of a mentor figure and focus on Kyle, but bringing him back was needed to keep the character’s end from being something so disrespectful, and I certainly don’t mind Hal being the main character.

Barbara: Absolutely. Losing thirty years of characterization was not an acceptable price to pay for having Batgirl be a redhead again, because “iconic.” She had an interesting, unique role as Oracle and got to fight crime not by punching it in the face but with her wits. Batgirl is yet another non-powered vigilante in spandex running around Gotham, doing the exact same things all the other non-powered vigilantes in spandex running around Gotham are doing. Ugh.


Barry should have stayed alive through the speedforce. This is alot more he has to offer…

Jason Todd developed into one of the most imfanous DC characters in my book so I’m glad he didn’t stay dead.

Hal Jordan, yes, I don’t think his Green Lantern could evolve anymore.

Barbara should have stayed Batgirl, Wendy Harris could have became Oracle and be done with it. It’s a broad argument but I feel like Barbara will always be more known for Batgirl than for Oracle, then again, Oracle is a symbol of hope for victims of paralisis and sexual assaults. My argument for that would then be “Why not paralyze Wendy Harris in the same or different manner?”

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Barry: Yes. There are already so many Flashes to take his place that he doesn’t really need to be there.

Supergirl: No, it was a mistake killing her off while I understand they wanted to retcon the whole family surviving Krypton, Supergirl still had more to grow and more potential.

Jason Todd: No, I think it was a brilliant idea to use the Lazarus Pit to resurrect Jason Todd and turn him into one of the most beloved characters in the Universe.

Hal Jordan: Yes, again we already have plenty of Green Lanterns to fill the shoes - John Stewart, Kyle Reiner, Guy Gardner. There wasn’t really a need to bring him back.

A great hero/heroine never stays dead. Remember Sherlock Holmes in The Final Problem?

Did we think Supes would stay dead forever…hell no. DC has admitted that killing him was mechanism to force the populace to remember what he represents no matter how “corny” he gets or jaded we get.

I was impressed that BA & Supergirl stayed dead as long as they did.

I never “felt” Wally as The Flash, and his baggage was part of it.

Once the created a new Robin, Jadon had to come back. Batman operates predicated on guilt.

Hal’s arc was the long road to redemption, as Geoff Jones has said.

Do crisises and reboots come along to frequently now, yes…and no. Dark gritty universes chew up characters and spit them out more quickly.

Do we need an angst ridden Doom Patrol? It’s an interesting take. But is there something wrong with “Yeah, ok, we’re a bunch of freaks and we don’t fit in, so screw ‘em, will go out and do things just for the hell of it, cuz if we die ain’t nobody gonna miss us. Screw the therapy and my psychology is my own business” (and hey there reader, form your own opinion about what drives me, cuz yours is as valid as somebody elses.

Perhaps we have in an effort to elevate comics, we have actually dumbed down comics. We now rely on other people to “tell us” what motivates CJ or why Batman is this way, or what does it mean to be “part of the green”.

Tales are told and retold differently, changed and returned. Take a look at “King Arthur” for just one example.

Nothing is definitive anymore. The silver age taught us that. But, even the silver age recognized the value of the golden age versions of those characters and brought them back.

Arguably an earth based GL with a weakness to wood is much more interesting than a GL on earth who’s weakness is anything yellow.

Batman is better being a detective than a vigilante brawler.

Good characters, heroes and villains never die (how many times has the Joker fell to oblivion, yet I don’t hear cries of “hey, the Joker needs to stay dead.” The ones that aren’t so great, just fade off in the distance.

No, I’m glad they’re back.


Barbara: No. Barbara is the only true Batgirl. And as much as the pushed Cass and Stephanie, it just wasn’t the same as Barbara. I did like her as Oracle just the same though.


I’m glad Hal, Supergirl, and Jason came back, but I’m mixed on Barry and Barbara, mainly because their returns pushed aside the characters I enjoyed more than them.

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I agree, nobody can really replace or outdo Barbara as Batgirl. She may not have been thr first but she was/is still the best out of all of them and that’s not just because of the Oracle arc lol


Jason needs to stay dead. I’m glad the rest are back.

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All of those things made for great stories, but left the universe in a worse shape. Retconning them was the right call.

What a great question!

When I grew up, comics were in the Post-Crisis era. I knew about all the goodness of the Pre-Crisis era from cartoons, back issues that were given to my from family, DC Cosmic Cards, etc. But when I really dug my heels into buying comics, it was stuff from the Post-Crisis era. Barry was dead, Kara didn’t exist, Jason was still a fresh wound and Barbara was Oracle and yes, I got to see Hal become Parallax.

The older I got and the more into DC history I delved into, I know there are some who didn’t like the changes. I didn’t mind them. For me, it was like watching something grow and evolve. Barry made a sacrifice that saved countless lives and because of that, Wally became The Flash. We grew with him on his journey and watching him become his own Flash. Barbara didn’t let her tragedy define her as a victim. She found it within herself to do something good with her crappy situation and she became Oracle, a character many still love to this day. Jason was always that mistake that haunted Batman, but you know what came out of it? Tim Drake. And with Hal we watched him fall and we watched him give his life to reignite the sun. His turn to Parallax also gave us Kyle Rayner.

The toughest one admittedly is Kara. She gave her life during the Crisis and gave the Anti-Monitor a run for his money. She was forgotten, though. I was indifferent to the Matrix Supergirl from the Post-Crisis era. If I had a say, I would’ve loved for the Kara that appeared in the Superman vs Aliens crossover to eventually make her way to Earth to find Superman and she would’ve become the new Supergirl. It’s your way of having a Kara Supergirl while also doing something new and fresh

I guess what I’m trying to say is the reason I enjoyed the Post-Crisis DCU was because they weren’t afraid to move forward. They took chances and those chances lead to some interesting stories and characters. It felt like things were moving somewhat in real time. We saw actions and consequences. We had legacy heroes who inspired other heroes themselves.

And then writer’s changed that. Jeph Loeb tried to say the Bryne Krypton was a fake and he also gave Superman his insane power levels again. We got the return of the Kara Zor-El Supergirl from Krypton. Hal Jordan was resurrected and became a Green Lantern again. Barry Allen returned and was The Flash. Even Jason Todd, the one character who never came back from the dead eventually came back from the dead. None of these are bad per say, but some of them feel like the writers and artists looked at what the DC was and said “That’s not what I grew up with!” and started making changes to suit their aesthetic rather than what it would do for the stories down the line. I know it wasn’t the intent, but sometimes it felt like these reversals were done in contempt of forward progression that was going on at the time.

Turst me, Dan. It’s not just you.



Forgive me, I wrote this late at night lol

Yes, yes, yes, no, yes. I liked what those deaths did to those character’s supporting casts. While I’m ok with Parallax having been a thing that happened, I don’t think it’s necessary to keep one of the longest running GLs in a villain role. Oracle > Batgirl, she was the heart of the Batfamily, but also served as a warning to what could happen in their line of work and as an example that even if you are paralyzed, you’re not useless. With, Jason, Babs, and Damien walking around, it’s starting to feel like Bruce found the Dragon Balls. The only constant deaths in Batman are his and Dick’s parents.


@superby1 I believe your final paragraph is right on the money. Writers and editors these days seemed to have become too self-indulgent, and it’s turned out some real clunker stories. Not just because they were flawed in technical respects, but because thanks to stuff like the 2011 reboot, they’ve had to try “starting fresh”, but also wanting to keep these characters familiar enough to pre-existing readers. That means they change things just to change them (i.e., pointlessly), and then try to re-establish things that already happened, and were typically done right the first time. We’re supposed to be cool with this plummet of quality because they slap the words “new” and “different” or “modern” to trick people into thinking it’s more innovative than it really is. So Barb is Batgirl again, and I don’t think she was ever Oracle in the new continuity until Rebirth (at least, nothing I’d read indicated she was). This is how fanfiction writers with connections get jobs they have no business having.

As to the thread topics:

  1. Reading Morrison’s JLA, I was more familiar with Wally West as the Flash than Barry (though did watch the John Wesley-Shipp series as a kid). I’m rather ambivalent to whether or not he should’ve stayed dead. Then I think of Flashpoint, and consider, yes, perhaps he should remained six feet under.
    2)Supergirl gives us another Kryptonian to have stories with, another perspective than Superman. I think there’s room for her, even if I never really followed her title.
  2. Jason Todd worked better as an anti-villain. Working against Batman and his ideals makes more sense than “let’s have kill people with guns and Batman will be okay with it as long as it doesn’t happen in Gotham.” Recent writing and editing seems to have also become lazier.
  3. I was never much familiar with Hal Jordan, but I understand that his becoming a villain was a huge smack in the face for his fans. Introducing Parallax as the embodiment of fear wasn’t a bad way to go about it, so that what happened wasn’t really his fault.
  4. Barbara could’ve been fine staying Oracle. There were two perfectly capable successors to her mantel as Batgirl, each unique and worthy in their own way. If they really wanted her back in the suit, they could’ve done it in more intelligent ways than devolving those successors to infantilized nitwits worshipping James Tynion IV’s face-pierced writer’s pet. But as I’ve been saying for some time, DC is not run by smart people.

No I think they shouldn’t have stayed dead. But I think DC should have a parallel running universe that have the dead heroes and villains and the heroes who became villains, stay dead and stay bad guys. That way other heroes can step up in the spot light. What would the DC universe be like if Superman stay dead and Capt. Marvel step up or if Batman back would have stayed broken and Nightwing became Batman. In this new earth, if you die you don’t come back. If you become a villain you have to live with the consequences. This story line should start from the death of Superman and knight fall and go from there. That’s a story line I would love to see Mr. DC executives.

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Should Barry Allen, Supergirl and Jason Todd have stayed Dead, Hal Jordan have stayed Parallax and Barbara Gordon stayed paralyzed?

I’d say ‘yes’ for Barry and ‘no’ for everyone else. I think we’ve gotten a wider array of stories from the other transitions. Barry’s narrative literally erased Wally and his supporting cast. Some have made appearances since then, but overall I feel like I lost more characters that I liked than I gained. I also think that Barry made an ideal fallen hero, whose memory looms large and is an inspiration for the DCU. Of the others, Barbara probably comes the closest to a ‘maybe’ answer because I think her transition could have been handled better; however, in current continuity Babs is both Batgirl and Oracle, so we can get both types of stories as well as rehabilitation stories and exploring what Babs is willing to risk again and for what/whom. Most of the complaints I’ve had (and read) about Cass and Steph have less to do with Barbara’s transition and more to do with the introduction of a new character, so I don’t count them against Barbara being Batgirl/Oracle.

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