WASHINGTON, D.C.–In a landmark decision last week, the Supreme Court has ruled against the premature killing off of underdeveloped characters in superhero movies, shows, and comics. The ruling has met with great relief from characters such as Uncle Ben and Thomas and Martha Wayne, but still remains controversial among others.
For years, comics and their adaptations have been allowed to kill off certain underdeveloped characters at will, including Uncle Ben, the Waynes, Jor-El, and more. Proponents of this practice have justified it by arguing that those victims aren’t really fully realized characters, and that killing them actually helps to advance the arc of the main protagonists.
Now, as the federal provision for this practice has been repealed, the decision of whether or not to allow it will revert back to the states, with many states passing individual bans on killing underdeveloped characters. Opinion in the superhuman community has been divided.
“Without my family’s death, my arc wouldn’t have developed to where it is today,” stated Frank Castle, a.k.a. brutal antihero the Punisher. “I wouldn’t deny that chance to any other hero who thought losing their family was needed for their arc. After all, they were really just a clump of lines.”
“I was in my first movie when my brother Pietro died,” said Wanda Maximoff, a.k.a. the Scarlet Witch, most recently seen as the antagonist of Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness. “I was just starting out, and I had my whole career ahead of me. I couldn’t be tied down by a flat supporting character who barely got any development. His death was hard, but it was honestly the best thing for me at the time.”
Already a staunch proponent of killing some people for the benefit of others, the mad titan Thanos has also criticized the new ruling. “Reality is often disappointing,” he told Marvelous Movies in an interview.
Other heroes, however, take the opposite viewpoint. “This is a new day for equality in America,” said New York City attorney Matt Murdock. “If he hadn’t been killed in a tragic backstory, my father would have been proud to see this. And so would I, if…well, you know.”
“Uncle Ben was a real character,” said Spider-Man. “He was special to me, and he shouldn’t have had to die. If this decision can save the lives of other people’s families, then I’m all for it!” A bipartisan movement of fans across the country are rejoicing that statewide bans should prevent any future onscreen deaths of Uncle Ben.
The recent decision could set the precedent for future rulings that would protect other types of characters as well. Some speculate about preventing the deaths of minority characters in horror movies or of redshirts in Star Trek. We may even see the day in our lifetimes in which no character, regardless of development, is treated as expendable.