Cap­tain Mar-Vell dies

Comic Heroes - - Feature -

The Death Of Cap­tain Marvel, April 1982

What hap­pened? Marvel’s orig­i­nal Cap­tain Marvel had never been ex­actly A-list, but he’d had his mo­ments – not least a thrilling, psy­che­delic run by a young writer-artist called Jim Star­lin. But it’s with his death that he achieved great­ness. In Marvel’s first ever graphic novel, he suc­cumbed qui­etly to cancer; de­spite dozens of su­per­heroes and vil­lains show­ing up to pay re­spects, there’s barely a harsh word in the en­tire thing. Star­lin’s own fa­ther was bat­tling cancer at the time, and it shows.

Why was it shock­ing? There’s no bom­bast; just sad­ness mixed with the cel­e­bra­tion of a life well lived. Next to this, most su­per­hero deaths seem stupid, bom­bas­tic and dull.

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