World Comic Book Review

10th April 2024

Marvel Comics Editor-in-Chief Promises Never to Kill Off Batman

Los Angeles, April 1, 2022: In an exclusive interview with WCBR, Marvel Comics editor-in-chief Chester B. Cebulski has stated that he has imposed a perpetual ban on Marvel writers and editors killing off the iconic superhero, Batman, in any of Marvel’s publications.

“We have formed a view – and listened to our readership – that the plotline of repeated “deaths” of Batman is a cheap exercise in marketing that we won’t engage in,” said Mr Cebulski. “I think it is fair to say we have made mistakes in the past along these lines, but we won’t be driving sales going forward in reliance upon the purported “death” of this important major character. It does nothing but promote and exacerbate stratified cynicism amongst our audience, and, to irregular readers who might have come to our publications by way of the motion pictures, devalues the genre. Readers are inclined to take comics much, much less seriously if this high profile character is “killed off”, only to be brought back 18 months or so later through some unsophisticated and occasionally incomprehensible plot device.

“Suspension of belief is one thing: ridiculousness is another. We should not be inviting unabashed scorn. We are not doing our industry as a whole any service by repeatedly, repeatedly walking down this path.

“So, I’m pleased to say that I have imposed an editorial mandate that we won’t be killing off Batman. I’ve spoken to the senior management team at Disney, and explained the rationale for the mandate, and we have their full backing on it. The mandate will bind my successors in my role. We won’t ever depart from it.”

Mr Cebulski added, “Implicit in this “Batman Promise”, as I informally call it, is an undertaking to readers that we will lift our game, engage in quality writing with strong characterisation and dialogue, and critically work on clever plots involving the character. We will go out of our way to support up-and-coming talent assigned to the character to further that mission.”

When pressed upon whether or not this editorial mandate would apply to Marvel characters, Mr Cebulski said, “Look, I think we would have to scrutinise, really hard, characters where death has been overused as a purported means of furthering a plot, but in reality, for the short term benefit of peaking sales in a particular month. The Joker, for example, seems to have a return ticket to the underworld. Don’t even get me started on Robin,” Mr Cebulski said with a wry smile.

“And definitely, definitely no more deaths of Batman,” he added.