Sunday, August 26, 2007

Keith Giffen, on Karate Kid (1989)

From a 1989 interview in the late, lamented "Amazing Heroes" magazine with Keith Giffen:

AH: I remember I saw in an old interview you did you said you wanted to kill Kalista of the Omega Men and Karate Kid....

GIFFEN: Every so often, a character comes up that I just look at and say, I just want to off this guy. Karate Kid was one. And Kalista. Everyone was insisting on keeping her around and I just thought, This is nothing I don't see anything in this character. Maybe I was just being too....

AH: Cynical?

GIFFEN: Cynical and negative. Yknow, there is a tendency in the business to say, Well, I'm now doing the Avengers and I don't like the Wasp so I'm going to kill her. If you step back a bit, then you say to yourself, Maybe I don't know what to do with her. I tend now to think twice about it if I say, I don't like this character. I'm going to kill this character. I stop and think, Wait a minute. Maybe something else will know what to do with this character. So if I'm going to kill a character now, I make sure, Is there a reason for it or is it a cheap shot? If I have the slimmest doubts about it, I won't do it.

AH: Do you think death and change are vital to keep a book interesting?

GIFFEN: No. If you've got an active imagination and you're really interested in the characters, I think you can weave interesting enough stories with out killing a character.

Note that at this point, Giffen had co-killed Karate Kid only once. Val's second death (as an SW6 Legionnaire) was still a couple years in the future from the perspective of this article.

I'll just point out that both Keith Giffen and Karate Kid are in "Countdown", though Giffen is only as an artist, not a writer.


Matthew E said...

At the time, I didn't like Karate Kid much either and didn't mind when he got killed off. Since then, I've come around; I think that the original KK was kind of brash and the calmer reboot and threeboot versions appeal to me more.

Terence Chua said...

I didn't approve of Giffen's killing off Val, but I can understand the visceral response to a character you just don't like and find useless. Case in point for me: Megan from Excalibur. If I ever get the extremely unlikely chance to write that book, she's the first casualty, and that's a promise.

Verification word: hqpdp - What would have been an appropriate name for the corporate headquarters of DEC.