On Fictional Characters’ Awareness of the Conventions of Their Own Medium

Wow, that was a long title.

Anyhow, I felt like posting this because a while back I was doing some random poking around the internets and found some details of events from the past while in a certain line of comic bookdom that I used to follow and keep up on. A event occurred that amused me in a way, though it had to do with the demise of a loooong-time supporting character from the X-Men, Sean Cassidy (possibly better known as Banshee, though he’s put in a significant proportion of his appearances using just his given name as well). He is pictured below, mocking an inebriated MODOK.

Faith and begorrah, ye cannae hold yuir liquor can ye?

Good man, Irish. Cranium-boy deserves it. Anyhow, on with the observations.

Apparently, a couple years ago (X-men: Deadly Genesis #2), the plucky flying irishman with the sonic powers got himself hit by an airplane and failed his save versus death. That rather sucks, since of their former members that occasinally put in an appearance, Banshee was one of my favorites. That may well be because when Byrne was doing the X-men (which run I got a pretty good look at as a kiddie thanks to the Classic X-Men line), Banshee was a member of the team and a darn fine one at that, and I still remember how he took one for the team when he defeated Moses Magnum by his lonesome but lost his powers as a consequence.

Anyhow, back to Banshee’s death and how it sparked a quirked brow on my part. See, Banshee has a daughter named Siryn who, in the great comic book tradition, has her daddy’s fiery hair, his fiery temper and his sonic powers. When Siryn was informed of her father’s demise in X-Factor #7, she refused to believe it, and she provided a bit of supporting evidence that indicates that this bonny wee lass (if ye call these wee…) has a firm understanding of the literary conventions that the X-men and their allies are living with.

Her evidence can be summed up as follows: He’s an X-man, and, as Loki pointed out in What the..?! #11, "…they’re never really dead."

Color me amused.

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2 Responses to “On Fictional Characters’ Awareness of the Conventions of Their Own Medium”

  1. meta4life Says:

    I’ve often wondered if, after a certain amount of time, those characters don’t possess a certain kind of consciousness, or awareness, of their own. It would sort of permeate the author/illustrator as they were doing the story, likely without their knowing it. After awhile, if the character was paying attention, they couldn’t help but know they were living in a 2d world of imagination…

    Just silly musings on my part. šŸ™‚

  2. uhlrik Says:

    Some comic-book characters (Notably She-Hulk and Deadpool) are aware in-fiction that they are fictional constructs. She-hulk used to have arguments with her writer.

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