Once upon a time, Marvel Comics got the comic book rights to, of all things, 2001: A Space Odyssey. Anyone who’s seen that movie knows it’s, well, an odd choice for any sort of adaptation for younger readers, but it still happened. It was also an ongoing series. Where do you take a story like that once you’ve recounted the story from the movie? This wasn’t Star Wars with the promise of ongoing adventures for the characters. Part of the answer for writer/artist Jack Kirby was to create a new character that would cross over to the main Marvel Universe, namely Machine Man.
That was not the only time a licensed character got into the main universe. That also happened with Bug.
The entire geek portion of the Internet was united recently by the death of Leonard Nimoy. It was enough to get a lot of stupid talk about a dress off my Facebook feed, so even if it wasn’t enough Nimoy was one of the people who led me to science fiction, he has my gratitude for that one final favor.
And while I am a little saddened by the death of a man who I honestly never met, I am also not as shocked as I was by some past deaths. Nimoy’s health has been rather bad for a while now. There’s a reason even when he did some acting work, that it was done to keep his actual appearance to a bare minimum. But there’s something else to consider: Nimoy was 83 years old. As timeless as performances captured on camera can be, Spock got old, and he died. He wasn’t the first, he won’t be the last, and its something we will all do ourselves. What do we do when people we have never met, but have touched us in some way as we became the adults we are, die?