The most refreshing thing about the recent Death of Batman storyline was, of course, the crazy good story Grant Morrison wove across months and months of Batman comics. But the second most refreshing thing was that within a few dozen pages of Batman "dying" in Final Crisis, we saw Batmas was actually and okay and doing landscape paintings or some such in a cave at the dawn of humanity.
It wasn't even particularly shocking in 1992 when DC "killed" Superman for a few months, as part of the meta-narrative all along was that the story was more of an exploration of what would happen if Superman died (your mileage will vary on the success of that mission), but we all knew DC wasn't actually killing off Big Blue.
The only deaths that were taken as "permanent" in comics, until a few years ago, were Uncle Ben in Spider-Man, Bucky in Captain America and Jason Todd in Batman comics. Of those, only 1/3rd remain stone-cold chilling beneath the earth. And I guarantee its a matter of time before some "edgy" writer and editor cook up a plan to bring back Uncle Ben, revealing that he didn't really die, but went to Europe where he plotted his revenge against Spider-Man.* Or, if they're really edgy, he'll be resurrected as an undead cyborg thing that terrorizes Peter Parker and becomes a hot, hot property for intellectually challenged comic fans.
But... hey, comic sales are slumping. That "The Punisher is now a Frankenstein monster!" bit didn't pull you out of the hole. Why not kill off both Spider-Man and 1/4 of the Fantastic Four in the same news cycle?
Spider-Man is getting dead, at least in the parallel Ultimate universe. (I so gave up on the Ultimate titles about four years ago.)
And I guess Marvel is going to kill Sue Storm, because, you know, emotional impact, yadda yadda. At least that's what Vegas odds-makers are guessing.
I know I'm DC centric, but one small part of that is that I think DC is often a little quicker to stop running a particular idea into the ground, whereas the Quesada-era Marvel seems to think that you must beat a concept into the ground until someone begs for mercy.**
Word is that Didio and Co. kind of decided the Death of Batman thing was kind of it for them, and Blackest Night certainly indicated that they don't want to go any further with deaths and resurrections. And I hope that's true for a good, long while.
And while its possible the death of Spidey in the Ultimate Line could, in fact, be permanent, scientific polls suggest that absolutely nobody cares. And absolutely nobody believes that any of the FF is actually off the board. (And I'd argue that Marvel handles this stuff a lot more clumsily than DC. I liked the Captain America stuff okay, but.... that return of Cap story was some pretty awkward stuff from Brubaker. It felt far more deus ex machina than Morrison's extended albeit similar plot for Bats).
But: Its done. Its played out. I can't even pretend this could be good anymore.
*because this is exactly what Marvel did with the Green Goblin after he'd been dead a good, long while
**Your shame-centers have to have been surgically removed to approve as many Deadpool titles as I see on the shelves these days, and... really? There's that kind of demand for Thor? I'm not buying it.