By Henry Hanks, @ CNN.com
updated 5:28 PM EDT, Wed March 13, 2013
On television and in comics, "Buffy the Vampire Slayer" has pushed boundaries. "Buffy the Vampire Slayer: Season Nine" dealt with abortion, a rarely discussed topic in comics. Two 2012 issues featured a story in which the slayer decided to terminate a pregnancy.
(CNN) -- We've seen deaths, weddings, dramatic costume changes, surprise hookups and more deaths. And that's just in the past five years or so.
The world of superhero comics has seen a lot of changes recently, with the demise -- and in some cases, resurrection - of Robin, Captain America, Peter Parker, Professor Charles Xavier and the Human Torch. Clark Kent walked out on his job and dated Wonder Woman. There have been revelations that multiple characters were gay, along with a same-sex wedding or two. (There also was a complete reboot in 2011 for DC Comics, which like CNN is owned by Time Warner, and a relaunch of many of Marvel Comics' books in 2012.)
So, what's behind all these headline-grabbing plot twists in comic books these days?
We have asked some of the creators over the years. Scott Snyder, who writes "Batman," including the most recent "Death of the Family" story arc, said he writes stories as if this was his one chance to write about a certain character: "It's not so much to make the books as dramatic as possible or to be shocking, but to try to tell the best story you can that feels organic. It's not been a marching order (from editors)."
When the Human Torch died in a 2010 issue of "Fantastic Four" (only to return a year later), Marvel editor Tom Brevoort spoke to CNN about deaths in comics, "It's very easy to develop cynicism about the stories we tell. The only way to combat and conquer it is to have a story that touches on the humanness of people that has emotional resonance and truth to it. The fact of death is something every human being can relate to. I would argue that a well-told story of a character's demise is not necessarily undone by them coming back later."
We recently spoke with three comic book experts, who gave us their thoughts on this phenomenon:
Why do you think we seem to see more and more of these kinds of stories and changes in comics?
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