Top 10 Comic Characters Who Keep Dying
VOICE OVER: Dan Paradis
Written by Derick McDuff
Trust us, they'll be back. Welcome to WatchMojo.com, today we'll be counting down our picks for the top 10 comic characters that die over and over.
For this list, we'll be including retcons, faked deaths, clones, alternate universes and all other kinds of shenanigans. Since we'll be discussing major charter deaths (and resurrections) we're going to put a SPOILER ALERT on this video for comics and other forms of media involving these characters.
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Trust us, they’ll be back. Welcome to WatchMojo.com, today we’ll be counting down our picks for the top 10 comic characters that die over and over.
For this list, we’ll be including retcons, faked deaths, clones, alternate universes and all other kinds of shenanigans. Since we’ll be discussing major charter deaths (and resurrections) we’re going to put a SPOILER ALERT on this video for comics and other forms of media involving these characters.
Every so often Marvel will introduce a storyline where they need to kill off a number of important characters to give the story some emotional weight, and more often than not Hawkeye will end up on the wrong side of the death toll. He’s been killed in many pivotal arcs, but his most notable death came when he sacrificed himself to save his team during “Avengers Disassembled,” but he was eventually resurrected by Scarlet Witch during “House of M,” only to be killed again in that same storyline.
While he is most famous for dying in the aptly named “Death of Superman” storyline, the man of steel has bitten the dust a number of times. Other than the previously mentioned death at the hands of the villainous Doomsday, the most common way to kill Superman has unsurprisingly involved Kryptonite. Bad guys have killed him using that pesky green rock going all the way back to his first death in the late 50s. His other Achilles’ heel has been magic, which has been used to off Superman a number of times, including when he was, no joke, stabbed through the chest with a magic sword by He-Man.
#8: Professor X
Fans of the X-Men films will have seen Charles Xavier’s death both in The Last Stand and Logan, but that hardly scratches the surface of the times he’s died in the comics. As the founder and mentor of the X-Men, Xavier’s death has been used as a catalyst for change in the X-Men and Marvel universe as a whole. His deaths have included a fake out, possession by alien queen and getting killed by his protégé Cyclops who was possessed by the Phoenix force. His most meaningful death likely came when he was accidentally killed by his time traveling son Legion, which initiated the dark alternate timeline known as the Age of Apocalypse.
One of the famous early examples of Spider-man’s death came in Kraven’s Last Hunt, when he was seemingly shot and buried; of course Spider-man was only tranquilized and dug out of his grave in the next issue. In the clone saga a number of clones of Spider-man were killed, with the original Peter Parker even dying twice during the arc. Spider-Man has gone on to be killed by powerful foes like Doctor Doom, Thanos, and Morlun, the last of which attempted to kill every version of Spider-man across all realities. His most emotionally impactful death has to be “The Death of Spider-Man” in the Ultimate universe, where Peter is killed by his nemesis, the Green Goblin, but manages to save Aunt May.
Being the genius that he is, Batman has actually either faked his own death or actually died in order to revive himself a number of times as part of an intricate plan. Of course being a guy with no superpowers he’s also been killed a few times by various super beings. This includes a time when the near omnipotent Darksied seemingly killed him, however Batman had actually been sent back in time, All in all the times he’s died over his almost eighty years of crime fighting are too frequent to list. He even seemingly sacrificed at the conclusion of Christopher Nolan’s trilogy, at least until he showed up in a cafe.
#5: Captain America
Cap is the only character on our list whose own alleged death is a major part of his backstory. When Cap was reintroduced into the comics after a long hiatus, his absence was explained as an assumed death after having gone down in an experimental plane during World War II. Of course he was really in suspended animation, frozen in ice, but has gone on to die, or at least seemingly die, roughly another dozen times over the years. Although he has faked his death on multiple occasions, he has also died during a number of crossover events, most famously during the epilogue of Civil War.
#4: The Flash
Over the years quite a few different super speedy individuals have taken on the mantle of the Flash, and pretty much all of them have died a few times. While the original Flash Jay Garrick has surprisingly managed to avoid death, his successors Barry Allen and Wally West have not been so lucky. Uncle and nephew Allan and West both found ways to tap into the “speed force,” which granted them their incredible speed and other abilities. Many of their deaths have been noble sacrifices to save reality by entering the speed force.
Daredevil’s fiery ex-girlfriend and master assassin Electra Nachios was created by the legendary comic book writer Frank Miller to be a one off character, but her huge popularity led to her becoming more prominent in later story arcs. This ultimately led to a storyline that culminated with the famous panel of her being stabbed through the chest by her own sai. However, she was brought back by the shadowy ninja organization, known as the Hand and was killed and revived in the similar fashion many times.
#2: Ra’s al Ghul
One of the greatest villains in the DC universe and the intellectual equal of The World’s Greatest Detective, this evil mastermind refuses to stay dead. Despite being born roughly six hundred years ago, the head of the League of Assassins remains an intimidating and powerful force of nature. This longevity is thanks to the aptly named Lazarus Pit, which has the effect of reviving the dead. Unsurprisingly Ra’s has appeared and subsequently died in multiple adaptations thanks to his willingness to cheat death.
Before we reveal our top pick here are a few honorable mentions;
#1: Jean Grey
For the Phoenix, death and rebirth is to be expected. The first time Jean died, she became possessed by the powerful cosmic entity known as the Phoenix Force, which brought her back to life, something it’s done again and again. She’s died so many times that sorting through the convoluted history, numerous retcons, fake-outs, and sheer amount times she gotten stabbed by Wolverine, would take hours. Jean’s multiple deaths over the years have become such a constant that it’s even become something of a running joke among comic book fans.