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Top 10 Biggest Superhero Deaths

VO: Dan Paradis
Script edited by Ryan Hechler. Sometimes superheroes move more comics in death than in life, and just because they are heroes, doesn't mean they are immortal. We're looking at the biggest, most shocking and brutal superhero deaths of all time. For this list, we are strictly reviewing the deaths of superheroes, so non-superhero family and friends, as well as supervillains, will not be considered. Special thanks to our users J.TOhMyGod!!!, TheCardboardClaymore, Gru Szabolcs, Rhyan Vannice and iamnotarobot for suggesting this topic using our Suggestion Tool at WatchMojo.comsuggest.

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Script edited by Ryan Hechler.

Top 10 Biggest Superhero Deaths

The bigger they are, the harder they fall! Welcome to and today we’ll be counting down our picks for the top 10 biggest superhero deaths.

Superheroes have to get used to mortality, as it is not uncommon for their closest family members and friends to bite the bullet, often at the hands of their own nemeses. While fans have seemed to accept this as an inevitable comic trope, readers are quick to tear their hair out when an iconic hero suddenly dies! For this list, we are strictly reviewing the deaths of superheroes, so non-superhero family and friends, as well as super villains, will not be considered. And, for those of you who read comics and might not be all caught up, spoiler alert!

#10: Mar-Vell: The First Captain Marvel

The 1982 death of the first Captain Marvel in the appropriately named series, “The Death of Captain Marvel,” was one of the first major Marvel universe superhero deaths. Captain Marvel died of cancer due to an exposure to the villain Nitro’s toxic nerve gas. Whether this was the intent of his death or not, this comic depicted Marvel superheroes coming to terms with the reality of a superhero succumbing to cancer, something that until that time, was a real-world only threat.

#9: Rorschach

Dr. Manhattan won’t do it. Oh, all right then. This death shocked comic book readers back in 1987, as while everyone knew the series was coming to a close, the tough as nails, incorruptible, Rorschach has to live on right? Nope. When Ozymandias has Dr. Manhattan convinced that the sacrifice of thousands of lives benefits the greater good, Rorschach refuses to back down. While a part of him can’t help but believe that Ozymandias might be right, there can be no compromise with evil, and Dr. Manhattan is forced to kill Rorschach to keep Ozymandias’ plan intact.

#8: Peter Parker: Spider-Man, Twice

What’s worse than seeing your favorite superhero die? Seeing your favorite superhero die twice in the same year! Parker gets it back-to-back in two different universes, Earth 616, the regular Marvel Universe, and the Marvel Ultimate Universe. Back in 2012, Peter Parker of the Marvel Ultimate Universe was shot by the Punisher and died battling the Green Goblin. Then, Earth 616 Spider-Man died when Doctor Octopus switched minds with Spider-Man… and Doc. Ock’s body died, destroying Peter’s consciousness.

#7: Wolverine (“Logan” James Howlett)

Wolverine’s Adamantium skeleton and advanced healing abilities have always protected him. Versions of him have been ripped apart, hand his skeleton torn-out, and even devoured, yet he always pulled though. However, the 2014 series, “Death of Wolverine” put him down for good, supposedly. A virus nullified Wolverine's healing power, during which time Wolverine hunted down the founder of Weapon X, Dr. Abraham Cornelius. During the course of their fight, he was covered in liquid Adamantium and, unable to remove it, suffocated and died.

#6: Charles Xavier: Professor X

Professor X has been killed several times, but his most recent death is, quite the doozy. During the climax of 2012 event “Avengers vs X-Men”, Cyclops has been driven mad by the Phoenix Force, and finds himself at odds with his lifetime mentor and friend, Charles Xavier. At first Professor X tries to reason with Cyclops, and failing that fights Cyclops directly. What exactly happens between the two is unknown, but when the dust settles, Professor X is found dead at Cyclops’ feet.

#5: Barry Allen: The Second Flash

The Flash has long been an iconic DC Universe hero, thus the 1985 death of The Flash’s second persona, Barry Allen, left fans horrified. The Flash died defending mankind and readers were forced to see Barry’s face disintegrate frame-by-frame into nothingness. This was DC’s first major superhero death, perhaps following in the footsteps of Marvel’s previous Captain Marvel death, and has been referenced several times in other adaptations of the character.

#4: Steve Rogers: Captain America

Marvel’s epic 2006 Civil War storyline was tough on several major superheroes. However no one got is quite as bad as Captain America. After surrendering to Tony Stark and turning himself in to face a trial, Cap is gunned down on the steps of the courthouse. Crossbones fires at Captain America with a sniper-rifle and while everyone is distracted, a brainwashed Sharon Carter delivers the killing blow.

#3: Jean Grey

Jean Grey’s dramatic and iconic death occurred in 2005 while Jean was possessed by the Phoenix. After suffering mental manipulation from the villain the Mastermind, Phoenix became deranged and turned into the deadly Dark Phoenix, forcing the Jean Grey Summers that we all love, into entity’s subconscious. Jean psychologically struggled to be released from Dark Phoenix’s metal prison and was eventually able to gain enough physical control to destroy herself and save the universe from the scourge of Dark Phoenix once and for all.

#2: Superman

There was a time when we all thought that the Man of Steel was impervious to death. Then in 1993, DC’s iconic hero died squaring off against the world’s most deadly villain to date, Doomsday. Supermen didn’t go down easy, as he also killed Doomsday in the process. So I guess it’s a stalemate? We gotta hand it to DC, as it did seem like Supes was dead for good. However, The Man of Steel is too big an icon to stay dead, and eventually he returned after having his body regenerated in the Fortress of Solitude.

Before we get to our number one superhero death, let’s review some honorable mentions:


Human Torch

Bucky Barnes


Damien Wayne: The Fifth Robin

#1: Jason Todd: The Second Robin

The death of Jason Todd, the second Boy Wonder, was and still is the most upsetting and brutal superhero death to date. Readers were subjected to some pretty terrifying imagery, as the Joker beat an injured Robin almost to death with a crowbar. Then, as Batman is mere meters away from saving Jason, a bomb goes off, seemingly killing the Boy Wonder. What’s most disturbing about this murder is that it was voted for by Batman fans, with a total of 5,343 for and 5,271 against. Sorry Jason, the fans have spoke.

Do you agree with our list? What are your favorite superhero deaths? For more excellent Top 10s published daily, be sure to subscribe to

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