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Top 10 Comic Book Deaths that Pissed You Off

VO: Adrian Sousa WRITTEN BY: Nicholas Miller
Surely there’s gotta be a better way to boost sales than this? Welcome to WatchMojo.com, and today, we’re counting down our picks for the top 10 comic book deaths that pissed you off. For this list, we’ll be looking at the most ill-advised, frustrating and pointless deaths brought to you in comic book panels over the years. We’ll be covering some very recent events, so spoiler warning in advance!
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Surely there’s gotta be a better way to boost sales than this? Welcome to WatchMojo.com, and today, we’re counting down our picks for the top 10 comic book deaths that pissed you off.

For this list, we’ll be looking at the most ill-advised, frustrating and pointless deaths brought to you in comic book panels over the years. We’ll be covering some very recent events, so spoiler warning in advance!

#10: Professor X


Marvel’s big 2012 crossover event saw the company’s two biggest factions come to blows. The conflict between the two groups of heroes arose over how to deal with the impending arrival of the Phoenix Force to Earth. The event culminated in a battle between a Phoenix-empowered Cyclops and his followers against most of the other Marvel heroes, including Professor X. Cyclops would eventually lose control of his anger and his powers, killing Xavier. Too many times have we seen a hero kill their mentor when writers want to take them into darker territory, but this one felt especially egregious. Of course, it doesn’t help that we knew it would eventually be undone.

#9: Lori & Judith Grimes


Is it possible for “The Walking Dead” to go too far? The brutal way they killed Lori Grimes and especially her daughter Judith brought them pretty close to that line, so much so that even the notoriously shock-obsessed TV adaptation avoided the controversial death. During the Governor’s attack on the prison in issue 48 of the acclaimed horror series, Lori is fatally shot while carrying Judith away from the battle. Lori falls on top of her daughter, crushing her to death. We don’t know if it’s possible for things to get any darker than that.

#8: Pantha


When Pantha was offhandedly killed by Superboy-Prime during 2006’s “Infinite Crisis” storyline, it was a sign of just how little DC cared for the character. After serving as a member of the Teen Titans, Pantha joined other former members of the group to help put a stop to Superboy-Prime, only to be unceremoniously killed off in a passing moment for shock value. The panel, somehow both gruesome and comical, shows Pantha’s head being “accidentally” punched off, eventually hitting another hero named Ambush Bug and knocking him out. Perhaps more shockingly though, other than appearing in “Blackest Night,” Pantha has yet to be revived in either of DC’s lineup changes since.

#7: Hawkeye


Though he was resurrected shortly after, Hawkeye’s sacrifice during “Avengers Disassembled” certainly rubbed a lot of fans the wrong way. During a surprise battle against a Kree invasion force (which was actually caused by Scarlet Witch’s lost grip on reality), Hawkeye’s quiver of explosive arrows is hit by a laser blast, igniting them. Apparently, because he didn’t have enough time to grab the quiver from his back, Hawkeye decided to launch himself into the ship, sacrificing himself. Though this may seem like a terrible decision from Hawkeye, at least it was a split second one. Writer Brian Michael Bendis, on the other hand, had plenty of time to realize how cheap this narrative choice was.

#6: Alexandra DeWitt


The comic book industry hasn’t always been as progressive as it could be. Case in point, the death of Alexandra DeWitt. The girlfriend of Green Lantern Kyle Rayner, Alex showed incredible promise as a burgeoning character in the DC universe. That all changed when she was killed off as a plot device less than a year after her introduction. Not only was she killed, but she was brutally stuffed into a refrigerator by a supervillain. Writer Gail Simone would eventually highlight Alex’s death as the prime example of what she called ‘Women in Refrigerators Syndrome,’ highlighting just how absurdly often women characters in comics are killed as a plot device.

#5: Alfred Pennyworth


In a time before continuity or logic became a major issue for comic book fans, writers were pretty much allowed to do whatever they wanted with characters. Take, for instance, this 1964 issue that saw longtime butler and caretaker Alfred Pennyworth crushed by a boulder. After Alfred gets himself kidnapped by the “Tri-State Gang,” Batman and Robin have to go rescue the old-timer. The Dynamic Duo track down his kidnappers and save Alfred, but not before the evildoers escape. Batman and Robin go after them, and in the process, almost get crushed by a trap. Thankfully, Alfred arrived via motorcycle in the knick of time, pushing Bruce and Dick out of the way.

#4: Bruce Banner


“Civil War II” was a mess beginning to end, with heroes acting wildly out-of-character, plot stretching the boundaries of believability, and a slow pace that never led anywhere exciting. One of the least popular aspects of the event series was the way Bruce Banner was killed off. Banner was currently de-powered but trying to get himself Hulked out again. When Captain Marvel’s side of the rising war got wind that Banner might be the cause of death in the future, they confronted him, and Hawkeye used an arrow given to him by Banner himself to kill him. It was a dumb, pointless death that would be undone just a few months later.

#3: Wally West & Roy Harper


In the first issue of writer Tom King’s 2018 event series “Heroes in Crisis,” a number of heroes die in a mass murder. The issue deals with PTSD in relation to superheroes and obviously tries to tie into current world events in a shocking way. When it’s discovered by Superman that Wally West and Roy Harper are among the victims of the massacre, two of the most beloved sidekicks and heroes in the DC universe, it’s supposed to be a shocking gut-punch, but did they also intend to piss readers off? Well, they did, and it’s not the kind of things fans will forget any time soon.

#2: Stephanie Brown


When Stephanie Brown, also known as Spoiler and even Robin for a short time, was injured during a battle with Black Mask, she was taken to Doctor Leslie Thompkins, longtime ally and confidante of Batman. Well, it turns out that was a big mistake because even though Stephanie’s injuries were treatable, it was later revealed that Dr. Thompkins let her die to teach Bruce Wayne a lesson. That’s right: a longtime ally decided to let a young girl die because she wanted Bruce to stop being Batman. DC later decided to retcon this death out of existence, but we’ll never forget the way this storyline was mishandled.

#1: Half of Ultimate Universe Characters


When Marvel decided it was time to downsize the Ultimate Universe, a huge number of beloved characters had to pay the price. The even bigger problem? It wasn’t handled very well at all. Character after character got the ax in what was almost certainly a mandate from the editorial team. Professor Xavier, Daredevil, Beast, Thor, Wolverine, Doctor Strange, Magneto and many more characters were killed in ridiculously brutal ways, resulting in almost unanimous hatred for the series from fans and critics alike. If there’s one sure thing people can agree in the comics industry, it’s that Ultimatum really pissed them off.
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