*WARNING: Spoiler Alert!*
One of the best ways to shock an audience during an ongoing series is for creators to kill off a main character. In the comics world it’s the ultimate way to sell books, but unfortunately (or fortunately, depending how you look at it) the character’s death doesn’t always last. Either way, these dark and epic moments changed comic history, so here is a list of seven comics that killed our favorite heroes.
1. Death Of Wolverine by Charles Soule and Steve McNiven
The Death Of Wolverine story-arch begins with Wolverine losing his healing factor due to a virus from the microverse. Without one of his most useful powers, Wolverine is finally vulnerable to his enemies and eventually meets his fate. The events of this comic obviously shake up the X-Men, and shows a more emotional side of them we don’t get to see often.
2. The Walking Dead Vol. 17 “Something To Fear” by Robert Kirkman and Charlie Adlard
Readers of The Walking Dead comic had to keep their lips sealed about the brutal death of Glen for a very long time. In a sea of characters getting killed off at an almost George R.R. Martin rate, Glen’s death stood out above all to readers of the comic. The moment itself takes place in issue one hundred, and acts as a definite milestone in the series. Unlike almost every character on this list, we won’t be seeing Glen come back from the dead in some alternate universe.
3. The Death Of Superman by Dan Jurgen, Jerry Ordway and Louise Simonson
The death of The Man Of Steel was a shocker to not only the comic community, but most of the world in 1993. Making major news, copies of Superman Vol. 2 Issue #75 skyrocketed in sales, making fans believe it would be the last appearance of one of the first superheros ever created. The events of this comic impacted the DC Universe all the way up to The New 52, but Superman lived on in the countless other DC titles he’s appeared in.
4. Batman: A Death In The Family by Jim Starlin and Marv Wolfman
In 1989, DC Comics left the fate of the second Robin, Jason Todd, up to the readers’ vote. In this dark and violent mini series, the readers voted to have Jason Todd die in an explosion. What actually happened, was the Joker murdering Robin in one of the most memorable events in Batman history. Fans voted for Robin’s demise by calling a 1-900 number, and votes were extremely close– 5,343 for his death, and 5,271 against it.
5. Watchmen by Alan Moore and Dave Gibbons
Multiple heroes die in the ground-breaking comic series Watchmen, but none were as memorable as the death of the fierce and just Rorschach. His showdown with the god-like Dr. Manhattan is Rorschach’s final statement of his dedication towards the fight between good versus evil. His death is quick, explosive, and honorable, something which was also recreated very well in the film version.
6. Crisis On Infinite Earths by Marv Wolfman and George Perez
The Crisis On Infinite Earths series was one of the most pivotal crossover events in DC History. Not only did it dive into attempting to explain the ever complicated multi-verse, it saw the death of The Flash and Supergirl. Two of the biggest names in comics were taken away, and showed the 1985-86 comics crowd that no character was safe. The events that took place in Crisis went on to shape the entire future DC Comics lineup.
7. The Death Of Captain Marvel by Jim Starlin, Steve Englehart, Doug Moench, and illustrated by Pat Broderick
Most of our favorite heroes that have passed went down in an epic battle against their greatest enemy. The Death Of Captain Marvel, Marvel Comics’ first graphic novel, took a more relatable approach when dealing with the death of a superhero. After many great battles and adventures on alien worlds, Captain Marvel discovers that he has cancer. Even heroes with superpowers are vulnerable to this awful universal disease, making The Death Of Captain Marvel a very engaging read, unlike anything else like it at the time.
Which do you think was the ultimate comic book death?
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