6 of the Most Slept On Deaths In Comics

***The following article contains graphic images***

Let’s get it out the way: yes, we all know death is not the end in comic books. In fact, it’s over-saturated as all fuck if we’re being honest. Much like Melody Maker said in the intro for her review on Ghostface’s album,

[quote_simple]”Another month, another Wu-tang side project” [/quote_simple]

The exact same can be said for death in comics. I mean, look at the list of candidates that died and were considered law to keep dead: Bucky (he died off-panel so his comeback had a loophole), Jason Todd (death by crowbar, back by punches to reality), Barry Allen (sacrificed himself, back by popular demand?), Peter Parker (Dr. Ock switched bodies with him), Captain America (time {read as “Magic”} bullet), and now Wolverine. It’s pretty safe to say that comic-book wise,

“Another major cross over event, another death that will only stick for 2 years”

“Dead” Comic Book Characters Be Like…

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Now there are certain deaths that have stuck or are more defining: Gwen Stacy’s death changed the silver age of comics (literally) by entering a darker time. Bruce Wayne’s parents Thomas and Martha Wayne will always be staples in comic book deaths. However, I think it is time for an update to the list of meaningful deaths, or at least to acknowledge more recent deaths that should be staples of the new age we are in. Anytime there is a list on the most iconic deaths or top deaths in comic books you can guarantee Thomas and Martha Wayne are going to be at the top of the list. I get it. I get it. I know the meaning and what their death signifies, but it really is as I stated before, a new age. (Imagine Dragons’ Radioactive plays in the distance). It’s time to reboot the clock-out sheet. Which is what brings us here today. Now before I get the cyber red dots put on me, let me just say what I am presenting ARE NOT IN ANY PARTICULAR ORDER. I’m just throwing out some deaths and sacrifices of people I think should be on these lists when we’re talking about Top Ten Dead or… well, stayed dead.

Ted Kord (Blue Beettle II) [Countdown to Infinite Crisis / Pre-New 52]
This gonna put me in my feels a bit. Ted Kord was the second Blue Beetle. For those not in the know Ted Kord is the arguably DC’s Peter Parker. The guy is hilarious, but as he was depicted in the CTIC one shot the superhero community (at the time) considered him a second stringer at best. The self deprecation goes so hard in this, Ted is onto something of a conspiracy happening but only his boy Booster Gold backs him up on his belief that there is something amiss in the grand scheme of things. As it turns out Ted was right, he was uncovering how Brother Eye and Omac projects (coughthatbrucewaynecreatedandwasusing) were being used to spy on meta-humans by their long time friend Max Lord. Ted uncovered who was behind this before Batman (whom he asked for helped and was brushed off). When he refuses to join up with Max, (like a fucking real g) his death triggers certain simultaneous events that lead us to the Infinite Crisis. This was a serious hit to the stomach to read as you wanted to believe he’d escape capture but even Ted himself knew he was finished. Ted also represented a lighter time getting snuffed out as everyone would refer to his humor and ability to lighten any situation when making their own jokes.


Guardians of the Universe (Green Lantern vol. 5, #20)
First and foremost, the Guardians of The Galaxy stay fucking up man. They’re basically the old men in congress talking about the abortion policy for the galaxy cause they think being alive for billions of years means they know best. Aside from Ganthet and Sayd who embrace their emotions, the guardians stay enacting shit laws for the universe or the Green Lantern Corps that never goes well. While the Green Lanterns usually have to do collateral damage control post any guardian made decision. The most recent time was when they ignored their emotions (for the 345TH TIME), got straight cold hearted then decided the universe is better off without any feels at all, they had to be stopped. So when the First Lantern (& Third Army) was taken down but re-established the guardians to their feelings leaving them vulnerable, Sinestro got drunk off that Parallax he popped then took measures into his own hands by killing each guardian. I didn’t see that coming. I said they had to be stopped bruh, not merk’d but sheeeeeeeeeeeeit… they had it coming.


The thing about what makes their deaths so pertinent is how he informs Hal Jordan that he already killed the guardians (Ozymandias in Watchmen style). However, it was a lie. Sinestro spared Ganthet (who was brainwashed by the others) and Sayd (who became Larfleez’s guardian in a deal). His “punishment” for them was that they live out their days happy with one another away from all matters involving the corps. The fact that Sinestro killed beings that had been around since damn near the beginning of the universe is one thing but we also see the the antithesis to the guardian’s death with Sinestro granting life to Ganthet & Sayd because as he said, “I know what it’s like to lose it all”.


Rio Morales (Ultimate Comics Spider-Man #20)
Rio Morales deserves the MVP mom of the millennium. No lie. When Ultimate Venom II was out in the streets hounding Mile Morales’ father thinking he was Spider-Man. Then showed up at the hospital Morales Senior was taken to. Miles came in to defend him, meanwhile there was Rio Morales with a front row seat. Oh, but she ain’t stay idle. When Venom was getting one too many hits in, she picked up a glock and emptied the clip into Venom. She somehow knew Miles was Spider-Man, the question as to how will never get answered as a stray bullet from NYPD unloading on Venom tagged her. Miles had beaten the bad guy and thought he got his mother out of danger but chance was the deciding factor. To me her death will become on par with Thomas & Martha Wayne for the new age as we watch Miles grow up.

We all predicted something happening to his Uncle (that shit played out crazy) but his moms Bendis? You took his Mom dukes Bendis? You cold as Bobby Drake for that one. In my opinion her death will become more prominent in comics as Miles becomes (even) more of a staple for Marvel. I mean her last words alone dooooe… the way they resonated with her telling her son to keep his secret from his father? That was some new shit to put on the comic game right there.


D. Oswald Heist (Saga #17)
I don’t even know what to say about this dude right here. Heist was the realist to ever write it man. He debuted not giving a fuck and he went out without snitching. When Alana and Marko came with their baby Hazel praising Heist for his novel, Heist saw that they got the actual message of his book “A Night Time Smoke“. Whereas everyone else wrote it off as trash. Heist doesn’t hesitate to help Marko & Alana but more surprisingly is how he gets Klara to open up. Klara thought of him as a buffoon but upon him mentioning losing his first wife in the Cartwright war (then his son). We see Heist get the compassionate side out of Klara as he can tell her husband (Barr) must have died recently. The saddest part to see was Heist and Klara’s attraction not getting to bloom. Heist proceeds to find himself being interrogated by Prince Robot IV. Heist kept him at bay as long as he could even suffering a shot to the knee. When Klara jumps in for the save and takes a hit, Heist puts two rounds in Prince Robot and all seems well. Till Gwendolyn kicked open the door and them both not knowing each other with tension running Vin Diesel (fast and furious), Heist caught that blade through his eye (plus his mind’s eye). We were all like “Fuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuck!”


Child Reincarnation of Apocalypse (Uncanny X-Force #4)
This is just straight cold blooded murder music. The set up is simple. Apocalypse was coming back and X-Force had to take the fucker out. However, he was reincarnated as a young child (looked about 8 or 11). The questions then became, “Well, should we raise him to be better? Should we kill him? Do we have the right to—” *bong bong bong*. Yo, Fantomex did what the other members couldn’t. This is on a team with straight killers (mofos that’ll shank you in the yard over a twizzler), Wolverine, Deadpool, Psylocke, Archangel. Wade always been against killing children (shown in his original series) and was chastised by Wolverine calling the group to talk about it. Psylocke was quick to point that Wolverine was actually angry with the situation not Wade. This was a defining moment for the team (and Marvel history to me). X-Men don’t kill. Yeah, we know that, these ain’t ya normal X-Men though. However, the kill squad of the X-Men killing children? This shit is way too much I need a moment.

Granted that Fantomex brought back the reincarnation (via cloning) in order to raise him up proper. I’m counting this as an important death still since it was a clone that came back (who we know today as Evan). Plus the scale of what was done I feel was a well executed look at the old question of, would you kill in order to prevent what could possibly happen? Well we know what Fantomex would do.


Ultimate Peter Parker/ Spider-Man (Ultimate Spider-Man #160)
This is hands down the greatest hero death in comics to me. In my opinion this is the on par with Barry Allen’s sacrifice in 1985 Crisis on Infinite Earths. I know that’s blasphemy to some of y’all, but who was the last hero buried a fucking G like this? Peter took a slug to the side for Captain America. Mind you, Captain America was saying how untrained he was and questioning his ability as a hero. He took a fucking hot one for Steve Rogers.


Parker then had to get up and fight off Electro, Sandman, Vulture, Kraven, and Osborn when they brought the war to his front door. Parker laid cats out in the street with the help of friends and family but the stage was fucking set for the final show down. Mask off with the streets recording him and Norman going at it. It took pile-driving a mack truck onto Norman to put his ass down. The damage was done to Peter but he didn’t leave before telling his Aunt May one last thing…


What makes this death so poignant was the execution. What Parker had to pull through, what he had to endure but the real attention to detail was in the aftermath. It’s always said Spider-Man becomes the best of all the heroes. Captain America said it to him in this universe as well. We saw what happens when there is no guarantee that Parker would live to see that day. The way Bendis had all of New York city mourning his death, J. Jonah Jameson felt afterwards, how Nick Fury felt like Parker was his own son that he had failed, and even the people saved by Spider-Man years prior paying respect. This was a level of honors and impact that sent ripples through the entire Ultimate Universe.


It was said, death in the Ultimate universe would be permanent. We’ve seen other wise as Parker is now back (unsure how still). I wanted to write his passing off but because of the scale to which it was done (even with the return which I feel usually dismisses the initial death) it’s impossible for it to not be a major staple or turn in comics. Miles Morales didn’t even meet Parker when he was alive at the time and was trying desperately to do right by his legacy. This was a genuine death that meant something and came through on all the hype.

However, looking at death in fiction from a different angle. Maybe it can be said that even though we get annoyed with the constant flexibility with which death is treated in comics, we keep reading them because it isn’t that flexible in the reality. I mean, who amongst wouldn’t accept any excuse the universe gave us to see the return of someone we loved or card for? We won’t get that on this side of the panels but it is at times a great thing to be able to welcome back a favorite character inside the panels.

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  • Omar Holmon is a content editor that is here to make .gifs, obscure references, and find the correlation between everything Black and Nerdy.

  • Show Comments

  • Joseph Harris

    Dont want to give any spoilers for those who may not have read it… but the deaths in Frank Millers Batman are pretty underrated. What he does and how he does it, is jarring.

  • Draper

    Not comics, but comic/manga related honorable mentions: Neji and Juriya from Naruto and Wally West in the finale of Young Justice.

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