With so many characters returning from the dead in comics I thought it would be interesting to look at who has remained dead over the last couple of decades. This is the first in a series off such posts.
Rules I’m playing by in this post and any time I revisit this post:
A death still counts if:
· They returned briefly but returned to the grave in such a way that their original cause of death applies, even if they died again in their return;
· A character time travels to the present from a time period before their death, as long as this does not interfere with their death;
· A character appears because they were actually visited in the afterlife;
· In the case of DC’s changing timeline, their status in the current timeline is unconfirmed.
· A clone is distinct from the original.
A death does not count if:
· A character’s adventures take place in the future (and therefore are alive/not yet born in the present);
· A character continues to have an active or semi-active present due to being a vampire, ghost, zombie, or other member of the undead, or due to being “one with the universe”;
· In the case of DC’s changing timeline, a new version of the character who is more or less the modern continuity version of the deceased character has appeared.
· A clone is likely to have the soul of the original.
Finally, in the event that a dead character is revealed to be an imposter, the death still counts for the imposter (barring other circumstances) but not the original.
For now I’m skipping characters who died in their first appearance, even major ones such as Ben Parker, though I may cover such characters in later posts.
1. Captain America (Jeff Mace; patriotic hero originally fighting criminals as the Patriot; after the second Captain America’s death he took over before retiring shortly after World War II; died of cancer). First appearance: Human Torch #4 Spring 1941. Death: Captain America #285 September 1983.
2. Changeling (shape-shifting evil mutant; reforming after being diagnosed with cancer, he posed as Professor X and was killed by Grotesk; briefly revived as zombie but returned to grave). First appearance: X-Men #35 August 1967. Death: X-Men #42 March 1968. X-Men #65 February 1970 revealed that it was he and not Professor X who died in the fight with Grotesk.
3. Doctor Midnight (Elizabeth Chapel; blind heroine who could see in the dark, successor to the original Doctor Mid-Nite; joined a gathering of heroes to fight Eclipso but was killed by him). First appearance: Infinity Inc. #19 October 1985. Death: Eclipso #13 November 1993.
4. Nuke (Albert Gaines, hero with radioactive powers; went mad when he learned his own radiation was killing his parents; Doctor Spectrum encased him in a bubble to contain him, but he burnt up all the oxygen). First appearance: Defenders #112 October 1982. Death: Squadron Supreme #3 November 1985.
5. Sheriff Root (Hugo Root; alcoholic racist police officer; after forced to maim himself by Jesse Custer, he had his son Arseface retrieve his gun belt and then committed suicide). First appearance: Preacher #1 April 1995. Death: Preacher #4 July 1995.
6. Rorschach (Walter Kovacs; crime fighter driven mad after a particularly nasty case; killed to prevent him from exposing a secret that would bring the world closer to World War III).First appearance: Watchmen #1 September 1986. Death: Watchmen #12 October 1987.
7. Steeplejack (Melvin Plumm, criminal successor to an earlier version; attended a meeting at the Bar with No Name to deal with the Scourge of the Underworld, only for the Scourge to kill everyone present). First appearance: Ms. Marvel #14 February 1978. Death: Captain America #320 August 1986.
8. TNT (Thomas N. Thomas; high school chemistry teacher who with student Dan Dunbar is involved in an accident involving radioactive salts, giving them both powers, with Dan becoming Dyna-Mite; though he lived longer in the Pre-Crisis continuity, Post-Crisis he was killed in 1942 by Nazi saboteurs). First appearance: Star-Spangled Comics #7 April 1942. Death: Young All-Stars #1 June 1987.
9. Wing (Wing How; sidekick to the Crimson Avenger; sacrificed his life to stop the Nebula Man). First appearance: Detective Comics #20 October 1938. Death: Justice League of America #100 August 1972 (as mystery deceased hero; identity revealed in Justice League of America #102 October 1972).
10. Writer (Grant Morrison; claimed that Animal-Man was a comic character that he was writing; had the ability to literally rewrite reality; as a member of the Suicide Squad, he had writer’s block and ending up getting killed by a Beastiamorph during the War of the Gods). First appearance: Animal Man #25 July 1990. Death: Suicide Squad #58 October 1991.