Bonus points: 5 internets to the first person to tell me in the comments what hákarl tastes in their experience. You will also be named Food King/Queen/Czar by me heretoforth.
Deaths provide a solid END to a story arc. Nothing says, “There’s nothing left to see here!” like offing your protagonist. And, in providing a solid end, they also provide the potential for a solid rung newbies can grasp onto as they take up the book for the first time.
But sometimes, in comics the sh*t gets real and a character who gets sent to the big inkpot in the sky doesn’t come back. So, in honor of the universally beloved Agent Coulson (should I have put a spoiler warning in this. Well, um, spoiler!) here is a list of 5 Marvel characters who are about as dead as can be in mainstream continuity …at least for now.
You all knew it was going to be here (Possibly because you saw the picture at the beginning of the article. Well done, detectives!), so let’s just get Spidey’s first love out of the way.
Her death marked the end of an era in comics and proved that superheroes could fail and fail catastrophically. Since Allen Moore’s Watchmen, deadly consequences from super heroics have been a given. But when Gwen bit it in 1973, I can imagine that it must have been more shocking than Frog Thor.
She’s around other universes, but to my knowledge (and correct me in the comments if I’m wrong here), she hasn’t shambled from the dead and back into mainstream Marvel continuity.
I never said that these had to be famous dirt nappers, just ones in the Marvel U. Dinah Soar looks like a stripper and a pterodactyl had a baby and dipped that baby in Pepto Bismol.
Dinah was a member of the cultishly beloved Great Lakes Avengers (Home team for such illustrious heroes as Squirrel Girl, Doorman, and Flatman). Dinah’s from the Savage Land and her voice could only be heard by teammate Mr. Immortal. So, that made it convenient when they fell in love.
She was killed by the villain Maelstrom protecting her lover, and she hasn’t made a fluorescent pink appearance since.
Poor Doctor Druid. First you find your body tossed in a trashcan and next you find yourself all over the interwebs as an example of a crappy Avenger.
DD is like a less powerful Dr. Strange. Like the shadow he lived under, DD was also a real doctor- a psychiatrist. And, like Strange, he was given his powers by a dying lama (Though, the guy couldn’t have been that dying since he eventually also gave Strange his powers too).
The thing is, everyone seemed to know DD’s abilities were a bit of a joke in the scheme of things. So, he pursued more powers and, before you can say, “Bob’s your uncle and you’re not a recyclable!” he was dead in a garbage can.
Jack of Hearts
Even appearing in a book with the mind blowingly awesome title “Deadly Hands of Kung Fu” (Which totally sounds like an inspiration for a lost Tarantino film) couldn’t save this Avenger from the big sleep.
The half-alien Jack had all the standard issue generic superpowers – flight, forceful power blasts, energy absorption. He had the potential to be an interesting character, but found himself on a long list of also-rans on the Avengers (But, at least he and DD can throw a little pity party on this list).
He exploded from a buildup of energy saving Ant-Man’s daughter. He later came back as a zombie, but exploded again. So, that must have been a bad day for him.
We started this list with a famous female and let’s end it that way. Jean Grey has been a founding member of the X-Men, love interest of at least 3 members (Cyclops, Wolverine, and Professor X, at least in the early days of the series), and eventually a perpetrator a such xenocide that even Galactus stood up and went, “Damn!”
Jean’s been resurrected more times than even a devoted X-Men fan can count, and all signs point to this latest (2005) death being temporary. Technically it isn’t even death since she sort of just moved on to a different type of existence.
Once the Phoenix Force was involved, just like with the X-Men movie quality, it was all downhill for her. It just took about 25 years for her to finish going downhill.
This is by no means a comprehensive list. What characters did I horribly misinterpret? What characters do you miss? Who do you think is poised for a comeback from the great beyond?