Comic Books are no different from other forms of storytelling media like soap operas and anime series. Oftentimes, the death of a character is used to ‘stir the pot’ and keep the fans guessing. Naturally, being that some characters are more integral than others, it makes sense that their deaths would be more impactful.
However, when considering character deaths in the comic book world, one should always remember that creativity is in no shortage here. So in most instances where a significant character finds him or herself succumbing to overwhelming odds and dies, they don’t stay dead for too long.
There have been many instances where a popular character is ‘killed off, only to be written back in by means of some unusual circumstances. Most of the time they were never really dead. However, there have been those standout examples where a notable personality is terminated indefinitely – much like our first example.
The Character of Uncle Ben
For those who might have forgotten him or possibly never even heard of him, Uncle Ben is Peter Parker’s beloved uncle. To date, he is one among a very short list of important comic book characters who haven’t found their way back to an active role in the story.
That said, Uncle Ben’s death, written out of the story in 1962, was the root of Peter Parker’s unwavering morality and gave him the impetus to take up the role of Spiderman.
Yes, that’s right, the Man of Steel. In 1992, D.C Comics caused the biggest pop-culture craze in comic book history when The Death of Superman series’ 75th issue saw Superman dying from his encounter with Doomsday, who also perished due to the injuries he’d sustained during the clash with Superman.
The stunt was so big it even made it to mainstream media reports. Nonetheless, D.C.’s creative team wrote our hero back in with The Reign of Superman.
Another character from the D.C universe. Barry Allen was the original Flash. After ushering in the ‘Silver Age’, his death in 1985 steered us into the Post Crisis DC universe.
Right in the wake of Supergirl’s demise, The Flash was obliterated by anti-matter during a selfless act that saved a multitude of planets from the Anti-Monitor. A sacrifice that not only added weight to Crisis on Infinite Earths but also had other notable effects. The most notable of them was the rise of Wally West as the Flash.
The Death of Captain Marvel, which was published in 1982, was one of the most impactful and captivating character deaths in the history of the genre. This is because it struck very close to home.
It was and still is, somewhat unimaginable that the same superhero who survived a brush with the Hulk, has had extraterrestrial expeditions, and gone into battle in the Dark Dimension would surrender to cancer – an illness that preys on mortal beings.
The Character of Bucky Barnes
Bucky Barns makes our list because he met his end sometime in the closing moments of World War 2
– as per Captain America’s flashbacks – and remained deceased for many years.
However, that was until writer, Ed Brubaker found a way to bring him back. Doing quite a good job of it too, Bucky has grown into an integral part of the Marvel Cinematic Universe – a true comeback kid.