Superheroes and supervillains, civilians and crooks, sooner or later, we've all gotta go. But seeing as Comic Con is upon us and seeing as we are FEARnet, we decided to take a look at ten sad, dark, grisly deaths in comics over the years. Sure, these characters may come back two issues later, but in our opinion a good death scene is worth ten resurrections!
from The Amazing Spider-Man, died 1983
Poor Tarantula. A one time crook with a spider outfit and motif, was part of several revolutionary governments. When he was finally ordered by his bosses to kill Spider-Man, he was given a serum to give him powers similar to his quarry. With a bit of bad luck magic from Will o' the Wisp, his transformation turned ugly and he began mutating into a giant tarantula man. Disgusted by what he had become, he jumped off an NYC high rise and pleaded that the cops below shoot and kill him. They obliged, and he was barraged by bullets before splatting to his end on the city street. Even Spidey didn't have a clever one-liner for that one.
from the DC Comics Universe, multiple dates of death ending in 2009
The curse of Solomon Grundy is that he should live and die again and again. We've always had a soft-spot for Grundy here at FEARnet because he started off dead! Introduced in 1944 and riding the wave of horror comics at the time, Grundy may be the first ever zombie villain. Born Cyrus Gold, dead in the late 19th century, and resurrected in Slaughter Swamp, Grundy pestered Batman and Superman throughout his career. He's been strangled with the broken string of Green Arrow's bow. He's been returned to his former human self and shot to death. And finally, after countless other deaths, he donned a black ring in the Blackest Night run of comics, picked on his old pal Bizarro, and got himself flung headfirst into the sun! He was completely incinerated, and we haven't heard from him since!
from Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, died 2001
The Baxter Stockman you remember from the old Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles cartoons was, like a lot of elements of the franchise, remarkably different from their comic book origins. As opposed to being a shrill, mousey, half-fly-half-scientist like he was in the cartoons, the original Stockman was cold, calculating and completely insane. His death is particularly grisly because of its protracted length. After putting his brain inside a robot the mad scientist is quickly destroyed by the turtles. However, unbeknownst to the others, Donatello (the smart turtle, the one who wears purple, follow with us here, folks!) has been keeping the decapitated robot's head in a secret part of their lair. When Donatello realizes that Stockman implanted nanobots in April O'Neil that turned her sterile (yes, for real), he freaks, questions the head he's held prison for all these years, and then blows it up! Darker than you remember, isn't it?
from The Amazing Spider-Man, died 1973
We know, we know. This one's a total bummer. Gwen Stacy, Spider-Man's first big love, dies and it's all Spidey's fault! After a tumultuous battle between Spider-Man and The Green Goblin Gwen Stacy gets dropped from the top of the Brooklyn Bridge. Worst of all, she doesn't die from crashing into the water or from a wound from the goblin. Spider-Man, in his haste to catch her before she falls, webs her and yanks her so fast her neck snaps. This is brutal, just look at that "SNAP" flavor text in the image. WTF.
The New Warriors
from the Marvel Universe, died 2006
This gang of misfit, unlucky superheroes died in one of the most spectacular and gruesome ways in recent comic history. By all accounts a bunch of "b-list" superheroes, The New Warriors attempted to create a reality TV show about their adventures. When they snuck up on a house full of supervillains in Stamford, CT they were outmatched and outnumbered. Finally the villain Nitro used his explosive abilities to create a huge explosion that instantly incinerated most of the group of hapless heroes, as well as a large chunk of a town of civilians and a school of over 300 children. All gone in a poof because The New Warriors wanted good ratings! These events sparked the Civil War story-line and forever changed the landscape of good versus evil.
The Rainbow Raiders
from the DC Universe, died 2010
Who were The Rainbow Raiders, you ask? Don't worry, you're not a newb for not knowing. This group of unknown, minor villains got the short end of the stick both in and out of the Blackest Night series of Green Lantern comics. Unnamed except for their colors (Red through Violet, like a rainbow), the group came along during the time when a bunch of old, dead villains were coming back to life by wearing black rings. In the normal comics they make a few brief appearances and are never heard from again. But, in a "director's cut" version of the run of comics a panel was left out depicting the group committing mass suicide to hopefully join up with the undead baddies. However, because they don't have enough emotional connection and hatred, they don't come back and just stay dead. So not only do these baddies kill themselves for nothing, they don't even get to be in the original comic!
from the Marvel Universe, died 2004
Oh Carnage. You're one of our favorite Marvel villains. You're completely insane and one of the most powerful baddies this side of Magneto. Plus, you use your tendrils to control people, and we love anything that has and uses "tendrils." So you can imagine our dismay when we saw Sentry, a two-bit, brand new, Superman-rip off, snatch you up and kill you! And how did he do it? Why, by flying you up into outer space and ripping you in half! (Thank goodness you came back in 2011)
from, you know, Superman. Died 1993
Ah, the good old "man of steel." He could never die, right? Wrong. In 1993, amidst slagging comic book sales, DC Comics did something kind of remarkable. They beat the living crap out of, and then murdered, the most famous superhero of all time. Bested in a knock down drag out bout with Doomsday, the death of Superman sent shock waves through the comic book community. What makes this death particularly grim is the way he died. It wasn't in a burst of light or crazy explosion, he was punched and kicked and slammed around until dude straight up died. Of course, no duh, he came back a short time later, but the cowlick'd crusader went from January of 1993 to September of 1993 dead. We mean dead dead. And that's a long time for the King of all Superheroes.
from the DC Universe, died 2004
Sue Dibny, principal love interest of The Elongated Man, died under circumstances so mysterious they sparked the entire Identity Crisis mini-series of comics. Found as a charred corpse, the death of Sue created havoc in the DC Universe. After lots of plot twists, friend-vs-friend fighting, and accusations, the mysterious death of Sue Dibny boiled down to a mistake made by a crazy woman. Jean Loring, a superheroic woman with the ability to shrink down to an atomic size, suffered a mental breakdown. In her battered mind she hatched a scheme to bring old lovers back together, which included entering Sue Dibny's brain and causing a minor stroke (nice). Unfortunately, she accidentally caused a major aneurism in the poor girl, killing her. Using a flame thrower (what?) to dispose of the body, Jane set in action a chain of events that had very long lasting effects. Sorry Jean, but you're not allowed to play matchmaker anymore, okay?
from various Batman and Catwoman comics, died 2006
Here's a guy who has "classic comic book villain" written all over him. Dropped on his head as a baby, bit by a rabid raccoon, and eventually struck by lighting and driven mad with humiliation and revenge, Black Mask carved his mask out of the casket of his father (we love it). He played the crime lord role well in Gotham City, but after torturing and threatening the lives of people Catwoman held dear, he pushed it too far. His death was a bloody one. Catwoman shot his jaw off! Guess no one ever clarified to him that it was Batman who never killed a foe, not Catwoman.
Honorable mention goes to a decrepit King Snake being dropped down a crevice by Bane, Kraven the Hunter blowing his brains out once he finally caught Spider-Man, and Captain Marvel dying of cancer. But tell us, what were some of your favorite deaths?