Comic book characters are always dying and coming back to life. Whomever said “The only certainties in life are death and taxes” clearly didn’t have mutant healing factors and clones in mind when they said it. There are however a scant few comic book characters that have managed to stay dead. In honor of memorial day, here are eight such characters that we salute for having the decency to resist the temptation of resurrection (so far).
From it’s very inception the Ultimate Marvel Universe was a platform to tell stories free from mainstream Marvel continuity. Brian Michael Bendis took that to the extreme when he killed off Peter Parker in The Death Of Spider-man story arc and had Miles Morales take up the mantel of Spider Man. Peter died during a brutal fight with the Green Goblin in which he saved Aunt May for what was probably the thousandth time that week. Nursing home Pete, just a suggestion.
Will he be resurrected? – Most likely not. Bendis made the new Spider-man half Latino, half African American in a laudable effort to bring more diversity to comics. The backlash he would experience over switching back to white bread Peter Parker would be considerable.
Believe it or not, The Shredder in the original Mirage TMNT comics wasn’t quite the adversary that he was in many of the other media versions of the Turtles. Dieing at the end of the very first issue, (at Donetello’s hand, er, staff no less) Shredder wouldn’t make another appearance until several issues later and even then he was actually some weird duplicate created by worms that fed on his dead body and then mutated into an approximation of Oroku Saki. The actual Oroku Saki hasn’t posed a threat to the heroes in a half shell since 1984.
Will he be resurrected? – Not in the original Mirage continuity as they gave all comic rights over to IDW.
Alan Moore’s Watchmen is the pinnacle of comic books as an art form. Much like you wouldn’t expect anyone to attempt to write a sequel to The Great Gatsby, any further adventures in the Watchmen universe would seem blasphemous, especially without Alan Moore’s involvement. That would make the big wigs at DC heathens then because a couple of years ago they went ahead and okay-ed several new Watchmen miniseries without any involvement from Moore whatsoever. Thankfully the books were all prequels so Rorshach’s poignant though totally avoidable death at the hands of Doctor Manhattan remains unsullied.
Will he be resurrected?- Sadly, it’s a distinct possibility. If DC goes on to do post Watchmen stories they could easily have Doctor Manhattan snap his fingers and bring Rorschach back to life.
Everyone knows the story: Thomas and Martha Wayne are walking home with their son Bruce after a movie when a mugger shoots them both dead leaving Bruce alive to sob over their dead bodies. Bruce then grows up to become Batman, the single most popular superhero of all time.
Will they be resurrected?- Resurrecting Batman’s parents would negate Bruce’s very reason for being Batman, so no, the Wayne’s aren’t leaving their coffins anytime soon.
Gwen Stacy was Peter Parker’s first real love, which made it all the more tragic when The Green Goblin tossed her off the side of a bridge. Acting quickly Spider-man managed to catch Gwen mid-fall with his webbing but she died anyway. Did the fall kill her, or did the sudden stop when Spidey snagged her ankle cause her neck to snap? Peter Parker wrestled with this question for years after as The Night Gwen Stacy Died proved to be a defining moment in the Spider-man mythos. Gwen’s death is also widely considered to mark the end of the Silver Age of Comics and the beginning of the Bronze Age.
Will she be resurrected? – Why bother when Marvel can just keep going back and messing with her when she was still alive? Like in Sins Past where Peter finds out she had an affair with the very same Green Goblin that would eventually kill her and the union resulted in secret children. Secret twins, to be more exact. Plus they’ve used the clone angle with Ms. Stacy but the less said about “clones” and “Spider-man” together, the better.
Neil Gaiman’s Sandman much like the previously mentioned Watchmen is more than just a comic, It’s a work of art. Sadly, all works of art are eventually finished and so it was with Sandman which concluded it’s run with issue # 75. Six issues before the end though, the heart of the series, Morpheus met his demise at the hands of the three furies of Greek Mythology, The Morpheus we all knew and loved ceased to be, but the concept of Dream can never truly die and a new Sandman was born from Morpheus’ son Daniel Hall.
Will he be resurrected? – No. Neil Gaiman had it in his contract that Sandman would stop when he did. He has since revisited the character of Morpheus but always in the form of a tale from Dream’s past.
Sure, Batman had to watch his parents die but Spider-man inadvertently caused the death that convinced him to take up crime fighting. Originally only using his powers for personal gain and not caring at all about helping others , Peter Parker let a robber run right past him during a police pursuit. Later that night the very same robber murdered Peter’s Uncle Ben kicking off a tradition of people close to Spider-man getting murdered (see Gwen Stacy ).
Will they resurrect him? With great tragedy comes great superheroes, so no.
At the end of House of M the Scarlet Witch uttered the words “No more mutants” and instantly reduced the mutant population on earth from the millions to roughly 198. No one really noticed though because Wolverine wasn’t one of them.
Will they be resurrected? – Well conveniently almost none of the popular mutants (Wolverine) were affected so no one really cares if they resurrect a bunch of generic mutants.