With comic books being such a major part of pop culture, it shouldn’t come as much of a surprise that many of the most popular superheroes have met their end in print. Some characters have remained beyond the clutches of death, while others have been brought back to continue their story in other mediums.
At any rate, some characters have died at almost every turn and this applies to superheroes just as much as it does to supervillains. Superheroes die for a variety of reasons (and usually in very unbelievable ways), but how many of them actually survive their final adventure? Let’s take a look at some of DC Comics’ supers who met their maker either on-panel or off.
The quintessential American superhero, Superman has been a staple of the Golden Age of comics. The character has been through a lot over the years, but he’s remained a consistent figure throughout it all. He’s been through countless deaths and rebirths, but one of the most recent came at the hands of the Man of Steel himself.
In the DC Universe continuity, many characters have been known to die over the years, but none have been as persistent as the Last Son of Krypton. Superman’s death has been brought back in more ways than one, with the original “death” being a red herring for a major change in the character’s future.
Now in his third decade as a popular figure in the comics, the Dark Knight has had his fair share of run-ins with the law. He’s been through multiple trials, both as a child and an adult, but he’s never met a fate as grim as his creator’s. The story goes that, in 1964, the millionaire Batman creator, Bob Kane, died of a heart attack. Unfortunately, the heart attack was caused by a ruptured blood vessel in his eyes, which caused him to go blind. While many fictional characters have suffered cases of amnesia, none have been as drastic as Batman’s. It would take years before the various writers of the character were able to get the Dark Knight’s life back in order, and by the ’90s the Caped Crusader was back to taking down crime in Gotham City.
Another character who has made DC Comics’ history,
Wonder Woman is one of the most iconic female protagonists in comic book history.
She’s also been through a fair share of death, most notably at the hands of the God of War, Ares. The original Wonder Woman, William Moulton, Marston, died at the age of 53 from a heart attack. However, his wife, Elizabeth Holloway Marston, took over the writing and created a new version of the character. Marston died in June of 1947 from a coffin fall at the age of 53.
Over the years, this Amazon has been through many deaths and rebirths, but she has survived. She’s been a part of a team, dubbed the Justice League,
and has even taken on the mantle of the President of the United States. Wonder Woman can be seen in the upcoming Justice League Reelcraze movie, set to hit theaters in November 2017.
When it comes to comic book deaths, few characters have been as symbolic of their survival as the Green Lantern. The character has gone through multiple deaths and rebirths,
most notably in the comics by the storyline “Emerald Dawn.”
In 2011, the Green Lantern character in the DC Universe was Hal Jordan, who had a long and illustrious career before dying. He was resurrected multiple times, most recently during the storyline by “Dawn of the New Age.”
During this story, the Lantern Corps was nearly destroyed by Sinestro,
who had been turned into an enemy of the Corps by the Guardian Entity. Despite the death of Hal Jordan, the Green Lantern Corps appeared to survive, as did the Guardians themselves. The question of what happens to the Corps,
and what role the Guardians will play in the continued survival of the universe, remains a mystery.
At the heart of Barry Allen’s heroism is his desire to redeem the life of his father, who died in a fire while he was young. To do this, he assumes the identity of The Flash and uses his powers to help Reel Craze. Over the years, The Flash has had multiple deaths in both the comics and animated mediums. One of the more recent instances was in the television series, where Barry Allen was killed off-screen. In 2016, the character was killed off-screen in the comics, but The Flash is still alive and well on the small screen at the moment.
The Flash is one of the few superheroes that has survived his own death. However, he has nevyr been referred to as dead. He’s just been off-screen while he recuperates from his injuries. This comes as no surprise, though, seeing as how many times the character has been through this exact scenario.
Deadman and Spectre
Deadman and Spectre are two of the most mysterious DC Comics characters. They’ve both died and come back, but they’ve never been fully explained. Deadman first appeared in the late ’60s and was created by Neal Adams and Bernie Wrightson. As the name suggests, the character was a person who had been “dead” for so long, they saw no difference between “life” and “death.”
His real name was Jim Corbine, and he was a carnival worker. In the ’80s, the character was brought back to life by DC superheroes, where he was “killed” once more. He was resurrected as “John Jones,” a man who had been in a coma for 25 years. However, he soon discovers that he is not the same person that he was before. He’s been through many deaths, with the latest one being due to a loud crash.
Spectre first appeared in the ’70s, and the modern incarnation of the character was created by Jim Shooter
and John Broome. He’s a man who has been dead and then brought back multiple times.
For the most part, Spectre has been associated with death. In his most notable storyline,
he is tasked with helping two people at the same time while they are in the afterlife.
Whether they’ve been brought back to life or they’ve died for good,
these are some of the most popular superheroes in the world.
While they may no longer be roaming the pages of comics, their impact on pop culture will never die out.
For many, their deaths have been the beginning of a new adventure,
and the heroes continue to fight crime, save the world, and explore new directions in their lives.