10 Most Tragic Deaths In X-Men History
Death might not always be permanent, but that doesn't mean it's not heart-breaking.
If you read X-Men comics, you’ll quickly learn that the world is a dangerous place: these mutants who have graced the pages Marvel Comics for over 50 years live in a society full of people who are distrustful of them, and even a few who want them all dead. As a result, despite the X-Men being a superhero group just like the Avengers, they don’t get the same gratitude, and their contributions largely go unthanked by the general populace. They continue to fight both human and mutant threats alike and works towards creating a future where they will be accepted for who they are.
Of course, in the battle against evil lives are always lost whether it’s in combat, through an unfortunate accident, or characters sacrificing their life for the greater good, but there always a few that are especially tragic. Sometimes it’s because we close to the character who died, sometimes it’s because we watched a villain redeem themselves right before dying, and sometimes it’s because we watched an ally or loved one die in vain. It can get downright depressing being a member of the mutant community.
Now, I realize that due to the nature of comic books death is rarely a permanent state. A character will get killed off, but they’ll return from the dead due to some weird revival scenario or the “clever” reveal that they never actually died, and because of this, many of the characters on this list eventually returned to life at some point. However, that doesn’t really dilute the impact of the moment.
So, let’s break out those obituaries and take a look at the 10 most tragic deaths in X-Men history.
Honorable Mention: Cyclops (Movie Universe)
Though the main list will concentrate on comic book deaths, it is still important to mention movie Cyclops’ death for several reasons. Story-wise, this was a guy who was forced to watch his girlfriend die while she saved her friends and allies from being killed. He took her death quite hard and his grief consumed him so much that Professor X believed he wasn’t the same man anymore. In his last scene in X-Men: The Last Stand, Cyclops goes back to Alkali Lake to visit the spot where Jean died. Suddenly, he sees her appear before him, and the lovers embrace. However, she starts to take on a monstrous appearance while they kiss, and when Wolverine and Storm go to find him at the lake, all they find of him are his sunglasses. The woman who he loved and grieved for had killed him.
His death is tragic in another way: it further perpetuates how under-used he was in the movies. Despite being the long-running leader of the X-Men, he was reduced to a supporting character in these movies, and overshadowed by the “cooler” Wolverine.
Not only that – for a character who’s so important to the X-Men mythos to be reduced to being killed off-screen, is just plain disrespectful. I’m still holding out hope that he’ll be revived in a future movie, but with the franchise set to be taken over mostly by the new First Class cast, it’s doubtful that will happen.