The world of superhero comics is intimidating to many partly because a lot of the characters have been around for decades, their stories having being told over literally hundreds of comics which would be nigh-on impossible to read in their entirety – and still the comics continue to come out each month! With no end in sight for the iconic characters we know and love, every now and then the writers will throw a curveball at the audience – guess what? (Insert superhero name)’s now dead!

It’s a move the Big 2 – Marvel and DC – have used a lot over the years for many reasons. It reminds us readers of the importance the characters have to us and that we shouldn’t take them for granted that they’ll keep going forever (even though they’ll outlive us all). And of course killing off iconic characters is a stunt that also grabs headlines and sells more comics.

That being said, these are characters that built Marvel and DC into the massive corporations they are today, making millions in revenue not just from the books they publish, but from the assorted merchandise they put their characters on – and then there are the movies! So even if killing off a major character is an exciting moment in a series and gets peoples’ attentions, neither company can really afford to stand behind their decision to kill off any of their biggest characters for long. So before you know it, those dead superheroes are soon back and better than ever, their deaths rendered meaningless as they carry on unchanged.

So what are the most famous (but meaningless) superhero “deaths” ever?

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This article was first posted on May 25, 2013