It was oft-stated that the only characters who stayed dead in comic books were Bucky Barnes, Jason Todd and Uncle Ben. That has had to be amended in the past decade in the face of former two's resurrection (as the Winter Soldier and Red Hood respectively), highlighting just how impermanent even the most affecting comic books deaths are. In print, deaths are just major publishing events designed to drum up sales, ready to be quickly reversed in an equally fan-baiting arc the moment readership inevitably dips following the tragic scene itself. Wolverine recently died in a highly publicised arc, but does anybody seriously think Logan won't be back in the yellow and blue by the end of the year? A similar issue with death has been faced by the Marvel Cinematic Universe, albeit with slightly different motives. The fear of diminished returns in the long run is certainly there (kill off Iron Man, lose a billion), but the success of Guardians Of The Galaxy has shown that less-proven properties can become just as big money spinners, with the worry instead becoming about brand recognition. What's the point of having an inter-connected universe if the roster is going to be completely uprooted every couple of years? The series' refusal to up the stakes has become a major sticking point in the past couple of years, criticism that has only been exacerbated by constant fake-outs; Agent Coulson, Nick Fury and Loki have all come back in either convoluted or unexplained fashion, and that's not even touching on all the near-miss teases. Thankfully, it looks like things will be shook up in pretty dramatic ways, with plenty of big heroes set to meet their end between now and the end of Phase 3 in 2019. Here are nine characters you can put money on not be there to celebrate a victory over Thanos.
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