10 Greatest "Dead And I Know It" Comic Book Moments

Because nothing says "dead" quite like seeing your beating heart held up in front of your face.

the flash
DC Comics

The world of comic books is no stranger to death, with that purported ultimate demise having sadly become more of a mere plot point than a finite fate across the decades.

Once Superman up and returned from the grave in 1993 - his 'death' revealed to be a form of deep Kryptonian sleep - all bets were off, and death in comics lost much of its impact.

Even after the return of the Man of Steel, it was regularly stated how nobody in comics remained dead apart from Uncle Ben, Bucky Barnes and Jason Todd. For those of us who once believed that, man, don't we feel like idiots, for both Bucky and Jason would have spectacular returns in the early 2000s.

The point here is that death isn't exactly always a permanent arrangement in comics. Still, that doesn't mean that a character's death cannot be memorable, even if they may end up returning down the line. And for some of those dead characters, they had some pretty darn fantastic moments of realisation, as the brutal penny drops that the Grim Reaper had come a-calling.

Here, then, are ten such characters who had some fantastic "I'm dead and I know it" moments of reality hitting home.

10. Dick Grayson - The Dark Knight Strikes Again

the flash
DC Comics

Looking to recapture the brilliance of Frank Miller's 1986 miniseries The Dark Knight Returns, 2002's The Dark Knight Strikes Again was sadly a lacklustre tale with a relatively dull story, some extremely erratic artwork, and an unwarranted extra 50 pages on its predecessor.

Still, one thing that The Dark Knight Strikes Again did manage to do was surprise readers by having Dick Grayson revealed as the 'big bad' of this three-part tale.

Sure, many long-time Grayson fans were left a tad baffled by Miller's idea to pull off such a twist, but hey, Frank Miller has never exactly been one to care for your feelings. Also, there's the caveat that the events of this world take place on Earth-31.

Dick isn't just the main villain of the piece here, but he's undergone "radical gene therapy" that means he can't die and he can regenerate (this all coming after he was fired by Batman years prior).

While axing off Grayson's head doesn't work, the grizzled Caped Crusader has better luck when he dives at this former Robin and knocks them both towards a pool of lava beneath the Batcave. After Superman swoops in to grab Bats, it's here that this alt-world Dick Grayson realises he's toast.

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