15 Comic Book Characters Who Should've Stayed Dead

Sometimes, death really should be the end. Otherwise, you end up on this list.

If you've been reading comic books for longer than, say, five minutes, then you're familiar with the concept of heroes dying and coming back to life.

The list of people who have bitten the big one and then revealed that it was, in fact, a smaller one than previously believed, is so long that it would actually be faster to list the people who have died and not come back.

Uncle Ben. Gwen Stacy. Jonathan Kent. Thomas and Martha Wayne. Mar-Vell (aka Captain Marvel). Abin Sur. Thunderbird. Thunderstrike.

Notice that there are very few heroes or villains on that list. It's mostly civilians, often ones from superhero origin stories.

It's become such a trope that even people in those fictional universes have noticed. The Daily Bugle's obituary writer, Dilbert Trilby, has complained on more than one occasion about all the retractions he's written over the years!

Ock Files

Although some deaths are heartrending moments that lead to big emotional arcs for the characters, that's increasingly rare. Instead, we expect deaths as part of the yearly big crossover stories, and we expect them to be reversed or retconned within a year. They simply don't hold the same punch that they used to.

Sometimes, it would've been better if they'd just stayed dead. Fifteen times, to be specific.

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Author, puzzle guy, and lifelong consumer of pop culture. I'm a nerd for wrestling, Star Wars, literature, trivia, and all sorts of other things. Feel free to mock and/or praise me and my scribblings at @glennmandirect on Twitter.