The recent news that DC comics have killed off both Batman and The Joker in the conclusion to the Endgame story arc, came as a great shock to many comic book fans. Writer Scott Snyder swears that the finale, leaving both characters buried under a ton of rubble, seals their fate permanently but hardened fans know that even the usual rules about death and taxes don't apply in comic books. Unless you're Uncle Ben, of course.
While TV and movie fans have had a lot to put up with when writers box themselves into a corner and must bring back a beloved character to halt sliding ratings, at least Bobby Ewing didn't give birth to himself in that infamous shower scene, unlike one of the featured characters in this list. While the need for characters to always exist in some form or other doesn't tally with the dramatic device of having the same characters encounter perils which they may not survive, the writers don't always cover themselves in glory when trying to solve this conundrum.
From the sheer laziness of simply having popular characters wake up in their coffins to realize that they're not quite dead enough, to a much-maligned sidekick being resurrected via the all-time greatest teenage tantrum, we're about to look at some of the dumbest, most inane and, frankly weirdest ways that writers have played God.
10 Steve Rodgers/Captain America
Captain America managed to take on Hitler and the commies and come out unscathed, so his demise at the hands of a sniper's bullet seemed like a massive mis-step in 2007 and provoked much forehead slapping amongst fans of the superhero. For a symbol of American strength, it was a rotten way to go.
9 Alfred J. Pennyworth
Batman's butler has had a few different styles over the years. While he's mainly portrayed as a wise and noble confidante of Bats, he's also had the tendency to be a bit of a hard-a** too. Alfred was never more hard-a** than when he was killed off in an attempt the shake the series up during the mid 60's. He roared into sight on a motorbike, like a Hell's Angel in a bow tie, to push Batman and Robin out of the way of a falling boulder and was crushed to death. Bruce promptly buries Alfred in a refrigerated coffin, hires a new maid and never mentions him again.
8 Barry Allen/The Flash
Barry Allen was a superhero whose primary talent was being able to run really fast. It was this talent which killed him - he prevented the Anti-Monitor from destroying Earth by running really fast around him and becoming pure energy, thus entering a kind of Valhalla for fast people called the Speed Force. However, Barry outran death itself and became the very lightning bolt that gave him his powers in the first place. Ironically for a guy who's all about pace, he chose to use this conversion to pure energy to bring himself back to life after first gestating for 23 years, which isn't very quick under any circumstance.
7 Bucky Barnes (Captain America)
Bucky Barnes replaced Steve Rodgers for a while as Captain America, after that unfortunate business with the sniper's bullet, but Bucky had already been the subject of a resurrection story himself. The character had been a sidekick to Rodgers, only to perish in a plane explosion. Or so everybody thought; he had actually been kidnapped by the Soviets and rebuilt by the KGB, who then turned him into the relentless assassin, the Winter Soldier. How do you explain away the fact that Bucky had forgotten his mentor and best friend? Simple - he was brainwashed for a ridiculous 40 years.
6 The Thing
In a list full of deaths and rebirths that stretch credibility, the resurrection of The Thing in The Fantastic Four series takes some beating. After the rocky giant is possessed by Doctor Doom, he is killed by Reed Richards, who is a scientist and a man you would imagine is grounded in reality. Richards instantly decides that the only way to cure his death problem is by going to Heaven to reclaim his soul. This is probably not the solution many doctors would prescribe. Obviously, a plan this insane works flawlessly and reed and Ben/Thing meet God, who bears a striking resemblance to F4 co-creator, Jack Kirby.
5 Jean Grey
As with many comic book characters, one mere death is not enough for a character as iconic as Jean Grey. The X-Men favorite first died when she guided a spaceship with the other X-Men aboard back to Earth, and perished due to radiation poisoning and was reborn as the Phoenix.
If one rebirth was par for the course in comic book lore, her second was verging on ludicrous. Grey was corrupted by her power and literally murdered a galaxy of billions of people before committing suicide. While daft, at least the conclusion to her storyline brought her an air of dignity and finality.
The Death of Superman story arc in 1992-3, was an impossibly brave and original concept at the time. While many sidekicks and villains had bitten the dust in comic books over the years at that point, never had the finger of death touched a major staple of the industry.
3 Aunt May (Spiderman)
Though her husband is seemingly the only comic book character to stay dead, Aunt May has managed to return from the abyss with seeming ease. Inevitably, it was via a method so stupid it was impossible to take in. Aunt May had died after revealing to Peter Parker that she knew he was Spiderman all along. It was a nice way for a beloved character to bow out, which makes the subsequent reveal all the more baffling.
2 Jason Todd/Robin
Jason Todd was famously the most hated character of his day, with the comic book community voting to have him beaten to death by The Joker and then blown up, just to make sure, in the A Death in the Family arc. He wasn't missed and nobody asked for his return - but return he did.
1 Peter Parker/Spiderman
In easily the most confusing, ridiculous and downright crazy entry on the list, Peter Parker actually becomes a spider-man.
In the Changes story arc, Spidey finds himself targeted by a villainess called The Queen, who was never seen before or since. After beating Spiderman to a halt, The Queen kisses him and turns him into an actual spider through magic (or something equally silly). As if that wasn't enough to make the most bottomed brow furrow, Spidey is also pregnant - with himself. The news of his pregnancy is so much of a shock to Parker that he collapses to the floor, dead as a dodo. After The Queen leaves, Parker emerges from the shell of his dead spider self, reborn. He doesn't stop to question how this is possible and the writing team, who surely wrote this as some sort of dare, sloped off to collect their winnings.
Sources: ign.com, dc.wikia.com
Leave A Comment
Looking for an AD FREE EXPERIENCE on TheRichest?Get Your Free Access Now!