In a Little More Than 2 Years, Nearly Every Single One of My Favorite Comic Book Characters Has Been Killed
As a longtime comic book reader, I have my personal list of favorite characters. Everybody has one, right? Those characters that you love to read about and see pop up in new comics. For a lot of people, their favorite characters are big name superheroes, like Spider-Man or Batman. For me, I tend to prefer the smaller supporting characters. That’s just what happens when you read a lot of comics and are exposed to a lot of characters.
As such, when I started this blog back in 2011, one of my earliest Lists of Six was my top six favorite comic book characters of all-time. With the exception of one name, that list has remained pretty firm over the past eight years.
In the past two years and a couple months, nearly every character on that list has been killed. Several characters in my Honorable Mentions addendum have been killed. And a couple other characters I love have either been killed or nearly killed within this time frame.
I don’t…I don’t know what’s going on.
I don’t presume to think this is some sort of targeted attack on yours truly. I think this is just the unfortunate cost of loving minor comic book characters, the sorts of characters that can be chewed up and spit out as any given writer sees fit.
But damn, this has been pretty hard on the soul.
And I guess I just felt like listing them off, as if that would help me somehow. Let’s start with my favorite characters list:
Multiple Man was killed in Death of X #1 in October 2016.
He’s still dead. Multiple Man has returned to comics, replaced by one of his duplicates. And his character has been re-written as a feckless coward. So that’s some good salt in the wound.
The Mimic was killed in Extermination #5 in December 2018.
This one was really disappointing. He made a surprise appearance in Extermination after being out of comics for a few years. I knew from the moment he appeared that he probably wouldn’t survive the series, and I had to wait several months for those fears to be confirmed.
Phil Urich was killed in Amazing Spider-Man #797 in March 2018.
Phil was my favorite superhero as a kid, and the first comic I actively started collecting on my own, issue-by-issue. I endured years of him being transformed into an unrepentant villain before they finally put him out of his misery.
Tim Drake was killed in Detective Comics #940 in September 2016.
Thankfully, his death was a fake out. He survived and returned to service shortly thereafter. He’s even gone back to being just “Robin” instead of the far more ridiculous “Red Robin”. So there’s at least one happy ending in this list.
That’s it for my list of favorites. I listed “Robin” on that list as more of the concept of the character. Damian Wayne, the current Robin, is still alive…but if I’m being honest, he hasn’t really been ‘Robin’ in a long time. The concept of ‘Batman and Robin’ as a team is pretty dead. So does that count? Not to mention that Damian was killed in early 2013. So for a short while there, Robin was dead.
The Spot is also still alive, but he’s the one character I would probably take off my list of favorites. I’ve always been a big fan of the Spot, and will always be a big fan of the Spot, but there are characters I like better. Which is probably why he’s still alive.
How about some of those Honorable Mentions at the bottom of the page?
Mach X was killed in Thunderbolts #12 in April 2017.
The Scorpion was maybe killed in Venom Annual #1 in October 2018.
I’m not too sure about this one. It does appear that Venom kills the Scorpion, but then Scorpion has been showing up in the pages of Amazing Spider-Man recently. I may have to check and see if there’s an explanation.
Strong Guy was killed in Uncanny X-Men #12 in February 2019.
This is the most recent, and inspired this list. Strong Guy is Multiple Man’s best friend, and one of my favorite duos in comics. And now they’re both dead, and neither one particularly cares about the other these days. So just bleakness all around.
Avalanche was killed in Uncanny Avengers #1 in October 2012.
That happened a year after I started my blog and he’s still dead. The recent X-Men Gold comic introduced a new Avalanche, but I didn’t read it, and I’m pretty sure the character didn’t stick around. The X-Men have since ignored the new Pyro also, and he joined the X-Men towards the end of that comic. So that’s not looking good.
That’s the major list. Eight of my favorite comic book characters have been killed since I started this blog, most of them within the past two years or so. And only one of them has been properly ‘resurrected’ in that time. It’s just a little soul-crushing.
That’s not counting the time Stingray was nearly killed in a recent Avengers comic. Or the speculation that Simon Baz, my favorite Green Lantern, is probably going to be killed in Heroes in Crisis.
I don’t have any larger point to make. And I’m largely just whining. But c’mon. There’s only so much my soul can take. Is it really so wrong to have favorite comic book characters? Is there somebody specifically targeting me?
When will it stop?
All I really know is that Beta Ray Bill had better be very careful now that he’s a member of the Guardians of the Galaxy. There’s almost no way he’s going to survive that comic.
This is one of those weeks where nothing I read comes out. Sometimes there are weeks where nearly a dozen of my favorite comics come out. And then there are weeks like this one, where barely a handful come out. It’s weird. But hey, less work and expense for me.
I picked up the new issue of Aquaman, which may be my last. And I picked up the first issue of Donny Cates’ new Guardians of the Galaxy out of pure Beta Ray Bill curiosity. I also went back and reviewed Champions #1, as requested. Comic Book of the Week goes to Guardians of the Galaxy #1! Good for it.
Meanwhile, Marvel resurrected Cyclops for real in an annual issue this week. Considering I was a pretty big proponent of my own Cyclops-related conspiracy theory, I might consider doing another rant about how they’ve neutered poor Cyclops again. I’ll think about it.
Quick note: I forgot to attach the cover images to my reviews, and now I’m at work so I can’t. I’ll fix that later.
Comic Reviews: Aquaman #44, Champions #1, Guardians of the Galaxy #1.
Everything is backwards! The Iron Fist TV show came out last week, but the new Iron Fist comic comes out this week. The Power Rangers movie comes out this week, but the new Power Rangers comic came out last week! You’d think people would figure out better synergy.
Light week of reviews this week for reasons that will ever perplex me. Why do all my favorite comics come out in the same week? Still, we’ve got some greats, including Hulk, Detective Comics and the final issue of Prowler!
Comic Book of the Week goes to the final issue of Unworthy Thor because writer Jason Aaron is able to dig even deeper into a character he has so thoroughly mastered.
As for the stuff I mentioned earlier, I enjoyed the Iron Fist TV show, despite its obvious flaws. And loved the Power Rangers movie! It was great! Go see it this weekend!
Comic Reviews: Detective Comics #953, Hulk #4, Iron Fist #1, Prowler #6 and Unworthy Thor #5.
The superhero movie bombardment has begun! This year is going to be bursting at the seams with new superhero movies, and The LEGO Batman Movie has kicked things off with aplomb! It’s a super fun film and a great celebration of Batman! I’m going to put my review into next week’s List of Six, so stay tuned.
Unfortunately, I don’t have any Batman comics to review this week. Granted, about half a dozen different Batman-focused comics came out, but I don’t read them well enough to add them to the review pile. So you’re only getting fun Marvel Comics this week! Including the Comic Book of the Week, Unbeatable Squirrel Girl!
The latest issue of Inhumans vs. X-Men also came out this week, but it was kind of a non-issue. A bunch of stuff happened that will move the story along, sure, but none of it had much thematic or dramatic weight. The story just moved along, but at least Marvel didn’t make any more new blunders to vilify Cyclops.
Comic Reviews: Jessica Jones #5, Ms. Marvel #15, Power Man and Iron Fist #13, Unworthy Thor #4 and Unbeatable Squirrel Girl #17.
The new year is off to a great start! I got a mega dose of new comics this week, and hot damn if they weren’t all high caliber, enjoyable comics! It was like people were writing and drawing specifically for me!
Not only does Harley Quinn get back to roaring action, but we’ve got stellar outings for Nightwing, Hawkeye and Unworthy Thor! Even the first issue of the new U.S. Avengers was a smash! And I caught up with the new Nova! Imagine that.
Comic Book of the Week goes to another first issue: Unstoppable Wasp #1! Marvel is really killing it with the awesome, adorable, kickass female superheroes!
I haven’t reviewed Saga in awhile, even though it’s still an enjoyable comic. I like Saga, but for the past few volumes, it feels like Brian K. Vaughn is spinning his wheels. Am I alone in this? The stories are still fine, and the cliffhangers are as strong as ever, but I feel like the story has become lost in the weeds a bit. Ah well, that’s not going to stop me from reading.
Comic Reviews: Harley Quinn #11, Hawkeye #2, Nightwing #12, Nova #2, Unstoppable Wasp #1, Unworthy Thor #3 and U.S. Avengers #1.