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.
One of the fun bits of Marvel Cinematic Universe news to come out of New York Comic-Con was that Marvel has commissioned a script for a Dark Avengers movie. That sounds good to me! They’ve got to try new and interesting things in Phase 4, and a team-up movie about a bad guy Avengers sounds as good as anything.
Technically speaking, the Dark Avengers from the comics were a team of villains put together to operate as the real Avengers under the dark reign of Norman Osborn. As far as the public knew, Osborn was a good guy, and the Avengers were the Avengers, even though he had Bullseye posing as Hawkeye, Venom posing as Spider-Man, Moonstone posing as Ms. Marvel and Daken posing as Wolverine, among other notable members like Ares and Sentry. So we’ve got villains posing as classic heroes to the public.
I doubt any of that is going to happen in the MCU. None of those characters are set up and sticking to the comics would make no sense. So if we had to put together a Dark Avengers based on the existing MCU, who should we put on the team? I have some ideas!
Spider-Man: Homecoming was great! Hilarious, energetic, with great characters, swell actors and some awesome superheroic action. It’s very reassuring to have a great Spider-Man move in the Marvel Cinematic Universe. He was wonderful in his introductory cameo in Captain America: Civil War. And I’m quite pleased to say that Marvel has continued that magic with a feature film.
Movie Rating: 9/10 – Great.
I want to go see the movie in theaters again before it’s gone, though this month is jam-packed with movies. War for the Planet of the Apes, Valerian and the City of a Thousand Planets, The Big Sick, Dunkirk; it’s a great month for movies! But I’ll try to squeeze in a bit more Spider-Man: Homecoming. It was just that damn good and fun.
Join me after the jump for my thoughts/review of Spider-Man: Homecoming! Expect full SPOILERS, so be careful!
Toy Fair is rocking New York City this weekend, with all manner of cool toys and action figures on display. I need to go to Toy Fair some day, but sadly, not today. Thankfully, there Internet is here to show us what we’re missing, and it turns out that I’m probably going to be spending a lot of money on LEGOs this year. Specifically, Spider-Man LEGOs.
More specifically, there’s this bridge playset that features mini-figs of both the Scorpion, one of my favorite Spider-Man villains, and the Scarlet Spider, with whom my entire comics collection is partially indebted. You guys have no idea the depths to which I collect Scarlet Spider merchandise.
The playset itself is pretty awesome. I usually prefer vehicles, but that is a pretty confident looking section of bridge. Plus those characters are too good to pass up. Perhaps I could find them solo for far less money, but at this stage of the game, let’s pretend I’m a millionaire. Scarlet freakin’ Spider as a LEGO, that’s just mind-blowing. That’s the sort of thing my brother and I literally dreamed about as kids.
Check out the rest after the jump!
Ultimate Spider-Man is firing on all cylinders, baby! Last issue was absolutely perfect in its tense dialogue and character study, and this issue is absolutely perfect with its fantastic action and excitement. If I haven’t declared it already, this is the issue where Miles Morales is cemented in my mind as a new and exciting Spider-Man. The pain of Peter Parker’s young, unnecessary death still hurts, but writer Brian Michael Bendis is at the top of his game telling a decidedly Spider-Man story with a new, fascinating protagonist.
Not that I’m saying Miles should replace Peter everywhere, but for a comic in the Ultimate Universe, this is an absolutely fantastic story.
Comic rating: 5/5: Great!
Everything works in this issue. The dialogue, the art, the action, the energy. This is Miles Morales finally getting into a fight that actually lasts more than a single punch. This is Miles being unable to come up with a good quip in the middle of a brawl. This is Miles actually getting smashed around – though he shrugs it all off fairly well. This kid seems untouchable so far. I suppose that’s one complaint I would have: Miles still hasn’t had any trouble being a superhero. I realize it would be horrible to put a kid so young into a good scrape, but not even his costume gets torn. Peter Parker was put through the ringer. Miles seems almost impervious.
And the teaser cliffhanger at the end is absolutely fantastic! Can’t wait for the next issue! Too bad the Ultimate Universe will be starting another stupid crossover soon. Poor Miles.