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.
Rebirth is upon us! After kicking everything off with that big, debut issue last week, DC has churned out a couple of their Rebirth preview comics this week. They’ll get to the new #1 issues soon enough, but for now, we take a quick peek at Batman, Superman and Green Lanterns. I’m going to try out a couple different Rebirth comics coming up, and I checked out all three of these, to varying degrees of enjoyment.
But that’s not the only big release this week! Marvel delivers the first issue of their new Civil War II crossover! And I couldn’t care less! Jeez louise. I understand the desire to tie into the movie of the same name, but come on! I guess I’ll struggle through it.
Fortunately, this week also saw the release of All-New Wolverine and the new Pink Ranger solo mini-series, both of which were delightful. All-New Wolverine scores Comic Book of the Week once again.
Who knew I would like a Wolverine comic so much once they ditched Wolverine? Though this issue has more Wolverines than a regular comic.
Comic Reviews: All-New Wolverine #9, Batman Rebirth #1, Civil War II #1, Green Lanterns Rebirth #1, Mighty Morphin’ Power Rangers – Pink #1, Punisher #2 and Superman Rebirth #1.
The New 52 is over; long live DC Comics. After more than three years of sticking to their rigid, grim and gritty house style, the second biggest publisher in comics has decided to try something different — and I couldn’t be happier. I quickly soured to the New 52 and have barely hung on all these years later.
When DC rebooted their entire comics lineup in 2011 — including everyone from Superman and Batman to Green Lantern — they decided that the best way to reach fans was with dark, gritty comics aimed at teenage boys and young men. They published 52 comics a month and called the whole event the ‘New 52’. But comic book fans are prone to change, and nowadays we want a variety of different comics and styles, definitely not just grim and gritty. Marvel Comics, the biggest publisher, understands this and routinely beats DC in sales.
So starting in June, DC will abandon their New 52 way of thinking and will start offering new comics with new styles for new audiences. It’s a great plan! But before it’s gone, I wanted to take a look back at 6 things I liked and 6 things I loathed in the New 52. Hopefully DC can learn from this.
I’ve been to several Comic-Cons, but never Toy Fair, the toys and collectibles trade show that’s held…I actually don’t know with what regularity they hold Toy Fair. Anybody? Well it was definitely held this past weekend, and like some kind of dream, it featured a ton of new toys I absolutely want to buy. But knowing the market for really awesome action figures these days, there’s very little chance I’ll ever actually see any of these in my local Wal-Mart. But I can dream.
I mean, check out this awesome Puck action figure!
As fans of my blog know, I have a big ‘Geek Wall’ in my apartment (which the ladies love, I assure you…right, ladies?). And I’m always looking for awesome new action figures to add to the wall. Besides Puck, what about this fantastic Scarlet Spider! As one of the comics I regularly review, I’ve got to buy this Scarlet Spider action figure. It’s now a life mission.
Join me after the jump for more awesome Toy Fair action figures!