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.
I knew this was coming. From the very moment I found out the Mimic was going to appear in the Extermination comic, I knew his days were numbered. I held on to a little bit of hope that he’d somehow make it all the way to the end, that there was no reason to kill one of my all-time favorite comic book characters…but it was a fool’s hope.
At least he gets to go out like a badass.
That was the ending to Extermination #4, the previous issue from a couple months ago. We were all led to believe that was Young Cyclops…who gets immediately harpooned by Ahab. It was a big cliffhanger.
But in this week’s Extermination #5, we find out that was Mimic…who had somehow found the time to grab Cyclops’ visor off his head, shove Young Cyclops to the side and attack.
That’s not even how Mimic’s powers work. He doesn’t need the visor to use his copied Cyclops powers. They really just wanted that fake out kill to make people think Young Cyclops had been killed instead. But more on Mimic’s powers in a bit.
This has not been a good year for me. They killed Phil Urich. They nearly killed Strong Guy and Stingray. And now the Mimic is dead for no good reason. At least he died a hero.
And to think, all this time, his death was just waiting for us. Like Malcolm Reynolds said, about someone carrying a bullet for you and you don’t even know it. All this time the Young X-Men were around, their removal was going to involve killing the Mimic. Yeah, the original creators that brought them into X-Men comics probably didn’t plan it this way. I’m sure using the Mimic was just a quick fix idea that got thrown into the mix at this late stage. But the future is the future, and this was always going to happen this way.
But you want to know what the worst part is? The part that really sticks in my craw?
The creative team had to willfully ignore everything in this issue that would have normally let him live. Based purely on how his powers work, the Mimic didn’t need to stay dead by the end of the issue.
Mimic copies the powers of people in his proximity. He doesn’t need to touch them, like Rogue, he just has to be near them. He has some measure of control as to who he mimics and when, but it’s otherwise automatic. In fact, this is how he “came back to life” the last time he was “killed” back in the early 1970s. The Mimic automatically copied the powers of a nearby Wolverine and healed the radiation that had killed him.
And wouldn’t you know it, there were three Wolverines in the big fight in Extermination.
Honey Badger, X-23 and Old Man Logan are in the same scene, in close proximity to the Mimic. All he’d have to do is nothing, and his powers would automatically copy any of them and he’d heal the simple chest wound and be fine.
It’s not like Mimic was a major player in Extermination. It’s not like his death was crucial to saving the world or anything. It was a throwaway death so that Marvel could get a fake out cliffhanger in the penultimate issue. There’s absolutely no reason why there couldn’t be a throwaway panel at some point in the issue.
“Oh, hey, Mimic, you’re back?”
“Yeah, I just copied Logan over there and healed. I’m fine, thanks.”
Done and done.
But nah, Marvel decided to keep him dead. Because why not? Where’s the harm?
I’m not particularly bothered. It stinks that he’s dead, but death never sticks in comics anymore. Just this year, we’ve had Jean Grey and Multiple Man come back from the dead. This final issue of Extermination also brings another X-Man back from the dead. And there’s no way they’re going to keep Cable dead after he was killed earlier in Extermination.
So Mimic will be back someday. I just gotta wait for it.
Forgive the all-CAPS shouting in the headline, but what better way to describe this list of characters? This is a list of comic book villains who combine all the powers of a specific super team. I’m not just talking about power mimics or power thieves, either. I’m not talking about your Rogues or your Peter Petrellis or your Synchs or your Absorbency Lads.
These are characters who, for whatever reason, limit themselves to copying the super-powers of just one group.
Maybe they were built by a mad scientist to oppose a specific super team. Maybe they have a magical power and just decided to focus on one group. Maybe they’ve got a super weapon that combines the powers of all the other super weapons in the comic. Whatever the case may be, these guys have one specific power set in their battles against one specific super group. It’s kind of a pigeon-holed role, but everybody needs a gimmick.
So join me after the jump for six comic book characters who possess all the powers of one specific super team! Dazzle in the specificity!
So this is some comic news that will excite all half a dozen fans of The Mimic, myself included. The Mimic will appear in an upcoming storyline of X-Men: Legacy sometime in 2012.
Long thought lost and forgotten after his Dark X-Men appearance, the Mimic’s upcoming issues were announced by X-Men: Legacy writer Christos Gage in an Oct. 16 interview with iFanboy. X-Men: Legacy stars Rogue as a teacher to young mutants, and she has taken Wolverine’s side after X-Men: Schism. Here’s what Gage had to say:
In my second arc, we’ll see Mimic and Weapon Omega show up, and chances are good that at least one of them will be around for a while.
Exciting news! Mimic is one of my all-time favorite comic book characters. He has appeared in comics only a handful of times since his debut in the 1960s. So every little appearance is something to be celebrated. As I said, this news isn’t very interesting to anyone except Mimic fans. And this blog post is for them.
I’m not foolish enough to get my hopes up that Mimic will be the one of them sticking around for awhile.