There are some pretty frickin’ huge comic book heroes. Death of some of these superheroes is just so shocking and disturbing because they hold a special place in our hearts. We’re pretty darn attached to the heroic actions of them that we always wish to be like one of them. So, when one of our favorite superheroes dies, it hits us right in the feelings.
Let’s break down to the most tragic superhero deaths in comic book history.
12. The Hulk
The Hulk is undoubtedly the strongest Avenger, which is why it was so shocking to see him cut down in 2016’s Civil War II event, and by the weakest Avenger, Hawkeye, no less! Bruce Banner had been depowered at this point but apparently asked Hawkeye to take him out with a special “Hulk-killer” arrow if he ever showed signs of going big and green ever again. When he was confronted by a large group of heroes after a prophetic vision showed him committing mass murder, Bruce Banner got pretty stressed out, and Hawkeye decided to take the shot.
He-Man (aka Prince Adam) was stabbed by Mumm-Ra with the Power Sword, but thankfully, he was able to get out “By The Power Of Greyskull” in time to transform into He-Man and not die. Later, Skeletor ate Mumm-Ra’s ashes, gained the power to use the Power Sword, and when Skeletor says the magic words, “By The Power Of Greyskull!” He-Man becomes just Prince Adam again and dies.
Ant-man aka Scott Lang was an electronics expert until hired by stark international where he stole the Ant-Man suit. He stole the suit to try and save his sick daughter. After this, Ant-Man fought with the Avengers until his death while attempting to stop Jack of Hearts. They both blew up.
Wolverine aka James Howlett or Logan was killed off in a series called “Death of Wolverine” published by Marvel in 2014. The series starts with Wolverine’s healing ability having been stopped by a virus. Instead of accepting help to try and restart it, Logan decides to accept his mortality and move on. Soon a bounty is placed on his head, and he tracks the bounty to Dr. Cornelius. While attempting to defeat Dr. Cornelius, Wolverine gets covered in Adamantium that was being used for experiments on other mutants. Without his healing factor, he dies from the Adamantium hardening around him.
Supergirl aka Kara Zor-El is the cousin of Superman. In the mid-80’s, DC comics had a problem to its continuity. DC confused readers so much with their multi-universe story arcs and several versions of the same character that readership dropped.
To help solve this, they ran a 12-issue series called Crisis on Infinite Earths. The series used basically every DC character ever and killed many of them. The main villain, Anti-Monitor, was destroying the parallel universes where the alternate versions of DC heroes lived. While attempting to save Superman and other members of the Justice League, Anti-Monitor hits Supergirl with so much raw energy that her body cannot handle it and she dies.
7. War Machine
War Machine aka James Rhodes, aka Rhodey was killed during a fight that involved many Avengers vs Thanos. Thanos literally punched him so hard that his War Machine Armor couldn’t protect him. The punch killed him.
6. The Flash
The Flash aka Barry Allen was also involved in the battle of Crisis on Infinite Earths. The Flash goes to great lengths to defeat the Anti-Monitor in the anti-matter planet of Qward. While the destructive villain prepares his cannon to subsume the still surviving earths, the Flash recruits the villain’s Thunderer slaves to rebel against their evil master. Though this is merely a ploy, and the Anti-Monitor quickly subdues the insurrection, the Flash uses this distraction to locate the cannon’s anti-matter energy core. Knowing what must be done, he runs faster than ever before. While he successfully causes the cannon to self-destruct, the Flash’s speed is so immense that he steadily loses the unity of his sentient body and disintegrates into nothingness.
Spider-Man (aka Peter Parker) dies in battle against Doc Ock. Doc Ock who possesses the web-slinger’s mind and then inhabits Spider Man’s body, becoming the new Spider-Man. Doc Ock’s last words to Parker were, “You may be leaving this world, but you are not leaving it to a villain. I swear. I will be Spider-Man.” Parker dies, but Spider-Man lives on, as do the monthly issue sales.
4. Captain America
Published by Marvel in 2007/2008, “The Death of Captain America” was an 18 issue story arc that ends with Captain America’s death. After Civil War (in the COMIC), Captain America is assassinated under orders from Red Skull while in the custody of S.H.I.E.L.D. Before his death, Steve wrote a letter to Tony Stark asking him to watch out for Bucky and make sure Captain America’s legacy lives on. After being shown this letter, Bucky Barnes then takes up the Shield and becomes Captain America.
The death of Batman (aka Bruce Wayne) in Final Crisis brings us perhaps one of the most heart-wrenching images from modern comics: Superman holding the body of Batman. In Final Crisis, Batman, already psychologically abused and tortured by previous encounters with villains, took on Darkseid. Although he shot Darkseid with a radion bullet meant to take down a “new god,” Darkseid survived with just a wound. Darkseid attacked Batman and hit him with his Omega Beams, which seemed to kill Batman instantaneously.
2. Green Arrow
Green Arrow aka Oliver Queen kicks butt and takes names without superpower much like Batman. He uses martial arts, arrows, and technology. Also like Batman, he’s super rich, and his parents died tragically. He also grew up to be a drunken playboy for a while, before turning to a life of vigilante crime fighting. He’s kinda like dude-bro Batman. Green Arrow died in a plane explosion, saving thousands of people from Eden Corps (Eco-Terrorists) in the process.
Perhaps the most shocking death in all of DC Comics history came in 1992 when the company released “The Death of Superman” story arc. Superman went after Doomsday to save the world because that’s what he does, but he soon realized that the villain was nearly indestructible: Doomsday matched him blow for brutal blow. Superman gave his all to the battle, though, and in the end, he took Doomsday down. But Superman paid a dear price for saving the world: the wounds he sustained in the fight were severe and led to his death.