Superheroes naturally protect the world from extraordinary threats and thus constantly risk their lives. However, comic book fans know that death doesn’t mean much, and the dead hardly ever stay dead. Aside from a few select characters where death has remained permanent, like Uncle Ben and Mar-Vell, characters who die almost always come back.
Some characters died surprisingly often despite their popularity. Other characters have surprisingly low death tolls compared to others. Either way, in a universe where almost everyone has died and comes back to life at least once, the death toll can really start to add up.
ten Death still surrounds Spider-Man
Peter Parker has one of the most tragic lives of any Marvel superhero, and although death often comes for those he loves, he himself has passed away before. It may come as a surprise that Marvel is killing one of its most popular heroes so often, but Spider-Man has died multiple times. In the main comics, Spider-Man has died at least 7 times, though he’s usually brought back right after.
Although the Ultimate Comics were an alternate reality before being merged into the main continuity, Spider-Man’s permanent death in that series was a big deal that led to the introduction of Miles Morales. Counting alternative universes and What if? stories, Spider-Man’s death toll stands at 24.
9 Ben Reilly has been cloned and killed over and over again
Ben Reilly is technically a Peter Parker clone, and he appears to have inherited Spider-Man’s tendency to die. Ben’s first death was another tragedy for Peter and a memorable one for fans. However, Ben Reilly has been resurrected several times by cloning since, only to die several times.
Spider-Man’s “Dead No More: The Clone Conspiracy” might not be the best storyline Spider-Man has ever had, but he saw Ben Reilly return after his first death. Jackal has cloned many of his relatives, including Reilly. Including his first death and Jackal’s cloning experiments, Ben Reilly died 27 times.
8 Captain America dies a lot for such a popular character
It makes sense that Captain America would give his life for the greater good, and he has passed away on several occasions. The most famous example would come from the end of Marvel’s Civil War event, which ended with the assassination of Steve Rogers and the taking over of the torch by Bucky Barnes.
Still, like Spider-Man, it’s a bit of a surprise that a hero like Captain America has died so often. Overall, Captain America has passed away at least 5 times in the main continuity lone. The number jumps to over 10 when counting the alternate universes.
7 The Punisher died and returned as a demon hunter
With the level of danger Frank Castle puts himself in, as well as his recklessness and indifference to his own life on several occasions, it’s no surprise that the Punisher has faced death before. However, what’s surprising for a more grounded street hero like Frank is that he’s died and resurrected multiple times.
In the main universe, the Punisher died only once, only to be resurrected in order to hunt down demons instead of gangsters. However, counting the alternate realities, the Punisher has died more than 10 times.
6 Thor is powerful but he is not immortal
Considering that Thor is significantly more powerful in the comics than in the movies, it’s surprising that Thor has died multiple times. Thor may be a god, and therefore almost invulnerable, but that doesn’t mean he’s immortal.
There were at least 4 events that ended in Thor’s death, at least for a short time before he was brought back to life. Most notably, Thor discovered that he had already died on a previous Ragnarok before the Norse Gods were reincarnated.
5 Wolverine is known to die a lot
Fans know Wolverine has died multiple times, at least 14 times counting alternate timelines. Although he’s known as a character who dies a lot, Wolverine hasn’t died the most. It’s surprising that Wolverine managed to die so many times given his healing factor, and a few times he’s been dead he’s been dead for years.
Perhaps it is because of his healing factor that writers often feel the need to push Wolverine beyond his limits and kill him. At this point, however, it may be more surprising for readers to leave Wolverine alive for a while.
4 Moon Knight was resurrected when he died, but it doesn’t happen often
Marc Spector’s first death was also the first time he had been resurrected by the Egyptian moon goddess Khonshu, becoming Moon Knight. For a character who can resurrect every time he dies, it’s surprising that Moon Knight hasn’t died much.
Moon Knight knows he will be resurrected and is even more reckless at times because of it. Despite his resurrection ability and carelessness about his own life, Moon Knight has only died 3 times.
3 Carol Danvers has only died once since becoming a superhero
Marvel heroes die a lot, even characters who usually don’t die have still experienced death at least a few times. It often seems that the bigger the hero, the more often he dies, although this is not always true. Captain Marvel is one example; Although she was a major hero for decades, Carol Danvers only passed away once, and that was recently.
Captain Marvel: The End tells the story of a future version of Captain Marvel who returns to Earth 50 years in the future. She dies using her powers to rekindle the dying sun that froze the Earth.
2 Phoenix is often killed and reincarnated
No comic book character death list would be complete without mentioning Jean Gray. With a name like Phoenix, it’s no surprise that Jean has died and resurrected multiple times. What is surprising, however, is the number of times Jean has died.
Counting the number of times John has officially died in the pages of a comic book, the number is surprisingly high to 15. Counting the number of times this has happened in the universe but has not been. shown, this number is even higher. Fans of Jean know that while she is one of the characters most likely to die, she probably won’t be dead for very long.
1 Magneto is a special case in Marvel Comics
Often the villains end up dying even more than the heroes. For a major villain like Magneto, who has plenty of enemies in the X-Men and beyond, the surprising thing about Magneto is that he’s not dead yet. Although he had many close calls and was presumed dead on several occasions, Magneto never died in the main universe. However, the same cannot be said of the alternate versions of Magneto’s timeline.
Fans of Marvel’s Ultimate Comics remember the infamous Ultimatum event that saw Magneto go mad with grief over the loss of Scarlet Witch and reverse the Earth’s magnetic poles, resulting in worldwide devastation. Ultimatum is widely regarded as the primary reason the Ultimate Universe came to an end and was hated by fans for the many unnecessary deaths of popular characters, including Magneto himself.
NEXT: Marvel: Villains Who Near Death But Survived
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