Six Classic Comic Book Deaths

It’s over.  Marvel have killed Wolverine; and as the comics resound with the repercussions, I want to briefly look at the lessons Marvel have learned when they’ve killed some pretty major figures before…

Uncle Ben

Let’s start with the classic, from Amazing Fantasy #15!

Uncle Ben is dead

A single moment of selfishness became the defining moment of Peter Parker’s life, as he chose to stand by and let a thief escape.  That same thief was later responsible for killing Peter’s Uncle Ben, and Peter realised the lesson that has always been so central to his career as Spider-Man: with great power comes great responsibility.

So defining is Uncle Ben’s death that Marvel have seemingly never been tempted to resurrect him.  Such an event would destroy everything that makes Spider-Man who he is, and leave the whole series on some very, very shaky foundations…

Lesson: Sometimes death lasts.  And when it does, it can stand at the very centre of a super-hero’s character.
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Wolverine’s End: Not with a bang, but a whimper

Forty years ago, writer Len Wein and artist John Romita, Sr. penned a single issue of Incredible Hulk that would change X-Men history.  They introduced a new character, an opponent for the Hulk known as the Wolverine; in 1975, Wein and artist Dave Cockrum brought Wolverine into the second generation of the X-Men, and the rest was history.

Today… he dies. Continue reading Wolverine’s End: Not with a bang, but a whimper

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