So Peter Parker died.   Again.  (The Ultimate universe Peter Parker was killed off not all that long ago.)  And there’s a new character parading around as Spider-Man.  Again.  And the announcement was made in the mainstream media before the comic shops opened. How many characters has Marvel killed off (and almost always brought back) in the last few years?  Peter Parker (twice), Captain America, Human Torch, Professor X, Hawkeye, Scarlet Witch, Wasp… am I missing someone?

Of course, the more recent trend is to send out a press release to the mainstream media and get some stunt sales on the death issue… and make it impossible for the issue not to be spoiled by anyone with a newspaper subscription or Internet access.  Witness Spidey scribe, Dan Slott’s futile tweet on the subject:

Marvel’s David Gabriel made some comments about killing off a character each quarter, back in 2011.  That was supposed to be tongue in cheek, but a trend is a trend.

The real question is: who’s next?

If we had a betting pool, who would you bet on as the next major Marvel hero to get (temporarily) killed off and have the press release go out to the mainstream media?  I expect it would have to be a character who’s been in the movies, so the general public knows who he is (so Black Bolt and Stingray aren’t getting a press release).

[poll id=”1″]


  1. Deadpool _was_ in the Wolverine movie, but that press release won’t fly until after the film is out. ;-)

  2. The poll should be on what’s going to be the next stunt, now that killing characters off isn’t fooling anyone.

    Going gay?


    Pulling an Emerald Twilight?


  3. IronMan … major film series … and the lead character in THE AVENGERS movie.

    Shouldn’t this be a “Dead Pool”? Or in comics’ case, a “Temporary Flatlining Pool”?

  4. Wolvie for sure.

    Iron Man is too popular right now to off just yet, especially not ahead of the next movie. The Hulk movies were never popular or very memorable, so mainstream media probably doesn’t care much. The Daredevil film is a distant memory, and probably only Avengers fangirls care anything about Hawkeye. SO that leaves Wolverine, who was a popular character with a popular actor, was in four movies, and hasn’t died recently.

  5. The Scarlet Witch wasn’t killed. She disappeared after HOUSE OF M, then was depicted in NEW AVENGERS #26 and subsequently as having suppressed her powers, memory, etc. The CHILDREN’S CRUSADE retcon followed.


  6. You forgot that they “killed” both Bucky/Winter Soldier and Thor for a few minutes there, too.

    I voted for Iron Man, though with the sidenote that whoever it is, I know better than to get worked up about it as if it’s some permanent change.

  7. Let’s go through the checklist:
    1. Major Character in an A-list franchise: Wolverine, Iron Man, Hulk and Hawkeye are all on that list. Daredevil is great, but he has never been more than a mid-lister and has never crossed over into the mainstream.
    2. A franchise that whose comics are under-performing relative to their history: Wolverine and the Hulk. The Avengers franchise is riding an all-time high. The X-Men cannot seem to get any traction and The Hulk is all over the place.
    3. A franchise with a respected, long-term creative team in place to claim that they’ve been carefully setting this stunt up for years (YEARS!): Wolverine. Can’t you imagine the Jason Aaron interviews? Can’t you imagine Wolverine, Jr. and Mary Wolverine (i.e. Daken and X-23) battling over Logan’s “legacy”?

    Book it for a slow news cycle shortly after the release of the new movie on DVD.

  8. Oh, and if you include Hulk, you now have to be explicit in saying which one! (Aren’t we about ready for a “Hulk Corps” or “Hulk, Incorporated”?)

  9. Wolverine’s body was possessed by demons, and he went to Hell (or the Marvel version). So he’s out.

    Daredevil already had a replacement.

    What could they do with Iron Man that already hasn’t been done? Replaced, adolescenced, corporate takeover, patents stolen. I know! Arno Stark (from the year 2020) returns! It can even tie in with Doc Ock and the Sinister Six!

  10. There is not enough interest in Daredevil or Hawkeye to make it worth while, and I did not think that it is possible to effectively kill either Wolverine or the Hulk. That leaves the ol’ Iron Head by default as the most likely of these characters to bite the big one, comicbook style that is.
    Besides it would be easy and fun to write a series of stories about other characters inhabiting the iron suit, until tah-dah the resurrection of Tony the Terrific occurs in all it’s splender.

  11. Iron Man has been dead before. He died the first time he put on the War Machine suit, fighting against Justin Hammer. Of course it was later revealed as having been a ruse while he was rewriting his own nervous system that had been fried, but Rhodey and the world didn’t know at the time.

  12. An Iron Man death would be pretty easy, They have done it before where the suit blows up and later it is reveal that Tony was controlling it remotely. Just give me a plotline for him to stay under ground to keep the fake death going for a few months.

  13. It at least makes you wonder what organized religion is like on Earth-616. “Our Savior died and came back to life!” “Yeah, so did Captain America. And HE punched Hitler.”

  14. Wolverine. All 12 books he appears in can mourn him, attend his funeral, followed by a month long “is he dead?” debate with multiple theories. Then half of those books will spend 6 months searching for his killers while the other half search for him. Then the big reveal/reunion.

    Hey, can I get this idea registered? Lol

  15. Does it -really- matter? It’s supposed to be like the “real” Peter won’t be back from the dead in a year or so? Marvel lost any credibility years ago.

  16. I’m more than happy if they killed Iron Man off to put his series out of its misery with Greg Lands drawings.

  17. None are going to die!!! because when they are killed(sic) they come back to life a few months later.

    They couldn’t even let a c-list character like Fantomex stay dead for more than 6 months.

  18. Stephen – cannot we have a vote on the next one? you could do one poll for character and the other for means of death – could be a lot of fun, more than the over the top seriousness that people treat funnybooks with these days.

    I voted for Wolverine killed by a giant beaver.

  19. C-list? Fantomex is a great character! It’s a pity that no one seems to use it outside the old, tired Weapon X Project routine. He was created on the Fantomas/Diabolik mold and could have a GREAT series rooted on that if someone at Marvel thought of following on that instead of always going for the Weapon X thing.

    Seriously, the guy could be the next Deadpool. Get Fred Van Lente on him (Fraction is busy elsewhere…) and I’m sure it will be A-list in no time!

  20. Hey, I’m as big a Darkstar fan as you! Reread the issue, Darkstar was already dead by then, as was everyone who had been possessed by Weapon Whatever. Fantomex only killed her body, she was killed by someone much worse, Grant Morrison!

    Of course, since she is Too Cool To Kill, she ressurected herself later.

    Hey, what about a series with Fantomex and Darkstar? She goes after him to get revenge, they fight and then team up. Move over Uncanny Avengers, the would be Marvel greatest his series!

    Well, probably not. The readers aren’t ready for something as magnificent as thet…

  21. So you decry spoilers, but reveal the spoiler in your first sentence fragment. I had not been spoiled before this.

  22. I know! We can place all of the heroes in a remote locale, and have a giant battle royale…

    What? It’s been done already? At least three times? Oh.

    I KNOW! Wolverine: The Best There Is talked about all the members of the Marvel Universe with healing factors, who all heal in different ways. Let’s have an ongoing series of matches! Wolverine vs. Carnage! Hulk vs. Madcap! Slapstick vs. Deadpool! No one ever dies! We’ll call it “Death MAX”.

  23. Vote seconded for Cyclops. I’m surprised he’s not on this list especially after the events of AvX. He’ll probably be killed by his younger self or the young Jean Grey. Maybe he dies a martyr for the new mutant cause. Also, don’t forget Beast is dying right now.

  24. Actually, ,the next stunt is apparently planned as one of Marvel’s female characters is going to get cancer. At least this one is in support of a charity (I hope).

  25. Steve, I got disappointed with Gallaher when I specifically mentioned him that I’m tired to see noin-american Marvel (and DC!) characters being used as, essentially, crossover canon fodder. He said he would do things differently.

    And on the first story a member dies and is replaced by a disposable lookalike. Meh. He lost me.

  26. The deaths nowadays seem like a device to get somewhere else given that noone believes they’re permanent. Peter Parker’s ‘death’ is more a device to see how someone else handles being Spidey than anything else, while the Torch’s ‘death’ was the catalyst for the FF formation. So none of them really originate as purely for shock value – noone is shocked anymore – not that this will stop Marvel trying to build the drama through a press release…

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