When it comes to comic books, one of the most recurring themes is that of death--well, death and somehow managing to come back from death.
For so many years, death in comics really was the real deal; if a character kicked the bucket, then they would remain dead. That was it, done! These days, it's almost a running joke when it comes to counting the days before a fallen hero or villain is somehow back amongst the living.
The key point in this huge change in the industry is often seen as the famed "Death of Superman" story. There, we saw the unthinkable happen: Superman was killed! That was how it stayed for a year or so before it was revealed that Kal-El had really been having a deep Kryptonian nap. From there, death was now merely seen as a small plot point and one where, all of a sudden, someone came back from. So, as we are today, any hero (or villain!) worth their salt has been killed off at some point. Much like the Man of Steel, every hero who deserved it has similarly been brought back in a whole wide variety of often convoluted ways.
The question is, though, regardless of whether they came back or not, how well do you know the tales behind how these superheroes were killed off?
Who Killed War Machine?
Much like 2006's Civil War story was one of the biggest crossover events to come along in years, so too was 2016's follow-up - the does-exactly-as-it-says-on-the-tin Civil War II. In one of the first major blows of that '16 tale, readers were shocked to see James Rhodes, aka Rhodey, aka War Machine, killed off in the early goings in a way to show the significance of the action and to lay down further divides between Tony Stark and Captain Marvel. Who was it that killed Rhodey, though?
Who Killed Superman?
Arguably the most famous death in all of comic book history is the famed demise of the Man of Steel himself, Superman, in the aptly titled 'Death of Superman' arc. Of course, after a year or so Supes would return to action, but it genuinely seemed as if comics' brightest shining light was really dead for a period of time. In the battle that saw him temporarily 'die', who was fighting with the Last Son of Krypton in 'The Death of Superman'?
Who Killed Iris West?
After her death in 1979, Iris West would remain gone from the comic book landscape until 1985 saw her consciousness placed in a different body way off in the 30th century. A tad odd and far-reaching? Just a little bit. In fact, by the time of her death, Iris West had actually become Iris West Allen, having married Barry Allen, aka The Flash. Which heinous and no-good bad guy was it who killed the Scarlet Speedster's wife back in '79 though?
Who Killed Captain America?
The 2006 Civil War comic book arc was a huge moment in recent comic book history. It famously pitted Captain America and his crew against Iron Man and his followers over the Superhero Registration Act. In the aftermath of that tale, there was a huge fallout, part of which saw Steve Rogers getting shot and killed. Red Skull ordered the hit, Crossbones shot Cap with a sniper rifle, and then who was it that finished the Sentinel of Liberty off from close range?
Who Killed Elektra?
Yes, yes, yes, the story of Elektra's resurrection is a massively popular one amongst Marvel comic book fans. But before she was brought back to life courtesy of The Hand, Elektra Natchios' demise was a true shocker-- one that rocked many longtime Daredevil fans to their core. After all, it seemed as if the Guardian Devil had finally found a semi-kindred spirit in Elektra. When Elektra was infamously and brutally killed off (for the first time, at least!), who was it that carried out the shocking act?
Who Killed Jason Todd?
Of course, Jason Todd was one of those few comic book characters who actually stayed dead. In fact, there was once a saying that the only people who remained dead in comics were Jason, Uncle Ben, Gwen Stacy, and Bucky Barnes. As of now, that list is simply down to just Uncle Ben. Before his resurrection, though, Jason, then the second person to take on the Robin moniker, was beaten to death and blown up - but who was responsible for this?
Who Killed The Hulk?
You thought that the Green Goliath was un-killable? Think again! Just like some of comic books' biggest heroes, The Hulk is somebody who has actually been killed off. In fact, the Engine of Mass Destruction is currently still dead as it stands. Like certain other heroes and villains, The Hulk was a casualty of 2016's Civil War II in what was one of the most shocking moments of that whole story. Who did the unthinkable, though, and managed to finally kill The Hulk?
Who Killed Damian Wayne?
Again, Damian Wayne is another character who is currently strutting around alive and well in the DC comic book world, but it seemed, for a moment of time, that we really had lost this Robin for good. After a so-so start to his career as the Boy Wonder, it took many longtime readers a while to get fully behind Damien - and then it clicked, beautifully! Well, until he was killed in 2013. Which nefarious bad guy was it that took out the cocksure son of Batman, though?
Who Killed Elongated Man?
As Ralph Dibny gets set to become a part of The CW's The Flash for its fourth season, the Elongated Man will be hoping that his small screen adventures will turn out far more successfully than his comic book ones. Right now, Ralph has been dead in the comic book realm since 2007 - bar some ghostly appearances and an ill-fated stint in The New 52. Who was the person responsible for killing Elongated Man back in 2007, though?
Who Killed Nomad?
Way back in 1974, Steve Rogers actually gave up being Captain America. Disgusted at the way the United States government was running things, Rogers decided that he could no longer be the public face and poster child for such a corrupt regime. Instead, he took on the name of Nomad. Fast-forward to 1983 and Jack Monroe would take on the Nomad mantle. Unfortunately for Jack, however, he would be killed off in 2005. Who was it that killed him off, though?
Who Killed The Punisher?
In terms of short stints, the death of Frank Castle is one of the shortest featured in this quiz. Originally shockingly and brutally killed off in October 2009, The Punisher would be brought back to life by Morbius and the Legion of Monsters as quick as November of that year. Still, it takes a pretty big badass to be able to kill the tough-as-nails Frank Castle. So, who was it that managed this impressive feat in October of '09, then?
Who Killed Wonder Woman?
Like many good superheroes, Wonder Woman was another hero actually killed off at one point in time. Now, while a joke is often made over how heroes are always brought back from the grave, what was most laughable about Diana's demise is that it lasted for just 2 issues over the space of 2 months in late 1997. The Amazon would be wounded in battle, fall into a coma, and then ultimately pass away due to her injuries. Who inflicted these injuries on her, though?
Who Killed Copycat?
Recently, Copycat, aka Vanessa Carlysle, has been brought to big screen life by Morena Baccarin alongside Ryan Reynolds in Deadpool. And much like on the silver screen, the comic book Vanessa has long had romantic ties to the Merc with a Mouth. From 2001 until 2014, however, she was totally, totally dead. Ever the helpful sort, Wade would use his healing factor to bring her back in '14, but who was it that caused her brutal death back in 2001?
Who Killed The Martian Manhunter?
DC Comics absolutely loved a good old Crisis and in 2008, they felt the need to give readers yet another one in the shape of Final Crisis. An arc that certainly saw its fair share of chaos, carnage, death and destruction, one of the most notable things to come out of this massive story was the death of J'onn J'onzz, aka the famed Martian Manhunter. However, which villainous sort was it that was responsible for killing off Martian Manhunter here?
Who Killed Bart Allen?
When it comes to the fastest man alive, as far as regular DC comic book lore and logic stands, Bart Allen really IS the fastest man alive. Near-enough every Flash has made that claim at one point in time, but with Bart it really is the case that he's the fastest out of the whole bunch of speedsters. Like so many other Flashes, though, Bart has also been killed off... well, for 2 years, at least. Who was it that beat Bart to death, though?
Who Killed Stephanie Brown?
Stephanie Brown was one of the big casualties of Batman's huge War Games arc of a decade or so ago. Returning to her Spoiler moniker after being teased as the new longtime Robin, poor Stephanie would be brutally tortured and left for dead. In an even bigger shocker, Dr Leslie Thompkins would refuse to save her life as a way of proving a point to Batman that he cannot risk young lives in his war on crime. Who was it that had tortured Stephanie and given her the injuries that would ultimately take her life?
Who Killed Scott Lang?
To some newer comic book readers or casual moviegoers, Scott Lang is largely seen as THE Ant-Man these days. Before him, though, there was the famous Hank Pym, and after Scott came Eric O'Grady. While Lang was brought back to life in 2011, he was shockingly killed off back in 2004's The Avengers #500. The cause of Scott's death was that he was caught in the middle of a huge explosion. Which character was it, though, that caused this life-taking explosion?
Who Killed Charles Xavier?
Where the comic book X-Men and their world are concerned, it's a hugely convoluted, timey-wimey mess at various times over the decades. Alternate timelines, retconning, and the regular resurrection of supposedly dead characters have dogged the X-books for years now. One man at the centre of all of this is, of course, Professor Charles Xavier. Several times, Xavier has died and been brought back, but right now he's apparently "really" dead following the Avengers vs. X-Men story arc. In that arc, who was responsible for killing Professor X?
Who Killed Microchip?
Much like every good hero needs a good villain, so many good heroes also happen to have a pretty damn good sidekick. That was exactly what David Linus "Microchip" Lieberman was to The Punisher for so many years until his bloody demise in 2011's The Punisher: In the Blood. Micro was so often the eyes and ears for Frank Castle, not to mention responsible for many of Frank's extensive weaponry over the decades. So, who was it that offed this longtime sidekick?
Who Killed Hawkman?
When it comes to death, parts of the whole premise of the Hawkman character is that he is constantly reincarnated throughout time. As such, death isn't exactly all that big a deal whenever Carter Hall is killed off. That was until the start of the Blackest Night arc in 2009, for there Carter was murdered by a Black Lantern-infused superhero. By the end of the arc in 2010, he'd be resurrected once more, but which mind-altered hero killed Hawkman in the early moments of Blackest Night?
Who Killed Ryan Choi?
In the DC comic book landscape, Ryan Choi - a protege of Ray Palmer - was the fourth person to take on the mantle of The Atom. Created in 2006, he'd have a decent 4-year run before death came a-knock-knock-knocking on his door. Again, he is someone else who would be kind-of brought back to life when 2010 saw his consciousness revealed to have survived his death. Who was it that was responsible for killing off Choi in 2010, though?
Who Killed Jean DeWolff?
As the 1970s rolled in to the 1980s, the character of Jean DeWolff had become a key player in the Spider-Man books of the day. A NYPD Captain, Jean had been established as to Spidey what Jim Gordon was to Batman. From a casual working understanding, the pair soon became close friends in the never ending battle against crime. And so, it came as a huge shock when DeWolff was killed off in 1985. Who was responsible for this sinister murder, though?
Who Killed Karen Page?
Despite his condition, Matt Murdock has always had an eye for the ladies, so to speak. But out of all of the females who have taken a shine to ol' Hornhead, Karen Page stands out from the pack. Sadly, Karen's story is a tragic one; she eventually became a drug addict and turned to working as a p--n star. She'd then sell Daredevil's secret identity purely to get a fix, which wasn't long before she was killed. Who was it who struck that fatal blow, though?
Who Killed Roy Harper's Daughter?
Poor, poor Roy Harper. When it comes to having rough patches, Roy has had plenty more than most. As Speedy, Arsenal, and Red Arrow, Harper has gone from boy to man, but he's also been a junkie, had his arm chopped off by Prometheus, and then had to go through the horrible reality of finding out that his daughter Lian had been killed as part of a targeted attack on the home cities of several Justice League members. So, who was responsible for the death of young Lian Harper?
Who Killed Superboy?
Following in the footsteps of Superman, Superboy, aka Kon-El, aka Conner Kent, would actually bite the bullet in 2006's Infinite Crisis arc. Much like the Man of Steel, Conner would eventually come back to life, this time being resurrected in 2009. Of course, when Superboy DID die, he went out fighting the good fight and trying to protect the world from ultimate destruction. Who was it that Kon-El did battle with in what would prove to be his final fight before his 2006 death?