Top 20 Deaths in Comics

Look, superheroes die more often than soap opera characters and come back from the dead twice as often. But there are some truly meaningful and classic deaths in comic books.

Now, this list does contain spoilers for some of the best comics I’ve ever read, so caution is advised. POTENTIAL SPOILERS FOR: Starman, The Vision, Hitman, Ex Machina, Chew, Southern Bastards, Astro City: Confession, and Transformers: More Than Meets The Eye, among others.


20. Phoenix

(X-Men, Marvel Comics)

The question here isn’t “Why is Jean Grey on this list?” It's “Which one of her deaths are we talking about?”

The answer is the first one. The X-Men were on their way home in a space shuttle after some space adventures, and they encountered horrible solar radiation. The cockpit wasn’t shielded, so someone needed to sacrifice herself to pilot the ship down to earth. Jean volunteered, took in a massive amount of radiation, and crashed into the sea. As the other X-Men freaked out, thinking she’d died, a person who looked exactly like Jean - and said she was Jean - exploded from the water, calling herself Phoenix.

She used her Phoenix powers for quite a while before she started experiencing emotional issues. This was made worse when she was temporarily mind-controlled by Mastermind, who turned her into the Black Queen of the Hellfire Club. She broke free of this mind control, went super crazy, and became the Dark Phoenix, devouring a star and killing five million life forms.

She eventually killed herself to keep from ending any more lives.


19. Victor Mancha

(Runaways/The Vision, Marvel Comics)

Tom King and Gabriel Walta’s The Vision is one of the best Marvel comics of the 21st century. It’s short and to the point and haunting and beautiful. I LOVE it.

It gives a heartbreaking send-off to former Runaway Victor Mancha. Mancha was the offspring of the evil robot Ultron, and was destined to become an Avenger under the name Victorious, before he went crazy and killed them all. And Victor knew this was his destiny from the get-go. The kid joined up with the Runaways, and did his best to be a good person, hoping to avoid his evil fate. When The Vision began to act odd and built himself a family in Washington DC, The Avengers sent Mancha in to check up on and surveil the family, speculating that something bad was going on.

After greeting his “brother” The Vision, Mancha set up shop in the house across the street, where Vision’s son Vin caught him. Mancha had been drugging himself with Vibranium for some time, and he lost control. He wound up accidentally killing the boy before The Avengers carted him away to prison. When Vision tracked his brother down, intending to murder him, his wife Virginia intervened and killed Victor first.

His last words? “I will not be Victorious.”