15 Superhero Deaths We Want to See in Movies & TV Shows

Published 8 months ago by , Updated March 16th, 2014 at 6:46 pm,

15 Superhero Deaths We Want in Movies and TV Shows 15 Superhero Deaths We Want to See in Movies & TV Shows

Though it’s more than a little morbid, there’s something elementally satisfying about a well-executed death scene. From the offscreen death of Bambi’s mother to the grotesque bloodbath of the Red Wedding, portrayals of sudden death and dying have provided audiences with a curious mixture of shock, grief, and catharsis. These are often the scenes that stay with viewers long after the projector has stopped spinning.

Superheroes have never been strangers to death (Batman’s first appearance ended with an evildoer getting dropped into a vat of acid, for instance), but it wasn’t until recent decades that caped champions began to get killed off in greater numbers. As the superhero genre doesn’t look to be relinquishing its stranglehold on the box office any time soon, we at Screen Rant have decided to gather up 15 examples of superhero deaths that we want to see in movies and TV.

Disclaimers

Death of Superman Funeral Procession 15 Superhero Deaths We Want to See in Movies & TV Shows

Yes, we know – they got better. In superhero comic books, death has become such a revolving door that the phenomenon of frequent resurrection has been treated by some writers as a running gag. These days, the death of any superhero – from big-name headliners to even one-off supporting characters – is almost always accompanied by the appropriate fandom rolling its eyes and beginning the countdown until the inevitable “Return of [Dead Hero]” story arc.

All this said, the following entries are ones that we at Screen Rant feel could translate well into film or television. Though they were likely later reversed by science or sorcery, each of the scenes could play out powerfully when translated for a wider audience.

Also, keep in mind that this list will contain SPOILERS for many comic book storylines – most of which are more than a decade old. Nonetheless, tread lightly if you truly want to be surprised by the Big Moments in several recent comics and graphic novels.

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TAGS: batman, batman under the red hood, batman vs superman, captain america, fantastic four, hellboy, hitman, son of batman, spider-man, starman, supergirl, superman, the amazing spider-man, the avengers, the flash, the punisher, the wolverine, ultimate spider-man, x-men, x-men days of future past

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  1. Don’t expect Disney Marvel to kill any superheroes off..

    • Other than Cap, since Stan is meant to be making 3 more movies than Evans was contracted for and the shock of killing off a character for people like yourself who don’t think they’d dare to do it is all the more reason to go ahead and pull the trigger.

      I’d also mention the death of Chopper in 2000AD. Sure, he wasn’t a superhero (he was an illegal anti-grav surfing champ that became a menace to Judge Dredd but a popular hero amongst Mega-City One’s citizens) but the shot of him dying just inches from the finish line during particularly brutal race and the other survivors refusing to finish in his honour was memorable.

      • I knew the first response would mention Sebastian Stan, which is an obvious justifiable argument. Being signed on for nine more films (which IMO is insane) is proof that they will either kill CA or retire him off in some way. But as of today, having made eight films to date, Disney Marvel has disappointed in their shock factor. That’s my number one problem with them. They refuse to make drastic moves. I hope they will soon head in a darker direction because this jokey, lighthearted tone every film has had will get old. I’m hoping Age of Ultron will do something shocking.

        • Me too, man. I guess that’s one of many reasons I loved IM3. It came off a goofy team movie and while it was fun in parts, it also had some dark moments that I guess only those who have suffered panic attacks could really recognise and it seemed much darker, with Killian and The Mandarin coming across as much more threatening than a nuclear missile headed for a populated area was in The Avengers.

          Killing someone off instead of just retiring them would be a great way to show mainstream audiences that it’s serious business and not just fun and games in colourful costumes.

          • I agree. My biggest issue is that they have yet to give a story that shows the TRUE consequences of being a superhero in a dangerous and violent world. I’m not saying they need to slaughter Tony Stark or Steve Rodgers, but I’ve always loved the aspect of the ones they loved being in trouble. For instance, although I really liked IM3 (my personal fave of Disney Marvel), it would have left a massive impact on me if they had actually killed Pepper off in this movie. I want them to give us a story that shows that being a superhero isn’t all laughs and giggles!

            • @ Dazz & Big Fudge

              As both RDJ and Evans last film is Avengers 3 which everyone assumes is the Thanos film, what do you think the odds are that Thanos will nuke Cap and IM.

              For those that don’t know just how mad powerful Thanos is it’ll be a good way to demonstrate that.

              Also as the actors contracts are at an end, Shaw as Bucky becomes Cap and using the infinity stones Tony comes back as a younger dude and we get an IM reboot (did that happen in the comics – Tony coming back as a younger bloke??)

              Kinda ticks all the necessary boxes.

            • I agree killing off Pepper Potts would have been a good thing because she has nothing to do with the AVENGERS,right??Potts had only a 10 second cameo in A1 so she serves no purpose at all.

      • except in the comics readers had a chance to relate to bucky Haven’t had enough time in 1 movie to pay to see a movie based on him.

        Human torch they cant kill him off or people will be screaming RACIST.

      • I seriously doubt that, just cause Stan was signed for a 9 picture deal doesn’t mean he has to be in 9 films or marvel wants him to. They clearly are just making sure that they don’t have another RDJ situation, giving everyone a 8-9-10 picture deal. If Evans doesn’t resign they will go the Stan route. Expect Evans to resign though because its essentially his career.

  2. I do wonder if theyll kill Thanos or any of the heroes
    or
    Will they have “disney deaths”

    • Well according to what I read yesterday (whether it’s truth or not, I don’t know), Feige allegedly said that The Avengers had an R rating given to them because they originally had a more graphic shot of Coulson’s death and they had to remove the blood and gore from that scene and use a slightly different shot/angle to get a PG-13 rating.

      • Coulsons “death”

    • If they go the path of Drax killing Thanos, they better give us a bloody and epic scene. THAT would be baller.

    • Another excellent death would be Tyler Dayspring, the on screen death of Tolliver aka Lord Genesis after the Age of Apocalypse.

      Lets remember Genesis had several names and was out to kill Deadpool as Tolliver, to turn Wolverine into his ultimate slave.

      Genesis was always like the insane step son of Apocalypse during the AoA. If Genesis died on screen at the hands of Wolverine and Deadpool that would be awesome beyond belief, leading to an ultimate duel between Wolverine and Deadpool where the audience is left believing neither one is left alive. Then they just bring them back in the new solo movie Deadpool!

    • Disney’s cartoon death can be brutal, remember Tarzan where Clayton accidently hanged himself, Scar getting eaten alive by hyenas, etc.

      • brutal but not graphic……. there is a difference

        • Mufasa getting trampled to death by a stampede

  3. i want to see them kill off Coulson….

    • Me, too.

    • How can you kill off Capt Mar-Vell.. excuse me Coulson.. He is Kree. He will be around for a while.

  4. I’m gonna have to go with none of the above since character kill-offs are cheap heat plain and simple.

    That’s not to say that I don’t like Miles Morales or can’t see the potential in a Superman Death/Return storyline on-screen but comics have relied them as a gimmick too often for too long and I’d rather not have the movies resorting to the same stunts and tactics.

  5. The best possible on-screen death of a superhero of all time was flubbed by director of X-Men the last stand….. So sad

    • So you’re one of the people who wanted to see them completely abandon the themes and tone of the X-Men films in order to literally adapt some cosmic storyline about a magic spacebird flying around mind controlling people? Interesting opinion.

      • ^ This.
        Thank you.

    • The flub was not having Jean Grey’s last word be Scott.

      That would have cemented the Cyclops-Jean Grey relationship and had the added benefit of being a mindscrew to Wolverine.

  6. Without any doubt, Magneto.

    Killed by Apocalypse through Wolverine turning him into a vegetable and after Logan’s adamantium was ripped from his body.

    Charles Xavier and Magneto would make excellent deaths at the hands of Apocalypse in some grisly dystopian future…and then it would be quite awesome to see Apocalypse get sealed away somehow.

  7. Am I the only one who thought Death of Superman was kinda lame? Reading that book I couldn’t help but wonder why the heck Didn’t Superman just knocked him into outerspace or why non of the Jl big guns come to his aid.

    • At the risk of re-starting the MoS argument.

      Superman doesn’t kill and wouldn’t risk all those people smashing through buildings and such like.

      Substitute Doomsday for Michael Shannon and you’ve got a cinematic copy of the Doomsday fight.

      • Oh just in case it’s not clear (and having read it it’s not)

        ^^ not directed at Big Boss, but it was easier to post as a reply instead of having the comment a page and a half from the relevant discussion.

    • How long has it been since you read it?
      Doomsday trashed that eras jla and superman did try to take doomsday into the amtosphere and failed.

  8. @ Big_Boss

    Yeah, you’d think Superman would capture Doomsday within the Phantom Zone as he did in JLU. I bet WB/DC won’t go down that road to killing off someone like Superman, because they have to explain his comeback on film diffently than in comics & shows,etc. I didn’t buy into Bruce Wayne healing after Bane broke him in TDKR.

    • Bane didn’t break his back in TDKR though, he just dislocated his vertebrae, as said explicitly in the dialogue with The Pit’s prisoner when he helped Bruce recover.

      How he got back so fast is my only issue with that movie.

      • Well he’s Batman, traveling from one side of the world to another shouldn’t be that hard for him. Begins showed that he managed pretty ok on his own without any money. Besides if your gonna ask that question might as well ask how the heck the Joker managed to plant bombs on both ferrys and the hosipital that he blew up in the Dark knight. At the end of the day does it really matter how Bruce returned to Gotham so quick? Thats like asking how does he handle his urge to go the bathroom when he’s crimefighting. Does he hold it in, casually asks someone for use of their toilet or does he hightail all the way back to the batcave?

      • not to argue logic in the back recovery, we do need to understand that there was emmense amount of time jumps throughout the film, that are difficult to follow. He had around 3-6 months to recover which is a long time.

    • the way I view it is, that anyone who isn’t a super trained warrior like Faora or Zod, a genius like lex or Brainiac, can be easily put down by superman all by himself.

      • Absolutely, but after killing zod he was distressed and effected by having to do that. Superman isn’t going to put anyone down anymore, hence why he needs a group because he has to tone it down.

  9. Since young kids watch superhero cartoons, I think comic book movies should stay clear of ‘real, dark, and gritty’. I use to love watching “Batman: The Animated Series”. While young kids can handle ‘The Dark Knight’ trilogy, the tone of the second movie should have been toned down. Comic book characters no longer stand for truth, justice, hope, and honor. Batman, Superman, and Green Arrow are also too busy with inner relationship conflicts. I do not know if I am watching ‘Days of Our Lives’ or ‘CSI; Gotham”,

    After the death of Superman fiasco, I completely stopped collecting comics. During that period of time, Spiderman had also been killed off. One of my friends asked, “Do you think Marvel will permanently kill off Spiderman?” I told him it was not good for business. …and, that is true for today. Look at what happened to the X-Men series. As a result of all the character deaths, the writers are trying to patch up the movie series.

    Comic book fans no longer want to have fun.

    Comic books have become too serious for their own good.

    • its not just young kids that watch or read cartoons/comics but adults too. If you look up stuff like comic-con you’ll see it’s mostly just adults that hang around in cosplay. Look at it this way, since the first comic books came out in the early 40s it’s targeted audience had grown up as the decades past, so it’s only natural that the tone of those books matured just a little bit with each new decade.

      • Yeah, if comic books stopped having the kinds of stories that turned you off in the early 90s, the industry would be dead.

        Besides, I have to point out that in 1992, I was watching Batman: The Animated Series and reading 2000AD, Tank Girl and Judge Dredd Megazine as an 8 year old boy, the latter 3 comics having graphic violence and nudity while you were getting angry about Spider-Man’s death in a more child friendly book and was probably older than I was at the time.

        Hell, I still have my Beavis & Butt-Head comics from around then too, with a faux full page ad for X-Men with the commentary “If they’re X-Men, does that mean they used to be dudes?”

        • Is there really no middle ground between, say, “Archie” comics and Tank Girl and Judge Dredd? Does everything have to be “darker, edgier, grittier?” Sometimes I feel that these are becoming substitutes for things like “plot” and “character.” Sure, the comic storyline of The Dark Night and the Watchmen series were legitimate … but is it really necessary for what appears to be every superhero comic book to go this route? One of the things I’ve liked about the new Marvel movies is that they are NOT like The Dark Knight. I don’t want them to go darker, just to try and “compete” with Batman / The Dark Knight … and really, Batman is Batman … Iron Man and Captain America don’t need to be Batman.

          • @SpaceCowboy 1701,

            I agree with everything you said.

          • Well said Spacecowboy 1701, I love what you said and agree. I’m tired of this nonsense of how cbm’s aren’t dark enough just because it worked for one film. Thank you sir.

      • @ Big_Boss,

        I think my peers (adults) have to stop being selfish. While adults do collect comic books, the general demographics is anyone between the ages of 12-25.

        If an adult is making the argument for realism, the only response I can tell them is ot grow up. Comic books are for kids and young adults. Older adults are just going along for sentimental reasons.

        • Marcus, I think we are in the minority … especially in the online community. Although I do think comics can rise above the place of young adult material … I just haven’t seen many that can pull that off on both the art and story levels.

          Considering the number of comic titles out there, particularly for heroes like Spiderman and Batman that have multiple ongoing series, it shouldn’t even be that much of a sacrifice to have a few titles of the Big Heroes that are less skewed to the 40-year-old set … I realize that the whole “Super Hero Squad” line is out there, but that’s almost the opposite problem of skewing too young …

  10. How about the guy who actually stayed dead? Captain Mar-Vell.

    • Thank you Joel, about time someone brought him up. He had a sad death. I was glad to have that graphic novel. Adam warlock died a dozen times too. I’m surprised captain mar-Vell didn’t make the list.

      • He actually was on the first draft of the list. He and another “quiet death” (the Silver Surfer in “Requiem”) were going to get honorable mentions, but were cut for space and not *quite* fitting the theme.

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  12. How is there no mention of Josh Trank, Simon Kinberg and cast possibly have been fired under Human Torch? Section talks as if movie is still happening.

    • Maybe because they denied it ever happened and stated the film is still set for release under Trank, etc in June 2015.

      • Companies deny things all the time. Film Industry is one of the biggest offenders. Just because it is denied does not mean there is not a possibility it did not happened. 20th Century Fox might just not want to deal with it publicly at the moment.

  13. Damian Wayne’s death was just a cheesy way to increase sales figures.
    His death was by no means memorable nor sad. Unlike the death of Jason Todd, who fans still remember decades later.
    Also being killed by a clone is not the same as being killed by the Joker.

    • I personally hated the concept of Damian. I just don’t want Bruce to have a family (well blood family). The “Son of Batman” shouldn’t exist. It was silly and I know my circle of comic fans were all happy to see this punk bite the dust.

  14. Deaths we want to see: I was tempted to say all the writers, directors, and producers that step too far away from comic canon in their movies or rehashed plot-lines, plus those fans who support them, but I am a merciful Goldilocks, so I will simply button my lip in my Divine Mercy.

  15. “Fan favorite Miles Morales”. Really? There’s only 1 spiderman. Not Miles, not Doc Ock. Just Peter.

  16. What do you mean fan favorite? I don’t know anyone who likes Miles Morales.

  17. In November 2013 Ultimate Spiderman sold about 30,000 comics.

    Same month, Superior Spiderman had two issues which each sold 85,000 comics. The Team Up issue that month with Sup. Spiderman sold over 40,000 comics. At total of about 210,000 comics in a month.

    Miles: 30,000
    Peter: 210,000

    http://www.comichron.com/monthlycomicssales/2013/2013-10.html

    Pick any month, Peter Parker is the fan favorite. Comics are a business and the numbers speak for themselves.

    • The point wasn’t that he’s the fan-favorite of the two Spider-Men, the point was that he’s a fan-favorite among comic book characters. Geez louise. Nobody is questioning the popularity of Peter Parker.

  18. She’s not a superhero but can someone (Deadshot, Nessa Al Ghul or Deathstroke) put two in Arrow’s Laurel Lance, actress is ok but the character is REALLY starting to grate.

    She’s always been a bit irritating but now with this woe is me nonsense she’s borderline unbearable.

    Plus Sara is free from the league so she and Olly will no doubt get it on, Laura has no purpose on the show but to get on my nerves.

    A quick double tap and it gives the hero’s some extra motivation….. win win

  19. There was a Death of Spider-man issue in the Macfarlane days of the (just) Spider-Man title that was pretty awesome, where he died saving a plummeting child and couldn’t pull himself up in time. More of an exploration of Peter’s journey into death, it ended up not sticking, though he did get to see Thanos & Lady Death, if I remember correctly, and they sent him back for some reason or other. Still a powerful issue, though.

    • Then again, with Thanos & Spidey owned by different studios, that particular resolution to his death journey is a bit unlikely on-screen.

  20. Wow… this is a really good article. We are super eager to find out how they handle that empty pod in Man of Steel. Goyer himself has mentioned it and the theories from it being the birth of the Amazons to Supergirl are intriguing.. but c’mon… if they aint making a Wonder Woman movie… No way are they adding Supergirl. But it would be cool to really see Supes suffer somehow since he is “invunerable.”

  21. More than a couple of issues. If you count all the crossovers leading up to Doomsday, you’re talking several dozen. DC did it as an animated movie. Very disappointing. Death of Supergirl was what got me back into collecting comic books until they went glossy. Her name would be just Kara – El, not Kara Zor-El. Remember, the family name was just El. Otherwise Supes name would have been Kal Jor-El.

  22. WOW…. no mention of Captain Marvel. Please turn in your comic book cards as you don’t really need them. One of the few that died and stayed dead.

    • I wish that would do captain marvel then later cover his death.

  23. Look the only death that’s needed in comic movies is the death of DC franchise in the movie business all together! WB needs to get out of the way and stop making crappy superhero movies.

  24. There is not one of these scenes I want to see filmed. Not one. ESPECIALLY not the death of Superman. Anyone who bought that comic should be ashamed of themselves. That was an obvious marketing ploy. Who didn’t think Superman was coming back? Death shouldn’t be a joke. The only death in the comics that was worth anything was Jean Grey. Leave her dead and don’t even consider killing off another character for the next 20 years.

    • shes back in the comics its her younger self from the past so characters never really die

  25. The only meaningful death of heroes in the comics was that of The Doom Patrol. They chose to be blown up instead of a small town. Unfortunately, that too has been crapped on over the years.

  26. I really dont think I would want to see any of these except maybe thanos and even then I would rather see captain marvel take him out.
    Some of these were entertaining in comic form but few would be handled well or could be pulled off effectively in film form.

  27. Superhero deaths…..wow. I missed some of those because I quit reading comic books….right after reading the death scene of Captain America. It just seemed so….banal and sadly Kennedy-esque. I have been reading comics a long time (I bought Amazing Fantasy #15 off the rack for cover price)and to have someone who had survived WW 2 and a plethora of super villains including demigods in the modern era fall to a sniper…Just sad. Not dramatic, just stupid. I mean how many times had Steve Rodgers absently swatted sniper’s bullets out of the air with his shield almost like he had Spidey-sense….and suddenly one sniper gets lucky? Come on. Just lazy writing.
    I’m kind of glad I missed a lot of deaths by quitting when I did.