Everyone knows the Avengers are an elite group of heroes. Usually, they spend their time taking on threats to the world like Ultron or Thanos, but on occasion, the threats come from within the group instead of outside of it. When that happens, the infighting can get pretty huge. (See: both Civil Wars on the comic book page or the one that took place on the big screen.) Sometimes, that infighting can go a little too far.
More often than not, the fighting and betrayals end with someone leaving the team or getting taken into custody. In the rare instances that capture or punishment isn’t an option, though, there’s also death. Of course, in even more rare instances, death is the only option, as powers or abilities have been manipulated by a villain on the outside of the group. Whatever the reason for the Avenger-on-Avenger violence, death comes for them all eventually. Check out 15 times one Avenger killed another, and just why events played out the way they did.
15. Scarlet Witch kills Hawkeye (Avengers: Disassembled and House of M)
Scarlet Witch has a long and complicated comic book history. Sometimes she’s a villain, sometimes she’s a hero, and sometimes, she doesn’t take sides at all. In the Avengers: Disassembled and House of M storylines, she was an accidental villain, as she suffered a mental breakdown and ended up taking a few lives from the comic book pages.
Avengers: Disassembled and the subsequent House of M saw Scarlet Witch having the memories of her children erased and then returned to her, making her lose her grip on her powers and her reality as her emotions overtook her control. Not only did she cause the “deaths” of a few Avengers, like Ant-Man and Vision, but she also got Hawkeye killed twice. In one storyline, she led the Kree to Earth, seeing Hawkeye killed by an exploding ship. In another, when reality was bent and she had her children back, she had one of them literally erase him from existence. Hawkeye just could not catch a break, no matter the reality.
14. Hulk kills Tigra (The Last Avengers)
In 1995, Marvel launched a comic book story that saw an elderly Hank Pym trying to save the world after the Avengers had been defeated by Ultron and Kang years earlier. He assembles a new team that consists of Hawkeye (who was blinded in the previous fight), She-Hulk’s daughter, an older Human Torch, and a sometimes X-Man named Cannonball. Why is this ragtag bunch his new team? Because most of the Avengers the former Ant-Man knew were killed during the initial conflict, when the team was betrayed.
The turncoat was none other than the Hulk whose betrayal was revealed to the rest of the team in the midst of a fight. While all of the Avengers are angered by his actions, it’s Tigra whose rage leads her to (foolishly) confront him head on, asserting that, “the Hulk’s eyes can get clawed out as easily as anybody else.” Unfortunately for Tigra, in this alternate reality, she’s no match for the Hulk, who goes on to tear her in two while she pleads for Wonder Man to help her. Brutal!
13. She-Hulk kills Vision (Avengers: Disassembled)
Tigra isn’t the only hero to find herself all broken up by a fellow Avenger, though. In fact, nearly one-third of the deaths found on this list involve the hero being quite literally ripped apart by a former teammate. When so many heroes have unchecked strength, that probably shouldn’t be too surprising for comic book readers, but every time it happens on the page, artists make it feel like the first time.
In the case of She-Hulk and Vision, the former was manipulated into killing the latter. In Avengers: Disassembled, Scarlet Witch wasn’t the only one having difficulties with her emotions, and she wasn’t the only one to lose her children. Vision, the father of those twins, was having his own difficulties dealing with her mental breakdown. He was so upset that he crashed a jet into the Avengers headquarters and lost control of many of his abilities, even releasing Ultron drones from his own body that caused havoc. Once the drones were defeated, She-Hulk’s anger (with a little help from Scarlet Witch’s magic) got the better of her, and she flat-out ripped him in two.
12. Sentry kills Ares (Siege)
Let’s keep the ripping-your-former-colleague-in-half train rolling, shall we?
Sentry is a nearly unstoppable force as a hero, but like Scarlet Witch, that unstoppable force is a double edged sword. While Scarlet Witch often goes bad as a result of emotional onslaught, Sentry has a whole other evil personality inside of him known as Void. Sentry can often keep Void in check, but when Bullseye killed his wife during Siege, he lost the will to do so, and Void wasted no time in creating chaos.
At the time, Sentry was actually working under Norman Osborn’s Avengers. As readers know, the likes of Norman Osborn are not to be trusted, ever. Ares was able to see Osborn for what he was — someone who wanted to get the heroes to turn on one another when he deemed Asgardians unsafe to be on Earth. Ares attacked Osborn, but Sentry set out to stop him. Sentry wound up ripping Ares apart, not unlike Hulk and She-Hulk did their victims. Unlike Hulk’s murder of Tigra — much of which was left up to the imagination of the reader — Ares’ death was shown in graphic detail on the page.
11. Thor kills Sentry (Siege)
Following the death of Ares in Siege, Void gradually took the hero over completely, which meant, of course, that he had to be stopped. The fight left Earth and went to Asgard as Sentry took on Loki (and killed him as well), raining destruction on Thor’s home. Many of the Avengers wanted to simply contain Sentry so that he could face justice for his actions, but when someone is pretty near indestructible, that becomes an impossible task.
After the Avengers dropped a helicarrier on him during their confrontation, Sentry did have a moment of lucidity, where he begged them to end the destruction Void was causing — by killing him. He didn’t trust himself to be able to hold Void at bay anymore. It wasn’t long before Void was attacking the group again, and Thor took on the responsibility, killing Sentry, and flying his body into the sun for a quick cremation and a hero’s death.
10. Black Panther kills Namor (Avengers)
Both Black Panther and Namor have always operated by their own set of rules, which is why it’s surprising that either of them ever became members of the Avengers in the first place. For a lot of readers, Namor is even seen as a villain who has performed a handful of heroic acts over the course of his comic career. The Sub-Mariner always puts the needs of his own people ahead of the rest of the world, and that often puts him at odds with the rest of the heroes. Such is the case in his interactions with Black Panther.
In Avengers Vs. X-Men, Namor was one of the heroes who was imbued with the Phoenix Force. He, along with Magick, Cyclops, Colossus, and Emma Frost, all took on part of the Phoenix Force when Iron Man managed to split it into separate pieces. Unfortunately, the Force took them over. By the time they were defeated, the Force had led to a lot of destruction — including Namor’s flattening of Black Panther’s home of Wakanda. Though the two would work together in several issues after the fact, Black Panther held Namor responsible for the devastation. He, along with help from the Inhuman leader Black Bolt, planned Namor’s death. Eventually, Black Panther and Namor would come to blows in Avengers #40, and the Wakandan king, using a knife he received as a child, stabbed Namor through the heart, killing him. The tension simmered between the two for so long that the fight was inevitable, though many a reader was still shocked by the murder.
9. Iron Man kills Yellowjacket (Chaos War)
Iron Man isn’t known for his cool head, but surprisingly, he hasn’t been directly responsible for too many of his teammate’s deaths in the comics compared to some of the other Avengers on this list. Despite the array of weapons offered to him by his superpowered suit, he doesn’t usually shoot to kill. There are, however, times when he operates at full blast. His confrontation with Yellowjacket is one of them.
This particular version of Yellowjacket isn’t the Darren Cross iteration that audiences saw in the Ant-Man movie, nor is it Hank Pym’s alter-ego from the comic book page. Instead, this is Rita DeMara, a character from the future who ends up in the past with the Avengers. A former villain who steals one of Hank Pym’s Yellowjacket suits, she ends up working with the heroes and joining their ranks. Her homesickness gets the better of her, though, and she attempts a return to her timeline. When she returns to the present and speaks with Iron Man about the events that are coming, she’s not exactly herself, since she appears as Kang the Conqueror under the control of Immortus. Iron Man then shoots her with a blast from his armor, killing her.
8. Wolverine kills Hulk (Old Man Logan)
Movie audiences are used to seeing Hulk as a reluctant hero, someone who wants to do the right thing but is forced to live in constant fear of losing control. The Hulk featured in the Old Man Logan comic book run is very different. Instead, he’s the villain of the tale, a kind of evil landlord whose grandchildren collect money from those who live in “Hulkland.” Logan is no longer Wolverine, having hung up his claws and settled down with a family of his own. Of course, because this is Wolverine, things take a turn for the tragic, as his family is eventually murdered when the Hulk Gang decides that it needs to send a message.
What follows is a showdown between Hulk and Logan where it would seem that the Hulk has the upper hand, since even in human form as Bruce Banner, he still retains much of his strength. He’s also drawn as being far bigger than any Hulk in the past. He even appears to best Logan in the fight before deciding to eat him. When a villain eats someone with an accelerated healing factor, though, there’s bound to be consequences. Logan regenerates inside the Hulk’s digestive system before bursting through his body, killing the Green Goliath. It’s a pretty gross way to go, to say the least.
7. Hawkeye kills Black Widow (Ultimates)
Comic book readers tend to have a love-hate relationship with the Ultimates continuity. It differs dramatically in terms of abilities, relationships, and characterizations from the main 616 comic book line. As a result, friends from the regular universe are often enemies in this one, which is what happened with Hawkeye and Black Widow. Movie audiences know the two are especially close thanks to The Avengers films, but their comic book relationship has been different over the years. Instead of simply S.H.I.E.L.D. agents and partners in the field, they’ve also been friends, lovers, and at times, enemies.
In this particular storyline, Hawkeye’s entire family was murdered by villains associated with a group called The Liberators. The same group invaded the U.S., framed Captain America and Thor for crimes, and revealed Hulk’s true identity to the world. Black Widow, who was engaged to Iron Man at the time, was actually a double agent for them. In revenge, Hawkeye tracked her down while she was in the hospital recovering from injuries and put an arrow through her skull.
6. Luke Cage kills Squirrel Girl and Jessica Jones (Marvel Universe Vs. The Avengers)
Although Luke and Jessica have frequently had the opportunities to join the Avengers in the Marvel comics, they don’t usually last on the team for very long. They both work better in smaller team-ups or partnerships. The duo have had short lived memberships, though, and Jessica’s friend (and frequent babysitter to her daughter, Danielle) Squirrel Girl has been a member of some of the Avengers offshoots in the past. All three had grisly fates in a different comic book reality than the usual Marvel 616 timeline.
In an alternate universe, the world was at the mercy of a deadly virus that caused people to become mindless killers — basically zombies, though Marvel Universe Vs. The Avengers shouldn’t be confused with the Marvel Zombies storyline. The Punisher was responsible for accidentally releasing the virus, which infected many of the heroes comic book readers have come to love, including Luke Cage. When Luke became infected with the virus, he not only killed Squirrel Girl, but immediately after, he also killed his wife, Jessica Jones. It’s a bleak storyline where every hero eventually falls.
5. Rogue kills Scarlet Witch (Uncanny Avengers)
Rogue isn’t someone many comic book readers associate with the Avengers, and with good reason, as she’s primarily a member of the X-Men team. Thanks to Anna Paquin’s portrayal of her in the movies, she’ll likely always be thought of as an X-Man first. In one run of the Uncanny Avengers, however , Rogue was invited to join Earth’s Mightiest Heroes, and she accepted. Just a handful of issues later, she’d be the one to kill Scarlet Witch.
Unlike the emotional overload Wanda Maximoff experiences in House of M, this time around, she was attempting to double-cross a villain. Scarlet Witch was captured by Red Skull, the Four Horseman, and the Apocalypse Twins, and forced to do their bidding. The villains had a plan to colonize an entire planet with just mutants, and they wanted Scarlet Witch to transport their colonists. While she agreed, she planned to get those mutants to rise up and fight the villains with her. Rogue didn’t know that there was a plan in place and, thinking her teammate had betrayed them, used Wolverine’s claws (a trait she absorbed when she touched him) to kill her.
4. Spider-Man kills Captain America (Civil War II)
This particular death is stretching the truth just a little bit, but there’s a good reason for it: Spider-Man could still kill Captain America in the current comic book runs.
Audience members might have been surprised to see that Captain America: Civil War didn’t feature any main character deaths, but that’s because comics have never been shy about killing off their heroes. Cap was killed in the aftermath of the original Civil War storyline, as was Peter Parker. As Marvel brought a new Civil War to the page, though, they also introduced a new character by the name of Ulysses, an Inhuman gifted with visions of the future.
The crux of the conflict was whether or not it would be ethical to punish people for the things Ulysses sees come to pass before they actually happen. One of the events he sees is Miles Morales’ Spidey killing Captain America in brutal fashion. Captain Marvel ended up putting Miles under house arrest to make sure it didn’t happen. As Civil War II ended, both heroes were still alive and well, but others (as you’ll soon find out) were not so lucky. With both characters still having their own comic books lines, however, it’s entirely possible readers could see that particular panel play out somewhere down the line.
3. Hawkeye kills Hulk (Civil War II)
Another death which can be traced back to Ulysses, this one plays out a little bit differently. In this case, Ulysses actually has a vision involving the Hulk, predicting that the hero will kill all of the Avengers in the not-so-distant future. While the Hulk is a good guy these days, he’s still a massive threat if he goes rogue. After all, he can rip his enemies in half with relative ease(as we’ve seen), and it takes a lot to bring him down.
When the Avengers learn of Ulysses’ vision, they take a trip, led by Captain Marvel, to confront Bruce Banner about it. Meeting up outside of his lab, the entire group is shocked when Hawkeye shoots Bruce with an arrow, killing him, instead of allowing the conversation to play out. He’s arrested for murder, and his trial plays out over the course of the Civil War II comics. Even the Mockingbird solo run featured her trying to find a way to clear him in between her other adventures. As it turned out, Hawkeye was just doing what he was asked to do. Bruce had already come to him in the past, telling him that if there was a chance that Bruce was going to lose control of his Hulk side, that he wanted his favorite archer to kill him. Rather than running the risk of Ulysses’ vision coming to pass, Hawkeye acted. The court later acquitted him.
2. Captain Marvel kills Iron Man (Civil War II)
In addition to Ulysses and his visions as a hot button topic in Civil War II, the events of the comic book arc all stem from the death of War Machine. Though both Captain Marvel, who was dating him, and Iron Man, who was his best friend, have deep ties to the character, the two lead opposite factions following his death. What follows is Captain Marvel believing they should punish those who will be guilty in the future, while Iron Man thinks they can’t punish people for crimes that haven’t yet been committed.
When the two finally go head-to-head, it’s the kind of battle that tugs at the heartstrings, as Iron Man dons armor like War Machine’s instead of his own. In the end, it’s Captain Marvel who delivers the fatal blow. In fact, her blow is modeled after the same one that killed War Machine. Tony Stark appears to be dead, though his mind has been uploaded to a computer program (which should sound similar to a certain Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. storyline that’s going on in season four). Tony Stark might physically be dead on the page, leading to Riri Williams to begin her own superhero career, but readers almost certainly haven’t seen the last of him.
1. Deadpool kills everyone (Deadpool Kills the Marvel Universe)
Deadpool isn’t usually the best team player, but he does like to partner up with Cable and Spider-Man pretty often. He’s worked with the Avengers off and on in the past, but in 2015, he was officially made an Avenger when Captain America himself tasked the Merc with a Mouth with different missions. But prior to becoming a card-carrying member of the team, Deadpool had a bit of a contentious history with the other heroes. In fact, he killed every single one of them back in 2012.
In the aptly named comic, Deadpool Kills the Marvel Universe, the hero set out to kill everyone on the page — heroes and villains alike — and even some you wouldn’t normally see on the page. The story kicks off the Wade Wilson confined to a mental health facility with the intention of helping alleviate his insanity. Instead, he ends up under the care of a doctor who is actually the villain Psycho-Man. The baddie wants to brainwash Deadpool, hoping to shape the hero into his minion. Needless to say, the plan most definitely backfires.
Deadpool not only kills Psycho-Man after the procedure, but there’s now a voice in his head that tells him to kill everyone. He starts his killings with the members of the Fantastic Four and eventually makes his way through all of the heroes and villains that Marvel has to offer. His kills aren’t without their own hardships, of course, as his attempts to take down both the Invisible Woman and the Hulk result in him getting his head removed. Unfortunately for them, that crazed noggin of his just grows back. He ends his story by even going after those writers and illustrators in charge of telling his tale, before warning the reader that he’ll find them next.
There’ve surely been dozens of other instances of Avenger-on-Avenger murder. Be sure to list all your favorites in the comments!