Throughout the history of comic books, characters have been killed off with more ruthless aggression than anything you’ll ever see on Game of Thrones. If a writer wants to make a moment or an event seem significant, they will almost always sacrifice a superhero in order to make the reader realize the magnitude of the story they have just read. It’s a strategy that keeps readers interested and invested, while selling tons of copies of the book.
But there are some superheroes who have yet to be the victim of this strategy. They have stayed alive throughout the run of their comics and have yet to feel the Grim Reaper’s touch. This is a major accomplishment considering how willy-nilly some heroes get thrown to the curb. Sure, a lot of these heroes have been beaten to the brink of losing their lives, but they somehow escape death’s clutch and live on to fight another day.
Keep in mind, this article pertains to main storylines and canon. There are always off-shoot realities and other worlds created by comic book authors that don’t exist in the main canonical stories, so those don’t count. This is the real deal, none of those Elseworlds or What Ifs.
Here are 15 Superheroes Who Have Never Actually Died In The Comics.
It’s insanely impressive that Daredevil has avoided death throughout his main canon. For a blind guy with no real superpowers except extremely enhanced senses, the fact that Matt Murdock’s avoided death is not something that should be taken lightly. It shows just how much of a survivor he really is. He’s resourceful and smart, which makes him dangerous and hard to kill.
Plus, he’s got some of the most ruthless murderers in his rogue’s gallery. The Kingpin, Bullseye, and Elektra wouldn’t think twice about killing people, making it all the more incredible that Matt has managed to escape with his life.
Daredevil has always been an under-appreciated part of Marvel’s universe, but thanks to Netflix, he has gained a significant amount of popularity. Let’s just hope they don’t kill him off anytime soon.
14 Dick Grayson
The fact that Dick Grayson hasn’t been killed in the main storylines yet is amazing, especially when you consider the fate of many of Batman’s Robins. Several of them have kicked the bucket (and also been resurrected), but Dick Grayson somehow has managed to keep on going, even moving on from his role as Robin to become the spectacular Nightwing.
Dick has escaped one of the most brutal list of villains and criminals ever. Batman is known for having an incredibly diverse and interesting rogue’s gallery, with The Joker, The Penguin, Two-Face, and many more. These baddies are constantly trying to kill Batman and his allies, so how has Grayson succeeded where other Robins have failed? He must be a special dude.
Hell, even Batman has died and been brought back to life, which means that Dick Grayson has done something Batman has never done — continued to live.
Shazam is an incredibly strange comic book superhero. His history is filled with legal drama and conflict, but when it comes to his life on the printed page, Shazam has led a pretty conflict-free life. Sure, he battles with supervillains, like all superheroes do, but he hasn’t really even come close to pushing up daisies in the main continuity.
Billy Batson gets his powers but transforming into a superhuman when he yells out, “Shazam!” He is then imbued with the mystical and magical powers that make him a superhero. He’s been doing it for decades and no supervillain has come close to killing him.
What makes this more impressive is the fact that his alter ego is that of a child, which seems like the easiest thing to kill, but not old Billy Batson. Here's hoping the DCEU's recently announced Shazam movie keeps his streak going.
12 Tim Drake
Tim Drake, the Red Robin, has enjoyed a pretty good life for being one of Batman’s sidekicks. Normally signing up to hang out with Bruce Wayne is a one-way ticket to the afterlife, but Tim Drake has avoided all of that and became a pretty cool character in the process.
The go-to tech guy for Batman has transitioned nicely into his role as Red Robin and has stepped out of Batman’s ominous and looming shadow to become one of the more interesting Robins Batman has ever recruited.
Sure, recently Batman thinks Drake is dead, but most comic book readers know that he is secretly being held captive by Mr. Oz. No one is too sure what Oz plans to do with him, but he has yet to kill the dude!
If you watched the X-Men cartoon in the 1990s, you probably have a special place in your heart for Gambit. He’s the smooth-talking cajun who is constantly trying to get in Rogue’s pants, despite the fact that it would probably kill him.
Well, luckily for him, all of his trying to get killed via romance has yet to put him into the afterlife. He’s a fellow who plays by his own rules, and despite the near-constant deaths of mutants across the Marvel Universe, Gambit has stood the test of time.
Sure, he sometimes abandons the X-Men when he thinks things will get too dangerous, which helps, but if he had stuck around with them 100% of the time, he surely would have ended up in the graveyard at some point. Gambit is too smart for that.
10 Luke Cage
The man with unbreakable skin has seen an enormous surge in popularity after the Netflix show came around, and luckily for old fans and new fans, they will be following the adventures of a dude who has managed to avoid death for the entirety of his 40+ year run in the comics.
Having unbreakable skin will do that for you, and being a tough MFer doesn’t hurt, but Luke Cage’s villains are not really the most famous or noteworthy in Marvel’s continuity. But still, Cage has managed to fight on for decades now without meeting the same fate as some of his fellow superheroes like Spider-Man, Wolverine, and The Punisher.
Here’s hoping Marvel keeps him around for a while now that he is finally getting his time in the spotlight.
DC’s resident half-man, half-robot has lived quite the life. He’s been a part of the Teen Titans, he’s been a part of the Justice League, and he’s even done some solo superhero-ing. Through all of this, he has somehow managed to avoid being killed.
What is important about Cyborg is the fact that he is one of the more prominent black characters in DC’s continuity, so him staying alive while Superman, Batman, and Wonder Woman have all died at some point is nothing to scoff at. He has that on them, despite their obvious edge in the popularity department.
As one of the founding X-Men, Bobby Drake has seen a ton of his fellow teammates fall in the line of duty. Jean Grey, Cyclops, and even Charles Xavier has all perished from the world at some point, but Bobby Drake carries on.
It may be the fact that his character is probably the least interesting of the five founding X-Men, but you can’t take away the fact that Iceman has yet to die in the main continuity.
Over the years, Drake has been a near-constant in the X-Men’s lineup of superheroes, and he’s managed to avoid death through all of it. That’s impressive as hell.
Bobby has never abandoned the team like Gambit when times got tough; he has stuck with it through and through. It appears the writers have rewarded him for that loyalty.
Another founding X-Men member, Hank McCoy has met the same fate as Iceman — survival. He’s seen Wolverine die, he’s seen Scott Summers die, he’s seen Jean Grey die several times, but has managed to avoid death throughout the main continuity.
That’s not to say Hank hasn’t gone through some very radical changes over the years, though. He’s morphed into a more beast-like creature, and has changed up hit look more than any blue-furred animal-man possibly should, but he’s survived through it all.
Beast is one of the true original X-Men and his resilience over the years is something special that shouldn’t be taken lightly. Now, if only he could get a legitimate role in the X-Men film franchise, that would be great. Stop making one of the most interesting and intelligent X-Men characters a side note, dammit!
You’d think that a guy who hunts vampires would eventually kick the bucket, right? Well, Blade has proven himself to be quite the difficult man to kill, as he has survived through his entire comic book run.
The original Marvel movie star made his debut in 1973 and somehow hasn’t died yet. He made it through the huge waves of deaths in the 1990s, and keeps carrying on in his quest to rid the world of paranormal and evil creatures that stalk in the night.
It’s a shame that the Daywalker isn’t much more popular, because his storyline are usually pretty spectacular and who doesn’t want to see a man tangle with the undead? Plus, now you know he isn’t a character that’s killed off too easily, so give him a chance!
Rumors have been flying for years now about Zatanna Zatara’s silver screen debut. The fans want it so badly, and luckily for them, she has proven herself to be quite the resilient superhero on the pages of the comics. Throughout her history, she hasn’t died, which is incredible when you consider she made her debut in 1964.
Zatanna is well-known in DC’s universe for her magical powers and the fact that she is a legacy superhero. Her father was a powerful sorcerer, and Zatanna may have surpassed her father’s abilities. She’s so powerful that the Justice League took notice and invited her to be a part of the team. Despite facing world-threatening opponents, Zatanna has yet to die.
Everyone’s favorite mercenary debuted in 1991 and has yet to taste death on the pages of the comic books. His healing powers allow him to be dismembered, chopped up, shot, stabbed, electrocuted, set on fire without meeting the same fate any of us would.
While he hasn’t tasted death, he certainly has romanced the personification of it from time to time. Deadpool’s relationship with Marvel’s version of Death is exactly what got him cursed to immortality. When Thanos became jealous of Death and Deadpool’s relationship, he imbued Deadpool with the gift/curse of immortality so that he and his lover could never be together. It’s truly one of the more tragic stories in Deadpool’s continuity.
But fear not Deadpool fans — it doesn’t look like he’ll be dying anytime soon, especially after the success of his movie.
3 Squirrel Girl
Another cult favorite, Squirrel Girl is probably just as wacky as Deadpool, but somehow insanely powerful. She has gone toe-to-toe with Thanos and defeated him, stood up to Galactus, the eater of worlds, and came out the victor, and even kicked Doctor Doom’s butt in the pages of her comics.
Despite all this, Squirrel Girl has yet to die in Marvel’s main storylines. When she debuted in 1992, most people thought of her as a joke character who wouldn’t play an important role in the Marvel Universe, but she has proven herself to be a more-than-capable superhero that can beat just about any villain out there.
Her surge in popularity recently can basically guarantee that she won’t be dying any time soon. She’ll also be appearing in the live-action New Warriors TV pretty soon as well.
How is it that She-Hulk has never died? Bruce Banner was even killed off in the recent Civil War II storyline and The Hulk has had his run-ins with death a few times, but She-Hulk has been a bit more slippery when the Grim Reaper comes to grab her.
She’s the original fourth-wall breaking superhero and she has enjoyed quite a bit of success in her days as a hero. Her survival should be a testament to that, as she has been around since 1980. That’s longevity. That’s survivalism. That’s a true superhero.
Hopefully we’ll get to see her on the silver screen sometime soon now that Deadpool has enjoyed some success as a fourth-wall-breaking funny guy. It’s time for a lady to be a hilarious superhero!
1 John Stewart
John Stewart is one of the most popular Green Lanterns in DC’s history. While he’s not the original, some would argue that he’s the best iteration of the character. Hal Jordan has gone through spurts of insanity, murderous tendencies, and he’s also died.
John Stewart is an upstanding guy who defeats his villains, fights for justice, and doesn’t try to kill his friends. Because of that, he is often seen as one of the more underrated DC characters. He may not be the most popular Green Lantern, but he’s one of the few who haven’t died yet.
He’s been around since the 1970s too, which makes his story of survival and justice even more amazing. Here’s hoping death doesn’t come for him anytime soon. Hell, maybe we can even see Idris Elba don the Green Lantern costume and portray a live-action version of John Stewart.
Are there any other heroes who haven't died in the comics? Let us know in the comics!