Marvel: The Most Unexpected Hero Deaths | CBR – CBR – Comic Book Resources

There has been no shortage of big hero deaths in Marvel Comics, although these examples shocked readers when they happened.
Marvel has been telling some of the most pulse-pounding superhero stories ever created. Their respected roster of heroes has battled some of the most dangerous and intimidating foes around in epic confrontations. Most of the time, these battles end with the heroes coming out on top. That’s not always the outcome, as many heroes have lost their lives in battle with their foes.
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Death is something that walks with superheroes every day but when readers are used to their favorite heroes always winning, their deaths can come as a massive shock. Over the years, some hero deaths have come out of left field and greatly surprised their fans.
Fans were excited for House Of X/Powers Of X, as the two books represented a massive chance for Marvel to finally make up for years of marginalizing the X-Men. The fourth issue of House Of X rolled around and saw the X-Men, consisting of Cyclops, Jean Grey, Wolverine, Nightcrawler, M, Mystique, Archangel, and Husk, travel to the Mother Mold satellite in solar orbit to destroy it but right the get-go, things went bad.
Archangel and Husk were immediately killed and things would go on from there. By the end of the issue, every member of the team would be dead and fans were shocked, something that would continue in the next issue when they were resurrected.
After the shock of the X-Men’s death and resurrection in House Of X, fans though they were ready for anything but X-Force would prove them wrong. In the book’s opening Dawn Of X story arc, Krakoa was invaded by soldiers of the anti-mutant group XENO. Many mutants died but the most surprising death was Professor X.
The Professor hadn’t taken a field role in years and was extremely important to the Krakoan resurrection apparatus, so fans were shocked when he ended up dead. It wasn’t his first death but it was the most unexpected.
Avengers Disassembled was the opening salvo in Marvel’s efforts to bring the team back to prominence and it paid off. The story opened on a massive shock as dead Avenger Jack of Hearts showed up at Avengers Mansion and exploded, killing Scott Lang. Vision appeared next and started sprouting Ultrons, which led to She-Hulk going berzerk and ripping him in half.
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Later in the story, Hawkeye would sacrifice himself to save his friends, destroying a Kree star cruiser. Scarlet Witch was behind all of it and the surprising deaths of two of the most important Avengers and Scott Lang was a shock.
The release of the Terrigen Mists and the consequences for the mutant race represented some of the Inhumans’ worst acts. The resulting disease, known as M-Pox, killed many mutants and almost rendered the Earth unfit for mutant habitation. In the gap between the 2015’s Secret Wars and the “All-New, All-Different Marvel” publishing initiative, Cyclops died and fans had to wait until Death Of X to find out how it happened.
No one expected Cyclops to die at this point, as he was the main agitator for mutant rights and freedoms at this point. Even more shocking was how he died, as he died of M-Pox instead of in battle, as everyone would have expected.
Infinity Gauntlet is one of Marvel’s most well-known tales and a classic for the publisher. Every reader in 1991 who opened up Infinity Gauntlet was in for a huge shock, as the story showed Thanos slaughtering the heroes of the Marvel Universe in various imaginative ways. While the series had played him up as powerful, no one expected this.
Infinity Gauntlet did an amazing job of playing out death after shocking death, showing just futile the heroes’ resistance was against Thanos. Only the cosmic beings were safe from Thanos killing them and even they were soundly beaten by the Mad Titan.
Infinity Gauntlet wasn’t the first time the heroes of the Marvel Universe were slaughtered by an all-powerful foe. “The Korvac Saga” pit the Avengers against a nigh-omnipotent man from the future called Michael Korvac, one of the most lopsided battles in Avengers history up to that point. Korvac slaughtered every hero thrown at him and fans were shocked.
“The Korvac Saga” dropped in 1978, a time when fans were definitely not ready to watch their favorite heroes get destroyed in such a dominating manner. It’s gone down as one of the greatest Avengers stories ever partly because of just how shocking the story was.
Grant Morrison’s New X-Men saw Jean Grey finally come to terms with the power of the returned Phoenix Force, even mastering its power for the first time. If there was one thing fans didn’t expect from her overall story arc, it was for her to die. Morrison shocked everyone with New X-Men #150, which ended with Magneto killing Jean Grey.
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Jean was the most powerful she’d been in a long time in this issue, so the fact that Magneto was able to kill her at all knocked readers out of their seats and led to the longest period she had ever spent dead.
Wolverine is one of the most dangerous heroes in the Marvel Universe. He’s also one of the most popular characters in comics and that has given him some of the greatest plot armor in the Marvel Universe. So, when Marvel took away his healing factor and then announced The Death Of Wolverine series, fans were completely shocked.
While Marvel telegraphed the character’s death, the fact they would ever consider killing him in the first place was what was really unexpected. While he was replaced as Wolverine by his daughter Laura and Old Man Logan was brought over, the fact Wolverine died at all was a massive shock.
Doctor Octopus is one of Spider-Man’s oldest foes and also can boast of something that none of Spider-Man’s other enemies can. Doc Ock was able to enact a scheme that allowed him to switch bodies with Spider-Man, killing him. Much like Wolverine, the fact that Marvel was willing to replace one of their most popular characters was a huge shock.
It also ended up paying off, which was also quite unexpected, as the resulting Superior Spider-Man series was a fan favorite that put a whole new spin on the Wall-Crawler. Killing characters like Spider-Man doesn’t always pay off this well, so this was a pleasant surprise.
Civil War had huge consequences for the Marvel Universe and one of the biggest was the death of Captain America. After surrendering to the authorities in Civil War #7, Captain America was assassinated on his way to trial. It was a huge moment, made all the more surprising by just how popular the character had become since writer Ed Brubaker and artists Steve Epting and Mike Perkins took over his book.
Cap’s death had major repercussions, leading to Bucky taking his place and the New Avengers hating Tony Stark and the Mighty Avengers even more, as Cap never would have been in that position without surrendering to Stark’s forces.
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David Harth has been reading comics for close to 30 years. He writes for several websites, makes killer pizza, goes to Disney World more than his budget allows, and has the cutest daughter in the world. He can prove it. Follow him on Twitter- https://www.twitter.com/harth_david.

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