Marvel: 10 Characters Who Have Died A Surprising Amount Of Times – CBR – Comic Book Resources

Comic book characters generally don’t die all that often but these heroes and villains have certainly bucked that trend.
Superheroes naturally protect the world against extraordinary threats and constantly risk their lives as a result. However, comic book fans know that death doesn’t really mean much and that the dead almost never stay dead. Apart from a few select characters where death has remained permanent, such as Uncle Ben and Mar-Vell, characters who die almost always come back.
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Some characters have died surprisingly often despite their popularity. Other characters have surprisingly low death counts compared to others. Regardless, in a universe where almost everyone has died and come back to life at least once, death counts can really start to rack up.
Peter Parker has one of the most tragic lives of any Marvel superhero, and though death often comes for the ones he loves, he himself has died before as well. It may seem surprising that Marvel would kill off one of their most popular heroes so often, but Spider-Man has died many times. In the main comics, Spider-Man has died at least 7 times, though he is usually brought back right after.
Though the Ultimate Comics were an alternate reality before being merged into the main continuity, Spider-Man’s permanent death in that series was a big deal that lead to the introduction of Miles Morales. Counting alternate universes and What If? stories, Spider-Man’s death count is at 24.
Ben Reilly is technically a clone of Peter Parker, and he seems to have inherited Spider-Man’s tendency for dying. Ben’s first death was another tragedy for Peter and was a memorable death for fans. However, Ben Reilly has been resurrected via cloning many times since, only to die many times more.
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Spider-Man’s “Dead No More: The Clone Conspiracy” may not be the best storyline Spider-Man ever had, but it did see Ben Reilly return after his first death. Jackal cloned many of those closest to Peter, including Reilly. Including his first death and Jackal’s cloning experiments, Ben Reilly has died 27 times.
It makes sense that Captain America would give his live for the greater good, and he has died on many occasions. The most famous example would come from the end of Marvel’s Civil War event, which ended with Steve Rogers assassinated and Bucky Barnes taking up the mantle.
Still, like Spider-Man, it is a little surprising that a hero like Captain America has died so many times. Overall, Captain America has died at least 5 times in the main continuity alone. The number climbs to over 10 counting alternate universes.
With the level of danger Frank Castle puts himself in, along with his recklessness and indifference for his own life on multiple occasions, it is no surprise that the Punisher has faced death before. However, what is surprising for a more-grounded street-level hero like Frank is that he has died and been resurrected many times.
In the main universe, the Punisher has died just once, only to be resurrected in order to hunt down demons instead of gangsters. However, counting alternate realities, the Punisher has died over 10 times.
Considering Thor is significantly more powerful in the comics than he is in the movies, it is surprising that Thor has died a few times. Thor may be a god, and therefore nearly invulnerable, but that doesn’t mean he is immortal.
There have been at least 4 events that have ended in the death of Thor, at least for a short period of time before he is brought back to life. Most notably, Thor discovered that he had previously died during a prior Ragnarok before the Norse gods were reincarnated.
Fans know that Wolverine has died many times, amounting to at least 14 times counting alternate timelines. Despite being known as a character who dies a lot, Wolverine hasn’t died the most. It is surprising Wolverine has managed to die so many times considering his healing factor, and a few times he has died, he stayed dead for years.
Perhaps it is because of his healing factor that writers often feel the need to push Wolverine past his limits and kill him off. At this point, however, it may be more of a surprise for readers to leave Wolverine alive for a while instead.
Marc Spector’s first death was also the first time he was resurrected by the Egyptian moon goddess Khonshu, becoming Moon Knight. For a character that can resurrect each time they die, it is surprising that Moon Knight hasn’t died very much.
Moon Knight knows he will be resurrected and is even sometimes more reckless because of it. Despite his resurrection ability and recklessness when it comes to his own life, Moon Knight has only died 3 times.
Marvel heroes die a lot, with even the characters that don’t usually die still having experienced death at least a few times. It often seems that the bigger the hero, the more often they die, though this isn’t always true. Captain Marvel is an example of this; despite being a major hero for decades, Carol Danvers has only died one time, and it was recently at that.
Captain Marvel: The End tells the story of a future version of Captain Marvel that returns to Earth 50 years in the future. She dies using her powers to reignite the dying sun that has left Earth frozen.
No list of comic book character deaths would be complete without mentioning Jean Grey. With a name like Phoenix, it is no surprise Jean has died and been resurrected numerous times. However, what is surprising is the number of times Jean has died.
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Counting the times Jean has officially died in the pages of a comic book, the number is surprisingly high at 15. Counting the number of times it has happened in-universe but wasn’t shown, that number is even higher. Fans of Jean know that while she may be one of the most likely characters to die, she likely won’t stay dead for very long.
Many times, villains end up dying even more than heroes do. For a major villain like Magneto, who has many enemies in the X-Men and beyond, the surprising thing about Magneto is that he hasn’t died yet. Though he has had many close calls and has been presumed dead multiple times, Magneto has never actually died in the main universe. However, the same can’t be said for alternate timeline versions of Magneto.
Fans of Marvel’s Ultimate Comics remember the infamous Ultimatum event that saw Magneto go mad with grief over the loss of Scarlet Witch and reverse the Earth’s magnetic poles, resulting in worldwide devastation. Ultimatum is widely regarded as the main reason the Ultimate Universe ended and was hated by fans for the many needless deaths of popular characters, including Magneto himself.
NEXT: Marvel: Villains Who Came Closest To Death But Survived
Brad Ferguson is a Staff Writer with Comic Book Resources and a graduate from UCF. He loves pop culture in all forms but especially loves movies and video games. The properties he obsesses over most include Disney, Marvel, DC, Star Wars. Just Because he loves both Star Wars and Disney doesn’t mean he thinks they have been good for each other. Brad didn’t choose to be a writer, but writing chose him, and now CBR is where he calls home.


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