In my previous post about death in comics, we discussed the role of civilian deaths and how writers use it to propel their stories forward. In this post, I wanted to touch on a few superhero deaths that rocked the comic world. There were many to choose from and as iconic as Superman’s death at the hands of Doomsday, but after doing research, I noticed an intriguing pattern; that dead superheroes don’t stay dead for long! For this discussion, I wanted to focus on those superhero deaths that made an impact to their respective stories but also spent some time in the grave (so to speak).
We begin with a bold move by Brian Michael Bendis in the pages of Ultimate Spider-man with the “Death of Spider-man”. In the Ultimate universe, Bendis kills off Peter Parker! Crazy right? But that’s not where the story ends. Oh no! Bendis introduces us to Miles Morales, a half black, half hispanic teen who was bitten by a genetically-altered spider that gives him superhero powers. Sounds familiar, right? Miles actually witnesses Peter’s death and feels so guilty that he didn’t use his powers to save Peter, that he takes up the mantle of Spider-man.