The 12 most important superhero deaths ever

Contributed by
Sep 4, 2014

This week, Marvel Comics began Death of Wolverine, a month-long event that will result in the demise of the titular mutant. While Logan's fans are certainly intrigued to see just how he goes, everyone who's followed comics for even a little while knows that it won't last (though writer Charles Soule has said it will last at least two years), not just because Wolverine's such a popular character but because, in comics, no one stays dead except Uncle Ben. We're talking about a medium with a time-honored tradition of retcons, reboots and fake-outs so deep that no popular superhero will ever really stay dead, including the ones who seem to be gone for decades. 

Even with that cynical understanding of how comic-book death works, though, there are still some deaths that really hit us hard, and just keep hitting us. Some remain important because of the power of the moment, while others remain important because of their impact on the industry or the fictional universes in which they take place. Whatever the case, as we head toward Wolverine's death, we decided it was time to talk about the really vital superhero death stories, and we even decided to rank them (you know, so you can tell us we're wrong). 

So the gallery below includes our picks for the 12 most important superhero deaths ever, from Jean Grey to Superman and even a few characters you might not have expected. Check out our choices, and sound off in the comments with your own picks. 

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