Do You Really Believe No One Should Ever Die in Comics?

Idk about on this forum, but over on Reddit, whenever someone posts asking “Which comic book character should die?”, there’s a barrage of replies saying “No one should die! Every character has a fan who loves them so let’s just not.”


I don’t think I would read comics (or watch movies or shows) when I know nobody is at risk, ever. I mean, that kind of strips away some of the tension or suspense or whathaveyou.

Not saying every comic should be a Garth Ennis bloodbath but like…never? Really?

Where do you stand on this?


As a Justice Society fan I really see the value in how dead superheroes add to the mythos.

It is the storyline “Outta Time” that made me really see just how important killing heroes is to the medium.


As a Legion fan, deaths have always (or at least a long time) been a part of the story. With only one exception I can think of (not counting reboots) dead characters stayed dead. (I’m not counting when the character was only dead for an issue or three or where the reader knew the character wasn’t dead) I will admit that there was something a little special about the fact that Ferro Lad and Chemical King had died before I started reading but were still referenced and felt a part of the story. It showed that heroism can be fatal and added wight. So I do believe that characters should be able to die.

With that said, I (personally) feel that a lot of the “who should die” conversations are more bloodthirsty that just “should it be a possibility?” it often appears to me that those asking that question (a lot not all) just want another death. I feel some people think if there is not death, then the story is not “serious/important/mature” enough. When that becomes the case, I feel the death is cheapened and causes all deaths to be casual. For instance, while I don’t like the fact that Alfred was killed by Bane, I think having him revived swiftly would have made his death meaningless.

TLDR: I think death should be a possibility and if it serves the narrative should be done. But not as a way to have a death because.

I hope this made some sense.


Contrary to popular belief I am not powered by vampire bats.


I believe characters should be allowed to be killed off, and I don’t think that’s an unpopular opinion. I think most true fans - and I’m not saying “if you don’t think this, you’re not a true fan”, I said most - but I think most true fans want stories to have stakes, and it’s only the casual enjoyers whose threat of not buying comics set in a world without comics’ most popular characters keeps every main character coming back to life. But I actually think that’s a solveable problem: Just look at the canon Star Wars comics. Since they share their continuity with the films, characters age at, give or take a decade or two, the same age as the actors, leading to the possibility that characters can die; Therefore, the stories have stakes. In the films’ “present” (somewhere between 35 and 50 ABY), almost every main character from the first two trilogies is dead, but comics set before or during the original trilogy, starring Luke, Han, Leia, Vader, et cetera, continue to be written and sold, and in many cases are quite good. But, and I hope I’m not putting too fine a point on this, because it takes place in the same Universe as the films, that awareness of the almost-always-permanence of death is always there. There’s no reason other franchises can’t do something similar, with the fact that time is less a line, and more a ball of wibbly-wobbly, timey-wimey stuff, allowing for continued publication of characters who, in other canon stories, are long dead; That way, writers can focus on ending characters’ stories when and how they should end, without fear of impacting the company’s bottom line.


Mattman, not gonna lie, I have no idea if you’re being serious or sarcastic. That first paragraph/sentence could be read either way and you’re often kidding around (not a diss…just saying I really don’t know your stance based on what you’ve said).

I legit went to Google and put “death comics outta time” just to see the context of what you were talking about and it came up with “Outtatime Comics”, some indie comic brand lmao

Idle, agreed on the “Who should die?” argument about bloodthirst. And more importantly, agreed that yes, characters should be allowed to pass.

Drew…so basically like how Hal Jordan died in Final Night, but then would appear in stuff like JLA: Year One afterwards?

I think I get ya.


I am always serious and… Robin, always punch your enemies around the eyes not in them. That way they fear you more when they can see you. Alter this again and you’re fired.


Based on the context of you loving Stargirl created by Geoff Johns who wrote JSA 65…

You’re serious. whew Detective work is hard but I don’t gotta tell you that.


Both DC and Marvel use the “kill the hero/character” as a cliche that gets utilized way too often in recent years, especially when it comes to Event Comics. And a lot of time it just ends up getting reversed anyway, so whats the point?

Personally, I feel like a hero should only die IF you can tell more quality stories in the aftermath. Take for example Jason Todd. They had a great opportunity to tell some good Batman stories after it happened. How Bruce dealt with his emotional issues and it eventually lead to the introduction of Tim Drake. Even bringing back Jason Todd gave us a great story of Bruce and Jason confronting each other.

I believe that killing heroes and important characters has become a trope that is relied on too much to bring readers in. It should only be done as a last resort, on the condition that you can tell a quality story and that the impact of such an event leaves an impact on those closest to the character


The initial death and the following storylines about dealing with it.

Don’t you say you like that terribly done death of my boy where everybody acts like fools.


I’m not talking so much the death itself but the stories that were done and made possible in the aftermath


The irony, EDT, is that the Jason Todd killing was a publicity stunt most likely meant to bring in more readers haha.

But yes I’m totally down with what you’re saying.

Like, let’s not just make an offhand remark that G’Nort is dead in the 90’s Guy Gardner series just to try and boost those numbers, ya know? (Sorry Hecht is rubbing off on me)



deaths should happen in comics but alfred should come back to life by now

ted kord, superman , superboy and several other characters have had really either cool or iconic deaths
deaths can and depending on the character
should be reversed eventually but the initial death can happen
and should have impact


I’ve been so interested in getting into Legion comics. Tried the Bendis run and frankly was disappointed. Any good recommendations for newcomers like me to Legion of super-heroes comics?


Well, I have personally enjoyed most Legion issues, even Bendis’s but I will agree that was not the best. Here are my recommendations (assuming you have Ultra)
You could start at the very beginning with Legion of Super-Heroes: The Silver Age Vol. 1

This covers their important appearances from their first appearance until into their first ongoing series which was in Adventure Comics 300-380. quite a few are missing from the site for this run but the collection has a few that aren’t here as individual issues. There are some very Silver Age things in some of these stories so may not be to all tastes.

Some issues of Adventure Comics from later in the series that I would recommend are 312, 340-341, 346-347, 352-353 and 354. These are all milestones in the series and some tie with with my comments about the deaths.

After leaving Adventure, they had a series of backups in Action, none of which are on site, and then moved to backups in Superboy. eventually this became Superboy starring the Legion of Super-Heroes and then Superboy and the Legion of Super-Heroes. There are some gaps early on in their Superboy run but starting with issue 222, I believe all of the main Legion issues are on site, just some of the guest appearances and spin-offs are missing. Some of my favorites from this era are 228, 241-245, and 258 which leads to 259 where the series became The Legion of Super-Heroes. (I will say that 259 was the first Legion comic I ever bought although it took a little while before i started collecting regularly due to not having a comic store and missing a lot of the issue because of it.)

For some recommendations from the Legion series. 280-281 (although they are part of a longer storyline),289, 290-294 (One of the best comics stories ever, The Great Darkness Saga but it does involve everyone so if you don’t like having a bunch of characters you may not know you might want to wait for this but do read it eventually. I’m not bothered by things like that so if you aren’t try it. It is frequently ranked in the top 10 DC stories ever lists), 300 and 304 are pretty self contained although 300 contains references to alternate pasts but it is a good sampler.

I’ll stop highjacking the thread but will say that from here the starts of the 1985 series and the 2005 series work well as introductions pointing out they are different realities and the 1985 series starts out with a Legion of Super-Villains story so there are once again a lot of characters but this is where I started collecting every issue and it didn’t bother me). The start of the reboot is also a good intro (Legion of Super-Heroes 0 and Legionnaires 0). Finally, if you like humor, read the Legion of Substitute Heroes Special and DC Comics Presents 59 from 1983. Yes these are about the Subs instead of the Legion itself, but they are Giffen at his funniest.

Sorry this was so long.



To be more coherent, I believe that comics should either commit to being serialized or episodic. If they are episodic, each “episode” (issue) would be able to stand more or less completely alone. So, no death or really any kind of change. Peanuts or Wayne Family Adventures would be good examples of this. If they go serialized, then things should progress more or less naturally and death would be a part of that. A lot of soap operas are serialized, a few mangas are serialized (One Piece or Death Note for example). Basically, if you skip an issue you are going to be completely lost.

To summarize, it should be an either/or. Either they commit to having no change at all or they allow change and, as a part of that, death.

Contrary to popular belief, I am.

Big agree on this. Killing a character just so that people read the rest of the comic event and then bringing them back in a week is not a good thing. An obvious faked death is one thing (eg the ending of a good number of Batman 66 episodes) but otherwise it is a bad idea. Killing should not be done for the sake of killing or shock.

Bottom line, I would prefer it if characters were be allowed to have meaningful and lasting deaths in comics. Do I want my favorite characters to die? No, of course not, but if it impacted the story and had meaning, I would grieve and accept it.


I’m with the mind that characters should definitely be able to die — even if it’s sad, and even if we’ll miss them — because it also paves the way for the next generation of heroes to make their debut, which I’m very much all about (especially because it usually means a chance to see new writers).

Also, you’re right, I wouldn’t really find any joy in consuming anything if I knew the entire cast was completely safe from lethal harm. Make me FEEL something, darn you!


I also feel it forces people to have more love for characters. If there is never any real danger or risk of death, there is nothing to worry about.


Gwen Stacy should never had died! That was a worst thing the Marvel Comics ever done!:worried: