Kirk's Top Ten Comic Book deaths list, and Joe Quesada talking about ensuring that comic book deaths are meaningful, prompted me to think back on the deaths I've seen in comics. I came up with this list:
Deceased: Scott Lang
Perpetrator: Scarlet Witch
Circumstances: The 'death' of her 'children' having driven her insane, the Scarlet Witch lashes out at the Avengers. The first death she causes is that of Ant-Man Scott Lang - who is incinerated after the witch resurrects Jack of Hearts and then causes Jack to explode.
Deceased: William Stryker
Circumstances: Stryker's Purifiers kill many of Elixir's friends and then leads an assault on the Xavier Institute. In order to stop Stryker, Elixir reverses his healing powers, and kills Stryker by giving him multiple tumors and other nasty stuff.
Deceased: Unnamed Assassin
Perpetrator: Layla Millar
Circumstances: An assassin sent to kill Richter is accosted by Layla, who had broken the taps in an upstairs bathroom the morning before, causing the bathroom floor to collapse from water damage. This allows wiring to drop down and electrocute him.
Deceased: Professor Buchanan
Circumstances: Guido is sent to escort the Professor to a safe house - but halfway there Guido kills him. It is later revealed that Guido has been brainwashed into becoming a double agent for Damien Tryp.
Deceased: Damian Tryp
Perpetrator: Jamie Madrox
Circumstances: During a battle in the headquarters' of Tryp's company, Madrox's powers create a duplicate of himself which embodies his 'dark side'. The duplicate sets off a bomb, destroying the headquarters and killing himself and both versions of Tryp.
Deceased: Elijah Cross
Circumstances: The depowered members of X-Cell were repowered by Quicksilver. Quicksilver neglected to tell Cross how unstable his new powers are, and Cross explodes whilst using his restored powers. Fearing the same will happen to the rest of X-Cell, Abyss uses his restored powers to send himself and the others to the darkforce dimension. Their fate is unknown.
You may note the trend here. In Young X-Men, Nicky stops Rockslide from killing Pierce, saying 'X-Men don't kill. And we're X-Men.' But the evidence is contrary - X-Men do kill. I know a lot of excuses can be made for the above deaths - but excuses could have been made for Jean Grey in the Dark Phoenix Saga. And it was decided that someone with that amount of blood on her hands couldn't be excused. If you think about it, surely Elixir could have just put Stryker in a coma? Surely Layla could have used her prediction powers to organise the assassin's arrest? Do I want to read about heroes who are unable to control that part of them that says 'kill'? Do I want to read books in which the Scarlet Witch and Quicksilver are redeemed? Now, sure, I can understand and even accept the existence of Wolverine and X-Force, the guys who do what the other X-Men can’t. But there's a reason I decided not to buy Wolverine or X-Force. Maybe I should change my mind and buy Young X-Men. Even if the writing is not as good as the other books, at least it has a message I can agree with: Heroes don't kill.
ABCP Episode 173 - OCTOBER SURPRISE
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