In the world of comic books, journeys to the grave are typically round trips. To put it in the simplest of terms, death is rarely permanent.
However, a there are a few outliers – at least at the time of this writing – who haven’t been resurrected, had their deaths retconned, or otherwise returned from the grave. Here are eight dead comic book characters who haven’t come back… yet:
Death: Civil War #4 (October 2004)
Bill Foster, aka Goliath, was a colleague of Hank Pym/Ant-Man/Giant-Man, and after replicating the Pym Particle formula, he gained size-altering abilities in his own right. During the superhuman Civil War, he sided with Captain America’s anti-registration forces, but unfortunately, this decision proved to be his downfall. During a massive battle between Team Cap and Team Iron Man, a clone of Thor entered the fray and left a gaping hole through Goliath’s chest while he was still in his giant form. As such, Goliath’s body required 38 burial plots to accommodate his enormous corpse, which Tony Stark paid for out of guilt for his involvement in the creation of the Thor clone.Advertisement
Death: Showcase #22 (October 1959)
Born on the planet Ungara, Abin Sur was chosen to become the Green Lantern of space sector 2814 in the mid-1800s. However, during a routine patrol, his ship was attacked by Legion, forcing him to make an abrupt emergency landing on Earth. On the verge of death, Abin Sur sent his power ring to search for a successor, and it eventually ended up in the possession of none other than Hal Jordan. Save for a brief return in Blackest Night, where nearly every dead DC character rose from the grave, Abin Sur has yet to appear again in the present-day DC Universe.
Death: Secret Avengers #23 (April 2012)
Over the years, there have been several characters to take up the mantle of Ant-Man, but perhaps the most underappreciated of these pint-sized powerhouses is Eric O’Grady. Once a low-level S.H.I.E.L.D. agent, O’Grady and his friend Eric stole Hank Pym’s Ant-Man suit while guarding his lab, and, upon Chris’ death, he claimed the suit for himself and eventually found his way into the world of super-heroics. During a mission with the Secret Avengers, O’Grady saved a child from the Descendants, and when he refused to relinquish the child back into their custody, he was killed for his efforts.
Death: Starman #72 (December 2000)
The original Starman, Ted Knight, was a wealthy astronomer who invented a cosmic rod, allowing him to fly and manipulate energy. A notable member of the Justice Society of America, he eventually took a backseat to his various successors, including his sons David and Jack. However, his days of fighting were far from over, and in a climactic battle with the Mist, Starman and his longtime enemy both died, but not before making peace with one another.
Death: Daredevil #5 (March 1999)
Daredevil has had a number of love interests throughout his tenure, but none have been more prevalent than Karen Page. First introduced as Matt Murdock’s secretary, Karen lived a life of both tragedy and redemption, but regardless of how far she fell, she and Matt’s love always seemed to endure. However, the one thing their relationship couldn’t endure was Bullseye, who impaled Karen with Daredevil’s billy club after she dove in front of him to protect Daredevil and the baby he was in the process of rescuing. Needless to say, the Man without Fear was completely shaken by the ordeal.
Death: Eclipso #13 (November 1993)
When most people think of Wildcat, they think of Ted Grant, but during the events of Crisis on Infinite Earths, his goddaughter Yolanda Montez took over for the injured Grant. She was a prominent member of Infinity Inc. during the mid-to-late-‘80s and early ‘90s, but soon after the team disbanded, she was killed in a battle against Eclipso.
Death: Amazing Spider-man #121 (June 1973)
Besides Uncle Ben, no character’s death has been more intrinsically tied to Spider-Man’s progression as a hero than that of Gwen Stacy. The classmate-turned-love interest of Peter Parker was retconned to have known about Peter’s secret identity during Dead No More: The Clone Conspiracy, at which time we were introduced to a clone of Gwen who possessed all of the original Gwen’s memories, but at the time of her death, she was oblivious to this information. However, the Green Goblin was well aware, and as such, he pushed Gwen off the George Washington Bridge in an attempt to kill her and subsequently crush Peter’s spirit. Ultimately, though, it was Spidey who killed Gwen, because when he grabbed her by the leg with his webbing to try to save her, the abrupt stop caused her neck to snap. (To be fair, she would have died either way.)
Death: Secret Avengers #28 (August 2012)
The original Captain Marvel, a Kree warrior named Mar-Vell, technically has come back from the dead… twice. Nevertheless, his first death is of significance in the comic book industry because he was one of the few characters to die from cancer. After contracting lung cancer, Mar-Vell succumbed to his illness in the pages for Marvel Graphic Novel’s “The Death of Captain Marvel” in 1982. Then, he returned during 2011’s Chaos War as one of several resurrected Avengers before being impaled by Grim Reaper. Finally, in 2012, he was brought back once again, this time by Kree mystics utilizing the M'Kraan Crystal and a portion of the Phoenix Force. However, in order to save his species from the Phoenix Force, he sacrificed himself and died for (presumably) the final time.