You know the hardest part of writing this list? Picking characters that hadn’t already been brought back, or who weren’t obviously going to be brought back. This knocked out a ton of people like Jean Grey (Still waiting), everybody from Brightest Day (Especially Deadman who would be my #1 otherwise), Magik (I honest keep forgetting she’s back, this is proof I just started reading New Mutants), the Punisher’s family (The Hood resurrected them not long before Franken-Castle, Frank promptly killed them again), Isis (who I keep forgetting came back from the dead), anybody from Teen Titans (Most of the ones that get killed aren’t important enough to stay off the death list, so I could make one of these lists of just dead Teen Titans characters), Cable (He’s died how many times now?), or even better, Barry Allen. Remember when Barry Allen topped lists about characters staying dead? How about Bucky or Jason Todd?
I miss those days, I could have used an old list!
Now keep in mind, these aren’t characters that should stay dead, these are ones I feel will stay dead. Yes, there is a difference!
10. Aquaman’s son, Arthur Jr.
Tempest has a better shot at getting a rez than Aquaman and Mera’s son. Seriously, despite being the son of one of DC’s oldest franchises, the character remains better in the grave and occasionally mentioned by Arthur and Mera. Especially when Black Manta shows up so he can say “I killed your kid”. Can you belive they did that in one issue? Just like, one issue, Aquaman vs Aqualad, you find out Black Manta is a black guy who is trying to conquer the seas for black people (no, I’m not making this up) because they’ve been oppressed too much on land, and then Manta kills Aquman’s son. Could I have found a more important character to put here? Probably, but wasn’t that sum up of the issue priceless? Leave him dead because Aquaman doesn’t need a baby cramping his style.
9. The Wayne’s
Despite the potential for a story involving their reaction to the life Bruce has made for himself, it would be no different than when Peter Parker’s parents came back. You’d have them, but what would you do with them? And unlike Peter Parker, everything Bruce has ever done is because of their murder. In fact, the only reason they rank so far near the back of the list is that I can’t imagine someone seriously considering resurrecting the couple and tossing them back in Bruce’s life. It would be like bringing back Uncle Ben.
8. Mariko Yashida
Haven’t heard of her? Read up on Wolverine! Mariko is about the closest you can come to Logan having a true love. During his days in Japan he fought her evil father to the death and won (this was back before he was invincible, when Wolverine lost with practice weapons he almost died), and Mariko agreed to marry him. The X-Men were invited, and Logan was genuinely happy, and shenanigans happened and Wolverine and Rogue had to save the day, but the real story comes at the wedding. Under the influence of Mastermind she told Logan at the alter that he was not worthy, and as she left him, he shed a tear. Despite that they later managed to reconcile, she eventually was poisoned by an assassin on hire from a rival, and rather then suffer the effects of the toxins and suffer a painful death, she asked the man who loved her to kill her and save her from the misery. Logan killed her, the only woman he’s ever truly loved, and that is why she can never come back.
He’s lucky that the Skrull impostor doesn’t count as a rez, or else he wouldn’t make the list at all. Superheroes dies for all varieties of reasons, but rarely do you see one go down to something as human as cancer. The mighty Kree warrior was helpless to one of the most deadly things that can happen to a person, and in a world of super science and magic they even managed to keep him immune to comic booky cures by nature of his own abilities. Captain Marvel died and was mourned, his children have both taken up his mantle and screwed up before dieing, and I’m not sure if anyone is using his name now at all. Just by nature of how he died, cancer, is enough to warrant his continued dirt nap. It would almost be disrespectful to bring him back from something that has brought pain and death to so many.
6. Jonathan Kent
I didn’t like that they killed him, but he’s staying in the ground. Why? Because in the first Superman movie he died before Clark became Superman. I mean, obviously there’s more to it than that, and I did like the story, and even the moment where he died. It was well written, unnecessary, but well written. So why won’t he come back? Because it wouldn’t serve any purpose, I mean, Jonathan Kent raised his boy to be a man just like any other, and to value the things that made them human. This alone would probably keep Clark from ever even considering finding some way to bring him back from the dead, and so unless Lex Luthor discovers that Clark Kent is Superman and brings his dad back from the dead to use again him, it will most likely never happen.
5. Ted Kord
I love Ted and I hate to put him anywhere on this list, but it’s since I love him that he gets bumped up to the middle spot. It’s not even that he’s served his purpose and done his time, as there is still so much more that could be done with the character, but his death just worked. He used the detective skills that nobody gave him enough credit for, went out with no back up because he didn’t quit when nobody believed him, and then got shot in the head when he told the now evil Max Lord to go to hell. Sure, he didn’t save the world, but he still died a hero. And I mean, we’ve got a new Blue Beetle now, and he’s even hanging out with Ted’s old buddies the JLI, so it’s not like we’re missing a Blue Beetle. Then there’s Booster who surely wants his best friend back, but who has also seen what happens when you try and save him. There are plenty of easy reasons to bring him back, but at the same time, he’s actually had a far greater impact through his death than he had had in years. His death helped make the JLI relevant again.
4. Ralph and Sue Dibny
If DC wanted to bring them back, they’d be back. I mean, read the end of Blackest Night when Barry is looking for them after everyone came back from the dead, and they were….still dead. Sure, they had their ghost detectives angle where they were like Boston Brand, but it never really went anywhere and I can’t remember the last time it was mentioned. The two are dead, together, most likely in DC’s version of heaven. They got their happy ending just by nature of being together, and I mean, you can’t bring back Ralph and not Sue, and there’s no reason at all to bring back Sue without Ralph. Then again, there’s no reason to bring back either as they were in deep character limbo prior to Identity Crisis anyway. The two had a good run, and sometimes death is better than character limbo. I mean, Sue’s death probably isn’t, but Ralph’s was.
3. Gwen Stacy
It’s hard to believe that with the exception of some clones that Gwen has been dead for almost forty years. 1973, seriously, how many characters have been dead for that long and are still relevant? Like many characters though, her death is actually what made the character mean what she does. Sure, she was Peter Parker’s girlfriend and he loved her and he wanted to be with her, but what would have happened if he had? Would she have died or would One More Day have been a way to undo the Gwen marriage instead? Maybe they would have found some way to take care of it before then? Gwen’s death was like Marvel’s way of saying “anybody can die”, and it worked, you killed a major supporting character in one of your flagship titles (I assume flagship since I don’t know how many Marvel titles were over the 100 issue marker at the time). Gwen’s death shaped Peter Parker and led to so many things, from the death of Norman Osborn, to the Clone Saga, and even the Peter and Mary Jane marriage. Bring her back now, and then what? She dates Peter instead of MJ? Her death is just best left as is.
2. Ted Knight
Ted Knight had the kind of send off the few in comics get. It was low profile, totally off the radar if you didn’t read Starman, it was in character, and it was ridiculously heroic. Dieing of terminal cancer brought on by a battle with Dr. Phosphorus, the original Starman sacrificed his life to save the city he loved from his arch nemesis, The Mist. He died a heroes death, and it’s been honored in its own way. Ted Knight was one of the few dead characters who wasn’t brought back during Blackest Night, even the Black Lantern Starman was his son David. Ted’s sacrifice was honored just like the rest of Starman was when James Robinson finished the last page, DC hasn’t touched it. It makes it more important because, well, you know it will last. Even if it hasn’t been mentioned too much in other titles, it was still a moving moment, and an amazing sacrifice. He went out just the way he would have wanted to.
1. Uncle Ben
A few years ago it wasn’t uncommon to say that the only people who stayed dead in comics were Bucky, Jason Todd, and Uncle Ben. Well, one of them is still in the ground, and it’s the one that can stay there the most easily. Uncle Ben’s death is important because that is what gave all of the meaning to his words, and it’s been shown through all kinds of What If’s and other universe tales that, well, Peter with Uncle Ben just isn’t quite the same guy. He was a normal man with a good heart that was good to his family, and his death did more to shape the character than his continued life would have. To undo his death would just cheapen and undermine all things Spider-Man.
Tags: Batman, DCU, JLA, Spider-Man, Superman, The Top 10, Top 10, X-Men