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  1. #1
    Incredible Member ducklord's Avatar
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    Default Good DC Deaths that "Stuck"

    In another thread, I started talking about DC resurrections that I was ambivalent about, opening with Barry Allen, Vic Sage, and Jason Todd.

    In hindsight, I realize that that thread was basically an excuse to kvetch, which is not great.

    So here's a new one - which DC characters had good deaths that "stuck?" And by "stuck" I mean "seemed permanent, lasted a really long time, and were only brought back (if ever) with great difficulty and fanfare."

    So Martian Manhunter in Final Crisis doesn't count. Nor does, say, Roy Harper in Heroes in Crisis (assuming you thought it was a good death). Neither of those deaths hung around for very long.

    (I'm also not including Elseworlds stories in this... LOTS of characters die well in Elseworlds

    Here's a short list before I've had my third coffee:

    Barry Allen
    Duh.

    Pocket Universe Superboy
    Went out saving his little universe and the Legion from the Time Trapper in a schmaltzy, almost nonsensical story dictated by editorial fiat. And yet, it brought the feels. Frankly, most of the "classic" Legion deaths are notable for being good deaths that stuck. Okay, maybe not Chemical King.

    The original Superman cast of Earth-3
    In the original Crisis, Earth-3 was wiped out with style. Alexander and Lois got a nice Jor-El and Lara moment, and Ultraman went out like a Superman should.

    The Golden Age Red Bee
    He was a joke of a hero, but he got to smack Baron Blitzkrieg with a two-by-four before he went out.

    Terra
    If you re-read Wolfman's narration of Terra's breakdown/death scene today, it's amazingly wordy and overwrought by today's standards. But it still lands.

    Josh Clay
    In a lot of ways, Josh's death at the hands of Niles Caulder shouldn't count as a "good" death. It's arguably a gratuitous "shock" death done to show that the hero is really a horrible villain after all. But I think it worked. And it's (I think) stuck. Josh isn't back again, is he?

    Arthur Curry Jr.
    It's still rather amazing that DC signed off on killing the baby of a JLA member... in 1977.

    Hitman
    Garth Ennis often enjoys his own jokes a little too much for my taste. But he seriously nailed the ending with Hitman.

    Any others?

  2. #2
    Moderator Frontier's Avatar
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    Don Hall/Dove?

  3. #3
    Incredible Member ducklord's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Frontier View Post
    Don Hall/Dove?
    Don's is interesting. It definitely stuck, with Don even out and out refusing to come back a couple of times.

    One could argue that it wasn't a great death, occurring, as it did, amidst a pile of carnage in Crisis #12. And yet, compared to the lame-o deaths of Robin, Huntress, the Ten-Eyed Man, etc., at least Don got in a few lines of dialog reminding everyone who he was and what his character was all about. He went out dying as he lived, so yeah, let's call it a "good" death.

  4. #4
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    Seems like a lot of those were erased from continuity. For instance, pocket universe Superboy was only introduced to fix the post-Crisis Legion, but then that timeline was thrown out when Mike Carlin had a hissy-fit. While Matrix Supergirl stuck, most of the pocket universe story could not have happened as it did given the changes to the timeline. And now I don't think even Matrix Supergirl is in continuity anymore.
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  5. #5
    Incredible Member ducklord's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jim Kelly View Post
    Seems like a lot of those were erased from continuity. For instance, pocket universe Superboy was only introduced to fix the post-Crisis Legion, but then that timeline was thrown out when Mike Carlin had a hissy-fit. While Matrix Supergirl stuck, most of the pocket universe story could not have happened as it did given the changes to the timeline. And now I don't think even Matrix Supergirl is in continuity anymore.
    Yeah, Pocket-Superboy is something of a cheat, since his death only stuck because his whole existence was wiped out by, what, the third issue of the 5YL Legion (only a couple of years later)? Still, considering that, at the time, it was the death of a character that (retroactively) had been in the Legion for 30+ years, it was a pretty good death.

  6. #6
    Beyond Good. Beyond Evil. Gaius's Avatar
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    Myndi Mayer from George Perez's WW run. Though a new version of her showed up in a digital exclusive issue earlier this year but the original version of the character remained dead.

  7. #7
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    Does Ferro Lad count?

  8. #8
    Incredible Member ducklord's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Gaius View Post
    Myndi Mayer from George Perez's WW run. Though a new version of her showed up in a digital exclusive issue earlier this year but the original version of the character remained dead.
    Ooh yeah. That was solid.

  9. #9
    Incredible Member ducklord's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by guanlishabi View Post
    Does Ferro Lad count?
    I think that falls under the "Almost all original-era Legion deaths were good deaths" rule. Ferro Lad, one of the Triplicate Girls, Invisible Kid, Superboy, Karate Kid, Nemesis Lad... even Magnetic Kid. They all died well and stayed dead. Chemical King's death was sort of meh, but the character was kind of meh to begin with.

  10. #10
    Incredible Member ducklord's Avatar
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    Just remembered another one - Paul Kirk. Clones kept popping up, but he saved the world, got blowed up, and never ever came back.

  11. #11
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    Lot of deaths were erased post NU52.

    Don Hall staying dead is the only one that stuck. (Except for different ways he died).

  12. #12
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    We should have a thread on the bad deaths of COIE.

    I'm still mad about what Wolfman did to the Earth 2 Huntress and Robin.

  13. #13
    Wally West Aficionado Spider-Ham's Avatar
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    Terry Long.

  14. #14
    Extraordinary Member Zero Hunter's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ducklord View Post
    Just remembered another one - Paul Kirk. Clones kept popping up, but he saved the world, got blowed up, and never ever came back.
    Even when they did bring back his last surviving clone as Kirk DePaul it was very clear this was a very different man than the original even though they looked alike and wore the same basic costume.


  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by RobinGA View Post
    We should have a thread on the bad deaths of COIE.

    I'm still mad about what Wolfman did to the Earth 2 Huntress and Robin.
    Ditto, but even more so for Kole.

    Every oddball character is somebody's favorite!

    (If they'd killed someone like Azrael instead, as their token Crisis sacrifice, I would have been like 'meh,' and if they'd killed Terry Long, I'd have cheered!)

    I do kind of hate how the shadow demons have been nerfed so hard since that first appearance. They were flat out *terrifying* in Crisis, utterly killing *anyone* they hit, passing through barriers meant to slow them, ignoring targets 'invulnerability', etc. Later showings have not-invulnerable people grappling with them and being utterly unscathed, and it's like they got downgraded to boring flunkies of no real threat, less dangerous than mooks with guns and knives.

    Anywho, my favorite DC deaths have been Terra, in Eyes of Tara Markov or whatever it was called, and the Emerald Empress Sarya, who died kinda/sorta at the hands of Sensor Girl.

    It's probably not a coincidence that both of those deaths were more or less the character's own choice (Sarya chose to die, Terra freaked out and buried herself in a display of power). I like the character having the agency to choose how they exit the story. (That said, I love Sarya, and don't mind too terribly when later writers ignore that death and show her inexplicably alive again, as in Legion of Three Worlds.)
    Last edited by Sutekh; 10-08-2021 at 04:52 PM.

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