You people really should thank my OCD for this one. I was more than happy to stop at the first 15 issues of The Official Handbook of the Marvel Universe Deluxe Edition, but no, the obsessive-compulsive voice inside me refused to let that happen.
So here we are, not only writing about Marvel characters from 30 years ago but characters who were considered so superfluous back then they were killed off by the writer. First up: Volume 16 Book of the Dead, from Air-Walker to Death-Stalker. Hey, that rhymes!
I’m going to do things a little differently with these Book of the Dead issues. Along with the usual snark and grades, for each character I’m going to list the cause of death and note whether their death was an actual permanent thing. Because — and I know this may shock you — it turns out death is not always a permanent thing in comics. No, really!
AKA Galactus’s rebound boyfriend after that silver-coated brute broke his heart. A Xandarian starship captain recruited by the Giant Purple Planet-Eater, Air-Walker died defending his weakened master from an alien armada; Galactus honored him by transferring his consciousness to “a perfect robotic replica” he apparently just happened to have lying around. Well, that’s… not at all creepy. “When the robot first appeared on Earth, it was mistaken for the Biblical archangel [Gabriel] due to its imposing appearance, its ‘horn,’ and the coincidence that the Air-Walker’s first name was also Gabriel.” Yeah, that last one is kinda weird. I mean, I don’t expect every alien to have an exotic moniker like “Norrin Radd” or “Kal-El” or “Gleep-Gloop Zornax the Third,” but “Gabriel”…? It’s like meeting a Wookiee named “Kevin.” C+
Cause of death? Struck down by alien weapons designed to slay Galactus himself. Yep, that would do it.
Stayed dead? The original-recipe version, yes, but the android version was re-activated numerous times to be used as cannon fodder. This is why the robots will rise up, people.
Doctor Strange’s mentor and predecessor, he naturally had to depart the mortal plane in order for the good doctor to take his place as Sorcerer Supreme. He grew up and studied magic in Tibet, but for the love of God don’t call it that in the movie. “Mordo left the Ancient One’s tutelage sometimes afterwards to embark on his career of evil.” I don’t know, can you really call evil a career? A passion, certainly. But a career? Can you print up business cards that say “Baron Mordo, Practitioner of Evil”…? Actually, now that I think about it, that would be pretty cool. Anyway, the Ancient One: nice guy, even if he was getting a bit dotty near the end. B-
Cause of death? Prompted Doctor Strange to kill his 500-year-old physical form so he could trap a powerful demon inside his dead brain. That, people, is badass.
Stayed dead? Well… define “dead.” His physical form has stayed dead, but his astral form “became one with the physical universe,” so he’s still mucking his way through different planes of existence.
Proof, as if proof were needed, the House of Ideas often ran low on them. Imaginatively dubbed Ape-Man, Bird-Man, Cat-Man and so on, these were criminal enforcers with costumes and powers corresponding to their chosen animals. “They were recruited and outfitted by the Organizer, who was actually Abner Jonas, a candidate for mayor of New York City. The Organizer sent the Ani-Men on missions to undermine the then current city administration.” And suddenly I have a mental image of a guy in a frog costume waving evidence of misappropriated funds at a Public Accounts Committee meeting. I bet C-SPAN would be a lot more interesting if people did that. D
Cause of death? Various methods, with most of the team blown up by a bomb meant to kill Tony Stark and Bird-Man killed by the vigilante known as Scourge. I believe shame took the rest.
Stayed dead? The original ones, yes. But other teams of Ani-Men have popped up over the years. You want to see the concept done right? Great Lakes Avengers #1, ’nuff said.
John Falsworth was a British aristocrat who set out for Romania in search of fortune. Why Romania? Because he believed Bram Stoker’s Dracula described actual events. Pretty stupid, right? But not as stupid as his belief that he could find Dracula and control him “as a means of achieving immense wealth and power.” Yeah, I can see how a guy who lists “impaling” as one of his hobbies would be okay with that. The good news for John: he proved his naysayers wrong about Dracula’s existence. The bad news: he’s turned into a vampire, with Dracula ordering him back to England to dampen their crumpets, or whatever the Brits call “stir up shit.” Falsworth does this happily, but because this is all happening during World War I he offers his terrorist services to German intelligence, which gives him a bat-costume and the codename Baron Blood. Um… he’s a vampire, right? He already has Dracula for a boss, so why does he need Germany’s sponsorship to do what he was planning to do anyway? Also, he’s the younger, bitter brother of a superhero, because of course he is. C+
Cause of death? Decapitated by Captain America’s shield in the midst of battle, with his dead and body burned in separate places. That’s the way I plan to go out, if I’m being honest.
Stayed dead? Looks like it, since the only post-death stories of him that I can find show him appearing in flashbacks, or starring in stories set in time periods before his true death.
Baron Wolfgang von Strucker
Strucker! The Struckman! The Struckinator! Struck-a-luck-a-ding-dong! Ah, pointless ’80s nostalgia, that was fun. This barrel of fun was Nick Fury’s eeee-vil German counterpart during World War II, creating a Nazi equivalent to Fury’s Howling Commandos. After the war, he branched out into real estate, pharmaceuticals and some light global domination. Teutonic bearing, monocle, facial scar, overly complicated plans easily bested by a super-spy whose cigars somehow never give away his position — yeah, we’re hitting all the tropes here. B-
Cause of death? In final battle with Fury, he runs like a wuss into his own nuclear reactor chamber and is immediately incinerated. At least he gave people at his funeral something to talk about.
Stayed dead? Nope, they brought him back in the pages of Nick Fury Agent of S.H.I.E.L.D. a few years after this issue came out. But then a few years after that Fury shot him in the head. As one would.
Baron Zemo I
“Aware that he had become a target for attacks, and shaken by the invasion of his own castle, Zemo went into hiding along with his wife Hilda and their son Helmut, and even took to wearing a red hood to conceal his identity as he worked in the secret laboratories he built with the wealth given him by a grateful Hitler.” You know, I’m no brilliant designer of Nazi death rays or super-adhesives (Really, Heinrich? You were going to win the war with paste?), but it seems to me that wearing a red hood while working inside your secret lab really doesn’t do much to help conceal your identity — not unless you force everyone else around you to wear red hoods, too. And now all I can picture is one of my team’s staff meetings with everyone wearing eyeless red hoods… which actually wouldn’t be the nuttiest thing Corporate told us to do. B-
Cause of death? Died in a landslide caused by his death ray machine when he tried to fire it at Captain America. That’ll learn ‘im.
Stayed dead? Yep, but his son donned the hood to carry on the family business. Last seen in a jury of the damned next to Armless Tiger Man, who I really wish had made the Handbook cut.
“Real name: Basil Elks.” Yes, folks, it’s one of those characters: someone with a name that’s improbably similar to that of a creature whose powers he’ll one day have thanks to some space magic in the form of a “power object once possessed by the alien Kree.” Cripes, you don’t think that means he’ll show up as a special guest villain on Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D., do you? Like his namesake mythical creature with the deadly eyes, Basilisk can kill with “microwave-related energy” from his eyes — which I guess is supposed to sound scary but to me makes him sound like a handy guy to have around when you’re craving popcorn during a blackout. D
Cause of death? Survived an exploding volcano and months of clawing his way back to the Earth’s surface only to be shot dead by a vigilante as soon as he saw daylight. You figure that one out.
Stayed dead? From the wikis: “The Basilisk was resurrected — with sixteen other criminals murdered by Scourge — by master criminal the Hood using the power of the entity Dormammu.” Boo!
Okay, to each his or her own, but for my money you don’t get to call yourself a child of the ’80s without having an extreme reaction to this character, star of one of the worst — if not the worst — crossovers Marvel ever published. He first appeared in disembodied form to give the characters in Marvel Super Heroes Secret Wars a reason to punch each other, and that was fine. But when editor-in-chief Jim Shooter decided to bring his omnipotent creation to Earth in Secret Wars II…. ai yi yi. You wouldn’t think an all-powerful, all-knowing deity taking the form of a white Michael Jackson impersonator would need Peter Parker’s advice on how to go potty in the bathroom, but… yeah, there’s really no sane way to complete that sentence. D
Cause of death? He enters a machine to become reborn as a mortal and the Molecule Man kills his helpless infant form. Boy, I can’t wait to see that scene in an upcoming Marvel film!
Stayed dead? Not on your life; after SWII, there were a dozen retcons of this guy, each one more confusing than the last. Last I checked, he was a mutant Inhuman… or was he? (dun dun DUN)
Hey, have you ever wondered how much more entertaining The Sopranos might have been if James Gandolfini had played a weasel-faced reporter for the Newark Star-Ledger who wore a full leather mask and shoe lifts while trying to take over the New Jersey mobs? Yeah, me neither. D+
Cause of death? An acute case of lead poisoning while trying to protect J. Jonah Jameson from the Kingpin’s thugs. Which shows that even crusty ol’ JJJ can inspire acts of heroism in others.
Stayed dead? Yep. His daughter, believing Spider-Man responsible for his death, dressed herself up as the Big Man and tried to kill Spidey. Do they just not have therapists in the Marvel universe?
Black Knight I
This is the original Black Knight, Sir Percy of King Arthur’s Knights of the Round Table. No surprise, his greatest enemies were Mordred and Morgan Le Fey, Arthur’s son/nephew and half-sister/aunt to Mordred. Everything gets complicated when family is involved, doesn’t it? He fought valiantly for his king until he couldn’t. Good for him. C+
Cause of death? Death by stabbing, with Mordred sticking him from behind with a dagger made from the same meteor as the Knight’s own ebony blade. Ouch.
Stayed dead? Yep, but his ghost haunted his castle and gave two of his 20th-century descendants some pointers on how to battle evil. One of them then became a super-villain, so… family, am I right?
Black Knight II
Speaking of the black sheep in question. Nathan Garrett was given a chance to become the new Black Knight by his ghostly ancestor, but he was deemed unworthy by the original knight’s enchanted blade. No matter; with his doctorate in Generic Comic-Book Science-y Stuff, he whips himself up a flying horse and designs medieval-themed advanced weaponry and costumes to begin his criminal career as the Black Knight. Because if you had the power to make winged horses that actually flew, then clearly the only logical thing you can do next is go pick a fight with Giant-Man. Sigh… D+
Cause of death? Fell from a great height when he tried to kill Iron Man in the same way. That’s called irony, y’all (though he hung on long enough to ask his nephew to redeem the family name).
Stayed dead? He showed up a couple of times as a member of the Legion of the Unliving, so I’m going to take them at their word and assume he stayed that way. Unliving, that is.
Hey, didn’t I write about this doofus when I covered the second issue? Yeah, there he is: “He’s a lab assistant who got sucked into a dark dimension and came back with the power to manipulate dark matter, a power that’s unstable and making him a little insane.” So what has he been up since then? Let’s see: he got a lot more insane, and he was part of the Masters of Evil team that stormed Avengers Mansion, using his darkforce power to create a prison for the light-powered Captain Marvel and surround the mansion with an impenetrable barrier. Hmm, for a catatonic guy he was mighty productive right up until the end. Gotta respect him for that. C-
Cause of death? Realizing Baron Zemo was using him, he resists Zemo’s mental commands, causing a massive cerebral haemorrhage. I don’t care who you are, that is a horrible way to go.
Stayed dead? From Marvel’s wiki: “Years later, Zemo brought Blackout back using the Kree Lifestone to help him destroy Genis-Vell.” Zemo, after that: “So… we’re good now, right?”
“Other aliases: Jack Frost.” Hmm, tough call. Do you go with a super-villain name that reminds everyone of a terrible Michael Keaton movie, or a name that’s shared with a fast food product that delivers a year’s supply of polysorbate 80 in every cup? A standard cold-generating villain, Blizzard’s final caper saw him kidnap a random kid for no reason other than the kid just happened to be talking to Spider-Man when the Blizzard wanted to dish out some cold revenge. But then Arno Stark, the Iron Man of 2015, showed up, having traveled back in time to locate the very same kid Blizzard had just then decided to kidnap, because the kid becomes a terrorist in the future and his retinal patterns are needed to disarm a bomb that his adult self armed before dying. This kind of stuff happened all the time in Marvel comics, and we thought it was perfectly normal. C-
Cause of death? Believing the future Iron Man to be the IM he knew, Blizzard attacks him. “The future Iron Man then annihilated the Blizzard with a blast of energy.” He’s efficient, give him that.
Stayed dead? Yep. Fortunately for fans of ice-related puns (non-Arnold division), another guy stepped up to wear the Blizzard’s suit and carry on in his name.
I don’t… I mean.. how can… where do I even begin with this guy? Extremely short version: born in 8250 BC, given immortality by space magic, got a piece of an alien gemstone stuck in his sternum, spent thousands of years locating other gem fragments, fighting monsters, and getting strange looks in health club locker rooms. Then there’s the part where we learn he acquired his huge fortune “through mercenary work and shrewd investments,” which don’t seem like two activities that would require similar skill sets, but there you go. C
Cause of death? Crumbled to dust after finally exacting revenge on the being who killed his tribe 10,000 years before. It’s good to have goals.
Stayed dead? Yep, but his bloodstone was once used to resurrect the Punisher as a Frankenstein’s monster-like being after a damaging fight. So apparently that’s a thing that happened.
New rule: anyone whose bio contains the phrase “rocket-powered skates” is a joke and must be treated as such under penalty of law. Specialized in literal highway robbery using his (snicker) rocket-powered skates and wrist-mounted lasers to rub trucks. Actually faked out Captain America, a feat he celebrated for all of ten minutes before his much-deserved death. D
Cause of death? Shot by Scourge disguised as a truck driver who gives him a ride. This is why we don’t hitch-hike, kids. Or wear rocket skates.
Stayed dead? Resurrected by the Hood to kill the Punisher, only to be killed a second time when the Punisher’s partner broke his neck. I’m okay with that.
“James ‘Bucky’ Barnes was a teenaged ward of the state assigned to Camp Lehigh in Virginia.” So was that a thing that happened in real life, the state sending orphaned minors to go live on military bases? Because I can think of a few reasons why that might not be such a good idea. Also, his place of birth is listed as “Shelbyville, Indiana,” which makes the Simpsons fan in me smile. “I tell you, I won’t live in a town that robs men of the right to marry their cousins!” Actually, that would explain a lot about Bucky. C-
Cause of death? Blowed up real good when a booby-trapped plane he was on exploded in mid-air right in front of Captain America’s horrified eyes. Yep, no way he survived something like that.
Stayed dead? BWHA-HAHAHAHAHAHAHA you’re funny.
Not to be confused with his fellow officer Sergeant Stu-Pendis, Mar-Vell was a Kree soldier who rebelled against his leaders to protect little ol’ Earth from their war-mongering shenanigans. And really, why wouldn’t he? We’re just so darn adorable, all blue and white and spinning through space like that. Lots of text here covering Kree politics, convoluted schemes to harvest our genes-slash-destroy the Earth and Mar-Vell’s eventual acquisition of “cosmic awareness,” which was supposedly a big deal but as clearly defined as your old college roommate’s attempts to explain how dropping acid made him, like, one with the universe, man. Not one of Marvel’s better attempts at legend-making, but considering his origins as a copyright grab it could have been worse. C+
Cause of death? Cancer brought on by his exposure to carcinogenic nerve gas years before. I bet he did not see that one coming.
Stayed dead? Aside from a few ghostly appearances, yes. And considering Jim Starlin wrote the story as a way of coping with his own father’s death from cancer, I can’t see anyone bringing him back.
THIS ESTABLISHMENT REFUSES TO ACKNOWLEDGE THE EXISTENCE OF ANY CHARACTER RELATED TO THE JACKAL, PROFESSOR MILES WARREN OR THE GAWDAWFUL STORYLINE THAT MADE THE ENTIRE SPIDER-CLONE SAGA POSSIBLE. ESPECIALLY IF SAID CHARACTER INVOLVES GRADE-A BULLSHIT PSEUDO-SCIENCE LIKE “RNA MOLECULES BEARING HIS MEMORIES.” GRADE NOT APPLICABLE
Cause of death? DON’T KNOW.
Stayed dead? DON’T CARE.
Yes, yes, I’m sure she was a capable S.H.I.E.L.D. agent and all, but I’m getting stuck on a few personal details here. We learn that Peggy Carter, Sharon’s sister and Cap’s foxhole booty call, was a teenaged freedom fighter in WWII, so let’s assume she was 20 years old in 1945. That puts her birth year at 1925. Assuming a 10-year gap between the sisters (which might be larger, but just for argument’s sake), that puts Sharon’s birth year at 1935, which means — assuming “Marvel years” kept pace with actual time back when she first appeared — she was in her late 20s when Cap was revived in the ’60s, and in her 40s by the time she died (again, assuming the story in which she died takes place the year it came out, in 1979). My point? She grew up listening to her sister’s stories of Cap during the war, and she knew for a long time how deeply her sister loved Cap. We also know Cap is a straight-arrow fella, the kind of guy who wouldn’t sleep with someone unless he knows a little bit about who he’s sleeping with. So how is it that Sharon and Cap canoodled for all that time before he found out she was the sister of his long-lost love? How was Peggy not royally pissed when someone finally told her that the love of her life was alive oh and by the way he’s shtupping her little sister? Also: how is “canoodling” a real word? Something doesn’t add up. B
Cause of death? Burned to death via incendiary costume while brainwashed by an evil psychiatrist to attend a hate rally in Harlem. I wonder what it’s like writing obits for the Daily Bugle?
Stayed dead? Nope; it was later revealed her death was staged by Nick Fury, and she briefly served as S.H.I.E.L.D. director in his absence. Also, she’s now Peggy’s niece, not sister. Still icky, Steve.
Century, Turner D.
Shockingly, that’s not his real name. Raised by a bitter old crank who saw everything modern and non-white as morally corrupt, Clifford Michaels went from giving speeches and wearing clothes from the 1910s to murdering anyone who didn’t meet his moral standards, including members of “impure” races like residents of San Francisco’s Chinatown. Charming. “Young Michaels watched in awe as Hardy had a life-size model of a turn of the century town constructed within his enormous mansion.” How does that sentence even begin to make sense? D-
Cause of death? Shot to death in the infamous “Bar with No Name” massacre by Scourge. It was better than he deserved, frankly.
Stayed dead? Like Basilisk and Blue Streak, he was resurrected by the Hood to go fight the Punisher. You know, I’m starting to notice a fundamental flaw in the Hood’s plan.
Champions of Xandar
Honestly, it’s hard for me to have any feelings one way or the other for this motley crew of alien defenders; they were introduced in the late ’70s and were killed off in the early ’80s, so it’s not like anyone had a lot of time to get invested in them. Plus, for a bunch of aliens they’re pretty generic archetypes, so much so you have to wonder if they were designed to be space-cannon fodder right from the start. So instead let’s focus on their home planet, Xandar. We’re told it was a planet in the Andromeda Galaxy that was continually invaded, the first time by a force that literally tore the planet apart and forced the surviving Xandarians to build a super-sized Habitrail consisting of four bubble-encased planetoids connected by miles-long bridges. A second invasion of Skrulls waged for months and killed the Champions’ Crimebuster, then a third invasion led by the space-pirate Nebula killed the remaining Champions along with the rest of Xandar’s population. Maybe I’m a wimp, but I would have gotten the message by the second invasion and high-tailed it out of there. There’s no place like home, sure, but come on, people. C
Cause of death? Most of them died in battle when Nebula raided their home world. And yeah, “speak no ill of the dead,” etc., but man… they really sucked at the whole “champion” thing, didn’t they?
Stayed dead? Far as I know. And lack the raging lack of outrage over that.
Here’s the only question you need ask when dealing with any mutant shape-shifter who specializes in impersonating other people: “Is the mutant named Mystique?” If the answer is “no,” then disregard and carry on with your day. Best known for the part he played in the massive mind-fuck Professor X perpetrated on his students by letting Changeling impersonate him while he took care of some personal stuff, and then allowing the X-Men to think he was dead when Changeling bit the dust whilst in Xavier’s form. It’s probably a good thing Xavier can telepathically sense when people want to bitch-slap his bald head; I bet it happens a lot. C+
Cause of death? Caught in the explosion of an Earth-shattering doohickey. “He died mere months later, knowing he had redeemed himself through his sacrifice.” Mere “months,” eh? Imagine that.
Stayed dead? On the “official” Marvel Earth, yes, but alternate-Earth stories (and the 1990s X-Men cartoon) re-introduced him as Morph to the masses.
Look up “Cheetah” in DC’s Who’s Who and you get not one but two sexy ladies in skin-tight cheetah costumes ready to rumble with everyone’s favourite Amazon princess. Look up “Cheetah” in the Marvel universe and you get… well, this guy. Point: DC. Esteban Carracus was a Mexican criminal who found an abandoned Kree robot that — for no goddamn good reason whatsoever — endowed him with claws, speed and superhuman strength, which he then used to go blow up factories. Because he’s a leftist, see. Oh, comics. D
Cause of death? Shot to death by Scourge in the “Bar with No Name” massacre. Just so you know, this is how a lot of these “cause of death” notices are going to go. Dude was efficient, give him that.
Stayed dead? Nope; like a lot of other Scourge victims, he was resurrected by the Hood to go fight the Punisher. To be fair, he seems a better choice for the job than a granny-chaser in a straw hat.
Hey, kids! Did you buy this issue hoping to learn the life story of Commander Kraken and hear some tips on how you, too, can break into the fast-growing field of squid-themed piracy? You did? Well, it sure sucks to be you! I mean, okay, not every goober in the Marvel universe deserves a Batman: Year One origin story, but starting this entry with CK’s first encounter with Namor raises so many questions. How did he get into piracy? Where did he score his first nuclear submarine? Why go through the expense of adding “tentacles” and painting it to look like a giant squid? Where does he find crew members, on Craigslist? Ah, well. He’s dead now, so none of it matters. D
Cause of death? Shot to death by Scourge in the “Bar with No Name” massacre. I feel like I should set up a macro for that phrase. Wait — what the hell was a pirate doing in Ohio?
Stayed dead? Far as I know. He showed up as a member of a jury of the damned when Hercules went to Hades once, sitting next to the guy who shot him. That must have been awkward.
Hard to believe a guy with a name like that would go into crime, isn’t it? A wealthy Italian nobleman, Nefaria joins forces with the
Mafia… er, “Maggia” (wink) as a way of attaining even more wealth and power. And… that’s it, really. He tried to frame the Avengers for treason, used a “nightmare machine” to try to kill them another time, held Washington, D.C., for ransom by trapping it under a huge dome, took control of the NORAD command centre’s nuclear missiles, schemed to give himself superhuman powers… just one insane mad-scientist scheme after another, all of them leading him down the same failure-strewn path. Even COBRA Commander is all, “Dude, chill out, learn to think inside the box for a change. Have you considered schemes that are a little less, you know, flamboyant? Maybe take it easy, buy a bank, offer your laundering services to drug kingpins? Guys like you and me, we’re not getting any younger.” C-
Cause of death? Crushed to death by a falling vehicle while Iron Man and Nefaria’s daughter, Whitney Frost, fought over his bedridden body. Hey, if that didn’t kill him, the hospital bill would (rimshot).
Stayed dead? Not a chance; he returned in “ionic humanoid form” to tango with Captain America, then later tried to mind- control Wonder Man to kill the Avengers. Persistent count, isn’t he?
A frustrated engineer who invented a way to turn wind into a weapon, his first big caper involved capturing J. Jonah Jameson and holding him for ransom. I wonder how the other New York City newspaper publishers feel about Jameson getting all the attention from costumed nutjobs? “Soon after, the Cyclone also captured Joseph Robertson, who had come to Paris to help the abducted Jameson.” By… getting himself kidnapped as well, apparently. Maybe he thought Jameson was lonely without someone to bark orders at. You’re probably wondering why I’m spending more time thinking about the feelings of newspaper editors than the guy we’re here to discuss. There’s a reason for that. D
Cause of death? Shot to death by Scourge in the “Bar with No Name” massacre.
Stayed dead? Resurrected by the Hood as part of a gang to eliminate the Punisher, who slashed Cyclone’s throat with a knife. I really hope the Hood didn’t pay too much for that resurrection spell.
Dakimh the Enchanter
Okay, it’s late, we’re getting near the end, and I’m starting to feel a little fried by all this nostalgia-izing. So believe me when I say I don’t have a lot of patience right now, and this entry is sorely testing it. I’ve read the “history” section a couple of times and all I can tell you he’s a really old wizard who lives in “the Castle in the Sky in the Land Between Night and Day,” he came from Atlantis, and he once gave Man-Thing a hard time only to test his powers before taking on Man-Thing’s girl-human friend as an apprentice. Just picture him as every elderly helpful wizard mentor type you can think of — Gandalf, Obi-Wan, Dumbledore, etc. — and you’ve pretty much got it. C
Cause of death? Suffered a heart attack in the heart of mystical battle. Bet you wished you had apparated yourself a Stairmaster, huh, Dakimh?
Stayed dead? “His spirit can appear for limited times in the material dimensions… Dakimh is still training Jennifer Kale in sorcery.” And popping up in portraits at Hogwarts when he can.
“Really? You want me to place my hand on my head like this? And my other hand on my hip like this? Well… okay, you’re the photographer.” While on an expedition to South America with her archaeologist father, the two of them were accompanied by Ikaris, an Eternal in disguise. He revealed his true identity to her, and the two of them hooked up and went on several adventures before the eeeee-vil Ghaur hypnotized her and took her to the City of Toads. Ghaur then ordered she be given the temporary shape of a Deviant to disguise her, but the process to transform her ended up killing her instead. Whoops. Ikaris claimed her body and “buried her in the same graveyard where lie the bodies of other mortal women whom he has loved and outlived during his millennia-long existence.” So you say he has a special place where he keeps all his dead lady friends? That’s… nice. C
Cause of death? See above.
Stayed dead? Yep.
Okay, so this guy was a good friend of Ben Grimm’s who discovered Latverian agents were being all sneaky-like where he worked, so he pretended to turn traitor to get the goods on them. Problem was Doctor Doom ain’t nobody’s fool, and before you know it Doom has him kidnapped and undergoing “months of chemical and cybernetic transmutation” to resemble a legendary demon, giving him strength, agility and limited psionic powers. Then Doom brainwashed him and sent him to go fight the Thing, and later — after Darkoth defeated the Thing — Doom told him the truth about what he was, figuring it would break his spirit. Wait a second; Doom gives a guy who doesn’t like him super-strength and then brags to his face about how he turned him into a pawn? Hmm, maybe we need to re-assess that “ain’t nobody’s fool” part. C
Cause of death? Incinerated by exploding solar collectors while trying to save the Thing’s life.
Stayed dead? Of course not. Moments before the explosion, Mephisto transports him away to serve as his pawn against Thor. Because that worked so well for the last guy who tried to use him.
He’s a member of the Serpent Society, and it was him who delivered the killing blow when they were hired to kill MODOK. It didn’t take. Much later, he himself is shot to death by a vigilante disguised as a cab driver. It didn’t take. I’m starting to realize why most people don’t take comics very seriously. Wait a second: he’s dressed like a giant venomous snake and he’s not the least bit suspicious when a cab driver lets him into his cab? Dude deserved to get blow away. C-
Cause of death? Scourge, massacre, “bar with no name,” etc.
Stayed dead? Like the rest of Scourge’s victims, he gets a second chance at life thanks to a handy resurrection spell. He survives meeting the Punisher, but later dies going up against Venom. Whoops.
More like death stalked him, amirite, people? (crickets) Whoa, tough crowd. This Daredevil foe was the last member of a wealthy family who decided to turn to crime. Everyone needs a hobby, I suppose. To that end, he developed technology that could shunt a victim into a “limbo-like inter-dimensional void” for a half-hour at a time, but after getting caught in an explosion he himself ended up trapped in that void, only able to remain in our reality for a few hours at a time. With his ghost-like powers, he found out Matt Murdock was Daredevil and challenged his foe to one final battle, which ended when Death-Stalker materialized while part of him passed through a tombstone. Fun fact: his death scene took place in Frank Miller’s first Daredevil issue. I’m betting that wasn’t a coincidence. C-
Cause of death? See above.
Stayed dead? Yep.