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Superheroes we lost in 2019

The 2018 superhero body count was impressive, and 2019's butcher's bill promises to stack just as high, if not higher. Last year, the superhero victims didn't really give us impressive numbers until the summer with the epic kill counts of Avengers: Infinity War and Deadpool 2. Meanwhile, the ranks of the capes have already been seriously thinned in 2019.

Why the increase? Maybe it has something to do with the catastrophic Infinity War and everyone trying to copy its success. Maybe it's just that with superheroes still taking over media with no signs of slowing down, the increase in franchises will necessarily boost the numbers of the dead. Or maybe there is no mystery. Maybe it's just that the various filmmakers and comic creators know they don't have to keep any of them dead for very long anyway, so why not capitalize on the shock and drama?

Regardless of why they fell, here are all the superheroes who have fallen so far in 2019.

Black Widow (Avengers: Endgame)

The first hero to sacrifice herself in the epic Avengers: Endgame is Black Widow (Scarlett Johansson). Widow and Hawkeye (Jeremy Renner) are half of the team sent back to 2014, and the two ex-spies are assigned to get the Soul Stone. Unfortunately, though Nebula (Karen Gillan) gives the Avengers the location of the Soul Stone, she doesn't know what it will take to claim it, and so can't warn her new allies.

Widow and Hawkeye arrive on Vormir and shortly afterward encounter the Red Skull (Ross Marquand). When he explains the Stone's price, Clint and Natasha argue over who should die. Clint feels his actions as Ronin have turned him into a monster, while Nat doesn't see anything worth living for beyond the found family Thanos' purge stole from her. The argument turns physical, with Clint throwing himself over the cliff. Widow follows him and winds up dangling over a fatal drop with only Clint's grip keeping her from falling. She begs Clint to let her go, and whether he does or she simply slips, she eventually falls to her death. Just like Thanos in Infinity War, Clint wakes in a shallow pool with the Soul Stone. 

It's a surprising death, particularly since we know a Black Widow film is under way. The movie is reportedly a prequel, but in the world of Marvel superheroes, you never know how temporary death might be.

Iron Man (Avengers: Endgame)

While Avengers: Endgame is by no means the end of the MCU, it made sure to let us know it was the end of an era. One signs was the death of Marvel Studios' first big-screen superhero, Iron Man (Robert Downey Jr.).  

Early in the final battle, Stark asks Doctor Strange (Benedict Cumberbatch) if this was the one possible outcome Strange saw in which the good guys win. Strange refuses to answer at first. But after Thanos captures the new Infinity Gauntlet, Strange mutely signals to Tony with one index finger. Stark rushes Thanos, who easily brushes him aside. But once Thanos snaps, we learn that the point of Tony's attack was to steal the Stones. Showing the gathered Stones on his suit's gauntlet, Stark snaps his fingers and the Mad Titan's forces turn to dust. Thanos slumps to the ground and is purged from existence, just like his armies. 

Tony doesn't have the strength to survive using the stones. As he struggles, Pepper summons the courage to smile and tell him they're all going to be fine, and that he can rest now. Tony dies and the light in the Arc Reactor in his chest blinks out. 

While there is no post-credits scene in Endgame, there is an audio tribute to the MCU's Golden Avenger. At the end of the credits, you can hear Tony's hammer striking the anvil while making his first suit in 2008's Iron Man.

David Dunn, a.k.a. The Overseer (Glass)

Glass saw all of its super-guys killed in a single scene, good guy and bad guy alike. Unfortunately, that includes David Dunn (Bruce Willis), who had been known as the vigilante Overseer since his premiere in 2000's Unbreakable

In the final battle between Dunn and the Beast (James McAvoy), the latter — having learned from Elijah (Samuel L. Jackson) that Dunn's weakness is water — hurls himself and Dunn into a huge plastic water tank. The tank proves too brittle for the struggle and shatters, freeing them both and flooding a large pothole. 

After Dunn's son Joseph (Spencer Treat Clark) begs policemen to help his father, one of the policemen shoves Dunn's face into the pothole. Wanting him to know what's happening, Dr. Elie Staple (Sarah Paulson) rushes to Dunn and tells him to hold her hand. He does, and his power allows him to see a memory of Staple's — a meeting of a secret society dedicated to keeping people with powers in check. She tells Dunn if she'd convinced him that he never had powers, he would've been allowed to live. The policeman pushes Dunn's face back into the water, ultimately drowning him.

Dunn isn't the only victim. Elijah succumbs to wounds from an attack by the Beast, and the Beast is shot through the chest by a sniper.

Painkiller/Khalil Payne (Black Lightning)

Khalil Payne (Jordan Calloway) was a tragic character even before his death. A star athlete paralyzed by a bullet during a peaceful protest, Khalil fell under the sway of the power-hungry Tobias Whale (Marvin Jones III) who funded a surgery that let Khalil walk again and gave him special abilities. Whale treated Khalil like a son at first, and in return Khalil served Tobias as Painkiller. The former student went to his old high school and used his poisoned darts to attack random former classmates, eventually fighting and defeating Black Lightning (Cress Williams) himself.

But once Black Lightning survived the first season, Whale's treatment of Khalil turned ugly and abusive. It was partly because of this abuse that Khalil finally found the courage to turn on Tobias and run away with his ex-girlfriend Jen (China Anne McClain). Eventually dodging gang members and a would-be assassin, Khalil finally agreed to go home, turn himself in, and enter witness protection. Tobias had Khalil's transport hijacked and when he finally confronted his former protege, he ripped Khalil's cybernetic spine out of his back with his bare hands.

Khalil clung to life for most of the episode following Whale's brutal attack, but he didn't have long. Jen convinced her psychic teacher, Perenna (Erik Alexander), to ease Khalil's passing by psychically placing Jen and Khalil in a dream world where they were in the hallway of their high school, on their way to the prom Khalil would never see.

Sage (The Gifted)

The 13th episode of The Gifted's second season, "teMpted," ended with Marcos, a.k.a. Eclipse (Sean Teale), killing the Inner Circle stooge Max (James Carpinello). Marcos had meant to capture and interrogate Max about the Inner Circle's plans, but Max fought back and forced Marcos to use deadly force. In the following episode, Inner Circle head Reeva (Grace Byers) searches for the traitor responsible for letting the Mutant Underground know how to find Max, and her aim proves to be as inaccurate as it is deadly.

Not knowing that Polaris (Emma Dumont) had learned to use her magnetic powers to hack computer systems, Reeva and the Frost sisters blame Sage (Hayley Lovitt), whose powers revolve around computer systems and whose digital signature they find when researching the surveillance cameras outside Max's quarters. Sage pleads her innocence, but Reeva is unconvinced. She uses her sonic powers with her usual mercilessness, murdering Sage.

Ironically, while Sage is innocent of betraying the Inner Circle in The Gifted, her comic book counterpart was a spy for Professor X, infiltrating the infamous Hellfire Club on his orders.

Reed Strucker (The Gifted)

Gifted's season 2 finale giveth and it taketh away. While "oMens" ended with the unexplained resurrection of Blink (Jamie Chung), who was presumed dead two episodes previous (at the end of "calaMity"), it also killed off one of the series' earliest regulars. Reed Strucker (Stephen Moyer) sacrificed himself to kill Inner Circle leader Reeva (Grace Byers) and stop the mutant/human war Reeva hoped to spark.

Reed had struggled with his powers ever since he learned he was a mutant in the middle of Gifted's first season. When active, Reed's powers caused anything he touched to disintegrate, which unintentionally put his own safety and that of everyone around him in jeopardy a number of times. He went so far as suppress them with drugs in the second season, but eventually — knowing the drugs would run out anyway — stopped taking them. 

In the season finale, Reed used his lack of control to his advantage — or at least to the advantage of those he cared about. When the Mutant Underground raided the Inner Circle's headquarters to stop Reeva, Reed slipped past her security and confronted her on his own. Knowing Reeva's sonic powers would make his abilities even more unpredictable, Reed cut loose, utterly destroying the top floors of the Inner Circle's building as well as killing himself and Reeva in the process. 

XS, a.k.a. Nora West-Allen (The Flash)

Between Avengers: Infinity WarAvengers: Endgame, and even the mid-credits scene of Ant-Man & The Wasp, Marvel might have gotten the idea that it had a monopoly on killing off characters by scrubbing them from existence. CW's The Flash begs to differ, since that's how the speedster XS — a.k.a. Nora West-Allen (Jessica Parker Kennedy) — is forced to say goodbye to her parents in the show's season 5 finale. She's erased from reality when Team Flash's defeat of the villain Cicada (Sarah Carter) changed Nora's future timeline.

In an earlier episode the heroes learn Nora has been running to and from the future, getting tips on how to beat Cicada from the imprisoned villain, the Reverse-Flash (Tom Cavanagh). In the finale Ralph Dibny (Hartley Sawyer) figures out Reverse-Flash's motivation — in the future, Cicada's dagger keeps Reverse-Flash powerless, so he wants Flash to destroy it. Regardless, the team is forced to destroy Cicada's dagger and once they do they travel to the future to stop Reverse-Flash. The heroes seem to be winning the fight, but Nora begins suffering the effects of the timeline change. Reverse-Flash tells the heroes the only way to save Nora is for her to enter his "Negative Speed Force," but she refuses — not wanting to suffer from the negative emotions necessary to access it. Reverse-Flash escapes and Nora dies embracing her mother and father, as glowing bits and pieces of her float away until she disappears. 

Red Daughter (Supergirl)

As far as we know, Melissa Benoist will continue playing Supergirl, but season 5 of Supergirl will see her playing one less character. Season 4 had Benoist doing double duty (or triple, if you count Supergirl's alter ego Kara Danvers) as both Supergirl and a clone raised in the fictional Eastern European nation of Kaznia. The clone was initially referred to as Snowbird and later nicknamed Red Daughter, referring to the classic DC Elseworlds miniseries Superman: Red Son, which had Kal-El raised in the Soviet Union rather than Kansas. 

Lex Luthor (Jon Cryer) allies himself with the Kaznians and uses the opportunity to manipulate Red Daughter and make her utterly loyal to him. Unfortunately, in Supergirl's season 4 finale Red Daughter learns that loyalty only goes one way. Lex fools the Kaznians into believing he's supporting an invasion of the United States, when in fact he uses the opportunity to destroy the invading Kaznians and falsely prove himself as a hero to the U.S. 

When Supergirl confronts Luthor with what he's done, she ultimately needs Red Daughter's help. The clone dies saving Supergirl from Lex. She gets in between Lex and Supergirl when Lex tries to blast the hero with Kryptonite energy. The Kryptonite kills Red Daughter, but as she dies she releases energy that Supergirl is able to use to grow stronger and defeat Luthor.

Raven, a.k.a. Mystique (Dark Phoenix)

You'd be on shaky ground calling Raven's (Jennifer Lawrence) comic book counterpart a superhero. In the comics she vacillates between villainy and moral ambiguity. But since the end of 2014's X-Men: Days of Future Past the movie franchise's Raven has been one of the good guys, and she pays dearly for that allegiance in 2019's Dark Phoenix

Shortly after Jean Grey (Sophie Turner) leaves the mansion, we learn that Professor X (James McAvoy) not only psychically blocked Jean's traumatic childhood memories, but lied to her about the fate of her father (Scott Shepherd). He told Jean her father had died because, in truth, her father wanted nothing to do with her. Because of this, Charles knows where to look for Jean — her father's home.

Once they find her, the X-Men are no match for the emerging Phoenix. She fights them off, including injuring Quicksilver (Evan Peters) so badly he's benched for the rest of the film. When Raven tries to talk Jean down, Jean — still not fully in control of her emerging power — flings Raven back through the air. The blue-skinned mutant is impaled on a piece of wreckage and she dies gasping. 

Raven's death brings with it catastrophic consequences. Magneto (Michael Fassbender) emerges to get revenge on Phoenix, Beast (Nicholas Hoult) leaves the X-Men to help Magneto, and it all puts the X-Men and Magneto's followers on an all-too-familiar collision course.

Selene Gallio, a.k.a. The Black Queen (Dark Phoenix)

Known better as the Hellfire Club's Black Queen, the comic book version of Selene Gallio (Kota Eberhardt) doesn't have even the occasional moral ambiguity Mystique enjoys — she's 100% bad guy. But the Selenes of the source material and the movie are already vastly different in terms of their abilities, and by the end of Dark Phoenix they're different in terms of their allies as well.

We first meet Selene as one of the inhabitants of the island Genosha where Magneto oversees a growing community of mutant refugees. Along with Ariki (Andrew Stehlin), Magneto brings Selene with him to New York City to kill Phoenix. She spends most of that fight using her own telepathic abilities to keep Professor X's powers busy. After all the mutants are captured by a government strike force and loaded on to a train — and that train is boarded by the D'Bari — Selene joins the X-Men against the aliens.

Unfortunately, Selene doesn't survive the battle. During a lull in the fighting she calls out to Magneto, but once Magneto turns to answer her, one of the super strong D'Bari reaches into the speeding train through an open doorway, grabs Selene, and hurls her out of the train as hard as he can. We never see her body, but since this version of the character isn't shown to have any powers beyond her telepathy, her fate seems clear.

Cosmonut (Suicide Squad #50)

First appearing back in 2016's Suicide Squad #3, the bizarre Cosmonut was a member of Russia's Annihilation Brigade. The Brigade tried and failed to stop the Squad from escaping after they broke into the underground Temho-Metya Prison. But in the recent Suicide Squad #50, Cosmonut sacrificed himself for his old adversaries.

With the usually very non-super Amanda Waller rendered a giant, super-strong, mindless beast that could breathe fire, Harley Quinn and Rick Flagg were not much of a match for their boss. In a move uncharacteristic of any member of the Annihilation Brigade, Cosmonut saved his old enemies by holding off Waller. Quinn and Flagg eventually managed to find the rest of the Squad — including Killer Croc, who'd been presumed dead the since the previous issue — and restore Waller to a less Godzilla-esque form, but not in time to save Cosmonut. Before losing her powers, Waller melted his big metal hammer head.

In true Suicide Squad fashion, none of the Squadders memorialized poor Cosmonut's sacrifice, or even seemed to remember he was there.

Blindfold (Uncanny X-Men #11)

February's Uncanny X-Men #11 was noteworthy for a number of reasons. The one most heavily promoted by Marvel was that it represented the first reunion of the newly resurrected Wolverine and Cyclops. But while it gave the X-Men back two of their favorite sons, it also stole away two of their lesser-known daughters. 

The first victim of Uncanny X-Men #11 (at least, the first one we see) was the young future-seeing Ruth, a.k.a. Blindfold. In the wake of almost all of the X-Men disappearing in previous issues, Blindfold was one of the few allies both Wolverine and Cyclops were able to contact while looking for survivors. Unfortunately, Ruth was suffering from bleak and disturbing images of the future. Uncanny X-Men #11 was split into three sections, with the first two telling the story from the points of view of Cyclops and Wolverine respectively, while the last was reserved for Blindfold. Her chapter is a purposely confusing and blurry part of the story, with the only clear thing being that Blindfold feels utterly hopeless facing what's to come. And so, in the first chapter, Scott Summers finds Ruth has committed suicide in her bathtub, cryptically writing "This is forever" on the wall in her own blood.

Ruth first entered the X-Men mythos courtesy of Buffy the Vampire Slayer creator Joss Whedon and artist John Cassaday's game-changing Astonishing X-Men run, when Ruth — ironically, considering her end — predicted the tragic suicide of fellow Xavier student Wing. 

Loa (Uncanny X-Men #11)

The timeline of Uncanny X-Men #11 isn't a straight line. While Blindfold is the first mutant hero we see die in the issue, chronologically speaking the C-Lister Loa dies before her. 

It's a strange portrayal of a death, particularly for a superhero character, in that we see little of the events leading up to it and don't even know who killed Loa or how. Held hostage by Blindfold's random "memory" of what has happened, what is happening, and what's to come (Watchmen readers will likely be reminded of the screwy, random order in which Doctor Manhattan tells the story of his life), we find Velocidad and Blindfold standing over the corpse of Loa in the snow. We don't know exactly how she died or exactly who killed her.

Considering the events of the rest of Uncanny X-Men #11, which shows how anti-mutant groups like the Purifiers feel like happy ants at a picnic in the wake of the X-Men's disappearance, it seems likely some kind of mutant-hating group was responsible for Loa's death, but we don't know for sure. The feel of the issue, particularly Blindfold's chapter, suggests our confusion will be cleared up in the near future. 

Gotham (Batman #65)

Neither mutants nor Marvel have a monopoly on superhero deaths, and this year's first DC Comics superhero death happened as a part of the mini-event "The Price." Told in alternating issues of Batman and The Flash, "The Price" acts as an offshoot of the mini-series Heroes in Crisis

Early in the current run of Batman, the Caped Crusader came across two heroes he thought might act as replacements in his mission to safeguard Gotham. The brother/sister team of Gotham and Gotham Girl idolized Batman while at the same time displaying powers similar to Superman. Batman ultimately learned the pair were too good to be true. They'd subjected themselves to experiments to gain their powers, and those powers were slowly killing them. Gotham (the dude, not the city) died and Batman did what he could to help Gotham Girl. But in "The Price," Gotham Girl returns with a plan for vengeance, a mystery benefactor, and her brother resurrected. 

Gotham's return is short-lived. In battle with the Flash, Gotham quickly overextends himself and again dies, literally exploding. We'll learn soon if his sister will join him in the void this time around, or if Batman will try once more to rehabilitate her. 

Strong Guy (Uncanny X-Men #12)

Marvel's mutants may not have a monopoly on superhero death in 2019, but if death were a contest, they'd definitely be the frontrunners. Blindfold and Loa weren't enough, so the following week in Uncanny X-Men #12, the former bodyguard and X-Factor member Guido, a.k.a. Strong Guy, fell protecting his allies.

Still looking for surviving X-Men, Cyclops and Wolverine learned that mutants were being imprisoned and used to power a new kind of Sentinel. Freeing Strong Guy, Mirage, and others from their Sentinel suits, Cyclops and Wolverine led a raid on the prison to free the remaining mutants. Among others, they found Magik and a few copies of Jamie Madrox, a.k.a. the Multiple Man. 

On their way out of the prison, one of the Multiple Man copies discovered he had been booby trapped with a bomb. Guido used his body and powers to absorb the blast and protect his allies. Unfortunately, already weakened by a techno-organic virus, Guido didn't survive the blast. Still being pursued, the X-Men were forced to leave their friend's massive body behind.   

Scout, a.k.a. X-Assassin (X-23 #10)

Ever since the 2018 premiere of the most recent volume of X-23 – the title starring Laura Kinney, the young female clone of Wolverine — Laura's sister/clone Gabby, a.k.a. Honey Badger, has been a regular fixture. For a few months it looked like a third sister might join the sorority of claw-happy sister-clones: In X-23 #7, Laura was attacked by a cybernetic assassin who ultimately proved to be another clone of Laura. 

Laura learned that her creator, Dr. Robert Chandler, was producing an army of cybernetic X-23 clones for the company Med-X-Tronics. Unlike Laura or Gabby, the cyborg clones' healing powers were compromised. While Laura investigated, Gabby spent as much time as she could with her new "sister," who said nothing, seemed almost comatose, and whose only name was the one Dr. Chandler gave her: "X-Assassin." 

When Laura was pinned down at Med-X-Tronics by dozens of her cybernetic clones, Gabby and X-Assassin came to the rescue. As Dr. Chandler tried to escape in a helicopter, X-Assassin directed Gabby to hit a button when the time was right. The cyborg clone boarded the helicopter, threw Laura free from it, and Gabby hit the button — causing X-Assassin to explode and killing Dr. Chandler along with her. 

The issue ends with Gabby mourning the loss of the sister she barely got to know. Based on an undefined anagram on her chest — T.U.O.K.S. — Gabby wrote down her choice for her departed sister's name: "Scout."

Kid Loki (Asgardians of the Galaxy #7)

While Marvel had a lot of reboots in 2018, one of its completely new series – Asgardians of the Galaxy – has proven to be one of the most fun. With a team of Asgardian and Asgardian-themed heroes forming to stop Nebula from bringing about universal Ragnarok, the Asgardians are led by the deadly Angela and their roster includes Skurge the Executioner, Valkyrie, Thunderstrike and Throg, Frog of Thunder (Thor, if Thor was a frog — no, really). 

The team also included the deadly Destroyer armor, and by the end of the first issue it was revealed that the armor was hiding and protecting Kid Loki, a younger and even more insufferable version who emerged as a result of the original Loki's death in the 2010 line-wide event Siege. However, since then an adult Loki has also come to exist in the Marvel Universe. 

There is some mystery behind how Kid Loki dies in Asgardians of the Galaxy #7, because it isn't a result of that issue's events. Angela finds Kid Loki lounging on the branch of a tree. He tells her he can't go with her because his older counterpart has dismissed the spell that brought him into being. Kid Loki simply vanishes into nothing.

Waxman (Superior Spider-Man #4)

While he wasn't exactly an angel, Waxman was working on their side for a bit. Along with the rest of the San Francisco-based group Night Shift, Waxman was recruited by Otto Octavius, a.k.a. the "Superior" Spider-Man, to help him fight crime in the City by the Bay. 

After an explosive two-issue clash between Superior Spidey and the former Herald of Galactus, Terrax the Tamer, a neighborhood in downtown San Francisco is left in ruins in Superior Spider-Man #4. Otto initially plans to skedaddle and let the civilian authorities handle the cleanup, but a guilt trip from colleague and former lover Anna Maria Marconi puts Superior Spider-Man back on the job. Wrangling the Night Shift and deploying his Spider-Bots, Otto looks for survivors in the building rubble. He detects one and sends Waxman — whose malleable body allows him to squeeze through cracks in the rubble –  to calm the survivors and let them know help is on the way. 

Meanwhile, highly suspicious of Night Shift, Marconi discovers Waxman is a serial killer and relays this information to Otto. Octavius rushes through the rubble and finds Waxman looming over the survivor — a young boy — about to kill him. Superior Spidey and Waxman battle briefly, ending with Spidey freezing Waxman's body and shattering it into pieces with his fist.  

Gibbon (Amazing Spider-Man #18.HU)

War of the Realms is only one of Marvel Comics' 2019 events. This year's Spidey event, Hunted, just kicked off and it's already claimed a handful of victims. So far, the only casualty to have any kind of superhero background is Martin Blank, a.k.a. the Gibbon.

When Kraven the Hunter gathers all the animal-themed Marvel heroes and villains he can to be hunted by Kraven drones (each controlled by a different super-rich client), Gibbon is one of the many hostages that becomes prey. in Amazing Spider-Man #18, when Gibbon faces the choice to follow either Spider-Man or Vulture, Gibbon's antagonistic past with Spidey makes him choose Vulture. Unfortunately, surprising no one but Gibbon, Vulture uses the lesser-known villain as a shield against Kraven's drones. In Amazing Spider-Man #18.HU, after narrating the sad moments leading up to his end in Hunted, we watch Gibbon succumb to his pursuers' attacks. He dies in Spider-Man's arms.

Gibbon started his Marvel life as a villain in 1972's Amazing Spider-Man #110. When, while wearing a gibbon suit, he asks to be Spider-Man's partner, Spidey laughs at the idea. Already a victim of constant bullying and cruel laughter, Gibbon lashes out and becomes Spider-Man's enemy. He popped up here and there over the years, and would eventually become the hero of the 2008/2009 mini-series Marvel Apes when he was transported to an alternate reality where apes, monkeys, chimpanzees and the like are the dominant Earth species. 

Valkyrie (War of the Realms #2)

War of the Realms continues to rage through the Marvel Universe. In War of the Realms #2, Asgard loses one of its favorite daughters — Valkyrie. Fighting atop a pile of slain trolls and dark elves, Valkyrie calls out to Malekith, architect of the War of the Realms, to stop hiding and face her. Malekith surprises her and stabs her from behind, and the issue ends with the dark elf mercilessly beheading her. 

While this seems as conclusive an end to a character as you'll get in a Marvel comic, Malekith does not kill Marvel's last Valkyrie. Three weeks before the release of War of the Realms #2, Marvel's Editor-in-Chief CB Cebulski announced at Chicago's C2E2 that a new Valkyrie comic would spin out of War of the Realms. Once fans learned of Valkyrie's violent end in War of the Realms #2, Marvel didn't wait long to end their confusion. The day after the comic's release, news broke that it would not be Brunnhilde — the Valkyrie who dies in War of the Realms — in the new Valkyrie series, but Jane Foster. Foster is played by Natalie Portman in the MCU films, and in the comics took over the mantle of Thor for four years, until being forced to sacrifice Mjolnir in order to stop the monstrous Mangog in 2018's Mighty Thor #705.

Joseph (Uncanny X-Men #16)

In Uncanny X-Men #16, the X-Men respond when the Brotherhood attacks an Air Force Base in Transia. The Brotherhood appear to be led by Magneto, but this proves to be a ruse. When the Brotherhood leader's helmet is knocked off, Karma scans his mind and discovers his true identity. He is Joseph: a clone of Magneto who joined the X-Men in the mid-'90s. Joseph reveals that in the wake of what many believe to be the death of most of the X-men, including the real Magneto, he took up the mantle in order to wage war on humanity.

Joseph seems to have the X-Men beaten, but the rest of the Brotherhood doesn't appreciate being fooled. Juggernaut and Pyro attack the clone, but the X-Men break up the fight. Joseph is in the middle of trying to convince the X-Men that capturing him is a mistake when an almost imperceptible sword slice cuts through his neck and stops him mid-sentence. In the following panel, we see his head fall to the ground while the rest of his body remains upright.

The attacker is Kwannon — a telekinetic ninja recently resurrected in the mini-series Hunt For Wolverine: Mystery in Madripoor. We don't get much of a reason for Kwannon's attack. She tells Wolverine someone was using Joseph as a weapon "to erase mutants from the Earth." There's no chance to get into specifics, because Mirage suddenly collapses, announcing that she senses an absent X-Man has died.

Wolfsbane (Uncanny X-Men #17)

Uncanny X-Men's body count continues to grow with the death of one of the New Mutants' founding members as Rahne Sinclair, a.k.a. Wolfsbane, is killed by a gang of young men. 

Early in Uncanny X-Men #16, Rahne leaves the team. The issue ends with the mutant Mirage abruptly announcing that she's sensed Rahne's death. In an Uncanny X-Men #17 flashback, we see Rahne sitting on a park bench, approached by a group of young men. When one of the men gets forceful about wanting to take her back to his place, she panics and briefly switches to her wolf form. When she switches back, the men are angry at her, feeling they have been fooled into thinking she was "a normal girl." In retaliation, they beat her to death.

Critics from websites like The Beat and Women Write About Comics were not happy with this scene, primarily because it mirrors a real-world trans panic attack (when a person who assaults a trans person uses the supposed shock of learning the person is trans to justify their violence) — particularly as there are no canonically transgender characters actually represented in Uncanny X-Men. Nola Pfau of WWAB put it this way: "To read this, to see it, when we can't see ourselves represented is more than injury; it's disrespect on top of it."

Uncanny X-Men writer Matthew Rosenberg has since tweeted an apology for the scene. 

Star Boy (Justice League Vs. The Fatal Five)

In Justice League Vs. The Fatal Five, the Fatal Five are criminals from the future. Thomas Kallor, a.k.a. Star Boy (Elyes Gabel) of the 31st century Legion of Super-Heroes, follows them into the past and allies himself with the Justice League. When the Fatal Five detonate a Green Lantern-powered bomb in the Earth's sun — thereby, they hope, destroying the Earth and preventing the Legion of Super-Heroes from existing — Star Boy uses his mass-controlling powers to stop their plan. Unfortunately the only way for the hero to save the sun is from its interior, so saving the Earth means dooming himself. 

The animated film tackles the subject of living with mental illness through Star Boy and the Green Lantern Jessica Cruz (Diane Guerrero). When we meet Green Lantern, she suffers from crippling survivor's guilt after barely escaping a murderer who kills her friends. When Star Boy arrives in the 21st century, he's arrested and sent to Arkham Asylum. We learn he's schizophrenic and the medicine he uses to treat his condition in the 31st century isn't available in our time. No one believes his stories about being a superhero and he docilely accepts his incarceration until a news report about the Fatal Five triggers him. When he sacrifices himself at the end of the film, Green Lantern begs him to not do it and yells "Thomas!" Star Boy's final words are "It's Star Boy. I'm a superhero."

Chamber (Uncanny X-Men #18)

The carnage in Uncanny X-Men continues. Chamber dies in Uncanny X-men #18 at the hands of villains who are no strangers to murdering mutants — the Marauders. Ironically considering the villains' usual nature, it's Chamber — not the Marauders –  who starts the bloodletting that ultimately leads to his own death. 

Chamber initially wants nothing to do with Cyclops' newly formed X-Men, but he joins the team after most of the Morlocks are slaughtered in Uncanny X-Men #14 by unseen assailants that Chamber and the other Morlocks assume were the Marauders. The X-Men catch up with the Marauders in Uncanny X-Men #18. The villains shock the heroes by surrendering after only a brief tussle, swearing they had nothing to do with the Morlocks' death. Cyclops calls the X-Men off once the Marauders surrender but Chamber declares "They don't get to decide when it's over." Chamber uses his powers to burn the Marauders alive, killing all but one of them. As Cyclops grabs Chamber and berates him for the murders, the dying Marauder Harpoon runs Chamber through from behind. 

Hope Summers shoots Harpoon in the head, but the damage to Chamber is irreversible. Chamber's unique powers would normally render him indestructible. How exactly Harpoon's weapon counters this is unclear, but Madrox tells the dying Chamber "Harpoon's energy is doing something to your powers." Magik teleports the team away from the carnage, but by the time they arrive at their destination Chamber is dead. 

Starfox (Guardians of the Galaxy #6)

The current volume of Guardians of the Galaxy spins out of the line-wide event Infinity Wars in which Gamora murders her adoptive father Thanos. In Guardians of the Galaxy #1 we learn Thanos had arranged to have his consciousness uploaded into someone else's body in the case of his untimely death. Starfox — Thanos' brother — assembles a team of "Dark Guardians" to find and kill the most likely candidates, starting with Gamora, while Peter Quill's Guardians try to save her. Unfortunately for Starfox and his Dark Guardians, it turns out Gamora isn't the most likely candidate after all. 

In Guardians of the Galaxy #5 we find out it was Starfox into whom Thanos' consciousness was uploaded, and it was the Asgardian goddess of death, Hela, who did the deed. After the Dark Guardians capture Gamora, Hela appears and easily brushes them aside. She convinces Starfox of the truth and Thanos' consciousness emerges and gains dominance over his brother's body. Hela brings Starfox to Knowhere, where Thanos' reassembled body awaits. The Guardians arrive on Knowhere, and Gamora runs Starfox through — killing him and stopping the transfer of Thanos' consciousness into his new body. 

Vanisher (Uncanny X-Men #19)

If, based on previous entries, you've been betting that at least one mutant will die in every issue of Marvel's Uncanny X-Men, then Uncanny X-Men #19 will not interrupt your winning streak. Though he's one of the X-Men's earliest enemies — first appearing in 1963's X-Men #2 — The Vanisher has known some extended periods of heroism over the years, and not just because Brad Pitt plays him in Deadpool 2. He's spent time with both the X-Men and X-Force, but right now he's spending time resembling Play-Doh.

Uncanny X-Men #19 is — until the final two pages — a flashback issue. We learn before the X-Men rescued fellow mutants who were being used to power a new kind of Sentinel, those mutants were used to capture Emma Frost and Vanisher. A General Robert Callahan frees Frost and Vanisher and allows them to keep their freedom in exchange for cooperation. The first bit of cooperation involves giving Callahan the mutant cure developed by the Beast. 

Shortly after they're freed, we see the Hellfire Club in their civilian clothing, shopping. Provoked when Frost refused to answer his summons, General Callahan ambushes the mutants with a strike team. Turns out Callahan's men weaponized Beast's cure to make it less predictable and more fatal. The soldiers fire a barrage of syringes containing the serum at Vanisher, whose body instantly turns into a pink goo.

Getting electrocuted may have hurt, but compared to this we think the movie Vanisher got lucky.  

Cosmic Ghost Rider (Guardians of the Galaxy #6)

In Guardians of the Galaxy #5, Cosmic Ghost Rider is one of the easiest of the Dark Guardians for Hela to defeat. Cosmic Ghost Rider's connection to the afterlife puts him directly under Hela's control, and at her command he immediately turns on his comrades. In the following issue, Star-Lord is surprised when Cosmic Ghost Rider won't fight back. He tells Quill that his connection to Hela is weakening, and then he crumbles into a pile of bones. He wakes up in Hell, where the Johnny Blaze Ghost Rider is waiting for him. 

An editor's note lets us know we'll be seeing more of Johnny Blaze and Cosmic Ghost Rider in the upcoming Avengers #22. This could mean a resurrection is in store for CGR, but not necessarily. After all, Johnny Blaze died at Mephisto's hands last year in Doctor Strange: Damnation #3 and he's still counted among the unliving; in fact, he's usurped Mephisto as the King of Hell. So just because Cosmic Ghost Rider will be showing up again doesn't mean he'll he be alive when it happens.

Skurge the Executioner (Asgardians of the Galaxy #10)

With the deaths of Kid Loki and Valkyrie, the Asgardians of the Galaxy arguably suffer more than any other superhero team in Marvel's War of the Realms event. Asgardians of the Galaxy #10, the series finale, takes one more victim from the Asgardians' ranks, as Skurge the Executioner makes a last stand brimming with dark irony. 

Skurge was freshly resurrected when he joined the Asgardians of the Galaxy, and his previous death was one of the most memorable in Marvel Comics history. He died in the 1985 classic Thor #362, fighting off waves of undead soldiers to give his Asgardian brethren time to escape Hel. This time around, Skurge's foes are much different. The angels of Heven inexplicably side with the Dark Elf Malekith in War of the Realms, and Skurge dies fighting them. 

Skurge joins Angela in Heven itself, and once there Skurge holds off the angels to give Angela the time to summon an army of undead Asgardian warriors team encountered earlier in the series. Ironically, Skurge dies his first death against an army of the dead, and dies his second death helping to summon another army of the dead to his side.

After he succumbs to his wounds, Skurge awakes in Valhalla, the realm of the honored dead. Valhalla's other residents greet him warmly, and when he insists that he hasn't earned a place among them, they tell him they all thought the same thing when they got there.

Sunspot (War of the Realms: Uncanny X-Men #3)

The ranks of the X-Men were already thinning in Uncanny X-Men, and the line-wide event War of the Realms has taken another member of the team. Roberto da Costa, a.k.a. Sunspot (one of the original New Mutants as well), dies in War of the Realms: Uncanny X-Men #3. Despite being warned of its power, Sunspot uses his super strength to crush an artifact called the Enchantress' Stone. At first he seems to be okay, but seconds later an explosion of blue-white energy erupts and vaporizes the hero.

Sunspot isn't the only X-Man to be killed in the mini-series, either. Later in the same issue, former X-Man and Weapon X member Sabretooth is decapitated by Magik. Just in case his healing powers should bring him back, Magik uses her teleportation powers to send Sabretooth's head to parts unknown. However, in spite of Magik's best efforts, we've already seen Sabretooth return to the land of the living in the first issue of the game-changing new mini-series House of X.

Dark Beast (Uncanny X-Men #20)

Dark Beast — a version of Hank McCoy from an alternate reality based on the 1995 Age of Apocalypse event — wasn't much of a superhero. Nevertheless, he's been working with the X-Men since Cyclops returned from the dead and started putting a new team together in Uncanny X-Men #11. In Uncanny X-Men #20, Dark Beast finally turns on his benefactors, thinking he's helping them, and pays for his mistake with his life. 

All across the globe, parents are giving their children a new vaccine designed to suppress any emerging mutant genes. Dark Beast tells his teammates he's figured out a way to counteract the vaccine. He just needs his own agent dispersed in the upper atmosphere. Unfortunately, the X-Men trust Dark Beast, and Banshee disperses the agent as ordered.

The X-Men inevitably learn that Dark Beast failed to tell them that, once his agent had been dispersed, it wouldn't simply stop the anti-mutant vaccine from working; if a child receiving the vaccine is a mutant, it will likely kill them. Dark Beast sees this as an inestimable success, saying that now human parents won't dare get their children vaccinated. Ignoring Cyclops' protests, the vengeful Magik uses her mutant power to teleport Dark Beast's head into the ceiling, ending his experiments permanently. 

Velocidad (Uncanny X-Men #21)

We last saw Gabriel Cohuelo, a.k.a. Velocidad, in Uncanny X-Men #11. While initially a younger hero, Velocidad had been forced to use his powers so much that he aged prematurely. Shortly before her death in that issue, Blindfold had warned Velocidad he was going to get caught. In Uncanny X-Men #21 we learn she was right, but Logan makes sure he doesn't stay caught for long.

As part of the military's program to merge captured mutants with techno-organic viruses, Velocidad has been one of the O*N*E program's most important assets. Velocidad tells Logan they've been forcing him to use his time-manipulation abilities to mature the techno-organics that much quicker. Wolverine offers to rescue Velocidad and get him help, but the dying hero tells Logan he won't survive and — not knowing she's already dead — asks Logan to tell Blindfold she was right. Sparing him the news of his friend's suicide, Logan agrees and puts Velocidad out of his misery with his claws.