Crisis Death Sticky, Part II

Continuing with Tuesday's discussion of just how permanent deaths in Crisis on Infinite Earths have turned out to be, let's dig into the last three issues of the series. Let's start with a shocker:

PsimonGetting your brain blasted to bits by Brainiac should have taught him not to keep behind fragile glass, but dude was still walking around with a glass dome in Salvation Run. I'm really not clear on how he survived that. Or how he might survive the Joker smashing his head in his latest appearance.

Starman II
The caption says he's dead, but that didn't stop James Robinson from bringing him back like all the other Starmen. He's currently appearing in the mind-numbing atrocity that is Rann-Thanagar Holy War.

Immortal Man
Despite his name, he sacrificed his existence so that the universe could live. Oh irony.

Tula actually dies off-panel a few pages later, from Chemo poisoning the ocean. As far as resurrections go, we've had a couple of false alerts, most notably her appearance in the Tempest mini-series (doppleganger screwing with Aqualad's head) and when Brother Blood resurrected her to fight the Titans more recently (laid back to rest). Since she's been replaced by Lorena Marquez, it's safe to assume she's well and truly dead.

Mirror Master, Icicle and Maaldor the Darklord
Not a strong finish for these villains. Grant Morrison's Scottish version is now the proper MM, so don't expect a resurrection. Icicle was also replaced by a younger version. And Maaldor? Like a lot of villains from the pages of DC Comics Presents (he only fights Superman if Superman has a buddy), there's not much call to bring him back.

Angle Man
The only casualty of Crisis #11, Angle Man tried to angle himself out of the universe and gets fried, attracting a good number of DC's detective stars. With Wonder Woman's reboot, he was reimagined as Angelo Bend. Same character? Might be.

The Emo Prince of Pacifism was soon replaced by a more interesting female Dove. All of his call-backs have been false alarms. There's no place for a non-violent hero on today's comics, I guess.

Lori Lemaris
Superman's mermaid girlfriend is another victim of the Anti-Monitor's shadow demons, but Superman's reboot gave her the chance to live again, and die again in Infinite Crisis, and then possibly live again. Like Tritonis, also destroyed in this issue, she's not fish'n'chips yet.

Green Arrow I
So Peacemaker lives, but the Golden Age Green Arrow dies? Face it, if you were an Earth-2 "duplicate" and your fate wasn't yet sealed, you were pretty much assured to get killed in Crisis. Sadly, I liked him better than "our" Oliver Queen.

Prince Ra-Man
Who? A mystic hero who fought Eclipso a number times, he was really Mark Merlin, trapped in another dimension but using the Ra-Man body to fight evil on Earth. So it's entirely possible that this is only the death of a particular body. Ed Brubaker brought back Mark Merlin in his Batman run, Grant Morrison had a Ra-Man entity in his Zatanna, and according to Sword of Atlantis, his supporting cast is shacking up with Sea Devil Dane Dorrance, so I guess he's still around. Character return of 2009??

Clayface IIRendered inert in Crisis, others would show up to take Matt Hagen's mantle, some with his powers, some not, but his only comeback is as a member of Mudpack, where a tiny bit of him is basically held standing by a fork. Best use of mortal remains ever. Also killed in the above panel is the...

Bug-Eyed Bandit
Famously, Marv Wolfman claimed he killed the Bandit off because he “couldn’t be part of a company that would print [them].” A recent appearance in All-New Atom turned out to be a hoax. His son now operates under his old moniker.

Ten-Eyed Man
The other Wolfman mercy killing. Hard to see here, but he's in that shadow bubble getting roasted. The Ten-Eyed Man never returned, but 52 introduced the Ten-Eyed Men of the Empty Quarter, a tribe who can see through tats on their fingertips. Wolfman, meet Morrison.

A Wolfman creation, her principal use was as a love interest for Jericho (hahaha), so he put her out of her misery as well. She later returned alive and well without explanation, then doubt was cast on the story (Monarch-related, best not to get into it), and then finally came back as one of Brother Blood's zombies (see Aquagirl). So I guess she was dead all along. May she stay that way.

Robin I
Like Green Arrow I, Earth-2's adult Robin was a sure shot in the death pool.

Huntress II
Huntress was too, by virtue of her parentage. As the daughter of Earth-2's duplicate Batman and Catwoman, how could she exist? Retconned as a mafioso's daughter whose family was killed in front of her eyes, she's had a good run, been a member of the JLA, the animated JLU (where she rocks hard) and the Batman Family. She's currently starring in a frankly excellent Year One mini-series.

For a character I'd initially met in New Adventures of Superboy, he looks pretty well preserved here. Well, for a dead guy. The ubiquitous Grant Morrison put a new guy - a celebrity hound - into the suit and powers in Doom Patrol, but the original is gone.

Wonder Woman II
Setting up her reboot, Diana gets fried by the Anti-Monitor (Crisis is really harsh on the DCU's iconic heroines). Of course, if this is her erasure from continuity so that she can be "born again", why didn't Superman suffer the same fate? This one wasn't going to stay dead for long.

Villains born in crossover events have limited usefulness. The big threat needs to be defeated, and then can't reappear in smaller stories. So it came to no surprise when the Anti-Monitor got fragged (great hero moment for the Golden Age Superman, though). He showed up as a prop in Infinite Crisis, and later was revived as a member of the Sinestro Corps. Killed again, he's set to become the first Black Lantern and head an army of zombies (thus becoming the catalyst for the resurrection of many other characters, I'm sure).

Somehow, the Golden Age versions of Wonder Woman and Superman survive (though the former would promptly be retconned out). Superman I, Lois Lane I, Superboy-Prime and Luthor Jr. get exiled, their fates to be revealed in Infinite Crisis (for good or ill).

Crisis on Infinite Earths Death Tally
Permanent: 17
Overturned: 18
Ambiguous: 5


Jeff R. said...

Kole managed to get killed before her Origin story arc was complete, which is a bit of an achievement. For readers who were buying anywhere other than at comic-book stores and thus getting the year-behind reprint titans books, she died almost a year before her first appearance in her own book. (She did show up earlier in Crisis, though)

Siskoid said...

I was indeed one of those convenience store kids.

mwb said...

Brain in glass dome = painting bullseye on it.

Seriously. I'm surprised kids don't throw rocks at it all the time when he walks down the street.

Anonymous said...

Angle Man?

Any relation to Triangle Man (of TMBG fame)?

Siskoid said...

Only insofar as Triangle Man is loosely based on Superman (the S shield) and thus on the prototypical superhero, and Angle Man is part of that tradition (though relatively far from it as a Wonder Woman villain).

FoldedSoup said...

I knew it was bad, but I wouldn't have guessed that low of a permanency count. Wowsers. They all seemed pretty permanent to me when I was a teenager.

De said...

I thought the original Golden Age Wonder Woman (i.e. not Hippolyta) took her place among the gods at the end of Crisis. And didn't she show up in Infinite Crisis?

Anonymous said...

Angle Man was a cousin of Particle Man. Can't wait to see what Grant Morrison will do with him...

Mr. Universe

Siskoid said...

De: She did, but it's not portrayed as a death.


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