Crisis Death Sticky

Being in the midst of the Final Crisis, and with the Martian Manhunter's much-publicized death, I thought we could go back to the original 1985-86 maxi-series and see just who died back then (indeed, was erased from reality) and what they are doing now. In other words, just how much sticky do Crisis deaths have?

Worlds will live, worlds will die: The multiverseThey're not all back, but 52 of them are. And not just as a result of 52 either. Not even two years after Crisis, the Champions of Angor (Wandjina, Blue Jay and Silver Sorceress) were coming off of an "alternate Earth" (now known as Earth-8).

Crime Syndicate and all of Earth-3 (along with their version of Luthor and Lois Lane)
And Ultraman takes it like a man, too! But Grant Morrison brought the Syndicate back in his classic JLA: Earth 2, and since then, we've seen the Syndicate here and there, in Superman-related stories mostly, and their own Countdown special. Alexander Luthor, however, is still dead.
The Losers
Johnny Cloud, Captain Storm and Gunner & Sarge got to die again in The Losers Special (along with Pooch this time), a proper send-off written by Robert Kanigher himself. The 90s Creature Commandos had the very bad idea of bringing Gunner & Sarge back as cyborgs, or something, but I doubt anyone remembers. The same duo's appearances in Birds of Prey on Dinosaur Island (with a velociraptor Pooch) happened in their own time frame. Not in continuity, but I did love their appearance in New Frontier.

The obscure western star was retconned back to life twice: Once as one of the reincarnations of Hawkman (Hawkgirl was Cinnamon) who gets killed by the reincarnation of Hath-Set, and then again during Zero Hour where he comes out of retirement to fight Extant.

Kid Psycho
They're really, really taking out everyone's favorites, aren't they? Kid Psycho's days were numbered anyway, since every time he used his mental powers, a little bit of him died. I'm not aware of any retconned appearances despite the Legion being rebooted, like, 100 times now. Maybe it's the name.

The Monitor
Yeah, we all know how that worked out.

Despite her touching death in Crisis #7, she would return as a gooey shape-shifter from a pocket dimension before actually being made Kryptonian again. Her current series is a mess, but at least she's not accessorizing like Olivia Newton John anymore.

Flash II
The definitive Crisis death. Whenever he's come back, it's been a time-traveling anomaly, a con, or some other "imaginary story". But after 22 years, looks like Barry's really back. Book end complete.

Luthor I
Earth-2 characters that are Golden Age copies ("Hey! who you calling a copy, copy?!") of Earth-1 characters are Crisis fodder. We know the two can't coexist on a single Earth. So no, we never see Alexei Luthor again. Love how Luthor-1 rolled with it though.

This is the point at which the death toll starts to mount, so I'll leave issues #10-12 for later in the week. For now, this is Siskoid reminding you that you can't keep a good character down (which explains Kid Psycho, I guess).


rob! said...

Nighthawk's death felt especially pointless to me.

and even tho it was mostly for a shock moment, i love Brianiac immolating Luthor like that.

Robert said...

I remember thinking:

Kid psycho, are you there?
Kid psycho, come in!
Kid psycho, WHO ARE YOU?

Siskoid said...

Looking at it now, a lot of the deaths at least had some resonance. Even the Crime Syndicate got to go out with a certain hero moment.

But not Nighthawk. In any case, who cares if you kill off a character from the past who's likely dead now anyway? We just don't perceive historical heroes the same way.

H said...

Excellent idea for a feature. Don't forget about the Ten-Eyed Man!


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