All month-long we’ll be featuring top five lists about either the Avengers or the X-Men. Here is an archive of all the past top five lists!
Today we’ll look at the top five most pointless deaths in the pages of the X-Men (counting crossovers with X-Men).
Let’s face it. If you kill off a character, there will always be people who are unhappy about it. However, this list is not just for deaths that people didn’t like, but rather for deaths that really didn’t have much of a point, ordered from those that had the most of a point to those that were the most pointless. To wit, Colossus died to stop the Legacy Virus. That’s a point. Nightcrawler sacrificed himself to save Hope. That’s a point. The people on this list? Not so much…
In X-Men: Deadly Genesis #2 by Ed Brubaker, Trevor Hairsine and Scott Hanna, the recently resurrected Vulcan sends the X-Men’s airplane, the Blackbird, to destroy a passenger jet that has Banshee on it.
Banshee gets out of the plane to try to save the hundreds of people on the jet.
They all die.
So while that is a pretty pointless death, I have it not AS high because I suppose the point of this particular death WAS the pointlessness of it. You know, the idea that not all deaths ARE heroic. So since the pointlessness of the death here is sort of being highlighted rather than just avoided, I think it doesn’t make it AS bad as the other deaths on this list.
4. Moira MacTaggert
Moira MacTaggert was a great character, so boy did she have a weak way of dying.
Mystique put together a new team of Brotherhood of Evil Mutants to go to Muir Isle to steal MacTaggert’s Legacy Virus research to adapt the virus to only kill humans…
We never actually SEE Moira suffer her fatal injuries.
Just two parts in this four-part crossover, in the pages of BISHOP, of all places, we learn that yep, off-panel there was an explosion and she was fatally wounded…
The only reason she isn’t higher on this list is the fact that in the final part of the crossover she had a big noble sacrifice where she clung to life for just long enough to give Professor Xavier her cure to the Legacy Virus through telepathy…
That makes her death a bit more noble.
What really sort of irks me about this storyline is that it tries to draw a line in the sand where Mystique is now flat-out a villain. Said line was washed away soon afterwards by the time she got her own ongoing series.
3. Skin and Bedlam
Uncanny X-Men #423, by Chuck Austen, Ron Garney and Mark Morales, opens with the X-Men just coming across a bunch of crucified mutants…
I love how they’re like, “Should we just leave our friends’ dead bodies up here?”
Jubilee is the most famous of the crucified mutants…
And sure enough, she gets healed (Magma, too, but I don’t know if they show that here)…
So Skin and Jesse Bedlam just die for the heck of it. If you were planning on having Jubilee survive it, just have the other mutants be nameless ones, which they were for the most part, instead of just killing off Skin for seemingly no reason. He was way too good of a character to go out with such little regard like that. Especially since he didn’t even get to have a death scene! At least a couple of issues later they had an issue devoted to Jubilee dealing with Skin’s death. Otherwise, this would likely be a bit further down the list.
2. Bevatron, Catseye and Roulette
Now I don’t mean to suggest that I’m some huge fan of the Hellions, Emma Frost’s students at the Massachusetts Academy. Far from it. However, they were decent enough characters. Decent enough that three of them were effectively killed off off panel.
In Uncanny X-Men #281 (by Whilce Portacio, Jim Lee, John Byrne and Art Thibert), we meet Trevor Fitzroy when he bursts into a Hellfire Club party. He kills one of the Hellions, Jetstream…
He then seemingly kills another Hellion, Beef…
(By the way, if a dude is supposed to be super-strong like Beef, would you automatically presume he died there?)
Next, he drains the life force from Tarot…
Fair enough. But then he just drains the life force from a bunch of other people, including, apparently (although not shown) Bevatron, Catseye and Roulette!
How pointless is it to kill off an established character when you don’t even SEE it happen?
1. Sharon Friedlander
In Uncanny X-Men #298, by Scott Lobdell, Brandon Peterson and Al Milgrom, Sharon Friedlander, longtime New Mutants supporting character, is killed by a blow to the head…
They drag her body around for the rest of the issue (which makes it seem like she isn’t dead).
She gets off a telepathic message to Professor Xavier…
And they NEVER actually say she’s dead in the issue. In fact, they never even ADDRESS her in the rest of the issue.
But no, later on they confirmed that yep, she died from that punch.
That’s about as pointless as it comes.
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