It's very rare for anyone to stay dead in comic books. When it comes to DC Comics, there are some significant deaths, with Superman being the most prominent example back in the 90s. However, more often than not, the company errs on the side of letting the heroes win rather than having them sacrifice themselves to save the day.
There are seemingly fewer deaths in DC Comics than their competitors at Marvel. With that said, there have been some notable deaths that took place in the DC Universe over the years. However, just like Marvel, these deaths often are not as they seem. Here is a look at some harrowing incidents we thought had finished off our favorite heroes for good, only for them to (somehow) make a return.
One of the most iconic storylines in DC Comics history is Death of Superman, and while the story remains popular, it's proven to be polarizing in the years since its release. This is because DC Comics refused to allow Superman to stay dead for very long at all.
DC Comics followed up Death of Superman with the rise of four new Superman-type characters. Right after that, Superman came back from the dead, as his soul was still lingering and The Eradicator successfully revived him. Superman made his quick return to help stop Cyborg Superman, following the destruction of Coast City.
In Final Crisis, the heroes of the DC Comics Universe were battling Darkseid, and they ended up in what looked like an impossible situation. Batman went against his lifetime oath of never using a gun and shot the Radion Bullet into Darkseid, but before the evil conqueror died, he struck Batman down as well.
However, Batman didn't die, although his body did. Instead, Bruce Wayne survived as the Omega Sanction blast sent him back in time. He then had to find his way from the Prehistoric Era to the present day to return to the DC Universe.
8 GREEN LANTERN
During the aftermath of the Death of Superman storyline, new versions of Superman arrived. One of them was Cyborg Superman, who ended up destroying Green Lantern's hometown of Coast City. Parallax took control of Hal Jordan in this moment of anguish and turned him evil.
In the Final Fight storyline, the Sun-Eater is sucking the energy from the Earth's sun, and it is only a matter of time before it destroys Earth. Hal redeems himself by flying into the sun to absorb the Sun-Eater and reignite it. However, Hal did not die, instead becoming the Spectre.
7 BARRY ALLEN
Barry Allen was one of the greatest and most powerful heroes in the DC Universe. He was even the first superhero when DC Comics relaunched its superhero line in 1956. Since that time, a joke has risen that Flash has to die in every Crisis. This fact was on display in Crisis on Infinite Earths.
Flash used his speed to stop the Anti-Monitor, but did so as self-sacrifice, giving his life to save and change the universe. Barry Allen was gone longer than any other modern-day superhero after their death, but he wasn't dead. Barry was trapped in the Speed Force and finally returned 23 years later.
6 JASON TODD
One of the most controversial moments in DC Comics history came when they allowed readers to vote on whether the polarizing Jason Todd lived or died. Fans hated the second Robin, mostly because he wasn't Dick Greyson. The vote was to kill Todd, although it ended up as a rigged vote.
Then, Jason returned as the Red Hood. When Superboy-Prime altered reality, he ended up bringing Jason Todd back to life. Jason busted out of his coffin and ended up in a coma for a year, before Talia al Ghul helped bring him back to health.
5 GUY GARDNER
Guy Gardner was one of the two men initially chosen to wield the Green Lantern ring, but Hal Jordan was selected. Guy, instead, became the backup Green Lantern. When Guy finally got his chance to step up as Green Lantern, he helped Green Arrow beat Professor Ojo. After this, the power battery exploded in his face, and everyone thought he died.
However, Guy didn't die. The accident blasted Guy Gardner into the Phantom Zone and he ended up brainwashed and forced to fight Superman and Green Lantern. Hal finally helped bring Guy back, but he was in a coma for several years. When he came to, he became the anti-hero that fans grew to love.
4 MARTIAN MANHUNTER
Martian Manhunter was sent to a prison planet to keep an eye on the villains sent there. While disguised as the villain Blockbuster, it went wrong when Catwoman discovered his true identity. She outed him, and the prisoners all tortured him before they escaped the planet.
The Secret Society of Super-Villains rescued him from the planet. However, they intended to kill him, and they did so. Luckily, J'onn sent a message out to other heroes to stop the bad guys before his death. J'onn rose in the events of Blackest Night, and he was one of the heroes the Entity allowed to remain alive after that event.
3 WALLY WEST
The most recent superhero that we thought died but survived was Wally West. While it was polarizing, Heroes in Crisis ended up being an interesting story about the mental strains of being a superhero. Wally went to The Sanctuary, which was the home of heroes who had hit their limit and needed help.
However, in a shocking moment, a brutal murder took place in Heroes in Crisis which saw several people killed, including Wally West. The twist at the end was that Wally West was the killer. He used his time travel powers to kill a clone of himself as a coverup, so he could have the chance to reveal his story to help others in the future.
Aquaman took on a lot of power when he became the Dweller in the Depths after a pact with the Sea Gods, but this was not enough to keep him alive. He goes into battle with Ocean Master before passing on the role of Aquaman to Arthur Joseph Curry, eventually falling in battle to Narwhal. His body decomposes, and he appeared dead.
As with Martian Manhunter, Aquaman returned in Blackest Night and was one of the 12 characters The Entity allowed to return to life in the Brightest Day storyline. With his return, he also had a new power -- he could control even undead sealife.
1 GREEN ARROW
Oliver Queen is not expected to survive his final season of Arrow on The CW. It wouldn't be the first time that Green Arrow has died. He went undercover and began fighting his friends as the NSA hired him to try to stop a great threat to the world. Oliver sacrificed himself to save Metropolis, allowing a bomb to explode in a plane he was in before it could crash into the city.
Oliver Queen did die at this moment, but his death would not last. When Hal Jordan prepared to sacrifice himself to reignite the sun and stop the Sun-Eater, one of his last moves as Parallax was to bring Oliver Queen back from the dead.