Death is a serious thing. You don't need us to tell you that. However, superhero death is a different matter. It is also often treated very seriously in comics when it occurs, but at the same time, it happens so much and gets overturned so frequently that it is difficult to really take too seriously. As a result, a number of writers over the years have taken to putting a bit of a comedic spin on the concept of superhero death. It is not so much making fun of death itself, but rather of the ridiculous tropes that accompany it.
One writer, in particular, Garth Ennis, has never really been a fan of superheroes and as a result, he often enjoys mocking the sillier aspects of superhero life in his work. So, expect to see a lot of Ennis-written examples to show up on this list (we actually had to restrict ourselves a bit on how many examples we would use from Ennis' two main superhero mocking series, Hitman and The Boys). Here, then, are the 15 funniest superhero deaths, ranked from least amusing to most hilarious.
15 THE MERC WITH A MOUTH DIES TALKING
In 2002, Weapon X was reformed under a mysterious Director and his point man, Agent Brett Jackson. They recruited mutants to work for them and in exchange, they fixed some of the problems that those mutants were having with their powers, like making Marrow no longer have to pull bones out of her body. They ended up cutting a deal with Deadpool where they would increase his healing powers and get rid of his skin tumors.
However, after he was assigned to kill his ex-girlfriend, Vanessa, Deadpool turned on the group. They then activated their fail-safe and began to basically turn him into goo. He kept fighting though (in one gross scene, he shoved some of his own goo into Sabretooth's mouth) and died insulting Brett Jackson's (admittedly quite lame) outfit. As he finally died, his last act was to give the director the finger. He then regenerated soon after.
14 (NOT) LIKE THIS!
Of all of the deaths on this list, this is the only one that was not intentionally humorous. However, it is still pretty darn funny. During a battle in Avengers Disassembled, Hawkeye's quiver got blasted and was set ablaze. Knowing that he did not have enough time to take the quiver off, he instead grabbed a Kree soldier's jet pack and flew into a Kree ship, all the while shouting, "Not like this!" and then exploded.
If you don't have a contingency plan if your quiver filled with explosives catches fire, then that's just on you. The time spent shouting "Not like this!" could have been spent just getting rid of the quiver! The scene was even mocked in an issue of Cable and Deadpool! Luckily, at least this was not the end for Hawkeye. He returned to life during the next Avengers event, House of M.
13 BAD TIME TO BE A HERO
The Crusader was a Skrull who was sent to infiltrate the Avengers. However, he arrived on Earth after they had disbanded following the events of Avengers Disassembled. Stuck on Earth with nothing else to do, Crusader decided to become a superhero anyway, even without the opportunity to spy on the Avengers. He grew to love the planet. He befriended the superhero known as Freedom Ring, and when Freedom Ring was killed, Crusader inherited his magical super-ring.
Crusader joined the Avengers Initiative following Civil War. When the Skrulls invaded Earth, Crusader pretended to be human using the ring. He then fought against the Skrull, who had impersonated Initiative instructor, Hank Pym. He successfully defeated him, defending his adopted planet... and then was shot in the head by the Skrull-hunter, 3D-Man. His teammates all presumed he was replaced by a Skrull, so no one even mourned his passing. Darkly hilarious.
12 FEAR THE NIGHTFIST!
In the opening story arc in Garth Ennis and John McCrea's Hitman series, we met a vigilante in Gotham City called Nightfist. He was unusual because he wouldn't just stop drug deals, he would then pocket the drugs and sell them himself. So a corrupt GCPD cop hired Tommy Monaghan and his friend Natt the Hat to kill Nightfist. They posed as mugging victims and opened fired on him when he came to save them. He survived due to his suit's armor.
After a few other near-death experiences, Nightfist tracked down the main crimelord in the area and arrived to beat him up, just when Tommy and Natt had arrived and were in a stand-off against the crime family's goons. Everyone then just opened fire on Nightfist, killing him but good.
11 ZOMBIE GOATS? ANYTHING BUT ZOMBIE GOATS!
In the Marvel Universe, there is a division of S.H.I.E.L.D. called A.R.M.O.R. that specifically concerns itself with attacks on Earth from other dimensions. They learned of an alternate universe where Nazis won World War II through the use of zombies. The Nazi scientists then planned on conquering other universes with their zombie servants. Howard the Duck led a small group of heroes to this other dimension to stop them. Among "Ducky's Dozen" was the hero, Blazing Skull.
The heroes were aided in the other universe by Loki, since Thor had been turned into a zombie in that world. However, they then discovered that Odin's goats had been zombified! Loki teleported a few of the heroes away to help him win the day, but left the rest to be eaten by zombie goats. Blazing Skull ended up as goat chow.
10 WHEN DOCTOR LIGHT BECAME A HERO
Following the revelations of Identity Crisis, Doctor Light forever changed as a character. Once you reveal that a guy raped the wife of a Justice League member, there's no way of ever going back on that, you know? That becomes his defining characteristic (Kyle Baker even made fun of that in Plastic Man - "It's like that's his super power now"). Before that point, though, Doctor Light was used as comic relief in Suicide Squad. They kept him around because he was powerful but he was such a coward.
He was also haunted by the ghost of his best friend who he killed and from whom he stole the Doctor Light name (and costume). The ghost convinced him that a battle on Apokolips was Doctor Light's chance of being seen as a hero for once. So he decided to make a big move and save his teammates. He was promptly shot to death.
9 MAKING THUNDERBIRD'S TENURE ON THE X-MEN LOOK GOOD
In the miniseries GLA, Dan Slott, Paul Pelletier and Rick Magyar gave the Great Lakes Avengers their first series. However, just as soon as it began, they lost one of their team members, as Dinah Soar was killed in battle. The team started hounding the rest of the Marvel Universe for new members. They eventually hit upon Squirrel Girl, who would become a member of the team for the next few years.
During a battle against Batroc's Brigade (Batroc, Zaran and Machete), the Great Lakes Avengers met Grasshopper, a new hero who wore a super suit that he used as head of security for Roxxon. He helped them in the fight and they offered him membership. He agreed, but then Zaran threw a Sai at Doorman, who teleported out of the way. The sai hit Grasshopper in the head, killing him less than six seconds after joining the team.
8 HE'S GOTTA SOAR LIKE AN EAGLE!
In Garth Ennis' The Boys, the group known as "The Boys" are a clandestine operation designed to keep superheroes under control. In a story arc including The Boys #53 (drawn by John McCrea), we saw the origin of Mallory, the founder of the Boys. Mallory was a Lieutenant Colonel in World War II fighting in the Battle of the Bulge when suddenly a group of costumed heroes showed up (parodies of Marvel's World War II superhero team, the Invaders).
Their presence quickly drew the Germans to their location and they were soon under attack. One of the heroes, Eagle the Archer, tried to take to the skies. However, an Allied plane had just taken off and, well, the results were hilariously bleak. From that point forward, Mallory hated superheroes.
7 TALK ABOUT WIPING OUT ON YOUR SKATEBOARD
The heroes in X-Force (later X-Statix) famously got killed a whole lot during their time together as a group (in fact, outside of their cameraman, Doop, every single member of the team was killed by the time that the Peter Milligan and Mike Allred series was over). One of the members of the team was El Guapo, who had a telepathic connection to his skateboard.
In one storyline, a popular singer and humanitarian had been killed off by the monarchy of her country because she was becoming too popular and making them look bad in comparison. Now back from the dead, she released a new song called, appropriately enough, "Back fro the Dead." The thing is, anyone who sings it would then die in a freak accident, with a twisted look on their face! El Guapo sang it and he soon was impaled by his own board!
6 ONE JUMP TOO MANY
During that first GLA miniseries, Doorman was later killed and became the new servant of Oblivion, where he would escort dead people to the Other Side. Great Lakes Avengers Special #1 was a Christmas special that introduced a brand-new Grasshopper! He took over the security gig from his predecessor and showed off a lot of skills in fending off an attack on Roxxon. He met a scientist there who was his long lost sister (she didn't know who he was, so she flirted with him).
Everything seemed to be going his way, so he leaped into the sky, ready for the future! But, as it turned out, he didn't know that his mega leap would send him into outer space, so Doorman met him later in the issue to bring him to the Other Side.
5 THAT'S WHAT THEY PUT ON HER GRAVE?!
This one is a bit odd, as we never even really met this hero, but it is still notable enough that we're featuring it high on the list. In Adventure Comics #341, the Legion of Super-Heroes were shocked when one of their members, Triplicate Girl, was atomized in battle against the computer-gone-mad, Computo! Brainiac-5 built a machine that collected her ashes and put it into a giant urn where it was sent off to a special planet designed to honor dead superheroes.
The other heroes had their stories listed on their monuments. One of the heroes, Leeta-87, died after slipping on the space equivalent of a banana peel. And that's what they put on her monument! It even had a shot of her slipping on the peel! How messed up is that?!
4 NO HOLE TOO BIG, NO HOLE TOO SMALL
One of the heroes in The Boys was the Tek-Knight, basically Batman mixed with Iron Man. In a strange storyline, Tek-Knight gained an urge to have sex with, well, anything that he could, whether it was a person, an animal or even an inanimate object. His seemingly trusted butler went to the newspapers with his sexual proclivities, so his life was ruined.
Then he seemed to save a woman from a falling wheelbarrow. He was then called in to save the world from a giant meteor- it had a small crevice in it and he was needed to, well, destroy the meteor by screwing it. He did so, but it took his life in the process. We then learned that all of that was a dream and he had died from the wheelbarrow fall. His autopsy uncovered a giant brain tumor, which caused his strange sexual urges.
3 LOSING HIS HEAD
Regular supporting cast members in the pages of Hitman were a group of messed-up superheroes called Section 8, led by Six-Pack, a drunken bum who insists that he is a great superhero. The rest of the team are bizarre parodies of superheroes, like Dogwelder, who, you know, welds dogs to people. One of the heroes was Friendly Fire, who had powerful force blasts, but he could not seem to aim them.
Shockingly, in Hitman #52 (by Ennis and McCrea), Section 8 was actually needed to help save the world from an invading demon. The demon easily slaughtered most of the team. Friendly Fire finally had the chance to prove himself. He concentrated, intent on aiming his force blast in the right direction... and promptly blew his own head off instead.
2 I CAN SEE PARADISE BY THE DASHBOARD LIGHTS
When the Green Lantern Corps was dissolved in the late 1980s, a handful of Green Lanterns remained empowered. One of the Lanterns who still kept his powers was Ch'p, who looked like an Earth chipmunk. Ch'p's life was turned upside down following Crisis on Infinite Earths, as when the heroes of Earth fixed the Multiverse, some things had changed, including on Ch'p's home planet, he had seemingly died years earlier and his wife had married his best friend.
A depressed Ch'p later ended up on Mosaic, a section of Oa made up of cities from all over the universe, guarded by Green Lantern John Stewart. Ch'p met up with his friend, John, but then was tragically run over by a yellow tractor-trailer (later we learned that Sinestro had been influencing John's brain and made him form the construct).
1 HE'S TURNED THE MEDIPAK INTO A GUN!
DC One Million was a cool crossover where the heroes of late 20th Century Earth were sent into the future to see the return of Superman after centuries of being away. In their place, the Justice League of the future watched over the present day Earth. While the crossover made sense for most titles, in some cases, like Hitman, there was no reason to crossover with the future.
So Garth Ennis and John McCrea just had some losers in the future bring Hitman to the future and be shocked to learn that he was just literally a hitman. They then met the Gunfire of the future, who could turn anything into a gun -even his own body parts. He ended up shooting himself and then accidentally turning his ass into a hand grenade and exploded. Ennis is a twisted but funny guy.
Can you think of any other funny superhero deaths? Let us know what we missed in the comments section!