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Who Was the First Character to Be Killed in a Marvel Comic?

In "When We First Met," we spotlight the various characters, phrases, objects or events that eventually became notable parts of comic lore, like the first time someone said, "Avengers Assemble!" or the first appearance of Batman's giant penny or the first appearance of Alfred Pennyworth or the first time Spider-Man's face was shown half-Spidey/half-Peter. Stuff like that.

Today, based on a request from reader Scott R., we try to figure out who the first character to die in a Marvel Comic was.

Scott was compelled to ask the question about the death of Baron Zemo in Avengers #15...

He wanted to know if that was the first death of a character in a Marvel Comic.

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The first thing we need to do is figure out what we're talking about when we say a "Marvel Comic"?

Are we talking about Timely Comics, the predecessor of Marvel Comics?

If that's the case, then Carl Burgos had the Human Torch's first villain die in their first battle in the very first story in Marvel Comics #1...

The very next story, featuring the introduction of Bill Everett's Namor, involved Namor basically slaughtering humans as part of his war with the surface world...

So if you're counting Timely era stuff, then that Human Torch bad guy would be the answer.

That Scott thought that Avengers #15 was a possibility, though, makes me think that he's just talking about the Marvel Age of comics, that started with Fantastic Four #1.

So going by that definition, the answer is 1962's Incredible Hulk #1 (by Jack Kirby, Stan Lee and Paul Reinman), where we meet the villainous Gargoyle...

He kidnaps the Hulk and Rick Jones...

However, Bruce Banner then cures the Gargoyle of his mutation...

So the Gargoyle frees them and blows up his own Russian masters (and himself)...

That would be the first one, Scott!

If anyone else has a suggestion for a notable comic book first that they'd like to see spotlighted, just drop me a line at brianc@cbr.com!

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