10 Times We Thought Marvel Superheroes Were Dead (But Survived)

No one stays dead in comic books. This fact is true more often than not in Marvel Comics. Everyone has died, from Spider-Man and Captain America to Iron Man, Wolverine and Professor X. And despite all the deaths, they always find a way to return. Jean Grey might be the most obvious example, but if there is a way to bring someone back from the dead, Marvel has done it.

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It makes it hard to invest in characters since their deaths never stick. However, there are moments in Marvel Comics history where the comic book company has made fans fall hard for a death scene and then reveal that the death was not even real. Here is a look at 10 times we thought Marvel superheroes were dead but they survived.

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Marvel's Civil War pitted hero against hero as Iron Man led a pro-registration effort against Captain America's resistance heroes and it wasn't without fatalities. Giant-Man (Bill Foster) died at the hands of a clone of Thor that Iron Man thought was a good idea. However, the end came when Cap saw that fighting was doing no good and surrendered to end the bloodshed.

It didn't end, though, as an assassin put a bullet in Steve as he headed to the courthouse in handcuffs and it seemed Captain America died. However, while his body was dead, his "essence" was still alive, transported through time and reliving points of his past. Red Skull was then able to pull Steve out of time and back to life.


Teen Tony Death Iron Man 335

In one of the most controversial moments in Marvel history, Iron Man turned out to be a villain who spent most of his career pretending to be a superhero. In this storyline, The Crossing saw Tony Stark as someone under the control of Kang all along, and then he finally betrayed The Avengers and prepared to help Kang conquer the world.

A young Tony Stark was brought to the present day to help, and just when it looked like he was going to die, the present-day Stark has his hero moment and sacrificed his life to stop Kang. The younger version replaced him, but he ended up back thanks to Franklin Richards' merging the young and old Stark into one hero.



If there is one superhero who has died more than any other, it has to be Jean Grey of the X-Men. However, her death the first time was the one that hurt the most because, at that time, Marvel Comics fans weren't used to seeing major heroes die. Jean sacrificed herself to save her teammates in the Dark Phoenix Saga.

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The twist here is that the body that died in that saga was not Jean Grey's body. It turns out that when the Phoenix Force took control of Jean, it created a new body with Jean's memories and emotions. Jean's real body was still alive, in a cocoon at the bottom of a bay where the Avengers found and saved her.



Wolverine will never truly die, but Marvel tried its best to make people believe that he died and was gone for good. However, in Death of Wolverine, he had lost his healing process and learned that using his claws could kill him now.

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After a time of continued fighting, he finally met his match and end up covered with hardening adamantium and decided it was time to die, allowing it to suffocate him. However, Persephone found his body and resurrected him as an undead killer. He soon came back to life, broke the control, and returned to life once again.


Cyclops Death of X cover

The battle between the X-Men and the Inhumans began when Black Bolt released the Terrigen Mists, and it proved to be fatal to mutants. When Cyclops and Emma Frost went to Muir Island to investigate, the Mists had an immediate effect on him, killing him almost instantly.

Emma hid this fact and created an illusion of him, which Black Bolt then apparently killed. The death wouldn't last as the Phoenix Force that Cyclops took in during the Avengers vs. X-Men storyline kept him viable for resurrection and a time-displaced teenage Cable brought him back to life.


Thor died in the event series Fear Itself. The origin of this series was a team-up between Thor and Captain America where the Serpent rose, and Odin believed that he needed to raze Earth to end its threat. By the time all was said and done, it was up to Thor to slay the Serpent. He did so at the expense of his life.

Thor, however, is a god. While his corpse was buried in Asgard, his soul moved on to the other side. However, a new Thor showed up, and only Loki knew he was a fraud. Silver Surfer and Kid Loki ended up retrieving Thor from Limbo and helped bring the real Thor back to the world.


One of the old sayings in comic books was that no one stayed dead except for Uncle Ben, Gwen Stacy, and Bucky Barnes. The truth is that anyone can come back from the dead and it turned out that Bucky Barnes never really died even though he was gone for decades.

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Like Steve Rogers, Bucky was frozen in ice. He was found and saved by the Soviet Union who then gave him a robotic arm and instilled a hatred of the West in the amnesia ridden Bucky. They dubbed him the Winter Soldier and used him as an assassin for many years.


Nick Fury faked his death in the Marvel Cinematic Universe. This moment had nothing to do with the snap but happened years before Thanos showed up and wiped out half the population. Instead, after HYDRA rose up, Fury found himself in constant danger, and when Winter Soldier attacked, it was only a matter of time before he met his match.

In Captain America: The Winter Soldier, the Winter Soldier attacked and shot Fury as he was meeting with Steve Rogers and Sharon Carter. While Rogers escaped and gave chase to Bucky, Fury was rushed to the hospital and reported dead. However, Fury faked his death and went into hiding until he devised a plan to win the war.


The death of Spider-Man was something that no one in the Marvel Universe knew happened, but readers saw first-hand. Spider-Man was battling Hobgoblin and fell into a trap by Doctor Octopus, who had learned he was dying of cancer and had little time left to live.

Doctor Octopus transferred his consciousness into Peter Parker's body and Peter's into his body. At that point, Doc Ock died, meaning Peter died as well. This moment created the awesome Superior Spider-Man stories. What fans soon learned was that Peter was still in his consciousness and battled with Doc Ock for control until finally coming into his own once again.


When a Phoenix-possessed Cyclops murdered Professor X in front of the X-Men and Avengers, it was a move that seemed like there was no turning back. It eventually made Scott a martyr, and Professor X was laid to rest. However, as Red Skull showed, Xavier's brain was too strong to die, even though his body did perish.

Then, in 2018, Professor X came back to life. It turns out he wasn't entirely gone at all, as his psychic essence also still lived on in the astral plane thanks to the Shadow King. He then made his return in a new body, proving that a mutant with his powers is never truly ever dead.

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