In the realm of X-Men comics, it is not unusual for their various characters to pull disappearing acts. Many famed X-Men characters over the years have bit the metaphorical bullet, yet it’s typical that they make their returns at one point or another. We have had a few goodbyes from some of the most adored characters over the years, including Jean Grey, Professor Xavier, Scott Summers (aka Cyclops) and even Wolverine. However, there are those few who still have their fate in limbo, which leaves everyone wondering whether or not they will ever make a reappearance. It would be nice to see a few of the various X-Men characters that have passed away -- whether it be the heroes or villains -- make a comeback to the land of the living. After all, comic characters (especially mutants) seem to pass away and come back at least once an week.
That being said, there are a fair few who deserve to remain in the abyss and no longer grace the pages of Marvel’s X-Men books again. Simply put, these characters just didn’t work, overstayed their respective welcomes, or were really just terrible characters who do not deserve any further story arcs. However, it is rather apparent that this doesn’t usually come as easily as it pertains to comic book characters. So, it’s always hopeful wishing that comes from fans as it pertains to characters remaining in their graves because is not necessarily always a given. Regardless, here’s a list of some X-Men characters who met their untimely demise and either deserve (or deserved) their comebacks, ones who should definitely stay put in the afterlife, and three special ones who came back that we hope stay breathing.
16 STAY ALIVE: WOLVERINE
In the 2014 Death of Wolverine series, Logan finally met his end. When a virus nullifies the hero’s healing factor, many enemies from his past come back to haunt him and attempt to take him out. Ultimately, Wolverine falls when he puts a stop to Dr. Cornelius’ new experiments, breaking the vat of liquid adamantium before the bonding process is completed.
With this done, Wolverine gets covered in the adamantium, slowly suffocating as the metal hardens over his body. However, 2018’s Hunt for Wolverine storyline serves to detail just how Wolverine has come back from the afterlife -- here’s hoping he is back for good.
15 COME BACK: SCOTT SUMMERS
Cyclops has one of the most broad and intricate histories of all the X-Men characters, having been around the block with the team a fair few times. During the “Inhumans vs X-Men” event, it's revealed that Scott passed away from M-pox, even though Emma Frost led the others to believe that Scott sacrificed himself trying to attack the Inhumans for creating the Terrigenesis cloud.
Having sullied his reputation, it would be nice to see Cyclops come back and be returned to his former glory, especially since some of his actions and decisions later in life were certainly not ones that should be associated with leader of the X-Men.
14 STAY GONE: WILD CHILD
While living on the streets, Gibney was taken by Secret Empire and subjected to a myriad of experimentation and genetic testing which proved to make him psychologically unstable. During the events of M-day, Wild Child was one of the depowered mutants but eventually demonstrated that his powers had returned.
However, while working with Omega Red in an attempt to take out Wolverine, Wild Child ends up engaging in fisticuffs with Omega Red himself. This fight ended with Omega Red entangling Wild Child in his coils and dropping him into a vat of molten steel. Wild Child served his purpose in his storyline and with similar characters in the realm of X-Men, there’s really no need for him to return.
13 COME BACK: LILANDRA
Empress and majestrix of the Shi’ar empire, Lilandra Neramani is the former wife of X-Men founder, Professor Charles Xavier. Lilandra met her ultimate fate in in X-Men: Kingbreaker and in the miniseries War of Kings. In the miniseries, she was taken out by Darkhawk who was under the control of Razor while he was pretending to be a Shi’ar citizen.
Lilandra was found by former Imperial Guard leader, Gladiator, where she ends up passing away in his arms. Having Lilandra back would not only hopefully bring back the intriguing world of the Shi’ar empire, but also cause quite a stir because she would have to learn about the “end” of her former beloved, Xavier.
12 STAY GONE: PROFESSOR X
Throughout Xavier’s history, he’s had a few bumpy rides. In Astonishing X-Men Vol. 4 # 12, the professor meets his “end” after the Shadow King erupts from his head. No longer feeling any psychic traces of him anywhere, Psylocke eventually feeling him say to her that she will “keep him honest” while he takes on a new mission.
It would be interesting to have X return from this apparent new mission and add some more mayhem and raucous to the newer X-Men book, but at this point in the comics, it’s much better if he remains off the pages for now.
11 COME BACK: THUNDERBIRD
While on a mission, Thunderbird ignored Professor Xavier’s telepathic warnings to get off Count Nefaria’s plane but he ignored the warnings, and as he destroyed the aircraft, he was in it when it eventually exploded. During the "Necrosha" event, Thunderbird was resurrected with the Transmode virus but it didn’t last very long.
But Thunderbird was back once more when the gates of the Underworld were opened along with Banshee, Moira MacTaggert and two of the Stepford Cuckoos during "Chaos War". Having been resurrected twice in the past, perhaps it is time to give Thunderbird his due credit and bring him back for good this time.
10 STAY GONE: FERAL
An original member of X-Force, Feral grew up in New York City. However, Feral was not really onboard with how X-Force was doing things and she left the team unamicably, eventually taking a place amongst the Mutant Liberation Front. Having transitioned from hero to villain, Feral was pitted against the always bloodthirsty Victor Creed, aka Sabretooth in the “Evolution” story arc.
Unfortunately for Feral, she was not up to the task of Sabretooth that day and the villainous mutant easily bested her in a fight that was almost completely one-sided. She paid the ultimate price and because of this, there is really no need for Feral to make a reappearance in the comics.
9 COME BACK: BLOODSTORM
Recently, in the "Extermination" storyline, Bloodstorm became one of the event's first real victims. While out with Cyclops, Bloodstorm was taken out by the mutant-hunting time traveler known as Ahab.
While this memorable moment solidified that the Extermination series was not to be taken lightly, it was still disappointing to see Bloodstorm suffer such an untimely demise with the use of a harpoon laced with silver. However, much like X-Men who have been taken out in such a way before her, resurrection is always on the table. So, perhaps there is a chance that we will see Bloodstorm pop up again in the comics.
8 STAY GONE: DAKEN
Daken is the son of Wolverine, possessing similar mutations to his father’s, including retractable claws, heightened senses and an accelerated healing factor. During the events of the Hunt for Wolverine series, Daken is one of many who are on the lookout for his father, and at times joining forces with Lady Deathstrike and Sabretooth.
However, Daken was captured by a strike team and while he does escape, he ends up being taken down along with Lady Deathstrike and Sabretooth. While his two accomplices make it out, Daken suffers mortal injuries. Here’s hoping Daken’s passing is one of the permanent ones in the comic books.
7 COME BACK: DR. MOIRA MACTAGGERT
In X-Men lore, Moira MacTaggert is Nobel Prize winning doctor and one of the most important figures in genetic mutation. In the "Legacy Virus" arc, MacTaggert eventually found a cure for the disease but the events of that day proved deadly for the doctor.
MacTaggert was taken out after Mystique and Sabretooth destroyed Muir Island, fatally injuring Moira in the process. Some of the X-Men attempted to save her to no avail and she passed away on the Blackbird. In Chaos War, Moira briefly returned from beyond the grave as she was possessed by Destiny’s ghost -- Moira deserves a real comeback.
6 STAY GONE: SILVER SAMURAI
After the events of M-Day, Harada was one of the only mutants who retained their powers and engaged in a fight with Wolverine, losing his hand in the process. Harada would eventually met his demise while he was defending his home from those who shouldn't have been there.
During his encounter with the Red Right Hand, Harada was fatally wounded. With his last ounce of energy, he made his way to the grave of his sister, Mariko where he entered the afterlife. As Harada passed away as a samurai in battle, his end was rather poetic and there really isn’t any need for his return.
5 COME BACK: (ADULT) CABLE
Currently, it seems as though Marvel Comics is ready to say goodbye to the time-displaced hero, even planning a full goodbye in the month of December -- the end of Cable took many fans of the X-Men comic books by surprise.
In X-Men: The Exterminated, the remaining X-Men will deal with the fallout from Cable’s demise and will apparently be a proper farewell for the mutant who has become a fan favorite. Now, we know that some deaths in comic books are not forever -- but in the case of Cable, he deserves more and hopefully a come back is in the works somewhere down the line.
4 STAY GONE: HOLOCAUST
In the past, Magneto stripped Holocaust of most of his skin and he, along with some other X-Men left him to perish. However, the villain is found and saved by Apocalypse and with a shard of the M’Kraan Crystal, he is somehow transported to the present. When Holocaust returned to his timeline, he was meant to join the Exiles and learns that Apocalypse is gone, instead channeling his energy into taking the throne.
Soon, the power of the M’Kraan Crystal proves to be too tempting and he tracks down the Crystal again, finding that Hyperion has it. Attacking Hyperion proves deadly for Holocaust and after breaking Holocaust’s exoskeleton, Hyperion absorbs the villain’s energy force, ending him.
3 COME BACK: BANSHEE
The X-Men lost one of their best when Banshee passed away in the line of duty. The Blackbird was on a collision course with a passenger plane and Banshee attempted to stop the jet, but was unsuccessful. Not only did it collide with the plane, but Banshee was struck by the Blackbird as well, leading to his tragic demise.
Of course, much like many other X-Men, Banshee was resurrected -- but it was as the Horseman of Death. But it would be nice for Banshee to come back and not as a puppet of the Apocalypse Twins. It’s the X-Men, so there’s certainly a way for them to rework it and bring him back as the Banshee that we all know and love.
2 STAY GONE: SHINOBI SHAW
Son of billionaire businessman and Hellfire Club leader, Sebastian Shaw, Shinobi is best known for his encounters with the X-Men and his own father. Eventually, he tried to take out his father but was unsuccessful. However, for a brief period of time, he did gain control of the Hellfire Club.
Despite this small success, things did not go well for Shinobi. After attacking the New Warriors and X-Force, Shaw was forced to go into hiding as the number of those he trusted dwindled. Even though he retained his mutant powers after M-Day, he was ultimately ended by his father. Karma wasn’t kind to Shinobi and with all of the mindless stunts he pulled during his life, he's better off gone.
1 STAY ALIVE: JEAN GREY
The first time Jean Grey passed away, she was still known as Marvel Girl. When she was reborn in the “Dark Phoenix Saga” she gained her new nickname and also posed a threat not only to her teammates, but to the entire universe. Of course, over time, this transformation led to yet another untimely demise, one that lasted for quite a bit of time.
As Jean continually puts the Phoenix name to good use, it’s not unusual that she’s back and kicking in the comics after the events in Phoenix: Resurrection -- even leading her own team, X-Men Red. Here’s hoping that this will be the final time that Jean is gone and that she’s here to stay.