10 DC Comics villains who died and stayed dead
Death in the DC Universe doesn’t have the same intransigence as it does in reality. Entire worlds and even vast universes have been erased from existence and restored from nothing, not to mention the countless individual characters who cheated death.
However, some dwellers in the DC Universe have been particularly unlucky. When these characters died, they, for some reason, remained dead.
ten The Electrocutor was murdered by Roy Harper
There have been three DC villains to use the name Electrocutioner, none of which have made it past the C-List level of super-villain. The latest, Lester Buchinsky, was assassinated by Roy Harper in Justice League: the rise of Arsenal and remained dead – not even the universe-wide reboot of the New 52 granted him a stay. Likewise, the version of Buchinsky which appeared in Batman: Arkham Origins was killed by the Joker without having had any noticeable impact first.
9 The original Killer Frost is long dead
Killer Frost has become more of a general DC Universe villain, being featured in Justice League and as a core cast member Flash. However, she started out as a Firestorm thug – making her debut in The fury of the firestorm # 3 (Gerry Conway & Al Milgrom), the first Killer Frost was Crystal Frost.
A former student of Martin Stein with unrequited feelings for her teacher, Frost gained cryokinetic powers after being locked in a thermafrost chamber. Frost didn’t last long – she perished in Fire storm # 21 (Conway & Rafael Kayanan) side effects to her transformation. There were Killer Frosts later, but Crystal remains dead.
8 The two Polaris doctors were killed
The first Doctor Polaris, Neal Emerson, was a minor enemy of the Silver Age Green Lantern and the Justice League. Despite his theoretically powerful magnetism abilities, Polaris never did much in the villain hierarchy. Emerson met his end during Infinite crisis, killed in an explosion by a human bomb.
Second Doctor Polaris, John Nichol, didn’t last too long. After a few clashes with the Justice League and Blue Beetle, he was killed during Blackest night. A rebooted version of Emerson debuted during DC Renaissance, but Nichol was not so lucky.
seven The third Clayface has yet to return
Few supervillain titles have circulated as much as Clayface. The third, Preston Payne, is best known as the star of Alan Moore and George Freeman’s Deadly Clay, where he falls in love with a department store model he names Helena. Payne met his end in James Robinson Crying for justice. With so many other Clayfaces around, Payne’s resurrection is unlikely ever to be necessary.
6 Psimon was killed by the Joker
Not all villains get their way in battles with heroes. Psimon, the telepathic and telekinetic foe of the Teen Titans, met a gruesome end in Salvation Race # 2 (Bill Willingham and Sean Chen). The Joker smashed Psimon’s head with a stone, destroying the villain’s overkill brain. The new 52 introduced a new version of Psimon, but the original was never resurrected until the timeline was changed.
5 The original Kobra remains dead
The original Kobra, Jeffrey Burr, was one of the last characters that Jack Kirby created during his time in DC. The character briefly starred in a solo series, but rose to prominence as an opponent of the Justice League. In JSA # 51 (written by Geoff Johns & David S. Goyer, art by Leonard Kirk), Kobra is killed by Black Adam. Despite this, others have lifted the veil on the Kobra mantle, including Burr’s brother Jason. The Kobra organization continues.
4 Mongul I was replaced by his son
The villainous Mongul has undergone many reinventions. Its original incarnation created by Len Wein and Jim Starlin was an alien dictator in exile, while the post-Crisis version was a very powerful ruler who kept his population in line with bread and circuses. Unlimited Justice League (who also later adapted Mongul’s most famous story, For the man who has everything) tinged with a post-crisis interpretation, while Young justice favored the pre-crisis one.
This reinvention extends to continuities. The first Mongul was dragged to hell by the demon lord Neron in Underworld Unleashed # 1 (Mark Waid and Howard Porter) after a deal backfired. Mongul I never returned, with his son (also named Mongul) taking his place.
3 Prometheus was killed by the green arrow
Prometheus was introduced by Grant Morrison during their run on JLA. Anti-Batman (the son of criminals who saw them murdered by police), Prometheus made his debut by infiltrating the Watchtower and almost beating the League on his own. While Prometheus was a major player in Morrison JLA running, he never quite became a DC A-list villain. Indeed, after Prometheus was killed by Green arrow in the end of Crying for justice, he was never resurrected.
2 Libra was wiped out during the final crisis
Created by Len Wein and Dick Dillin, Libra has only appeared in one story during the 20th century. While Justice League of America # 111-112, he assembled the first Injustice Gang (consisting of himself, Chronos, Mirror Master, Poison Ivy, Scarecrow, the Shadow Thief, and the Tattooed Man). # 111-112 turned out to be a Grant Morrison favorite, so writing Final crisis, they brought Libra back. Libra was revealed as the personification of the anti-life equation, before being killed by Lex Luthor.
1 Terra’s betrayal and death in Judas’ contract are iconic
The most known Teen Titans the screenplay is that of Marv Wolfman and George PÃ©rez Judas’ contract, in which teenage superheroine Terra is revealed to be a mole in the team planted by Deathstroke. Judas’ contract ends with Terra’s death, caused by her own earthmoving abilities. It took a reboot in New 52 for Terra to come back. With a revamped history, this Terra isn’t quite the same as the original. Judas’ contract is such a famous story that it has twice been adapted for animation, although both tales give Terra a redemptive moment before she dies.
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