There have been some huge events in recent superhero movie history, not least plenty of major character deaths with lots of emotional weight behind them. We take a look at the top 10 deaths in terms of emotional weight and importance in the future of the franchises.
1. The Warriors 3 are killed by Hela.
This was “how to write characters out of a movie 101”, The Warriors 3 were killed very quickly by Hela, despite having reasonable roles to play in the first two Thor films it seems they became surplus to requirements, and not even worthy of an eventful death. They died quickly without a word upon Hela’s return to Asgard.
Quicksilver dies whilst saving Hawkeye and a child.
This character really had a lot more to give, but perhaps it was a sensible decision given how overpowered this character might have been. Even Thanos might have struggled to deal with someone who can run so fast they effectively become invisible. Quicksilver’s death did feel like a waste though, especially given how much his sister has contributed to the MCU. He would have been useful running away from Thanos with the Infinity Stones too.
Jean Grey, becoming Dark Phoenix is killed by Wolverine.
Every movie I have watched involving Dark Phoenix has been a disappointment, so JeanGrey and Dark Phoenix only make the list because of the previous two movies which succeeded in building up her character so much. The relationship with Logan and her death at his claws also makes this an emotional film moment.
Cyclops is killed by Dark Phoenix.
Another quickly killed character during the opening scenes of a movie, Cyclops was appearing to visit the place of Jean Grey’s death and was promptly torn apart by the Phoenix version of her. Cyclops was actually a really fun character in the franchise so it was a little emotional seeing his death and learning that he wouldn’t have a part in the third movie.
Yondu dies saving Peter Quill.
For emotional weight, this was right up there. Yondu in the space of two movies and with learning additional back-story as to his role in Quills life had quite the character ark. Yondu went from semi-villain to part of the crew in the final battle in GOTG2. His selfless final act of saving Quill at his own demise saw him fully recognised as Quill’s Daddy.
Groot dies saving the rest of the Guardians of the Galaxy.
We’re getting into the teary stuff now. Groot sacrificed himself to get the other Guardians safely down to the surface so they could regain the Power Stone. The relationship Groot had with Rocket made this aftermath of this highly emotional, and the nature of a new team being formed and then losing a wonderful character made this tough to watch. Fortunately, this situation was saved somewhat by a new Groot making his debut in the end credits.
Professor X is killed by a clone of Wolverine.
This one was tough to take, especially as believed he was safe, and simply seeing his good friend Logan checking in on him, before he was murdered helplessly. Such a powerful character in past movies, Professor X has been in most X-Men films, so to see him finally pass in the back of a pick up truck was difficult to process. He did finally get to be by the water as was his dream.
Iron Man dies saving half the universe.
The most recent death on our list is Iron Man, and boy did this pack a punch with 20 movies to build up to this one. Iron Man died defending the earth and the galaxy from Thanos. He did it in style too with his quick wit delivering the movie line of the year before he wiped out Thanos’s forces and dying in the process.
Rorschach dies at the hands of his friend Dr Manhattan.
There’s a familiar theme in a lot of these superhero deaths of the superhero dying at the hand of a friend, or someone they knew well. The same applies to Rorschach. Watchmen is one of my favourite superhero movies with more gravitas and grit than in most films. It’s also a lengthy experience, and the fight for justice throughout comes from Rorschach, who right up until the end stands by his morals, and is killed by a friend because of it.
Logan/Wolverine dies saving mutant children.
We’ve seen this character of Wolverine in seven credited movies, so Logan has developed a strong fan following, and history which is covered wonderfully in the movie Logan. Having just witnessed Professor X’s death, to be hit with the death of Wolverine himself brought most of the cinema to tears, especially after getting one full scene in all his glorious fury unleashed onto the enemy defending children, and essentially his own child X-23. It was an end worthy of Wolverine, and it makes the top of my list.
Who would rank top of your list?