Comic book death is a topic that once had weight, but is now horrendously lampooned. Long ago, when a character died, it was a momentous event with lasting influences on continuity. In more recent times, however, comic book death has become utterly meaningless: a character will only stay dead for a brief span (maybe four years, tops) before his or her resurrection, usually in a manner deemed, for want of a better term, total bullshit.
I believe that comic creators have become too frightened of fan backlash and subsequent lost sales to stick with the character’s demise. Those same fans, however, will complain when their favorite character returns “too easily,” which always seems to be the case with few notable examples (see Barry Allen the Silver Age Flash who stayed dead for a whopping 23 years).
I will say that character death is something that should be struggled with. Nowadays fans expect a character to return shortly after his or her death. Such an expectation cheapens the character’s passing and makes the event seem for the sole purpose of garnering increased sales. I do believe, however, that there are a number of key characters that should be killed and remain dead, at least for an extended period of time (a decade or more). I’ve chosen characters whose deaths would lead to good stories, rather than simply characters I dislike.
Obviously, for this list I’ve only selected characters that are sufficiently well-known and popular to warrant meaningful passing; I’m not going to disparage people who are fans of Image, Dynamite, or other non-mainstream heroes, but for this list I’ve stuck with Marvel and DC given that their characters are more widely known and carry longer histories which make killing them off for a long time (or better yet, permanently) carry greater weight. I’ve tried my best to explain why this character should be killed off, what manner befits his or her passing, and how his or her death could influence future stories.
Now, onto the candidates!