View Full Version : The X-Men Fatality Timeline (3rd Draft)
04-10-2006, 09:40 PM
Table of Contents
1. Introductory Comments and Ground Rules
2. The X-Men Fatality Timeline (3rd Draft)
3. Grand Totals for the Top-Scoring X-Men
1. Introductory Comments and Ground Rules
People occasionally complain that death in the X-Men titles has become a bad joke. By “occasionally,” I mean such complaints can only be heard about 99.9% of the time. After all, every once in awhile the people who love to complain about this all have to stop for breath at the same time! :)
I finally decided it was time to measure the exact size of the problem, by putting together a comprehensive list of X-Men Deaths (and Returns). As far as I know, no one else has ever tried to list them all at once, in the same document, complete with specific issue numbers.
How to Qualify for My List
1. You have to be an X-Man for your “death” or later “return from the dead” to qualify for this Timeline. Just being a friend, family member, lover, longtime enemy, or clone of one or more of the X-Men doesn’t get you in the door.
In preparation for this Third Draft, I finally took the plunge and bought a copy of The Official Handbook of the Marvel Universe: X-Men 2005. (Hereafter referred to as OHOTMU: X-Men 2005 for short.) At the back, it has a Roster of everyone who’s ever been an X-Man. The main roster runs to 52 characters; as well as smaller listings of names of participants in seven groupings which it terms “Ad Hoc X-Men Rosters.”
At the moment, I am inclined to believe that all 52 of the names on the main Roster are or have been X-Men, and probably most of the “Ad Hoc” groups as well.
One place where I definitely disagree with OHOTMU: X-Men 2005 is the validity of what it calls “The Muir Isle X-Men.” I recently looked through UXM #254 and UXM #255 again to double-check my memory. And it still seems to me that when Amanda Sefton, Alysande Stuart, and various other characters were putting on gold-and-black X-Men suits to wear while fighting the Reavers, they never expressed any belief that they were thereby becoming any sort of “X-Men” themselves; not even on a “temporary” or “honorary” basis.
The principal reason for dressing up that way appeared to be that several of the newest version of the suits were already right there on the island, and were conveniently bulletproof. If I were about to face an invasion of killer cyborgs, I’d hastily don any bulletproof body armor that happened to be readily available, too! I wouldn’t care if it looked like an X-Men “uniform” or not; I’d only care about my chances of personal survival :)
2. If you died before you ever became an X-Man, I don’t care about that. For instance, Emma Frost was supposed to have died during the Dark Phoenix Saga. At that time, she was not and never had been an X-Man. Therefore, this Timeline does not include a listing for her first reported death.
3. The death must have occurred “in continuity,” regarding someone who had actually been an X-Man “in the regular continuity” prior to the time of death.
For instance, deaths that happen in the ongoing Exiles series generally won’t count, because most of the characters who appear in that series are natives of alternate timelines, even if they strongly resemble their counterparts from 616. Likewise, deaths that occurred in the miniseries Marvel: The End (written by Jim Starlin) won’t count, because I have confirmed that Tom Brevoort of Marvel has repeatedly said that this miniseries is not “in canon,” i.e. not part of what I would call the “regular continuity.”
NOTE: After feedback from various readers of the First Draft, I am provisionally counting X-Men Annual #10 as the time when a bunch of the New Mutants "graduated," more or less, up to "X-Men" status. (Although they continued working separately and calling themselves "New Mutants" after that time.) This means that any member of the group, as it existed in that Annual, who later died, qualifies for this Timeline. (Until such time as someone persuades me otherwise, anyway.)
Definition of “Death”
I’m taking a fairly liberal definition of “death.”
1. If the character was definitely, undeniably dead, with a recognizable corpse, then I count that.
2. If the character certainly seemed to have just died, but the corpse was in such lousy shape it couldn’t be identified (or disintegrated, or something) then I’ll count that.
3. If other X-Men sincerely believed the person was dead, and this belief lasted significantly longer than, say, five minutes, then I’ll count that even if the alert reader knew, or had reason to suspect, that they were wrong.
Someone reminded me of the time in the middle of the Dark Phoenix Saga when one issue ended with other X-Men looking at Cyclops, who had just collapsed on the floor after a mental duel with Mastermind, and Nightcrawler said in horror, “Cyclops – is dead!” On the first page of the following issue, Nightcrawler changed his tune and said, “Storm! Colossus! Look! Cyclops is alive!”
To me, this is a perfect example of the sort of thing I don’t need to count on my Timeline. From the viewpoint of a fan buying the title as each issue first came out, that cliffhanger dragged out for a month between installments. But from the point of view of the X-Men, Nightcrawler simply leaped to the wrong conclusion (in order to create a cliffhanger) and, just a minute later, realized he’d been dead wrong.
(However, if Nightcrawler had actually checked for a pulse and failed to find one, that would strengthen the idea that he had good reason to think Scott was “really” dead, at least for a moment, and I would count it after all even if a little CPR had quickly brought Scott back to the land of the living. But just looking at a guy who fell down on the floor, and pronouncing him dead on the spur of the moment without even touching him, strikes me as too flimsy to be taken seriously.)
4. I’m trying to report each case “straight” – if readers were meant to think a character was dead at the time, and other X-Men shared that impression, then in the listing for that event, I generally just describe it as “that person died.” If there were later retcons, I usually deal with those separately, in listings for the issues in which we started to find out what had “really” happened – such as an impostor dying instead of the character we had thought died at the time
5. At this time: If a person’s “mind,” “spirit,” “soul,” or whatever ended up separated from its proper body for more than a couple of seconds, I’m willing to count that as a death. Even if the mind simply got “switched” into someone else’s body instead of becoming an intangible ghost.
And now, let’s move on the main event!
NOTE: I generally abbreviate "Uncanny X-Men" as "UXM."
2. THE X-MEN FATALITY TIMELINE (THIRD DRAFT)
1968. X-Men #42. Written by Roy Thomas.
Professor X dies fighting Grotesk. He is critically injured when Grotesk’s equipment explodes, and, going for the extra point, gasps out to his loyal X-Men that he had already known he was dying from an incurable disease, anyway!
The text on the cover includes this stirring promise: “Not a hoax! Not a dream! Not an imaginary tale! This is for real!”
(It somehow fails to offer us a nice price on the Brooklyn Bridge.)
1970. X-Men #65. Written by Denny O’Neil.
Professor X returns. Which isn’t too difficult, from his point of view, since he was never dead and buried to begin with! Someone else was in the coffin at the funeral! As a retcon, we are now told that it was actually Changeling (formerly a villain) who died. For some reason, Professor X had given Changeling telepathic powers and then told him to take Xavier’s shape and fill his shoes with the X-Men, without bothering to bring the X-Men (except for Jean Grey?) up to speed on this “clever plan.” The Professor was going to be occupied with getting ready for a big showdown with an alien invasion when it showed up (as it did in this issue).
1973. The Incredible Hulk #161. Written by Steve Englehart.
Calvin Rankin, Mimic, dies after absorbing a great deal of radiation from the Hulk’s body. He did this deliberately, in the end, because his power to suck energy out of other people was increasing in range and he might eventually end up killing people without even trying. (Reminiscent of Superman’s enemy The Parasite.)
1974. Marvel Two-In-One #7. Written by Steve Gerber.
Most of the Marvel Universe is wiped out when someone blows into a magic harmonica. We are told that the sole survivors, for the moment, are a mere five characters (none of them X-Men).
Implicitly, this includes everyone who is or ever has been an X-Man up through this moment in Marvel continuity. I believe that would include the following (in alphabetical order): Angel, Beast, Changeling, Cyclops, Havok, Iceman, Marvel Girl, Mimic, Polaris, Professor X.
Later in this issue: Everything gets restored when someone else blows into the magic harmonica! Naturally, this blanket restoration includes all the X-Men I listed in the previous paragraph.
1975. UXM #95. Written by Chris Claremont.
Thunderbird I (John Proudstar) dies.
1975. Doctor Strange #12. Written by Steve Englehart.
On the final page, the world is destroyed. “Planet Earth is rent by one, then a series, of monumental blasts! It -- and all its children -- are cinders and dust in less than eight minutes!
Make no mistake! This . . . was . . . the real Earth!”
Although we never specifically see any of them in this storyline, this would implicitly include anyone who, as of the very end of 1975, when this was published, was or ever had been an X-Man. So long, folks, it was nice knowing you! At this moment in time, the casualty list would logically include Professor X, Cyclops, Iceman, Angel, Beast, Marvel Girl, Mimic, Changeling (except he was already dead and still is), Polaris, Havok, Nightcrawler, Wolverine, Banshee, Storm, Sunfire, Colossus, and Thunderbird I (except he was probably already dead by this time as well, if I have the scheduling straight).
1976. Doctor Strange #13. Written by Steve Englehart.
On the next-to-last page of the story, Eternity recreates the Earth from scratch, good as new, and watches everything evolve and change “with the speed of thought” until it ends up exactly the way it was right before it got devastated an issue earlier!
Implicitly, all those X-Men who died last issue are now fit and fine with no knowledge that they were ever gone! (Or newly created exact replicas of the originals are fit and fine, anyway. Or something like that.) I won’t type out the full list again; just glance back at the entry immediately above! :)
NOTE: I believe dialogue in a later issue of Doctor Strange either stated or implied that all of the above had been smoke and mirrors and probably never really happened, but I could be wrong and I was not able to find the story I’m thinking of in my collection just now. If I do find it, I’ll be sure to include more details in a subsequent Draft of this Timeline.
1978. UXM #113. Written by Chris Claremont.
When the X-Men break out of Magneto's underground lair in Antarctica, they are separated. As a result, for a long time after this story (twelve issues), the larger group thinks Phoenix (Jean Grey) and Beast must have died. Jean and Beast assume the same thing is true regarding the members of the other group: Banshee, Cyclops, Colossus, Nightcrawler, Wolverine, and Storm.
The reader knows that both groups survived, however.
NOTE: In a later issue, Jean and Hank make it back to the X-Mansion and tell Professor X that the rest of the X-Men are absolutely, positively dead. As a result, he leaves Earth for awhile, now that so many of his students have gotten themselves killed and there's no longer an X-Men team that might need his continued guidance.
1979. UXM #125. Written by Chris Claremont.
When the Beast enters the X-Mansion and meets the larger group that got separated from Jean and himself 12 issues earlier, everybody realizes everybody else has been alive all this time. (Actually, Jean and Havok on Muir Island apparently don't get the word until the next issue, but I won't bother giving that a separate entry.)
1980. UXM #137. Written by Chris Claremont.
Jean Grey, AKA Marvel Girl, AKA Phoenix, AKA The Black Queen, AKA Dark Phoenix, dies in the concluding chapter of what later became known as the Dark Phoenix Saga. It looks as if she telekinetically triggered an alien energy weapon to blast herself before she could relapse into the insanity of the Dark Phoenix. Her funeral occurs in the following issue.
1980. Uncanny X-Men Annual #4. Written by Chris Claremont.
During a surprise birthday party for Nightcrawler (he's 21 today), the other X-Men are horrified as he opens a mysterious gift which contains a crystal figure (of himself) which then shatters and emits a dark cloud into his face -- with the result that poor Kurt keels over. His friends rush him to the mansion's medical lab. No heartbeat, no respiration. Xavier and Storm examine him with whatever hi-tech doodads they have handy . . . and still come up with no signs of life. Xavier also checks telepathically and finds no trace of Kurt's mind lingering in his body. That boy is dead, dead, dead. Although none of the X-Men can figure out why.
Then Dr. Strange comes knocking on the door and it turns out things aren't so hopeless after all. He quickly determines that the actual problem is that Kurt's soul has been stolen. If they can get the soul back, everything will be fine. It had been stolen by Margali Szardos, Kurt's foster mother. By the end of the story, the problem has been fixed.
1983. UXM #167. Written by Chris Claremont.
Professor X’s body has been previously infected with a Brood egg, and his body now is transformed into a Brood Queen. So as far as his original body is concerned, the Professor has essentially “died.”
Fortunately, Shi’ar technology is equal to the challenge of transferring his mind to a clone-body which does not suffer from the crippling injuries experienced by the original body many years earlier.
1984. Marvel Super Heroes Secret Wars #11. Written by Jim Shooter.
Doctor Doom, possessed of the power of the Beyonder, blasts at the assembled heroes on the war world of the Secret Wars. From comments made in #12, we gather that this should have involved killing all members of the X-Men who participated in that miniseries. In alphabetical order: Colossus, Cyclops, Lockheed, Nightcrawler, Professor X, Rogue, Storm, Wolverine.
1985. Marvel Super Heroes Secret Wars #12. Written by Jim Shooter.
They’re back! Colossus, Cyclops, Lockheed, Nightcrawler, Professor X, Rogue, Storm, Wolverine! Good as new!
Thank Doctor Doom’s mood swings, the Beyonder’s manipulations, an alien healer girl named Zsaji who died, and the wonders of superduper futuristic technology.
1985. Fantastic Four #286. Written by John Byrne (or I think that’s what the credits said – I’ve also seen an assertion that Chris Claremont was brought in to “revise” some of the dialogue at the last minute, uncredited, for some reason).
Jean Grey, long presumed dead until this issue, emerges from a “survival pod” which had just recently been found over in Avengers #263. It turns out she is not the same “Jean Grey” who went nuts and wiped out a star, complete with billions of sentient residents of one of its planets, during the Dark Phoenix Saga. That Phoenix/Dark Phoenix character was actually a psychotic alien entity, a physical manifestation of the Phoenix Force which (for its own reasons) had tucked Jean away in suspended animation way back around UXM #101 and turned itself into a perfect duplicate of her, so that even Professor Xavier couldn't tell the difference.
1986. Uncanny X-Men #207. Written by Chris Claremont.
Rachel Summers (Phoenix) is about to kill Selene, the current Black Queen of the Hellfire Club. Wolverine tells her to back off. She doesn’t. Wolverine shoves his claws through her heart and lungs, apparently working on the theory that it’s better for him to kill a friend than it is for his friend to hunt down and kill an evil enemy after capturing her. (In the following issue, other X-Men seem very unhappy with Wolverine’s decision, but they don’t actually do anything about it. Such as threatening to expel him from the group for instance.)
We also will learn in the following issue that Rachel is still alive – just barely – thanks to the heavy use of telekinesis to hold things together so she doesn’t bleed to death. However, if I have the timing right, she has not yet healed from her wounds the next time the X-Men see her, so a death in the near future remains a very strong possibility if anything goes wrong. Then she vanishes from their ken and ends up on Mojoworld for awhile. As far as they know, she could have quietly bled to death in a dark alley somewhere. I’m counting this one as a “death,” in large part because of some dialogue in Excalibur: The Sword is Drawn. (Which will have its own listing below.)
1987. X-Men Annual #11. Written by Chris Claremont.
Wolverine gets his heart ripped out, which would normally mean that a character was dead, even when that character is Logan. However, one drop of his blood falls on an alien god-gem thingie, which conveniently goes into third gear and restores Wolverine, alive and well, from that single drop of blood.
1987. X-Factor #15. Written by Louise Simonson.
Angel, unhappy after the amputation of his wings, gets in a plane and takes off. The plane explodes, leaving his friends to assume he committed suicide rather than live without his wings.
04-10-2006, 09:41 PM
1988. Excalibur: The Sword is Drawn. (Graphic novel.) Written by Chris Claremont.
Rachel Summers (Phoenix) is back, from the perspective of other X-Men who had apparently long since lost hope of ever seeing her again.
Nightcrawler, apparently speaking for both himself and Kitty Pryde (who is standing right beside him at this moment), and probably for a bunch of other X-Men who aren’t present, says to Rachel, “We believed you dead.” As the three of them go into a group hug, Rachel says (inevitably, I felt): “You forget, fuzzy-elf . . . I’m Phoenix. If I die, it’s only to be reborn . . . hopefully better and brighter than before.”
Kurt’s comment is my primary reason for listing Wolverine’s stabbing of Rachel, and the aftermath, as a “death” inasmuch as the X-Men apparently ended up feeling strongly that Rachel would have reestablished contact with them had she still been alive and able to do so.
1988. X-Factor #24. Written by Louise Simonson.
Angel is back as "Death" of the "Four Horsemen of Apocalypse," actually brainwashed to serve the villain Apocalypse. Naturally, we will later see him recover his free will, etc., and take on the new alias of Archangel.
1988. New Mutants 60. Written by Louise Simonson.
Cypher (Doug Ramsey) dies after being shot by the Ani-Mator. He deliberately took the bullet when he saw the Ani-Mator was aiming at Wolfsbane.
1988. UXM #227. Written by Chris Claremont.
The concluding chapter of the Uncanny X-Men’s share of the “Fall of the Mutants” event. Claremont apparently decided to go for the all-time record and kill off at least eight X-Men, and one woman who was arguably affiliated with them despite the lack (we thought at the time!) of mutant powers, in a Nine-For-The-Price-Of-One Death Scene!
In alphabetical order, the following characters voluntarily sacrifice their lives in order to power up a special magic spell cast by Forge: Colossus, Dazzler, Havok, Longshot, Madelyne Pryor, Psylocke, Rogue, Storm, and Wolverine. For my purposes, I count this as the moment when Madelyne Pryor effectively became a member of the X-Men team.
Later in the same issue: The nine characters I just mentioned are miraculously raised from the dead by the great sorceress, Roma. The only faster X-Men resurrection that I can think of, offhand, was that stunt with a drop of Wolverine’s blood falling on that god-gem.
1988. X-Factor #38. Written by Louise Simonson. Part of the "Inferno" crossover.
Madelyne Pryor, wife of Cyclops, now calling herself the Goblyn Queen, also now revealed as a clone of Jean Grey, created by Mister Sinister way back when, kills herself after ranting about her entire Secret Origin, etc., to tie up some loose ends.
1989. X-Men Annual #13. Written by Terry Austin.
As the story starts, Diamondback (not an X-Man) and Dazzler have already been mind-swapped, each personality ending up in the other woman’s body. We see how this happened in flashback. By the end of the story, they’re both back to normal.
I’m currently working on the theory that if the character’s mind gets separated from its proper body for a significant length of time, this pretty much qualifies as a “death” even if the mind takes up residence in a different body instead of becoming a ghost, and even if the body still has a pulse. Hence this story qualifies.
1989. UXM #247. Written by Chris Claremont.
Rogue and Master Mold get knocked through the Siege Perilous and vanish from mortal ken (the Siege Perilous was previously provided to the X-Men by Roma after she resurrected a bunch of them). As near as I can recall, the other X-Men subsequently react as if Rogue has “died.” In the sense that her body probably no longer existed anywhere in Timeline 616 until such time as the Siege Perilous gave her a second chance on her life, I suppose they had a point. The copy of Carol Danvers's personality that was sharing space with Rogue inside her skull also gets knocked through the Siege Perilous as part of a package deal. This may count as an additional "death," depending upon how you feel about carbon copies of someone else's personality as "living entities" in their own right?
1989. UXM #248. Written by Chris Claremont.
Storm dies. There is a perfectly identifiable corpse left behind in the wreckage of villain Nanny’s airship after a dazed and confused Havok blasts it out of the sky. What more proof could you want?
1989. UXM #251. Written by Chris Claremont.
In a “Fever Dream” flashback possibly connected with Gateway’s access to dreamtime (or not?), a captive Wolverine “watches” something that apparently “really happened” at their Australian base some days earlier, well before he had returned to base from personal business elsewhere – and promptly got ambushed by the Reavers. In the “vision” that he sees: Psylocke uses her telepathy to “encourage” Havok, Dazzler, and Colossus to go through the Siege Perilous, and then follows them herself. Her apparent motive was that otherwise all four of them would get skragged by the Reavers, who were fast approaching – according to a possibly “prophetic” vision which Psylocke, in turn, had experienced in the previous issue. (Was all that clear as mud?)
[Score card: At this point, Storm is dead (everybody thinks), and five other X-Men – Rogue, Psylocke, Havok, Colossus, and Dazzler – have all passed through the Siege Perilous recently, which is supposed to be very nearly the same thing as dying in anticipation of possible rebirth. Thoroughly confusing the issue: At this time, and for quite some time thereafter, most of the other people in the Marvel Universe (including some former X-Men and many other friends and relatives of the missing ones) still firmly believed that a group of eight X-Men had “really died” in Dallas back in UXM #227, being totally unaware of a) the resurrection and b) the Siege Perilous thing.]
1989. UXM #253. Written by Chris Claremont.
Storm is back! Albeit in the body of a young girl, and apparently with her memory also regressed back to her days as a child thief in the streets of Cairo, Egypt, with no recollection of the X-Men at all. For some reason, she has ended up in Cairo, Illinois.
(About a year later, it will finally be explained to us that Storm never actually “died” in the first place. A S.H.I.E.L.D. LMD (Life Model Decoy) “died” in her stead. Nanny just loves playing her little mind games.)
1989. UXM #255 Written by Chris Claremont.
Psylocke is back, totally amnesiac (we are told).
Roma, or whoever passes judgment on the souls that wander through the Siege Perilous, apparently thought it would be a very uplifting and appropriate experience for her to lose her conscious memories and fall into the clutches of the ninja outfit known as The Hand (the same outfit that trained Elektra, back in the day) so that they could change her to look rather Asian (but keeping the purple hair) and brainwash her to be a loyal telepathic ninja assassin who just happened to be loyal first and foremost to Iron Man’s old sparring partner, The Mandarin. (No, I don’t quite follow the Siege Perilous’s “logic” on this point, either!)
1989. UXM #259. Written by Chris Claremont.
Colossus is back, totally amnesiac, except for having a vague idea that his name is “Peter Nicholas.” (Actually the Anglicized version of part of his name.) He is considerably luckier than Psylocke in the resurrection sweepstakes, however. He ends up in the SoHo apartment of a couple of friends from a previous adventure, although he doesn’t recognize them and they don’t recognize him (since they previously only met him when he was in his giant organic steel form). He also gets shot in the arm by their enemies, but he’ll pull through.
Meanwhile, in a separate subplot that has zero contact with the “Colossus in SoHo” one that starts in this same issue, Dazzler is back. Totally amnesiac – unlike Colossus, she doesn’t even remember any part of her name. On the other hand, she also lands among friends – the Siege Perilous apparently dumped her on a nice quiet stretch of beach near the Malibu residence of singer Lila Cheney, and she is conveniently found by Guido, an employee of Lila’s who quickly recognizes her as a former member of Lila's band and makes sure she gets good care. (This is the same Guido who later became known as Strong Guy of X-Factor.)
1989. Avengers #314. Written by John Byrne.
Nebula destroys the universe five times in a row. Each time she activates an experimental device, the universe temporarily blinks out of existence. By that logic, each character who is or ever has been an X-Man prior to this date is “dying” and “being resurrected” each time the device is switched on and then off. Not that any of them got specifically mentioned in this story – as far as I can recall – but the thought was there.
1990. Avengers #315. Written by John Byrne.
They’re back! The universe is restored (for the fifth time in this story arc) as the surviving Avengers disable Nebula’s equipment, and that naturally includes all those X-Men who were still “erased” as of the final page of the previous issue.
1990. X-Men Annual #14. Second story in the Annual. Written by Chris Claremont.
The concluding installment of the “Days of Future Present” arc that ran through four annuals in 1990.
In a backup story set before the conclusion of the lead story in the Annual, a high-powered adult Franklin Richards (from the future of an alternate timeline first shown to us in “Days of Future Past”) meets Wolverine in Madripoor and is annoyed by the presence of Jubilee and Psylocke, total strangers who never had any part in the X-Men history of his timeline. So he makes them vanish into thin air. In context, it appears that he didn’t just “teleport” them somewhere else -– he “erased” them entirely!
Wolverine, of course, manages to persuade him to bring them back by the end of the story.
The way I figure it -– and I could be wrong -– during the panels between when Franklin made Jubilee and Psylocke disappear, and when he brought them back, they did not physically exist anywhere. I figure that qualifies as being “dead” even if they made complete recoveries with no particular trauma suffered from the experience.
1990. Marvel Comics Presents #54. The relevant story is the first installment of an 8-part serial, written by Michael Higgins.
Mimic is back! We don't know that right away; he is currently a Wolverine impersonator, but by the end of the serial we will get it all explained to us in loving detail.
1990. UXM #269. Written by Chris Claremont.
Rogue is back. Oddly enough, not the least bit amnesiac! (Maybe the Siege Perilous is biased in her favor? On the other hand, it dumps her back at the old base in Australia, which had long since been reclaimed by the Reavers, so maybe the Siege wasn't really doing her any huge favors after all.)
It also turns out that the carbon copy of the personality of Carol Danvers is back -– but in a decaying body. For some reason, the Siege Perilous set it up in such a way that there doesn't seem to be enough lifeforce to go around. Possibly because they only had one living, breathing body between the two of them when they first entered the Siege. One or the other of these two women will now die. (Magneto intervenes and makes sure it's the Carol-Copy who dies, never to be heard from again to the best of my knowledge. I believe that ever since the Carol-Copy persona ended up in Rogue's skull, it had basically been a totally separate and different "person" from the Carol Danvers in her own body who has been known by such names as Ms. Marvel, Binary, and Warbird.)
1990. UXM #270. Written by Chris Claremont.
Havok is back. He has suffered a fate similar to Psylocke’s; evidently he landed some time earlier, amnesiac, in Genosha, and was somehow conditioned to be a loyal servant of the oppressive, bigoted (against mutants!) government. He doesn’t remember that he used to be an X-Man, or that Scott is his brother with a partial immunity to his power (and vice versa), or much of anything. (Why the Siege Perilous wished this upon him is far from clear. Had he and Psylocke in particular accumulated an awful lot of bad karma that they had to pay for?)
1990. New Mutants #95. Written by Louise Simonson.
Part of the "X-Tinction Agenda" crossover event.
Warlock is drained of lifeforce by Cameron Hodge.
(Later, some crystals that the other New Mutants consider to be his mortal remains are carefully placed on top of the grave of his "selfriend," Doug Ramsey, AKA Cypher.)
1991. Infinity Gauntlet #1. Written by Jim Starlin.
Thanos uses the power of the Infinity Gauntlet to wipe out half the universe. Stay tuned for further details.
1991. Infinity Gauntlet #2. Written by Jim Starlin.
In the opening pages of this issue, we get more detail on the consequences of Thanos’s actions in the previous issue. Among other things, we are told that Marvel Girl (Jean Grey), Iceman, Archangel, and Beast are no longer among the living.
I’m listing both #1 and #2 in this miniseries because you can argue that they died at the moment Thanos exerted himself in #1, even though we didn’t know for sure that they had died until #2.
1991. Infinity Gauntlet #4. Written by Jim Starlin.
Thanos kills Cyclops.
1991. Infinity Gauntlet #5. Written by Jim Starlin.
Nebula, granddaughter of Thanos, manages to pull a rabbit out of a hat and manipulate time enough to undo his recent slaughter of Scott, Jean, Bobby, Warren, and Hank (along with zillions of other sentient beings).
1991. UXM #281. Scripted by John Byrne from a plot by Jim Lee and Whilce Portacio.
Jean Grey is blasted by Sentinels. At the end of the issue, her body is stated to be dead.
1991. UXM #281. Scripted by John Byrne from a plot by Jim Lee and Whilce Portacio.
Jean Grey's mind wakes up inside the body of Emma Frost, thanks to a telepathic download she arranged just before the Sentinels got the drop on her in the previous issue. (Jean will later be restored to her own body, which apparently wasn't too badly damaged by those nasty Sentinels, after all.)
1991. X-Force #7. Written by Fabian Nicieza from a plot by Rob Liefeld.
Cannonball is killed by Sauron. (No, not the master villain from the Lord of the Rings – a different villain who apparently liked the name and swiped it.)
1991. X-Men #3. (second series). Written by Chris Claremont. Co-plotted by Claremont and Jim Lee.
As the story ends, Magneto is still on Asteroid M, and everyone and his brother (apparently including Magneto) believes the Asteroid is about to be destroyed and Magneto with it. For quite some time after this issue, Magneto is regarded as dead by the X-Men, the Acolytes, and apparently just about anybody else who actually cares. (However, no one actually got a good look at a corpse when all was said and done.)
1992. X-Force #9. Written by Fabian Nicieza from a plot by Rob Liefeld.
Cannonball spontaneously wakes up, alive and well! He doesn’t know how or why. In fact, he has a hard time believing other people’s claims that he was absolutely, positively dead for awhile there. (But he really had been!)
[NOTE: In a later issue, Cable solemnly explains that Cannonball is an External. A special type of immortal mutant who can die from time to time . . . without really being hurt in the long run. If coming back from the dead is the principal distinguishing characteristic of an External, then I believe we could make a good argument that throughout the team’s history, most of the X-Men have been Externals – by that definition! Whether or not anyone ever bothered to diagnose them as such! Somehow, though, I don’t think that was exactly what Cable meant.]
1993. X-Men #20. Written by Fabian Nicieza.
Psylocke’s original body is back!
Bear with me; this one will take some explaining . . .
Years earlier, in UXM #256 it appeared that Psylocke, having just recently been restored to the world by the Siege Perilous, was heavily brainwashed by the combined efforts of The Hand and The Mandarin in order to make her a loyal assassin. At the same time, someone apparently had a bright idea of changing her body in various ways to make her look more Asian. Darker complexion, slanted eyes, and hair that (I’ve been told) was now naturally black instead of naturally blonde, as Englishwoman Betsy Braddock’s hair had previously been. (Although the natural color hardly matters, because both before and after she got that involuntary makeover, Betsy has demonstrated a strong habit of dyeing it purple.)
That’s what everybody thought had happened for the next few years (and Psylocke appeared to have overcome the attempted brainwashing fairly quickly at the time).
This story cast doubt on all that, and the exact understanding of the relationship between Betsy’s original soul, Betsy’s original body, Kwannon’s original soul, and Kwannon’s original body fluctuated back and forth for awhile. What we were eventually told was that most of Kwannon’s soul had ended up in Betsy’s body, with a few bits and pieces of Betsy’s essence mixed in, and most of Betsy’s soul had ended up in Kwannon’s body, with a few bits and pieces of Kwannon’s essence mixed in, but eventually they swapped those “bits and pieces” back so that each “complete” persona was now inside what had originally been the other woman’s body.
If that’s the way it was, then it means that “between the scenes” in UXM #256 Betsy had now “retroactively died” in the sense that her mind was removed from her natural body and shoehorned into Kwannon’s. (I really don’t think that was what Claremont had in mind at the time, though.)
I think all of the above is a reasonably accurate summary of what was gradually “revealed” in subsequent stories. But all that may have been retconned further when I wasn’t looking.
(Incidentally, Kwannon – to call the person inside Betsy’s original body by that name for the time being – defiantly presented herself in this issue as being the one and only real Psylocke, but in dialogue spoken in the next issue she was already meekly accepting the alias of “Revanche” instead of Psylocke, for reasons that were never explained.)
1993. Mys-Tech Wars #3. Written by Dan Abnett.
There is great carnage in this miniseries as many doughty Marvel heroes fall in battle. I only need to list the X-Men casualties: Cyclops, Havok, Jubilee, and Jean Grey.
1993. Mys-Tech Wars #4. Written by Dan Abnett.
Cyclops, Havok, Jubilee, and Jean Grey are back! I believe time travel was used so that their deaths hadn’t really happened after all, but I could be wrong on the details.
04-10-2006, 09:43 PM
1993. UXM #300. Written by Scott Lobdell.
The Gamesmaster makes a statement which heavily implies that Magneto ain’t dead. But I am reluctant to count this as a case of Magneto definitely ”returning from death, or presumed death” for two reasons.
1) The Gamesmaster does not say in plain English that Magneto is alive.
2) More importantly, nothing remotely resembling “solid evidence” is offered to the reader to support the idea. The Gamesmaster could be lying. Or deceived by someone else in a scene we didn’t see. Or just plain delusional. We have no way of knowing at this point.
So I mention this issue primarily because it moves Magneto from the “Definitely Dead” column over to the fuzzy area of the “Someone claims (or hints) that he’s not dead” column, without actually getting him all the way over into the “Definitely Alive” column again.
1993. UXM #303. Written by Scott Lobdell.
Illyana Rasputin dies of the Legacy Virus. According to some of the discussion that the First Draft of this post stirred up a few months ago, the Illyana who dies here should not be listed on this Timeline, because she was "still" a little girl who had never grown into her teens to have adventures with the New Mutants as "Magik." Therefore she must be an alternate-timeline version of Illyana. That seems logical, but I decided to put her in anyway, for the time being. Someone else discussing this said that the "alternate-timeline version" theory has never been nailed down "in continuity." To look at it from another angle, if "this Illyana" ever comes back, that will mean she's quite possibly still on track to become the Magik who adventured with the New Mutants in the 1980s, won't it?
1993. X-Force #25. Written by Fabian Nicieza.
Magneto is back.
1993. X-Men #25. Written by Fabian Nicieza.
On Asteroid M, Professor X allegedly "removes” Magneto's mind, leaving his body a mere vegetable. Arguably, this amounts to much the same thing as killing him. (But feel free to argue with me on this!)
1994. Excalibur #78. Written by Chris Cooper, from a plot by Scott Lobdell.
"First appearance" of the techno-organic being known as Douglock, who seemed as if he might be Doug Ramsey, or possibly a Doug/Warlock merged entity, but eventually (in some later comic) was stated to be a resurrected version of Warlock of the New Mutants.
1994. X-Men #31. Written by Fabian Nicieza.
Revanche, a character comprised of Kwannon's mind that is currently inhabiting the original body of Psylocke (Betsy Braddock), is slowly dying of the Legacy Virus.
She begs her old lover, Matsuo Tsurayaba of The Hand, to put her out of her misery with a sword she thoughtfully provides. She talks him into it, and he does.
1995. Uncanny X-Men #327. Written by Scott Lobdell.
Magneto is possibly back!
A nun finds a naked, silver-haired man (whose face looks quite young under the hair) lying in a field. Being a suspicious woman living in a dangerous Latin American country, she points a shotgun at him. He instinctively uses his magnetic powers to defend himself (but doesn’t hurt her). Once better communications are established, he claims to have total amnesia, with absolutely no idea how he got here, and we are not given any reason to doubt his word. (Come to think of it, his situation is strongly reminiscent of what happened to several of the X-Men who went through the Siege Perilous back in 1989.)
He ends up using the name “Joseph” and eventually becomes an X-Man in later stories.
I read this issue when it was first released, and I certainly got the impression that it was supposed to be an amnesiac Magneto; a man who had somehow recovered from his essentially “brain-dead” condition, had his biological clock turned back to make his body that of a fit young man (somehow), essentially starting over with a new lease on life. My online research tells me lots of other people drew the same conclusion at the time, and I also find allegations that yes, bringing back Magneto with a clean slate was exactly what Lobdell thought he was doing when he wrote the script.
1996. X-Factor #120. Written by Howard Mackie. The Adversary kills several members of X-Factor, including one former X-Man (Polaris).
1996. X-Factor #121. Written by Howard Mackie. Forge finds a way to force The Adversary to restore the souls to the recent X-Factor casualties. Ergo, Polaris comes back to life.
1997. Uncanny X-Men #350. Written by Steve Seagle, according to the official credits – but Seagle reportedly has said that his predecessor, Scott Lobdell, did a fair piece of the writing and plotting on this issue before Seagle ever got involved as he started his own run on the title.
Magneto is back. (No, they really mean it this time!) At first we only know he is a mysterious figure called Erik the Red (an alias which has now been used three times in X-Men continuity; always by a different person). At the very end of the issue, he is revealed to the readers – but not yet to the X-Men who met him in this story – as Magneto, who has somehow regained the mind that Professor X claimed to have “removed” from him back in X-Men #25 in 1993.
Since Joseph also appears in this story, having served as an X-Man for several issues previously, this storyline finally seems to nail it down that Joseph is not “Magneto with a clean slate” after all. (Joseph was later revealed to be a clone of Magneto, created by someone else without Magneto’s knowledge or consent.)
Meanwhile, Gambit basically gets a death sentence from his fellow X-Men at the end of this issue, although no one actually has the guts to come right out and admit that this is what they are doing when they leave him alone in the snow in Antarctica without any transportation while they fly away. They are so disgusted by new disclosures about certain aspects of his sinful past that they want nothing more to do with him, so they dump him in the snow and scram.
So I count this one as a “death” for Gambit because, If we take the events of this story at face value, “leaving him to die” is logically what the other X-Men on the scene must have thought they were doing when they left him stranded down there. And apparently they were fine with that! (Yeah, yeah, so much for that whole “thou shalt not kill” creed to which some of the X-Men pay lip service.)
NOTE: If someone can tell me when the X-Men next saw Gambit, and learned that he had not frozen to death in Antarctica despite their best efforts to see that he did, I’ll add that to the Fourth Draft of my Timeline.
SECOND NOTE: One online resource cleverly points out that the revelation that Joseph is not Magneto retroactively turns UXM #327 into the only issue of the long-running series that has ever totally failed to show us any past or present X-Men doing anything at all in the story! (Even though they are, collectively, supposed to be the title characters of the series!) Just thought you might like to know! :)
1998. X-Factor #149. Written by Howard Mackie.
Havok is aboard Greystone’s time-ship when the reactor goes up in their faces. Havok presumably dies. (You don’t expect to find much in the way of mortal remains when a guy was standing right over a reactor just before it blew.)
1998. Mutant X #1. Written by Howard Mackie.
Havok, our old friend from the 616 universe, suddenly wakes up to discover his consciousness, mind , ego, soul, spirit, or whatever-you-want-to-call-it is now firmly planted inside the skull of an Alex Summers of an alternate timeline. This particular body was blasted by a Sentinel immediately prior to “our Havok’s” arrival. This is a world where Scott Summers died as a kid and his little brother Havok had to take up the slack by growing up to play much the same leadership role among his fellow mutant heroes that Cyclops played in 616 continuity. Presumably the original consciousness (or whatever) of this alternate-timeline Havok is now dead and gone for good. Havok will spend the full 32 issues of the Mutant X title “alive” but without any of his friends and relatives back in dear old 616 knowing about it.
1999. X-Men #87. Written by Fabian Nicieza from a plot by Alan Davis.
Joseph, a clone of Magneto and a member of the X-Men in his own right, sacrifices himself to save the world.
1999. Astonishing X-Men #3. Written by Howard Mackie.
Wolverine dies when the latest Death, one of the Four Horseman of Apocalypse, guts him with a sword.
1999. UXM #375. Written by Alan Davis.
It is retroactively discovered by the X-Men that the “Wolverine” who just recently died in Astonishing X-Men #3 was actually a Skrull impostor. That character is now commonly referred to (by fans, anyway) as “Skrullverine.” As far as I can tell, this does not automatically tell the readers (and the other X-Men) that Wolverine is still alive, however – it just tells them that he is not definitely known to be dead, after all!
NOTE: OHOTMU: X-Men 2005 only lists this character as “Wolverine Imposter.” I have to admit that Skrullverine is catchier, and much more specific to boot. Other people, robots, etc., have tried to impersonate Wolverine over the years, but (as far as I can recall) only one Skrull has ever done so.
1999. X-Men #95. Written by Alan Davis.
The new Death of the Horsemen of Apocalypse (not to be confused with the cosmic entity Death whom Thanos has long been obsessed with) is unmasked and revealed to be the real Wolverine, still alive and kicking.
1999. X-Men #97. Written by Terry Kavanagh, but plotted by Alan Davis if I have this right.
Cyclops sacrifices himself and is merged together with Apocalypse. Professor X offers the shocked comment that now he can’t detect any trace of Scott’s mind or soul! Most of the X-Men apparently interpret this to mean: “No question about it, boys and girls - Scott is dead! May he rest in peace!” His wife Jean has more faith in him – but I believe that hers remains the minority opinion for quite some time. So I’m taking this as a “death scene” for him, and listing it on that basis.
2000. UXM #390. Written by Scott Lobdell.
Colossus dies voluntarily, as a human sacrifice to stop the Legacy Virus. (Yes, I personally believe a “super-powered mutant” can still be a “human” sacrifice. I have serious trouble with the assumption that one stupid mutant gene makes a guy a “nonhuman.”)
(In a later comic, we learned his body was cremated and the ashes scattered, so you'd think he would have been dead by the time that cremation process was finished if he hadn't already been when it started. But when did a little thing like that ever stop an X-Man?)
2000. UXM #391. Written by Scott Lobdell.
Although this story does not show Cyclops’s “miraculous return,” it is published before the story that does! So chronologically, it is arguably the “first” reappearance of a healthy Cyclops who is his own man again, free and clear. His memory apparently got somewhat damaged by the psychological trauma of the whole experience with Apocalypse, however, because he simply can’t remember that he already asked his long-lost father “why did you never come back for me?” almost twenty years earlier (our time), and Corsair already explained.
(If I recall correctly, the basic excuse provided by Claremont in the early 80s was that Corsair "knew" his two sons were dead, since he last saw them dangling from a burning parachute thousands of feet above the ground, so what was there on Earth that he really wanted or needed to go back to? When he broke out of captivity, he preferred to dedicate his life to getting revenge for the deaths of his wife and children! Only many years later did he find out the kids had survived because of the mutant superpowers he never knew they had. Made sense to me!)
2000. X-Men: The Search for Cyclops #4. Written by Joseph Harris.
Better late than never? Now that UXM #391 had already shown us that Scott Summers was back in the land of the living, good as new (except for those ugly memory problems I mentioned), Marvel finally decided it might as well publish the last part of the miniseries that was dedicated to explaining how he did, in fact, get separated from Apocalypse and returned to active duty with the X-Men. Pity that UXM #391 had already destroyed any faint shred of “suspense” regarding just how this was going to play out, though.
2001. X-Treme X-Men #2. Written by Chris Claremont.
Psylocke dies when Vargas runs a sword right through her and then flees the scene, leaving the corpse behind for the other X-Men to grieve over. Seems like an open-and-shut case of death.
2001. UXM #393. Written by Scott Lobdell. Part 3 of "Eve of Destruction."
Dialogue in this one suggests Longshot, last seen living on Mojoworld with Dazzler, is already dead (if he is, it happened offstage prior to this story). I believe the X-Baby version of Holocaust asks hopefully if he and his buddies can find and kill "another” Longshot, which certainly implies they have already done this at least once (or think they have?).
Dazzler, however, does not claim to know for a fact that her beloved Longshot is dead. Later in this issue: Dazzler is apparently killed by Magneto, in full view of other X-Men.
2001. X-Men #113. Written by Scott Lobdell. Part 4 of "Eve of Destruction."
Dazzler is back! She was just faking. Using her powers over light to confuse the issue with illusions. (I may end up removing this one later, it was so temporary. I’ll get back to you on that one. After I reread the material myself, sometime.)
Later: Wolverine guts Magneto at the end of the battle; apparently killing him (in the views of many of the people who read this comic at the time, and apparently in the views of the other X-Men present, since I gather none of them actually said anything explicitly to the contrary.)
2001. X-Man #75. Written by Steven Grant.
Nate Grey, who both calls himself “X-Man” and has also previously served with the X-Men, apparently dies.
Sacrifices himself to save the Earth. His series ends on this note.
2001. X-Men #115. Written by Grant Morrison.
“Magneto is back – oops, we lost him again!” (Easy come, easy go.)
In other words, Magneto is briefly seen in a wheelchair in Genosha, apparently still weak from his injuries two issues ago, before he apparently dies all over again when his Citadel is blasted by a bunch of Sentinels.
2001. Mutant X #32. Written by Howard Mackie.
Final issue of this title. Havok – still the 616 Havok’s mind in this alternate Havok’s body -- disappears into the Nexus of All Realities and it seems as if he might be dying. At this time (as far as any reader knows) his original body is still supposed to have gone up in smoke when that reactor blew way back in X-Factor #149.. If Havok’s mind, with or without his “new” body, has now gone the way of all flesh as well, then he’s really and truly, no-foolin’, we-actually-mean-it-this-time, dead!
2002. UXM #404. Written by Joe Casey.
Mystique murders Sunpyre.
2002. UXM #405. Written by Joe Casey.
Chamber and Nightcrawler are in a jet. Then it explodes. The other X-Men worry that they are dead.
Apparently the reader doesn't know any better, either.
It doesn't help that Archangel, for some reason, orders Madrox not to search the wreckage.
2002. UXM #407. Written by Joe Casey.
They're back! Nightcrawler and Chamber are fine and dandy, thanks to Nightcrawler's teleporting them away at the last moment. They just happened to end up at a remote mountain cabin in Bavaria which belongs to an old circus buddy of Kurt's who is now retired to live a life of quiet seclusion. The rest of the X-Men, as well as the readers, become aware of their survival in this issue.
2002. Wolverine #175. Written by Frank Tieri.
Wolverine has a fight with Sabretooth and collapses from his wounds. A doctor examines him and pronounces him dead.
2002. Wolverine #176. Written by Frank Tieri.
Wolverine's spirit, free from his body for the moment, has some strange experiences and then returns to his body. He revives (presumably his healing factor has been working extra-hard?) and slices his way out of the body bag someone had put him in. We are eventually told that he was physically dead for 23 minutes.
04-10-2006, 09:45 PM
2002. UXM #410. Written by Chuck Austen.
Several X-Men are in a Blackbird, which gets attacked near the coast of Scotland and crashes into a castle.
Stacy X panics when she discovers Archangel is not breathing. So I'd say she had reason to believe he was dead. Professor X -- communicating long-distance via telepathy -- recommends CPR. We do not find out -- in this issue -- if his suggestion does any good.
2002. UXM #411. Written by Chuck Austen.
Archangel is in lousy shape but will apparently pull through. Also, Havok is back. We discover that for months he's been catatonic in the Rosy Manor Convalescent Hospital in upstate New York. A "John Doe," identity unknown. At the end of this issue, Nurse Annie Ghazikhanian calls the X-Mansion to mention the similarity of "John Doe" to a photo of Alex Summers in a magazine article.
NOTE: I am told that the Havok who eventually (in a later story) recovered full consciousness did not appear to remember anything about his adventures in the alternate timeline of the Mutant X title.
2002. X-Treme X-Men #18. Written by Chris Claremont.
Now patients in a M.A.S.H. unit after suffering nasty injuries in a recent battle, Rogue, Gambit, and Storm all have out-of-body experiences before ultimately all three pulling through, with their spirits firmly parked inside their mortal bodies once more. You could argue that all three of them were dead at some point here, I think. (Storm actually took the deliberate risk of having her spirit leave her body for a bit, on the theory that this might be a great opportunity to finally touch bases with her long-dead parents.)
2002. Exiles #18. Written by Judd Winick.
Longshot is back. Possibly. A Longshot, at any rate, if not necessarily the Longshot. Or it might be the Longshot at a time prior to when he was last seen onstage (which would probably be his adventures in the Longshot one-shot written by J.M. DeMatteis, published around late 1997?). Or possibly a Longshot from after that one-shot in 1997, but still before he was reported to be at least Missing in Action (according to Dazzler) and allegedly Killed in Action (according to the Holocaust X-Baby) in UXM #393. Or maybe some other explanation entirely. But at any rate, he’s “back” and he’s called “Longshot.”
(Hey! What do you mean, that wasn’t clear and helpful?)
Hoo boy. I can see that this one is going to take some explaining.
Okay, on the one hand, in this same issue, Mojo boldly asserts there is only one of him and his world in all of existence; not a whole bunch of Mojos connected to different alternate timelines. If we swallow this claim at face value for the sake of argument, then it would logically follow that there’s only been one Longshot as well, and not a whole slew of Longshot-analogs. Even though the Longshot in this story arc never specifically claims to have ever served with the X-Men or been romantically involved with Dazzler, as near as I can tell.
Of course, taking Mojo’s sweeping assertion at face value requires a couple of leaps of faith.
1. We are asked to assume that Mojo absolutely positively knows everything that’s worth knowing about all the alternate universes/timelines/whatever that are out there, and thus can say with authority that there are no analogs of himself floating around somewhere, which is what his claim amounts to – since he didn’t make a more modest assertion that he’s simply never yet encountered “himself” from another timeline.
2. We are also asked to assume that Mojo is scrupulously telling the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth to the Exiles, regarding whatever he thinks he knows about the existence (or absence) of other Mojos and other Mojoworlds somewhere in the depths of space and time.
So first we are asked to assume his omniscience, and then we are asked to assume his honesty when speaking with visiting superheroes. Either assumption strikes me as shaky. Put them both together and you get something I certainly wouldn’t recommend we accept as “gospel truth” without seeing a ton of supporting evidence from other sources first.
NOTE: Longshot, allegedly the same Longshot who met the Exiles in this story arc, has very recently appeared again in the Exiles title as a new member. However, by the time he joined them he'd recently been mindwiped by Mojo so that his memories of past adventures were gone, including this first encounter with the Exiles. As far as I know, the question of whether or not "Exiles Longshot" is the same guy who was a regular member of the X-Men of Timeline 616 in the late 1980s is still utterly unresolved. If he is not the same guy, then it is quite possible that "our" Longshot really is dead. (On the other hand, even if he is the same guy, he still won't remember those old adventures with the X-Men because of Mojo's mindwipe.)
2003. Captain Marvel #6 (fourth series). Written by Peter David.
In the gap between #5 and #6, Genis, also known as Captain Marvel (a name previously used by his father, Mar-Vell of the Kree Empire), has just obliterated the universe. By the end of this story, the being known as Entropy recreates it good as new, and Entropy then becomes the “new” Eternity, replacing his daddy, the old Eternity, who apparently had gotten tired of the whole rat race and wanted to fade out quietly (and did).
This implicitly means that all of the past and present X-Men (as well as everyone else in the Marvel Universe, of course), died and are now being brought back to life, apparently without any of them knowing that anything happened at all. Add one more “death” and “miraculous resurrection” to the running tally for dozens of X-Men characters, folks! The mere fact that they don’t even know it happened doesn’t mean it didn’t happen! :)
2003. UXM #418. Written by Chuck Austen.
At the end of the issue, Warren (Archangel) and Paige Guthrie (Husk) are both badly wounded. Paige may be dead. The primary evidence for Paige's (very temporary) death is that a maggot crawls over her eyeball without her even mustering the energy to blink on reflex.
2003. UXM #419. Written by Chuck Austen.
Whether Paige was briefly dead or not, she and Warren will both pull through. This was how Warren discovered he had a nifty secondary mutation such that his blood could serve as a sort of healing potion for the sick and injured.
2003. New X-Men #139. Written by Grant Morrison.
On the final page, Beast finds Emma Frost’s diamond-form body, shattered into lots of little bits and pieces. In the next two issues, some of the people who take an interest (Bishop and Sage, for instance) use such words as “dead” and “killed” and “murder weapon.” Obviously, they think she’s dead.
2003. New X-Men #141. Written by Grant Morrison.
Beast, the odd man out who has emphatically disagreed with the majority opinion regarding Emma’s vital status, has been working hard to arrange all the fragments in their proper places, like a three-dimensional jigsaw puzzle. Despite his best efforts, they remain an accumulation of individual fragments in a pile because he isn’t actually trying to glue them back together as he goes along.
Jean Grey finally lends a hand and telekinetically fuses them back together into one solid piece of diamond in the shape of a woman’s body, and sure enough, Emma Frost wakes up. There is no clear reason why Jean couldn’t have done this hours earlier (in the previous issue, say?) if she had happened to feel like it.
2003. UXM #423. Written by Chuck Austen.
Six crucified mutants, dead, are found on the front lawn of the X-Mansion one morning. They include Jubilee and Magma, who are brought back to life when Archangel donates quite a bit of his potent blood to the cause of trying to help all six. (The others stay dead, but as near as I can tell, none of them had ever qualified for the distinction of being considered "members of the X-Men," so I won't list them.)
2003. UXM #430. Written by Chuck Austen.
Iceman is shot with an arrow. His icy body shatters. Archangel assumes he is dead, and takes the trouble to retrieve the head.
2003. UXM #431. Written by Chuck Austen.
Archangel observes that the eyes and mouth of Iceman's head are still moving. Two more issues will pass before Bobby Drake is back to anything remotely resembling "normal," but I figure this qualifies as the moment when his friends realize he isn't exactly dead after all!
2003. Weapon X #5. Written by Frank Tieri.
Maggott is one of the mutants killed in a gas chamber at the Neverland concentration camp in a scene straight out of the Jewish Holocaust. However, we see that one of his slugs escaped.
2003. New X-Men #146. Written by Grant Morrison.
Magneto is back. Apparently he’s spent a long time infiltrating Xavier’s academy as Xorn, the Chinese mutant with a star for a brain.
2003. New X-Men #148. Written by Grant Morrison.
Jean Grey and Wolverine are trapped on Asteroid X as it goes hurtling straight toward the sun, courtesy of Magneto. Wolverine finally kills Jean with his claws on the theory that it's a quicker, more merciful death than being roasted alive as the heat increases.
She gets over it, though - we see her eyes fire up before the issue ends. Somehow the death was a necessary preliminary step before she could access the full power of the Phoenix or some such thing (according to what she says later. You know how Phoenixes are). Wolverine had not anticipated that result, incidentally, but it saved him from dying himself.
2003. New X-Men #150. Written by Grant Morrison.
Magneto, previously posing as Xorn for many issues, manages to fatally injure Jean Grey with a big electromagnetic pulse, so that she soon dies. Magneto dies himself.
2004. Astonishing X-Men #4. Written by Joss Whedon.
Colossus is back.
2004. Excalibur #1 (second series of that name). Written by Chris Claremont.
Magneto is back! In the following issue, he will refer to the character who died in New X-Men #150 as an impostor. Nothing to do with the real Magneto at all! That deceased character is now sometimes referred to by fans as “Xorneto.”
2005. Wolverine #25. Written by Mark Millar.
Wolverine, under the influence of some sort of mind-control programming courtesy of HYDRA, stabs Northstar through the chest, killing him.
2005. Wolverine #26. Written by Mark Millar.
The ninja group known as The Hand steals Northstar’s corpse and resurrects him as one of their own, conveniently brainwashed, merciless killers.
(Note: Later, in Wolverine #31, it develops that S.H.I.E.L.D. has captured Northstar and is trying to deprogram him. Apparently, most of the people who knew him in the MU still think he’s dead at this point?)
2005. UXM #455. Written by Chris Claremont.
Psylocke is back! No explanation is provided in this issue.
2005. Alpha Flight #9 (third series). Written by Scott Lobdell.
Apparently working on the theory that you should "never apologize and never explain" regarding a return from the dead, Sunpyre appears as part of a mind-controlled team called Big Hero Six, fighting the Alphans.
NOTE: Later in 2005, "The Official Handbook of the Marvel Universe: Teams" will assert that Sunpyre just happens to be an alternate-timeline version of the deceased character; this version having been dragged kicking and screaming into 616 thanks to the character known as Honey Lemon and her Power Purse.
2005. Rogue #11. Written by Tony Bedard.
Sunfire possibly dies. His legs have been amputated by Lady Deathstrike, and then he urges Rogue to touch him and absorb his own powers so that she can get out of the nasty jam they're in. She is afraid that doing that to him, in his current condition, could easily kill him. He apparently states that without his legs, he doesn't really care about staying alive anyhow. A third party to the conversation makes sure Rogue touches him and involuntarily absorbs his powers.
Sunfire is either unconscious or dead by the time this issue ends. A monitor in another room, apparently showing his vital signs to Lady Deathstrike, flatlines. Which tends to support the “he’s dead” theory. As does Wolverine's subsequent claim that he smells "the stink of death" all over the room in which Sunfire's body, live or dead, had last been seen. And apparently no one else was known to have been dying in that room lately. However, by the time Logan was examining the room, Sunfire's body (alive or dead) had mysteriously vanished since the last time any witness had glanced at it, so there was no autopsy, funeral, etc.
Wolverine's statement, combined with the way a monitor display flatlined earlier, strikes me as sufficient grounds for listing this as a Sunfire "death." I wouldn't do that if someone had simply said, "Gee, I left him in this room, definitely still alive at the time . . . and now he's gone! I wonder where he went?"
2005. X-Men: Phoenix -- Endsong #1. Written by Greg Pak.
This five-part miniseries raises knotty questions for me about what constitutes "death" and "resurrection."
We start out this story with the discovery that some blooming idiots among the Shi'ar thought it would be a peachy keen idea to build a fancy device to "reconstitute" the Phoenix Force . . . so that they could destroy it properly, once and for all, after it was a live target again! (Talk about children playing with matches and then wondering why the house is burning down . . . couldn't they just have counted their blessings re: the Phoenix Force's current "dead” condition, and left it at that?)
Active and conscious once again, the Phoenix Force wants to take up residence in a proper body once more.
Later in this issue, it raises Jean Grey's body from the dead and reinhabits it (the Phoenix Force personality, and Jean Grey's own human personality, are apparently uneasy psychic roommates at this stage in the story, vying for dominance).
2005. X-Men: Phoenix -- Endsong #3. Written by Greg Pak.
Wolverine kills Jean Grey/Phoenix with his claws. She recovers.
Wolverine kills Jean Grey/Phoenix with his claws. She recovers.
Wolverine kills Jean Grey/Phoenix with his claws. She recovers.
Wolverine kills Jean Grey/Phoenix with his claws. She recovers.
Wolverine kills Jean Grey/Phoenix with his claws. She recovers.
Wolverine kills Jean Grey/Phoenix with his claws. She recovers.
Wolverine kills Jean Grey/Phoenix with his claws. She recovers.
I may have lost count somewhere along the line, but I make it seven times minimum, in quick succession. In Logan's defense, I should mention that Jean specifically asked him to do this. Hey, what are friends for?
2005. X-Men: Phoenix -- Endsong #4. Written by Greg Pak.
The Phoenix is persuaded to take up residence in the body of Emma Frost. You could call this a new "reincarnation" of the Phoenix. Not that it lasts long.
2005. X-Men: Phoenix -- Endsong #5. Written by Greg Pak.
The Phoenix merges with Jean again. Then they both end up "dying" all over again. I think. With the Phoenix, it's awfully hard to know where to draw the line between "alive" and "dead" at any given moment in its existence. Case in point: At the very end of this story arc, the Phoenix Force appears to be making a sales pitch (or something -- details are unclear) to one of the telepathic girls known as the Stepford Cuckoos.
2005. New Excalibur #1. Written by Chris Claremont
A doctor in London states that Dazzler was found dead on the street. Looks like she was a) in a fight, and b) had a heart attack to finish her off. But she’s definitely dead. Then Rachel Summers claims to detect brain activity, and Dazzler is revived by frantic measures. She’ll recover. But since the doctor had already examined the body, presumably quite thoroughly, and swore she was dead, I take this seriously as a "death."
Meanwhile, we have other exciting developments in the letter column of this issue, but I can’t name the writer for this part because I don’t know who wrote the editorial comments there.
Almost three years after the publication of Weapon X #5, an editorial comment in a lettercol "confirms" that Cecelia Reyes was murdered during the events of that issue (see that issue's own entry further above, a 2003 listing, for the sad death of Maggott which definitely occurred in that story).
On the other hand! Frank Tieri, writer of "Weapon X #5" (and the rest of that series) has reportedly said loud and clear that in his opinion Cecelia never died at all. (This would certainly explain why he never wrote any dialogue that had people mourning over her corpse.)
X-Men and former X-Men have died in all sorts of strange ways over the years, but this may be some sort of record for weirdness in that department. "Death by Letter Column, Three Years After the Putative Fact!
And even the writer of the relevant story swears he didn't think he killed her off!"
NOTE: Here is some new information I dug up: The Official Handbook of the Marvel Universe: X-Men 2005 includes a list of all people considered to have previously served as X-Men. Such names as Changeling and the first Thunderbird are listed as “died in [whatever issue]” if that character is currently still supposed to be dead. But the entry on Cecelia (which spells her name Cecilia) simply says “Not currently a member,” the same phrasing it uses for such definitely-alive characters as Storm or Archangel.
2005. X:Men: Deadly Genesis #2. Written by Ed Brubaker.
Banshee is killed when a plane blows up right in front of him. Apparently this was arranged by new villain Vulcan. (Sean Cassidy’s corpse is found and identified by Wolverine and Nightcrawler in the following issue, thus nailing it down that the blast killed him.)
2006. X-Men #182. Second story in this issue. Written by Peter Milligan.
Sunfire is back. In a story that appears to be the beginning of a flashback serial set before the lead stories in each issue, we see he ended up in the clutches of Apocalypse. Apparently by choice because ‘Poccy offered to restore his legs, somehow.
(In the following issue's lead story, he will make his "debut" as the guy who's been transformed into the newest Famine in the Four Horsemen of Apocalypse.)
***** END OF TIMELINE *****
04-10-2006, 09:47 PM
3. Grand Totals for the Top-Scoring X-Men
First, I found it necessary to recognize a distinction between Explicit Deaths and Implicit Deaths. For my purposes, I define Explicit as meaning that we (and/or other X-Men) are specifically led to believe that a certain character has died. Implicit means that something really “cosmic” happened that allegedly killed off a huge number of people – and the character in question was supposedly alive right before it happened, and thus would “implicitly” have died when it happened. (And, equally implicitly, would be miraculously brought back at the end of this story or story arc.) In the “Implicit” cases, most or all of the X-Men may never even have been mentioned within the story, and their faces were never seen – but since Marvel’s regular titles are generally supposed to happen in one common universe, they just naturally died as part of the package deal when Planet Earth, or the entire universe, went up in smoke.
Times of massive Implicit Death listed on my Timeline as having implicitly effected numerous X-Men include:
1. Marvel Two-In-One #7. The universe temporarily ceases to exist. Then it gets restored.
2. Doctor Strange #12 (second series). Planet Earth is destroyed. In the next issue it is replaced, good as new.
3. Avengers #314. The universe temporarily ceases to exist, five times in a row.
4. Captain Marvel #6 (fourth series). The universe has just been destroyed as this issue starts. By the end of the issue, it gets restored.
I thought I would also have to include events from the miniseries Marvel: The End on this list, but a few days ago I learned that Tom Brevoort has repeatedly stated that this mini was not “in canon” for the regular Marvel Universe, which saves me some extra trouble.
I recognize that some fans may feel that Implicit Deaths as part of a cosmic event should not be taken as seriously as Explicit, more specific deaths. I sympathize with that point of view, but I’m trying to record all the deaths that have happened according to a strict reading of Marvel’s continuity, as opposed to just the more “personal” and “detailed” ones that actually happened within the various titles focused upon the adventures of the X-Men and their associates.
So I took a two-tiered approach to tallying up deaths. I counted each character’s Explicit and Implicit deaths separately. First I will give you Total Deaths: everything put together, Explicit and Implicit, that any given character has endured since becoming an X-Man; then I will offer Explicit Death Totals for those who prefer to ignore these “Implicit Deaths” entirely.
At this time, I’m going to settle for offering totals for the Top Five Places in each category. (If enough fans want to have numbers offered in future drafts for how often everyone has died, even someone like Thunderbird I who died almost as fast as he was invented and hasn’t been heard from since, then I will consider expanding this section for future drafts. Speak up if you think it ought to be changed in one fashion or another!)
Each listing will give the character’s name, followed by the Total Deaths I’ve counted for him or her. Then, in parentheses, the breakdown into the number of Explicit Deaths, followed by the number of Implicit Deaths.
Remember: I only count “deaths,” Explicit or Implicit, that occurred after the character began to serve as an X-Man.
TOTAL DEATHS: FIRST PLACE
Jean Grey: 23. (15, 8)
TOTAL DEATHS: SECOND PLACE (Two-Way Tie)
Cyclops. 13 (5, 8)
Wolverine: 13 (6, 7)
TOTAL DEATHS: THIRD PLACE
Storm: 12 (5, 7)
TOTAL DEATHS: FOURTH PLACE (Four-Way Tie)
Professor X: 11 (3, 8)
Archangel: 11 (3, 8)
Magneto: 11 (5, 6)
Nightcrawler: 11 (4, 7)
TOTAL DEATHS: FIFTH PLACE (Three-Way Tie)
Iceman: 10 (2, 8)
Beast: 10 (2, 8)
Psylocke: 10 (5, 5)
If you don’t care about Implicit Deaths, then here are the totals when we boil it down to just the Explicit Deaths. Either way, Jean Grey is still leading the pack, of course!
EXPLICIT DEATHS: FIRST PLACE
Jean Grey: 15
EXPLICIT DEATHS: SECOND PLACE
EXPLICIT DEATHS: THIRD PLACE (Six-Way Tie)
EXPLICIT DEATHS: FOURTH PLACE (Three-Way Tie)
EXPLICIT DEATHS: FIFTH PLACE (Two-Way Tie)
Professor X: 3
And, in honor of Jean Grey’s special status as the Grand Champion of my X-Men Fatality Timeline, here is a complete listing of the relevant issues and how many times she “died” in each story, to save you the trouble of searching through this post line by line to sort them all out for yourself. Stories that probably didn’t even mention Jean Grey (or Marvel Girl, or Phoenix, or whatever), but that killed her just the same if you take them at face value, will have “(Implicit)” after the issue number to help you distinguish.
1 in Doctor Strange #12 (Implicit).
1 in Marvel Two-In-One #7. (Implicit)
1 in UXM #113 (in the opinion of most of her fellow X-Men for the next 12 issues)
1 in UXM #137
5 in Avengers #314 (Implicit)
1 in Infinity Gauntlet #2
1 in UXM #281
1 in Mys-Tech Wars #3.
1 just before the start of Captain Marvel #6 (fourth series) (Implicit)
1 in New X-Men #148
1 in New X-Men #150
7 times (at least!) in Phoenix: Endsong #3.
1 (I think) in Phoenix: Endsong #5.
Grand Total: 23. (15 Explicit. 8 Implicit.)
Closing Note: As always, the X-Men Fatality Timeline is not a finished product. It remains a work-in-progress; hence my constant use of the word “Draft” in the title as I post each new version. After all the feedback I have received from readers of the First and Second Drafts (Thanks, everybody!), I dare to hope that I have finally achieved something that is almost complete. And truly helpful to anyone who wants to answer the question, “How many times has [a particular X-Man] died, and in which issues?” But I am not arrogant enough to assume that the Timeline is now “perfect.” And of course there are always new stories about past and present X-Men coming out, and somehow I don’t think those characters are all going to stop dying and returning anytime soon!
So if you know of any “deaths” or “returns from the dead” of X-Men (or former X-Men) that you think my list has missed, please say so! Even if I happen to disagree with you on the details of a particular case and whether or not it belongs on my Timeline, I always appreciate sincere suggestions for improvement!
I have now done three drafts of this in the last few months, and I suspect it will be a long time before I feel the overwhelming urge to tackle the project again. But if you make suggestions now, I promise to copy them to disk and look at them carefully when the time comes to upgrade my Timeline to a Fourth Draft.
01-12-2007, 01:23 PM
This is awesome, and it's always fun to bump **** for no reason.
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