DC Comics’ bad guys have repeatedly shown their mettle over the years, but they haven’t always been able to come out on top. Most stories’ final showdown between hero and villain has a rather grim conclusion. Of course, they are usually revived in the end, returning to do battle with their heroic opponents yet again. But some villains have a much more regular mortality rate than others.
The ability to die and rise again is a common theme in their powers. Sometimes, however, you can’t afford to let them go. Some DC Comics bad guys have died dozens of times, only to come back and cause trouble for the heroes once more.
There have been several successors to Mongul.
It is Mongul, Lord of Warworld, who sows death and chaos across the cosmos. He has been fighting Superman for a long time, but the Mongul he faces in “The Warworld Saga” is different from the ones he has faced in the past. If you exclude Mongal from the early 2000s, he is in fact the third Mongul.
The strongest people on Warworld hold all the cards. Whoever takes down Mongul will be crowned the next Mongul. Although each successive Mongul has proven to be more formidable than Superman, the most recent one has proven to be the most lethal.
There have been multiple losses of the eradicator.
After the Crisis, the Superman mythos introduced a new villain known as the Eradicator. It was a Kryptonian machine that turned humans into deadly weapons and later developed its own artificial body to fight Superman. Superman would repeatedly destroy Eradicator, but it would always reappear in a different guise. Most notably, it acted as one of the four Supermen that took over after the Man of Steel was killed.
In the battle at Engine City, Eradicator was killed, restoring Superman’s abilities. Since then, it’s returned more than once to fight Superman, but always loses. Given that it isn’t alive, Superman has no problem killing it repeatedly.
Cyborg No Matter How Hard Cyborg Tries, Superman Will Come Back to Life Superman was once Hank Henshaw, an astronaut who gained the power to control technology after being exposed to cosmic radiation. He sacrificed his life in Superman’s defense, but he would eventually rebuild himself into Cyborg Superman. Cyborg Superman, who was defeated by the Man of Steel in the battle of Engine City, has returned to fight the Man of Steel once more.
Although Cyborg Superman has become known for his desire to end his life, his abilities prevent him from actually passing away. No matter how badly he is hurt, he always comes back to try and kill Superman and end his life in the process.
Many times Reverse-Flash has died, but it is always revived by a different version from the timestream.
Reverse-Flash is undoubtedly deadly, but he’s also died a lot. The Reverse-Flash is perpetually active in the past. The death of any given iteration only signals the imminent arrival of its replacement. Reverse-paradoxical Flash’s temporal existence makes death an insignificant obstacle for the villainous speedster.
It’s important to Barry Allen that Reverse-Flash was able to survive despite everything he did to him. Reverse-Flash will always be lurking in the shadows, waiting to pounce, as long as Barry is present, even if he is only a supporting character.
Doomsday’s Every Battle Ends In His Death
Superman’s death at the hands of DC’s most infamous monster, Doomsday, cemented his status as the most infamous DC villain. The beast died in that conflict as well, but it has risen from the grave numerous times since. Created by the Kryptonians as a biological weapon, resurrection is built into its DNA. It always comes back, and every time it does, it’s more powerful than ever before, and it’s ready to destroy anything in its path.
It’s bad enough that killing Superman would unleash Doomsday, but the latter’s immortality is truly terrifying. The next appearance of it is inevitable. Doomsday has been deployed numerous times by other villains to wreak havoc, its terrifying power ripping through everything in its path. Destruction offers only temporary relief.
Vandal To put it another way, “savage” is a bad investment.
It has been a challenge for comic book artists to work around Vandal Savage’s immortality. Stories benefit from the death of immortal villains, but whenever you do, someone as cool as Savage always seems to return. Leaving him in the grave for too long would be a waste of his incredible potential.
Always Destroyed, Always Reborn: The Anti-Monitor
As a constant and potentially catastrophic threat, Anti-appearance Monitor’s guarantees that the stakes of any conflict with him will be nothing less than the end of the world. But it’s always the same when you fight him: you lose. If the Anti-Monitor were not killed at the end of each battle, he would simply return and try to destroy everything again.
Whenever the DC Multiverse is reset, the Anti-Monitor always seems to make a comeback. We can expect him to show up, engage the heroes in battle, and then be destroyed. It seems like every time he dies, readers are left wondering if and how he will come back.
Many People Have Died Because Of Darkseid.
Darkseid’s existence is fraught with difficulty. He must lead an endless war against New Genesis, search for the Anti-Life Equation, and contend with his generals on Apokolips who are plotting to overthrow him. Meanwhile, he’s trying to think of a way to eliminate the DC heroes. Darkseid’s life has been shortened or cut short numerous times by these fights.
Even so, the God of Evil always seems to make a comeback. Indeed, he must. Darkseid is still alive because evil is eternal. Whether he is killed by his own son Orion, by Mister Miracle, or by the heroes of Earth, he always comes back because he is essential to the universe and must be destroyed in order to save everything. Darkseid is, as the old adage goes.
Some of Ra’s al Ghul’s abilities include causing death.
There are two main identifiers for Ra’s al Ghul. One is plotting global destruction, while the other is dying and rising from the dead in the Lazarus wells. The pits have allowed the Demon’s Head to endure the vagaries of time for hundreds of years. Ra’s al Ghul views death as merely a temporary setback from which he can emerge with a new scheme.
It is assumed that his most recent demise, at the hands of Deathstroke, is final. However, this would not be the first time, nor would it be the last time, that DC “permanently” killed al Ghul. There is no escaping Ra’s al Ghul’s inevitable return.
A Resurrected Solomon Grundy
As a goon, Solomon Grundy checks all the boxes. He has the physical prowess to challenge Superman, the resilience to withstand the majority of attacks, and the mental fortitude to not probe his attackers for answers. Throughout DC’s history, Grundy has joined forces with countless different groups of bad guys. He has taken on the mightiest heroes alone and alongside the Justice Society and Justice League.
Zombies have infected Solomon Grundy. For him to pass away is difficult, but not impossible. When he eventually passes on, Grundy will be reborn in Slaughter Swamp as a better person. It’s fascinating to see how Grundy can change from one day to the next. He’s primarily a hulking, clumsy hunk of muscle, but he’s also reawakened as a cunning, heroic genius.
SOON TO FOLLOW: DC’s Ten Most Cliché Villains
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