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10 Saddest Moments in Comic Book History

Grab some tissues! These tearjerkers are the saddest moments in comic book history.

By Iggy PaulsenPublished 4 years ago 7 min read

Comic books feature some of the best stories ever told. They tend to be giant rides featuring thrills, chills, and spills. Though we read them for an uplifting story that makes us smile, they definitely have moments that balance the good with the bad.

For every wonderful victory where the guy gets the girl after saving the world, there's going to be a tearjerker moment that will have every comic book fan saying they got something in their eye.

Ready to start crying? Then join us as we take a look at the saddest moments in comic book history.

In the Justice League Unlimited universe, the League ends up going head to head with Ace. Ace is a hyper-powerful, reality-warping metahuman who has a brain aneurism that is about to pop. Her powers also end up evolving, making her nearly impossible to kill.

Batman ends up talking to her, only to realize that she was a victim of a government-sponsored weaponry program. She feels alone, and she feels like no one understood her. Batman talks to her, gets her to fix reality, and holds her until she passes away.

Nothing quite says "heartwrenching" like seeing a beloved hero die a hero's death. That's exactly what makes Peter Parker's death in Ultimate Spider-Man one of the saddest moments in comic book history.

This has everything you need to break people's dreams. Peter Parker gets beaten up by the Sinister Six, refuses treatment by medical professionals, kills Norman Osborne, takes a bullet for Captain America, and then while trying to save Aunt May, gets caught in an explosion.

With his last breath, he tells Aunt May he's happy to have made up for not being able to save Uncle Ben by saving her. Tissues, please?

During the Civil War comic book storyline, Iron Man starts rebelling against Captain America. The two duke it out, and it's really easy to feel like Iron Man took a trip to the dark side. It's even harder to like Tony Stark when he ended up killing his former friend.

However, comics make up for it with a very telling postmortem confession as Stark stays over his friend's body. In it, Stark says that he always knew that there was tension fermenting for years. He was ready to sacrifice their friendship, but that he never expected Cap to die.

When Steve Rogers died, a little slice of Marvel died with him. Or, so it'd seem. In the Fallen Son story arc, writers started to look at Captain America's death through the eyes of different heroes.

One such arc involved Tony Stark, and how he came to grips with his friend's death. At the major public funeral, Stark found himself unable to speak. Alone, at a private (and real) ceremony, Stark could only muster up five words: "I miss your battle cry."

In most of the Archiecomics, you can expect to see some cute couple moments and a little lighthearted laughter. That's why the best Archie crossovers involved characters like superheroes, the cast of Glee, or the badass Cheryl Blossom.

Afterlife with Archie was a bit different, since it featured the Riverdale gang in the middle of a zombie apocalypse.

When Jughead's zombified dog, Hot Dog, attacks Archie, Archie's dog Vegas rose to the occasion. Vegas attacked the dog knowing it would be fatal, and dies protecting his master.

Sad enough? Wait until you see the execution of this concept. The way this was carried out makes it one of the saddest moments in comic book history.

The comic kicks off with a heartwarming flashback to the day Archie got Vegas, with his parents lecturing him about the importance of pet care. Then, Hot Dog arrives and starts fighting with Vegas. You can actually see Vegas' thoughts in this scene, showing that the dog never thought twice about sacrificing himself for his owner.

The scene ends with Vegas dying in front of Archie, his last thoughts being ones of love for the boy who took care of him for all those years.

The comic book world is no stranger to death, and that's true whether you're talking about Marvel comics or DC comics. Superheroes get blown to bits, killed, and reanimated every single day.

However, there are typical comic book deaths, and then there are just deaths that are really, truly unsettling. Captain Marvel's death, for example, is one of the most disturbing deaths simply because it's so realistic that it's hard to cope with it.

Captain Marvel doesn't die from a supervillain attack or a world blowing up. He died because he got cancer, and he died a long, painful, wretched death.

Being a member of the X-Men usually means you will be taken seriously. Or, at least more seriously than Kitty Pryde, who was generally overlooked as a cheerful but whiny character that no one paid attention to.

That changed in Astonishing X-Men. Though she had very little respect from her teammates her entire life, she saved the X-Men in a major battle against a giant robot. The robot had one last trick up his sleeve, though.

When a giant 10 mile long bullet made of alien metal was fired towards Earth, Kitty Pryde realized that the Earth would die if she didn't use her phasing powers. So, she grabbed the bullet and phased with it, letting the bullet pass through Earth and launching herself into space.

She was never seen again.

Have you ever wanted something so badly, you started to fool yourself into thinking it was real? That's exactly what happened to Scarlet Witch when she fell in love with Vision—and became one of the worst comic book romances in history.

Vision is a robot, and he cannot reproduce with a human or a mutant. Scarlet Witch was so happy with him though, and she wanted nothing more than to have his kids. So, she altered reality and created two kids for them out of the shattered soul of a demon.

Unfortunately, this meant that the kids weren't real. They were just extensions of Scarlet Witch's subconscious, and when Mephisto reabsorbed his soul shards, the children stopped existing.

People started to notice that the babies weren't quite real, but the reveal was far more heart-gutting than words can describe. Powerful as she was, the Scarlet Witch was powerless to have the kids she so badly yearned for. Vision even tried to confront her about it, to no avail.

Though she's one of the most badass characters in the MCU, Scarlet Witch couldn't handle the loss of her nonexistent children. She went mad soon after.

It's the most powerful allegory for a miscarriage ever printed on comic book pages, and undoubtedly one of the saddest moments in comic book history.

Alan Moore and Dave Gibbons sure do know how to make a heartwrenching scene—if you couldn't guess from The Watchmen. Even so, their classic comic featuring Rorschach pales in comparison to the tearjerking moments found in For the Man That Has Everything.

Without a doubt, this storyline contains some of the saddest moments in comic book history. In this storyline, Mongul attaches a parasite to Superman's chest, and we get to see his dreams when he falls into a coma.

In his coma dreams, he's a scientist on planet Krypton like his father. He has a loving a wife, a happy son, and everything he always wished he had on Earth.

Batman and Wonder Woman begin to interfere with his dreams so that he can wake up. Slowly but surely, he begins to realize that the perfect family life he has while in a coma isn't real and that his son never existed.

Even among the greatest Superman comics, For the Man That Has Everything remains the most emotionally charged. By the time that Superman says he loves his son, then tells him he isn't real, you'll be crying buckets.

Gwen Stacy was Peter Parker's main squeeze for much of the run of the original Spider-Man franchise. She was around at a time when comic books were seen as less-than-serious type of storytelling, where heroes always survive and nobody important ever dies.

During the 1970s, no one ever expected to see Gwen go. And yet, the issues of The Amazing Spider-Man that covered her death did just that. Peter Parker is left seeing Gwen's body as it tumbles, despite his efforts to save her with his web.

Did he snap her neck? Could she have ever survived the fall? How could he live with what happened? The next couple of issues were spent with Peter grappling with the overall fallout of his girlfriend's death.

The original scene in The Amazing Spider-Man has long been noted as one of the saddest moments in comic book history, and a sign of the upcoming Bronze Age of comics. These days, her death is still rewritten and reenacted as an iconic part of comic book lore.


About the Creator

Iggy Paulsen

Iggy Paulsen is a fan of anything and everything wholesome. He loves his two dogs, hiking in the woods, traveling to Aruba, building DIY projects that better humanity, and listening to motivational speakers. He hopes to eventually become a motivational speaker himself.

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