10 Most Satisfying Deaths In Comic Book Movies


  • Yondu’s Self-Sacrifice in Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2
  • Sebastian Shaw’s Death in X-Men: First Class
  • Thanos’ First Death in Avengers: Infinity War

Plenty of comic book movies end in death, and many manage to pull off some of the most satisfying scenes in cinema of characters meeting their fate. From the one-off entries of the mid 2000s to the expansive Marvel Cinematic Universe films, superhero and comic book movies and inundated with character deaths. It’s often the case that instead of, or in addition to sadness, these on-screen kills invoke some intense feeling of satisfaction for various reasons.

It’s all well and good to watch the most infamous villains in comic book movie history meet their justifiable ends, even if many superheroes have proud rules that keep them from killing directly. However, it’s just as often that a heroic sacrifice or gratifying close to the chapter of a hero’s career can invoke a death that is at once satisfying and heartbreaking. The best character deaths in comic book films balance satisfaction with narrative cohesion and spectacle.

10 Creedy Learns That Ideas Are Bulletproof

V for Vendetta (2005)


V for Vendetta, as the name implies, is a fantastic revenge story. Though its comic inspirations take a back seat to its political messages and themes of the perils of tyranny, the adaptation of Alan Moore’s famous book still features a caped, masked protagonist with some impressive action setpieces. The best of these just might be the moment when V is finally able to confront Creedy, the sniveling head of Britain’s secret police who is responsible for V’s disfigurement.

Creedy’s men open fire on V, only for him to fearlessly continue charging them armed with only his knives, proclaiming “Beneath this mask, there is an idea! And ideas are bulletproof.” The moment when V finally plunges his daggers deep into Creedy is among the most gratifying revenge moments in all of cinema, let alone comic book movies in particular. Even if V doesn’t survive the ordeal, this moment presents two satisfying deaths for the price of one.

V For Vendetta RThrillerDramaAction Sci-Fi

Based on the comic series by Alan Moore, V for Vendetta is directed by James McTeigue with a screenplay by the Wachowskis. The film stars Natalie Portman as Evey Hammond, a young woman living in a dystopian future who becomes involved with the vigilante V, an anarchist working against the Fascist government and attempting to rally support from the general population. Hugo Weaving portrays V, with a further cast that includes Stephen Rea, Stephen Fry, and John Hurt. 

Director James McTeigue Release Date March 17, 2006 Studio(s) Warner Bros. Pictures Writers Lana Wachowski , Lilly Wachowski Cast John Hurt , Hugo Weaving , Stephen Fry , Stephen Rea , Natalie Portman Runtime 132 minutes Budget $54 million Expand

9 Yondu Proves Himself As Star-Lord’s Daddy

Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 (2017)


Not every satisfying death in a superhero movie is the end of a villain. In many cases, the heroic sacrifice of a more sympathetic character can be just as satisfying, if not more so, particularly if the character in question redeems themselves with the action. Yondu is one of the best cases of this, exposing himself to the vacuum of space in order to save his adoptive son.

Yondu’s death may be tear-jerking, but it’s an undeniably exceptional payoff to the sub-plot set up between himself and Star-Lord.

Going to retrieve Peter Quill from floating away after Ego’s planet implodes on itself, Yondu catches up to him, and gifts him his exosuit. In the process, the two finally reconcile and recognize one another as father and son, with Yondu telling Peter that “[Ego] may have been your father, boy, but he wasn’t your daddy.” Bringing his arc across the first two Guardians of the Galaxy movies to a close, Yondu’s death may be tear-jerking, but it’s an undeniably exceptional payoff to the sub-plot set up between himself and Star-Lord.

Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 PG-13SuperheroActionAdventureComedySci-Fi ScreenRant logo

Set to the sonic backdrop of Awesome Mix 2, Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 continues the adventures of Star-Lord, Gamora, Drax, Rocket, and Baby Groot as they traverse the outer reaches of the cosmos. The Guardians must fight to keep their newfound family together as they unravel the mystery of Peter Quill’s true parentage. Old foes become new allies and fan-favorite characters from the classic comics reappear.

Director James Gunn Release Date April 19, 2017 Studio(s) Marvel , Disney Writers James Gunn , Dan Abnett , Andy Lanning , Steve Englehart , Steve Gan , Jim Starlin Cast Dave Bautista , ​Chris Pratt2 , Chris Sullivan , Vin Diesel , Kurt Russell , Zoe Saldana , Karen Gillan , Elizabeth Debicki , Sylvester Stallone , Glenn Close , Sean Gunn , Nathan Fillion , Tommy Flanagan , Michael Rooker , Pom Klementieff , Bradley Cooper Runtime 137 minutes Budget $200 million prequel(s) Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3 Expand

8 Sebastian Shaw Watches Magneto Move The Coin

X-Men: First Class (2011)


Few comic book movie villains are harder to argue against than Magneto. From his initial childhood suffering under the German holocaust to his persecution as a mutant, X-Men: First Class gave the Fox X-Men universe a deeper look into Magneto’s past. It’s revealed that as a child, Sebastian Shaw forced him to use his powers to move a coin, only to kill his family when he couldn’t comply.

Years later, Magneto and Charles manage to corner Shaw, allowing Erik to finally take his revenge while Charles is helpless to watch. Stealing Shaw’s helmet that shields him from Charles’ telepathy, Magneto reveals to the terrified and paralyzed Shaw that he kept the same coin, and now uses his powers to slowly move it straight through Shaw’s head. Both a supervillain and a Nazi, Sebastian Shaw’s death is satisfying on multiple levels, and it’s hard to agree with Charles when Magneto finally has the opportunity for his revenge.

X-Men First Class UK Poster X-Men: First Class PG-13 Sci-FiActionAdventure

X-Men: First Class charts the epic beginning of the X-Men saga in the 1960s. Before mutants had revealed themselves to the world, and before Charles Xavier and Erik Lehnsherr took the names Professor X and Magneto, they were two young men discovering their powers. Before they were archenemies, they were close friends, working together with other Mutants (some familiar, some new), to prevent nuclear Armageddon. In the process, a rift between them opened, beginning the eternal war between Magneto’s Brotherhood and Professor X’s X-Men.

Director Matthew Vaughn Release Date June 3, 2011 Cast Jennifer Lawrence , Caleb Landry Jones , Michael Fassbender , Nicholas Hoult , Oliver Platt , Rose Byrne , Michael Ironside , Jason Flemyng , January Jones , Kevin Bacon , Glenn Morshower , James McAvoy , Lucas Till , Edi Gathegi , Zoe Kravitz Runtime 131 minutes Budget $140–160 million Franchise(s) X-Men Expand

7 Thanos Isn’t As Inevitable As He Thinks

Avengers: Endgame (2019)


Thanos is such an iconic villain in the MCU that he has not one, but two on-screen deaths. That being said, Thor’s murder of him at the beginning of Avengers: Infinity War is far from satisfying, feeling like a hollow victory after Thanos’ plan had already essentially succeeded. It’s not until Thanos’ variant from the alternate timeline the Avengers travel to meets the superheroes once again in the climactic final battle of the Infinity Saga that he’s given a truly enjoyable death.

Thinking himself to have won once again, Thanos seems to have acquired all the stolen Infinity Stones, and prepares to snap a second time. Much to his surprise, nothing happens, and Iron Man goes on to use the stones against him and his entire army, dusting Thanos once and for all. This bit of poetic justice is an intensely satisfying beat and one of the greatest moments in the entire MCU.

6 Iron Man Tells Thanos Who He Is

Avengers: Endgame (2019)


In the same breath as Thanos’ death, Iron Man’s own passing is just as satisfying for a completely different reason. Using the Infinity Stones against Thanos, Tony Stark proclaims “I am Iron Man“, one of the greatest Avengers quotes ever, before activating them at the cost of his own life with a snap of his fingers. Tony ends up slowly fading away, the power of the legendary cosmic artifacts being too much for his human body to handle.

As hard as it was to watch Tony Stark go, his sacrifice for the good of the Marvel Cinematic Universe was undeniably satisfying. For such a central character, it couldn’t have been easy to craft a way for him to go that made sense in the overarching narrative and didn’t feel abrupt. Accomplishing the impossible task of giving Iron Man a compelling out from the MCU, this death warrants praise for how it handled the closing of a chapter.

Avengers Endgame Poster Avengers: Endgame PG-13FantasyAdventureAction ScreenRant logo

The penultimate chapter in the Marvel Cinematic Universe, Avengers: Endgame, marks the finale of the first three phases of the MCU and acts as part two of Avengers: Infinity War. With Earth’s Mightiest Heroes failing to stop Thanos from wiping out half of all existence, the heroes discover one final chance to make things right. Journeying back through space and time, the surviving Avengers attempt to stop Thanos before all is lost.

Director Joe Russo , Anthony Russo Release Date April 26, 2019 Writers Stephen McFeely , Christopher Markus Cast Chris Hemsworth , Anthony Mackie , Paul Rudd , Robert Downey Jr. , Scarlett Johansson , Mark Ruffalo , Evangeline Lilly , Sebastian Stan , Josh Brolin , Elizabeth Olsen , Tom Holland , Don Cheadle , Samuel L. Jackson , Bradley Cooper , Karen Gillan , Brie Larson , Paul Bettany , Chris Evans , Jeremy Renner , Chadwick Boseman Runtime 182 Minutes Budget 356 million USD Expand

5 Owlman Blinks

Justice League: Crisis on Two Earths (2010)


Animated films shouldn’t be easily discounted when it comes to considering the best beats of comic book movies. Especially in the case of DC’s work, animation often works better as a medium for adapting superhero stories, hitting some beats that are just as strong as the highest-budget blockbuster films. One of the better examples of a satisfying death in an animated comic book movie is Owlman’s defeat in Justice League: Crisis on Two Earths.

Just before defeating him, Batman delivers a scathing speech, stating that while both of them may have stared into the abyss, Owlman blinked

The film begins with the Justice League facing their evil alternate universe counterparts, the Crime Syndicate. By the end, it’s only Batman remaining, standing against his evil counterpart, Owlman, who aims to eliminate all of reality. Just before defeating him, Batman delivers a scathing speech, stating that while both of them may have stared into the abyss, Owlman blinked. Though Batman normally has a famous no-killing rule, he seems to make an exception for Owlman, who dies when his device explodes.

4 Ego’s Brain Is Blown Up

Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 (2017)


one of the coldest killing lines in the whole series

It says a lot that Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 has not just one, but two of the most satisfying comic book movie villain deaths put to screen. Whereas Yondu’s demise is a poignant moment, the death of Peter-Quill’s biological father is much more satisfying. While seeing Star-Lord gun down his father after learning he caused his mother’s cancer has its own level of catharsis, the moment he dies in earnest is far more satisfying.

Groot manages to detonate the bomb in Ego’s brain at the core of his planet, leading to the end of his long life as one of the MCU’s celestials. Ego begs Star-Lord to reconsider, telling him that “You are a god! If you kill me, you’ll be just like everybody else!” Star-Lord can only coldly reply “What’s so wrong with that?” before sending his father to his astral grave, delivering one of the coldest killing lines in the whole series.

3 Killmonger Sees The Wakandan Sunrise One Last Time

Black Panther (2018)


Of all the villains of the Marvel Cinematic Unvierse, Erik Killmonger is one of the easiest to root for. Though his methods may be detestable, his overall message is worth hearing out, and ends up having a very real effect on T’Challa’s rule once he is dealt with. In a final one-on-one duel, Killmonger and Black Panther ferociously battle one another for the fate of their nation. The bout ends with Killmonger bleeding out, felled by Black Panther’s weaponry.

T’Challa clearly respects his opponent, cradling him gently after dealing the killing blow. Black Panther ends up respecting Killmonger’s burial wishes, telling him he wants to be buried at sea, like his anscestors who chose drowning over subjugation. Defiant to the end, Killmonger watches the sun rise over Wakanda one last time, leaving a heartbreaking, but satisfying death scene.

Black Panther Theatrical Poster depicting the primary cast Black Panther PG-13 Sci-FiDramaActionSuperhero ScreenRant logo

Black Panther is the eighteenth film in the Marvel Cinematic Universe and sees the titular hero return after the events of Captain America: Civil War. Set in the fictional nation of Wakanda, Black Panther sees the succession of T’Challa as the nation’s new king. However, when a mysterious soldier with ill intentions arrives with proof of his claim to the throne, the future of Wakanda is thrown into jeopardy.

Director Ryan Coogler Release Date February 16, 2018 Studio(s) Marvel Studios Writers Joe Robert Cole , Ryan Coogler Runtime 134 Minutes Budget $200 million Expand

2 Wolverine Learns What Death Feels Like

Logan (2017)


Another tragic death that’s nonetheless satisfying, Wolverine’s finale in the original Fox X-Men series is a satisfying send-off on the level of Iron Man’s in Avengers: Infinity War. The film sees Wolverine attempting to reclaim some vestige of his long-lost humanity when confronted with his clone, X-23. The journey ends with Wolverine facing down another clone of his, losing the fight due to his age and lack of adamantium.

It’s a shame the upcoming Deadpool & Wolverine will undo this perfect sendoff to Hugh Jackman’s iconic performance for marquee value.

However, Wolverine at least manages to ensure mutual destruction against his opponent, saving the life of Laura and officially learning to become a protector. In his final words, Wolverine manages to let out “So that’s what it feels like.” This line has multiple meanings, possibly referring to both death itself and a genuine love for his newfound daughter. It’s a shame the upcoming Deadpool & Wolverine will undo this perfect sendoff to Hugh Jackman’s iconic performance for marquee value.

Logan Wolverine Poster Logan RAction Sci-FiSuperhero ScreenRant logo

Logan sees the titular hero, AKA Wolverine, in his twilight years as his healing factor has begun to fail him, and he has begun to age more rapidly. Set several years in the future, Logan finds himself caring for an ailing Professor Xavier, whose mind has begun to succumb to dementia, making him an incredibly dangerous mutant that can cause widespread destruction accidentally. But when the preoccupied Logan is asked to meet with a woman that requests he transports a young girl to a mutant haven known as Eden, he learns that she may have his DNA and that the fate of mutant-kind may rest in her hands.

Director James Mangold Release Date March 3, 2017 Studio(s) 20th Century , Marvel Writers Michael Green , Scott Frank , James Mangold Cast Hugh Jackman , Patrick Stewart , Dafne Keen , Elizabeth Rodriguez , Daniel Bernhardt , Richard E. Grant , Doris Morgado , Boyd Holbrook Runtime 137 Minutes Budget $97–127 million Expand

1 Deacon Frost Tries To Ice Skate Uphill

Blade (1998)


Deacon Frost might not be the most memorable comic book movie villain, but on a rewatch of 1998’s Blade, it’s hard to understate just how much suffering he ends up causing the titular vampire slayer. Not only is Frost revealed to be the one behind Blade and his mother’s vampirism, but Frost turns out to have actually seduced Blade’s mom, wooing her to the side of the vampires Blade hates so much. This makes it all the more satisfying when he finally does get his just desserts.

From the spectacle to the narrative weight of his demise, Frost’s death is, bar none, one of the most satisfying in comic book movie history

Having Frost on the ropes in their final fight, Blade utters one of the best lines in all of superhero movies — “Some mother******s are always trying to ice skate uphill,” before throwing a needlefull of unstable blood coagulant into the air and roundhouse kicking it into Frost’s forehead. The syringe injects its contents into Frost, causing him to explode in a shower of blood. From the spectacle to the narrative weight of his demise, Frost’s death is, bar none, one of the most satisfying in comic book movie history.

Blade 1998 Movie Poster Blade (1998) RActionHorrorSci-Fi

Based on the vampire-slaying Marvel comic-book hero, Blade is an action horror film directed by Stephen Norrington that sees Wesley Snipes in the titular role. Known to his foes as “Daywalker,” the half-human, half-vampire Blade hunts the creatures of the night to keep the city safe until a young, ambitious vampire threatens to disrupt the balance forever by unleashing an ancient evil power.

Director Stephen Norrington Release Date August 21, 1998 Studio(s) New Line Cinema , Marvel Enterprises , Amen Ra Films , Imaginary Forces Writers David S. Goyer Cast Wesley Snipes , Stephen Dorff , Kris Kristoffersen , N’Bushe Wright , Donal Logue , Udo Kier , Arly Jover , Traci Lords Runtime 120 Minutes Expand

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