Red Stewart presents shocking superhero deaths….
#5. Stephen Strange – Doctor Strange
Stephen Strange has come to bargain by trapping MCU adversary Dormammu in an endless loop of devious design. In response, Dormammu decides to make the good doctor suffer, to which his response is “pain’s an old friend”.
Slashed and skewered innumerable times, the master of the mystic arts imbues his endgame through supreme self-sacrifice. A fitting bookend to the death of Stephen Strange and resurrection of our Sorcerer Supreme.
#4. Boltie – Super
This superhero pastiche strikes a strange tone throughout. Rainn Wilson and Elliot Page play genuinely damaged people who find solace together. Mixing harsh reality with off kilter character beats, James Gunn culminates the two’s relationship in an assault on a ranch.
Things start out fine for the duo, until armed security fights backs. While Wilson’s Crimson Bolt survives, Page’s Boltie takes a blast to the head, and the results aren’t pretty. Half her skull has been blown out, traumatizing the Bolt and cementing this feature’s R-rating.
#3. Darwin – X-Men: First Class
Matthew Vaughn’s X-Men entry delivers pathos by the payload. Faced with a fight or flight choice, Kevin Bacon’s Sebastian Shaw offers up an ultimatum to Xavier and Magneto’s students.
Backed into a corner, our fledgling mutants choose their paths with deliberation. Deciding to stop Angel from joining the Hellfire Club, Edi Gathegi’s Darwin tries to attack Shaw only for the villain to redirect Alex’s plasma blasts inside him, telling the man to “adapt to this.”
Unable to process the excess power, we see Darwin’s body struggle to adapt. He gazes heart wrenchingly at Alex before dying a painful death.
#2. The Comedian – Watchmen
Zack Snyder’s Watchmen is iconic, unforgettable and defined by the death of a comedian. This opening sequence remains visceral, vivid and shot through with highbrow comic book gloss. Dialogue is brief, intentions clear and for fans this is a visual statement with no grey area. Unfettered violence, sledgehammer retribution, and a slow motion free fall only goes to underline the agenda, as a bloodied and broken vigilante hits the concrete.
Ten years older and a whole lot wiser, this sucker punch (no pun intended!) still hits home.
#1. Big Daddy – Kick-Ass
In the first entry from Matthew Vaughn we dive into the world of Mark Millar’s Kick Ass. It made a star of Chloe Grace-Moretz whilst reminding people why Nicolas Cage is still a legend. Brutal, lurid and poetically subversive, Kick Ass is essential viewing. Big Daddy is a gloriously misguided creation, which sees Cage channeling Adam West in hockey pads. His death via internet to a live audience is sickening and yet tonally spot on.
Featuring full frontal punishment, glorified torture, and him being set on fire ala The Wicker Man, this feels like the ideal way to send him off in style.