In the Age of Meaningless Comic Deaths, This Is How You Kill Superheroes

Warning: full spoilers for House of X #4!

If you show me a superhero death in a comic, then I’ll show you a comic reader rolling their eyes in response. Death has become so impermanent in Marvel and DC’s stories that even the loss of a fan-favorite hero won’t do much to get an earnest reaction out of people. But Marvel’s House of X #4, by writer Jonathan Hickman and artist Pepe Larraz, manages to buck that trend by embracing the profound emotion of the characters’ final moments rather than trying to make a spectacle out of their demise.

The issue sees the X-Men assaulting a nefarious, human-run space station orbiting the sun. Their goal: to destroy the Mother Mold Sentinel so it won’t bring about the end of mutantkind, as those pesky purple robots always seem to do. Despite the experience and power level of the strike team, the human defenses prove lethal. An unexpected detonation takes two of the mutants out in a flash. It’s not long before one more is overwhelmed by guards and another is sucked out into space, leaving Wolverine and Nightcrawler to finish what has now become a suicide mission.

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