In the midst of the celebrations that 2016 is over and honoring the best and the worst, it’s difficult to forget that we also lost quite a bit during the year. Death is a natural part of life even in fiction, and to underscore points, drive home emotional character arcs, and help everyone realize just how important life is, Marvel filled this year with the losses of some of our best and brightest, our most terrifying and our most intriguing. Many candles were lit, and many were snuffed out.
In memoriam, here are The Marvel Report Staff’s obituaries for the dearly departed. From comics to film to television, rest in peace noble friends and enemies, beloved characters and missing pals. You will be deeply missed and your absence not easily forgotten.
Be warned. THIS POST CONTAINS SPOILERS FOR THE FILM, TELEVISION, AND COMIC SLATE OF 2016.
Brittany Rivera (Senior Staff Writer/Events)
In memoriam: PEGGY CARTER.
This year we lost Peggy Carter in two ways, first with the cancellation of Agent Carter and secondly with her death in Captain America: Civil War. Peggy Carter has been an amazingly inspiring and influential character, to both characters in the Marvel Universe and to fans. Her death was a sad one indeed, especially in the midst of in-fighting between our Marvel heroes.
Hopefully this is not the last we see of Agent Carter or Hayley Atwell. Atwell’s portrayal of Peggy as a tough, but sensitive woman has made her one of the most interesting characters to date. We could all stand to learn a lot from this woman when we stand firm and tell the world, “No YOU move
Kathryn Calamia (Comics EiC/Video Reviewer)
In memoriam: 616 BRUCE BANNER
Hulk died in Civil War 2 #3, and his death came as a shock for many fans, including myself. Hawkeye killed Hulk in a very controversial battle that fueled the war between Captain Marvel and Iron Man. The best story that came out of this death was Fallen #1. The Hulk family mourned for Bruce Banner. The most tear jerking moment in the issue is when Bruce gives a timer as a gift to his family. This is how he dealt with his anger, and hoped that it would help them as well.
Jay El (Associate Comics Editor/Reviewer)
In Memoriam: Scott Summers, AKA “Cyclops”
Cyclops was always my favorite X-Man, he embodied the dream Professor X had. He was that “Boy Scout” hero that seems to be in short supply now, but those are the heroes I like. The heroes who stand up because it is the right thing to do. It broke my heart to watch him fall from grace since New X-Men. He changed from being the embodiment of Xavier’s dream to the embodiment of Magneto’s fears. Despite what you think of Inhumans Vs. X-Men in the comics and behind the scenes, this death is major. Cyclops died in Death of X #1 but it wasn’t revealed until Inhumans Vs. X-Men #0 that he did indeed die then. His death saddens me because he was a shell of who he once was and his death was sort of low key, and swept under the rug. He lived long enough to become the villain.
Jennifer Lloyd (Comics Reviewer/Staff Writer)
In Memoriam: Grant Ward/Hive
Agent Grant Ward started out as a fairly bland tough guy with trouble accessing his emotions. His character started to develop a little more when the show revealed his troubled backstory, but even that was a bit cliché. Where he really got interesting was when he was revealed to be a double agent for Hydra. Every move he made, every personal connection to the SHEILD members was thought out ahead. Seeing Ward become one of the main bad guys on the show was entertaining. We saw that he was a sociopath who thought he was always in the right, and his enemies were bad. This made his transformation into Hive almost make sense. Ward may have just been a shell for the Inhuman called Hive, but they had some similarities in ideology. Hive thought he was in the right even if what he was doing took agency from or killed millions of people. In the end Hive’s death was bittersweet; he needed to die in order to save the world, but right before his death he seemed human for once. He was actually happy to die since he had lived so long inhabiting dead people, but never been allowed to die himself.
Agents of SHEILD lost the character Agent Ward, but with Hive’s death they also lost the actor Brett Dalton. I think this is equally sad since Dalton did such a good job. Just as his character seemed average at the beginning, Dalton didn’t start to show his abilities until the Hydra reveal. During his time on Agents of SHEILD Dalton showed a large range. He was good Ward, bad Ward, bad Ward pretending to be good Ward, and then the completely different character of Hive (who was sometimes channeling other characters). Bringing his character back would ruin the impact of his death so I don’t want to see Ward or Hive come back. However, I will miss watching the character and the actor.
Carolyn Poddig (Senior Staff Writer/ Events Ast. Manager.)
In Memoriam: Henry ‘Pop’ Hunter
One of the most moving character deaths for me and most of the world this year was Pop, Luke Cage’s mentor and friend. He was more then just Luke’s friend however, from the get go he seemed to be a voice for the people of Harlem and his Barber shop an important community meeting point. I didn’t understand the significance of a Barber shop for such a place, but his attempt at saving the members of the community and inspiring them to a better life spoke to me. From encouraging Misty Knight to pursue Basketball to helping Wilfredo Diaz to giving a safe space to Luke Cage and encouraging him to be a hero even after the incredible trauma that he’d been through, Pop was a gang member who truly experienced redemption, owned it, and moved forward. His message of “Always Forward” changed every person in canon that he came across and managed to help and heal quite a few people in our world as well. For days after the release of the show I can remember fans posting “always forward” and using it as a battle cry. Thank you Pop for sharing your wisdom and proving that it doesn’t matter what a person’s past is, it matters what they do with their here and now, and thank you Cheo Hodari Coker for sharing such an inspirational character with us. Though he may be gone, we, like Pop, move “Always forward.”
In Memoriam: Rosalind Price
The introduction of a romantic foil for Coulson beyond the mysterious “violinist” was a rare and beautiful thing. Rosalind Price was a woman who could stand toe-to-toe with Phil on multiple levels. She was a woman in a primarily male dominated field who brought the show a unique character – a female Phil. While her motives were originally suspect and her passing drove Coulson to actions that he would later come to regret, Rosalind Price was smart, beautiful, intelligent, and a good woman forced and coerced into doing bad things – but still willing to do what she had to do to get the job done. She’s a rare character for Marvel and a step forward for a traditionally male dominated medium – a female version of the “paper pusher” character is a rare thing. Even I, as a big Grant Ward fan was upset and angry that he’d killed her off. Her death motivated Coulson to finally take care of his former agent, however she deserved better – or at least a more direct death then assassination. Rosalind, you will be dearly missed.
In Memoriam: Eli Morrow
While the idea of Eli Morrow being gone is a rare one, he deserves a mention as a villain. Born a smart man and seemingly corrupted by his circumstances, Eli betrayed his nephews and directly caused the birth of the ghost rider, all for the sake of pride. While some might call his actions “frailty” Morrow was a product of his environment and we’ll never fully know if his actions could have been prevented. Great Villains underscore needs or changes in society, and the most important facet of villainy is that they are the heroes of their own story. In another life Eli Morrow might have had a chance and an opportunity to make something of himself and to live a happy life with his nephews if he had not allowed his circumstances to cripple him. His death (and potential rebirth within Robbie as the Ghost Rider) should inspire us all to treat others better. Villains may give our favorite characters a difficult time, but to many in our world if used as lessons they can achieve a sort of redemption by inspiring us to treat others better. Eli Morrow, while genuinely awful, thanks to the superb performances by Gabriel Luna and Jose Zungia deserves a second look – and we need to teach ourselves to give others a second chance.
In Memoriam: Cornell Stokes (Cottonmouth)
The great tragedy of Netflix villains is that they are superbly written and often times their tenure with us is far too short. Cornell Stokes is one of those characters, a villain whose origins were shrouded in lost potential and driven by a deck of cards stacked against him. There’s no doubt that Cornell was a villain, but the episode where we learned his history was to be perfectly frank tragic. He was a prisoner of people who were forced into a box and couldn’t think outside of it, a literal example of the cycle of abuse and violence continuing. We can’t speak to the cultural and socio-political ramifications of who Cornell Stokes was – but like Kingpin and Eli Morrow he deserves a nod and a second look. Mahershala Ali delivered an incredible performance (indeed an Emmy winning performance hopefully, are you listening academy?) and Cornell Stokes deserves the attention that we couldn’t give him in life in death.
Lauren Gallaway (Editor in Chief/Co-Director)
In Memoriam: Lincoln Campbell and Lash
We lost two great men on Agents of SHIELD in 2016: Lincoln Campbell and Andrew “Lash” Garner. Both of these men were doctors, men whose passion for helping people outweighed their desire to heroic. These men were Shield agents, loved by two incredible women: Daisy and Melinda May. These men were also Inhumans, which put them at unique advantages and disadvantages. Andrew’s Inhuman powers were violent, even deadly, and yet they served a purpose: to save Daisy’s life from Hive. Lincoln’s powers were electrifying and while he didn’t consider himself a hero, he ended up saving everyone. Both of these characters have been greatly missed in the newest season of Shield, but their legacies will never be forgotten.
Shawn Richter (Events Manager)
In Memoriam: Peggy Carter
Even though I knew it was coming, losing Peggy Carter was very hard. Marvel has done such an amazing job of showing her at so many different ages, in so many movies and TV shows I became very attached to her. I had a feeling we were going to lose her in Civil War, but the way that it happened, and the suddenness of it was a shock to my system. With Cap being my favorite character, seeing him carrying her casket, and his eyes welling up was just too much. I wasn’t much a fan of how her funeral turned comedic when Sam elbowed Steve to show him that Sharon was Peggy’s niece, but I did love that Sharon gave the “No, you move” speech that Cap gave in the comics. I felt that it fit in perfectly with the story that was being told. Rest in peace, Agent Carter
These are just a few of the more notable characters that we lost in television and film. Honorable mentions include: Crossbones (Brock Rumlow), Ajax (aka Francis), T’Chaka (T’Challa’s Father and Former Black Panther, Multiple SHIELD Agents and HYDRA agents, The Malick Family (Gideon Malick and Stephanie Malick), The HYDRA high council, Will Daniels, Astronaut, Member of Project Distant Star, and more.
If you feel we’ve left anyone off this list we encourage you to share with us in the comments below. Here’s to 2017 and a brand new list of characters who we might potentially lose. Who was your favorite? Who did you like + Dislike? Tell us and stay tuned to The Marvel Report as the 12 Days of Marvel Continues!