Captain Mar-Vell dies
The Death Of Captain Marvel, April 1982
What happened? Marvel’s original Captain Marvel had never been exactly A-list, but he’d had his moments – not least a thrilling, psychedelic run by a young writer-artist called Jim Starlin. But it’s with his death that he achieved greatness. In Marvel’s first ever graphic novel, he succumbed quietly to cancer; despite dozens of superheroes and villains showing up to pay respects, there’s barely a harsh word in the entire thing. Starlin’s own father was battling cancer at the time, and it shows.
Why was it shocking? There’s no bombast; just sadness mixed with the celebration of a life well lived. Next to this, most superhero deaths seem stupid, bombastic and dull.