We’re in the golden age of superhero television right now, with such an abundance of shows based on comic books that the current TV climate would have been nearly unthinkable just a half decade ago. The best part, as a fan, is how entertaining most of these shows have been, despite hiccups here and there. But that doesn’t mean we can’t make them even better with some cheap deaths!
So now I’m going to run down the major comic book shows on the air (zombies not included, since I haven’t kept up with either Walking Dead show or iZombie) to list one character from each who should be killed off.
Character to kill: Bruce Wayne
Why kill that character: I gave up on Fox’s Gotham long ago — though I’ll be back for the season finales! — but this might be the easiest call of any show. Gotham was sold as ostensibly a Batman prequel, but almost immediately went off the rails by linking way too hard to a future Gotham City: at least half of Batman’s future Rogues’ Gallery is going to be well-established with Bats himself probably still 15 years from taking up the cowl. Meanwhile, Jim Gordon has often acted as more of a vigilante than cop. The solution to both: Bruce dies as a tween, Jim becomes Batman.
How to kill that character: Alfred mercilessly beats Bruce to death.
Character to kill: John Diggle
Why kill that character: Arrow presents the most relevant hypothetical for this premise, as it’s the one show where we know for sure that a death is coming before the end of the season. But who should it be? Arrow has a lot of good characters, and while I may be in the minority, I don’t really hate any of them now. But I think Diggle might be the most superfluous at this point. While Dig’s friendship with Oliver helped carry much of the first two seasons, he’s settled into a rather vague role as more of the supporting cast has turned into costumed heroes. Frankly, nothing he does in fights is as cool as the rest of the group, and his reliance on a gun feels poorly thought out given Team Arrow’s current no-kill policy. And if you want the late-season death to have a big impact, few characters could match the emotional weight of saying goodbye to Ollie’s first ally in his war on crime.
How to kill that character: Dies rescuing his wife Lyla after she’s kidnapped for the one millionth time.
Character to kill: Caitlin Snow
Why kill that character: I don’t have anything against Caitlin, but sometimes it feel like The Flash does, such as when last year’s season finale had her be the one to ask the audience-service question of “what’s a singularity?”, disregarding that she’s supposed to be a scientific genius. She tends to have nicer moments when interacting with Barry, but has had zero romantic chemistry with two different supporting male characters (first Ronnie, and now Jay). She also rarely gets to be do the science-y saving the day plan, which usually goes to Cisco, or now the new Harrison “Harry” Wells. There’s no good role for her, and the fact that she doesn’t have one makes it even harder to also carve out a better role for Iris, which should be one of the show’s priorities.
How to kill that character: Previews for upcoming episodes have hinted that we’ll see an evil Earth-2 version of Ronnie, Caitlin’s brief husband on Earth-1. It would be heartbreaking to see her die at the hands of someone who looks like her lost love.
Legends of Tomorrow
Character to kill: Hawkman
Why kill that character: Legends should be the hardest to make a pick for, after only one episode, but it’s actually pretty damn easy. Hawkman sucks, and sucks doubly hard because of his effect on a character who could otherwise be awesome — Hawkgirl. In his appearance in the fall’s Flash/Arrow crossover, and likely continuing on into Legends, he spends most of his interactions with Kendra guilting her (whether intentional or not) into being with him. Worse, the setup of their past lives means that she really does seem predestined to be with him eventually, which feels like it removes any agency from her making her own choice. That’s always a shitty way to treat an awesome superheroine, but it’s especially awful because the guy she apparently has to end up with is a huge fucking douchebag.
How to kill that character: Nothing too heroic; I want Hawkman to die a stupid death. Something like drowning in a puddle, perhaps.
Character to kill: Superman
Why kill that character: Supergirl certainly has its flaws, such as a fair amount of melodrama, particularly in the central love square, but nothing that’s kept it from being enjoyable to me. It’s been a fluffy, fun show. But one part of the premise stands out as odd: Superman, Kara’s cousin who saved her in one episode, but never really appears on screen beyond some chat bubbles and the shadowy profile above from the pilot. When the Big Bad of this first season has been a group of escaped Kryptonian criminals, it doesn’t make a ton of sense for him to be so uninvolved. So why not solve that idiosyncrasy permanently and kill off big blue? Suddenly, we’d get to see Supergirl and know that there’s no safety net behind her.
How to kill that character: It has to be something big, as Superman’s death would obviously be a major escalation that would raise the stakes and show something massive for Supergirl to go up against. I’m not sure the Fort Rozz escapees really qualify — but maybe if they accidentally unleash BRAINIAC.
Character to kill: Melvin Potter
Why kill that character: Because Daredevil is too awesome to have any particularly poor or extraneous characters, so to keep the premise of this piece alive, I have to kill off a minor one. Alas, the poor Mr. Potter must be the one to get the ax for his crime of designing Daredevil’s suit, which still doesn’t look quite right.
How to kill that character: Peacefully and in his sleep, after revealing the Melvin suffers from a rare disorder that causes him to look like a man in his 30s or 40s while actually being 97 years old, and also elaborating that he’s lived a rich and full life and regrets nothing.
Character to kill: Dorothy Walker
Why kill that character: I loved the first season of Jessica Jones thanks to Jessica, Luke, and Kilgrave, but can still totally understand why other people wouldn’t. The supporting characters were mostly pretty damn rough. I could choose any of a number of them; it would certainly be Robyn, the annoying neighbor, if I weren’t so hopeful that her role is over now (please let it be over). Dorothy Walker, on the other hand, seems to have been set up to get a bigger role as she tries to bitchily atone for her past abuse of Trish. And that cannot stand, because she, too, is annoying as hell.
How to kill that character: Jessica punches her head off.
Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.
Character to kill: Lincoln Campbell
Why kill that character: Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. can be a frustrating show, with frequent shifts in quality, but has mostly been a really fun ride. The cast has largely hit its stride, and some of last year’s additions, such as Mack and Hunter, have worked out perfectly. Lincoln, on the other hand, is just dull as fuck. His powers are cool enough, but he has yet to interest me much at all. He even looks bland; the above might be the most exciting photo of Lincoln that exists.
How to kill that character: Murdered by a major Marvel villain! Just kidding; S.H.I.E.L.D. will never get to use a major villain. Just have him get shot by Hydra Henchman #3.
Character to kill: Jack Thompson
Why kill that character: After Daredevil, Agent Carter presented the hardest choice for someone to kill off, as it too has managed to avoid any really bad characters. But Chief Thompson is yet another sexist asshole boss to stand in Peggy’s way, and since the show is understandably going to keep drawing from that particular well, it might be fun to start a tradition where every year, Peggy’s idiot sexist boss dies while she kicks ass and saves the day. Chief Dooley got us started last season; now, it’s Jack’s turn.
How to kill that character: Dottie straight up murders him in hand-to-hand combat; Peggy then defeats Dottie with ease.