The Grateful Dead

A few years ago, Marvel <a href="http://www.newsarama.com/7056-hey-that-s-my-cape-marvel-killing-characters-for-money.html">said that they'd kill off a character every quarter or so</A>. In the time since then, we've updated this list of possible candidates for the ol' dirt nap a few times, and Marvel has gone for no less than ten of our suggestions over the years. <p>Of course, the publisher's most recent victim wasn't one we predicted. That's right, <B>spoilers ahead</B> for anyone who hasn't read <i>Avengers: Rage of Ultron</I>. <p>It looks like, by the end of the book, Hank Pym is missing and presumed dead, an inauspicious fate for a founding Avenger and the creator of their upcoming cinematic nemesis (in comics, at least). <p>Since the last time we took a look at this list, seven more of our suggestions have kicked the bucket, leading to some much needed updating for this list of ten characters Marvel could kill off next.

Mary Jane

Ouch. <p>Marvel's reasons for dissolving the marriage of Peter and MJ are in our opinions, debatable, but also somewhat understandable. But that well-worn issue aside, the unfortunate byproduct of the publisher's chosen method of separation continues to leave something of a tragic pall over their entire relationship. <p>The former spouses (who may or may not remember their past life?) really can't appear in a scene together without the ever-present reminder to fans of what once was and what they lost. Are we the only ones who find extended Marvel version of "The Hangover" a tad ... depressing? <p>And there are only two possible solutions to this problem: <p>1.) Get them back together. Restore their marriage or at the very least, their memories. Undo the undo. Which they're doing (temporarily?) in <I>Amazing Spider-Man: Renew Your Vows</I> but nothing has been said that would make readers think its any more than a temporary situation. <p>Or... <p>2.) Well, you know. <p>Or maybe there is a 3rd solution. Hmmm...

Luke Cage

Marvel has done major work bringing Luke Cage into the A-List (with Brian Michael Bendis doing much of that during his <I>Avengers</I> run). What's the next step in raising his profile but to kill him off? <p>Think about it. He's one of the last major Avengers of the past decade not to have kicked the bucket, and he's got a Netflix series coming out before long. <p>Doesn't it make sense that Marvel would off Cage only to bring him back just in time for his Netflix series to debut?

Angel

Warren Worthington III has been through more than his share of transformations in his time with the X-Men, mostly owing to his association with Apocalypse, and the villain's penchant for genetic manipulation. He's gone from Angel to Archangel and back again on a couple occasions... <p>...but what if he went through one final metamorphosis, dying and becoming a real, honest-to-God angel? <p>As goofy as that sounds, way crazier stuff happens to X-Men all the time.

Hope

The X-Men have always been the most metaphorical of all the iconic superhero franchises, and these days who's more metaphorical than "Hope" the first mutant born after the Scarlet Witch put the whammy on the whole motherluvin' species in <I>House of M</I>? <p>So what's a more natural (though admittedly obvious) metaphor than "the Death of Hope"? And has there ever been a better story arc title? (don't answer that) <p>The Marvel mutant-verse has always been more about pathos than perhaps any other franchise in comics those crazy kids never seem to get a break or get a chance to catch their breath; it's one bad turn after another for them. <p>Throwing a curveball like killing off the one-time key to the X-Men's future is utterly rich with storytelling possibilities unique to the family.

Bucky Barnes, the Winter Soldier

Yeah, yeah, we know, they faked his death at the end of <I>Siege</I>, but he never really kicked the bucket - not even way back when Captain America thought he was dead the first time. <p>What better way is there to bring Bucky's story full circle than to kill him off in a heroic blaze of glory, finally sending him into the afterlife after years of hoaxes, retcons, and teases?

Storm

Speaking of X-Men who have seen and done it all, there are only a few who have been through more than Storm, the mutant mistress of the weather. <p>She's been de-powered, de-aged, married, divorced and dismissed, but she's never been dead. <p>With Storm as acting headmistress of the Jean Grey School, it seems unlikely she'd be slain so close to her predecessor and confidante Wolverine, but as we said, when it comes to the X-Men, anything is possible.

Susan Richards

Sue Richards is the only remaining member of the original Fantastic Four who has never been thought dead in the main continuity, or actually died in the line of duty. <p>Sure, they're all around right now, but Ben, Reed, and Johnny have all be thought dead at one time or another. And while Susan has certainly taken more than a couple leaves of absence from the team, she's always been alive and kicking. <p>With the FF in turmoil heading into <i>Secret Wars</i>, this one could be closer than you think.

Bruce Banner

We all know how hard it is to kill a Hulk. In fact, it's practically impossible. But what would happen if you managed to succeed? <p>There's a good reason we chose Bruce Banner for this entry rather than his giant, jade alter-ego. <p>What if Banner actually managed to kill himself in his human form? We humbly suggest that the gamma radiation inherent in his body would not lie dormant, but would in fact reanimate his corpse, transforming it into his more monstrous form in the process. <p>Can you say Zombie Hulk?

Aunt May

You've been waiting for this one, haven't you? <p>Well, yeah, we're going there. <p>We touched on the Peter-MJ marriage earlier. Remember Marvel's rational for erasing it? It "aged" Peter Parker, and having him be a divorced guy, Marvel argued, would have only compounded the problem. <p>But here's an alterative view. The marriage didn't so much age Spider-Man, as it domesticated him. Made him seem like a guy who had to be home at 6:30 for dinner, and spend weekends picking out tile and grout colors at the Home Depot with the ol' ball and chain (albeit a red-headed supermodel one). <p>Mind you, there is nothing wrong with that, but it apparently just wasn't what Marvel wanted out of their flagship, youthful, solo superhero. <p>Now taking that further, there is absolutely <I>nothing</I> wrong with being a loyal, dutiful nephew to the elderly aunt that raised you. It's an unassailable admirable quality. And certainly May will always have some aged wisdom to pass along to Peter. But doesn't the Peter-Aunt May dynamic domesticate Spidey more than MJ ever did? Make him something of a suburban homebody? <p>Isn't it time to cut the apron strings and let Peter get on with life (on the permanent, this time) without always having to look over his shoulder towards Queens, particularly now that she's married again and has someone else to look out for her? <p>For those without the taste for it, we're fine if moving on means maybe moving May down to Boca Raton for a much-deserved, peaceful retirement. <p>We just don't think Marvel will get much mileage polybagging that issue.

Magneto

Believe it or not, as many times as he's been off the grid or presumed dead, Magneto has never actually been dead. Maybe it's about time to remedy that situation. <p>Given that Quicksilver and Scarlet Witch are seemingly being divested not just of Magneto's parentage, but also quite possibly their mutant status, why not go the extra mile and give them a clean slate when they make their Marvel Cinematic Universe debut in <i>Avengers: Age of Ultron</i>? <p>Magneto's death might also mimic that of his longtime enemy and occasional ally Professor X, a man who, we might add, is still six feet under.

The Hit List: 10 Suggestions for MARVEL's Next Big Kill

Date: 01 April 2015 Time: 05:00 PM ET