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Quote1 Still, do not forget--Death claims everyone, sooner or later. Quote2

Death, the cosmic being, is the personification of death itself. Death can assume many forms of any gender[14] but most often a cloaked skeleton or a woman.[15] The skeleton changes for each species.[16]

Although Death is seen as the "enemy" of life[17] and her twin Eternity,[18] she is an important part of their cosmic balance.[19][13][17][20]



Death was "born" when the universe began with her "twin" Eternity,[18] and also other cosmic entities like Master Order and Lord Chaos.[21] God, alleged creator of Earth-616 and other realities, also stated that he had created Death, in order to have his universe-creation project involving sentient life accepted by his contractors.[22]

Death made its home in the Realm of Death, a dimension normally inaccessible to the living, was served by undead minions. The Infinity Well there could answer any question, possibly by giving access to the accumulated wisdom of the dead.[23]

Pre-Cataclysmic Age[]

During the Pre-Cataclysmic Age, circa 18,500 BC, Kull encountered Death herself on at least two separate occasions:

  • Death seduced and was seduced by Kull on what was thought to be his deathbed, and finally returned him to life.[24]
  • When Gallus died by accident, his betrothed Talena implored Kull to use the Amulet of Ka to save him, though he was already dead. The revived corpse was possessed by Death, who attacked the assembly until Kull crushed Gallus' head and took back the Amulet.[25]

Utgard-Loki's Challenge[]

The Elder God Utgard-Loki once challenged Thor to best an old woman by the name of Elli. Despite his tremendous effort, Thor lost to her. It was later revealed that Elli was none other than Death herself, a being not even the Gods were immune to.[2]

Death (Earth-616) from Thanos Rising Vol 1 1 001

Death as she originally manifested to Thanos

Alluring Thanos[]

Death became intrigued by Thanos, a young Titanian boy afflicted with a Deviant Syndrome, whose purple skin set him apart from his fellow Titanians. Death first manifested to Thanos in the form of a young girl that attended his school. She convinced Thanos to approach a dangerous cave in order to overcome his fears. While exploring, a cave-in led to the death of Thanos' friends at the hands of the critters that lived underground, Death convinced him to get revenge and slaughter the whole nest.[26] As Thanos grew older, Death became his confidante and the only person that knew of his secret activities that consisted of vivisecting animals. By this time, Thanos had fallen in love with the girl, but she rejected his advances.

After broadening the scopes of his experiments and killing fellow Titanians, Death tried to convince Thanos to admit that he enjoyed the murder. Despite declaring he wouldn't kill anymore, Thanos eventually continued and admitted to have taken a liking to it. He tried to convince Death to run away with him, but she rejected him again and belittled him. After killing a total of seventeen people, Thanos killed his mother Sui-San in an attempt to appease his thirst for murder once and for all.[27] When it failed, he ran away and swore off killing for years. After murdering the captain of a pirate crew he worked with in self-defense and out of instinct, Thanos decided to embrace his true nature. Without realizing it, he returned to Titan in secret, where he was greeted by Death. She finally accepted his courting, on the condition he proved he only belonged to her.

Thanos (Earth-616) and Death (Earth-616) from Thanos Rising Vol 1 4 001

Death revealing her true nature to Thanos

Thanos embarked on a journey of destruction, razing every planet he stumbled upon on his way of killing the children of all the women he had impregnated during his nomadic years.[28] No matter how many worlds he ravaged, Thanos couldn't satisfy Death, who had become his companion. She eventually declared he would have to become a god, a supreme destroyer that possessed everything. When Thanos discovered that Death had made it so only he could sense her presence, she revealed her true name and nature, and drove Thanos mad.[29] After Thanos bombed Titan, Death kissed him for the first time. However, his father A'Lars had managed to make him doubt whether he could actually see the embodiment of Death or he was simply demented.[30]

World War II[]

During World War II, American soldier John Kowalski became an agent of Death.[31]

Thanos (Earth-616) and Death (Earth-616) from Thanos Quest Vol 1 2 0001

Death and Thanos

Thanos War[]

Thanos continued courting Death by devastating planets and leading entire species to extinction. Captain Marvel (Mar-Vell) and Adam Warlock opposed these efforts.[32][33][34] Mistress Death favored Thanos, and resurrected him more than once, although she chose not to speak to him directly after some time.[35]

Contest of Champions[]

The Grandmaster challenged Death to a strategy game with the condition that if he won the Collector would be resurrected after Korvac killed him. Death agreed to play, and the two abducted numerous superpowered individuals from Earth to use as pawns. The Grandmaster eventually managed to win the game, and as a reward Death provided him with the Golden Globe of Life. However, she revealed to him that in order for him to resurrect the Collector with the Globe he needed to sacrifice a soul of equal power. The Grandmaster decided to sacrifice himself, taking the Collector's place in Death's realm and allowing his fellow Elder of the Universe to return to life.[36]


The Beyonder, wanting to be a hero, decided to kill Death to prevent anyone from dying ever again. However, upon doing so, he saw that Death was needed to maintain the life throughout the universe and came to regret it. David Shooter, feeling guilty over cheering the Beyonder and encouraging him in his endeavors, offered to sacrifice himself to help restore Death.[13]

Elders of the Universe[]

The Grandmaster sacrificing himself to replace the Collector in Death's Realm was all part of his and fellow Elders of the Universe' plan to achieve immortality. The Grandmaster managed to steal her power and trick her into banishing the Elders from her Realm, making them effectively immortal.[37] Now unable to die, the Elders attempted to kill Galactus using the Infinity Gems and therefore destroy all of reality, only for this to fail. Galactus retaliated by devouring some of the Elders, as he believed that since he transcended Death he could kill them. Unfortunately, he was unable to absorb them, while Death became upset over Galactus believing he could ignore her power.[38]

When the In-Betweener attempted to throw Galactus into a black hole, he was threatened by three Elders, Trader, Possessor and Astronomer, with the Infinity Gems to prevent him from killing the Devourer since the Elders he had devoured were still inside of him. The In-Betweener in retaliation summoned Death and had her directly kill them, much to her disgust.[39]


Death (Earth-616) from Deadpool Vol 4 50 001

Death's most common manifestation

Deadpool had encountered Death during his near death experiences, and formed an attachment to her.[40] In an effort to keep Deadpool away from her, Thanos once cursed him not to die and forever keep them apart.[41]


Another would-be lover of Death, Walker, was the god of death in a distant galaxy. After he extinguished all life in his own galaxy as a gift, Death took refuge in the body of Marlo Chandler, where she learned something about emotion, especially love (which Marlo felt for her husband, Rick) and revenge (after Walker hurt Rick to lure Death out of Marlo). Death stopped Walker by freeing the souls of his victims, who were the source of his power.[42]

Celestial Quest[]

Following Thanos' death and subsequent resurrection, his and Death's energies merged together, giving rise to their "child" Rot. She revealed Rot's existence to Thanos, and worked together to destroy their offspring. During this event, Death finally addressed Thanos as her lover.[43]

Annihilation War[]

As the Annihilation War began, Death suggested that Thanos and Annihilus should team up. She knew that the ultimate goal was the end of all life, which would have made her irrelevant or even extinct. As her champion, Thanos helped to thwart Annihilus's plan. Death and the spirit of Thanos (who was killed by Drax) later appeared before Nova as they watched him kill Annihilus.[44]

When Thanos was brought back to life by the Universal Church of Truth, Death didn't interfere, since she knew Thanos would be vital in stopping the inhabitants of the Cancerverse from conquering Earth-616 and thus eliminating death. She couldn't enter the Cancerverse until Thanos was almost killed by the dark version of Captain Marvel, but when she did, she immediately devastated the Cancerverse, killing the dark Captain Marvel and every other being in the deathless universe. Thanos, however, remained alive, and Death, for some reason, ignored him yet again.[45][46]

Chaos War[]

During the Chaos King's rampage across reality, he and his army conquered the afterlives, forcing Death herself to flee from the universe. This caused everyone to be unable to die and instead fall into a comatose state, while the deceased began walking again.[47] She presumably came back after the Chaos King was defeated.[48]

Abduction by Eternity[]

Death was kidnapped by Eternity, bringing imbalance to the cosmos since living creatures would suddenly become immortal. Believing Thanos to be responsible behind Death's disappearance, he tracked him down. When Deadpool arrived on Thanos' ship to defeat him, Thanos rescinded his curse, turning Deadpool into a mortal once more to kill him.[49]

However, upon realizing that Death would only speak to Wade, Thanos resurrected him in order to save her.[49] When the pair managed to travel to Eternity's Realm and encounter him personally, Thanos attacked mercilessly, blaming Eternity for all of his life's ills. Wilson, realizing that this was what Death wanted all along, attacked Thanos and was possessed by the Uni-Power, giving Deadpool the powers of Captain Universe. Using those powers, Deadpool and Thanos fought on equal ground, but Deadpool's speech during the fight convinced Death of the validity of life's existence and caused Mistress Death to whisk Thanos away, for a later purpose and to return to her own, restoring mortality to the universe.[20]

Losing Thanos[]

As part of her plan to make Thanos worthy of her love again, Death made him ill and manipulated his son, Thane, into acquiring the Phoenix Force to break him down so he could rebuild himself. Although her plan succeeded, it was all in vain as Thanos didn't love or need her anymore by the time he was done with Thane.[50]

Scarlet Spider[]

After Ben Reilly returned to life and began operating in Las Vegas, Death, taking the appearance of Marlo, appeared to him. She told him about two criminals killing people around the city, wanting to see what Reilly would do about it. He managed to take the criminals down, but was soon attacked by his fellow clone Kaine Parker over the death of Abigail Mercury. Death quickly intervened and killed Kaine by touching him,[51] before revealing her true self to Reilly.

Death told Reilly that she became interested in him as no one else had died come back to life as much as him, and if he were to die and be resurrected again it would most likely destroy his soul. She then offered to bring back to life either Kaine or Mercury, but Reilly implored her to restore both and take his life instead. Seeing that he wished to make up for his wrongdoings back when he took the mantle of Jackal, Death not only just resurrected both Kaine and Mercury but also cured Reilly's appearance. Before departing she encouraged him to pursue his quest for redemption.[1]

Death appeared to Ben again to inform him that his scars would disappear as long as he maintained his heroic streak, and should he act maliciously his actions would be reflected on his appearance, as seen when a scar around his eye reappeared after he had beaten a thief.[52]

The Death of Death[]

Death (Earth-616) from Valkyrie Jane Foster Vol 1 7 001

The Death of Death was summoned to decide if Death herself should die after coming down with an infliction caused by the Five and the Green Door preventing individuals from properly dying, thus rendering death meaningless. Jane Foster convinced the being that Death was, in fact, needed on a personal level and so the Death of Death allowed Death to heal, preventing the Prime Marvel Universe from transitioning into another Cancerverse.[53]


Death offered to resurrect the recently deceased Doctor Strange if he prevented the Blasphemy Cartel from reviving various dead superhumans. He accepted and became her new servant, the Harvestman.[54] He worked alongside his lover Clea to thwart the Cartel's plan and bring down the Revenants, fulfilling Strange's part of the deal, causing Death to return him to life.[55]


At some point, Vox Supreme decided to capture Marlo Chandler to use her in his experiments. When he succeeded, however, he found that Marlo was bonded with Death at the time and thus he had found himself in the possession of a powerful cosmic entity.[56]

Thanks to Jazinda Kl'rt-Spawn's special connection with Death, she was able to warn her that she was in danger, and so Jazinda enlisted the help of Genis-Vell to rescue Marlo and Death.[57] When they finally got them free, however, Rick noticed a deep sorrow in Death and came to the conclusion she was tired of her job. After being lectured by her sister Life, Death let Marlo to regain control of her body, allowing her to share that she wanted to take over the job. Rick tried to convince her it was foolish, but she felt she had been living on borrowed time since her assassination years before and thus effectively became the new Grim Reaper.[58]

Contemplating in her realm, Death was visited by Christine Collins. Collins had seen a glimpse of her when her daughter passed away, and sought the being out since that day to have her resurrect her daughter. Meeting Marlo, Collins managed to break inside Death's realm, but Death immediately let her know that she wouldn't bring her daughter back. An angry Collins then screamed at her that she never felt what true pain was like and felt sorry for the being. Death teleported her away, but touched by Collins' words she decided to live as a human for a time. She went to the reformed Illuminati and offered to give them information of future disasters in exchange for removing her memories as the embodiment of Death, and make her believe she was a human named Roberta Marshall who perfectly resembled Collins' daughter.[59]

As Roberta Marshall she began living in Fresno where she worked at a drug store. Eventually, Thanos returned and seeking Death out once again he attacked Fresno. Having no memory of who he was, Death attempted to flee with the assistance of the Illuminati, but Thanos fought through them and finally reunited with her. He had her regain her memories, remembering who she was, but after he killed Collins when the latter, believing Death to be her deceased daughter, attempted to protect her, Death became enraged. She didn't want to have anything to do with him anymore, and now only wished to kill him. Fearing that a new Rot may rise from Thanos' death at her hands, the Illuminati tried to break up the fight, only to be pushed aside by the two godlike beings. Thanos managed to overpower Death and transform her into the Death Stone. With Death now claimed by him, Thanos departed, though death would still persist.[60]



  • Death seduced and was seduced by Kull on what was thought to be his deathbed, and returned him to life.[24]
  • Thanos and Deadpool are both in love with Death. Because of this, Thanos once cursed Deadpool with an inability to die.[61]
  • Death came to aid the powerless Thane by releasing him from his prison and promised to help him kill his father and love him only.[50]


Power Grid[75]
:Category:Power Grid/Fighting Skills/Normal:Category:Power Grid/Energy Projection/Virtually Unlimited:Category:Power Grid/Durability/Virtually Indestructible:Category:Power Grid/Speed/Warp:Category:Power Grid/Strength/Incalculable:Category:Power Grid/Intelligence/Omniscient


Nigh-Omnipotence: Death, itself, is a cosmic level entity, and, as such, is more than capable of achieving virtually any effect desired within regulated limits.[citation needed]

Death: Death itself can liberate the soul or spirit of a living being but generally leaves this task to the various beings of the afterlife, such as the Valkyries, Hela, or Doorman. Because Death is the embodiment of all death, every lost soul belongs to it, so the agent of passage is irrelevant. Death can also reverse that passage and return a being to life, but that rarely happens. Death can choose to ignore certain beings, possibly as a mark of respect for their ability to survive. The Elders of the Universe fall into this category. Other beings with the proper knowledge, such as the Sorcerer Supreme, can challenge Death directly; by succeeding at this challenge, they become immune to true death.[citation needed]

Amortality: Death itself cannot die, since it is not truly alive. As a cosmological concept, the basic laws of the universe would have to change to erase death.[citation needed]

Power Cosmic: Unlimited ability to manipulate reality, time, space, matter, energy, or magic for any purpose. It rarely uses this power, however, possibly because it does not wish to upset the balance of the cosmic entities, which could endanger itself.[citation needed]

Soothing Appearance: If Death manifests itself as a mortal being in its final moments, it may take the form of a loved one.[62] When Captain Marvel died, for instance, it manifested itself as Una, his greatest love.[citation needed]

She was stated to have a "Universal" threat level by the Nova Corps, and potentially a multiversal one.[63] However it is unlikely Death would purposely pose a threat as she is merely carrying out the functions of death as a universal concept. It is also unclear if Death in the 616 universe possesses any power or is capable of even existing outside the universe created to serve.[citation needed]


Death of Death: An aspect of the Living Tribunal, the Death of Death judges if the Mistress Deaths of different realities should exist in their respective reality or not. Because of the people coming back to life through different means, such as through the powers of the Five and the Green Door, the Death of Death saw Death as unimportant and nearly killed her.[64]


Death (Earth-616) and Eternity (Earth-616) from Silver Surfer Vol 3 6 001

Death and Eternity

  • In the Seventh Cosmos, Death and Eternity formed a pair.[65] Possibly due to the cosmic resturcturing of the Eighth Cosmos,[66] Death later received a new counterpart: Life.[58]
  • Death's time using Marlo Chandler as a host has caused her to feel connected to Marlo. Because of this, whenever she visits Earth, Death takes on Chandler's form.[1]
  • The extradimensional bounty hunter Bounty claimed to have killed a personification of Death.[67]
  • The original Death was killed by the Beyonder. When faced with the consequences, the Beyonder did not have the ability to bring Death back. Instead, he transformed a human reporter named Dave Shooter into a new Death.[13]
  • Death has a close relationship with Oblivion. He is said to be her progenitor,[68] though they are also siblings.[69] The exact relationships between cosmic entities are often complicated and beyond mortal understanding.[70][71]


Death (Earth-616) from Quasar Vol 1 37 0001

Death's M-Bodies can change for the beholder

  • On a few occasions, Death has presented itself as a male.[3][72][62]
  • Except for those near to dying, Thanos, and Gamora were the only ones who could see Death.[73]

See Also

Links and References


  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 Ben Reilly: Scarlet Spider #7
  2. 2.0 2.1 Immortal Thor #7
  3. 3.0 3.1 Journey Into Mystery (Vol. 2) #1
  4. Dracula Lives #9
  5. Adventures into Weird Worlds #4
  6. Uncanny Tales #22
  7. Howard the Duck (Vol. 3) #4
  8. Quasar #22
  9. Captain Marvel #31
  10. Captain Marvel #32
  11. Thing (Vol. 3) #5
  12. Thanos (Vol. 4) #1
  13. 13.0 13.1 13.2 13.3 13.4 Secret Wars II #6
  14. Official Handbook of the Marvel Universe A to Z #3
  15. Thanos Quest #12
  16. Quasar #37
  17. 17.0 17.1 Fantastic Four Annual #23
  18. 18.0 18.1 Doctor Strange, Sorcerer Supreme #45
  19. Doctor Strange (Vol. 2) #10
  20. 20.0 20.1 Deadpool vs. Thanos #4
  21. History of the Marvel Universe (Vol. 2) #1
  22. Howard the Duck (Vol. 3) #6
  23. Thanos Quest #1
  24. 24.0 24.1 Marvel Graphic Novel #47
  25. Kull the Conqueror (Vol. 3) #2 ; The Amulet of Ka
  26. Thanos Rising #1
  27. Thanos Rising #2
  28. Thanos Rising #3
  29. Thanos Rising #4
  30. Thanos Rising #5
  31. War Is Hell #915
  32. Captain Marvel #2833
  33. Avengers Annual #7
  34. Marvel Two-In-One Annual #2
  35. Silver Surfer (Vol. 3) #34
  36. Marvel Super Hero Contest of Champions #13
  37. Avengers Annual #16
  38. Silver Surfer (Vol. 3) #10
  39. 39.0 39.1 Silver Surfer (Vol. 3) #17
  40. Deadpool and Death Annual #1998
  41. Deadpool (Vol. 3) #6364
  42. Captain Marvel (Vol. 4) #1718
  43. Avengers: Celestial Quest #18
  44. Annihilation #16
  45. Guardians of the Galaxy (Vol. 2) #25
  46. Thanos Imperative #16
  47. Chaos War #2
  48. Chaos War #5
  49. 49.0 49.1 Deadpool vs. Thanos #1
  50. 50.0 50.1 Thanos (Vol. 2) #112
  51. Ben Reilly: Scarlet Spider #6
  52. Ben Reilly: Scarlet Spider #11
  53. Valkyrie: Jane Foster #7
  54. Strange (Vol. 3) #57
  55. Strange (Vol. 3) #10
  56. Genis-Vell: Captain Marvel #24
  57. Genis-Vell: Captain Marvel #2
  58. 58.0 58.1 Genis-Vell: Captain Marvel #5
  59. Thanos (Vol. 4) #3
  60. Thanos (Vol. 4) #14
  61. Deadpool (Vol. 3) #64
  62. 62.0 62.1 Excalibur #63
  63. Annihilation: The Nova Corps Files #1
  64. Valkyrie: Jane Foster #67
  65. Silver Surfer (Vol. 3) #6
  66. Immortal Thor #11
  67. Official Handbook of the Marvel Universe A to Z #2 ; Bounty's entry
  68. Quasar #21
  69. Quasar #25
  70. All-New Official Handbook of the Marvel Universe A to Z #4 ; Oblivion's entry
  71. Fantastic Four #257
  72. Classic X-Men #43
  73. Thanos (Vol. 3) #1
  74. Official Handbook of the Marvel Universe A to Z #3
  75. Official Handbook of the Marvel Universe A to Z Vol 1 3