Why Don’t Comic Book Villains Die?

I’ve been trying to get back into comics for The Three Cast. I want to try to put my past with recommending comics for us to review as far out of my friends’ minds as possible. Yes, there’s a story there. I recommended a comic from a newer author, and it was terrible. Something about dog and duck people, and Hitler. It was odd, and Vince and Ricky (who host The Three Cast with me) have never let me live down.

As I’ve been trying to get back into comics, I’ve realized something. It is very rarely that a comic book villain actually dies. Even when they are “killed” they are brought back, sometimes within the same arc as they died in, negating the death plot in the first place. It’s dumb. It seems like a cheap way not to have to come up with new villains.

Perhaps the biggest example I have of this (in my limited knowledge of comics) is Arrow. I haven’t the foggiest if the print version is the same as the TV show, but the TV show doesn’t seem to want to kill off anyone. I stopped watching mid-season 3, so IDK if it has changed or not, but by that time the only two people that had actually been killed off were Tommy and Oliver Queen’s mom. The villains seemed to keep coming back. Even Slade (Deathstroke) was only imprisoned for further use later.

The Joker never dies in Batman and Lex Luthor never dies in Superman (that I’m aware of, at least). At least in comics they can start a new arc, which is a new story line, so it can at least make sense.

Maybe it doesn’t matter. And, more likely than not, this is just my ignorance of comics coming into play, but I want a comic that treats villains and heroes a little more realistically than what I’ve seen so far.

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