How Superheroes Kill Unkillable Villains in Comics

Joseph Wilbur
Comics DC
Comics DC Movies

It’s rare to find a comic book storyline in which a superhero easily defeats their adversary. But there are some villains who are tougher than others. What do superheroes do when faced with a seemingly unkillable villain? They sometimes lose. They often win. But it’s never easy. Check out these examples…

Darkseid, Doomsday, and Ares (from left to right respectively)

In anticipation of the upcoming Wonder Womam movie, in which the big bad, Ares, is one of these unkillable villains, we take a look at a few instances where our favorite heroes have gone against an immortal foe, and what it means to be immortal.

Some unkillable villains have varying levels of immortality.

Almost always, there’s an asterisk next to a character’s immortality. For example, take a look at Ra’s al Ghul. Ra’s maintains his current age and vitality so long as he can immerse himself in the mystical fluids found in a Lazarus Pit, effectively making him immortal. However, he doesn’t possess invulnerability, meaning he can be injured by other means.

It’s when a villain has both invulnerability and immortality that our heroes run into a problem. After all, how can you kill someone who can live forever and simply can’t be injured?

Example #1: The defeat of the God of Apokolips

The Anti-Monitor and Death Attack Darkseid

In case you haven’t heard of one of the most powerful villains in the DC universe, Darkseid is one of the New Gods, a race who live outside of normal time and space in a realm called the Fourth World. Bullets bounce off him, rockets, bombs, and lasers will not even leave a mark on him, and high-voltage energy emissions cannot penetrate through him. He is completely immune to all earthly diseases and viruses, and overall, pretty much just invincible. And he has some  insane weapons on his side, too.

Darkseid and Superman

If he sounds hard to kill, you are totally 100% right. However, there are always weaknesses to a character’s invincibility, and Darkseid is no exception. In fact, all the New Gods are vulnerable to an extremely rare substance called Radion. And Darkseid’s usage of Radion to kill his own son is what lead to his downfall.

After he killed his son, Orion, Batman was able to take the Radion bullet and shoot Darkseid, mortally poisoning him. However, it was going to take a bit more to bring down this foe. It took not only Barry Allen and Wally West leading the Black Racer to Darkseid, but Superman screaming at a frequency counter to that of the multiverse, to finally shatter Darkseid’s essence.

Example #2: How to kill the Lord of the Killed

Anyone who has ever died is at his beck and call, including the Justice League

Darkseid was on a whole other level than even the so-called “overpowered” heroes such as Superman. But Nekron is the Lord of the Land of the Unliving, and literally operates on an entirely different power plane than most of the beings in the universe. The dead serve at his beck and call, and not even the entire Green Lantern Corps can be considered a worthy opponent to this dude. And since he rules the Land of the Dead, he’s pretty much as immortal as they come.

If you aren’t catching on yet, there is always a weakness to these villains. And with Nekron, his weakness is that for most of eternity, he is trapped in his own realm. However, he is totally able to wreck havoc on the universe from his realm, sending everyone from dead immortals like Krona to the Anti-Monitor to do his bidding.

But when a rift in his realm is opened, that’s when Nekron gets his chance to escape and wreak havoc himself on the universe.

But Nekron isn’t the most powerful being in the universe. Although it is definitely up for debate who the most powerful comic book character is, the Entity is definitely up there, and by bonding with him the heroes of Earth are able to defeat Nekron by resurrecting Black Hand, cutting Nekron’s link to the living plane, allowing the heroes to finally destroy Nekron.

Example #3: How to kill Ares, the God of War

The God of War himself, Ares

Need to kill a New God? Use Radion. Need to get rid of a pesky God of the Dead? Just cut off his link to the living plane. So what’s the tool Wonder Woman can use to kill the God of War, Ares, in the upcoming Wonder Woman movie?

It’s going to sound pretty easy compared to what it took to bring down these other villains, but the simple answer is just a battle ax.

Ares' Death

Yep, you heard us correctly. It seems all it takes to bring down an Olympian is a magic weapon wielded by a being of relatively high power levels, in this case, Wonder Woman. In the comics, Wonder Woman used a battle ax to split Ares’ helmet in two, mortally wounding him.

Although we don’t know quite the approach DC is going to use for the film, it is certain Ares is going to be very, very hard to defeat. But not impossible. He may be an immortal being with thousands of years of combat experience, and some insane powers, but Wonder Woman does stand a chance.

Oh, and he can also be bound by the Lasso of Truth, just like anyone else.

Wonder Woman hits theaters on June 2nd.

Joseph Wilbur
Joseph Wilbur has been a writer for Fandom for over a year and a half. You'll probably find him writing about the Arrowverse shows, or the DC and Marvel universes. He is a Star Wars fanatic, and has read every book in the 'Star Wars Legends' Universe (most of them at least twice).
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