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Comic Book / Lady Death

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Long live the queen.

In 1991, the eponymous character of Evil Ernie (a comic written by Brian Pulido for Eternity Comics) encountered a beautiful, pale woman in his delusions. He fell in love with her, and she exhorted him to commit Megadeath, the extermination of every human on Earth, so they could be together. She was Lady Death.

In 1994, Pulido gave her her own title (or more accurately, several limited-series stories, with one flowing into the next) with his own imprint, Chaos! Comics. In this, hers was the epic story of a young woman in Sweden named Hope. Her mother died when she was young; her father, a warlord named Matthias, was callous and brutal, and even consorted with dark powers, which eventually provoked a rebellion from the people. When he escaped by summoning a demon, she was included in the mob's ire, and was burned at the stake. In desperation, she uttered an incantation she had heard him use, summoning a demon who offered her a bargain: serve the powers of Hell and renounce humanity, and he would spare her from death. She woke up in Hell, in the midst of a civil war between Lucifer himself and her own father. Corrupted by her surroundings, her skin, hair, and eyes turning white, Hope sought allies, at first finding only an exiled blacksmith—one of Hell's finest. In preparation, she set aside entirely her mortal name and self, and declared herself Lady Death, before leading a rebellion against the lords of hell. She rebelled, and defeated Lucifer by casting him through a gate to Heaven, assuming the throne of Hell as Queen of the Damned. Or did she...? In any case, as a last curse, Satan told her she would never be able to return to Earth as long as the living walked. She decided to circumvent this pronouncement, and declared she would exterminate every living thing on Earth if she had to.

In 2001, Chaos! Comics folded. Pulido lost the rights to all of his characters except Lady Death. Lady Death was picked up by CrossGen Comics, who took the character in a new direction. In Lady Death: A Medieval Tale, an ongoing series, which takes place entirely on Earth, humanity is at war with the Eldritch, who raid and pillage human cities bordering their lands. Though quick and powerful with magic, they are kept back by a relative lack of physical strength and their aversion to Christian iconography. During one raid, a noble (as in high-ranking) Eldritch finds himself intrigued by a human woman, who accepts him for a time. Nine months later, the woman gives birth to a girl, whom she names Hope. As she grows up, strange things happen around her, and one day in the market, a man notices her eyes briefly turn white, looking like those of an Eldritch. Asking her mother, Hope is told of her father. Before much more can be revealed to her, though, the townsfolk, riled up by the man who noticed Hope's eyes earlier, storm their house. Defending her mother, Hope is injured, but the wound heals instantly. Seeing this as proof of her evil, the townsfolk take them to the river and drown them. Soon after, Hope's father arrives, and tries to heal them, but is apparently unsuccessful...yet after he leaves, she is revived, and now her appearance matches that of her father's lineage—pale as death, with hair and eyes to match. Desiring revenge, she attacks the town, but they are too many for her. The intervention of a wandering warrior named Wolfram von Bach saves her, and they leave. After burying Hope's mother, Wolfram begins to teach her all he knows of Eldritch and swordplay alike, and warns her that sooner or later she must choose a side...

When Crossgen folded in 2004, Avatar Press picked up the license, and not only continued CrossGen's take with Medieval Lady Death, but also created a new series that returned the character to her roots. A young woman named Hope was the daughter of Mary and Marius. Marius was a crusader who had a tendency to return from battles without any of his peasant levies, only his most loyal soldiers surviving with him. Hope came to realize the evil that her father was doing, and along with her mother followed him to secret tunnels where they found him summoning dark wraiths, who refer to him as Sagos. Sagos is offering a sacrifice of masses of peasants in exchange for a domain in The Labyrinth, a dark world of the afterlife. When he spots them, Sagos, revealing himself as a being possessing Marius, steals Mary away through a portal, leaving Hope behind.

At this point, the peasant rebellion finally catches up, and when they find that Marius has escaped, settle for attempt to execute Hope for his crimes. She utters the incantation Sagos used, and the dark wraiths agree to let her through the portal if she pledges her soul to The Labyrinth. When she passes through, her skin, hair, and eyes become white, the mark of those who willingly go through, and she ends up in a waste called the Blacklands. There she meets a man named Wargoth, who after seeing the natural inclination she now possesses towards magic, agrees to help her in her travels. He also recruits a sorceress named Satasha to teach her, and trains her in battle himself, though every weapon she handles melting due to the uncontrolled magic she possesses slows this process considerably. Over two years, they find that Sagos's army is conquering the Blacklands and turning its denizens to undead, converting them to his cause. They finally track him down, but he is more than a match for all of them, and escapes, leaving them for dead. They survive, and Lady Death not only recovers a sword made for her that can withstand her touch and channel her power through it, but learns great mystic power... and that Sagos not only plans to conquer the Blacklands, not only plans to conquer Earth itself, but has the means to do it.

Relatively little had been done story-wise with the character by Avatar since 2007, though reprints of old stories and new Fanservice books had been published, and in late 2009, it was announced that Lady Death would be changing publishers again, this time to Boundless Comics, a publisher that in fact has been created by the founder of Avatar Press specifically to publish Lady Death (though they aren't against expanding in the future), with another reboot in 2010. In this take, a young thief in medieval Spain named Iladra is attacked by demonic warriors, and from there must find out why... only to learn that she was once the Queen of Hell, her powers, memories, and soul stripped way by a creature calling herself the Death Queen, whom Lady Death knows nothing of, but who seems to have a personal grudge against her. It turns out that it is not a reboot at all, but a continuation of the Avatar story, with the same characters... and that the Death Queen is Hope's mother. After this terrible revelation and gathering most of her powers, Lady Death reunites a rebellion against Death Queen's tyranny. After her victory, she travels to the Void, located at the distant corners of the Underrealm and makes a discovery about her true nature that will change her forever.

Due to issues with Boundless trying to eventually cut Pulido out of the process in working on Lady Death, and after various lawsuits by Pulido, the Avatar/Boundless version of Lady Death ended with the "Lady Death Apocalypse" series in 2015. The character rights were finally given back to Pulido, and the tales and adventures of Lady Death are now being continued with Pulido's new company, Coffin Comics. There was a Kickstarter campaign created, which resulted in the recently released Lady Death Chaos Rules, which sees the return of Lady Death descending back into the depths of Hell itself. While at this point the truth of her background remains a bit of a mystery, we find Lady Death being awakened with altered memories of her past, as these new publications are a follow-up to the Chaos! publication.

The new story sees the return of a few familiar faces from her original Chaos comics run, and of course a brand new sword, Chaos. There is a follow up that is currently in the works, Lady Death Damnation Game.

In the storyline, Lady Death, by edict of Pulido, could suffer setbacks and even defeat, but was not and would never be a victim. The medieval story has her dressed more believably, in black armor and clothing that covers her from the neck down, and was less explicitly violent, but still sold fairly well.


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     The comics as a whole 
  • Abusive Parents:
    • Matthias (Hope's father in the Chaos continuity) was a very cruel man who sacrificed his wife to gain power, was physically and emotionally abusive towards Hope and became her Archnemesis Dad after both of them went to Hell.
    • The Death Queen acts extremely dismissive towards her daughter Tormina at best, and downright physically violent at worse. And since she is driven towards destroying everything Lady Death holds dear, one could argue her treatment extends to her as well.
  • Animated Adaptation: In the form of Lady Death: The Motion Picture, animated by Koreans and distributed by ADV Films.
  • Anti-Hero: Lady Death started out as a villain and proved popular enough to get her own series. Since then, she was frequently pitted against enemies who were just as bad as her or worse. Over time, her villainy was downplayed to the point it pretty much vanished. At worst, she is typically an example of Good is Not Nice.
  • Author Appeal: Pulido is a huge Metalhead and metal artists and songs are often referenced.
  • The Baroness: Lady Death whenever she is portrayed as a villain. Her female enemies would also qualify, particularly Purgatori and the Death Queen.
  • Big Bad: Lady Death herself served this role in the original Evil Ernie comics, being the driving force behind the eponymous Villain Protagonist. In her own titles, she faced various threats:
    • Satan in the classic continuity.
    • Sagos in the Avatar comics.
    • The Death Queen in the 2010 revival.
    • Satyricon for Apocalypse.
  • Bad Girl Comic: Every incarnation with the exception of the CrossGen continuity. She debuted in the 90s and was one of the pioneers of the genre.
  • Big, Screwed-Up Family: Lady Death's family life tends to be pretty messed up.
    • In the original Chaos continuity, her father Matthias was a cruel noble man who killed his wife, forcibly conscripted villagers into military service and physically and emotionally abused his daughter. After dying, he returns as a demon and continues to antagonize her.
    • In the Avatar Press continuity, Hope's mother Mary becomes the Death Queen due to being tormented by demons.
    • In the CrossGen continuity, Hope is the illegitimate offspring of the Eldritch king Tvarus and the human woman Marion. Due to both their races being at war, Marion is killed when her daughter's lineage is discovered. Tvarus is still racist towards humans despite his love for Marion and Hope and has a Sibling Rivalry with his brother Thorm. His wife Obsidia frequently schemes behind his back and seeks ways to make Hope's life miserable as revenge for her husband's infidelity.
  • Blade on a Rope:
    • In "Goddess Returns", Brock gives Lady Death a Morph Weapon called the Scynister which has three forms - a short sword, a sickle and a kusarigama-like weapon whose chain can mystically shorten or lengthen according to Lady Death's desires.
    • During the arc in which she had lost her powers and memories, the Avatar Press version of the character fought with a chain weapon that had a pendulum blade on the end. She stopped using it after her memories and powers returned.
    • The end of "Extinction Express" introduces Chaotica Lady Death's daughter who fights with a weapon resembling a kusarigama. Hers has a pommel on the other end.
  • Breakout Character: Lady Death started out as a supporting villainess in Evil Ernie, essentially the Lady Macbeth to its undead Serial Killer protagonist, before getting her own title that also retconned much of her motives and background. Nowadays she's probably far more well-known than Evil Ernie himself.
  • Brought Down to Badass: A frequently occuring story has Lady Death losing all or most of her power and needing to get them back. She survives through cunning, determination and luck.
  • Continuity Reboot: The character went through many reimagnings as she changed publishers, with each being treated as their own different continuity.
  • Crapsack World: No matter which universe she occupies, Lady Death is bound to live in a world where the supernatural frequently toy with the lives of mortals. The titular character has at times contributed to this suffering herself.
  • Crossover: Quite often. The "Nexus of All Things" in hell, through which she searched for an Earth she could go to, made most of them possible.
  • Dark Action Girl: In addition to the titular protagonist, there is also; Purgatori (a powerful vampire goddess); Stigmata (a Humanoid Abomination who happens to be female); and the Death Queen (God Save Us from the Queen! incarnate), just to name a handful. The list of female villains goes on.
  • The Dragon:
    • Cremator to Lady Death in her Villain Protagonist days, not only being her right-hand man, but closest follower and father figure.
    • Behemoth for Death Queen as general of her armies. Interestingly, in any other situation he would have been The Brute since Death Queen has General Belial and her daughter Tormina, but the former is in fact The Mole to the good guys and Tormina pulls a Heel–Face Turn, leaving Behemoth as the most loyal to her.
    • In Apocalypse, Razarac served as one not to Tormina, but to her adviser Satyricos.
  • Dressed Like a Dominatrix: Lady Death's outfit consists of black leather thigh-high boots, opera gloves, lingerie adorned with skull emblems, and a cape. She's pretty consistently portrayed with a domineering personality, going from a Lady Macbeth in her first appearances in Evil Ernie to a Dark Action Girl in her own series. The Rapture has the aptly named Demonatrix, the representative of Hell who wore a corset and chains on her four arms and was depicted as very aggressive.
  • A God Am I: Several villains do make a godhood claim and they usually have the power to match the heroine's own power.
  • God of Chaos: The Lords of Chaos are a recurring element in the Chaos and Boundless continuities:
    • The Chaos Lord Genocide is the Big Bad of "The Crucible" arc and is the first Chaos Lord Lady Death fights. He was one of the original Chaos Lords who brought about the creation of the universe and sought to undo that mistake.
    • The Chaos Lords are the villains during the "Alive" arc and act through their minion The Dark One who corrupts souls for them to feed on.
    • The Chaos Lords are featured in Medieval Lady Death. They speak to Lady Death's biological father Tvarus while he is imprisoned and are responsible for his corruption.
  • Heaven Versus Hell: The forces of Heaven and Hell are in constant conflict with Lady Death caught in the middle.
  • Jerk with a Heart of Gold: Lady Death is cynical, ruthless, brutal and sadistic at times but she does have redeeming traits such as capable of being genuinely caring and in love as well. She despite the things she’s done is a saint compared to her enemies and she is willing to fight against them as they are much more worse than her and is willing to ally with anyone who are against them.
  • I Have You Now, My Pretty: Several villains tried to pulls this on Lady Death many, many times. But due to creator's edict, they never got away too far:
    • Satan suspended Hope on chains and tried to break her will and reduce her into his bride, but she broke away free and slayed him (again).
    • When she was restored to life and returned to Earth in Alive, she ran into a villain that turned women into his mindless Sex Slaves with his branding iron and attempted to do the same with her. She instead branded him with his own weapon.
    • Hope is not the only one who is a victim of this too; her mother Marion was kidnapped by Sagos in Abandon All Hope after he became fond of her while masquerading as her husband.
  • Interplay of Sex and Violence: Perhaps the whole point of Lady Death, and by extension a lot of other "bad girl" comic characters. A Dark Action Girl Ms. Fanservice character, pale as a corpse and dressed in leather fetish gear, hacking up demons and other monsters by the dozens every other issue. The covers will usually make this extra blatant by showing her in a pin-up pose on top of a pile of skulls.
  • Magic Knight: Every version of Lady Death is an expert in both magic and physical combat.
  • Male Gaze: ...have you been paying attention to this page at all?
  • Ms. Fanservice: Lady Death is one of the most notorious examples in comics from the 90s. Plenty of other female characters in the series qualify as well.
  • No Name Given: Lady Death's Nameless Wolves whom she took control of after they attacked when she first came to hell.
  • Nipple and Dimed: Even in the few treatments where other female characters showed it, Lady Death herself has never been completely exposed.
  • Oh, My Gods!:
    • In the Chaos! continuity, Lady Death swears either "by the Abyss", "by all that is unholy" or "by all the gods".
    • The humans of the under realm often swear by "Great Maklu!". The demons occasionally say it as well though they don't actually hold the god Maklu is any esteem. It was just an expression that crept into their language according to Salacia.
  • Omnicidal Maniac: Barring the main protagonist in her Villain Protagonist days, several villains were inclined towards this trope.
    • Sagos who planned to wipe the Blacklands of all life, using it as sacrifice to gain his own domain in Hell.
    • The Death Queen wanted to use an infernal device that would kill everyone in the Underrealm except for her followers, who were branded with her protection.
  • Shout-Out:
    • The Eldritch in Medieval Lady Death pays homage to Elric of Melniboné, being an entire race based on him down to being albinos.
    • To Hellraiser; in the Avatar Press continuity, the story takes place in a dark world of the afterlife called "The Labyrinth" named after the Cenobites' home dimension of the same name. Though rather than humanoid abominations in bondage gear, its governed by a sect of demonic wraiths that act the same way and can turn humans into undead beings, such as the main protagonist who could arguably qualify as an Cenobite Expy herself.
    • The Trinity, a trio of powerful demons in the Coffin Comics canon, are Jorda of the Earth, Valla of the Wind and Elda of Fire.
  • World of Buxom: Its pretty hard to find a female character that isn't below D-cup in this series. Their number could be counted on one hand.
  • Zombie Apocalypse: Several different variants of this trope are found in this series.
    • Lady Death raises an army of dead warriors from across the ages to fight against both demons and angels in The Rapture.
    • Sagos raises an undead army out of the enemies he had killed and increases their number each of his conquests.
    • Apocalypse features a more common kind with the blood-fever zombies that spread their infection through bites. Only humans are affected by it and they turn almost instantly.

     Chaos Continuity 
  • Abusive Parents: Matthias was this to Hope when both were human.
  • All Animals Are Dogs: Lady Death's nameless wolves.
  • Amnesiac Dissonance: In Alive, Lady Death is turned mortal and stripped of her memories. She displays a kinder and less hostile attitude than she was when she had her memories, and befriends a girl named Sarah Wilson. When she regains some of her memories in Last Rites, she is so horrified and disgusted by her past actions that she tries to trap herself along with two villains in a soul-containing orb so she can't be a danger to anyone else. The full return of her powers and memories has her acting much like her previous, colder self.
  • Angelic Beauty:
    • Aquiessence in The Rapture was an female angel sent by Heaven to bring the eponymous protagonist to their side by seducing her with her intoxicating scent.
    • While not literally an angel, Hope's half-sister Vandala is a beautiful, blonde-haired valkyrie.
  • Archnemesis Dad: Hope's father is not Dad of the Year material. In addition to abusing Hope and murdering his wife, his abuse of the townspeople caused them to take their anger out on Hope and burn her for witchcraft, leading her to making a deal with Lucifer in order save herself.
  • The Blacksmith: Cremator.
  • Brought Down to Badass/Brought Down to Normal: Lady Death frequently ended up in situations where she either lost her powers or had them reduced significantly forcing her to rely on her brains, determination and luck to survive.
  • Disproportionate Retribution: Vandala refuses to aid Lady Death in her war against Lucifer to focus on rebuilding Asgard. Lady Death responds by declaring her an enemy.
  • Emotion Eater: In the Alive storyline, Lady Death encounters a demon named Anguish who feeds on the despair and hidden turmoil of the residents of the shelter she runs. Lady Death is able to defeat her by rallying the residents to confront their own pain.
  • The End of the World as We Know It: The Megadeath, her plot to kill all life on Earth.
  • Evil Versus Evil: Lady Death is a Villain Protagonist whose enemies are just as evil as her, if not moreso. Over the course of the series, Lady Death is portrayed as less and less evil.
  • Exposed to the Elements: In Alive, Lady Death is rendered mortal and loses most of her powers. She still continues to wear her usual scanty ensemble despite briefly addressing how cold she feels. When warned about running in the rain, her response is that if the rain will avoid her if it knows what is good for it.
  • Fallen Angel: A few of them become separated from Heaven and end up in Lady Death's service.
  • Fantasy Kitchen Sink: In addition to featuring angels and demons, the Chaos comics incarnation also dealt with other pantheons like the Norse and Hindu gods. Lady Death also encountered creatures like vampires and dragons.
  • Fat Bastard: Vile is a servant of the Chaos Lords and takes the form of a morbidly obese man. He spreads evil by luring in kids to serve as drug dealers.
  • Feudal Overlord: Lady Death's father Matthias[ was a textbook example: a brutal nobleman that forcibly conscripted his peasants to fight in the Baltic Crusades (all while secretly dabbling in dark magic and worshiping the devil). His cruelty ended up triggering a uprising that lead to Hope being captured and executed as witch.
  • Fluffy Tamer: Hope tames two nameless wolves who tried to eat her. As Lady Death, they become her loyal pets.
  • God and Satan Are Both Jerks: While the forces of Heaven have been consistently portrayed as antagonistic towards our main protagonist mainly because of her demonic nature, they are shown to be no better than Hell, as they harvest the souls of mortals who ascend paradise in order to fuel their machine against Lucifer and his demons. God himself appears in Judgment War as a Dirty Old Man who hits on Lady Death and offers to "create the next Messiah" with her, though it turns out that was an illusion by Lucifer.
  • Go-Go Enslavement: An early subplot, though she manages to escape before anything untoward happens, but included in the art:
  • Good Smells Good: In The Rapture, Lady Death deals with two representatives, one from Hell and the from Heaven, who seek to sway Lady Death to their respective factions in the coming Apocalypse. The representative of Heaven is Aquiessence, an Angelic Beauty whose body gives off an alluring and pacifying scent.
  • In Love with the Mark: Michael is ordered to sway Lady Death to the side of the Judgement War by seducing her. He is already in love with her and is reluctant to deceive her.
  • Intercontinuity Crossover: With Top Cow and Harris Publications among others.
  • The Legions of Hell: Since the comics are set mostly in Hell, demonic invaders play a role either as LD's servants or enemies.
  • Light Is Not Good: The angels are hardly better than the demons. And then there is the eponymous character herself who is a woman with pale white-skin and hair.
  • Living Aphrodisiac: Aquiessence from The Rapture. While Demonatrix tried to beat Lady Death into submission, Aquiessence preferred to seduce her to Heaven's side by using her seductive beauty and intoxicating scent. It worked for a brief moment before Lady Death snapped out of it and defeated them both.
  • Lonely at the Top: In Love Bites, Lady Death acknowledges that her role as queen of Hell hasn't left her with much time for a social life. This makes it very easy for her to fall for Gabriel's charms even though he is in love with her himself.
  • Magical Negro: Virgil Solomon is the ghost of a dead African-American detective who serves as Lady Death's guide in modern day New York.
  • Our Dragons Are Different: While chasing an incubus to find out a way to return to Earth, Lady Death was transported to a world inhabited entirely by dragons. These dragons were divided in tribes based on their color and spoke in Sssssnaketalk.
  • Psycho Lesbian: Purgatori, one of Lady Death's many enemies during the Chaos! days, contemplates her seduction when she's not plotting her destruction.
  • "Take That!" Kiss: Lady Death does this to Lucifer before killing him in Judgement War as payback for all the times he forced a kiss on her.
  • Sexy Scandinavian: In the original comics, the main protagonist and her half-sister Vandala originated from Medieval Sweden and they embodied the "tall, blonde and beautiful" stereotype of Swedish women.
  • Shopping Montage: Used when Lady Death arrives in the modern world and has to blend in.
  • Sibling Team: Hope and Vandala.
  • Smells Sexy: In Rapture, Heaven tries to get Lady Death on their side, so they send Aquiessence, an angel whose scent is intoxicating. A female angel by the way.
  • Sssssnaketalk: In Dragon Wars, Lady Death is transported to a world of dragons who talk like this.
  • Talking Weapon: Nightmare, Lady Death's second sword which was forged by Brock. It craves blood and frequently tries to make Lady Death kill more people to satiate its hunger.
  • Woman Scorned:
    • In Love Bites, the Holy Trinity sends Archangel Michael to seduce Lady Death and win her allegiance in the Judgement War. Michael, who has genuine feelings for her, reluctantly does so and she ends up falling for him. When she finds out the Trinity's intentions, she carves out Michael's heart (he survives because he is an angel) and banishes him from her domain.
    • Lady Death's many tragedies including her abusive marriage to Lucifer in particular, have made her cynical to the idea of romantic love in general and have contributed to the making her the cold, cruel woman she is known as.

     Cross Gen Continuity 

  • Adaptational Heroism: This version of Lady Death is far from the Omnicidal Maniac the original version started out as, and is easily the nicest and most heroic version of the character. Her biggest flaw is her temper which is the only thing she shares in common with her original counterpart and even then it's nowhere near as bad.
  • Adaptational Species Change: This version of Lady Death is part-Eldritch, a race of humanoids with chalk-white skin and magical powers. Hope's father is an Eldritch in this continuity so this trope applies to him as well. Her mother remains a human.
  • And I Must Scream: When his dalliance with a human is discovered, Tvarus is sentences to the Welf Holes, a prison where time moves differently from the outside world. In there, a person can experience centuries having gone past.
  • Corrupt Church: The church is depicted as corrupt and tyrannical, placing heavy taxes on the poor and lead by men who use God's word to keep people in fear and push their own agendas.
  • Fantastic Racism: The humans and the Eldritch hate each other. The Eldritch view the humans as nothing more than animals and fear they will outnumber them and even the nicer Eldritch like Caprice speaks in a condescending tone towards humans and complains about their smell. The humans' hatred of the Eldritch is portrayed much more sympathetically and understandably due to the Eldritch's crimes against them. Unfortunately, it also causes mistreatment of Hope who is half-Eldritch.
  • Frame-Up: In "War of the Winds", Obsidia frames Hope for an Eldritch attack on a village.
  • Half-Human Hybrid: Hope.
  • Hybrid Power: Hope has been able to best both human and hybrid combatants. She is also immune to iron which hurts full-blooded Eldritch.
  • Kryptonite Factor: Iron burns the Eldritch. Hope is immune to this weakness since she is part-human.
  • Token Heroic Orc: Hope and Caprice are the only heroic Eldritch in the story.
  • Traumatic Superpower Awakening: Hope's Eldritch features and powers manifested when she and her mother were killed by angry villagers. Hope came back to life but her mother was not so lucky.
  • Why Did It Have to Be Snakes?: Hope has a fear of water due to her and her mother being killed by drowning.
  • Woman Scorned: Tvarus's Eldritch wife Obsidia hates Lady Death for being the result of an affair between Tvarus and a human. She plots to kill Lady Death and helps Tvarus's brother Thorm take the throne from him.

     Avatar Press Continuity 
  • Abdicate the Throne:
    • Satasha, who has become Queen of New Aberffraw in the 2010 series, abdicates her position following a disastrous decision to let rebels inside her kingdom, which lead to their enemies invading, razing it and murdering her queen consort which pushed her through an Despair Event Horizon.
    • Following Death Queen's defeat, Lady Death, who is the Underrealm's rightful ruler and technically the usurper's heir, surrenders the throne to her younger sister Tormina.
  • Adaptational Heroism:
    • Marius is shown as a loving father and husband, in contrast to Matthias. He is not even shown kicking the dog like his original counterpart did, and he did not practice dark magic since he is revealed to be Dead All Along.
    • This version of Lady Death doesn't start out as an Omnicidal Maniac like the original version and only seeks to save her mother to rescue her mother from Sagos.
  • Ambiguously Gay: Azlando is heavily implied to be gay when he tells Lady Death that she is "not his type". When she later talks about him with his close friend Salacia, she reveals she has unrequited feelings for him, but knows he doesn't return them. That is all indication we are given about him, as he is not seen with any confirmed lovers.
  • Bad Boss: Being an insane ruler, the Death Queen naturally fits this trope. She has no qualms in killing allies being used as shield by enemies or executing her warriors for failing her. When Behemoth fails her too many times, she arranges to have him killed by informing Wargoth of his weak spots. Too bad it does Wargoth no good as Behemoth kills him anyways.
  • Bad People Abuse Animals: The first time we see Tormina, she decapitates a rabbit to fuel her scrying magic. In the third issue, the Death Queen asks her why she isn't off torturing animals somewhere.
  • Batman Gambit: Deconstructed. Belial tells the Death Queen that the rebels are hiding in New Aberffraw and she sends an invasion force to kill them. The ensuing battle also destroys the city's orchard where they grow a fruit the Death Queen needs to breed her army. The plan was to win New Aberffraw's allegiance by showing them just how capricious the Death Queen is. Unfortunately, Satasha easily deduces what the rebels did and the destruction of her city, along with the death of her wife Fenn, leads her to orchestrate Wargoth's death as revenge.
  • Bittersweet Ending: Apocalypse, the final story arc in this continuity, ends with Tormina and Valora dead, and Hope taking the throne in her sister's place.
  • The Blacksmith: The Silent One, though he is nowhere near as important a character as Cremator.
  • Blessed with Suck: After stepping through the Void, Lady Death emerges with some new powers such as flight and intangibility. Unfortunately, this comes with the cost of the Void frequently trying to override her will with its own in order to reap souls.
  • Blob Monster: Stigmata, one of the recurring adversaries of Lady Death, has the power to turn herself in liquid blood, was nearly invulnerable and had the power to take control of other people's body by invading them.
  • Blonde, Brunette, Redhead: Lady Death/Hope is the blonde, Wargoth is the brunette and Satasha is the redhead.
  • Brain Bleach: Tormina eavesdrops on Behemoth and the Death Queen to learn what the Infernal Engine does. Unfortunately, she doesn't get any information and all she hears is them having sex much to her disgust.
  • Brought Down to Badass: The Death Queen drains Lady Death's powers and sends her to the human world with no memory of who she is. Lady Death is still capable of taking care of herself. For example, she defeats a werewolf sent by the Death Queen to kill her and castrates a ship's captain who attempted to rape her.
  • Bury Your Gays: Satasha's wife Fenn is killed in Behemoth's attack on New Aberffraw within just the two issues of her appearance.
  • Cain and Abel: Sagos and Wargoth are revealed to be brothers, and the former succeeds in murdering the latter (albeit temporarily).
  • A Child Shall Lead Them: After Death Queen is killed, her young daughter Tormina is given the throne.
  • Comedic Spanking: This is how Lady Death punishes the villain of The Wicked for trapping her in a dream state.
  • Crystal Dragon Jesus: In the Avatar Comics, Maklu is the primary deity worshiped in the Blacklands, resembling a demonic version of Buddha. Oddly, he never appears in the story, but its established that he is a benevolent figure.
  • Dark Is Not Evil: Demons are not inherently evil. While some did follow the Death Queen, it was only out of fear not loyalty.
  • Despair Event Horizon: Satasha suffers a devastating one in the 2010 revival when her kingdom is assaulted by Death Queen forces looking for the rebels and her wife is murdered in the attack. She abdicates Aberffraw's throne, blames the attack on Wargoth and provides his rival Behemoth with the means to kill him, which he succeeds in doing so.
  • Doomed Hometown: Satasha's kingdom is razed several times by the villains.
  • Driven to Suicide: After all the struggles to reclaim the crystals and fear of the prophecy that she will destroy the world, Illadra tries to commit suicide by drowning. Unfortunately, she does this by jumping into the ocean that the Death Queen has opened a portal into in order to claim the final crystal. It is later revealed she actually did die and a piece of her was trapped in the void.
  • Easily Forgiven: Despite Satasha providing Behemoth the means to kill Wargoth in revenge for Fenn's death, Hope never holds her accountable for it. In fact, an evil spirit in form of Wargoth torments Hope for not doing anything about it, indicating that she holds some regret deep down over it.
  • Eldritch Location: The Void, located at the far limits of the Underrealm, where demons are believed to have come from. A giant barrier separates the Underrealm from it and once someone crosses it, they are trapped there. From the other side, it looks like a typical fire and brimstone hell with demons that simply don't die.
  • Enemy Mine: Lady Death and Stigmata put aside their differences when Wargoth is killed by Behemoth.
  • Eye Patch Of Power: Lady Death's angel ally Valora.
  • Erotic Dream: A dark variation: while inside the Void, Lady Death has a vision where she has sex with Mr. Fanservice Azlando and she wakes up next to his corpse, having killed him with her bare hands.
  • Evil Matriarch: The illusive Death Queen who is revealed to be none other than Mary, Lady Death's mother. While she has a sympathetic backstory (see Woobie, Destroyer of Worlds), she is a pretty deplorable mother to her other daughter Tormina.
  • Fantastic Racism: After the war with Death Queen, demons face vicious discrimination for siding with her even though they weren't the only tribe that allied with the Death Queen and they did so more out of self-preservation rather than any true loyalty to her. Under advise from Satyricon, Tormina has most demons hunted and killed with the rest being enslaved and having their breeding regulated.
  • Fat Bastard: Fung Wei is a vicious tyrant who has been corrupted by one of the crystals containing Lady Death's powers and memories. He is also obese and walks around shirtless.
  • Fiery Redhead: Averted with Satasha who is generally one of the more levelheaded characters. Played straight with the redheaded angel Dinah who, along with her companion Magdalyn, is very aggressive towards Lady Death and Wargoth when they come to the ruined city of Pallodyn.
  • Flames of Love: A rather disturbing variation occurs with the Death Queen and Behemoth. He walks in on her when she is using flames for sexual pleasure and they start having sex.
  • French Maid Outfit: Leviathat forces Lady Death to wear one of these in Lady Death Annual 1.
  • God Save Us from the Queen!: Lets just say that Death Queen really lives up to her name.
  • Grand Finale: The Avatar continuity as a whole receives a proper closure with Lady Death: Apocalypse.
  • Groin Attack: Lady Death disposes of a burly captain trying to force himself on her by stabbing him in the crotch. Really Tempting Fate there, since he already noted that she successfully fought off similar advances from the rest of his crew during the journey.
  • HA HA HA—No: Lady Death offers to spare Fung Wei's life if he gives her back her crystal and lets her and Hai go. Fung Wei looks like he contemplating this for a moment then laughs and orders her and Hai to fight to the death.
  • Heroic BSoD:
    • When Lady Death finds out pretty much everything after Satan's "death"" was his manipulating her, she suffers this and gets transformed into another creature, Lady Demon.
    • Satasha suffers one: first in Lady Death: Cursed when Sagos destroys Aberffraw, kills her father and brother and seemingly vaporizes Hope, as she loses the will to live and would have allowed Sagos' monsters to kill her if not for some allies' timely rescue.
  • I Hate Past Me: The more of her memories as Lady Death Illadra unlocks, the more she hates her past self.
  • The Immune: Demons are immune to the Direkinghts' bite. This is why Satyricon manipulates Tormina into killing them.
  • Impossibly Cool Weapon: As Illadra, Lady Death uses a chain weapon with a curved blade at the end.
  • Incompatible Orientation:
    • Wargoth has nurtured unrequited feelings for Satasha, even though he has been aware for a long time that she is a lesbian.
    • Lady Death and Salacia express attraction towards Azlando, but its implied he is either gay or asexual.
  • Insane Troll Logic: Satasha gets hit with this pretty badly in the 2010 revival when she blames Wargoth for the attack on Aberffraw by Death Queen's forces which lead to her wife's death. Her reasoning is that if she hasn't allowed Wargoth and his allies (who are fugitives from Death Queen) inside the city, none of this would have happened - but to her credit, she admits having as much fault for letting them in the first place. Regardless, her hatred for him is so intense that she provides Behemoth with a crystal capable of destroying Wargoth which he succeeds.
    • Not quite insane. By the rebels' own admission, they deliberately lured the Death Queen's forces to New Aberffraw so it would be destroyed. The plan was to win over Satasha's allegiance by showing her how capricious the Death Queen was but Satasha deduced what they had done.
  • Kingpin in His Gym: Issue 3 of the 2010 run has the Death Queen ruthlessly slaughtering her minions in a training session. The only one who is spared is the one who refuses to fight. She rewards him with a promotion.
  • Laser-Guided Amnesia: Lady Death is depowered and sent to Earth by the Death Queen. She loses her memory and takes on the name Illadra from a band of humans she meets. As she journey's across Earth, she unlocks more of her memories by finding magical crystals containing her powers.
  • Lipstick Lesbian: Satasha is every bit the Ms. Fanservice as Lady Death, and is revealed in the 2010 revival to be in relationship with a woman called Fenn. Sadly, her girlfriend is killed by one of Death Queen's monsters, as soon as she is introduced.
  • Luke, I Am Your Father: Death Queen is Lady Death's mother. Similar to the Trope Namer, Hope at one point mistakenly believes Death Queen killed her mother before the truth is discovered.
  • Magical Land: The Labyrinth is a Dark Fantasy realm where Hope is sentenced to by the Specters after making a deal with them. It's populated by human residents and demons, though sometimes individuals from our world end up there as non-human or monstruous like Sagos or Stigmata.
  • Malevolent Masked Woman: The Death Queen wears a white mask with a permanent grim to obscure her identity as Hope's mother.
  • Naïve Newcomer: Lady Death appoints Tormina as the new Queen of the under realm. However, Tormina's youth and lack of experience makes her an easy target of manipulation by Satyricon.
  • Oh, Crap!: This is Death Queen's reaction moments before Lady Death destroys the Infernal Engine.
  • The Only One Allowed to Defeat You:
    • Behemoth is so entitled towards killing Wargoth that he strangles a monster that swallowed his rival whole and forces it to spit him so he can kill him himself.
    • The werewolf the Death Queen sends after Lady Death/Illadra briefly teams up with her when he, Illadra and Hai are captured by Fung Wei.
  • Pirate Girl: In the aptly named Lady Death: Pirate Queen one-shot comic, she is re-imagined as captain of her own pirate ship called "The Requiem", crewed by both humans and zombies and yes, she also spoke with the distinctive accent. While published under the Avatar print, its not canon with any other stories and takes place in its own self-contained continuity.
  • Recycled Plot: Lady Death losing her memories and powers and having to team up with humans was done in the Chaos! continuity. She even takes on a human alias like in the original story.
  • Replacement Goldfish: While not brought up, but one reader can notice that Evil Ernie bears an uncanny semblance to Hope's first boyfriend Niccolo. This is one of the reasons why Lady Death chose him as his lover.
  • Rewarded as a Traitor Deserves: One member of the resistance betrays them to the Death Queen by revealing the location of their hideout. She executes him almost immediately as one of her advisers put it "today's opportunist is tomorrow's traitor".
  • Sensible Heroes, Skimpy Villains: What few truly heroic characters there were usually adhered to the trope, while Lady Death herself is pretty typical of how much fabric most villains wore.
  • Sex for Solace: While in New Aberffraw, Lady Death is provided a trio of male prostitutes as "distracting comforts". Unfortunately, they do nothing to improve her dark mood and she tells them to leave.
  • Shoot the Shaggy Dog Story: Lady Death does everything within her power to rescue her mother from Sagos. She succeeds in destroying Sagos but her mother is whisked away to another dimension by demons where she is tortured and raped repeatedly until she breaks and becomes the Death Queen. Lady Death ends up having to kill her to stop her plans for genocide across the realms and to put her out of her misery.
  • Sink or Swim Mentor: Wargoth. He pledged himself to teach her how survive in the Blacklands, but he makes it clear that he decides how to do it and it often involves putting Hope against great dangers without warning that would likely kill anybody else. One particular asshole example: in order to acquire an Infinity +1 Sword held by a local king, he arranged to sell Hope and Satasha as concubines to him, placing them in a very degrading situation with the possibility of them getting raped. When they succeed in fighting them off, its revealed Wargoth and the king were working together the whole time and have set up the whole situation as a test for Hope. She was most definitely not amused when she found out.
  • Waterfall Shower: Very frequently depicted this in the cover art, and sometimes in the storyline.
  • What the Hell, Hero?: In order to save the people of New Aberffraw from starvation and death, Satasha forms an alliance with the Death Queen. Satasha's kingdom provides the Death Queen with pomalutine, a fruit that ensures female demons can give birth to soldiers for her army and in return, Satasha's people are given enough livestock and grain to survive. Lady Death minces no words in letting her friend know how angry she is over this.
  • White Hair, Black Heart: The Death Queen.
  • Woobie, Destroyer of Worlds: The Death Queen in spades. Originally Hope's mother Marion, she was kidnapped, raped and tortured by demons for years, until she had resurfaced as a powerful witch with the intent to take over the Underrealm and gets revenge on the people she felt had abandoned her to her grievous fate.
  • Woman Scorned:
    • Stigmata was once married to Wargoth but then he left her because he didn't want to be tied down. Stigmata didn't forgive him for that until his death.
    • Subverted with this continuity's version of Leviatha. One of her minions claims that she was once married to a man named Claudarious who left her for another woman and since then she has traversed the realms looking to find the woman who stole him from her. It is revealed that Claudarious was absolutely devoted to Leviatha in spite of her unwarranted jealousy. Her paranoia that he was unfaithful to her led her to kill him and then herself. The Leviatha we see in the story is actually a ghost that refuses to rest in peace.
  • Your Mind Makes It Real: The Void does this to whoever crosses it. When Hope enters the Void, it looks like the typical fire and brimstone Hell and its discovered her powers don't work there and the enemies don't die. Then she is subjected to several different visions, including relieving the moment of her death and facing the ghosts of her fallen allies. An entity that lives there called "Agony" reveals that everything around her is molded by her mind - even her two allies who accompanied her and seemingly died along the way are revealed to be visions as well, having died the moment they crossed the portal.

Waldorf: This is the first Death I've ever seen with an hourglass figure!
Statler: Y'know, at our age, jokin' about The Grim Reaper probably isn't a good idea...
Waldorf: Huh. Ya got a point there. Guess it's not that bright to tempt Death.
Statler: ...of course, I might not mind if it was her!
Both: Do-ho-ho-ho-hoh!

     Coffin Comics Continuity 
  • Adaptational Villainy:In the Avatar Press continuity, Caprice was the Token Heroic Orc of the Eldritch. Here, she seeks to wipe out humanity and has corrupted Lady Death to achieve this.
  • All Just a Dream: The events of the Avatar continuity are stated to be a dream conjured by Lady Death's enemies while she slept.
  • Armed Females, Unarmed Males: Lady Death's two children are Gunnar and Chaotica. Gunnar is male and possesses the power of Teleportation and Hellfire while Chaotica is a female Magic Knight who uses a weapon resembling a kusarigama.
  • Avenging the Villain: Hellwitch hates Lady Death for killing her adoptive father Seance.
  • Back for the Dead:
    • After two decades of absence from the title, Lady Death's beloved steed Vassago returns in the Coffin continuity. Unfortunately, he is poisoned by Atrocitas in "Extinction Express" and dies in Oblivion Kiss. He is revived as a skeletal horse in Apocalyptic Abyss.
    • Seance, a villain from the Chaos! continuity also briefly appears before being swiftly killed by Lady Death.
    • Brock, the blacksmith troll from the Chaos run is killed in Scorched Earth.
  • Born of Heaven and Hell: Atrocitas, the assassin sent after Lady Death is a demon-angel hybrid.
  • Brainwashed and Crazy: Blasphemy Anthem ends with Lady Death supposedly pulling a Heel–Face Turn. Malevolent Decimation seems to suggest that she has been corrupted by a mysterious woman who has plans on wiping out humanity. Treacherous Infamy reveals that the mysterious woman is Caprice and she has merged Lady Death with her past evil self. Eventually, her control over Lady Death is broken.
  • Deader than Dead: Lady Death's new sword Chaos can send the dead to oblivion. This can be used to spare those who wish to escape the eternal torment of Hell.
  • Even Evil Has Loved Ones:
    • Hellwitch seeks revenge on Lady Death for killing her adoptive father Seance.
    • Herr Reich is a Nazi and his mother Ada is the only person he cares about. Lady Death takes her hostage to make him release Jake. He refuses and she kills Ada after Jake is rescued as retribution for the people she and her son have tortured and killed.
  • Everyone Has Standards: While Lady Death is no saint, she is a lot more moral than the villains she is dealing with and is openly disgusted by their vile actions. She kills Ada Reich for being a Nazi and expresses open revulsion as seeing condemned souls liquified into Karvaka's Fantastic Drug.
  • Hoist by His Own Petard:
    • Jake kills Heirr Reich using the machine arm he implanted into him.
    • As revenge for enslaving her and letting her horse Vassago die Lady Death kills Karvaka by force-feeding him the unprocessed form of the drug he makes from liquified human souls. The same drug he used to control her.
  • I Have Boobs, You Must Obey!: Hanax is placed under a spell that turns him against Lady Death. When her own magic fails to free him she resorts to showing him her breasts. It doesn't work either as the magic is too strong.
  • Intrepid Reporter: Macy Mack in Scorched Earth and Blasphemy Anthem. Staring down cyborg mercenaries and powerful demons that wiped a city off the face of the Earth doesn't slow her down for a minute.
  • Loves the Sound of Screaming: While torturing Muuaji, Lady Death describes his screams as "music to [her] ears".
  • Mad Doctor: Frau Helga was a nurse who murdered ninety-eight people during World War 2. She was about to claim her ninety-ninth victim when she was caught and executed.
  • Magitek: Hell has undergone a more modernized make over. In addition to hellish variations of human technology like trains and motorcycles, we also have machines for harvesting souls. New character Jake is also a technomancer, a sorcerer who can manipulate technology and his body is implanted with demonic Nanomachines.
  • Mistaken for Prostitute: Gunnar assumes Chaotica is a prostitute when she approaches him at a night club. She snarkily responds that even if she were a prostitute, he couldn't afford her.
  • Suspiciously Similar Substitute: Hellwitch for Purgatori, as Pulido no longer has rights to the character.
  • Surprise Incest: Gunnar expresses obvious attraction to both Chaotica and Lady Death. He is naturally shocked and a little horrified when Brock reveals they are his sister and mother respectively.
  • Too Dumb to Live: In Oblivion's Kiss, Karvaka and Demonika capture Lady Death and brainwash Lady Death into being a dancer. Rather than killing her immediately, they host an auction for her attended by demons who have a grudge against her. One of them points out that the longer they leave Lady Death alive, the more the chance of her breaking free and killing them increases. This is exactly what happens courtesy of Hanax.
  • The Unmasqued World: Humans have become aware of the supernatural world and there are mercenaries and organizations dedicated to hunting them. Lady Death also has a cult dedicated to her.

     2004 Animated Movie 
  • Adaptational Heroism: The movie excises Lady Death's initial goal of trying to cause the mass extinction of humanity and portrays her as a straightforward heroine who seeks to liberate Hell from Lucifer's tyranny.
  • Adaptation Distillation: "Kill all humans" was completely removed from this version, playing her as a straight hero like her CrossGen and Avatar counterparts. Additionally, her father Matthias and Lucifer were made the same person instead of two characters fighting each others.
  • Human-Demon Hybrid: This version of the titular character is the daughter of a human woman and Lucifer, the ruler of hell.
  • One-Book Author: Andy Orjuela is mainly known as a graphic designer/art director/additional voice actor for the now-defunct ADV Films, but to date, this is his only directing job.
  • Related in the Adaptation: Lucifer is Lady Death's father in this version.