Follow TV Tropes


Death Of A Child / Comic Books

Go To

DC Comics

  • In America vs. the Justice Society, Green Lantern Alan Scott recalls the death of a child that took place during his battle of Wotan, an event that affected him so greatly that he resigned for several years as the Justice Society's chairman. The death, as it turns out, was that of a child that Ian Karkull realized would someday become a United States President.
  • The death of Arthur Jr., Aquaman's infant son during The '70s, who was killed in issue 60 after he was suffocated by Aquaman's nemesis, Black Manta. Notable in that the death occurred at a time when The Comics Code of Authority's censorship standards were still rather strict.
  • Advertisement:
  • In one issue of The Authority, the villains blow up a maternity ward full of babies, failing to get a specific baby that they were too lazy to check was there.
  • Batman:
    • Batman's arch enemy The Joker has killed many children. Some examples include the brutal killing of 15 year old Jason Todd in "A Death in the Family" and on at least one occasion he blew up a school full of children.
    • In Flashpoint, Joe Chill accidentally kills 8 year old Bruce Wayne instead of his parents.
    • Two/Three Robins have died. Damian was around ten while the above mentioned Jason was fifteen. Both ended up revived in the end, though Jason Came Back Wrong. Stephanie was sixteen, had been fired as Robin the week before, and the way her death was handled and mandated caused such an uproar it was later retconned to have been faked.
  • In the current Booster Gold series, the bad guys will deal with their foes by smothering them in the cradle. This actually befalls Rex Hunter, and requires Rip Hunter to completely conceal his origin, and Booster Gold to keep and reinforce his reputation as Fun Personified, because they know they do not have Infant Immortality.
  • Advertisement:
  • In Final Crisis: Rogues' Revenge, Libra attempts to coerce the Rogues into joining the Secret Society by holding the Weather Wizard's baby son hostage. The psychotic speedster Inertia, who had been released on Libra's own orders, decides to derail the plan and casually blows the baby up. Shortly thereafter, the Rogues kill him.
  • Often occurs in Teen Titans, not with the members themselves but by their children. And this usually only happens to the five founding members:
    • Donna Troy's son and stepdaughter were both killed in a car crash, along with their father.
    • Wally West's twin children were aborted in the womb by the second Zoom, although this was undone some issues later and the two are currently alive.
    • Baby Wildebeest also applies, as while he could shift from child to full grown monster, he was still technically a child when Superboy-Prime blew a hole through his torso.
    • Tempest's wife and infant son were both missing since Infinite Crisis, and it was only later stated the two had been dead since.
    • Advertisement:
    • Finally, Roy Harper's daughter Lian, the very first Titan child, was crushed to death in Justice League: Cry for Justice during the destruction of Star City.
  • In Robin Ulysses Armstrong accidentally kills his brother and sister when he sets off a bomb right next to the parked car they're sitting in. While his brother was a young teen his sister was quite young and as he actually cared about them he blames Robin for their deaths even though he's the one who built the bomb and pressed the button to set it off.
  • Wonder Woman:
    • Wonder Woman (1987): Medusa gleefully murders the young child of one of the embassy workers while Diana tries to save him. This death is what motivates Diana that Medusa cannot be dealt with without killing her, and agree to a duel to the death once Medusa invokes Ares and is under his relative protection.
    • The infamous Amazons Attack opens with members of the tribe butchering a father vacationing in Washington, D.C. with his son.... and then as the child starts crying they slaughter him too. It all goes downhill from there, folks...
  • A particularly infamous example is New 52 Harley Quinn giving out various handheld video games to both children and adults, then setting off the bombs while crying and being portrayed as an outright hero in another book in the same continuity the next week.

  • The Sandman has a sequence with Death doing her rounds. One of the people she collects is a young baby, a victim of cot death when its mother leaves the room to warm a bottle for it.
    Infant's Spirit: That's it? That's all I get?
    Death: I'm afraid so.
  • Watchmen:
    • The Comedian, in a flashback scene, blows away a Vietnamese woman pregnant with his own child.
    • There's Rorschach investigating the case of Blaire, a very young girl who has been abducted... He finds her too late; she has already been murdered and her remains fed to the killer's dogs.

Marvel Comics

  • "The Gauntlet" arc from the Brand New Day story sees longtime recurring Spider-Man character Billy Conners getting eaten alive by his own father after the Lizard side completely takes him over.
  • In Marvel Comics Captain Mar-Vell series, Genis time-travels to the future and meets his own evil, power-mad son, Ely. To defeat him, Genis time-travels again and murders his son in the cradle. 'Cause raising him not to be evil and power-mad would be too much work?

  • The Planetary issue introducing the Big Bads has them disposing of the local-reality analogues of Green Lantern, Superman, and Wonder Woman before they assume their Super Hero identities. Naturally, the Superman analogue is a baby at the time, and is killed entirely offhandedly. And let's NOT go into how Drummer was rescued... Worst. Rescue. Ever. Indeed.
  • In the "One Man's War" one-shot of Preacher, a young girl gets half of her head blown off in the crossfire between special forces operatives and terrorists.
  • The Punisher MAX:
    • It's revealed in a flashback that General Zakharov, in order to draw an enemy force out of hiding, THREW A BABY OFF A CLIFF.
    • In another story arc Mafia boss Nicky Cavella killed a rival boss' young son and fed him to him.
  • Marvel Comics: One of the things that made Magneto from X-Men turn into a psycho would-be world conqueror was the death by fire of his daughter Anya, who was somewhere between the ages of 2 and 5. A group of humans were attempting to beat Magneto, possibly to death, for having extorted his full pay out of a cheating boss with powers he had just manifested that day, while at the same time his daughter was screaming out the window of the second story of an inn on fire. Having just learned he had powers, he couldn't control them well enough to free himself of his attackers and save his daughter until she had burned to death, at which point he went temporarily insane and killed everyone except his wife (everyone on the street, at least, and some sources indicate possibly everyone in the city). This led his wife to run from him in terror. It is possible that the fire at the inn was arson, given the remarkable coincidence of the inn burning down at the same time as the gang attacking him.
  • Ultimate Marvel
    • Ultimate X-Men had a Sentinel incinerating a young mutant mother and her infant.
    • Ultimate Vision: During the final battle Tarleton overrides Dima's personality (an artificial girl) and turns her into a living bomb, that blows up the Gah Lak Tus module. It granted victory and saved the world, but enraged Vision.
  • Runaways: Gert dies, becoming one of the first teen superheroes to do so.
  • In the Maximum Carnage storyline Carnage killed several children in his rampage.
  • Innocence Lost:
    • X-23's first mission is the assassination of a presidential candidate. It ends as a bloody rampage in which she killed the candidate, his wife, his children, and everyone else in the room.
    • It's strongly implied that Laura killed other children on her missions for the Facility, as well.
  • In a What If? story following the idea of the Fantastic Four members having the same powers as the Human Torch, the death of a child during a fight with a monster became such a heartbreaking moment that it caused the team to disband and three of its members to pursue non-superhero goals.


  • Les Légendaires plays with this trope interestingly: the story takes place in a world where, thanks to a curse, everyone is trapped in a children's body and unable to grow up beyond the age of twelve. And the series is not afraid to kill off characters, so we do see children being killed every time someone die onscreen, but they aren't necessarily technically children.
  • In Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles (IDW), Hamato Yoshi's sons were killed. The titular turtles are their reincarnations.
  • Quite horrifically portrayed in the series Crawlspace: XXXombies, when the zombie outbreak hits a maternity ward.
  • In Fray, Urkonn the demon Watcher kills a young girl Fray regards as her little sister, then blames it on the vampires in order to spur her into defeating the vampires.
  • In The Unfunnies, Troy Hicks murders a lot of people in the universe of his comic strip The Funnies, and that includes children.
  • In The Walking Dead's Wham Issue, Rick's baby is among the many casualties. Aside from that, several of the zombies in the background are children.
  • In The Wicked + The Divine. The entire point of the recurrence is that the gods are incarnated as young adults, who will die within two years. Minerva, the youngest, will be dead before she's fourteen.

How well does it match the trope?

Example of:


Media sources: