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Face Death With Dignity / Comic Books

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  • In All Fall Down, Siphon manages to achieve this.
  • Parodied in Asterix and Cleopatra; when Cleopatra thinks that the Gauls are trying to kill her, she launches into a grand speech on how a queen faces death with dignity, and Asterix has to interrupt her to explain himself.
    • A similar incident happens in Asterix and the Belgians when the heroes corner Julius Caesar, who assumes his most regal expression and informs them that he intends to sell his distinguished life dearly.
  • In Gotham Underground, the Penguin finds himself on the losing side of a war against Intergang, with his government contact dead, his dragon having deserted him, and all his Mooks scared off. He's got the chance to flee the city, but instead becomes a Badass in a Nice Suit, readies his best umbrella, dismisses his employees with generous severance packages, and wills the Iceberg Lounge to the Riddler before settling down with a bottle of wine and the ol' tommygun umbrella to await his killers. The Bat crew save him, but it's still classy.
    • Also, in Detective Comics Issue #64 ("The Joker Walks the Last Mile"), after turning himself in, confessing to a long list of crimes and getting the death sentence, the Joker walks to his execution, confident that he will make a fresh start once he pays the ultimate penalty with his life, and once his mooks follow through on his plan and bring him Back from the Dead.
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  • In Crisis on Infinite Earths, an antimatter wave destroyes Earth-Three. Realising that his universe is doomed and nothing can stop it, Ultraman calmly declares "I fight to the very end!" and flies directly into the wave, instantly ceasing to exist.
  • In Final Crisis, Tawky Tawny is completely exhausted after kicking Kalibak's ass. When Tawny sees Kalibak's tiger warriors surrounding him, he calmly states that he wishes he could have met them under better circumstances, straightens his bowtie, and shuts his eyes telling them to do their worst. Seconds later, when he realizes he isn't dead yet, he opens his eyes and sees the tiger warriors bowing down to him since they now consider him to be their leader.
  • In the Green Lantern: Lights Out series, Relic drains and destroys the Blue Centeral Power Battery. Brother Warth and the other Blue Lanterns use what's left of their rings' energy to help save Saint Walker and several other heroes. After this they sit down to meditate, with Warth stating their Catchphrase, "All will be well."
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  • In The Infinity Gauntlet saga, Thanos has slaughtered countless beings - including many Marvel heroes. Captain America has just seen a number die with his own eyes and all were more powerful than he is. Cap knows he can't win, but rather than run, he walks right up to Thanos' face and looks him in the eye.
    Captain America: As long as one man stands against you, you'll never claim victory.
    Thanos: Noble sentiments from one who is about to die.
    Captain America: I've lived my life by those words. They're well worth dying for.
  • In Johnny the Homicidal Maniac, probably the only non-Asshole Victim of Johnny (Edgar) dies like this, which confuses Johnny. When asked, Edgar explains that, despite his hardships, he will always have faith, saying that he will go to heaven and Johnny will go to hell, so he has nothing to fear.
    Johnny: I envy you your conviction. *Turns on brutal killing machine*
  • Sin City:
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    • When Marv learns that the guy he's going up against is Cardinal Roark, he realizes that it's going to kill him, whether he takes down Roark or not. He decides to press on: "Hell, dying will be nothing. I'll die laughing if I know I've done this one thing right." And so he does.
    • Also Hartigan's decision in That Yellow Bastard to kill himself to protect Nancy from Senator Roark's wrath.
      Hartigan: An old man dies. A young woman lives. Fair trade. -BOOM-
    • While it's difficult to talk about dignity in respect to an Ax-Crazy cannibal, Kevin meets his horrible end with commendable stoicism and a smile.
    • The woman in the short story "The Customer Is Always Right". Though not mentioned in the story itself, she breaks off a relationship with a gangster, who vows vengeance. Knowing she would die regardless, she hires "The Salesman" to give her a Mercy Kill.
  • In Wanted, Doll-Master is calm and accepting of his impending death when Mr. Rictus and his men come for him during their elimination of the American Fraternity chapter. All he asks of them is that they leave his face intact for when his wife and children find him. When they reveal that they already killed his family beforehand, Doll-Master unleashes his dolls in retaliation.
  • Shakara: Dr. Procopio calmly accepts her execution at the hands of Shakara for her complicity in their genocide by engineering the virus that destroyed them.
  • Star Wars: Darth Vader provides a master-class example in the form of the death scene of Inspector Thanoth, who goes to Darth Vader personally to tell him information Vader needs to know and would immediately kill him after due to He Knows Too Much, rather than waste his time and resources with a manhunt that could be better served "rescuing the Empire from itself". Right before telling him said information, he graciously states It Has Been an Honor, and braces himself for the end. This man knows how to face death with class. Vader, for his part, ends his life quickly with his lightsaber rather than his usual execution method.
  • The Dastardly and Muttley in Their Flying Machines story "Truce Or Consequences" (Hanna-Barbera Fun-In #10, January 1972), had Yankee Doodle Pigeon being lured to the enemy's side during a 24-hour truce, where he's hypnotized and cajoled into posing for photos depicting him as a traitor. With thirty seconds left in the truce and finding himself AWOL, Yankee Doodle consigns himself to the ultimate journey. Suddenly subverted when his last words—"ABOUT FACE!"—cause Muttley to turn the cannon aimed at him towards Dastardly.
  • Raptors: The old man who becomes Drago's first victim is very cordial towards his executioner, and they have a pleasant conversation beforehand. He even gives Drago his only picture of Drago's late mother, who he used to be in love with before she chose Drago's father.
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