Follow TV Tropes

Following

Mercy Kill / Comic Books

Go To

  • In 100 Bullets, Wylie Times does this to Gabe, a dimunative, ugly Butt-Monkey, who only has his uncanny talent at playing the trumpet going for him. Gabe's jaw had been destroyed by a bear trap while running away from a gunfight, putting an end to his musical prospects.
  • In the first Alien vs. Predator miniseries, one of the human survivors suddenly dies to a chest-burster. Another immediately realizes he's in for the same fate because he was cocooned and left unconscious in the hive with the first victim. Machiko Naguchi offers him a mercy kill, and the Predator in the group even offers to do it for her. Machiko insists on doing it herself since she's already promised to, but accepts when the Predator loans her a plasma cannon to make it quick and painless for the host.
  • Advertisement:
  • One of the many "Commando" pulp comic war stories, "Sunderland Ahoy", turned on an RAF fighter pilot taking pity on a trapped Stuka gunner and acting on the German's signal to shoot him. Since his fellow officers and superiors alike didn't see exactly what happened, they are scandalized by his bloodthirsty conduct and he is transferred to the highly unglamorous flying-boat patrols. Eventually, though, a chance meeting with the brother of the man he killed — who did hear the whole story, and is grateful — sees his name cleared.
  • An issue of The Savage Sword of Conan saw him attempt the rescue a young maiden from the stronghold of a bunch of monsters. The maiden tells him that he arrived too late and the beasts had already started to turn her into a brood mother (one of which Conan had already encountered and slain). She begs him not to let her become one of them. Conan does so, with the closest thing he has to a prayer for her soul.
  • Advertisement:
  • After tagalong nobody Ugly John is mortally wounded by a Sentinel, Cyclops puts him out of his misery — at Wolverine's insistence.
  • Doctor Strange was forced to kill his own mentor, the Ancient One, to prevent Shuma-Gorath from using his mind as a conduit to enter their world. Said mentor was dying anyway, and after death he became one with Eternity, sticking around as a spirit adviser to Strange (who was understandably upset over what he'd had to do).
  • In a Dungeon Twilight one-shot story, the protagonist Noyeuse saw her friend being raped by one of the Great Khan's officers. Since she can't blow her cover and can't fight every soldier in the room, she decided to kill her friend. The officer barely cared and just kept going.
  • In Elfquest, Skywise ends his mortally-wounded wolf's suffering after its throat is torn open by another wolf. After Tyldak was mortally wounded by humans, Kahvi slit his throat to end it at his request.
  • Advertisement:
  • In A History of Violence, the protagonist Joey finds his childhood friend Richie in the hands of the mob that they'd attacked and ripped off decades earlier. Richie had been caught early on and tortured the entire time. When Joey finds him, he is barely recognizable as human. Richie pleads for death, and Joey hesitantly grants it.
  • In the Justice League tie-in story to the Legends (DC) event of 1986, the second Commander Steel, Henry Heywood III, has most of his flesh burned away by an android built by Professor Ivo. His grandfather, the original Commander Steel, puts him on life support but euthanizes him after recognizing that he will never wake up.
  • Subverted in Knights of the Dinner Table. After Windel the hireling is wounded by a dragon, Bob thinks he's begging him for this, and kills him.
    Sara: “Actually, I think Windel was pleading for not to kill him, Bob. His wounds weren’t really that serious.”
  • In the first story arc from the anthology series Marvel Fanfare, after being transformed into the Man-Spider Spider-Man begs Kazaar to kill to him while he still has some of his mind left. Kazaar complies, but in the end it's averted as Karl Lykos absorbs the mutated energy from him and turns him back to normal.
  • Morbius the Living Vampire's ex-fiancée Martine tracks him down with the explicit intent of curing him or killing him if that fails. "One way or another, I'm not going to let him suffer anymore."
  • Preacher
    • Subverted when Jesse Custer, in his final confrontation with the Meat Man (who is making out with a woman made of raw meat), says that he has seen many fucked up-things in his life: "If this is not a mercy killing, then I do not know what is."
    • The Meat Man was also already painfully dying after being struck by lightning.
    • During the Saint of Killers' arc, he runs into a destroyed caravan. One of the settlers was still alive, only able to repeat "Kill me".
    • Cassidy ends up inside a Serial Killer's apartment, where the still-living victim has had his face peeled off and nailed back upside down.
      "Kuh muh."
  • Providence set in an Alternate Universe of Lovecraft Country features Robert Chambers' "Lethal Chambers" built in public parks, where suicides can walk into a park in a relaxing room and self-euthanize themselves.
  • The Punisher: Born: During Frank Castle's last tour in Vietnam, his squad captures a Vietcong soldier who turns out to be a woman. As the squad is about to gang-rape her, Frank shows up and shoots her in the head, later sneaking up on the Sociopathic Soldier who had the brilliant idea and drowning him. After another soldier who witnessed both events asks him, Frank justifies the former by saying that if he'd kept the girl alive, she'd have been put on a helicopter and interrogated by intelligence, who'd rape her anyway, not to mention losing the rest of the squad's trust.
  • Red Hood and the Outlaws: The Talon in the Night of the Owls tie-in asks this of Jason.
  • Red Sonja lands one on a bear mortally wounded in Kalayah's arena.
  • In The Sandman, Morpheus' son Orpheus was torn apart by the Maenads and reduced to an Oracular Head. He begged his father to kill him, but Morpheus (who was a pretty cold-hearted jerk in the past, even more so than in the present) refused since he was offended that Orpheus had ignored his advice to let go of Eurydice. Two and a half thousand years later, Morpheus and Orpheus reconciled, and Morpheus finally gave Orpheus the death he wanted. This Mercy Kill dooms Morpheus, since killing his own son made him a viable target for the Furies. That, and he wanted to be punished for what he had done to Orpheus.
    • In the issue "Facade", Element Girl is depicted as having become a washout as a superhero and a shut-in too ashamed of her appearance to ever leave her apartment, with her depression having grown to the point that she wants to die but can't, due to the nature of her powers. When Death happens upon her (she was there for someone else, but heard Element Girl's distress), she takes pity and gives advice on how to beg Ra to take away her powers, which results in her body disintegrating, finally killing her.
  • The World War II comic Sgt. Rock has an interesting variant on this: One of the Easy Company soldiers is trapped in a burning barn after a skirmish, screaming for someone to put him out of his misery. The sergeant and other men hesitate over what to do, before the barn collapses into a ball of flame, along with the man's dying screams, and his soul is snatched up by the Devil. Seems he'd made a Deal with the Devil that he'd never die by gunfire...
  • At the end of Siege, The Sentry, having been pummeled back to his senses by The Avengers, begs the heroes to kill him lest his Super-Powered Evil Side the Void came back. Thor, at first, refuses as he wants Sentry to pay for his crimes against Asgard. However, the Void starts to manifest once more and Thor is forced to strike him down.
  • Star Wars: Darth Vader: Happens after Morit pushes his own sister into a lava pit after Aiolin had just saved his life, resulting in an able to relate Vader of all people, pulling her out and killing her quickly instead of leaving her to burn.
  • Occurs in Strikeforce: Morituri where the heroes find four people who were secretly subjected to the Morituri Effect and were accidentally turned into super-powered deformed monsters. The "mutants" were euthanized at their request.
  • Amanda Waller does this to Duren after he is mutated by Regulus's bomb in Suicide Squad #0. It was this act that made her determined that any future special ops team she commanded would be composed of disposable operatives.
  • 2000 AD:
    • Judge Dredd:
      • Dredd's former academy classmate, Raider, does this to his wife when she gets fatal radiation poisoning.
      • Dredd and a squad of judges in radiation suits shoot some civilians who wander into a radiated zone in "The Apocalypse War" at their own request.
      • Dredd gives his horribly mutated clone Nimrod a mercy kill after Nimrod saved his niece Vienna's life during the Total War atomic bombings.
    • Fiends of the Eastern Front: Hans kills his friend Karl at his request so that he won't be turned into a vampire.
  • Sideswipe does this to captured, tortured, and mutilated human companion, Hunter O'Nion at the end of The Transformers: All Hail Megatron.
  • Ultimate Marvel
    • In Ultimate X-Men, Wolverine does this for Jesse, a boy whose mutant power is to generate radiation that kills everyone around him. There are other factors at work, including the fact that the U.S. government had sent Wolverine to do this and how bad the truth would be for the mutant community, but it's presented as sparing a boy from a Fate Worse than Death.
    • Ultimate Wolverine: Zoe had to get one after her Mothervine mutation started.
  • Played for rather dark laughs in one Willie And Joe panel: a Cavalry sergeant standing over a Jeep with a broken axle, about to shoot it like a horse with a broken leg.
  • When X-23 was a child, her handlers gave her a puppy to kill. After an hour, she hadn't killed it. They said they would kill it in the most painful way possible and make her watch unless she mercy killed it. Later during X-Force, the team comes across an alternate universe version of her friend Kiden Nixon, who is being used by the Big Bad for her time manipulation powers. Laura is ordered to do this as there's no other way to help her or stop the villain, but notably can't bring herself to do it and someone else has to do it for her.
  • In canon X-Men (as in, Earth-616), Wolverine tries to do this to Jean. Both were in a spaceship hurtling towards the sun (very, very long story) and Jean was terrified of being burned alive, likely because she'd gone through that before. Wolverine decides to do it quickly, impaling her with his claws. Of course, who should show up then but the Phoenix Force, who heals and rescues both of them.
    • Prior to this, Wolverine had to do this for Mariko Yashida, the woman he loved; she had just been poisoned by an enemy of Wolverine's, and she explicitly asked him to kill her now so that she would be spared the pain and agony of the death she would have otherwise suffered.
Top

How well does it match the trope?

Example of:

/

Media sources:

/

Report