Death in the DC Universe
Death first appeared in DC's Weird War Tales
, presiding over tales of soldiers and wars but has also appeared to oher DC characters in various forms. Usually he is depicted as a skeleton, either in military garb or more traditonal Grim Reaper style clothing. In one issue of Swamp Thing
, he appeared as a middle aged man along side the Phantom Stranger
(seemingly based on the film Death Takes a Holiday
) and married a newly deceased woman named Maggie Brennan. She taught Death to show compasion for the newly dead in order to help them better make the transition. This aspect is strangley in line with the Death of the Endless
that would be created later.
Other versions of Death in the DCU
- The Black Racer ( main article)
The avatar of Death for the New Gods of Apokalips.
Sgt. Willie Walker was Vietnam War Veteran called upon by Darkseid to take the role of Death. He rides a pair of Black Skies.
The Grim Reaper of the Speed Force
, Black Flash is the manifistation of Death for speedsters in the DCU.
Originally thought of as another avatar of Death, Nekron was revealed to be more of an avatar of Darkness, a ruler of Death with the power to raise the Dead and create Black Power Rings
How these characters relate to each other is unclear. It is possible, that Death appears in different forms according to its own will or thought the perception of the person veiwing him. An issue of Captain Atom
42) attempted to explain the various versions as different aspects of Death. Nekron was "Death as the Ultimate Opponent", Black Racer was "Death as an Inevitability" and Death of the Endless was "Death as the Release, as Mercy, as Compassion." Neil Gaiman
rejected this view point and stated that Death of the Endless was indeed the ultimate personification of Death in the DC (and Vertigo
Death of the Endless Main Article
Neil Gaiman's creation is the most popular and currently used version of Death in both DC and Vertigo. Other than her numerous Vertigo apperances, she has appeared in titles including Ambush Bug Special
, Legion of Superheroes
and most recently Action Comics