We’d all love to live past our prime, see the distant future, and see if the world is a better place.Â Of course we could end up spending a millenium sitting on our porch yelling at kids to get off our lawn.Â Unless science discovers the immortal pill, we’re all going to die eventually, which means we have to live out our longevity fantasies in comics, movies, and television.
To help your fantasies along, we’ve gathered together the top ten immortals in one list, from number 10 all the way to numero uno!
10.Â Wolverine (The Incredible Hulk #180, October 1974)
With all the reboots to Wolverine’s origin, it is hard to tell if Wolverine is immortal, or if he has a really good medical plan.Â James “Logan” Howlett’s healing factor allows him to quickly recover from any wound or poison (but apparently not from a zombie bite).Â The most extreme example of Wolverine’s healing powers happen when all his body tissue is burned away from his body, leaving only his Adamantium skeleton.Â Moments later, everything regenerates like nothing happened (Wolverine #43).
While his healing powers make him appear immortal, Wolverine can be killed if you hurl him into the Sun, decapitate him with a magic sword, give him metal poisoning, or by drowning.Â Considering how he is able to come back from anything, I’d suggest you do all of the above.
9.Â Darth Sion (Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic II: The Sith Lords)
The Lord of Pain lived during the Old Sith Wars in a galaxy far far away.Â Instead of dying, Sion could use The Force and his pain, anger, and hatred, to achieve immortality.Â Unfortunately, he didn’t have the ability to heal mortal wounds, thus over time his body decomposed, until he looked like some undead, light wielding, Sith Lord.Â Darth Sion eventually let go of the Force, allowing himself to die on Malachor V.
8.Â Connor MacLeod (The Highlander, March 1986)
Connor MacLeod of the Clan MacLeod introduced us to the legend of The Quickening, and why it is best to keep our head on our shoulders.Â A foundling, Connor later discovers his immortality when a conk on the head fails to kill him.Â Â An outcast, MacLeod wanders the land until he settles down to live a life with his young wife. With the help of mentor Juan Sanchez Villa-Lobos Ramirez, MacLeod learns to defend himself against those who wish to take his head.
Like others on our list, MacLeod has to witness the death of loved ones, and has to change his identity every couple of decades to keep from being burned at the stake, and to keep himself hidden from other immortals who wish to gather his Quickening power.
7.Â Eternals (The Eternals #1 July 1976)
The Celestials, a race of alien being,Â came to Earth five million years ago and began doing genetic experiments on the pre-human population.Â Â These superhumans became the Eternals, who wage war against the Deviants, and protect humanity.
The Eternals are able to reproduce, but the result is usually a normal human.Â This has caused the race of beings to distance themselves from civilization, only appearing when needed.
6.Â Ra’s Al Ghul (Batman #232, June 1971)
Batman’s most worthy opponent, The Death’s Demon’s Head has a very different way of keeping himself alive.Â Instead of a healing factor, or magic amulet from outer space, Ra’s al Ghul uses Lazarus Pits; reservoirs of rejuvenating chemicals that restore the dying to life.
One of the unfortunate side effects of the Lazarus Pit is temporary insanity to those who have made use of the Pits restorative powers.Â Ra’s has used the pits scattered throughout the world enough times to keep himself alive for 450 to 700 years, as he leads the League of Assassins to world domination.
5.Â Mr. Immortal (Avengers West Coast, July 1989)
Being an immortal makes most on our list very daring and reckless in their lives.Â Such is the case with Mr. Immortal of the Great Lakes Avengers.Â The guy has been “killed” by everything from a remote control to the head, all the way up to radiation exposure, each time coming back to lead one faction of Marvel’s registered heroes.
The life of an immortal does take its toll, as Mr. Immortal has seen loved one die again and again. Fits of depression, have caused Mr. Immortal to try and commit suicide many times, even going so far as blowing himself to bits.Â He still came back.
4.Â The Immortal (Invincible #7, November 2003)
Older than the legend of King Arthur, once the President of the United States, and in the far future, the supreme overlord of the planet Earth, The Immortal earns the number three spot for his ability to be in the public eye, yet still get away with it without anyone noticing.
The only way to ensure The Immortal stays dead, is to keep his body parts separated from one another in some permanent manner.
3.Â Vandal Savage (Green Lantern #10, Winter 1943)
Probably the best origin story for an immortal, Vandal Savage was born 50,000 years ago, and was the leader of the caveman Blood Tribe, until radiation from a mysterious meteorite gave him intellect and immortality.
Savage has led the Illuminati, and has been known as Khafre, Alexander the Great, Julius Caesar, Genghis Khan, Blackbeard, and Vlad the Impaler.Â While other immortals have not had their story play out completely, viewers got to see Savage as the last man on Earth in an episode of Justice League Unlimited, while in DC One Million, Savage meets his end when he is thrown back in time to the point of a nuclear explosion.
2.Â Immortal Man/Resurrection Man (Strange Adventures #177, June 1965)
Like Vandal Savage, the Immortal Man had his origin during the prehistoric era, where he stumbled upon the same meteorite as Vandal, carved off a piece, and wore it as necklace.Â The amulet gave Immortal Man the power of resurrection, and since he and Vandal were in opposing tribes (Bear Tribe), the two have remained adversaries throughout time.
It appeared as though Immortal Man was wiped from existence during the Crisis on Infinite Earths, but amnesiac Mitch Shelley has recently appeared (SupergirlÂ #28) with similar powers under the guise of the Resurrection Man.
1.Â Â The DoctorÂ (Doctor Who Episode #1, November 1963)
The good Doctor takes the number one position in our list of immortals, even though he may eventually cease from existence as a Time Lord, once he has expired his 13 lives.Â Even with a semi-finite life span, the Doctor’s ability to trip through time and space in his TARDIS ensure he can appear at the beginning of the universe, or at the end, as well every time period in between.
The Also Rans
Who didn’t make the Immortal List?Â There are quite a few immortal characters that have been created, but not all could make it to our list.Â Coming close, but ultimately missing the list are our runners up.
The New Gods (The New Gods #1, February 1971)
Kirby’s originals would have made the list, but seeing as how they are all dead at the moment, it kind of defeats the purpose of being immortal – we aren’t counting the soul skipping spirit of the New Gods that Morrison is currently offering up in the pages of Final Crisis.
Apocalypse (X-Factor #5, June 1986)
Much like Ra’s Al Ghul, Apocalypse is a centuries old mutant obsessed with the idea of survival of the fittest. Unlike the other immortals on the list, Apocalypse doesn’t need nourishment of any kind to maintain his life.
Dorian Gray (The Picture of Dorian Gray, 1890)
Hey, come on, the guy stays young as long as he doesn’t destroy his portrait.