For a ‘bot whose name is Latin(ish) for “First And Best,” Autobot commander Optimus Prime dies a lot.  Indeed, throughout the multiverses, many Primes are designated by being large, Noble and D-E-A-D.  He’s not the only one who is death-prone, though; Superman has a disturbing history of kakking it, and Alpha Flight leader Guardian has a frequent flyer discount across the River Styx.  Davros and The Master from ‘Doctor Who’ clearly have a bet going on who can die most, leading to today’s Rasputinian query…

The MS-QOTD (pronounced, as always, “misquoted”) thinks that almost-deaths should also count, so Jean Grey is in, asking: Which fictional character has the most impressive record of multiple deaths?

The Author

Matthew Peterson

Matthew Peterson

Once upon a time, there was a young nerd from the Midwest, who loved Matter-Eater Lad and the McKenzie Brothers... If pop culture were a maze, Matthew would be the Minotaur at its center. Were it a mall, he'd be the Food Court. Were it a parking lot, he’d be the distant Cart Corral where the weird kids gather to smoke, but that’s not important right now... Matthew enjoys body surfing (so long as the bodies are fresh), writing in the third person, and dark-eyed women. Amongst his weaponry are such diverse elements as: Fear! Surprise! Ruthless efficiency! An almost fanatical devotion to pop culture!

And a nice red uniform.

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  1. April 15, 2016 at 12:36 pm — Reply

    Everyone brigns up Optimus Prime and Jean Grey but Professor X has at least as impressive record as them. However, Aeon Flux takes the cake for me. I cant remember how many episodes they made but I think she died in about half of them.

    • bakimono
      April 15, 2016 at 1:31 pm — Reply

      In the original ‘Liquid Television’ shorts, she died at the end of every episode, but there were only 8, I think. Then you get the actual stand alone show where she only dies a couple times.

  2. April 15, 2016 at 12:52 pm — Reply

    Jimmy in Hardcore Henry dies 7 or 8 times . It was a fun movie if you can handle the camera jiggling. Phil in Groundhog’s Day died 1000s of times.

  3. bakimono
    April 15, 2016 at 1:29 pm — Reply

    Well, since you used the word fictional, that opens all manner of possibilities, including Captain Jack Harkness and Kenny from South Park.
    Those two would make for an impressive pile of corpse-flesh by themselves.

  4. April 15, 2016 at 6:44 pm — Reply

    The Doctor. While we all know he can regenerate when he dies, there was a recent episode where he “died” multiple times to power a transporter, bringing in a “fresh” copy to slowly pound his/their way through a thick diamond wall over 4 and a half billion years, Even if he spends 10 or 100 years at it between copies, that is still quite a few deaths.

    Not to mention there have also been a few alternate timelines where he died, adding to that total. More if you count stuff like comics, novels and audio plays.

  5. April 15, 2016 at 10:41 pm — Reply

    I want to say Resurrection Man but feel it’s kind of a cheat.

  6. April 16, 2016 at 7:24 am — Reply

    Goku from Dragonball has died a fair few times, not as many as others but the fact that he dies and then can basically just teleport back to earth is impressive enough I’d say

  7. Frank
    April 16, 2016 at 7:40 am — Reply

    Hank and Dean (Venture Brothers). Granted, they are clones.

  8. silvergray
    April 16, 2016 at 9:08 am — Reply

    Sean Bean… he’s fictional right?

    Honestly, it would have to be Multiple Man. If you think about it his dupes die every time he puts himself together.

  9. Hannah Jones
    April 17, 2016 at 7:26 pm — Reply

    Steve Rogers may not have the body-count of, say, a Captain Jack Harkness, but I feel that he’s pretty far up there. The writers usually do try their best to make his deaths mean something, with varying degrees of success.

  10. Ron
    April 17, 2016 at 9:17 pm — Reply

    Karate Kid. The original died four times- the last time was permanent. (Supposedly, so was the time before that.)

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