Death was "born" along with the universe itself and the other cosmic entities associated with it. Whereas Eternity embodies life and growth, Death embodies decay and destruction. As she is a fundamental force, she has no true physical form, but can manifest in such a form as to interact with physical entities. Although she usually appears as a human or human skeleton, presumably it appears to other species in their own forms. Death rarely speaks aloud; its presence alone can usually convey its message.
Death makes its home in the Realm of Death, a dimension normally inaccessible to the living. Death's undead servants there are called minions. The Infinity Well there can answer any question, possibly by giving access to the accumulated wisdom of the dead.
Mortal beings have always strove to make sense of and control their surroundings. This tendency leads to anthropomorphism, the assignment of mortal motivations to impersonal processes or forces. Personifying these forces creates the expectation that communication with them, and thus influence over them, is possible. Traditionally, ordinary mortals have little or no success in swaying Death once it selects a victim.
The most familiar manifestation of Death is as Mistress Death, a young woman in a dark hooded robe. In this guise, Thanos, the mad Titan, fell in love with her. He wooed her by presenting her with as many souls as he could collect, which to him necessitated the extinction of entire species and planets. Captain Marvel (Mar-Vell) and Adam Warlock opposed these efforts. Mistress Death apparently approved of Thanos's behavior, because she resurrected him more than once, although she chose not to speak to him directly.
Another would-be lover of Death, Walker, was the god of death in a distant galaxy. After he extinguished all life in his own galaxy as a gift, Death took refuge in the body of Marlo Jones, where she learned something about emotion, especially love (which Marlo felt for her husband, Rick) and revenge (after Walker hurt Rick to lure Death out of Marlo). Death stopped Walker by freeing the souls of his victims, who were the source of his power.
As the Annihilation War began, Death suggested that Thanos and Annihilus should team up. She knew that the ultimate goal was the end of all life, which would have made her irrelevant or even extinct. As her champion, Thanos helped to thwart Annihilus's plan. Death and the spirit of Thanos (who was killed by Drax) later appeared before Nova as they watched him kill Annihilus.
When Thanos was brought back to life by the Universal Church of Truth, Death didn't interfere, since she knew Thanos would be vital in stopping the inhabitants of the Cancerverse from conquering Earth-616 and thus eliminating death. She couldn't enter the Cancerverse until Thanos was almost killed by the dark version of Captain Marvel, but when she did, she immediately devastated the Cancerverse, killing the dark Captain Marvel and every other being in the deathless universe. Thanos, however, remained alive, and Death, for some reason, ignored him yet again.
During Wolverine's loss of his healing factor, he became vulnerable. He decided to rediscover his martial arts by training with Iron Fist and Shang-Chi and the three of them went to Itsukushima Island. They battled Sabretooth's Hand Ninjas. After Logan encountered Death, she helps him accept his unavoidable death.
Thanos, in an effort to keep Deadpool away from his beloved Death, cursed him never to die. However, the embodiment of Death had also been kidnapped by Eternity, meaning nothing else in the universe could die either, causing untold chaos throughout the universe. When Deadpool, believing Thanos responsible, arrived on Thanos' ship to defeat him, Thanos rescinded his curse, turning Deadpool into the only mortal creature in the universe, then killed him.
However, upon realizing that Death would only speak to Wade, Thanos resurrected him in order to save her. When the pair managed to travel to Eternity's Realm and encounter him personally, Thanos attacked mercilessly, blaming Eternity for all of his life's ills. Wilson, realizing that this was what Death wanted all along, attacked Thanos and was possessed by the Uni-Power, giving Deadpool the powers of Captain Universe. Using those powers, Deadpool and Thanos fought on equal ground, but Deadpool's speech during the fight convinced Death of the validity of life's existence and caused Mistress Death to whisk Thanos away, for a later purpose and to return to her own, restoring mortality to the universe.
- Death: Death itself can liberate the soul or spirit of a living being but generally leaves this task to the various beings of the afterlife, such as the Valkyries, Hela, or Doorman. Because Death is the embodiment of all death, every lost soul belongs to it, so the agent of passage is irrelevant. Death can also reverse that passage and return a being to life, but that rarely happens. Death can choose to ignore certain beings, possibly as a mark of respect for their ability to survive. The Elders of the Universe fall into this category. Other beings with the proper knowledge, such as the Sorcerer Supreme, can challenge Death directly; by succeeding at this challenge, they become immune to true death.
- Amortality: Death itself cannot die, since it is not truly alive; the basic laws of the universe would have to change to erase death.
- Power Cosmic: (Nigh-Omnipotence if not Omnipotence) Unlimited ability to manipulate reality, time, space, matter, energy, or magic for any purpose. It rarely uses this power, however, possibly because it does not wish to upset the balance of the cosmic entities, which could endanger itself.
- Soothing Appearance: If Death manifests itself to a mortal being in its final moments, it may take the form of a loved one. When Captain Marvel died, for instance, it manifested itself as Una, his greatest love.
Unknown and certainly incalculable.
- Thanos and Deadpool are both in love with Death. Because of this, Thanos cursed Deadpool with an inability to die.
- Due to Death's unique nature of not being truly alive, it is one of the few cosmic beings to avoid being killed by the Beyonders.
- 173 Appearances of Death (Earth-616)
- Media Death (Earth-616) was Mentioned in
- 41 Images featuring Death (Earth-616)
- 8 Quotations by or about Death (Earth-616)
- Character Gallery: Death (Earth-616)
- Characters killed by Death
- Marvel Directory - Death
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