Captain America, Supergirl, Gwen Stacy: The most shocking comic book deaths

(CBR) Character deaths are a staple of just about all forms of fiction — whether it's to add emotional resonance, ponder the fleeting nature of life or just to shake things up a bit. Death in mainstream superhero comic books is its own unique thing — as you're likely aware, most deaths don”t last. Sooner or later, the character returns bigger, better and badder than ever before. Yet in the hands of a talented and innovative creator, even a temporary death can be a poignant one — not to mention a move capable of getting widespread attention. And in comic book series that don”t take place in a shared, constantly published universe, death can be just as — and sometimes more — impactful.

It”s one thing to see a favorite superhero die knowing that he or she will be back sooner rather than later, but in a finite series, death is forever and at times, both emotional and memorable. Scores of major superhero have died at one time or another only to return, but temporary or not, many of those deaths had a lasting impact on that character's world. Death can also mean big bucks for publishers and retailers as, even though fans claim to be growing weary of the death card, death issues usually spike sales in a big way.

Wolverine is currently nearing his demise in the pages of “Death of Wolverine,” wrapping on Oct. 15 with issue #4, but this event is only the latest in a long cycle of death and rebirth. Superman's death in the 1990s was one of the biggest ever, but readers knew the Man of Steel wouldn't be down forever.

Let's walk among the comic book character tombstones and take a look at some of the most memorable and shocking fictional deaths that fans have witnessed. These are the ones we won't forget, and the ones that have had a lasting impact on those characters and their worlds.

Warning: There will be spoilers for “The Walking Dead” and “Y, the Last Man” in this article. So if you are a fan of either comic but aren”t caught up or a fan of AMC”s hit zombie series, be warned.