The entire superhero/supervillain thing isn’t exactly a business that promotes the health of the people within it. While heroes usually don’t kill, especially those in the DC Universe, it’s still a dangerous life for the villains. It doesn’t matter how intimidating they are– death sometimes comes for them. However, there are other times when they should have died but they didn’t.
Plenty of villains have found themselves in some very dire straits, where they were just about through death’s doorway and were able to turn around, coming back out again to bedevil their heroic adversaries all over again.
9 Solomon Grundy Is Undead, So He Survives Every Brush With Death
Solomon Grundy is one of the greatest henchmen in the DC Universe, having fought a who’s who of the toughest heroes around. Immensely strong and durable, even Superman would rather not battle Grundy and one of the biggest advantages that Grundy has over everyone he fights is quite simple- his undead nature means he always comes back to life.
It doesn’t matter how much damage he takes, Solomon Grundy always comes back to life or whatever twisted facsimile his existence is. The interesting thing is that he’ll return with an entirely different personality every time, which changes things up for those he fights.
8 Sinestro Came Back From A Broken Neck To Bedevil The Green Lantern Corps
When Hal Jordan snapped and succumbed to possession by Parallax, the Guardians called on a most unusual champion to battle his threat- Sinestro. However, Sinestro was in league with the fear entity and while Jordan did beat him pretty badly, the broken neck he used to dispatch Sinestro didn’t actually kill him.
Eventually, Sinestro would return to battle Jordan again and continue his reign of terror over the universe. In fact, his return heralded the coming of the Sinestro Corps, his Lantern Corps that spread fear and destruction.
7 Atrocitus Survived The Manhunters’ Attack On His Homeworld
Atrocitus hailed from Sector 666 and was one of five survivors in the entire sector when the Manhunters’ (robots that were the Guardians of the Universe’s first attempt at a galactic police force) went rogue and destroyed nearly all life in the sector. Helping form the terrorist group the Five Inversions, he would strike out at the Guardians before eventually founding the Red Lanterns to help him get revenge.
Atrocitus lost everything only barely surviving. His rage would become his greatest weapon, allowing him to wield the red light that would fuel the Red Lanterns.
6 Darkseid Survived His Prophesied Death And Almost Destroyed The Multiverse
The saga of the New Gods is one of the most intriguing in the DC Multiverse and there’s a prophecy at the center of it- that Darkseid would die at the hands of his son. Well, in the run-up to Final Crisis, the battle between Darkseid and his son Orion occurred and Orion won. However, gods don’t die easily and Darkseid survived long enough to leave his body behind.
He and his minions would take over bodies on Earth and attack the planet, conquering it as the black hole caused by the destruction of his body pulled the Multiverse down into oblivion, nearly destroying all of existence. While he was defeated, he would return because evil never truly dies and Darkseid is the God of Evil.
5 The Joker Took A Bullet To The Head And Survived
The Joker is one of Batman’s deadliest villains and is responsible for some heinous attacks on Gotham but he’s also felt death’s cold embrace. He was shot in the head by a rogue Batman and went into a coma before waking and going into physical therapy. He would become one of his most frightening incarnations after recovering, known as the Clown At Midnight.
It’s hard to imagine an even scarier Joker but this one went so far as to kill nearly all of his surviving henchmen and almost poisoned Harley Quinn before Batman stopped him. For a time, he couldn’t even talk, just smile menacingly and kill.
4 Reverse Flash Has Always Returned Because Of Time Travel Shenanigans
Reverse Flash is one of the most dangerous villains in the DC Universe. Speedsters are always pretty devastating and one without morals like Reverse Flash is especially dangerous because of the terrible things he gets up to. Now, saying that he survived death is a bit of a stretch- he was resurrected at least once- however, death never stops him for very long.
Because of the nature of his temporal travels, any time Reverse Flash dies, another version of his takes his place. Death is meaningless to him and has no effect at all on him because he’ll always come back no matter what, ready to bedevil Barry Allen once again.
3 Mordru Has Come Back From Pretty Damaging Defeats
Mordru is a Lord of Chaos and very hard to kill. He first appeared battling the 31st-century teens in the Legion of Superheroes. He’s also battled the Justice Society of America in the present, playing the long game against them and almost destroying all life on Earth with the help of Eclipso and Obisidian.
The team would defeat him but it would take everything they had to win, bringing him to death’s door. Mordru would survive, though, and meet his destiny in the far future as one of the Legion of Superheroes’ greatest foes.
2 Ra’s al Ghul Survives Everything Because Of The Lazarus Pits
Ra’s al Ghul is another villain with whom it’s hard to say that he actually comes close to death and survives. He does often die but immersion in the Lazarus Pits brings him back to life. However, it can also be used to heal near-fatal injuries and al Ghul has used it for that as well on numerous occasions.
Ra’s al Ghul’s immortality has depended pretty much entirely on the Lazarus pits over the years. They’ve allowed him to survive everything thrown at him for centuries, always returning at full strength with a new plan of conquest, using all of his vast resources and the League of Shadows to fulfill his goals.
1 Lex Luthor Survived Kryptonite Radiation Poisoning Using A Clone And Posing As His Own Son
For years, Lex Luthor wore a Kryptonite ring, all the better to hurt Superman with. However, while it wasn’t as instantly lethal to humans as it would be to Kryptonians, that doesn’t mean that wearing a source of radiation on one’s hand with no protection was a good idea. Luthor eventually developed radiation poisoning and got deathly ill.
This being Lex Luthor, he wouldn’t let that stop him and used it to his advantage- he put his mind into a younger clone body, faked an Australian accent, and came forward as Lex Luthor II. Everyone thought he was a great guy and he even dated the Matrix version of Supergirl for a while before revealing his true colors and going back to being the Lex Luthor everyone knew and fought against for years.