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Death (Earth-One)

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Sometimes referred to as the Grim Reaper, Death is the literal personification of death. It is more an abstract concept than an actual person, but Death can assume a physical form if it so chooses, and can traverse any dimension where life exists. As Death affects all living things, it is in fact genderless, but prototypically presents itself as an adult male. Death physically resembles a bleach-white skeleton adorned in flowing black robes holding a scythe. At times of war, Death may alter its clothing in imitation of a soldier's uniform. His attire is always congruent with the nature of the conflict that he is presiding over. He has presented himself wearing the garb of a U.S. serviceman, a Roman centurion and even Nazi officers. Death has the ability to break the Fourth Wall and communicate to those who perceive the world(s) in which he inhabits. Death never actually causes the death of a human being (or any living thing), but is always present when someone passes beyond the mortal veil.


  • This aspect of Death is no longer used in modern continuity. Beginning with Sandman (Volume 2) #8, Death is presented as a plucky black-haired girl who belongs to a family of immortal beings known as the Endless. They are both essentially the same character, but represent different eras and attitudes. In Martian culture, Death is represented in the guise of H'ronmeer. Among the New Gods, Death is known as the Black Racer.
  • Technically, any issue where a character dies can be construed as a behind-the-scenes appearance of Death. Death rarely makes actual in-universe appearances, but is often placed in the role of narrator, hosting various horror or war-themed comic titles such as Weird War Tales.


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