6 Great Black Characters (That Got Shafted By Stupid Deaths)
Ever heard that Black characters always die first? That's incorrect, actually. The "first" part, that is, because yeah, they still sure do get killed off a lot. Sometimes, they even die when the stories they're in pretty clearly stated they shouldn't have died, or at least specifically not in the dumb way that they did. Like how ...
D.L. Hawkins' Death On Heroes Is A Nesting Doll Of Stupid
Leonard Roberts played D.L. Hawkins on Heroes, a character with the ability to phase through all kinds of matter except for his clothes. Though he should only be vulnerable to dying of old age by season 70, Hawkins somehow ended up shot dead, outside a nightclub, by a dude that looks like an amalgamation of every early '00s pick-up artist.
His fate is already a combo of equal parts stupid and shitty, but, wait, there's even dumber primer stuff here.
In reality, D.L. Hawkins' (non-canonical) weakness was being married to a character played by Ali Larter, who, according to Roberts, had the real-life superpower of white tears. Larter was a bigger name than Roberts at the time and allegedly came down with a bad case of the racisms, which prevented her from wanting to film mildly romantic scenes with anyone who looked a shade darker than a saltine. Apparently, after a mere season of backstage string-pulling against Roberts, Larter managed to get him fired from the show. It only took over a decade for 10 people to come forward corroborating Roberts' version of the story and for Larter to apologize for Roberts' "perception of our relationship."
The Shining Shines Brighter If You're White
"Dick" Hallorann is the head chef at the Overlook hotel and the first character known to possess "the shine," a gift that grants all sorts of psychic abilities Stephen King's coked-out mind could think of while writing. Dick's version of "the shine" in Kubrick's film adaptation, however, came unequipped with the ability to foresee the ax he ends up getting to his chest. His death is weird because literary Dick is kind of a badass. He not only survives the events of the original book, but he's also the reason two-thirds of the family makes it out alive. On top of that, Dick even shows up in IT and in The Shining's sequel Doctor Sleep -- albeit as a spirit -- which we get since even the gifted age and King took 30 damn years to release it after the original.
The dumbest part of all is that Dick didn't die in the original script for the film either. No one liked the change less than actor Scatman Crothers, who played Dick and knew he got the raw end of the deal. We get it that pulling a fast one on the people who'd read the book and thought they knew where the story was going could be a great move, especially for a horror film, just maybe don't do that in a way that undermines the main premise of the whole film.
Kind of strange that a movie that correctly vilifies a bunch of racist ghosts ends up also shafting the Black guy. But how could we have foreseen that, as Stanley Kubrick's only mistake on set was passing up on a great opportunity for representation and definitely nothing else.
X-Men Subverts Expectations By Not Understanding Its Own Mutants
X-Men: First Class features a Black mutant, Darwin, with the power to adapt to survive any situation. He's aptly named after Charles Darwin -- the evolutionary pioneer born in the 1800s who hasn't died yet. Except Darwin is the sole member of the entire team to take an eternal nap. Setting up an unkillable character just to murder him is fairly moronic; doing that to a Black character is just too on the nose.
For comparison's sake, the comics also have him explode at some point, only for him to calmly return as a being of pure energy.
Good thing they learned in the following movie, X-Men Days of Future Past, with Bishop, the mutant capable of absorbing unlimited amounts of energy … Just kidding, Bishop somehow gets killed-off by absorbing too much energy (and screenwriter bullshit).
Sgt. Johnson From Halo Lives, Dies, Repeats
Sargent Major Avery Johnson is a gen 1 spartan from the Halo series with a story that would make Schrodinger blush (and be dead at the same time). Johnson is alive in all three games of the original trilogy … despite dying in the very first one. And before purists say that the legendary difficulty ending where you totally see him dying isn't canon ...
(5:55 for the relevant scene)
... there's also the scripted event where he always dies.
Not to mention that even if he were merely taking a nap on a pool of his own blood, he wouldn't have survived this:
But Johnson turned out to be very popular, so he got retconned into the story. Fans have always been puzzled about how he shows up unscathed in Halo 2, which the creators explained by heroically never talking about it.
Which players seemed kinda okay with, as Jackson ruled, and this way, his awesome return (to the living) implied he was some sort of unkillable being. This ultimately set fans up for more sadness as Johnson got unnecessarily killed off again in Halo 3 by a dumbass flying ball.
We sure as hell hope he makes a return in one of the future games and -- as the devs have previously shown, they don't even need to bother coming up with an explanation.
Related: Reminder: You're More Likely To Be Struck By Lightning Than Get A Blood Clot From The Johnson & Johnson Jab
Chronicle's Biggest Twist Is That It's More Of The Same
Remember Chronicle? It's the one movie by alleged sexual abuser/confirmed shitty screenwriter Max Landis that somehow doesn't completely suck. It tells the story of three guys who find themselves bestowed with alien telekinetic powers that they use to control stuff and to create force fields that turn them pretty hard to kill -- for as long as they're white.
From jump street, Chronicle is well aware of how poorly film usually portrays Black people, and Steve, the Black member of the group, even cracks some jokes at the trope. It's a fun romp, but only until the movie just shamelessly ignores both its set-up and Steve's powers by killing him off with a lightning bolt to make way for the main plot.
On a happier note, Steve was played by none other than Michael B. Jordan, who shortly after the release of Chronicle became bigger than everyone involved in the movie combined.
Of Course Metal Gear Solid Had To Be The Weirdest About It
Fortune is the biggest badass in Metal Gear Solid 2, a game that also features a Flamenco-dancing bisexual vampire who stabs shadows. Fortune's main special power is infinite luck, which manifests via making every single projectile fired at her seemingly gain sentience and miss the target on purpose. Her secondary power is a huge-ass rail gun. This combo makes Fortune so strong that she feels like a video game character that broke the game's code and is using all of the cheat codes on herself -- even during cutscenes.
… And uses them to murder seals.
Fortune's an unstoppable force, at least up until she meets up with the main villain who effortlessly leaves her mortally wounded with a single shot. He then reveals that the only thing granting Fortune powers was a bonkers bullet deflection device.
For her last stand, Fortune straight-up deflects a barrage of missiles even though she's no longer in possession of the device. She proves that she's had powers all along -- conveniently the exact same ones given by the device -- but ends up dying because of the wound she got during that split second in which they were off.
Though not before saving all of the white characters, so there's that.
Top image: Warner Bros., 20th Century Fox