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Villains Wiki
Well, Norman Osborn may have died, but his legacy-- His power-- Will live on! And this time, it shall be shaped by a man who knows how to use power!... ...The Green Goblin is no more! But in his place now stands-- the Hobgoblin!!
~ The Hobgoblin continues the Green Goblin's legacy as a new villain in his first appearance - Amazing Spider-Man Vol 1 #238.
Hello, brother. Didn't think you could get rid of me so easily, did you? See, my days were numbered, but you oh, you can continue on for me, be my ultimate revenge! So, calm yourself. Don't fight it. Breathe it in. This gas was a special mixture I had made, just for you. Something to finally set you free. It's time to have some fun. Burn it down, brother. Burn it all down!
~ Jerome Valeska announcing his legacy for Jeremiah Valeska.

Posthumous Villains who have died and remained dead yet continue to have lasting impacts and presences from beyond the grave in an earthly and terrestrial way. They can even be Deceased from the very beginning and appear primarily as Flashbacks (e.g. Bertrand Zobrist). Their actions, legacies and the harm they caused may continue to have lasting impacts after their demise. A good example of this is Scar of The Lion King, as he died but Zira used her son Kovu to continue his plans.

In regards to what characters can be regarded as posthumous villains, Artificial Intelligences can also apply in spite of being machines and therefore have no bodies nor souls if their actions still has any lasting impact on the story (i.e. the Marvel Cinematic Universe iteration of Ultron, whose actions on Sokovia caused the public view on the Avengers to shift, leading to the Avengers Civil War) as so Forces of Nature if their influence likewise remains on the story (i.g. The Black Mass was destroyed by Samurai Jack's father but it created Aku so he could cause chaos and destruction on to continue with the Black Mass' genocidal rampage).

Evil Organizations can also apply as posthumous villains if they were fully disbanded although not all its members have to die (or have died) yet they still have a lasting impact on the story (i.e. the Galactic Empire, which disbanded after Emperor Palpatine's first death but many of its surviving members went to the Unknown Regions and formed the First Order to replace it).

Note: Characters who came back as Noncorporeals, Zombies, Vampires and so on cannot be Posthumous as actions are still being carried out by them as the Undead UNLESS:

  • their Undead forms are also killed off and have such effects afterwards (i.e. Shane Walsh),
  • they disappear or withdraw from any action and no longer connect with the plot essentially being permanently removed (i.e. Darth Vader),
  • are defeated and sent (back) to an afterlife dimension from which they cannot return (i.e. Imhotep)
  • or conflicts take place in an afterlife and do not reconnect with a world of the living (i.e. Ernesto de la Cruz).

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