Long ago, after the fall of the old Gods and the rise of the New, Azraeuz, Rogga, Yuurd and Zorrm dominated the hellish world of Apokolips. What happened next is unknown, but the Four Horsemen were defeated and stripped of their bodies, presumably by the Dark Gods of the Fourth World.
Death was created by Grant Morrison, Greg Rucka, Geoff Johns, and Mark Waid in 52.
Like the other Horsemen of Apokolips, Death is very egotistical and thinks of others as his subjects. He thinks he will once again become king.
Major Story Arcs
Recently, Shang Tsu and his science squad, looking for a weapon to use against Black Adam and his family, summoned Death and his brethren to Earth. Dozens of scientists worked to give the Horsemen new bodies using scavenged Apokoliptian technology and their own knowledge and inventions. The result was not as good as the original, but nevertheless formidable.
The four Horsemen roared into life and set off to attack Black Adam.
Yuurd, the lord of hunger, was sent to infiltrate the Black Marvel family and successfully killed Osiris. After that the Horsemen revealed themselves to Black Adam and Isis, their remaining two targets. Isis was infected by Pestilence, and left unprotected against Death, who then claimed her. Black Adam, however, was a more formidable opponent, and in his rage he managed to kill the other three horsemen. Turning towards Death, he discovered that Azraeuz has fled.
Enraged, Black Adam followed Death to Bilaya, a country supportive to the Intergang and their division, the science squad, where Death went into hiding. Furious over the loss of his wife, Black Adam slaughtered the population of Bilaya, demanding that Death reveal himself.
Fueled by the massacre Black Adam has accomplished, Death engaged Adam and gained the upper hand over him. But the furious immortal would not be denied. Repeatedly blasting Death with his magical thunderbolt, Adam eventually brought Azraeuz to his knees, and snapped his neck. Ironically, Death was killed and Black Adam saved the world.
The matter would not end there, however. With their bodies destroyed, now the spirits of four Apokoliptian demigods roamed the Earth, and they weren't happy.
Soon death began possessing dead bodies all over Bilaya, attracting the attention of Batman, Superman and Wonder
Woman, who were assessing the situation in the ravaged country. Azraeuz gathered his brothers, also possessing humans, and, using the dead of Bilaya as a workforce, began reconstructing their bodies.
The newly reincarnated Horsemen made their debut once more and assaulted the heroes. As Pestilence and Famine engaged Batman and Superman, and War handled Wonder Woman, Death stayed behind and observed, awaiting the dawn of Apokolips on Earth.
All was not well however, as Veronica Cale, one of the scientists who originally created the Horsemen and current leader of the Science squad on Oolong island, worked to undo the Horsemen, horrified by the things they have done. With the aid of Niles Caulder and numerous other scientists, Veronica managed to adapt an Apokoliptian device to imprison the souls of the Horsemen. After War and Pestilence were already sealed away, Death
confronted the heroes and scientists, lamenting about Veronica's "treachery" and calling her their midwife. With the device integrated into Cale's body, Superman threw her at him, and one final hug sucked the life out of Death.
The device, with the souls of the horsemen trapped inside, was later extracted from her body. It is presumed they are still imprisoned.
Powers and Abilities
As befitting his name, he is capable of controlling and animating dead bodies, infusing them with his essence. Azraeuz is also fueled by death in his vicinity. Azraeuz is also capable of triggering death in other beings.
Death's body was created through a joined effort of dozens of mad scientists and is a considerable threat even without the dark spirit inhabiting it. He is capable of engaging the likes of Black Adam or Superman, albeit for a short time before he is overpowered.
As powerful as he is, it is known that Death's original Apokoliptian incarnation was eve more powerful, though we have never witnessed this version of the creature.