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King Death was created by Grant Morrison and Sean Gordon Murphy, for the limited series "Joe the Barbarian".


King Death is said to have arrived from the sky long ago, and with his arrival a dark labyrinth grew. A labyrinth known to end the lives of all who enter, even Hypogea's greatest hero, the Iron Knight. It is in the center of the labyrinth that King Death dwells, commanding his army of the undead led by his loyal subject, the Sir Ulrik the Unspeakable.

Joe the Barbarian

While serving overseas, Joseph Manson fell victim to an improvised explosive device, which served to be fatal. The tragic event left his wife widowed and unable to pay for she and her son's home, as well as left his son Joe with a great fear of death.

Following a visit to Joseph Manson's grave, Joe forgot to get his necessary intake of glucose, sending him into a diabetic episode in which he imagines he is in the fantasy land of Hypogea, a land of pirates, knights, superheroes, and everything imaginable. In this land, King Death is enemy to all, and plans to plunge their world into an eternal state of death and darkness.

King Death tracks Joe, the Dying Boy, as he makes his journey through the land of Hypogea, sending various threats his way. Later, as Joe leads the charge to King Death's dark labyrinth with the subjects of the Iron Kingdom in toe, King Death sends an army of the undead and his highest ranking officer Sir Ulrik the Unspeakable after them. After King Death's army rebels, and Joe succeeds in turning the lights back on in the real world, King Death is vanquished along with Joe's fear of death.


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