Profile: Candy Southern
First appearance: X-Men #32, May 1967. She was a childhood sweetheart of Archangel (Warren Worthington)’s who became more involved with the X-Men and the superhero world after getting to meet them up front at Iceman’s 18th birthday. She later became a cast member of the Defenders. Roy Thomas, her creator, got the idea for her last name from the author Terry Southern.
Current status: dead
Was subjected to the following act of discrimination: Cameron Hodge, a former friend of Candy’s and Warren’s who later became a villain against all mutants, kidnapped and murdered her by torturing her to death in X-Factor #34.
What’s wrong with how this was done? Too obviously, we had yet another case of bumping off the girlfriend for the sake of turning her paramour into a chest-thumping Neanderthal going the revenge route. And yes, did Warren ever go that way, because what he did to avenge her death was to behead Cameron, eye-for-eye style. Maybe villains like Hodge are deserving of their fate, but that doesn’t mean the leading lady has to be the one to suffer in order to justify that.
In Uncanny X-Men #306, it was later shown that her mind became absorbed by the Technarx/Phalanx as part of a plan they had to gain more information on the X-Men, continuing her life in a cloned body. But she sacrificed herself again in order to put an end to Cameron Hodge, whose mind had also been absorbed into the Phalanx systems. She let Warren know that she loved him before she passed away fully.
Was there anything good to come from this? You could say that she who may have died heroically then, given that she terminated herself in order to put an end to Hodge, but it still doesn’t excuse how yet one more girl in comics bit the bullet instead of finding story development, even with a different paramour than Archangel.