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Upper cut from Batman killed man, says obituary

Technically Incorrect: Not knowing why a Florida man died suddenly, and having been told an obit requires a cause of death, his family honors the man's sense of humor and love for comic books.

Technically Incorrect offers a slightly twisted take on the tech that's taken over our lives.


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Stephen Merrill, killed by Batman's fist. WFTS-TV screenshot by Chris Matyszczyk/CNET

When you die, perhaps it'll be some ordinary cause, a mundanity that afflicts too many.

It's unlikely that you will fall foul of one of your heroes, so much so that the hero will smite you into the next life. Yet that is what happened to Stephen Merrill from Winter Haven, Fla. At least, officially.

Merrill, 31, died suddenly. No one knew why, though he'd suffered from recurring cancer.

There were formalities to conduct, funeral homes to see and an obituary to write. But such formalities require notification of a cause of death.

Without one, his family couldn't go ahead. So, as WFTS-TV reports, they remembered a man of humor, one who loved the comic book world.

So they decided that such a sudden death must have been caused by Batman's rising fist. Well, what else could it have been?

They wondered whether their local paper would print the obituary. "The funeral director didn't think it would fly," Merrill's friend, Brandon Moxam told WFTS-TV. Moxam was the one who came up with the Batman idea.

However, there it was last Sunday in the local Ledger newspaper: the first recorded death by Batman's fist of one of the good people.

At the celebration of Merrill's life, Captain America sent his shield made of flowers -- well, someone did. A quote from "The Avengers" also adorned the program.

Moxam explained to WFTS-TV that the only thing you can control during such a desperately sad event is "how you honor their memory."

He added: "Hopeful that D.C. Comics will hear about his story. It would be great if they could do something nice for his family."

In the end, Stephan Merrill is gone, but the spirit that remains reflects something more than just another person departed, another sad statistic.

He'll always be remembered as having been taken from this life by a superhero.