[[quoteright:308:http://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/second_coming_anderson_l_4049.jpg]]
[[caption-width-right:308:He's back.]]
This trope is normally associated with characters whose prophesied (or at the very least, expected) return indicates a salvation of some sort, similar to the Second Coming of JesusChrist. The character in question may or may not be fully aware of the MessianicArchetype role he or she is supposed to fulfill with his or her return to a society in desperate need of a hero to either set right what once was wrong in his or her absence or to bring them to ThePromisedLand. The reasons for the character's absence in that society can include going on a long journey or going into self-imposed exile from the society that doesn't see any need for him or her or even accidental TimeTravel into what turns out to be a CrapsackWorld future. Sometimes it may even involve the death of the original hero and that his or her return would come in the form of some future incarnation, like a CloneJesus. In any case, the return of said character with whatever power he or she may display to provide deliverance will validate the faith of those patiently waiting for the character's return as they have elevated him or her to messianic status during the absence.

Related to RightfulKingReturns.
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Examples:

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[[folder:Anime and Manga]]
* In ''LightNovel/ZeroNoTsukaima'' or ''[[LightNovel/ZeroNoTsukaima The Familiar Of Zero]]'', the eponymous familiar, Saito Chevalier de Hiraga, is considered a wash at first, with no redeeming abilities at all, until you find out that [[spoiler:he is actually the second coming of a legendary familiar capable of wielding any weapon, from the magic world or his own, real, world, with great expertise]].
* When the Senshi travel to [[TheFuture Crystal Tokyo]], King Endymion explains to them that in the early 21st century, Earth fell into an Ice Age that only ended when ''Franchise/SailorMoon'' woke up from a thousand-year slumber and became Neo Queen Serenity.
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[[folder:Comic Books]]
* Franchise/{{Superman}} in ''ComicBook/KingdomCome'', who left Metropolis when he realized that the people desired a hero like Magog over a hero like himself, returning to deal with a generation of heroes who patterned their ethos after Magog. Pastor Norman [=McCay=] sees this return as the prevention of the upcoming superbeing Armageddon at first, but then immediately his visions reveal that Superman's presence would catalyze the coming doom, not avert it.
* KingArthur, {{Merlin}} and the reincarnated Knights of the Round Table in ''ComicBook/{{Camelot 3000}}'' as they reemerge in an overpopulated future world of 3000 A.D. to fight off an alien invasion masterminded by Arthur's old nemesis, Morgan Le Fay. Arthur is awakened accidentally from his resting place beneath Glastonbury Tor by a young archeology student, Tom Prentice.
* The ''ComicBook/{{X-Men}}'' "Second Coming" part of the Messiah Complex trilogy follows the return of Cable and Hope from the future to the present. Their arrival sparks off action from Bastion and his allies Stephen Lang, Bolivar Trask, William Stryker, Graydon Creed and Cameron Hodge. Bastion tells them that the Mutant Messiah has returned and gives them orders to kill her.
* In ''ComicBook/TheChroniclesOfWormwood'', Wormwood's friend Jay is the Second Coming of Christ, although he's [[strike:not often]] entirely lucid for all of a minute at the climax of the series. Because he has severe brain damage as the result of a cop caving in the side of his head with a nightstick. Lift the dreadlocks on his right temple and you can see a three-inch scar. His daddy sent him to Earth in the freaking sixties. PoliceBrutality at its finest.[[/folder]]

[[folder:Film]]
* In ''Film/MadMaxBeyondThunderdome'', Max is mistaken for the second coming of Captain Walker, a pilot who left children of a plane crash behind with the promise that one day he will return to take them to [[ThePromisedLand "Tomorrow-morrow Land,"]] or back to civilization as it once was.
* In ''Film/TheMatrix'', Morpheus seeks out Neo as the return of The One. [[spoiler:What Morpheus doesn't know is that the One has had a Second Coming at least ''four times'' before, if the Architect and Merovingian are to be believed.]]
* In ''Film/{{Legion}}'', the pregnant woman is carrying the child who's meant to be the second coming of Christ. However, as a rather bizarre twist, God has decided he's had enough of mankind so he's sent his angels to kill the woman, prevent the second coming, and end the world. This in effect would make the child an AntiAntiChrist.
* The film ''BlessTheChild'' was touching enough for some people in a MisaimedFandom sort of way to take it for gospel, believing that the girl exists and is the second coming.
* In ''JesusChristVampireHunter'', Jesus' second coming happens in part because God wants him to fight sunlight-immune vampires that prey on lesbians.
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[[folder:Literature]]
* KingArthur, of course. As a boy, he came back once, and later in life he was mortally wounded ... but it's also said he'll [[WhatDoYouMeanItsNotSymbolic come back from the dead]] at his kingdom's hour of greatest need.
** In ''Literature/DragonsInOurMidst'', the main character, Billy Bannister, is the second coming of Arthur. The entire plot is built around the Arthur/Christianity principle.
* The novel ''The Return'' by Joe de Mer features an apparent Second Coming investigated by the Vatican as a possible hoax and/or [[CloneJesus cloning of Jesus]].
* The throne of the Autarchs in ''The Literature/BookOfTheNewSun'' is shaped like a phoenix, to symbolize their hope that the dying sun will be rekindled by the second coming of their savior figure, the Conciliator. His second coming is the titular New Sun.
* In SergeyLukyanenko ''Literature/SeekersOfTheSky'', several characters wonder if [[spoiler:Marcus]] really is the second coming of the [[MessianicArchetype Redeemer]] or the Tempter, who is to come before the Redeemer and lead the world astray.
* ''Literature/TheRestaurantAtTheEndOfTheUniverse'': The followers of Zarquon the prophet await his Second Coming, and they're gently chided/mocked for their belief. He finally arrives just before the End Of The Universe.
* In ''Literature/ChristianNation'', the Sarah Palin and Steve Jordan administrations change American society into a theocracy in preparation for the Lord's Second Coming.
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[[folder:Live Action TV]]
* In an episode of ''Series/TheFlash'', Barry Allen is accidentally thrust 10 years into a future where Central City has been taken over by his brother's killer, Nicholas Pike, and where an underground group of citizens were waiting for the Flash to return in order to [[SetRightWhatOnceWentWrong set things right]].
* The 2003 ''Series/TheSecondComing'' Two-Part Drama by Russell T Davies, which is about Steve Baxter, an ordinary Englishman who turns out to be the second coming of Christ.
* ''Series/StarTrekTheNextGeneration'' had a Klingon religious caste try to use [[CloneJesus cloning]] and [[FakeMemories memory construction]] to recreate their local Messiah Kahless, so that they (with him as their puppet) could take over the Klingon Empire and "[[GloryDays restore it to greatness]]". The episode ended with the truth being revealed, and both the clone and Klingon society took it remarkably well: as a compromise, Kahless II ends up becoming the figurehead Emperor (a previously vacant position).
* On the ''{{Misfits}}'' Christmas Episode, an [[SinisterMinister evil Priest]] manages to acquire an array of flashy superpowers, including the ability to walk on water, in order to convince the local population that he is the second coming of Jesus (so he can steal vast quantities of money from the poor and sexually abuse women without repercussions).
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[[folder:Music]]
* Robin Mark: "You're The Lion Of Judah" and "Days Of Elijah" from ''Revival In Belfast''.
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[[folder:Mythology]]
* Baldur, who like Christ is loved by all, is betrayed by one of his companions ([[JerkAss Loki]]), and who will eventually return to rule the Earth after the EndOfTheWorldAsWeKnowIt. Unlike Christ though, he didn't get better - at least not yet. Creator/CSLewis [[Creator/JRRTolkien and his friend Tolkien]] actually proposed Baldur was a [[SuspiciouslySimilarSubstitute Norse-friendly version of Jesus]] (they're not far off; a lot of the Norse mythology was given this treatment during the turn of the first millennium, since the traveling bards didn't want to get stoned for heresy).
* Prince Csaba, the mythical successor of Attila the Hun, took this trope to it's natural extreme, by not only staying true to his word and actually returning, but doing it no less than four times, and is believed to return yet again, when his people needs him the most. Incidentally, some believe that he is to be expected again in the near future.
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[[folder:Religion]]
* Literature/TheBible, with its prediction of Jesus Christ's return. How it happens varies within the sects of Christianity, as some sects see it as a literal return that's yet to happen, and others see it as only a "spiritual return" that either happened in 70 A.D. with the destruction of Jerusalem or has yet to happen with the church's mandate of preaching the gospel to every creature and making disciples of all nations being interpreted as a mandate to "make the whole world Christian" by whatever means are necessary.
** What the ''LeftBehind'' book series and pretty much any Christian-related end-times fiction is based on.
** Interestingly, the SecondComing of Jesus Christ is the central component of Islamic eschatology as well.
* ''TheSecondComing'' by William Butler Yeats.
** Though it alludes more to the coming of the Anti-Christ in a world spiraling out of control.

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[[folder:Video Games]]
* In ''VideoGame/TheLegendOfZeldaTheWindWaker'', everyone expected the Hero of Time to return to deal with Ganondorf when he was released from his imprisonment, but he didn't, which led to the flooding of Hyrule. This didn't deter the surviving citizens of Hyrule from dressing up boys in the garb of the Hero of Time in the hope that they can one day instill the same level of courage in them to defeat evil. However, years later, a new hero who ended up bearing the Triforce of Courage was recognized by Ganondorf as "the Hero of Time, reborn". Even Hyrule Castle is seen to be honoring the Hero of Time as a MessianicArchetype.
* Aleph in ''ShinMegamiTenseiII'', an [[CloneJesus artificial Messiah]] created by the Messians after they got bored waiting for the real Second Coming. Needless to say, YHVH is pretty pissed at this.
* Gordon Freeman in ''VideoGame/HalfLife2'' does one better. He is seen basically as the second coming (the little bible references like Judith Mossman betraying him (Judith is the female form of Judas) don't help stopping it).
* The Maker in the ''Franchise/DragonAge'' game series is prophesied to return and make his world a paradise once the Chant of Light has been sung from all the corners of the world.
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[[folder:Webcomics]]
* ''The Life of Riley''. What begins as a cheap throwaway joke about an artist who powers up a la DBZ when he works on computers, ends with same character resurrected as the second coming of the Messiah about to go toe-to-toe with arch-fiend Lillith over an artifact that can kill God.
* Karkat in ''Webcomic/{{Homestuck}}'' is destined to carry on the legacy of his ancestor The Sufferer, spreading a christlike gospel of peace and forgiveness and heralding the end times of their planet.
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[[folder:Western Animation]]
* Dreamy Smurf in ''TheSmurfs'' dreams that he has been taken to the land of the Pookies, who have been waiting for his return to deliver them from the tyrannical Norf Nags. The end of the episode, however, [[OrWasItADream may suggest that it was otherwise]], as Dreamy trips over a crystal similar to the ones seen in his dream.
* Simba in ''Disney/TheLionKing'', who returns to the pride he left to depose his uncle Scar as the rightful king.
* Lucy of ''LucyTheDaughterOfTheDevil'' hangs out with an indie DJ who just so happens to be the second coming of Jesus Christ. Ironically, most of the time, she gets "JC" to help her dad out without meaning to. Meanwhile, they are all pursued by a ChurchMilitant faction of priests and nuns.
* ''WesternAnimation/{{Futurama}}'' had a throwaway reference to Jesus's second coming in 2148, which was not described, but was apparently very destructive. The show proper is set eight centuries later, so one can draw their own conclusions. However, the Professor occasionally swears by ''Zombie'' Jesus.
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