Not sure where you're coming from here. The trope name doesn't refer to the character being ambiguously dead in one work, but rather that they're clearly
alive in one work and clearly
dead in the other, and the two have to find a way to resynchronize, give up and go Gecko
, or just ignore the issue entirely.*
An ambiguous death scene is one of three ways this can come about, when the adaptation makes it less ambiguous and then winds up having picked the wrong option. The other two are killing off a character for drama, and saving a character out of sympathy.
Roger Rabbit and Jurassic Park's Ian Malcolm are examples where the sequel just ignored
the conflict, picked one of the two source works to build from, and kept going. They're a little weird because they're works in original medium that chose the adaptation
as the canonical story; normally you would expect books to follow the book continuity and movies to follow the movie continuity.
Actually I think Ian Malcolm is just about the poster boy for this trope. If you read the first Jurassic Park book and then the second, he just comes back to life with no explanation whatsoever. So does Hammond, for that matter.
Ms. Marvel was a variation on the handwave; knowing it's a comic book and they won't leave the title character dead, they just ignored the problem until it went away.
Or are you complaining that it wasn't the adaptation that had to conform, but the original work that got thrown out? I don't think it's relevant which
work went through some weirdness in order to resychronize. I'll add that as a note in the description.
Possibly I've misunderstood your complaint — if so, can you give me a more clear explanation of the perceived conflict that you feel makes most of the listed examples not be examples of this trope?
edited 17th Jul '12 11:30:21 AM by Escher