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Back From The Dead / Comic Books

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Resurrections in comic books.


  • Lampshaded in X-Factor, where Siryn gets the news that her father, Banshee, one of the X-Men, is dead. She simply doesn't believe it; the X-Men come Back from the Dead more than anyone else in the Marvel Universe (once the entire current team sacrificed themselves only to be resurrected at the end of the issue), so she's sure he's just pretending to be dead as part of some plan. In Uncanny Avengers he does return as one of the Apocalypse Twins' Horsemen of Death.
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  • Lampshaded in Astonishing X-Men. After Kitty finds out that Colossus isn't really dead, she warns him that if he's a clone, robot, ghost, or from an alternate universe, she's okay with that, but if he's a shapeshifter or an illusionist, she'll kill him. Obviously, this happens a lot.
  • In The All-New Atom, when Jason Todd, Donna Troy and Ryan Choi go to a (most likely fake) Heaven, they meet Ted Kord, who comments, "The recidivism here is shocking. Sometimes I think me and Bruce Wayne's parents are the only ones with a permanent parking space." He also comments "And Jason Todd, too? Didn't you just get parole, like, the day before yesterday?"
  • Ted remains dead up through Flashpoint; the new timeline effectively pushes a reset button on his life, so when he shows up he's years younger and the events leading to his death never happened.
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  • A story arc of Fantastic Four doesn't even bother with the pretense. A few pages before the end of an issue, the Thing is killed; the cliffhanger of the issue is Sue receiving a call from Reed about how he intends to bring him back to life. Naturally, a few issues later, the Thing is back as usual.
  • The book's tie-in to Age of Ultron left a huge Lampshade-Hanging on this. The entire team except for Sue end up killed by Ultron's invasion, but Johnny's video will tells the viewers not to worry and assures them that the team will be back from the grave in short order. And sure enough, Sue and Wolverine use a Timey-Wimey Ball to punch the Reset Button hard, resurrecting the team and all the other heroes who died.
  • Mr. Immortal's power is a parody of this; his only major power is that he will always come back to life a few seconds after dying.
  • There's the classic storyline and graphic novel The Death of Superman. After "dying" in battle with the mindless monster Doomsday, four Doppelgangers appear! Which one could be the real Superman?
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    • Is it the mysterious black-and-blue colored Superman with the thick shades? Nope! He's a hyper-advanced clone/golem made from marble, controlled by the Eradicator, and powered by Superman's "corpse."
    • Is the half-Terminator Cyborg Superman the real deal? Nope! He's Hank Henshaw, the DCU equivalent of Reed Richards, using stolen genetic material and Kryptonian alloy stolen from Superman's birthing matrix. Wait, that's rocket ship. Also, he's the only one who's actually evil.
    • Is the Metropolis Marvel Superboy who claims to be a clone the real deal? Nope! He's a... well, he's a clone of the real deal. And half his genetic material came, not from Superman, but from Lex Luthor. Weirdest parents ever.
    • Is the mysterious armored Steel the new Superman? Nope! He's John Henry Irons, the DCU equivalent of Iron Man, and never really claims to be the new Superman, though some reporters think he's the only one deserving of it.
    • So, in the end, Superman was actually resuscitated soon after his "death," spent some time in a coma, and eventually was woken up by androids. So nobody was Superman, Back From The Dead! Don't you love happy endings?
  • The writers of Amazing Spider-Man attempted to be edgy when they devoted a 12-part series that ran across multiple Spider-Man titles and ended with Peter Parker getting his eye ripped out by a vampiric villain before getting killed. Of course, no matter how much the creators of the arc attempted to convince the readers that Peter was truly dead, he ended up coming back with more organic powers, as well as a new suit built for him by Tony Stark.
  • Spider-Man: Averted when Peter's parents, Richard and Mary Fitzpatrick-Parker, claimed to not have been killed in an airplane crash, and ended up staying with Peter for a while. It turned out they were impostors. Robot impostors. Zig-zagged with Uncle Ben - he's never been permanently resurrected; however, in Amazing Spiderman #500, he was brought back to life, as a gift from Doctor Strange...for 5 minutes, to have a conversation with Peter. Since then, however, he's remained in the realm of the dead.
  • Completely subverted (not to say stomped on) by ElfQuest. After One-Eye of the Wolfriders is killed in battle, Leetah the healer succeeds in reanimating him, but he is effectively brain-dead because his spirit has left his body. His lifemate Clearbrook has his body preserved in suspended animation in the hope of someday reviving him, but eventually decides to free his spirit completely by letting his body finally die.
  • In Journey into Mystery (Thor after Thor had died at Onslaught's hands), the Norse gods discover they are targeted by Set, the Egyptian God of the Dead. They travel to his country and are attacked by two people Set's mooks had killed. They bring one, Red Norvell, back to the land of the living by the expedient of grabbing him and dragging him back with them.
  • Parodied in Peter David's Incredible Hulk. Rick Jones' fiancee Marlo is dead. He goes to Doctor Strange and the following conversation ensues.
    Rick: Wong, have you returned from the dead?
    Wong: Well, yes.
    Rick: And Doc, have you come back from the dead?
    Doctor Strange: Yes, but I am a professional.
Eventually he asks the Leader to bring her back from the dead. And the Leader does.
  • In Incredible Hulk #434, following the death of Nick Fury at the Punisher's hands, several of Fury's old "Howling Commandos" buddies laugh, drink, and jokingly float numerous theories involving android duplicates, alien intervention, and the like until they reach the casket at the graveside. They're still sitting there speechless and shocked even after the rest of the attendees have left.
  • Depending on the Writer, Jean Grey's Phoenix powers fully manifest whenever she "dies". This has led to her gaining Death Is Cheap as a reputation. However, most of her demises were merely plot devices to activate her powers, so it's debatable whether or not they count. Technically, she's only "died" twice.
  • Half the cast of The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen were supposedly killed in the original novels.
  • In Preacher, Jesse's girlfriend, Tulip, is brutally murdered in front of him. God brings her back to life as a sort of a bribe, because He's scared of Genesis, which has taken up residence inside Jesse. God figures if He gives Jesse back his girlfriend, maybe he'll leave Him alone. In the finale Jesse and Cassidy are also revived (Cassidy is also no longer a vampire) by God as part of a deal Cassidy made with Him.
  • The comic Star Trek: Countdown, which ties into The Film of the Series Star Trek (2009) but is set many years after Star Trek: Nemesis, has the Enterprise commanded by Captain Data. Apparently, the scene at the end of Nemesis where B4 whistles Irving Berlin wasn't just an indication he'd picked up some of Data's personality traits, it was the first step of a complete Grand Theft Me.
  • Parodied in Too Much Coffee Man, where the eponymous character appears to be killed and resurrected so many times in the span of a few minutes that his friends stop caring.
  • In The Warlord the villain Deimos kept coming back, but each time worse than before: first time he had the sword scar across his face; second time, his body was fused with the dog that killed him; third time he was a head on a hand; final time he was a skull in a magical golem body.
  • Wonder Woman:
    • Wonder Woman (1987): As per George Perez's reimagining of the Amazons every single one of them (including Diana) has been brought back from the dead as their origin; they are created using the souls of women murdered by men who are given new life in bodies formed of clay.
    • Wonder Woman (2006): Zeus decides to revive the Long Dead Badass Achilles to lead his new Gargareans, whom he intends to have replace the Amazons. Things don't work out for Zeus as Achilles eventually decides to reject him and refuse to help Zeus subjugate humanity.
  • This is usually subverted in any Judge Dredd stories where previously killed characters return in later stories. In other words, they tend to be anything from a parallel dimension, an imperfect clone, a family descendant of the deceased character who is doing exactly what his/her parent used to do, a robotic replicant, etc. ... but NEVER actually turn out to be the original character back from the dead. Characters who have indeed returned from the dead in coordinance with this trope, however, include the Dark Judges (though, technically, they're already dead to begin with), the Angel Gang (except for Link Angel), and PJ Maybe.
  • Shade, the Changing Man has the main character return from death numerous times, though never unscathed.
  • Terra from Teen Titans, with a catch. She never learned that she resurrected and believed a lie that she was an orphan who was changed into a replica of Terra. It turned out the real Terra truly was dead. The second Terra was revealed to be a member of an underground race called the Stratans, who decided to send out a liaison to the modern world in a guise people would've been familiar with, using DNA implants to make it look like Tara Markova came back. The Stratans admit this was a poorly thought out move considering what a sociopath Tara turned out to be, but that was nothing compared to when the Time Trapper got his hands on her and warped her memories.
  • Psylocke once was fatally stabbed by the man known as Vargas while protecting Rogue and Beast, who were badly beaten by the villain. One year after her death, Betsy awoke where she had died, unaware of how she had survived, and was soon reunited with the X-Men. It is later revealed that the responsible was elder brother Jamie Braddock with his Reality Warper powers.
  • B.P.R.D. agent Ben Daimio is introduced desperately cutting his way out of a body bag. Readers later find out that he and his entire platoon were killed by a jaguar demon in South America. Daimio was the only one who came back, due to the demon possessing part of his soul.
  • There's a multiple media example, but Boba Fett first reappeared after being eaten by the Sarlaac in Dark Empire II and went on to appear in many, many, many stories after that.
  • In Star Wars: Legacy, Darth Krayt gets killed but his body is resurrected. So when Cade Skywalker kills him again, he makes sure that he won't come back again by sticking his body on a shuttle and sending it straight into Coruscant's sun!
  • Daredevil:
    • When Bullseye killed Elektra, Daredevil tried to revive her with a technique that he only saw once and didn't exactly understand. He partially succeeded, but she Came Back Wrong, physically and mentally splitting into a white-clad version of her that incarnated all her good traits, and Eryinys, which was more demon-like and incarnated all her negative traits. Eventually the two were combined again, restoring Elektra to normal, and after that she got a reputation for coming back from the dead as much as the X-Men.
    • After Bullseye blew up a housing project killing hundreds, Matt finally had enough and brutally killed him. The Hand eventually revived him with a twist. Bullseye was beaten so badly that even the Hand couldn't fully restore him. He was left a crippled shadow of his former self, powerless to do anything but stew in his hatred of Matt. His attempts to get revenge on Matt for this ultimately cost Bullseye his sight as well.
  • The Multiversity:
    • Lord Volt had been killed in the first Crisis, but is now alive again in the current multiverse.
    • In Pax Americana #1, Captain Atom is supposed to revive President Harley after the assassination, but this is prevented when scientists kill Captain Atom himself by putting a black hole in his head.
  • A few previously dead characters are apparently revived in to Convergence. Some, like Kole, are brought back only because they've been pulled from their timelines before their canonical deaths, while others, like Lian Harper, seem to be flat out resurrected.
    • The Flashpoint versions of Batman and Captain Thunder are stranger examples, in that they seem to remember actually dying but have somehow been revived with their timeline.
    • Pre-Crisis Supergirl is brought back from before her death, only to learn about her eventual fate.
  • Winifred Burkle returns from the dead in Angel and Faith, Season 10, even though she was believed to be Deader Than Dead for years.
  • In Violine, Muller pulls this off twice, the first time claiming he was too evil for crocodiles to finish him off (though losing two arms to them), the second time fighting them off himself with his robot claws.
  • During the Siege event, Loki realizes that he's been making a massive mistake: He wanted to make Asgard greater than ever, but let his hatred of Thor get in the way of that. In a last ditch effort to stop the Void, he uses the Norn stones to empower the New Avengers to give them a fighting chance. When this doesn't work, Loki takes the full blunt of the Void, dying while tearfully apologizing to Thor. Fortunately, Thor brings him back to life, now as a child with no memory of his evil deeds or his previous life beyond the age of twelve, but still has the guilt of what happened, with Thor's encouragement he becomes a kid hero.
  • This is Moon Knight's origin. Although it varies whether the god Khonshu is real and brought him back, or Spector was just Not Quite Dead and really badass.
  • Family: Gio and his associates got together to wack his older brother Silver for his indiscriminate murder of made guys, but he just disappeared in an explosion. He returns years later for revenge, apparently not having aged. Gio does ask him how it's even possible, but Silver notes that he shouldn't be so surprised that in a group of people with superpowers, one should be able to defy death.
  • Secret Wars (2015) has Thanos getting his entire skeleton ripped out by Doctor Doom. A scant few months later, in The Ultimates (2015), the eponymous team breach the edge of all existence, where Thanos' spirit had been lingering, which lures him back to the realm of the living.
  • One villain in Red Sonja: Queen of Plagues is resurrected for a Back for the Finale appearance in The Forgiving of Monsters a dozen issues later.
  • Grant Morrison's Batman saw the Bat Family Crossover "The Resurrection of Ra's Al-Ghul" after Greg Rucka killed him off in Death and the Maidens.
  • The Ultimate Marvel universe was destroyed in the Secret Wars, but it was restored at the end of Spider-Men 2. Even characters who had died before that, such as Pym and Captain America, were back in the action.
  • Walter Larson, who had a Death by Origin Story so Captain Mar-Vell could do a Dead Person Impersonation, returns in Marvel Team-Up (2019) #5 as Wastrel, and gets in conflict with the current Captain Marvel and Ms. Marvel.
  • Spider-Man 2099: Volture 2099 was originally left for dead after Miguel left him drop from the top of a skyscraper's elevator shaft. However, several issues later, he comes back with no visible marks on his body, looking for revenge. Miguel demands an explanation, but is never given one.
  • In another comic of Marvel 2099, Ghost Rider 2099, Kenshiro "Zero" Cochraine is killed during a fight with a gang, and he uploaded his consciousness into the cyberspace to prevent losing the data he hacked. There, he came in contact with a collective of Benevolent AIs known as the Ghost Works, which restore his consciousness into an android body.
    • The 2019 reboot of the same story plays things a little different; Zero was already in the system by the time other gang hit, died in an explosion and ended up in Hell, which had taken the form of a digital space called Ghost Works due to people's beliefs. There he met the original Ghost Rider, Johnny Blaze, who is now King of Hell, and he restored him into the body of an android that Zero had just found.
  • Doomsday Clock not only sees Dr. Manhattan undoing the Ret-Gone he pulled on Alan Scott, the Kents and Saturn Girl, but also reverses Alan's original Heroic Sacrifice againat D'arken and Jonathan's fatal heart attack in Superman: Brainiac, as well as resurrecting Damage, Yolanda Montez, and Beth Chapel.


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