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Second Coming

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"Let not your heart be troubled: ye believe in God, believe also in me. In my Father's house are many mansions: if it were not so, I would have told you. I go to prepare a place for you. And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again, and receive you unto myself; that where I am, there ye may be also."

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 Jesus Christ. The character in question may or may not be fully aware of the Messianic Archetype 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 The Promised Land. 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 Time Travel into what turns out to be a Bad 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 Clone Jesus. 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 Rightful King Returns. Not related to Boldly Coming.

For the X-Men crossover, see X-Men: Second Coming.


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    Anime & Manga 
  • In 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 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.
  • In the Sailor Moon anime, when the Senshi travel to Crystal Tokyo, King Endymion explains to them that in the early 21st century, Earth fell into an Ice Age that only ended when Sailor Moon woke up from a thousand-year slumber and became Neo Queen Serenity.

  • Sistine Chapel: The "The Last Judgement" fresco shows the final result of Jesus's return from Heaven: a final judgment upon all of humanity, where the saints and martyrs rising to live beside God's throne and the sinners descend into the fiery pits of the Earth to be tortured with the worst of the demons.

    Comic Books 
  • Second Coming is about Jesus returning to Earth in the care of Superman Substitute Sunstar so that he could learn to be more assertive and direct.
  • Superman in Kingdom Come, 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.
  • King Arthur, Merlin and the reincarnated Knights of the Round Table in 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.
  • In The Chronicles of Wormwood, Wormwood's friend Jay is the Second Coming of Christ, although he's not entirely lucid for most 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. Police Brutality at its finest. He does recover naturally by the end of the series and decides to host a talk show to start helping people again..

    Films — Animation 
  • The Lion King (1994): Simba, who returns to the pride he left to depose his uncle Scar as the rightful king.
  • Toy Story 2: Woody's welcome by Jessie, Bullseye, and Stinky Pete is almost treated as this with all the attendant Hero Worship elements attached to Woody until he realizes that he's going to be joining them in a museum.

    Films — Live-Action 
  • In Mad Max: Beyond Thunderdome, 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 "Tomorrow-morrow Land," or back to civilization as it once was.
  • In The Matrix, Morpheus seeks out Neo as the return of The One. 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 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 Anti Anti Christ.
  • Bless the Child has a girl named Cody as the Second Coming. The film was touching enough for some people in a Misaimed Fandom sort of way to take it for gospel, believing that she exists and really is this.
  • In Jesus Christ: Vampire Hunter, Jesus' second coming happens in part because God wants him to fight sunlight-immune vampires that prey on lesbians.
  • Omen III: The Final Conflict: When Damien Thorn realizes that the Second Coming is imminent and thus his arch-enemy will be reborn, he orders his cult to kill every baby born within a certain date.
  • Blood of the Tribades: The vampires' religion teaches that Bathor, who's sort of their Christ figure, will one day come again. In the finale, she does.
  • The party that God throws in Good Satan is a going away party for Jesus so that the Second Coming could be enacted. It is cancelled in the end when they all decide that humanity should think for themselves.

  • Arthurian Legend: King Arthur, of course. As a boy, he came back once, and later in life he was mortally wounded ... but it's also said he'll come back from the dead at his kingdom's hour of greatest need.
  • In Dragons in Our Midst, 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 cloning of Jesus.
  • The throne of the Autarchs in The Book of the New Sun 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 Sergey Lukyanenko Seekers of the Sky, several characters wonder if Marcus really is the second coming of the Redeemer or the Tempter, who is to come before the Redeemer and lead the world astray.
  • The Restaurant at the End of the Universe: 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 Christian Nation, the Sarah Palin and Steve Jordan administrations change American society into a theocracy in preparation for the Lord's Second Coming.
  • As of Wax and Wayne, Survivorist lore states that the Survivor survived death, and will return for his followers in their time of need. Given that he died onscreen in Mistborn and his subsequent revival was explained as a ploy, it seems like more religious lionization... until he appears sixteen years after his death in The Bands of Mourning.
  • Area 51: Some alien-worshiping cults present aliens as the promised saviors come again to aid humanity.

    Live-Action TV 
  • In an episode of The Flash (1990), 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 set things right.
  • The 2003 The Second Coming 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.
  • Star Trek: The Next Generation:
    • In "Rightful Heir", a Klingon religious caste tries to use cloning and memory construction to recreate their local Messiah, Kahless, so that they (with him as their puppet) could take over the Klingon Empire and "restore it to greatness". When the plot is revealed, one of the monks involved points out that for all anybody knows this could be exactly what Kahless had in mind when he promised to return. 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).
    • In the episode "Devil's Due", the Ventaxians are fearful of the Second Coming of their Satanic Archetype Ardra, who according to their legend had the people make a Deal with the Devil that she would give them 1000 years of peace and prosperity in exchange for them being made her slaves upon her return. As it turned out, it was a con artist using advanced technology who was posing as Ardra and taking advantage of their legends in order to con the people out of their resources.
  • On the Misfits Christmas Episode, an evil Catholic 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 Christ (so he can steal vast quantities of money from the poor and sexually exploit women freely).
  • Messiah: A lot of Muslims and Christians believe Al-Masih is Jesus come again (the former as a prophet, with the latter believing that he's God himself). It's left unclear if they're right, and he never explicitly confirms or denies this view either way.

  • Christian songs related to Jesus' Second Coming:
    • Robin Mark: "You're The Lion Of Judah" and "Days Of Elijah" from Revival In Belfast.
    • "The Battle Hymn Of The Republic".
    • "When The Roll Is Called Up Yonder".
    • "Midnight Cry".
    • Brooklyn Tabernacle Choir: "Jesus, We Crown You With Praise".
    • "People Get Ready, Jesus Is Coming".
    • "We Shall See The King".
    • AD featuring Kerry Livgren: "All Creation Sings".
    • "Joy To The World", although a Christmas song, was originally written with this trope in mind.
    • "O Come, O Come, Emmanuel", which is also used as a Christmas song.
    • Tommy Walker: "Prepare Ye The Way".
    • Chris Tomlin: "Even So Come".
  • Jesus' second coming is alluded to in George Michael's "Praying For Time":
    And you cling to the things they sold you.
    Did you cover your eyes when they told you
    That He can't come back
    'Cause He has no children to come back for?
  • "Tomorrow Wendy" by Andy Prieboy (covered by Concrete Blonde) has this in its lines:
    I told the priest
    Don't count on any second coming
    God got his ass kicked
    The first time he came down here slumming
  • "In the Year 2525" by Zager and Evans has the Second Coming occur in the year 7510.
  • "Jesus Is Coming" by the Bellamy Brothers adds the classic line "...and boy is He pissed!"

    Mythology & Religion 
  • Baldur, who like Christ is loved by all, is betrayed by one of his companions (Loki), and who will eventually return to rule the Earth after the End of the World as We Know It. Unlike Christ though, he didn't get better - at least not yet. C. S. Lewis and his friend Tolkien actually proposed Baldur was a 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 its 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.
  • The Trope Namer is The Bible, 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 (part of the foundation of the Kingdom Now/Dominion Theology/Seven Mountains movement). The literal return is what the Left Behind book series and pretty much any Christian-related end-times fiction is based on.
  • Interestingly, the Second Coming of Jesus Christ is the central component of Islamic eschatology as well. Muslims deny that Jesus was crucified and that he instead was raised to heaven and Allah (God) placed an illusion of him dying on the cross, but still believe he will return when he is needed. Their belief holds that Jesus will return and defeat a false Messiah, allowing the Mahdi rid the world of evil. One of the major differences in theology between the Sunni and Shia sects of Islam is that Shia believe the Mahdi was born over a millennium ago and like Jesus will have a Second Coming, while Sunni believe that the Mahdi will appear for the first time when Jesus returns.
  • The Second Coming by William Butler Yeats, though it alludes more to the coming of The Antichrist in a world spiraling out of control.
  • Zoroastrianism also teaches that its founder Zoroaster shall be reborn (from a virgin being miraculously impregnated even) when the faith needs him to come again.

    Tabletop Games 
  • Warhammer 40,000:
    • One of the main problems the Imperium faces is the God-Emperor's current state. Some believe he will someday return to his full power, others believe the Golden Throne keeping him "alive" must be unplugged so that he can be returned (which could very well doom the Imperium as a whole if they're wrong, as currently the only thing He's capable of doing is projecting a psychic beacon without which FTL Travel is impossible for Imperials), still others are looking to jump-start him by finding all the demigods he sired during his millennia of Walking the Earth and sacrificing them simultaneously... and naturally each faction believes their interpretation is correct and the others are dangerous heretics who must be corrected with fire.
    • There was a Second Coming in the form of the Primarch Roboute Guilliman being restored from stasis, being utterly horrified at how far the Imperium had fallen from its height, and after a few choice words with the Emperor, started trying to fix it up. Unfortunately, while he's not directly responsible for it, the galaxy as a whole is now even worse off with a supermassive Warp storm cutting it in half.

    Video Games 
  • The Legend of Zelda:
    • The Legend of Zelda: A Link to the Past: Agahnim sets himself up as this in the back story. In a period where Hyrule is simultaneously ravaged by plagues, famine, drought, and other hardships, he appears out of nowhere and works miracles to set things right. He becomes a hero to the people and the King declares him to be the second coming of the Sages of old and appoints him his priest and second-in-command. Granted, he does herald the return of someone from the past...
    • In The Legend of Zelda: The Wind Waker, 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 Messianic Archetype.
  • Aleph in Shin Megami Tensei II, an 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.
    • Aleph isn't even the first, either; the Heroine and the Law Hero of Shin Megami Tensei I, which takes place decades earlier, are both declared to be the Messiah. The Heroine was said to be the Messiah because she remembered her past life, and the Law Hero was resurrected by God to lead the Messians.
  • Gordon Freeman in Half-Life 2 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 stop it).
  • The Maker in the Dragon Age 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.
  • The Allagan Empire in Final Fantasy XIV: A Realm Reborn resurrected their legendary first emperor, Xande, to lead them into a new golden age after a long period of stagnation. The Allagan Empire did indeed experience a dramatic resurgence under Xande's rule, but ultimately he subverted this trope, embracing nihilism in the face of having accomplished everything and deciding to destroy the world, only to destroy his own empire instead.
  • The Player Character of Arcanum: Of Steamworks & Magick Obscura, according to ancient prophecy that has widely been forgotten or written off as nonsense, is the "Reincarnation of the Spirit of Nasrudin", Nasrudin being an enormously powerful Elven mage who died two millennia ago. Rather, he vanished to the Isle of Thanatos, and the Player Character is, indeed, merely a person of the same spirit. Made much more hilarious if the player elects to be a half-Ogre, half-Orc, or similarly discriminated-against race.
  • InFamous: Second Son: While there's no relation between the two, A random NPC will comment that a Good Karma Delsin is the Second Coming of Cole. And indeed, Delsin's heroic actions eventually bring about a new age of peace between humans and conduits.

  • 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 the 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 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.
  • One Saturday Morning Breakfast Cereal strip was about the Second Coming and a Third Coming happening simultaneously due to a scheduling error.

    Web Video 

    Western Animation 
  • Dreamy Smurf in The Smurfs (1981) 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, may suggest that it was otherwise, as Dreamy trips over a crystal similar to the ones seen in his dream.
  • Lucy of Lucy, the Daughter of the Devil 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 Church Militant faction of priests and nuns.
  • Futurama had a throwaway reference to Jesus's second coming in 2443, which was not described, but was apparently very destructive. The show proper is set six centuries later, so one can draw their own conclusions. However, the Professor occasionally swears by Zombie Jesus.
  • Played with on Family Guy; Peter meets Jesus working at a record store and believes it's the second coming, only to be told that it's not the case and that he comes back every hundred years or so to catch up with the world.