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"Mutant Heaven has no pearly gates, only revolving doors."
Professor Charles Xavier, X-Factor #70

"If the creator wants to bring back a dead character, then that character will come back."

It doesn't matter how Deader Than Dead or Killed Off for Real that character is, they'll find a way to return. Much handwaving may be required to explain it (if they don't leave it unexplained), but anything is possible with a bit of Foreshadowing thrown in.

Also known as "Comic book death" because comic books are epecially known for taking place in long-spanning continuities where Death Is Cheap, important characters almost never come back wrong, Applied Phlebotinum is everywhere and iconic villains always come back from whatever fate that no carbon-based lifeform could have survived. In addition, the turnover of writers ensures that if some writer decides to make a bold move and kill one of the bad guys, it's almost guaranteed that some other writer will bring him back a few years down the road.

The First Law Of Resurrection almost always trumps the Sorting Algorithm of Deadness, with only a few exceptions (like Death By Origin Story). May lead to Opening a Can of Clones.


Examples of First Law of Resurrection include:


Anime and Manga

  • Painfully evident in Gundam Seed Destiny when it's revealed that Neo is, in fact, Mu la Flaga... in spite of the fact that Mu performed a Heroic Sacrifice in the second-to-last episode of the preceding series, blocking a massive positron cannon blast with his mecha to keep it from destroying a much larger spaceship. The original footage actually showed Mu's shattered helmet floating amidst the wreckage, but the only explanation provided for his survival is a single still frame that doesn't really do much to explain why he wasn't vaporized. Of course, the director of SEED and Destiny is known as "Bring 'Em Back" Fukuda for a reason... as opposed to his directorial ancestor, Yoshiyuki "Kill'Em All" Tomino.
    • Hell, it happened in the first series when protagonist Kira Yamato was seemingly killed... only to have inexplicably survived a mecha attached to his own cockpit self-destructing. There was an attempted Hand Wave in the spinoff manga, Gundam SEED Astray, but it was less than satisfactory... it explained how Kira got from his burn out mecha to get help but doesn't explain how he survived the attack that left his cockpit a burnt out husk.
    • This happens again in GSD where Kira's Freedom is stabbed through the cockpit and its nuclear engine explodes. Somehow, he ended up floating in the water, with no serious injuries.
    • Fukuda explains in a 2003 interview (after Seed's production was finished) why he brought back Andrew Waltfeld (and this may apply to Mu La Flaga):

 Mitsuo Fukuda: Originally, I didn't plan for [Andrew] to live, but let him live because there weren't a lot of cool adults left. When I saw [[[Ryotaro Okiayu]]]'s acting on screen, I said to myself, "Man, he's not going to die." When Morita-san heard that, his face had a look saying, "What are you saying when he's planning to die."

      • Note that at least, Andrew was mutilated and his copilot killed. All the others have no permanent injuries.
    • Face it, Shinn. Whenever you kill a Gundam Seed major character, he comes back. And Athrun was able to use his Character Shield to cover Mayrin.
  • Code Geass, repeatedly. Mao and Cornelia both get filled with bullets and survive anyway (if only for another episode in the former's case), Ohgi gets three knives in his chest and then falls off a cliff onto some pointy rocks and comes back anyway (ditto Viletta less the knives), and then there's the nuke that only killed unseen civilians.
  • Kikyo in Inuyasha. She dies a total of three times and comes back twice (though to be fair the last time was permanent). The first time she only fell off a cliff, but the second time she was killed directly by the main villain throwing her into a river of acid. Furthermore, a whole brief subplot then revolves around Inuyasha accepting that she's not coming back. Then some several episodes later, it turns out she was only Not Quite Dead. It takes the main character watching her die in his arms while actually watching her soul float away to kill her permanently. Put that on top of that fact that she actually entered as a regular character by coming back from a Death By Origin Story, and she is a definite friend of the first law.
    • Not to mention that she had already been kind of resurrected before all of that, due to Kagome being her Reincarnation.
      • Actually, given that A) We know how she's resurrected and why the first time, B) inhabiting a body of clay until her second death, C) A very powerful spiritual medium, even without her full soul, and D) Very, VERY knowledgeable about the subject matter, plus E) Never shown to explicitly die This trope doesn't apply at all. Instead she just has very inconvenient Plot Armor (Juggling between Rule of Empathy and Joker Immunity, depending on her current role) This is exacerbated by being the preincarnation of the main protagonist, and the love of both the Big Bad AND the Love Interest of the main protagonist (who is also one of the main characters.) It's not so much that the writers love her, as it is that she's a key plot point, mover, and element all at once.
  • In the Legendary Heroes arc of Yu-Gi-Oh! (the first of two arcs centered around the Big Five), Joey, Mai, and Mokuba are destroyed by the Mythic Dragon (controlled by the Big Five). It seems that they are gone forever, but the Mystical Elf casts a spell that brings them back.
    • The spirit of the Millennium Ring is defeated many times, but keeps coming back. To count: he loses to Yugi, the ring containing his spirit is thrown away, he loses to Yugi again, and then he loses to Marik. And that's not counting "Season 0" taking place before the main series, where he's defeated a fifth time. With the exception of a Hand Wave that all the people Marik defeated are returned to normal when he's beaten, none of these revivals are adequately explained.
  • In Yu-Gi-Oh! GX, almost all the main characters except for Judai and Sho are killed off in Season 3, a twist at the end of the season reveals they're just in an alternate universe and are freed after Yubel is defeated. However, this is played straight as can be with Ryo--he isn't sent to another dimension, he dies when his brutal style of dueling takes its toll on his heart and it just plain gives out. However, come next season it's reported he was found washed-up on the beach. His heart condition is still present but not fatal, and he survives to see the end of the series later that season.
  • In most cases, whenever a good character dies in Dragonball Z, you know they are going to find the Dragonballs and wish them back sooner or later, no matter what the odds are.
  • Thoroughly parodied in Excel Saga, with both main characters dying and coming back from the dead all the fricking time. In Excel's case, it's for no other reason than the literally stated "It's your series. You have to live", with the resurrections performed by the Great Will of the Universe herself. In the case of Hyatt, her coming back from the dead is more of a running gag. Of course, you have to keep in mind that this series makes it its quest to parody absolutely everything.
  • The Ghost in the Shell OVA has a variation in that it simply has a major character descend back from {{A Higher Plane Of Existance Ascend to a Higher Plane of Existence}}. Apparently because it wasn't that interesting.


Comic Books

  • In general, the X-Men franchise is the poster-child for this trope. The fact of the matter is that there are 20+ main characters, and a writer is likely to have any one of them as a favorite. And various members are constantly being killed off for the sake of either drama or to try to thin out the herd. The result being that the average length of death for any mutant in the Marvel universe is 1 to 2 years.
    • Jean only partially counts. She wasn't actually meant to die at the end of the Dark Phoenix Saga (as stated by Claremont and others), and it was the intention from the beginning to bring her back, just not as a super hero who committed genocide.
    • In fact this happens so frequently in X-Men that when Banshee dies and his daughter is informed of his death, she point blank refuses to believe that he'll stay dead. This tendency of dead X-Men coming back to life is also hilariously mocked in this flash cartoon parody. She has yet to return only because Joe Quesada has enforced a "dead means dead" policy concerning her.
    • The earliest example being the death of Professor X in the '60s, with a cover screaming "Not a hoax! Not a dream! Not an imaginary tale! This is for real!" He was back less than two years later.
    • They've even gotten Genre Savvy about it, with Beast calling one villain's death a "Magneto moment," invoking the frequent "deaths" and "returns" of the sometimes-Big Bad-sometimes-Anti-Hero. "The more certain the death, the more certain the resurrection."
    • This happens to Colossus in Joss Whedon's run on Astonishing X-Men. Quote Kitty Pryde:

  You have to know that if you're a clone or robot or, yeah, a ghost or an alternate universe thingie, I can deal, ...but if you are some shapeshifter or illusionist who's just watching me twist I will kill you and I will kill you with an axe--

    • The recent "Necrosha" Crossover has Selene resurrecting deceased mutants left and right, proving once and for all that for mutants, death is nothing more than a big game of freeze tag.
  • He doesn't do it as much any more, but in the Silver Age Doctor Doom would die about every other appearance -- coming Back From the Dead was one of his most terrifying abilities -- again and again, he'd return from things no one could survive, and describe his miraculous return with casual arrogance. What with everyone doing it nowadays, not so much. (Doctor Doom prefers to be as unique as possible.)
    • That goes double for the Red Skull, who was pretty much guaranteed to get caught in a lethal explosion or some such every time he showed up--just never leaving a body--only to casually reappear next time. This culminated in an 80's story where Cap actually saw him die, complete with a corpse. This left Skully dead for longer than usual, and the next writer to use him had to invoke some particularly wacky Applied Phlebotinum to explain his return.
      • Hell, he doesn't even have a body these days.
  • When Marvel killed off their version of Dracula several years ago, they included a death certificate signed by the writer and editor guaranteeing he'd never be brought back. Guess what happened? Anyone who seriously thinks they can get away with killing off Dracula for good is oblivious to his Contractual Immortality clause - being a Public Domain Character and all.
    • Just ask Castlevania - even if he's 'sealed forever' in their main timeline, they keep making games set prior to this to continue including him, and his soul lives on in Soma Cruz. Besides ... unlike most characters, Dracula's undead. Rising from the grave is exactly what he's supposed to do.
  • Do we even need to mention Jason Todd?
  • Supergirl was famously killed off in Crisis on Infinite Earths as part of a general overhaul to make Superman the only Kryptonian again. It took her nearly 20 years, but of course she came back. There were three Supergirls in the interim, but none of them was Kara Zor-El.
  • Don't forget the Joker, who originally started off as a one-shot character, but who was brought back from an apparent death to become practically impervious to being Killed Off for Real.
  • Batman died in Final Crisis #6. Suuuuure he did. Not even bothering to try to make us believe he'd be gone for good, Bruce is shown alive and well at the end of the series. The plot was about how and when he'd come back, not if.
    • He got a six-part mini-series called The Return Of Bruce Wayne, which detailed his coming back. Odd, since a few months ago Marvel released Captain America: Reborn, which was a six-part mini-series about Cap coming back.
  • DC's Blackest Night event was built around a number of big name characters who had died and come back over the years. The series ends with a promise that from here on out, "dead is dead," with the explicit exception of Bruce Wayne, whose return was already well underway. Riiiight.[1]
  • The Death of Superman. He got better... Of course, it might not be an example since DC fully intended to bring him Back From the Dead--this is Superman, not Jason Todd.
  • The Green Goblin/ Norman Osborn had one of the greatest death scenes in comics - impaled on his own Goblin Glider after a brutal fight with Spider-Man (after having killed Peter Parker's girlfriend, Gwen Stacy), and was then resurrected with a lot of Handwaving[2]. To be fair, the resurrection didn't happen until 20+ years later (still before it really became cheap), and the writers brought him back because they had written themselves deep into a corner with The Clone Saga and had to come up with something suitably climactic to end it. His resurrection also allowed them to bring back Aunt May via a contrived storyline involving an actress replacing her in her final days. Plus, since he came Back From the Dead Osborn has Took a Level In Badass / Took a Level In Jerkass and become a major player in the wider Marvel U. as well as once for all firmly establishing himself as Spidey's one, true Arch Enemy, so in many ways he's an example of how to do this right.
  • Harry Osborn is back, thanks to One More Day, although they didn't go with the obvious "The Devil did it" explanation.
  • And for a while, Superman liked to hallucinate all of his species was dead; no wonder the citizens of the shrunken city of Kandor went a little nuts once they regrew.
  • Runaways: Getrude Yorkes is a subversion; she died once and Chase Stein considered bringing her back in an arc aptly titled "Dead Means Dead" but the price was another innocent person had to die so he chose not to go through with it.
  • In an attempt to avert this, Batman personally sees to it that Ra's al Ghul's body is burned after the latter's death in one story. Unfortunately, not even fire can stop Ra's, and this trope wound up being played straight anyway.


Film

  • This trope is extremely common in the Star Wars Expanded Universe. For example, in the Dark Empire graphic novel, Emperor Palpatine and Boba Fett both return from what looks like certain death in Return of the Jedi. (Note that Palpatine really did die in RotJ. He came back with the help of a few cloned bodies and some dark side abilities. Boba Fett only fought his way out of the Sarlacc off-camera.) No matter how many times the Jedi seem to kill Asajj Ventress, she always comes back. The Jedi K'Khruuk has multiple scrapes with death over the course of nearly 200 years, and each time emerges unscathed - along with his straw hat (which is jokingly attributed by fans as the reason for his survival). He even lampshades it: "I've died any number of times... or so I've been told."
  • Humorously lampshaded in Scary Movie 4, when Brenda (who died and had a funeral in 3) shows up. Cindy tells her "I thought you were dead", to which she replies "I thought you were dead".
  • Horror movie villains (particularly slashers). They have a tendency to return from the dead, especially Freddy Krueger and Jason Voorhees. Sometimes they seemingly die but are later revealed in the next film to survive, invoking Joker Immunity. Jason was intended to be permanently killed off in The Final Chapter (fourth film), but after receiving poor reception to a Jason impostor (and a mortal one at that) in Part V, they brought him back to life in Part VI. Jason dies twice more in the series, the second time for good, as a remake series has been started already. As for Freddy, he is destroyed in every single movie he appears in but can always return as long as people remember him.


Literature

  • Ian Malcolm in the original Jurassic Park novel. He actually dies while other characters watch near the end of the novel, but in the second he's back and says in a lecture that reports of his death were "exaggerated". One has to wonder what else in the first book wasn't true for the second...
    • Seems pretty clear the reason he came back once the film Jurassic Park was a big hit...MoneyDearBoy.
    • Note that only other characters claim that Malcolm is dead, so Unreliable Narrator indeed. The real circumstances are left ambiguous at best. When they are escaping with the helicopters, Muldoon tells Grant that there is another heli which will collect the other survivors. When Grant asks him about Malcolm, Muldoon just shakes his head. Muldoon still could be wrong, the evacuation was pretty hectic and there was also a lot of stress with some roaming raptors. The epilogue, in which a funeral for Hammond and Malcolm is mentioned, is clearly written in Grant's point of view, so when he got wrong information from Muldoon or Malcolm was reanimated after Muldoon has left... Hand Wave borderlines justification, though.
  • A subversion, perhaps providing a corollary: "If the character's owner wants a character to come back, it will come back even if the creator and writer doesn't." RA Salvatore didn't want to bring Wulfgar back, but was told by TSR/Wizards of the Coast that if he didn't, someone else would. So he did it, figuring his version would probably be better than others. In Baldur's Gate 2, Drizzt's entire party gets a cameo, and upon reference to Hell, Wulfgar quips "I've been there. It was nothing special."
  • Portrayed in Misery. Author Paul Sheldon kills off the title character of his "Misery" romantic potboiler series, only for a psychotic fan to force him to write a new book where she comes back. His initial attempt directly contradicts the circumstances of Misery's "death", and the fan forces him to play fair. He ends up coming up with what is actually a very clever way to not only bring her back to life, but reveal that she's royalty (something to do with her blood type) in the process.
    • She shares a rare, like-death-coma syndrome triggered by bee's venom. Simple, and still plain good.
  • Sherlock Holmes people! Sherlock Holmes! The author didn't actually want to bring him back. But everyone else did, and they pestered him about it until he gave in. If Doyle really wanted to kill him off permanently, Watson would have found the body.
  • Ditto for James Bond, who was killed off at the end of From Russia with Love. He recovers in time for the movies.
    • The explanation for his survival in the next book (Doctor No, which is the predecessor to From Russia With Love in the movies) is actually fairly plausible: He wasn't dead at the end of the book, only dying. The people he was with at the time managed to keep him alive until he could receive proper medical treatment.


Live Action TV

  • The Master in the Doctor Who TV Movie ended up Deader Than Dead, sucked into the Eye of Harmony -- a harnessed black hole with the power to destroy the universe if left open. His return in the new series is handwaved with a single line: "The Time Lords only resurrected me because they knew I'd be the perfect warrior for a Time War." Job done.
    • He did this in the classic series as well, once with a Lampshade Hanging for good measure. Having been completely burned away in full view of the Doctor and the viewers, he comes back the next season and when reminded that he's supposed to be dead just replies "You jest, of course. I'm indestructible, the whole universe knows that."
    • He seems to have decided to stay dead this time, refusing to regenerate purely so he can leave the Doctor alone in the universe. It's entirely possible that this one won't stick either, of course. Word of God says that the creators of the show have no intention of bringing the Master back, but the scene in question was to give them something to work with in case they change their minds.
      • Judging from the End of Time, he was brought back... now he's just happily stored in a Time Lock ready to pop back any time.
    • Did I mention that Time Lords have 13 lives and some (* cough * cough Master * cough) have managed to bypass even that?
    • Also in Doctor Who: the Daleks, especially in the new series. Not a single character per se, but after having "definitely killed all of them forever, no really, this time we mean it" at least seven times, only to have them show up again at the end of the most recent season, they're certain to be back sometime.
    • Their first reappearance was explained by time travel, whilst the Daleks were destroyed at the end of the Doctor's first encounter with them, that doesn't mean he can't meet them in a time period before their destruction. This kind of non-linearality rarely seems to happen to the Doctor, usually he seems to encounter allies and enemies (even time travellers) in the same order they do. Indeed the Daleks' "final end" in Evil of the Daleks would have been explained away with a far more straightforward "it wasn't the final end, and the human-factor Daleks were wiped out" explanation in a cut scene in Day of the Daleks.
    • The Big Finish Doctor Who audio The Boy that Time Forgot brought back Adric, of all people. He dies of old age at the end, though.
    • Referenced by Neil Gaiman in a question-and-answer session regarding what happened to the body of a character in "The Doctor's Wife":

 [It] is on a bubble universe that reached Absolute Zero pretty quickly, destroying all the cells, Corsair DNA etc.



Unless of course someone needs it for a future story, in which case it will have been perfectly preserved.

  • Torchwood writers killed Owen just so they could bring him back. No other reason.
  • Tony in the seventh season of 24. The writers had planned for him to die quite a few times during the show's run and they got a lot of mileage from his first real death scene (he was intended to die in the same explosion that killed Michelle).
  • Several characters on Passions have been killed off during their runs on the show, but all of them got better. The best-known instance of this was when the show employed the Fake Shemp method to keep Timmy alive when Josh Ryan Evans died (having already filmed a scene in heaven and a scene where Timmy appears to Tabitha as an angel). The character then went on to appear later in the series as a gloved hand, wreaking havoc with the show's continuity.
  • This is one of the trademarks of The X-Files; no one really stays dead. The X-Files, the place where you can put your own death as the reason for missing work--three times (in Mulder's case, at least).
  • Soap operas in general are as bad as comic books about keeping characters dead. A good rule of thumb is that unless the a) the actor died while playing a long-running character he is deeply associated with, b) the dead character's heart was donated to another character or c) the character's slow death from a real life disease was a major storyline (usually AIDS), the character can be brought back from the dead. Even if we saw her dead body on screen. Even if the character was killed off over a decade prior.
    • The most (in)famous resurrection has to be that of Bobby Ewing in Dallas by having the entire previous 40 or 50 episode stretching about 2 years of story time handwaved away as a dream by Pamela Ewing. To accomplish this in the last episode of the dream sequence several characters were killed including fan favorite JR Ewing. Needless to say none of the character introduced during the story arc between Bobby's death and resurrection returned, as they were just figments of the imagination.
  • As the World Turns hung a lampshade on this trope with the death of David Stenbeck. David, the son of the villainous, oft-resurrected James (and a character who also had a couple returns from the dead), was killed by the police. When the coffin was being lowered into the ground, psychotic Julia shot it full of holes, just to be sure. Her reaction to the townspeoples' horror indicated a certain Genre Savvy regarding this trope.
  • Days of Our Lives had characters shown killed, shown their bloody bodies on their floor, their suited bodies in coffins, had them briefly show up as ghosts, and then showed that they were Not Quite Dead.
  • Buffy the Vampire Slayer: Buffy regularly boasts "Hey, I died twice!" ... or is it technically thrice with the sixth season finale? To say nothing of the vampires. Angel actually broke out of hell to come back, Spike was resurrected by an amulet for the fifth season of Angel, and Darla was resurrected in the first season of the same show. Cordelia came back from the "higher plane" which is pretty obviously a type of heaven. Warren was resurrected for the canonical Season 8 of the comics.
  • Charmed. Oh boy. Over the course of 8 seasons, Piper and Phoebe die 9 times each. Paige reaches the same number of deaths within just 5 seasons and Prue has 3 deaths to show. And of course, being the main characters, they all get better. Well, except for Prue at the end of season 3, which actually underlines the point that the characters only get better when the creators want them to.
  • William Boone, Zo'or, and Liam Kincaid in Earth: Final Conflict, although, in the latter case, they Never Found the Body, while Boone and Zo'or were clearly shown disintegrating. Thankfully, Zo'or is finally killed off after resurrection. Unfortunately, so is Boone, albeit off-screen. Liam comes back in the series finale without an explanation.
  • The creators of Supernatural can't even seem to keep their three main characters dead for more than an episode. With the unusual exception of Sam in season 6, all of the leads are guaranteed to come back to life either the episode they die, or the very next one.
    • Dean stayed dead for some four months between Seasons 3 and 4, so while technically he did return the next episode, that next episode wasn't until the next season and several months later real-time. Same for Castiel between Seasons 4 and 5 and yes, Sam between 5 and 6, though that one's a bit iffy depending on whether you count him as really alive or not...
    • Season 5 has an episode where Same and Dean die, go to Heaven and are ressurected by God at the end of the episode; they are informed that they have actually died dozens of times off-screen and went through all of that before, though each time their memories were wiped. They are told that this time they will remember it, and they won't get another second chance. As Sam demonstrates, they do, but to be fair it wasn't God who brought him back and this time he Came Back Wrong and had to earn a proper resurrection afterwards over the course of several episodes.


Tabletop Games

  • In Warhammer Fantasy Battles Volkmar the Grim does this in a way; technically he isn't dead, but being tied on a banner carried by the legions of hell in a weakened state is about as close as you get. He gets free and fights his way from there. Otherwise it's pretty much averted in the world.
    • Actually Volkmar was indeed killed by Archaon, then resurrected by Be'lakor and tied to his standard to be used to break the morale of Imperial troops.


Video Games

  • While Bowser in the Mario series has Joker Immunity, he does occasionally (confirmed at least three times) die in the Mario games; once he is mentioned in Luigi's Mansion to have previously been defeated by Mario ("defeated" apparently meaning "destroyed", as it is theorized that King Boo revived him), once in New Super Mario Bros. Bowser falls into lava and is reduced to a skeleton and in Super Paper Mario Bowser is killed by Dimentio along with Mario and Peach. However, Bowser cannot permanently exit the series, and is resurrected on all three occasions; He appears in Super Mario Sunshine (apparently resurrected by Bowser Jr.), and is resurrected onscreen by Bowser Jr. in New Super Mario Bros Wii, and in the case of Super Paper Mario, Dimentio's attack wasn't intended to permanently kill him, so that when he appeared in the land of ended games, he was still considered "alive", and returned with Mario, Peach, and Luigi through a dimensional door.
  • World of Warcraft (and supplementary material) has brought back many characters once thought dead. Muradin lost his memory and remained in Northrend, the dreadlords Balnazzar and Mal'Ganis returned to corrupt the Scarlet Crusade, the Alliance expedition to Outland "returned" in the Burning Crusade (although Turalyon and Alleria are still missing), Magtheridon turned out to be just imprisoned, Xavius became the Nightmare Lord, Cho'gall returned twice, and even Deathwing was presumed dead by some before being confirmed to be alive. and now both his children (albeit as undead) and his mate are returning for Cataclysm.
  • In Sonic Adventure 2, Shadow the Hedgehog dies. But he was so popular that they brought him back. Nobody's quite clear on how he survived a fall through the atmosphere; sometimes it's aliens, sometimes it's Chaos Control, sometimes it's Doctor Eggman finding him, and sometimes it's just because he's the Ultimate Lifeform. Alternatively Shadow didn't survive and this new one is a clone or a robot. Either way, he's back.
    • Via a throwaway set of quotes in the final battle of Shadow's own game, it's revealed that the Shadow you're playing is indeed the real one, as Eggman's robots saved and recovered him from the orbital freefall. He pretty much made the Shadow Androids to screw with him.


Web Comic

  • MAG ISA -- Eman Cruz gets resurrected after he's got filled up with bullets enough to kill the average person.
  • Jerkass/JerkWithAHeartOfGold Mike Warner's resurrection has yet to be explained after his badass Heroic Sacrifice (at least we think that's what he was doing) near the end of Its Walky. He was mentioned in a list of people who probably wouldn't be able to be resurrected using the martian technology, but a year later (a gap sufficiently long enough to allow for the nine-month process) he shows up working at the Shortpacked! toy store without explanation. At his parent's house he has several medals from the war--some of which are only awarded posthumously.
    • The owner of the Shortpacked! toy store, Galasso, also brought back Ronald Reagan; FDR appears to work at the nearby store Mc Awesome's. Later, Galasso also brings back Historical Jesus. So, yeah....
  • The mermaid in Axe Cop whom Axe Cop mistook for a bad guy because a friendly mermaid face looks like a human scowl and accidentally murdered was revived in this way. The author of the comic, Malachai called up the illustrator, Ethan, and told him that he didn't want the mermaid to die any more. Ethan assured Malachai that since it was his story, they could bring him back, so they planned out a story where Axe Cop wished the mermaid back to life after finding out she was the daughter of the King of the Mermaids.
    • Also, in one comic, Ethan mistakenly drew the Moon Warriors' bug monster truck exploding, when Malachai didn't say anything about that. When Malachai found out, he called out his brother because he thought the truck was cool, so the next comic includes a Note From Ed discussing how the heroes found a ninja mechanic to fix it, then killed him.
  • Oasis in Sluggy Freelance has been killed just off-screen many times now. Lampshaded several times that her deaths always occur in such a way as to leave no body. Then it was explained and it was awesome.
    • Zoe, who was not dead but in a permanent vegetative state, was restored to normal in a Plan involving nanites by Riff.


Western Animation

  • Optimus Prime on Transformers. His deaths have their own fan page. Also Optimus Primal in Beast Wars.
  • Kenny in South Park has this as his freaking super power!
  • The Joker on Batman the Animated Series: Batman never angsts about the Joker's many supposed deaths (not even in Mad Love when he knocked him into a smokestack) since he knows he'll always come back thanks to Joker Immunity. In Batman Beyond: Return of the Joker, which takes place in the far future, the Joker "returns" after having met his definite end during an encounter long ago. Terry floats theories as to whether Joker is a clone, robot or just reawakened from cryogenic sleep. He's a clone, sort of, via implanting his DNA in Tim Drake (Robin). The real Joker really is dead.
    • At the end of Justice League Unlimited, Lex Luthor and Darkseid both seemingly die thanks to Lex making a Heroic Sacrifice to kill them both with the Anti-Life Equation and Batman muses that neither of them are likely dead and both of them will probably come back. Unusually, this was the Grand Finale and the show, and for all intents and purposes the entire DCAU, came to end with this, so as far as we know they don't come back. Even more unusually, the whole thing was so ambiguous that its not even clear that Lex was even using the Equation to kill the two of them in the first place and both of them might not even have died at all!
  • Morph in X-Men was supposed to remain dead to show the Darker and Edgier tone of the series. Due to his Ensemble Darkhorse status, Mister Sinister brought him back to life.

Notes

  1. I don't believe you!
  2. Basically, it turned out the serum that gave him his powers also gave him a Healing Factor; he then murdered a lookalike for his funeral and ran off to Europe to found a criminal empire and took over a weird evil cult called the Scriers; after coming back, he even wrote a book to explain why he had to fake his death and to refute all the evidence that he was ever the Green Goblin
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