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A dead person who is brought Back From the Dead because their skills are needed to accomplish some grand mission (perhaps because it's too difficult for any living hero, or because someone officially dead is required for it, etc.).

This trope is not about heroes being resurrected after getting killed mid-series. See Disney Death for that. This trope is for when resurrection is used in a premise of the story.

See also Comic Book Death and We Can Rebuild Him.

This is a Death Trope, at least in the case of sequels. Spoilers ahoy!

Examples of Resurrected for a Job include:

Anime and Manga

  • The Impure World Ressurection from Naruto is a jutsu used to bring back dead ninja who were especially skilled or powerful.
  • In Inuyasha, Urasue tries to resurrect Kikyo and command her. It doesn't work out so well.
  • Dragonball Z features a lot of Disney Deaths, but the straightest example of this trope is probably the second time Goku is revived. They didn't revive him right after he was killed by Cell, what meant that he would never get revived. Seven years later, Gohan is the only alive warrior who hasn't been killed or absorbed by Majin Buu, and he can't beat him, so Goku has to be specifically revived by special ways to help him.
  • Downplayed in case of Motoko Kusanagi from Ghost in the Shell. She was resurrected as a cyborg after a plane crash that nearly claimed her life and is now working as a law enforcer/cyber commando; but that accident happened when she was 10-years old or so. Having to live in a cyborg body (only her brain is organic) led her to mastering it, and thus her current job.

Comic Books


  • Universal Soldier. After being killed, soldiers are brought back to life via cyborgization and used on missions too dangerous for regular soldiers.
  • The corpsey guy from Hocus Pocus.
  • Captain Barbossa from the Pirates of the Caribbean series, brought back to life by Tia Dalma so that he can sail to hell and get Jack out.
    • This also goes for Jack himself. He even pokes fun at this trope:

 Jack: Did anybody want me back just because they missed me?

  • two or three of the crew raise their hands*

Jack: Ah, I think I'll stand over there with them.

  • Brittany Murphy's character in The Prophecy II is resurrected because Gabriel needs a human familiar with modern technology to help him search for the mother of a Nephilim and prevent its birth.
  • Freddy Krueger brings Jason Voorhees back to life in Freddy vs. Jason, as a part of his plan to renew his reign of night terror.


  • 'Pham Nguyen' is brought back from some 'deaders' in A Fire Upon the Deep, and becomes a true hero.
  • Happens to Agrus Kos in the Magic: The Gathering novel Dissension after his death in Guildpact.
  • In Michael Moorcock's Eternal Champion series, the protagonist is a hero who is magically resurrected, as different people, on different worlds to wage war. He is VERY good at it.
  • In The Heroes of Olympus, the Doors Of Death have opened, meaning that no one stays dead for long. While this can be good (as when Gwen gets speared during a combat exercise) it also means that Gaea can resurrect deadly monsters and giants to help her defeat the Olympians.
  • Kevin Landwaster is brought back in the Chronicles of Thomas Covenant to fight Lord Fowl. It turns out to be a really, really bad idea.
  • Not precisely "resurrected" (since he exists only as a computer personality construct), but the first phase of the plot in Neuromancer is bringing back the Dixie Flatline for One Last Job.

Live Action TV

  • In the new series of Doctor Who the Timelords try this with The Master, thinking his underhanded deviousness would make him a great soldier. However they forgot his natural tendency towards self-preservation and he legged it.
    • Also Word of God for why the Lord President in "The End of Time" is called 'Rassilon' -- the same thing was done with him, and that didn't work out any better.
  • Dean is brought back to life so that he can help avert the apocalypse in Supernatural after he was sent to Hell.
  • Rimmer in Red Dwarf was woken up to keep Lister sane. He was deemed fitter for this one purpose than anyone else, even the captain. He succeeds in this mission spectacularly.

Tabletop Games

  • Magic: The Gathering:
    • In Ravnica, Agrus Kos's partner is murdered, then brought back from the dead to help solve his own homicide.
    • In the sequel, Dissension, Kos himself is resurrected by an Azorius contract, much to his chagrin--the job he's been brought back for is incredibly dull and consists mainly of standing around on guard duty.
    • In Scourge, Kamahl recruits Ixidor from the dead to help defeat Karona.

Video Games

Western Animation

 Shao Kahn: "Few have ever existed more malevolent than you, Shang Tsung"

    • He also gave Shang Tsung a good punch in the face for losing Earth Realm in the first place. Actually, it was the very first thing he did.
  • In Darkwing Duck, F.O.W.L. resurrects Taurus Bulba as a cyborg so he can work for them. Taurus doesn't actually appreciate being brought back as a cyborg forced to live off of motor oil for the rest of his "life" and refuses to work for them.


  • Homestuck: This is basically what happens to Dream Jade.
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