Back From The Dead: Comic Book Characters Who Got Resurrected
Even if you’re not a believer, you probably still know the story of Jesus Christ rising from the dead on Easter Sunday, three days after he was crucified. In the millennia following, comics have taken a page from the Bible, regularly featuring characters brought back to life. As Charles Xavier jokes in X-Factor #70, “Mutant Heaven has no pearly gates, only revolving doors.” Whether by virtue of their superpowers, in the bodies of clones and shapeshifters or simply because the authors wanted to--here are our favorite resurrections from mainstream and indie comics.
Jean Grey, The Dark Phoenix Saga
Psychic Jean, originally one of the X-Men’s weakest members, sacrifices herself for her fellow mutants twice. First she’s exposed to fatal levels of radiation while piloting their ship back to Earth, only to be reborn as Phoenix. But, this godlike power to defy death sends her spiraling out of control as Dark Phoenix. Jean commits suicide, but not to worry: Marvel brought her back a few years later by claiming Phoenix was a different entity and it wasn’t Jean’s fault.
Ra’s al Ghul, Batman: The Resurrection of Ra’s al Ghul
As fans know, the DC Universe brings back so many characters that they saved themselves some creative juice by creating a handy plot device: The Lazarus Pit. It may seem like an odd choice for the Batman comics since Bruce Wayne built his entire superhero persona on technology and not superpowers, but countless characters use the pits’ restorative powers to come back swingin’: Bane, Cassandra Cain, the Riddler--even Batman himself.
Allison Mann, Y: The Last Man
To be fair, Dr. Mann wasn’t yet dead when she discovered that her father (presumed dead, himself, after a plague wiped out all of the men on Earth) had cloned her several times over. He’d wanted to fix the mistakes he made during her childhood, but her daddy issues were too ingrained for that to ever happen. However, one of the series’ most bittersweet moments comes decades later in the epilogue: Allison has passed away, but her clones have grown up to continue her life’s work.
Boba Fett, Dark Empire
Even though he was originally introduced in the Star Wars movies and has lived on through the transmedia Expanded Universe, it was the Dark Empire comics trilogy that resurrected beloved bounty hunter Boba Fett. Since the comics are all about Emperor Palpatine cloning himself, it’s a great bait-and-switch for the real twist to be Fett popping back up after he was last seen tumbling into the sarlacc pit in Return of the Jedi. His only explanation? “The sarlacc found me somewhat indigestible.”
Captain America, The Death of Captain America
When Marvel took down Cap with a sniper’s bullet following the groundbreaking Civil War series, we really thought that they meant business this time. That’s why it was actually a disappointment when just two years later they brought him back, citing the need for a hero. That’s awkward for poor sidekick Bucky Barnes, who took up Cap’s mantle.
Of course, a series about God abandoning humans would include at least one bargain involving death. As if Texas preacher Jesse Custer doesn’t have it hard enough when a supernatural creature called Genesis possesses him, his psychotic grandmother murders his girlfriend Tulip. But then, God comes out of hiding to helpfully bring Tulip back to life, mostly as a bribe so that Jesse and Genesis will leave him alone. Talk about a literal deus ex machina.