<i>The introduction to this list contains spoilers for recent issues of <b>Avengers</b>.</i> <p><i>by <a href=http://twitter.com/LucasSiegel>Lucas Siegel, Newsarama Editor</a> and <a href=http://www.twitter.com/albertxii>Albert Ching, Newsarama Staff Writer</a></i> <p>If you've kept up in the past, say, 50 years, it's obvious: The death/resurrection cycle has become as much of a staple of mainstream superhero comics as capes and tights. <p>Publishers used to shy away from that fact, but now seem to be proud of its place in comic book history, and aware of the audience's expectations at this point. When Thor died at the end of <i>Fear Itself</i>, pretty much no one at Marvel claimed that it would last very long, and made clear that the important thing was the story and what came after, not whether or not the "death" would last. <p>A high-profile return recently happened in the final issues of Brian Michael Bendis's eight-year <i>Avengers</i> run turns out Wasp didn't die at the end of <i>Secret Invasion</i>, as readers and her fellow Marvel superheroes presumed, and was in fact alive and (mostly) well in the Microverse. <p>So with that in mind, and a 2014 movie <i>Captain America: The Winter Soldier</i> seemingly based on such a story, we've compiled a list of 10 of our favorite comic book resurrections. They're on this list either because of the improbability of coming back from a particular death, what the character added to the mythos after returning, or just because it was a good story. Click "start here" in the upper-left corner to begin. <p><i>Got a comment? There's lots of conversation on Newsarama's <a href=http://www.facebook.com/Newsarama><b>FACEBOOK</b></a> and <a href=http://twitter.com/newsarama><b>TWITTER</b></a>!</i> <p> <p>
He died saving the world. He was completely wiped from the mortal coil, in fact, with nary a trace of his body left. So how the heck could Oliver Queen <i>ever</i> come back? <p>Well, when you have a friend who is tied to an agent of God that can come chat it up with you in heaven, it certainly makes things a lot easier. <p>This was one of the more out there resurrections, but one that could also only be pulled off in comics. There was no denial of Ollie's death, no retcon to say he was just in a coma or on some island retreat; Oliver Queen's soul was in Heaven, having been forgiven other sins thanks in large part to his selfless sacrifice. And still, he came back when he was needed. It was a story that took the very grounded and "real-world" character of Green Arrow and put him far out there, but it also showed just how heroic Queen could be.
The real wow factor doesn't come necessarily from Jenny Romano's revival in the pages of <b>The Darkness</b> from Top Cow Publishing. After all, she's just an average girl caught up in the mob world who happened to fall in love with Jackie Estacado, wielder of the ancient and mysterious power. <p>No, the real wow factor is just what Jackie did to bring Jenny back. Jackie, after fighting a war over the thirteen mystical artifacts (The Darkness, The Witchblade, The Angelus, and The Rapture are just a few), gathered all of them together to unmake the Universe, remaking it how he saw fit. That included bringing Jenny back as his now-living wife, and making Hope, his daughter with Witchblade bearer Sara Pezzini, now become the daughter of Jenny. <p>One more time, Jackie rewrote the <i>entire universe</i> to bring Jenny back. Now that's love.
After being one of the most beloved X-Men team members for years, Colossus had a tough time for most of the '90s. He became evil-ish and joined Magneto and his Acolytes, then spent some time with the UK-based X-Men spinoff team Excalibur. <p>He got to die a noble death, at least volunteering as the initial, doomed test subject for Beast's Legacy Virus cure, which ended the malady and potentially saved the mutant race. He was then cremated and, hey, there's no way you can come back from that, right? <p>Except this is X-Men comics, so of course you can. Turns out, his body was actually switched with a duplicate by an alien named Ord, who was able to resurrect him as revealed in Joss Whedon and John Cassaday's popular <i>Astonishing X-Men</i> run. <p>Colossus has since returned to his former prominence, and we recently a member of the flagship <i>Uncanny X-Men</i> team, and one of the Phoenix Five in <i>Avengers vs. X-Men</i>. Now free from the control of both the Phoenix and Cyttorak the demon that gives Juggernaut his powers Colossus's next move is joining the cast of <i>Cable and X-Force</i>, starting in December. So he's been keeping busy.
She was Spoiler. She was Robin, but when she tried to take out the entire Gotham Underworld in one fell swoop, she was brutally tortured by Black Mask and died in the hospital from the injuries. <p>But you can't keep a good hero down, especially one in the bat-family. After a couple of almost-returns, Stephanie returned, once again donning her Spoiler threads, revealing her death to have been an elaborate ruse. Her return saw a lot of drama with her sometimes paramour Tim Drake, who greatly discouraged a return to heroics for her. <p>Luckily, the plucky Stephanie Brown didn't listen. Donning the costume and identity of her friend Cassandra Cain, Steph became the new Batgirl. Trained directly by Barbara Gordon, she brought her heroics to a whole new level. She became a premier member of the Bat-family, receiving the blessing of both Dick Grayson and Bruce Wayne himself in the new guise. <p>Stephanie has been controversially absent in the post-<i>Flashpoint</i> world of The New 52, but <a href=http://www.newsarama.com/comics/dan-didio-stephanie-brown-full-answer.html>recent comments from DC co-publisher Dan DiDio</a> indicate that could potentially change at some point in the future.
Johann Schmidt, the Red Skull, is another character who just dies and comes back practically like it's waking up from a mid-summer's afternoon nap. <p>The Skull's most recent resurrection though, earns extra points (and a spot on this countdown) because it's just plain cool. After being shot and killed by The Winter Soldier (more on him later!), The Skull, with his dying breath, tried to pull a Freaky Friday with the man who ordered his death, Alexander Lukin. The fragmented cosmic cube he used for the body swap wasn't strong enough, however, and Schmidt wound up sharing real estate inside Lukin's mind. <p>The Red Skull proved how dangerous he was, breaking a man's will and taking him over from within his own consciousness. Sure, he wound up exiled to a robot body, but you can't win 'em all, can you?
Well if you've learned anything from this countdown, it's that you can't keep a good Bat-family member down, and as the patriarch, Bruce Wayne is certainly no exception to that rule. Bruce came close to the ultimate sacrifice more than once, but when he got zapped by Darkseid, the end result was Superman carrying his skeleton (still in cape and cowl of course) with tears in his eyes. <p>Further test revealed that yes, this was Bruce Wayne's skeleton, and yes, that meant he was dead. Except... it wound up being <i>a</i> Bruce Wayne's skeleton, from a clone of the Batman. <p>"Our" Bruce was transported back in time, forced to live multiple lives as he traveled back forward through time. This resulted in us getting Caveman Batman, Pirate Batman, Old West Batman, and more, which officially made it the coolest event of all time. It was comic book craziness at its finest, and a wild, if sometimes slightly incomprehensible, ride. <p>When Bruce actually returned, his gratitude to his adopted son Tim, who never gave up on him, was plain and simple one of the most touching moments ever seen in superhero comics, and really was reason enough for his return.
Though they're currently all together (for now), the Fantastic Four have had their share of deaths and/or brushes with death, from Mr. Fantastic being presumed dead in the '90s, Human Torch in the Jonathan Hickman-written "3" arc, and the Invisible Woman during 2008's "Death of the Invisible Woman" story (sure, it didn't actually kill her but that has to count as at least a scare). <p>But perhaps none resonated as much as The Thing's death and resurrection during Mark Waid and Mike Wieringo's acclaimed run on <i>Fantastic Four</i>. Ben Grimm was killed while possessed by Doctor Doom, and the remaining team members found him in a Heaven-esque afterlife where he got to meet his literal maker who had a strong resemblance to <i>Fantastic Four</i> co-creator Jack Kirby, in a touching tribute to the late, legendary writer and artist. <p>Since then, Thing's presence in the Marvel Universe has remained strong, with a short-lived ongoing solo series following his return. He also joined the "Heroic Age"-era New Avengers, and remains an integral part of the Fantastic Four.
Jason Todd, like Uncle Ben and Bucky (we'll get to him in a bit), was, for years, one of those "never coming back" characters that fans accepted would surely stay dead forever. Readers called a 1-900 number to kill him after, all surely there couldn't have been too many folks clamoring for his return. <p>But he did return from his brutal death at the hand of the Joker, in 2005's Judd Winick-written "Under the Hood" story. Though the actual mechanism of Jason's return has been criticized essentially, Superboy Prime punched the walls of reality and changed history, in one will go down in comic book history as the somewhat infamous "Prime Punch" the character has become a valued addition to the extended Batman family, as a Punisher-esque antihero called the Red Hood. <p>The story was adapted into the well-received direct-to-DVD animated feature <i>Batman: Under the Red Hood</i>, and currently Jason Todd co-stars in DC's New 52 series <i>Red Hood and the Outlaws</i>.
Which time? Yes, that's the natural joke to go toward, but the truth is, that resurrection is part of Jean Grey's character just shows how beloved she is. <p>Jean's first resurrection came exactly one issue after her first death. Jean gave her life to save her love, Scott Summers, and her friends and teammates on the X-Men from a crashing spaceship. Then she rises from the underwater wreckage, clad in a new green and yellow costume and calling herself "Phoenix," the mystical bird of death and resurrection. <p>Jean would die again when she lost control of the Phoenix, a cosmic entity that pushes the cycle of death and rebirth through the universe, and did some pretty bad things (like you know, destroying an entire star system). She gained control and killed herself to stop the Phoenix. <p>Jean's next return involved a healing cocoon (a common comic trick nowadays, eh Kal?) and her own little clone saga years ahead of the bulk of Spidey's. She would die one more time, and has yet to be resurrected from that final death even though many readers expected it at to occur at the end of <i>Avengers vs. X-Men</i>. <p>But: A young pre-any-of-her-deaths-Jean Grey will be transported from the past to the present in <b>All-New X-Men</b>, written by Brian Bendis, illustrated by Stuart Immonen and debuting later this month.
Bucky was more than Captain America's sidekick, he was his best friend and partner; while Cap was certainly Bucky's mentor in many ways, in some the heart and drive to fight against all odds, for example Bucky led the way. When he died in the same explosion that sent Cap into a decades-long hibernation, that was the end of Bucky's story, and was long seen as one of the few "untouchable" deaths in comics history, right up there with Peter Parker's Uncle Ben. <p>Then Ed Brubaker came along and said, "Well... no." <p>Turns out, Bucky didn't die. He too was preserved in cold storage, though his was artificial. The Russians took in the injured war hero, brainwashed him, gave him a cybernetic arm, and used him as their own super secret agent ("Winter Soldier"), assassinating high profile targets from the shadows then being thrown back into cold storage. <p>Cap and Winter Soldier's paths were bound to cross some day, and did, resulting eventually in Bucky's redemption (and Bucky taking on the Captain America identity for a short time). It's one inspiring and riveting tale: so much so that Hollywood has taken notice and is adapting the story, at least in part, as the next Captain America film.