Breaking news! Comic characters won’t stay dead! No, it’s not the latest installments of Marvel Zombies or Blackest Night . . . it’s the truth. Confronted with the overwhelming number of characters that just can’t stay dead, we decided that we had to look again. And this time, we’re upping the ante. We’ve got 12 Comics Deaths That Didn’t Stick (though a couple belong to one character).
Raven: New Teen Titans stalwart Raven carries a lot of baggage, notably the fact that she’s the daughter of extradimensional demon-lord Trigon. Raven first died when the Titans had to kill her in order to kill Trigon to save the Earth (got that?); Raven returned later on, wearing white. Raven died again time at the end of the massive “Titans Hunt” story after first falling to the corrupted souls of Azarath. Raven later returned in full-on evil mode, but her soul escaped after being implanted in Starfire. (Comics! They’re easy to follow!) When the Church of Blood were revealed to actually be worshippers of Trigon, the Teen Titans found the Church trying to fulfill a prophecy by resurrecting Raven to be Brother Blood’s bride. Raven rose in a de-aged teen body, and remains with the Teen Titans as a mentor.
Jericho: The second hard-to-kill Titan that shares a name with a professional wrestler, Jericho went out in a surprising way. That’s not because he was killed by Deathstroke; Deathstroke kills heroes all the time. It’s because Deathstroke is his father, and Deathstroke killed him in an effort to free him AND save the world. As soon as you reconcile that with the current Deathstroke, come back. With us? Okay. At any rate, Jericho got possessed by the same Azarathian souls that given Raven so much trouble. He became the secret leader of the Wildebeest Society, and was put down by his dad. BUT! Jericho actually jumped into Deathstroke (using his powers) and was later brought back by the same style of ritual used to revive Raven.
Cyclops: We’re not talking about “X3”, because that never happened. We are talking about the end of story centering around The Twelve. When Apocalypse gathered the long-teased line-up of Twelve important mutants, it was to power a device that would allow Apocalypse to put his soul into Nate Grey (X-Man’s) body and give him . . . UNLIMITED POWER! HAHAHA! Oh, sorry. Anyway, Cyclops saves Nate by taking it upon himself to merge with Apocalypse, leading to his death. It turned out that . . . he wasn’t dead. He was just in another country. Come on, haven’t we all made that mistake? “Shawn! I can’t find Terry! He’s dead!” “It’s okay; he’s just out of town.” “Oh. Okay. Let’s get a beer.”
Storm: Storm’s died a couple of times. At one point, she and the whole team (including Colossus! Damn, forgot that one!) died to stop The Adversary, and were brought back by Roma. Later, after being kidnapped by Nanny, Storm appeared to die in the crash of Nanny’s ship. We later learned that Storm had survived, only de-aged. Young Storm is found by Gambit, and the two eventually reunited with other X-Men. During the X-Tinction Agenda storyline, Storm is returned to adulthood. Storm lived through the X-Men films, though that Storm would happily tell you what would happen if she, or everybody else, were to be hit by lightning.
Psylocke: Like Storm and Colossus, Psylocke got to die and return after the Adversary fight. Psylocke also got a new body (her mind was put in the body of assassin Kwannon, and Kwannon’s mind was in her body, thought Kwannon would die later, come back and die again. Yeah, I know). In one of the many periods of X-team regrowth and scramble, Psylocke joined the “X-Treme” squad. While with that team, Psylocke died in battle with Vargas, a villain that share’s a name with Jeff Spicoli’s science teacher. Psylocke’s return was rather simple; it was performed by her crazy-ass reality changing brother Jamie.
Martian Manhunter: J’onn got punked at the opening of the Final Crisis, killed by Libra with the help of his cronies. At the close of Blackest Night, J’onn was one of a dozen characters to come back to life at the turn of the tide. For once, it really is that simple.
Hawkman and Hawkgirl: Dying and coming back to life is kinda Hawkman and Hawkgirl’s thing, so I’m not sure how fair it is to put them on the list (also, this kinda bumps us to about 200 for this chapter). However, we should probably give a nod to the fact that the continuity surrounding Hawkman and Hawkgirl is enormously confusing, so we understand how someone (okay, anyone) might be baffled. It’s safe to say that Hawkman and Hawkgirl just came back again at the close of “Blackest Night”, that they sort of most resemble the Hawks you remember from “Super Friends” at this point, and that they’re the DCU Legacy that I will likely save for last.
Green Arrow: Oliver Queen heroically took the dirtnap on an exploding plane. And Ollie was really, actually, totally dead. Then again, it helps to have friends like Hal Jordan (unless he’s calling you an ethnically insensitive nickname). Just before Hal went to reignite the sun in Final Night, he paid Ollie’s grave a quick visit. Faster than you can say, “back up in your ass with the resurrection”, Oliver is prowling alleys and taking on villains. True, he was as soulless as a teen pop song for a while, but he got better. The ongoing side-effect of Oliver’s return now seems to be that everyone around him suffers horribly. Just ask Lian. Or Roy’s arm. Or that cat. (No, I will not quit bringing that up. And neither would this guy).Iron Man: Tony Stark is a killer in the service of Kang! That’s what happened in “The Crossing” back in the ‘90s (sort of. Later retcons made Kang into a disguised Immortus). Nevertheless, at the time, Tony killed the female Yellowjacket, Avengers ally Amanda Chaney, and Marilla (the nanny of Luna, Quicksilver and Crystal’s daughter). How do you beat Tony Stark? Apparently not by pelting him with Scotch, which would have been my suggestion, but by going back in time and grabbing a teenage Tony Stark to . . . I dunno . . . out-Stark him? During the final battle with Not Kang, Not Mantis (this Mantis was a brainwashed Space Phantom; DAMN, they hated “The Crossing” after the fact), two guys who might have been the sons of the Scarlet Witch (not now; see Young Avengers), and adult Tony, adult Tony had a moment of clarity after nearly killing his teen self and laid down his life to save the day. Teen Tony became Iron Man, but he later died with the Avengers and the FF during the “Onslaught” event. HOWEVER! Thanks to the “Heroes Reborn” universe created by Franklin Richards, Teen Tony became a new adult Tony, and that’s the Tony that did the returning to our Earth in “Heroes Return”. It should be noted that Tony also frequently tries to die from his original injuries that led to the birth of Iron Man, but not as frequently as Aunt May tries to die.
Speaking of which . . . Aunt May! Oh, and Jason Todd! Aquaman! Magento! Xorn? Freaking Elektra?! Good Lord. Are we gonna have to do another one of these?