In the world of superheroes it a good rule of thumb that if you don’t see the corpse then the hero ain’t dead. Even when you do see their charred remains being weeped over by their broken hearted loved ones, chances are in a few months time the latest casualty in comics will be making a dramatic comeback through whatever fanciful and highly deranged means (clones, demonic bargains, heavenly intervention, time travel etc.) and fans will be super-hyped about it.
Everyone from DC’s Superman to Marvel’s Elektra (and an entire pantheon of others) have made that crawl from the grave, because Superheroes lets face it; they just don’t want to die.
So at this stage anyone who reads or dabbles in comics will know Superhero resurrections are fairly par for the course, so much so in fact that Grant Morrison meta references the oft used ‘resurrection plot’ in Final Crisis #2 when the heroes at Martian Manhunters funeral pray for a resurrection (he didn’t leave them disappointed either).
But while heroes often make a come back from deaths icy tendrils, its rare that they return even MORE bad-ass than before. And whether they’ve had power upgrades, personality swaps, mind control or new ‘living costume’ changes, all of the below heroes didn’t just brave death, they came back twice as hard and trebly relentless as they were before they kicked the bucket.
Check out this list of awesome reborn bad-asses below:
8. (Superior) Spider-Man
Peter Parker. You know him, you love him, he’s Spider-Man. One of the most famous super-heroes of all time. King of smack talk, and ultimate juggler of a chaotic life that involves crime-fighting, taking care of his Aunt May and whatever love life he can manage in between. So in issue #700 of The Amazing Spider-Man (2013), long time writer Dan Slott decided to mess with every fan boys head and essentially kill poor old Petey. Not completely kill him at first, but due to some trickery and out thinking by Doc Ock, moments before the good Doctor himself was to die, he switched his brain with Peters, thus ensuring his survival by essentially becoming Spider-Man
Nuts right? The thing is though, as insane as that sounds, it actually turned out to be pretty spectacular. The current run of the newly named “Superior Spider-Man” has been top notch so far, and has really shaken up the character of Spider-Man and added some new dynamics to the arguably ‘growing stale’ character. Doc Ock deciding to use his knowledge for good decides to take over Parker’s duties as Spider-Man by making everything run much more efficiently, from building loads of little Spider-Bots to run around and help patrol the city, and also upgrading to a crazy new, more durable suit.
Add to this his ‘take no shit’ attitude to crime that’s seen one fatality (he killed Massacre at point blank range in Superior Spider-Man #5) and a slew of savage beat downs and this new version of Spidey is kicking off in a big bad way.
7. Swamp Thing
In DC Comics the New 52 reboot (2011), former Swam Thing Alec Holland was reborn just hanging out as a pretty established botanist, doing his thing, trying to get over all the madness of being Swamp Thing (The human avatar of all earthly plant life) at one point in his life. That is of course until he gets a god damn chainsaw through the chest (Swamp Thing Vol 5 #7).
Which frankly, is enough to slow any botanist’ career pretty drastically. Instead of the sweet relief of death though, he is swept into The Green (an elemental community that connects all plant life on Earth) by the Parliament of Trees (the former Swamp Thing guardians and guys who run said community) who happen to be pretty pissed off at our boy Alec after he fell for Abigail Arcane (Earthly avatar of The Green’s nemesis – The Rot) and refused to kill her and thus she will be taken over by the Rot and forced to kill The Green.
Alec doesn’t play that shit though, he turns it around on them and explains that will power is a very powerful thing and that he could prevent Abby from destroying the green. He also explains how the Parliament of Trees has become conscienceless and convinces them to transform him back into Swamp Thing under the condition that he could never return to his human form.
After much convincing and a handy left over vial of the Bio-Restorative Formula that helped transform him into original Swamp Thing (Swamp Thing #1, 1972) in the first place, he returns even bigger and badder than before and wreaks havoc on Rot dark lord Sethe and his minions and rages an all mighty war on the Rot. The moral here? Don’t fuck with botanists.