10 Comic Book Characters Who Came Back From The Dead & Got Worse – Screen Rant

Most comic characters get brought back to life soon after they die but the resurrections don’t always end up being a good thing.
In the world of superheroes, death doesn’t necessarily mark the end of the journey for a character. Over the years, both comics and movies have found ways to bring back characters that had died. The DCEU did it with Superman while the MCU not only did it with Phil Coulson but is also going to do it with Wolverine.
Regrettably, resurrected characters don’t always come back as strong or as interesting as they used to be. This has played out many times in the comics where popular characters were killed and brought back only for them to become former shelves of themselves or lose the golden traits that made them awesome.
The Punisher: Purgatory sees Frank Castle die and come back as a supernatural agent of various demons and angels. The storyline only plays out over 5 issues before ending, implying low reader interest.
Most Punisher fans like him because he doesn’t have special abilities. Moreover, he rarely interacts with superpowered and supernatural beings as is the case with other Marvel characters. The Punisher is simply at his best when he is a human action hero and by turning him into a supernatural being, Marvel nearly ruins the character.
After one of Superman’s greatest foes, Doomsday, causes his death. The Kryptonian then comes back to life in Action Comics #689, thanks to the Kryptonian Regeneration Matrix.
The resurrected Superman is shown to be much weaker, hence why the recovery suit is so essential to him. Most of the things that were basic to him become difficult. This includes flying, as he is shown to need the assistance of the Flight Bots. He even relies on weapons during fights, something the old Superman never tried.
In The Death In The Family storyline, Jason Todd gets murdered by the Joker. He later returns as the Red Hood, thanks to the Lazarus Pit.
Thanks to his fighting skills and brutality, Red Hood counts as one of the best DC villains. But as a character, he isn’t as fleshed out as Jason Todd. Red Hood lacks Todd’s humanity, sense of humor, and rebellious mannerisms. Moreover, there are many other DC characters like Red Hood but as a teenage sidekick that adores his master, Todd is unique.
After Peter Parker died in The Superior Spider-Man #1, Doc Ock swaps consciousness with him. The resurrected Spider-Man thus becomes a murderous hero, something close to some of the deadliest Marvel vigilantes.
Watching Spider-Man slaughter criminals is no fun since what always makes him special is his moral compass. Like Batman and Superman, he normally has a no-kill rule and when he is stripped of that, he becomes difficult to like. Even worse is that this version of Spider-Man gets to team up with J. Jonah Jameson.
The CEO of Kord Industries dies after getting shot by one of Wonder Woman’s greatest foes, Max Lord. He then returns as a zombie.
Going from a wealthy industrialist and superhero to a zombie sure is a huge downgrade, but that’s what fate decides for Max Ted Kord. Luckily for the character, he doesn’t get to be useless for long. A much stronger version of the character is once again introduced during the DC Rebirth event.
Logan dies in The Death Of Wolverine after a microverse virus weakens his healing factor. He later returns with ridiculous new abilities, such as hot claws.
The attempt to give Wolverine new powers ends up backfiring because he is already one of the most overpowered superheroes. The character also comes back worse because explanations aren’t given for whatever is happening. There is no reason why his claws are hot or why his healing factor suddenly kicked in. Hopefully, the character won’t disappoint when he comes back from the dead in the MCU.
In, Final Night #4, Hal sacrifices his life to destroy Sun-Eater to re-ignite the sun. He is then resurrected when Spectre takes him as a host.
Though he manages to bend Spectre’s will from that of vengeance to redemption, Hal is relegated to a supporting character after his resurrection. He performs less heroic acts and takes on more of an advisory role. And that's something he doesn’t even do so well, and the Emperor Joker storyline is proof enough.
Oliver Queen also dies in DC Festival of Heroes: The Asian Superhero Celebration #1 but gets resurrected. However, he is unable to assume the Green Arrow mantle, hence his son, Connor Hawke takes over.
Fans don’t get to see the same Oliver Queen when he comes back. The new version appears disinterested in superhero work as well as business. Describing him as a dull character would be accurate, and questions can be raised on why he gets resurrected in the first place. On a positive note, his ‘retirement’ creates room for Connor to shine.
Colossus shines as a member of Magneto’s Acolytes before sacrificing himself in Uncanny X-Men. Thanks to the Ord of the Breakworld, he gets revived and rejoins the X-Men.
Colossus has better arcs pre-resurrection than post-resurrection. Before he dies, readers get to see him change from a humble mutant to a deadly villain because of his parents’ death. After being brought back to life, he just becomes another member of the crowded mutant space. All his arcs involve teamwork, and he rarely gets to have any heroic moments.
After defeating Perpetua, Wonder Woman gets killed during the crossover event, Dark Nights: Death Metal. She later comes back from Valhalla only for her to be killed again.
The old Wonder Woman never lost fights easily, but the new one is shown to be quite vulnerable, hence the reason she is subjected to another heartbreaking character's death. However, there is an explanation for her weakness as it’s stated she became exhausted after journeying through the numerous afterlives of the God Sphere.
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Philip Etemesi is an author, journalist, screenwriter, and film critic based in Nairobi. Kenya. As a child, he preferred watching movies like Goodfellas and North By Northwest instead of Home Alone. His girlfriend constantly has to pull him from the front of the TV, but he just keeps returning. Stubborn dude! An animal lover, Philip also has a pet giraffe called Refu.


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