Resurrections Featured Image

We have all heard it before. We have likely made the arguments ourselves. Death is a revolving door in comics. Resurrections come too easily. And believe us, we here at ComicsVerse agree.

It’s just that… well… hear us out here. Aren’t there some resurrections you would actually be, like, pretty ok with? Sure, death gets reversed too easily in comics. We TOTALLY agree. But still, wasn’t it cool that time Colossus came back? Aren’t you glad Hawkeye did not actually go out screaming, “Not like this!”?

Yep, comics can make hypocrites of us all, even here at ComicsVerse. So, in the spirit of honesty, here are 10 resurrections we would look the other way on. Even though we all agree death should mean more in comics.

Comics Ressurections
This man means business. Let’s make him happy with another life, shall we? (Courtesy of DC Comics)

Acceptable Resurrections #1: Connor Hawke

Oliver Queen’s secret multiracial son appeared during the 90s. At the time DC seemed to be killing, breaking, and replacing several of its iconic characters. While several such changes stuck for a time — Hawke was actually one, Kyle Rayner also comes to mind — they all ended up erased or demoted starting sometime in the mid-2000s. Of them, Hawke had the roughest road. He eventually turned into some kind of hybrid of an Arrow and Elongated Man.

The New 52 hardly improved things. Hawke ended up showing up on a different Earth as Red Arrow. Soon, hordes of monsters unceremoniously ended him.

Hawke should be brought back in the main DC Earth, and soon. First — and I know you all hate this, but deal — he is an excellent way to add racial diversity to the DC lineup. Second, although Chuck Dixon eventually rushed to make him intensely hetero, for years Hawke presented as asexual. To have a major hero be ace, especially the son of a notorious lothario like Queen is both good inclusion and brings interesting storytelling opportunities.

Finally, Hawke is just a plain fascinating character. A Buddhist with a gift for violence. A man who barely knew his dad who nonetheless feels driven to follow in his footsteps. In the right hands, that could be a Daredevil-like dichotomy.

Comics Resurrections
Thunderstrike is so ready to get back in there. Don’t disappoint him! (Courtesy of Marvel Comics)

Acceptable Resurrections #2: Thunderstrike

Yes, Marvel did introduce a new Thunderstrike, the son of the original. He largely did not catch on. Plus, to be honest, he lacked any real hook in his limited appearances.

Eric Masterson, on the other hand, has great hooks. A very hands-on architect, he lived utterly disconnected from royalty, wealth, spectacle, and super heroics. Then he became the human host for Thor and then, eventually, just Thor himself. It created a typical Thor fish-out-of-water story in reverse. Masterson presented as a Thor comfortable on Earth who found the divine and intergalactic aspects of his duties boggling.

When he transitioned to Thunderstrike, Marvel called him the blue-collar hero, but it proved little more than marketing. I love the idea of a true blue-collar hero, a man with the literal powers of God (or God-adjacent, anyway) who remains stubbornly earth-bound, who refused the siren song of cosmic brawls and spiritual warfare. Plus during a time when we seem obsessed with the white working man, it would be great to present a white working man who lives in a city, not some mystical “real America,” and is not reduced to “economic anxiety.”

Thunderstrike would admittedly need some tweaks here and there, especially on the costume and appearance front. Marvel has done a great job of updating costumes over the past decade or so, though. Thus, I’m confident Thunderstrike could get a look that was clearly him while still not looking terribly out of date.

Resurrections: Firebrand
All that tech jargon sounds like the singularity to me. And that means? Immortality! (Courtesy of DC Comics)

Acceptable Resurrections #3: Firebrand

Alex Sanchez had the kind of on-panel death companies utilize for characters they literally have zero interest in ever using. He even died at the hands of a faceless Checkmate knight. DC could have literally made the knight the victim and not lost a known named hero at all and they still said, “yeah, kill Sanchez.”

I object to this first on purely superficial grounds. This edition of Firebrand has an awesome costume. I am a sucker for the flaming-pumpkin-head style design and Firebrand is all gloriously that.

Still, there is more to Sanchez than just his appearance. First, he became disabled on the job as a cop. Back then, making a disabled person “abled” did not raise as many hackles. Now, however, you would have a lot of grist for the storytelling mill as the disabled community increasingly and understandably vocally objects to being viewed as having issues in need of a fix. So to see Sanchez negotiate the dichotomy would make for an interesting exploration of the character.

Also, a former officer and a man of color, how differently will he view the police when he is not part of that thin blue line? Given the high-profile lapses in judgment and abuses of power by police departments that have repeatedly led to the shooting deaths of predominantly young men of color, would Sanchez start to feel differently about his colleagues when he is no longer an active member of their team?

Resurrections: Phyla-Vell
Does this look like a woman who has to stay dead to you? (Courtesy of Marvel Comics)

Acceptable Resurrections #4: Phyla-Vell

Phyla-Vell is a kind of no-brainer resurrection. For one, she problematically fits the dead lesbian trope. For another, she already died and returned from the dead in a way that incorporated “being able to escape from the beyond” as part of her powerset. Third, we saw a glimpse of her living inside the Soul Gem in INFINITY COUNTDOWN. So she is basically alive adjacent already.

Also, she’s awesome! She is wildly powerful, a true warrior, and also adorably in love with Moondragon. She’s touched and tasted oblivion and been changed by it but still remains dedicated to doing the right thing and being a hero. Her sword is powered by the same energy as the Quantum Bands.

If you bring her back, you gain back an excellent lesbian character who was developing a family of sorts with the likes of the Guardians and the resurrected Quasar while struggling against her own ever-increasing cynicism. Like I said, a no-brainer.

Resurrections: DC Comics
Even if he doesn’t end up in this costume when all is said and done, Uno deserves another chance at life. (Courtesy of DC Comics)

Acceptable Resurrections #5: Aztek the Ultimate Man

Yes, the mantel of Aztek has returned. Nayeli Constant has, for my money, made a great inheritor of the helmet and name of Aztek. I do not wish to see her deposed.

However, I still want Uno/Curt Falconer back. I miss his supporting cast and his optimistic-to-nearly-naïve attitude. I want those storylines Morrison hinted at on the last pages of the AZTEK series, especially Falconer’s increasingly drawn to darkness and violence half-brother.

Falconer does not have to call himself Aztek. Heck, he could just go by the Lizard King, like the deposed Aztek trainee he fought in his series. It is a cool Centurion-inspired look, an awesome name, and he could redeem it — something that was his bag from the start.

Resurrections: Jack Of Hearts
Jack prepared a light specifically in honor of this occasion. (Courtesy of Marvel Comics)

Acceptable Resurrections #6: Jack of Hearts

Jack of Hearts is another resurrection adjacent figure who just needs a little shove. As part of one volume of the MARVEL ZOMBIES series — perhaps it was volume 5 or 50, who can say? — the main Marvel U Hearts returned. He destroyed the zombies, saved that universe’s Project: Pegasus, and cured his partner of zombie-ism. Nine years later, we still have not seen him again. It is time he is resurrected back into the universe he came from.

For one thing, Geoff Johns successfully cracked the code of how to write an interesting Jack of Hearts. His life is one of intense isolation and loneliness. A true humanist, his powers nonetheless keep him separated from humanity more often than not. If he fails to follow his regimen, he’ll die. Moreover, in doing so, he might take several others with him.

One of the themes of life right now is people who feel isolated despite the higher than ever number of ways we have to stay connected. Hearts could speak to that moment and tap into that kind of reality.

Also, to put my shallow hat on again, his look is DOPE!

Comics Resurrections
Hourman is ready. Time to put the parts back together. (Courtesy of DC Comics)

Acceptable Resurrections #7: Android Hourman

Technically Hourman should already be back with us. After sacrificing himself to Rex and Rick Tyler, the two human Hourmen, Rip Hunter observed that the android would return “in a year.” Even by comic book timelines, that year must be passed by now.

Hourman, as a character, and the HOURMAN series repeatedly proved to be delightful, wonderfully human (ironic, eh), and often deeply funny. The outside observer character trying to make sense of humans — think anyone from Spock to the Vision — has always proven fertile storytelling ground. Matthew Tyler — as the android christened himself — proved no exception to this rule. The DCU is a poorer place without him. It is more than time to rectify that situation.

Doctor Druid
Courtesy of Marvel Comics

Acceptable Resurrections #8: Doctor Druid

This one is personal for me. Doctor Druid’s doctorate comes not from his wielding of magicks but rather from his degree in psychology. And darn, there are not enough heroic psychologists (not psychiatrists!) in comics.

Druid’s story is also just a super sad one. At some point, writers began to struggle with not seeing him as skim Doctor Strange and they dealt with that by repeatedly turning him evil. They sort of only half did it, though, making him easily turned back to good or easily killed. So even as a bad guy, they played Druid.

My solution is simple. He comes back. His son — who goes by Druid — comes on as a supporting character. We see more of Druid’s complete life, not just costumed. Oh, and in terms of Doctor Strange issues? Druid is all-nature magicks — living rocks, tree branches growing and twisting around villains, earth swallowing enemies whole, and so on. Great visuals, and a very definitive difference.

And how will his powers work on a different planet? That would be something to see, wouldn’t it?

Breach DC Comics
Breach may be stoic but don’t let that fool you. He is PSYCHED to live again. (Courtesy of DC Comics)

Acceptable Resurrections #9: Breach

Some will tell you we do not need a Breach because we have both Captain Atom and Doctor Manhattan. These people are wrong and not to be trusted.

First, Breach is a man of out of time. He disappeared for years. When he returned the world looked so familiar. Past the surface, though, his son was older, and his wife remarried to Breach’s best friend.

Plus, like Hearts above, he is separated from the world by his powers. He has literally willed himself back to life only to find the life he has to live is one of sadness, grief, and isolation. A life where his very presence hurts the ones he loved most because they moved on already and he is back but not really himself anymore.

Breach’s look and villains also made him a unique character in the DCU, a sort of sci-fi body horror book that bumps along on a deep well of human emotions.

His death was also a throwaway and, as far as I am concerned, if you don’t bother giving a hero a strong sendoff, future writers are under no obligation to respect that demise.

Resurrections: Mattie
Well, let’s wait on the name, Mattie. (Courtesy of Marvel Comics)

Acceptable Resurrections #10: Mattie Franklin

Do we need another Spider-Woman? Not by that title certainly. However, Mattie got short-shrift from nearly the jump and then ended up dying twice in like a year. That is neither cool nor fair. Sometimes we must use our resurrections to right past wrongs. This is one such time.

Look at the last months of Mattie’s life. She got addicted to drugs and used as a sort of living field to grow MGH. Dealers literally skinned her to make the stuff! Then she got clean, jumped by Kraven’s family, and sacrificed via slashed throat. But wait, she came back, cloned by Ben Reilly. Not so fast! Dead again.

Essentially, she is the Spoiler of Spider-Man’s neck of the wood and she deserves so much better.

Bringing her back is easy. Murder via mystical ritual means returning via mystical ritual seems an obvious slam dunk. Plus, if Spider-Man has taught us anything, being cloned once pretty much guarantees there are truckloads of other versions of you out there. Either way, easy.

But what is her role in the Marvel U?

I don’t know what I would call her, but I love the dynamic of her being a superhero living under J. Jonah Jameson’s roof. Especially a JJJ who has suffered so much loss over the years and has been struggling to find and redefine himself in light of those events.

What Say You?

Are we hypocrites? Did we just make bad choices and you have better suggestions? Get at us and let us know!

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One Comment

  1. Shanahan

    May 24, 2019 at 4:48 am

    I’ve wanted DC’s Firebrand back for years. He was a great character, and his death was ignominious.

    Reply

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