Life. Death. For all things, there is a season. Now you bask and frolic in the light of the sun, but in time, you, too, will be commended to the earth. Unless you're in a comic book, in which case, you'll probably just take a quick dirtnap and get back on your feet in no time, so long as yours is a commercially viable series (and sometimes even if it's not). For superheroes, returns to the world of the living range from triumphant to shockingly dumb to outright ridiculous. Here are the 7 most ridiculous resurrections in comic book history.
7. Aunt May
In the Hitchcock film Psycho, mild-mannered Norman Bates lives alone in an old motel with his elderly mother, who commits horrible murders. By the end of the film, it's been revealed that Norman's mother has been dead for a decade, and the 'Mother' committing the murders is actually an aspect of his fractured psyche; he dresses like her, carries on conversations with her, and stole and preserved her corpse so she would never truly die. This is not unlike Peter Parker's relationship with his Aunt May, who has been very nearly murdered so many times it's a miracle she never built up an immunity. Most recently, she was shot in a failed hit by the Kingpin. Seeing his aunt dying again, Peter literally made a deal with the devil: In exchange for the life of an old, old woman in perpetual danger, Peter agreed to retroactively give up his marriage and entire romantic history with his bombshell supermodel wife. Time was turned back, allowing Peter to spend many more blissful years with his aunt's embalmed corpse. Of course, this is only slightly more ridiculous than the last time Aunt May died, at which point she turned out to have been a surgically-altered actress all along, because that's a thing that happens.
6. The Flash/Barry Allen
Barry Allen, the Silver Age Flash, died during Crisis on Infinite Earths, creating a speed vortex to stop an anti-matter cannon from destroying the Earth and converting his own body into lightning in the process (lightning which then went back in time, as lightning does now and then). It was a heroic and memorable death befitting one of comic books' greatest heroes. Flash forward (ha ha!) twenty-ish years, to when Barry Allen pretty much just kind of shows up again, totally fine and alive. See, the whole time, he'd been in the "Speed Force," which is what makes people fast, and also where fast people go when they die, and also basically a huge big empty void where plot points hang out. Instead of a fearless sacrifice, Allen's death turned out to be a slightly extended hiatus, followed by a big, hearty "HA HA NEVER MIND, HE WAS IN THE SPEED FORCE," which is basically the fictional equivalent of discovering Neil Armstrong actually only walked on a really tall hill instead of the moon.
5. Jean Grey/Phoenix
See if you can keep up: Boy meets girl. Boy can shoot lasers from his eyes, and girl can move things with her mind. Boy and girl go into space with their super friends, but something goes wrong. Girl saves the day but goes down with the ship. Except girl gets revived by the psychic embodiment of all life in the universe and becomes all-powerful. Girl goes crazy, destroys a solar system, and kills herself. Very tragic, huge critical acclaim. (Here's where it gets fun/awful
) Boy meets exact copy of girl who turns out to be evil clone of girl, marries her, and has a child. Except, turns out all-powerful girl was a psychic duplicate and real girl was in an underwater healing cocoon the whole time. Girl comes back to life, girl meets evil clone, girl merges with evil clone, boy marries girl, girl becomes all powerful again, and then dies again. Marvel is currently figuring out how to revive her. Hopefully they can find a new shovel to dig up some more plot holes.