As the old saying goes, no one stays dead in the world of Marvel Comics except for Uncle Ben. But not every Marvel superhero (or villain) has been the recipient of a worthwhile resurrection. For every well-conceived revival that inspires engaging new storylines, theres an equally confounding and frustrating one that inevitably makes readers ask why this character was even killed off in the first place. Marvels 50/50 track-record in character revivals is pertinent when you consider that starting in April, comic book fans will get a steady diet of resurrections. Peter Parker will be back and web slinging again in an All-New Marvel Now reboot of Amazing Spider-Man, while everyones favorite German mutant, Nightcrawler, who just recently returned to the land of the living in the pages of Amazing X-Men, will star in his very own solo series written by legendary X-Men scribe Chris Claremont. It is anticipated that both series will address what these characters missed while they were away playing dead for a few years. Then, if you turn your attention to Marvels cinematic universe, the first major Marvel comic book movie of 2014 is Captain America: The Winter Soldier, the sequel to 2011s Captain America: The First Avenger. The Winter Solider is an adaptation of the mid-2000s comic book arc of the same name, and features (*spoiler*) the return of Caps long-dead World War II partner, Bucky Barnes. Time will tell if the returns of Peter, Nightcrawler and Bucky will be received with cheers or groans from readers and movie-goers. In the meantime, here are five Marvel resurrections that were done right, and five that sucked. Hopefully these can function as a measuring stick for you.
Mark is a professional writer living in Brooklyn and is the founder of the Chasing Amazing Blog, which documents his quest to collect every issue of Amazing Spider-Man, and the Superior Spider-Talk podcast. He also pens the "Gimmick or Good?" column at Comics Should Be Good blog.