So you’re a dead superhero. Hey, cheer up! Congratulations! The chances of you getting your own series or mini-event in the future have just dramatically increased. Who knows, in twenty years, you might be able to squeeze a movie out of this! However, while we all know about the lack of permanence when it comes to superdemise, the speed and degree at which you’ll make your return are still up in the air, so let’s survey your immediate situation and see where we find ourselves, shall we?
Most importantly, how recently did you pass? Are you sure you’re actually dead, and not just in a comatose state? Should you simply be under right now, your advanced physiology will bring you back in time for the next story arc. Do you have a healing factor? More of you have one of those that you guys realize, and new ones are being discovered all the time (“Didn’t I lose an arm yesterday?”). If you are, in fact, unconscious and do happen to possess a healing factor, then you, my friend, are in luck! Throw your existential feet back, relive a couple of repressed memories while your body knits itself back together, and get ready for round two in a few-
Oh, no? You’re having a definite “disconnected-from-my-corporeal-form” moment? OK, let’s not count on the healing factor. This sounds a bit more serious. The first thing that jumps into my head is -- are you Doctor Strange, or any other Sorcerer Supreme of the past, present, future, or an alternate timeline? Perhaps a demon or the physical embodiment of an abstract concept that death is irrelevant for? Is your whole super “thing” the fact that you’re dead to begin with? You could simply be lost in the astral plane or be under the influence of an enemy -- no, you’re not one of the magic guys? Sorry, I had to ask. The magic guys always play by a different set of rules.
There’s one last thing I have to ask just to confirm that you are, in fact, dead: Did anyone see you die? Was anyone actually there? Sure, you were, but anyone else? How did you die? If it was simply sickness or old age, then I hate to break it to you, you’re probably going to be dead for a good long while. Ah, you’re a young, healthy specimen at the prime of your superheroing career? Alright, were you struck down in the heat of impassioned battle, or were you implied to be struck down in the heat of impassioned battle? There’s a huge difference: one means you’re dead, the other means you’re just not, regardless of how overwhelming the odds were. Oh, your whole team was there? Nerts. Well, hey, at least now someone can confirm you were impaled on a sword, or stomped on by a fear goddess, or ripped in half, or flung into a wood chipper -- no? Crushed to death? Well, that’s still pretty conclusive. You’re dead.
But turn that frown upside down, my dearly departed do-gooder! There’s still hope for your big block-busting return yet! Many heroes have gone on to have hugely profitable -- oh, you know what? I just realized a big assumption I’ve been making. Are you even a good guy, or are you a villain? Maybe you’re a villain who turned good at the last second or, even better, a good guy who turned villain who turned good at the last second to sacrifice himself to save his old teammates! Man, if that’s your story, I guarantee you’ll be back on the shelves in, like, a MONTH. Tops. With a crossover event spanning a few books, maybe even a couple superhero book families! You’ve got nothing to worry about --
Oh, just a good guy who selflessly fought insurmountable odds and finally, definitely succumbed to them in the name of justice? Oh. OK. That’s OK, I guess. It’s not great, but it’s OK. Your team will mourn your death, you’ll get a funeral issue, and --
OH! YOUR TEAM! Your team is a huge part of your death and resurrection! Don’t worry buddy, you’ve still got a shot. What team were you on, and what were they fighting when you went down? The Avengers? The Defenders? Anything with an X in the title? I’ve got to be honest, an X-title is going to vastly improve your chances here -- Avengers? OK, Avengers is still really good, definitely A-List. How’d it go down, fighting Kang the Conqueror in the middle of Times Square? Annihilus started tearing up Yankee Stadium? Alien dinosaurs charging down Broadway? Doctor Doom in Central Park....
What? Great Lakes Avengers? Are they even still a thing? Crap... OK, but surely you were still...no, sorry, they’re not even B-List, but that’s OK. Sometimes one of them gets pulled up out of the minors. Surely, though, you were all called in to deal with a threat that was an all-hands-on-deck situation, right? Ancient fear god coming back into power, alien invasion threatening to enslave all of humanity, something like that? No? Stilt-Man? Stilt-Man? You were knocked off by STILT-MAN?! HOW DO YOU GET KILLED BY...!
--Just give me a moment. Just don’t say anything. Stop it. Right now, it’d be better if a mugging went wrong, honestly, or, like, a piano just dropped on your head. I need... I need a moment.
Alright, fine. We’re OK. We can still use this. We’re going to have to paint this the right way though. We really have to spin this thing. Hey, here we go! This is just an example of how any wrong-doer, even the silliest, is still a threat to the populace. We can never underestimate evil, even if its only advantage over us is that its chosen method of transportation is a notoriously unstable and impractical one. Evil never sleeps, and neither shall justice! For when the stalwart eye of justice blinks, noble heroes fall. Noble heroes like...
I’m sorry, but who are you, actually? I probably should have just asked that at the top. Spider-Man? Wait, I’m talking to SPIDER-MAN?! Didn’t you already die? And what the hell were you doing with the Great Lakes...hahaha. No. Stop it, you’re kidding. Seriously? You’re one of his clones? Get out of here! Which one?! AHAHAHAHAHAA! You’re a clone of Spider-Man who joined the Great Lakes Avengers and was stomped to death by Stilt-Man. You’re doomed to be a punchline, man, that’s it. You’ll be resurrected in a Deadpool comic next week, then stomped on again by Stilt-Man in the next frame. That’s all I can get you. That’s all you deserve.
Now get out of my article.