The nine best ways to cheat death if you’re a comic book character

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Soup or man

So you’ve just realised that your reality is nothing more but the construction of drunk comic book writers who slapped your continuity together in a single pub crawl. Life is literally two-dimensional and your chances of being killed by an interdimensional squid monster that crawled out of Alan Moore’s beard have now just multiplied immensely.

Sorry to break it you pal, but you’re going to die horribly soon. Will it be with a sword shoved through your body that completely ignores how spinal columns work? A grand sacrifice to stop all of creation burning? A giant mutated fly ripping your arms off just to see what happens? The possibilities are endless! On the plus side, death is more of a short break from the usual superheroics than a permanent nap six feet under with a dirt blanket.

So while death may be inevitable for your fictional life, there are some ways to cheat the reaper. Here’s how you can pull off a holiday in the afterlife and come back in time for tea because comic books.

Have a crazy ex-girlfriend with reality-warping powers who finally snaps and reshuffles existence itself (House of M)

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I mean who hasn’t dated a mutant whose power has been written as something that is convenient to a plot? While Wanda Maximoff may have been able to fire off mystical “hex bolts” that affected probability while she wore an evening gown, the Avengers Disassembled arc eventually saw her abilities amplified to dangerous new heights that could affect all of reality.

It probably didn’t help that at this point, Wanda was crazier than a bag of honey badgers and her mental stability only needed a single push to help her implode the status quo of the world and then reshape it to suit the desires of those around her, reviving many a fallen hero in the process. That, and fighting a villain whose superpower was that he had Wanda’s children for hands, would drive anyone over the reality-breaking edge.

But hey, at least it worked out fine for Hawkeye!

Take a Lazarus Pit dip (Various Batman comics)

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Like any problem in life, solving it is just a matter of throwing said dilemma into a pit. Or if you’re dead, throwing that corpse into a Lazarus Pit! Rhas Al Ghul’s infamous bubble baths have long been the source of many a resurrection in the DC Universe, provided that you don’t mind a slight case of post-afterlife insanity and having an entire league of ninja gunning for you when they find out that you used Al Ghul’s premium soap to scrub the smell of rigor mortis off of your corpse.

Now finding someone who’ll haul your carcass into a Lazarus Pit, that’s a guide for another day…

Take a break until Superboy Prime has another temper tantrum that results in him punching a dimensional barrier hard enough to wake you up from death (Red Hood)

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I mean really, who hasn’t clawed their way out of a coffin after a Kryptonian from another reality has had a hissy fit that resulted in him literally punching dimensions apart and creating a ripple effect that altered your demise? Just another Tuesday for most of us.

Get literally banned from dying because you’re too much of a badass (Lobo)

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This is just a reminder that in Lobo’s own home language, his name literally translates to “He who devours your entrails and thoroughly enjoys it”. A badass on a cosmic level, Lobo was so much of a pain in the ass when he was alive that the afterlife itself decided to ban the grim reaper from ever claiming his soul lest Heaven or Hell have to deal with an eternity keeping the last Czarnian entertained. Which might be tough, given that Lobo actually killed Father Christmas himself because reasons.

Moral of the story? Reinvent yourself as a galactic biker badass who can punch Superman into orbit, always keeps his word and whose power defies not only logic but the fundamental laws of the universe itself. That way, you’ll be able to smile whenever Blue Oyster Cult’s Don’t Fear the Reaper plays on space-radio.

Speedforce bullshit (The Flash)

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The Speedforce of The Flash! What can it do? What can’t it do is the question you should be asking yourself. Which has one answer: Make Barry fast enough to face his latest nemesis until its the final episode of the season. Anyway, the Speedforce is the Swiss Army Knife of energy streams, a conduit for speed that can function as a channel between time and space while also being nifty as a makeshift prison depending on the writer.

It’s also basically a 3D printer on a cosmic scale, able to recall speedsters past, present and future as it revives avatars mere moments before death and drops them back into continuity when needed. So basically, next time there’s a thunderstorm go stand next to a collection of chemicals and pray that the next lightning bolt hits you square in the plot. Easy.

Get Grant Morrison to kind of kill you

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If you had to list every single mind-bending drug ever made and a few made-up ones, chances are that Grant Morrison will have taken them. The mad scot is a master at warping minds thanks to some of the most insane comic book plots ever conceived across the multiverse, but he’s also a dab hand at killing off famous characters and then revealing a trick up his sleeve that allows them to return.

How else can you even explain Batman being hit with the Omega Sanction, the death that isn’t death but is kind of convenient for making a new bestselling series while DC shifts tons of copies of comics starring a new caped crusader? So yeah, get Grant Morrison to pen your adventures because as bonkers as your eventual death is going to be, at least you’ll return with some positive sales under the belt.

Death-coma switcheroo (Superman)

Charlton Heston Man

Fun fact: Superman’s return from his original death in the 1990s is exactly the same as Monty Python’s Dead Parrot sketch. Superman wasn’t dead, he was merely resting after being punched into a coma by Doomsday and once he was done pining for the Fjords in the Kryptonian dreamscape, he was back and better than ever. What I’m saying is, is that you can easily get away with faking death by having a galactic baby that was cloned from countless deaths in the Kryptonian wasteland punch you just hard enough to fool even the most learned of phsyicians.

Although to be fair, I’d like just five more minutes in my coma please.

Let your clone take the fall for you (Spider-Man)

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What do you mean you don’t have access to cutting edge cloning facilities that allow you to grow a perfect replica of you that even has accurate memories, a sell-by lifespan and can easily be used to dupe your foes into thinking that they’ve finally killed you? Dude, are you even trying or do you want to die like a peasant? C’mon, I know you can do better.

Get the best God to like you

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Does the divine have a face? Is there any way to possibly conceive the identity of the creator who sits above all and is responsible for creation? Actually yes, and it just so happens to be the face of a comic book pioneer who enjoyed a puff of a cigar while drawing up pages of comic book art that would pave the way for the Silver Age of comics and make them mainstream once again.

So if you’re dead, the solution is simple: Just go to heaven, get friendly with the source of all existence and he’ll even let you catch a ride back to the land of the living if your friends can pierce the barrier between life and death like some sort of cosmic Uber. Easy stuff.

Last Updated: August 23, 2019

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