One of the oldest jokes in comics is that no one ever really stays dead. Every now and then comic book readers see their favorite characters die, knowing full well that they will come back to life in a few short years.
While it may seem like a very cheap tactic, some of these resurrections are pulled off wonderfully, adding new dimensions to characters we thought were gone forever. Other times, these resurrections fall even flatter than you might imagine.
Here are the top five Marvel resurrections that we love and the top five that we never needed.
10 Bad: Wolverine
The most recent of all the resurrections 0n this list, Wolverine's return was a bit of a disappointment. After a virus disabled his healing factor, Wolverine was left vulnerable to attack from his enemies. A bounty is put on his head leading Wolverine back to Doctor Abraham Cornelius, the founder of Weapon X. Our favorite X-Man defeats the doctor and then dies from suffocation as he was covered in hardening adamantium.
While this death was as satisfying as a heroes death can be, the way they chose to bring him back was very disappointing. A new mutant character named Persephone with the power to bring the dead back to life uses her power on Logan. It just seemed like lazy writing.
9 Good: Galactus
When the cosmic being Galactus decides to devour the homeworld of the Shi-ar empire, his former herald the Silver Surfer sets out to stop him. The cosmic surfer turns Galactus' siphoning machines against him. With Galactus unable to consume energy he starves to death.
Upon his death, the Fantastic Four realize Galactus was a stabilizing force in the universe. Forced to bring him back, Franklin Richards and Valeria Von Doom use all of their combined powers to resurrect him.
8 Bad: Captain America
At the end of Marvel's famous Civil War event, Steve Rodgers is tragically murdered. While heartbreaking, this death brought a finality and level of stakes that made the event that much better. It also opened up new possibilities for the future of the Captain America mantle, as Bucky stepped up to take his place.
In the end, it turned out Cap never died. The gun that killed him simply caused his consciousness to fade in and out of space and time. Such an overly complicated, fantastical explanation for his resurrection took away any weight that was felt from his initial death.
7 Good: Spider-Man
During one of Spider-Man's battles with Doc Ock, the villain managed to swap minds with the wall-crawler. Octavius was near death's door, and Peter's mind died within Octavius' body shortly after the switch.
Doc Ock went on to try and prove he is the Superior Spider-Man. Coming into conflict with Green Goblin, he realized he could never be what Peter Parker is. Parker's subconscious had survived in the back of Ock's mind, and when the time came, he took back control and defeated the Goblin, proving that Peter Parker is the superior Spider-Man.
6 Bad: Human Torch
When an army of aliens begin to invade Earth from the extra-dimensional Negative Zone, Johnny Storm gives his life defending the world. The Fantastic Four are forced to move on, giving Storm's empty spot to his long-time friend Spider-Man.
Johnny was later resurrected by a group of insect-like aliens. It was a strange way to bring the character back and did not feel the least bit earned.
5 Good: The Thing
Another Fantastic Four member, the Thing, has also come back to life. This resurrection, however, was much more interesting. When Doctor Doom took control of Thing's body, Thing made sure to tell Reed to not let Doom win, no matter the cost. Reed understood the message and hit Thing with a deadly blast.
In an effort to save him, the FF visited the afterlife where they met the creator. This creator looked an awful lot like renowned comic artist Jack Kirby. He granted Thing his life back thus giving us one of the best resurrections Marvel has done so far.
4 Bad: Punisher
Punisher was decapitated by Wolverine's son, Daken. It was a big loss for the Marvel universe, and he was missed immediately. While there is some debate whether his death was good or not, everyone agrees his resurrection was stupid.
Morbius the vampire and the Legion of Monsters pieced Punisher back together and brought him back to life as a Frankenstein-like monster. This was very out of line for the character and most comic fans wish they could forget his time spent as a horror trope.
3 Good: Jean Grey
The Dark Phoenix Saga is one of the greatest comic book runs of all time. Culminating with the tragic death of Jean Grey, it would seem to be a big mistake to bring her back and take away from that story's legacy.
She came back a few times, each time due to compelling circumstances. The most notable resurrection was in Phoenix Endsong. The Phoenix Force reanimates Jean and she must sacrifice herself yet again to keep it from destroying the world.
2 Bad: Ultimate Spider-Man (Peter Parker)
Perhaps the greatest death in all of comics was that of Ultimate Spider-Man. Set in an alternate universe, the Ultimate line of comics gave authors a chance to take exciting creative risks. One of these risks was killing off Marvel's most popular character, and it paid off big time.
It turns out one of Peter's powers was an enhanced healing factor that granted him near-immortality. He could even come back from the dead. Bringing him back cut into the dramatic weight of his death, and some would argue ruined one of the best deaths in comics.
1 Good: Bucky
Perhaps one of the most iconic deaths in comics was that of Captain America's sidekick, Bucky Barnes. There was a rule in comics when it came to resurrections: never bring back Uncle Ben or Bucky. In breaking this rule, Marvel was doomed to disappoint and ruin yet another impactful death. Instead, they gave us the best Captain America story of all time.
Bucky's resurrection as the mind-controlled assassin Winter Soldier made for a compelling story and formidable villain. He has since become one of the most popular characters in Marvel lore.