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Fictional Characters Who Can Die and Come Back to Life

South Park’s Kenny McCormick

One of the most iconic examples of a character who can die and come back to life is Kenny McCormick from the animated comedy series South Park. Kenny is one of the four main protagonists of the show, along with Stan, Kyle, and Cartman. He is known for his orange parka that covers most of his face, his muffled voice, and his frequent deaths. Kenny dies in almost every episode of the first five seasons, usually in a gruesome and absurd way, such as being crushed by a falling piano, eaten by a monster, or electrocuted by a toaster. His deaths are often followed by Stan or Kyle saying “Oh my God, they killed Kenny!” and Cartman saying “You bastards!”.
Kenny’s ability to die and come back to life is never explained in the show, until the episode “Cartman Joins NAMBLA” in season four, where it is revealed that Kenny’s parents were members of a cult that worshiped Cthulhu, and that they performed a ritual that made Kenny immortal. However, this explanation is contradicted by later episodes, such as “Coon vs. Coon and Friends” in season 14, where Kenny is shown to have a superhero alter ego called Mysterion, who claims that he has always been able to die and come back to life, and that he does not remember his previous lives. Kenny also says that he hates his immortality, because he has to witness his own death and the suffering of his friends and family, and that no one else remembers his deaths.
Kenny’s immortality is used as a source of humor and satire in the show, as it mocks the conventions of death and resurrection in fiction, and the lack of continuity and consequences in animation. Kenny’s deaths also reflect the harsh and violent reality of his poor and dysfunctional family, and the indifference and ignorance of the society around him.

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Doctor Who’s Captain Jack Harkness

Another character who can die and come back to life is Captain Jack Harkness from the science fiction series Doctor Who and its spin-off Torchwood. Jack is a former Time Agent from the 51st century, who became a companion of the Ninth and Tenth Doctors, and the leader of the Torchwood Institute, a secret organization that deals with alien threats. Jack is charismatic, flirtatious, and bisexual, and has a long and complicated history that spans across time and space.
Jack’s ability to die and come back to life is the result of a temporal paradox, caused by the Ninth Doctor’s companion Rose Tyler, who used the power of the Time Vortex to resurrect Jack after he was killed by the Daleks in the episode “The Parting of the Ways” in season one. However, this also made Jack a fixed point in time, meaning that he can never die permanently, and that his existence is paradoxical and dangerous to the universe. Jack’s immortality is confirmed in the episode “Utopia” in season three, where he reveals that he has died many times, and that he always comes back to life, sometimes after a few minutes, sometimes after a few years. Jack also says that he does not age, and that he does not know if he can ever die of old age.
Jack’s immortality is used as a source of drama and tragedy in the series, as it explores the consequences and challenges of living forever, and the loneliness and pain of losing the people he loves. Jack’s immortality also connects him to the mysterious character of the Face of Boe, who is implied to be Jack’s future self, and who dies after giving his last message to the Tenth Doctor in the episode “Gridlock” in season three.

DC Comics’ Resurrection Man

A lesser-known character who can die and come back to life is Resurrection Man from the DC Comics universe. Resurrection Man is the alter ego of Mitchell Shelley, a lawyer who was killed by a hitman, and then revived by nanites that were injected into his body by a secret organization called the Lab. The nanites gave Shelley the power to regenerate from any injury, and to gain a new superpower every time he dies, such as flight, telepathy, or pyrokinesis. However, the nanites also erased Shelley’s memory, and made him a target of various enemies, such as the Lab, the Suicide Squad, and the Body Doubles.
Resurrection Man’s ability to die and come back to life is used as a source of mystery and adventure in the comics, as it allows him to explore different aspects of his personality and morality, and to discover the secrets of his past and his purpose. Resurrection Man’s power also reflects the theme of change and evolution, and the question of what makes a person who they are.

Mort Cinder’s Mort Cinder

A more obscure character who can die and come back to life is Mort Cinder from the Argentine comic book of the same name, created by Héctor Germán Oesterheld and Alberto Breccia in 1962. Mort Cinder is a man who has lived for thousands of years, and who has died and come back to life countless times. He has no memory of his origin, and he does not age. He has witnessed and participated in many historical events, such as the Trojan War, the French Revolution, and the World Wars. He is accompanied by Ezra Winston, an antique dealer who met him in London, and who helps him to recover his lost memories and to escape from his enemies, such as the mysterious Mr. Burke, who wants to capture Mort and study his immortality.
Mort Cinder’s ability to die and come back to life is used as a source of horror and suspense in the comic, as it depicts the dark and violent side of human history, and the suffering and loneliness of Mort’s eternal existence. Mort Cinder’s power also reflects the theme of identity and memory, and the question of what makes a person human.

Conclusion

These are some of the most famous fictional characters who can die and come back to life, and how their immortality affects their stories and themes. There are many other examples of such characters in fiction, such as Harry Potter, Wolverine, Jon Snow, and Buffy Summers, who have different reasons and methods for their resurrection, and who face different challenges and consequences for their immortality. These characters show us that death is not always the end, and that life is not always a blessing.
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