Jason Todd was the second Robin, a new teen character introduced in the '80s after the other Robin's legs started getting too hairy for that outfit. Batman fans hated the guy with a passion, so after a few years of having to sort through the hate mail, DC figured out a way to capitalize on this: they announced a telephone poll for readers to decide whether he lived or died. 10,000 votes later, Jason was officially declared dead after being intimately introduced to a crowbar by the Joker, blown up, and then buried under a collapsing building.
If only voting on American Idol could produce results like this.
Since they didn't want readers to feel like they had wasted their money, the editors at DC assured everyone that Jason's death was permanent by stating on the back cover of the comic that "It would be a really sleazy stunt to bring him back". And then they did exactly that -- twenty years later. But if they were willing to risk making themselves look foolish, they must have at least had a great resurrection story planned, right? A Batman story twenty years in the making can only be orgasmically epic, right?
One day in 2005, Jason shows up in Gotham, angry, all grown up, and inexplicably alive, making Batman and comic fans alike go "What the flying fuck?" The audience is later told that Jason has been alive for years without Batman's knowledge, and actually came back to life only a few months after his death.
"Leg cramp! Leg cramp!"
After digging himself out of his grave, Jason was found by Batman enemy/former lover/Latin pop sensation, Talia. Talia and her father, Ra's al Ghul, fix Jason up and train him as a villain, then sort of forget about the guy and never mention any of this to Batman on any of the dozen encounters they've had with him over the years. Meanwhile, Jason's dicking around in Europe for a while, seemingly just so it will be shocking when he returns as a full grown adult.
But none of that is as ridiculous as the reason why he's alive in the first place -- it's because someone literally punched time.
Another DC comic published in 2005 showed an alternate reality Superboy trying to escape the dimension he's trapped in by punching reality in the face. Because apparently that's something Superboy can do. You know that scene in Superman where he undoes Lois Lane's death by making the Earth turn in reverse? It's like that, only with more teenage angst.
In a fit of emo rage, Superboy punched reality so hard that it was like it gave time itself a concussion, changing details in the history of the DC universe. So this was the perfect opportunity to, say, give Wonder Woman a breast augmentation or something, but they wasted it on reviving Batman's annoying dead sidekick. The one everyone hated anyway.
"Let's go for ice cream, everyone!"
So, for Jason, the universe changed to match one where he had survived the explosion that killed him, but the rest of the world remained the same (which is why he woke up trapped in a coffin, possibly stuffed with embalming fluid). Of course, we only know all this because the narrator told us -- the characters have no idea what happened, and they never make any attempt to find out. For all Batman knows he buried the kid alive, like he did with Alfred that one time.
If you've seen the Transformers movies you know that their leader Optimus Prime is a big fan of sacrificing himself for a noble cause -- it's the closest thing a talking truck can have to a hobby. Well, in the comic books he's no different, except you have to replace the word "noble" with "nut-bustingly stupid". On this occasion, Optimus Prime's terrible resurrection is overshadowed only by his incredibly pointless death: he commits suicide over a videogame.
It all starts when the Autobots and the Decepticons are about to have an all-out brawl about something or other, when this kid shows up with a less destructive alternative.
He suggests they all log in as characters in his videogame so they can fight there, and whoever wins in the game gets the thing they're fighting for. Megatron agrees on one condition: that both he and Optimus stuff their bodies with explosives and whoever loses the game gets blown up in real life. Since Optimus hasn't sacrificed himself for at least ten issues and is starting to get a little testy, he agrees.
Ethan is ashamed to admit he's dyslexic.
Once they're inside the game Optimus reminds the Autobots not to hurt any of the game characters, even though they're not real and don't have personalities, 'cause that's not how Autobots roll. They have no qualms about shooting Decepticons in the dick, though.
"A dick ambush!"
Megatron uses a cheat code to kill off most of the Autobots and is about to win, but at the last moment Optimus knocks a tower over onto Megatron, pushing him off a cliff.
So this means the Autobots won and should be able to blow Megatron to pieces, right? Wrong. To everyone's astonishment, Optimus announces he didn't win at all because he accidentally killed some game characters when he beat Megatron, which goes against his principles. So, looks like it's a draw then... or it would be if Optimus didn't suffer from some weird death fetish.
Megatron is totally making a trollface there.
Optimus is essentially killing himself over some goombas, thus harming his team, endangering the universe (the Decepticons got the thing they were fighting over), and mentally scarring every child in the '80s with the following image:
There was no Christmas that year.
But then, after letting the Decepticons leave and the Autobots mourn their friend for a little while, Ethan reveals he had conveniently saved Optimus's mind onto a floppy disk before he destroyed him.
That's right, his entire consciousness is contained inside one floppy disk. And no, this isn't some sort of ultra powerful alien technology disk he used: the Autobots didn't even know about it, which means this is a regular floppy circa 1986, the ones that could hold around one megabyte of information. If you cut and paste this article into Word it will take twice as much space as Optimus Prime's entire being.
This .GIF is literally 10% of Optimus' personality.
The only problem is the little shithead took so long to mention this that by the time he did the Autobots had already shot Optimus' dead body into space, though on the other hand we hope our friends do us the same courtesy. They travel to three different planets looking for someone capable of rebuilding Optimus, and finally find him on the planet Nebulog. So they rebuild Optimus from scratch, download his memory into the new body, and then...
...he immediately dies again.
They're forced to make even more changes to his new body to survive (just in time for a new Christmas toyline release!) and he ends up looking pretty bad ass. Then he dies sacrificing himself again 30 issues later, not to mention that he also died on the movie that came out on the same year. At this point, we're not sure why the Autobots bother reviving him at all.
And stop by Linkstorm to learn about Swaim's miraculous resurrection.
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