Comic Vine News


Off My Mind: Is it Still Murder When Characters are Resurrected?

Does their return nullify the murder?

From the beginning, superheroes and supervillains have fought epic battles. The villains have their crazy evil schemes usually based on ruling the world or getting revenge on someone for wronging them in the past. At times innocent lives are put at risk but, for the most part, the only damage was to property.  
Eventually things began to change. The villains started becoming more ruthless. It got to the point that some villains have no problem killing heroes or innocent civilians. The villains often get away but there are times they are apprehended after committing such a foul crime. We don't often see the trial but that should be the next natural step in the judicial process. If the villain isn't committed to an asylum for reasons of insanity, they should be charged with murder. 

No Caption Provided
Is it still considered murder if the victim returns to the land of the living? 
 == TEASER == 

No Caption Provided
One of the first brutal killings in comics that comes to mind is the death of Jason Todd by the Joker. Joker's sanity is a question in its own but if he was tried for the murder of Jason, would that charge hold once it was revealed that Jason came back to life? 
No Caption Provided
What about Crossbones? He's done some bad things as the Red Skull's main henchman. For his part in the shooting and death of Captain America, would that charge be reduced now that Steve technically didn't die? 
No Caption Provided
What about when Michael Pointer killed Alpha Flight when he was overtaken by the mutant energy after M Day? They have returned during the Chaos War story so clearly that means he's off the hook, right?   
Will Deathstroke still be responsible for the killing of Ryan Choi if he somehow manages to be resurrected? 
Taking another angle, what about Norman Osborn killing Gwen Stacy when he was the Green Goblin? It's debatable what actually killed her but he was the one that threw her off the George Washington Bridge. Is Gwen Stacy considered dead since, last I checked, her clone is still running around? Clones aren't really an accepted or known thing in comics. People know about the idea of a clone but are probably unaware that people can be successfully cloned. Could anyone besides Professor Miles Warren prove that the Gwen Stacy clone is just a clone and not the original? Wouldn't she have the same DNA and fingerprints? Could Osborn get an attorney to argue that he couldn't have killed Gwen since someone exists that matches the original exactly?  
There would have to be some sort of precedence set up for this. More and more, villains are killing heroes. We all know it's just a matter of time until they somehow come back to life. What will this mean for any villain convicted of murder? Should the verdict be based on the crime when it happened and not have anything to do if the death doesn't stick? You know there's got to be lawyers out there in the comic book universes that are considering these questions. 
Thanks to RazzaTazz for planting this idea into my mind.