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Off My Mind: Life Model Decoys (LMDs) Used to Cheat Death

Are LMDs a good idea or just an easy out when a character dies?

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When a character dies in a comic book, chances are they will return soon. The trick for writers is to come up with a believable way to "resurrect" the character without alienating or upsetting readers. No one likes a cheap death and they definitely don't like the cheap return of a character. 
One common tool used to explain the death or serious injury of a character is the Life Model Decoy (also known as LMD). These were first used by Nick Fury in SHIELD as decoys when fighting enemy agents of HYDRA. LMDs are nearly identical to the original. Besides Fury, Maria Hill, Tony Stark and Thunderbolt Ross are among those that have used LMDs to replace them. 
Are Life Model Decoys a clever invention or just a cheap way for characters to cheat death? 
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Whenever you see Nick Fury injured or acting out of character, the first thought is it's an LMD. While the use of an LMD to replace Thunderbolt Ross when Red Hulk "killed" him was a clever way to trick everyone in the Marvel Universe (as well as readers), it did feel a little cheap after the fact sunk in.  
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What it comes down to is LMDs should be used sparingly. You would think they cost quite a bit to make. We shouldn't see them pop up all over the place. As important as Nick Fury is, I don't know if SHIELD's budget can afford to have a ton of LMDs at his disposal. Unless I missed it, it wasn't fully explained how MODOK happened to have an LMD of Ross lying around (perhaps he had it made when planning out the Red Hulk scheme). 
I say the day of the LMD is over, especially if it's going to be used to fake a death. We've seen it too often. It's getting to be as bad as Doctor Doom and all his Doombots. If we must be subjected to death and trickery, I say we should see a new explanation to explain away the death of a character. (Now watch Nightcrawler and Cable's deaths will be resolved with LMDs).