This month’s release of Solo: A Star Wars Story has a lot of people excited to see the posthumous return of Han Solo. But if you’ve been paying attention to social media, you know there’s a solid chance that ticket sales will equally be driven by Donald Glover’s portrayal of Lando Calrissian. And with good reason. With the flash of a single, mischievous smile, we’re reminded of exactly what makes this character great: the enigmatic man with a perpetual ace up his sleeve. This roguish quality has led to novels, comics, video games, and more. And in each of them, Lando narrowly escapes danger to see another day, truly cashing in on each of his nine lives. And that’s exactly what makes him the perfect inspiration for this post and a leader to those that followed in his steps: absolute heroes that absolutely should be dead by now.
Speaking of Solo, how could we not bring up Harrison Ford’s other cash cow, Indiana Jones? Across four films, Indy manages to cheat death in some of the best and most ridiculous ways: rolling boulders, lions, refrigerators, Nazis, rope bridges, heart extraction—and that’s not even counting The Adventures of Young Indiana Jones.
The protagonist of over a dozen books and a three-season TV adaptation, Phryne Fisher embodies the dangerous life of a private detective. Her rejection of gender and social roles fuels her adventures through the roaring twenties, almost spelling her demise on more than one occasion. Just a couple of the ways she’s nearly perished: steamed to death in a Turkish bath, hypnotized to death, and kung fu chopped in a warehouse.
We used to think that Regan MacNeil from The Exorcist was the most haunted girl in fiction. And then we saw Elise Rainier's origin story in Insidious: The Last Key. Yikes. This woman has more demon baggage than the holy church. Across four films, we’ve rooted for Elise as she conquered such demons as KeyFace, Wheezing Demon, The Long-haired Fiend, and let’s not forget our favorite, Lipstick-Face Demon.
Poor Teddy. He’s been resurrected more times than we can actually count. But as long as Westworld’s hosts can be brought back from their gory demise, they’ll be doomed to live a life of death (and life and death and life and death).
John Wick and Cassian
We can’t actually say how many times these two have almost died, but we can guess it’s a lot. By the time they reunite in John Wick II, it’s clear that their past adventures have been full of excitement and danger. One can only imagine how many times they cheated death in the heyday of their assassin careers.
Dopinder might not be a superhero himself, but he does hang out with one (if you can call Deadpool a hero). The problem is, Deadpool is a terrible, horrible influence, and if Dopinder isn’t careful, he’s going to get himself killed ten times over.