​7 Characters Who Were Saved by the Fans

Authors, showrunners, directors and horrible people. They kill characters we love constantly, just to make us feel emotions, or they give us awesome characters and then plan to get rid of them for no reason! Luckily, sometimes fans can come together and keep these bastards from destroying the fictional people we love — here are some of those times.

1) Agent Coulson, Avengers

Despite Joss Whedon's love of killing off beloved characters, it was actually Marvel Studios president Kevin Feige who ordered Agent Phil Coulson's death in Avengers, giving the movie the tragic heft he thought it needed. When Avengers came out in May 2012, there were no concrete plans to bring him back, and Agents of SHIELD was only a glimmer in Feige's eye. Even when the SHIELD pilot was ordered, there was no guarantee than Coulson would return… until actor Clark Gregg announced it in October 2012. If you don't think the fans had anything to do with this decision, you're crazy.

​7 Characters Who Were Saved by the Fans

2) Goku, Dragonball Z

When Goku sacrificed himself to defeat Cell and save the earth (thus dying a second time), Dragonball author Akira Toriyama didn't just want to leave Goku dead, he wanted to quit making the manga entirely. But since the anthology Dragonball was in was selling a record-breaking six million copies per week, and the Dragonball Z anime had similarly insane ratings, Toriyama's editors convinced him to keep going. Toriyama wanted to refocus the manga on Goku's son Gohan, but eventually fan pressure led to Goku returning… even though he was still dead for a while (you can tell by the halo he was sporting at the time).

3) Sherlock Holmes

The first and perhaps most famous fan resurrection of all time, author Sir Arthur Conan Doyle was sick and tired of writing his immensely popular Sherlock Holmes tales, and thus devised a way to give the detective a proper send-off. Doyle invented an arch-nemesis for Holmes, and had the two apparently falling off a cliff at the Reichenbach Falls in Switzerland (Watson didn't witness this himself) in "The Final Problem," published in December of 1893. Doyle managed to weather the public pressure to bring back the character for 11 long years — although he did try to sate the public with The Hound of the Baskervilles, set prior to "The Final Problem," in 1902 — until resurrecting the character fully in "The Adventure of the Empty House" in 1903.

​7 Characters Who Were Saved by the Fans

4) Spike, Buffy the Vampire Slayer

Pretty much everyone on Buffy the Vampire Slayer and Angel was supposed to die at one point or another, some of them set to return, and some supposed to stay dead. For instance, Angel was supposed to die permanently in the season 2 finale until The WB wanted a Buffy spin-off, which led to Whedon brining back the character for season three in order to prep the character for his own series. But Spike was the one actually saved by the fans; he was originally supposed to die in his fifth episode — "What's My Line, Part Two" — but the character was such an instant hit with fans that the character was spared.

​7 Characters Who Were Saved by the Fans

5) Tommy, Power Rangers

With Green Ranger Tommy Oliver was depowered in the middle of Mighty Morphin Power Rangers season 2, he left as he could no longer be an effective Power Ranger. Shortly after his disappearance, Zordon announces he's making an all-new and unfortunately named White Power Ranger, who turns out to be... Tommy! The role of the White Ranger was supposed to go to an actor named Brad Hawkins, but Tommy's actor Jason David Frank was such a hit with the show's audience the producers wanted to keep him around. Frank and Oliver have been constantly returning to the Power Rangers universe ever since.

​7 Characters Who Were Saved by the Fans

6) Castiel, Supernatural

Actor Misha Collins was only hired to do six episodes of Supernatural as Castiel, an angel who comes to earth to help the Winchester brothers in their battle against the demons of the world. Originally, Castiel was supposed to die in the fourth season episode "Heaven and Hell," and Anna was supposed to guide Dean through the oncoming apocalypse. But of course the character was an instant hit, stuck around, and Collins was promoted to season regular in seasons 5 and six. Of course, Collins becomes a guest-star for season 7, dying in episode two. Executive producer Sera Gamble quickly revealed that they did indeed plan on bringing Castiel back to the show in some form eventually, and Castiel can thank the fans for that, too.

​7 Characters Who Were Saved by the Fans

7) Optimus Prime, Transformers

The death of Optimus Prime in 1986's Transformers: The Movie was mandated by corporate greed, as toymaker Hasbro wanted kids to buy more toys, and they thought (justifiably) that giving the Autobots new characters and a new leader would facilitate that. What they didn't expect, though, was a legion of traumatized kids whose first experience with death was of their favorite cartoon character. Hasbro resurrected Optimus in 1988. Whether it was because of the actual tears of children or just another naked attempt to sell some more toys, the fans were still technically the reason he came back.