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A recurring theme in science fiction, fantasy, and superhero stories, heroes from the past are the heroic foil to evil from the past, which refers to villains who threatened the world decades or centuries ago and return in the present time to wreak havoc.

In the case of heroes from the past, these heroes and heroines are those who have carried out heroic deeds and/or saved the world in the past (decades or centuries ago), but were imprisoned, forgotten, locked away, exiled, and/or killed. Later, the hero is revived or makes his or her return to finish what he or she started, usually to make amends for his or her past wrongdoings, defeat his nemesis, and/or restore hope, and resume his or her heroic ways.

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