Just like you can't kill a real superhero, it seems you can't kill a City of Heroes character either, as it's been announced that all the game's expired accounts are being brought back online.
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This applies to both retail and trial versions of the game, and has already taken place, so if you've ever had a lapsed account your deceased hero should now be back amongst the living.
These revived characters will be available for free until the stroke of midnight on Sunday, EST. After that, you either pay up, or they return to...wherever it is superheroes go until somebody brings them back to life again.
City of Heroes Reactivates Accounts for Anniversary [Shacknews]