Mitchell "Mitch" Shelley aka Resurrection Man was once a lawyer on the take from the mob in Viceroy, South Carolina who found himself as a unwilling test subject for a nanotechnology experiment being performed by a organization known as "the Lab." The actual experiment involved microscopic devices named "tektites". The experiments cost Mitch his memory for several months but also rendered him immortal albeit with a twist: he could still be killed but the death would last a matter of seconds and he would be reborn with a superpower influenced by the way he was last killed.
Shelley spent his time as a drifter, trying to remembering who he was and what happened to make him the Resurrection Man after stumbling across his power (after dying). He fought an incarnation of Amazo and was brought to the attention of the Justice League. He was pursued early on by the Body Doubles, two fashion-themed female assassins that were hired by "the Lab". "The Lab" is responsible for the creation of Resurrection Man and his archenemy Hooker.
This "Lab" did give Shelley his power of resurrecting immediately, but he is also something much more, his origin stretching back far into the past. It was revealed that Shelly had fought Vandal Savage throughout time, from the time of the cavemen to the present day, each time attempting to foil Savage's plots before getting killed by Savage in battle.
Resurrection Man helped face down a threat to the multiverse that defeated the JLA, JSA, Young Justice, the Forgotten Heroes and numerous other assembled heroes. This threat, tied to his resurrection powers and the origin of both Vandal Savage and the Immortal Man, was defeated by the real Immortal Man sacrificing his life. Mitch Shelley now wanders the world, dying to save people from crime, evil and injustice.
By the 853rd Century, Shelley had survived to this era where he became an official member of the Justice Legion. By then he had developed a device, the Resurrector, attached to his wrist, that could kill him in a way that allowed him to select specific powers. The immortal Vandal Savage was able to use this device against him, reprogramming the Resurrector to constantly kill Shelley, never giving him the chance to resurrect, until the Martian Manhunter destroyed the device.
As a result of an experiment, Mitchell's mind and body became permanently altered, granting him the following powers and abilities.
- Immortality: Due to Resurrection Man's powers he is unable to die, he will live indefinitely, as he cannot age, wither, or degrade. It is impossible for him to truly die. He automatically and instantly resurrects from any death he suffers. He perfectly regenerates and completely recovers from any injuries, all damages (internal and external) that he gained when he died or had prior to death heal without a scar or a trace, even decapitation, incineration, disintegration and deletion. When he recovers, he's in peak condition, as healthy as possible. The restoration process uses the largest piece of flesh as a base and collects the smaller pieces for regeneration. However, pieces that are too far away are not collected, but replaced instead, and the parts that are not used simply disintegrate. A unique trait is that even if his head is destroyed and regenerated, he does not lose any of his memories or his personality. He does not age rot, get sick, and does not need to eat, drink, or breath. As shown in DC One Million he is still alive and well during the 853rd century.
- Resurrection: Resurrection Man's power is the ability to die and resurrect with a random power (or "gift" as he often refers to it), usually associated somehow with his death, it acts somewhat like a defensive ability by giving Resurrection Man abilities that can prevent that same type of death again. These range from minor, almost dismissive abilities to the extraordinary. He can become more powerful than any single member of the Justice League, if he "resurrects" right.
- Pheromone Control: He passively secrete an odorless pheromone that are highly addictive and causes anyone who to instantly like him, and perceive him as the natural leader, becoming charmed and obedient. Thus leaving them extremely submissive and open to manipulations. Furthermore, they will find themselves agreeing with him as if every word he says becomes the most logical and sensible thing they've ever heard. The pheromones are released at a rate of 2,000 parts per million, several thousand times that of a normal human. The pheromones affect all beings. He can alter the affects of the pheromones, induce fear, calmness, etc.
- Tektites: The Tektites in his body allow him to eat any substance in any amount at super-speed. He can consume an unlimited amount of matter in any form - solid, liquid or gas. power to eat hard objects, like steel, this stems from the Tektites ability to produce a variety of digestive enzyme that act on specific substances, making them easier to chew and digest matter. Regardless of how much he eats he always maintains a healthy, well-endowed and attractive body.
His long life have given Mitchell time to become one of the most versatile man in the DC universe.
- Persuasion: Mitchell Shelly has been a successful lawyer for a long time, he is incredible handsome, seductive, charming and eloquent by nature, and he is infallibly persuasive. He has a compelling voice; he is an natural orator, storyteller, leader, and hero, with an immense aptitude for manipulating others. He's able to bring anyone to understand and feel for his viewpoint, causing others to believe what he says and agree with anything he suggests.
- Indomitable Will: He possesses endless; willpower, humor, nobility, sincerity, vitality, virility, empathy, eloquence, charisma and will to live. He never gets bored of life, does not feel guilt, regret, pain or real fear, allowing him to live forever without ever falling to despair, & always enjoying life. This willpower is what allowed him to challenge Vandal Savage.
- Genius Level Intellect: Mitchell is described as having "a natural aptitude for having natural aptitudes;" he is easily capable of picking up complicated skills quickly and perfectly/permanently retaining them. He is a polymath and an expert in all fields.
- Eidetic Memory: Mitchell has total recall and can instantly remember anything in perfect detail.
- Investigation: He is capable of observation, investigation, and inductive and deductive reasoning of the highest caliber. Intuition is an unlearnable trait and one of Mitchell's most effective tools.
- Business Management
- Tactical Analysis
- Escapology:He has been captured multiple times by the body doubles, only to manage to escape every time
- Martial Arts
- Marksmanship: He was once a cowboy and a sheriff in the wild west
- A comment by the Phantom Stranger stated that having worked with Shelley in previous lifetimes suggests that there is more to his powers than just the tektites. Meaning that Shelley's gifts have existed in his previous lives, but not changed over the course of a single life. However, the Resurrection Man series never expanded on this point.
- 44 Appearances of Mitchell Shelley (New Earth)
- 2 Images featuring Mitchell Shelley (New Earth)
- 6 Quotations by or about Mitchell Shelley (New Earth)
- Character Gallery: Mitchell Shelley (New Earth)