This was as close to “explaining” Mike’s death/rebirth as I’d planned to get.  Honestly, I just thought it was funny that he was randomly alive again.  But I poked at the pathos of it a bit here as I outright acknowledged the discrepancy for the first time in the strip.  He was dead, and then he wasn’t!  Close enough, right?

It wasn’t until Amber/Mike’s wedding down the line that I came up with an actual explanation to satisfy everyone’s curiosity.  I’m not running that bit of story here, so I’ll SPOILER YOU ALL and lay it out here: Joyce explained that she leaked Joe’s resurrection chamber tech to an outside company on the condition that they bring Mike back first.  After all, Mike saved her life and subsequently lost his own.  She felt she owed him.  And so Mike just appeared one day, alive, and I guess went to work at a toy store.

The explanation is less interesting than the ambiguity, but whatchagonnado.