gh luke mashup
Credit: ABC/Courtesy of the Everett Collection (3)

The real question is whether he — and portrayer Tony Geary — will actually return.

From the beginning, we were suspicious. Way back in January of last year, General Hospital‘s Tracy returned to Port Charles to share that Luke Spencer had died. As if that wasn’t hard enough for longtime fans to hear, she revealed that the legendary anti-hero — who had more than once saved the world — had perished not vanquishing evil but while riding a cable car.

It seemed so ridiculously anticlimactic that we found the news impossible to process. Luke? Dead? In so pedestrian a manner?

Luke's family and friends gather for his memorial Haunted Star General Hospital

Luke’s loved ones — and a few not-so-loved ones — gathered to say farewell.

Credit: ABC

There was, of course, more to the story. And this being Luke, it involved the Cassadine clan in general and Victor, brother of Mikkos, in particular.

Eventually, there was a memorial service, but of course, with no body having been found, we couldn’t help but suspect Luke might still be among the living. This would, we assumed, kick of a huge story, perhaps involving some globe trotting and a few familiar faces from the past. A final story built around the death of one of daytime’s most iconic characters. (Second, perhaps, only to All My Children‘s Erica Kane.)

More: Laura Wright takes us all out on a date

Yet a year later, that story has not actually emerged. Sure, there have been references to finding out how Luke really died and bringing his killer to justice. But for the most part, it’s as if everyone in Port Charles simply forgot about their legendary former mayor. Heck, it was only this week that Luke’s beloved sister, Bobbie, finally confronted Victor to accuse him of being responsible for her brother’s demise.

It was while watching this week’s episodes — during which supposedly-dead Lucy and faux-dead Valentin were spotted by locals who had no reaction whatsoever to their resurrection — that we realized just how ridiculous it is to think Luke dead. In fact, the fact that his supposed demise is still being talked about a year later would indicate just the opposite.

Think about it. Truly dead characters such as Britt, Brando and Rory — all of whom passed away after Luke — are almost never mentioned. And while Luke hasn’t been given the grand sendoff we expected, that could very well be an indication that we were never supposed to actually buy into his death.

gh tracy luke Anthony Geary, Jane Elliot"General Hospital" SetThe Prospect StudiosABC StudiosLos Angeles02/29/12©Howard Wise/jpistudios.com310-657-9661Episode # 12525U.S.Airdate 03/27/12

Are we really never again going to hear Luke call Tracy “Spanky Buns”?

Credit: Howard Wise/JPI

More: Kirsten Storms takes us to her happy place

Meanwhile, as the show is preparing to celebrate its 60th anniversary, it recently revealed that Jane Elliot’s Tracy and Emma Samms’ Holly — both of whom share romantic history with Luke — soon will be returning. What better way to mark six decades of General Hospital than with a big, splashy story built around Luke, finally answering the question of whether he really died in that cable car explosion or is still out there, somewhere…

Flash back on all of Luke’s adventures and romances in the gallery below and tell us: Could so exciting a character really have been given so boring a demise?