10 Of The Creepiest Things Superheroes Have Done
Comic book readers learn to suspend their disbelief and roll with the absurd or impossible things that go on. But the more familiar you are with comics, the harder it is to accept your favorite heroes acting out of character and becoming corrupt, murderous, or perverted. These comics leave the most veteran readers shaking their heads in bafflement.
10 Killer Batman
Even the most casual comic or movie fan knows two cornerstones of Batman’s character: Batman does not use guns, and Batman does not kill. However, for Bat-fans with long memories, both of these are actually untrue.
For the first two years of Batman’s solo adventures in Detective Comics, he not only brandished a gun to fight off humans (and the occasional vampire), but he killed villains in a variety of ways, often giving a dark quip after they died. One of these memorable occasions was Batman’s very first appearance, in which he punched a criminal into a vat of acid, claiming it was “a fitting end for his kind.”
Batman spent those first two years snapping necks with his Bat-feet and throwing villains from tall buildings, but the comic’s creators later wisely opted for the “do not kill” policy because it allowed Batman to keep his memorable villains around. Nonetheless, this didn’t keep the Batman of the 1980s from channeling his inner Edgar Allan Poe. He once trapped the unfortunately named KGBeast in a sewer, leaving him to starve to death, saying, “I’m not in this business to protect the rules. I serve justice.”
9 Superman The Porn Star
In the 1980s, writer John Byrne was in charge of reinventing Superman, starting with a Man of Steel miniseries that reimagined everything from Superman’s origins to his first meeting with Batman. After this arc, Byrne regularly wrote Action Comics, and some of his storylines took dark turns.
In Action Comics No. 593, Superman and superheroine Big Barda are mind-controlled by a character appropriately named Sleez. The best thing that this weird villain can think of to do with two of the most powerful characters in the universe is force them to create a pornographic film.
While the Comics Code kept us from explicitly seeing what the characters did on their presumably super-sturdy porn bed, the issue does feature Darkseid handing the videotape to Big Barda’s husband, and readers can see his horrified reaction. It probably mirrors readers’ own reaction after they have read this truly bizarre story.
8 Ant-Man’s Sexual Habits
The topic of superhero sex lives often brings about chuckles from comic fans. Whether it’s asking just why Batman has a teenage sidekick running around in his underwear or what the Thing would do with an orange rock penis, it usually just makes for amusing speculation. However, when it comes to Ant-Man, Marvel decided to show instead of tell, and the result cannot be unseen.
One issue of Avengers features a series of panels in which a voice yells, “Hank, please! No . . . More.” We eventually see that it is the Avenger superhero the Wasp. Not visible, however, is her lover Ant-Man, who possesses the ability to shrink to any size. He then emerges, in shrunken form, from the under the sheets and between her breasts, telling her, “All right, Jan—your turn.”
The mind boggles. Marvel officially confirmed that Ant-Man shrinks himself into a living sex toy to please Wasp, and we can only wonder how she, using her own shrinking powers, will return the favor to Ant-Man.
7 Punisher Becomes An Angel
Comics often shamelessly use the metaphorical reset button, through which any changes to characters are temporary. Comics writers, usually when a new movie or event is right around the corner, regularly restore the previous status quo. The Punisher is far from immune to the reset button, and the way that his story was reset is particularly insane.
Over the years, it seemed certain that the psychotic antihero who gets in daily gun battles would die. This finally happened to the Punisher, but death didn’t keep him down. Instead, he was retooled as a literal avenging angel, sent by heaven to destroy demons on Earth. This was insane to Bible- and Punisher-readers alike.
When comics scribe Garth Ennis started writing for the character, he simply made the angels throw the man back to Earth, which is full of violent sinners, as punishment for not doing their bidding properly.
6 Green Lantern Becomes A Mass Murderer
The power rings of the Green Lanterns have always posed a bit of a paradox for readers. On one hand, they are supposed to be the most powerful weapons in the universe. On the other, they are powered by individual will, which can be lost or perverted. The latter happened to Green Lantern supreme Hal Jordan, causing him to become a mass murderer before he was stopped.
One of the weirder side effects of DC’s “Death of Superman” storyline was the destruction of Green Lantern’s Coast City. The heroes fail to save the day, and over seven million souls are lost, comprising almost everyone that Hal Jordan knows. He goes crazy trying to get enough power to rebuild his city and its people. During the course of this, he kills several other Green Lanterns and most of the Guardians who safeguard the universe.
Though he eventually redeems himself by saving the world, Hal Jordan seems proof that most heroes really are just one bad day away from becoming supervillains.
5 Ant-Man Tries To Kill Wasp
In the regular Marvel Comics Universe, Hank Pym physically abused his wife, the Wasp, while suffering from a mental breakdown. The edgier world of the Ultimates Marvel universe took this to the next level, and the end result was a bit horrifying.
Instead of the Rhett Butler–esque backhanded slap that Ant-Man gives Wasp in the main comics universe, the Ultimates universe features a full-on physical brawl between the characters, weapons and all. Eventually, Wasp shrinks down to escape her husband, but he finds where she is hiding and hits her with some Raid insect spray. He laughs that it must feel like napalm on her skin. When she refuses to come out of hiding, he puts on his ant-controlling helmet and sends a legion of ants to kill her.
Perhaps the scariest part of all of this is just how soon they get back together afterward.
4 Zatanna Lobotomizes Countless Villains
Fans of the DC Universe have often been frustrated with the concept of secret identities. It seems inevitable that a villain will someday knock the glasses off Clark Kent or pull the cowl off Batman and tell the world their secret. However, the miniseries “Identity Crisis” offered a surprise revelation: Villains constantly are figuring identities out, but hero magician Zatanna—along with Hawkman, Green Arrow, Green Lantern, and the Flash—regularly uses her powers to wipe their memories.
In the story, Green Arrow points out how often villains have found heroes’ secrets, such as by swapping bodies or walking through their dreams, sure that the villains will tell the world who the heroes really are. So, Zatanna gives the villains’ minds a little tingle and makes them forget.
Things go further when they confront Dr. Light. Light has not figured out any identities, but he has broken into JLA headquarters and brutally raped Sue Dibny, the Elongated Man’s wife. When caught, he vows to move on to all of the other heroes’ wives next and to tell the world about raping Sue. Instead of a memory wipe, they go to another level and alter his whole brain, which explains how he goes from an A-list JLA villain to getting beaten up by the Teen Titans.
When Batman catches them lobotomizing someone and tries to stop them, they wipe his mind, too.
3 Kitty Pryde Phases During Orgasm
For long-time readers of the X-Men who remember Kitty Pryde joining the team at the age of 13, just the idea of her having sex may be unsettling. Then there’s the question of her powers. Given that Kitty needs intense will to keep from phasing through everything, what would happen when she loses that concentration?
Thanks to Avengers mastermind Joss Whedon, we have an answer to this burning question. During his run of Astonishing X-Men, he resurrected Colossus and brought back fan-favorite Kitty Pryde. These two rekindle their romantic relationship in a memorable scene of the normally shy Kitty Pryde seducing Colossus.
While this is entertaining on its own, the climax of the humor comes during a scene in which a naked Kitty phases through the floor, yelling “Oh my God” the entire time. Even the most prudish reader realizes that Colossus is very adept at making Kitty lose her concentration.
2 Blob Eats Wasp
One of the hallmarks of Marvel’s Ultimates universe was its edginess. In addition to telling continuity-free stories meant to lure in new readers, writers felt emboldened to put new twists on familiar characters and events to entice veteran readers. While this normally worked quite well, the writers of “Ultimatum,” the story designed to put an end to that universe, took it to horrific extremes.
The book was filled with wanton violence and murder, and scenes such as Magneto snapping Professor X’s neck were par for the course. Arguably the grossest of these scenes involved the Blob and the Wasp. Giant-Man finds that the Blob is in the middle of eating her, even exclaiming, “Tastes like chicken.” If this wasn’t gross enough, Giant-Man retaliates by turning into a giant and biting the Blob’s head off.
Turning two of Marvel’s longest-running characters into cannibals was clearly just another twist on top of the violence and death that had ceased to shock.
1Preacher‘s Meat Statue Sex
Most of these examples are shocking or surprising moments from otherwise mainstream comics. Preacher is different.
Printed as part of DC’s explicit adults-only Vertigo line, Preacher was designed to be shocking. Nearly every page is filled with gore, nudity, perversion, foul language, and often some combination of the four. It takes something really special, then, to stand out as the most shocking part of such a comic, but that moment comes in a giant woman made of meat.
In the comic, hero Jesse Custer is taking a break (from finding God and forcing Him to admit His sins to the world) by serving as sheriff of a small town. That town is run by Odin Quincannon, a ruthless pervert and Ku Klux Klan member. Readers often see panels of him moaning sexually explicit lines from a darkened room before emerging, covered in blood.
Fans could only speculate about what was in the room until Odin, fatally wounded from a fight with Jesse, crawls back inside. Readers see Odin, pants down, frantically clutching the breasts of a giant woman that he made out of meat. The reader is left wondering exactly what response Odin received earlier, telling the meat woman to “work the shaft” and “say the name.”
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