We live in an era of comic books. They’re everywhere – movies, pop-culture, television or the Internet. While Marvel has been relying on soft humour to engage the audience, DC has gone for a more realistic approach for their superheroes.
Comic book movies have a reputation of being kid-friendly with most movies getting a PG-13 rating. However, artists have been pushing the envelope of what we might deem acceptable in comic books. Here are a few disturbing instances from comics that will keep you awake at night.
1. The Killing Joke
The implied rape of Barbara Gordon by the Joker and the whole amusement park sequence with a very naked Commissioner Gordon will surely haunt your dreams.
The clown prince of crime in DC is infamous for his eccentric behaviour. In Alan Moore’s The Killing Joke, there is an implied rape scene of Barbara Gordon aka Batgirl by the Joker. If that wasn’t messed up enough, Commissioner Gordon was stripped naked and pictures of a naked Barbara were shown to him solely to drive him crazy.
2. Jessica Jones
The Purple Man sexually abuses Jessica Jones as he control’s her mind.
Jessica Jones is quite a depressing comic book with undertones of sexual violence and abuse. As a matter of fact, sexual abuse is an important part of Jessica Jones’ origin story. The Purple Man uses his power of mind control to make her do things against her will. This includes murder and months of sexual violence.
Wasp gets eaten by Blob while he makes a really messed up ‘joke’.
What’s the weirdest way to kill of a superhero? Getting them eaten by a villain. Marvel made a bold move in the Ultimate universe when they got Blob to eat Wasp. Even though a lot of other major superheroes were killed off in this arc, Wasp’s death still struck us because of its sheer absurdity. Blob eats her and make a remark of her ‘tasting like chicken’. What the fuck!
Superman kills the Joker while Batman stands right next to him.
Injustice was revolutionary in a lot of ways. Even though Superman had killed people before, him murdering the Joker was particularly surprising because of the way he did it. The Kryptonian put his hand through the Joker’s rib cage and basically put an end to him. Even though it was justified, it was still pretty disturbing to see the quintessential good guy murder the agent of chaos in such a gratuitous manner.
5. League of Extraordinary Gentlemen
Hyde rapes the Invisible Man to death.
You’d imagine that if someone can’t be seen at all, they can’t be harmed. Well, you’re wrong. In Alan Moore’s extraordinarily outrageous League of Extraordinary Gentlemen, Hyde gets hold of The Invisible Man and rapes him to death. After this brutal murder, Hyde goes back to finishing his dinner without as much a flinch. The panel will make you want to look away instantly.
6. The Walking Dead
Governor makes out with his zombie daughter.
Alan Kirkman has delivered one of the best graphic novels of all time in the form of The Walking Dead. In a graphic novel full of gore and gratuitous violence, the particular of instance of the Governor making out with his daughter. If incest wasn’t shocking enough, the fact that the young kid had turned into a zombie might help make you cringe.
Harold Lorre cutting off a man’s face and wearing it as a dead skin mask.
Garth Ennis’s Crossed is famous for blurring the line between what’s acceptable and what’s not. Crossed has a fair share of bizarre moments but one moment that struck us the most has to be when a character Harold cuts a man’s face off only to wear it as a mask. This infamous scene was later referenced in video games like Borderlands 2 and Tales from the Borderlands.
Joker skins a guy alive and makes him do an ‘erotic’ dance.
The Dark Knight struck the audience’s imagination with the brilliant portrayal of the Clown Prince of crime. Heath Ledger’s amazing performance as the Joker inspired a graphic novel about him. In that novel, Joker skins the owner of a nightclub alive. If that wasn’t Bolton-ish enough, the Joker also spanked him and made him do a ‘sexy’ dance.
Spider-Man was sexually abused as a child.
Spider-Man is the most kid-friendly superhero. He is a not-so-muscular nerd who fights crime while trying to be nice and funny to everyone. It came as a surprise when we found out that the superhero was sexually abused as a kid. We don’t really understand the point behind this revelation in his origin story but it definitely shocked us.
10. Green Lantern
Green Lantern returns after saving the world only to find his girlfriend in the fridge.
In Green Lantern #54, we have Kyle Rayner, the title hero, coming home to his apartment to find that his girlfriend, Alexandra DeWitt, has been killed by the villain Major Force and stuffed into a refrigerator. It was a grotesque representation of how a female was maimed off panel and put into a fridge to send a message to the Green Lantern.
11. The Ultimate Marvel Universe
Quicksilver and Scarlet Witch fuck. A lot. And they’re siblings.
Incest is not the best and don’t put your sibling to the test. The writers of Marvel seemed to have pushed the envelope to an extent of tearing it open when they tried showing a relationship between Quicksilver and Scarlet Witch. We’re not sure how Magneto would respond to his kids’ rebel phase.
12. Harley Quinn #25
Joker and Harley Quinn’s dynamics are far from romantic as the Joker physically abuses Dr. Harleen.
Harley Quinn’s character was first introduced in Batman : the animated series. A lot of people believe that Harley and Joker are a couple but the truth is way different. Dr. Harleen Quinzel has been time and again physically and mentally abused by the Joker. In fact, in Injustice, Harley admits that she had sent away her daughter because she was scared that the Joker might do something to her.
13. All-Star Batman and Robin No. 7
Batman burnt the bad guys with bleach while having sex with Black Canary.
So Batman starts this particular issue by swooping down on a bunch of armed thugs stealing a shipment of bleach. If them stealing bleach wasn’t weird enough for you, please know that Batman then decides to teach these thugs a lesson – by burning them. How does he burn them? Bleach. While the thugs are being burnt by the bleach canisters, Batman decides to have some sexy time with Black Canary.
14. Silver Age Superman
Lois Lane and Lana Land brainwash a child Superman into falling in love and marrying them both.
The beacon of hope for humanity was once brainwashed by two women into loving them. That’s messed up on so many levels. The biggest hope for mankind in a fight against evil couldn’t even fight the people he trusted. There aren’t many things that disturbed us as much as this did.
Is there some other moment that you think was more disturbing? Do let us know in the comment section.