SPOILER ALERT! Spoilers ahead for numerous stories from multiple publishers.
Okay, first things first: Get your minds out of the gutter! This ain’t that kind of list, pre-verts. Rather, we’ve scoured the farthest reaches of the comics universe to compile a roll call of heroes, who are famous (or is that infamous?) for their cranial accessories, be they elaborate fabricated headgear or genuine bone protuberances.
Why would we do that? Allow us to answer your question with a question:“Why not?” Look, if you really need a reason to run down a list of the 15 coolest heroes with horns on their heads, then let’s just say we’re in the holiday spirit. We like reindeer. They have antlers, and antlers are kind of like horns, aren’t they? Merry Ho-Ho. Also, there’s Krampus, who is usually adorned with horns. Whatever the case, like Rudolph of the red nose, no one will ever accuse any of these entries of cutting anything less than an imposing silhouette.
No list of comics’ horniest heroes would be complete without the Asgardian God of Lies and/or Mischief. Although he typically parades his horns across the Marvel Universe, causing all manner of discord, Loki’s loyalties have been as fluid as his gender over his long, rich history. He’s been a hero several times over the years, most notably standing beside Thor to beat back Surtur’s invasion of the Nine Realms, and serving as a popular member of the Young Avengers, after his resurrection as a teenager in the aftermath of Norman Osborn’s Asgardian siege.
Loki’s majestic — if ridiculously long — curling horns have been a hallmark of his look for decades, lending a commanding air to an otherwise often underwhelming physical specimen. Instantly recognizable (when appearing in his true form) thanks to his magnificent headgear, this trickster never seems to miss a chance to make a grand entrance, often waiting to drop the mic on his (or her) latest scheme until just the right moment.
How’s this for “horny?” Our first entry is perhaps known as much for her plunging necklines as for her relationship to her half-brother, the Son of Satan. Satana is a succubus who must drain the spiritual energy from souls to survive. She first started life as he daughter of the biblical Satan, but her parentage was later retconned and she became the rebellious offspring of the arch-demon Marduk Kurios. Although most modern artists choose to depict her with a more human appearance, Satana’s most distinguishing feature was originally a pair of devilish eyebrow horns, not to mention those that adorn the brow of her true, devilish form.
Used as something of a glorified plot device over the years, Satana has been killed and resurrected several times during her career. As part of the cast of “Witches,” with Jennifer Kale and Topaz, she thwarted the machinations of Hellphyr, once again turning her back on her infernal father. Last seen bartering her way out of Hell — and a marriage of convenience to everybody’s favorite “Merc-with-a-Mouth,” Deadpool — Satana’s connection to the Marvel Universe’s occult community remains strong, if under-utilized, with or without those funky eyebrows.
Even if he doesn’t have the longest pair of horns on our list, it would be unwise to underestimate this popular mainstay of the original Defenders. Created by J.M. DeMatteis and Don Perlin during their classic run on the title, Gargoyle was different than other heroes because he was in reality a senior citizen. Isaac Christians turned to the occult arts to save his dying town and struck a bargain with a demon called Avarrish.
When Christians, along with his newfound allies in the Defenders, turned the tables on Avarrish, he cursed the man to an eternity in his Gargoyle form. Although his horns don’t provide much in the way of offensive capabilities, they do round out his demonic look — and besides, when you can siphon and project bolts of bio-mystical energy, regenerate lost body parts and breathe fire, do you really need a gargantuan pair of horns getting in the way? Sometimes smaller truly is better.
12. Baby Wildebeest
Arguably the most obscure — and most bizarre — entry on our list, Baby Wildebeest was a member of the Teen Titans during the early ‘90s. The only successful experiment by the evil Wildebeest Society to create a successful host for the souls of Azarath (Raven’s home dimension), Baby Wildebeest is proof positive that big things sometimes come in small packages. Joining the Titans after they defeated the Society, Baby Wildebeest quickly attached himself to his teammate Pantha, who eventually comes to view him as a son.
Although the little tyke possessed an inherently gentle soul, he wasn’t afraid to throw down whenever his friends were threatened, transforming into a powerful raging adult version of himself for the duration of the danger. A strange addition to a team known for its many eclectic line-ups over the years, Baby Wildebeest was eventually killed by Superboy Prime while trying to avenge the death of Pantha. It’s like the old saying goes, “Never bring a pair of horns to a heat vision fight.”
11. The Olympian
Okay, so if our last entry wasn’t our list’s most obscure horned-up hero, then the Grecian powerhouse known as the Olympian certainly takes that dubious title. A perennial member of the Global Guardians, the Olympian is one of the few heroes on this list who actually derives his powers from the horns he wears. As the bearer of the legendary Golden Fleece (which he lifted from a warehouse, while on the job) Aristides Demetrios gains the powers of all 50 of the mythic Argonauts, including the strength of Hercules, the speed and enhanced senses of the huntress Atalanta and the legendary genius of Admetus.
Unfortunately, all those powers also come with a super-sized ego, as each of the vaunted Argonauts possessing him vies for control of the Olympian’s body. Despite his ongoing bouts of mythological personality disorder, the Olympian’s vast arsenal of superhuman abilities positioned him as a shockingly powerful former member of Wonder Woman’s supporting cast, where he served for a time as Cassie Sandsmark’s Zeus-appointed guardian.
10. Ex Nihilo
As one of the Gardeners of the Marvel Universe, Ex Nihilo was charged by his creators, the Builders, with fostering life throughout existence. His terraforming agenda initially put him at odds with the Avengers, who felt his aggressive campaign of perfecting all life in the solar system needlessly endangered millions of humans, who were already perfect because of their imperfections. His efforts to create a perfect human life resulted in the birth of a new Nightmask and precipitated the emergence of the 616 Starbrand.
Along with his sister Abyss, Ex Nihilo would later lend his horned might to the Avengers at the behest of the new Captain Universe, in a conflict against their former masters. A vastly powerful being capable of manipulating all forms of life on a planetary scale, Ex Nihilo was a walking, talking cosmic horn of plenty, whose primary goal was to shepherd new life into the universe. He and Abyss sacrificed themselves in the lead-up to “Secret Wars,” when they unsuccessfully tried to reprogram one of the Beyonders.
This classic Jack Kirby creation first emerged from the depths of Hell in 1972’s “The Demon” #1 as the supernatural alter ego of Jason Blood. Etrigan was originally summoned by his half-brother Merlin in a vain attempt to learn his demonic secrets. Merlin created Jason Blood to be the stubborn Etrigan’s human prison, until he divulged his arcane knowledge. Later retcons bonded Etrigan to Blood’s human soul, adding a much-needed layer of depth to both characters, as they constantly warred for dominance.
Infamous for consistently laying down the dopest rhymes in the DCU, Etrigan’s twisted logic and questionable loyalties often put him at odds with traditional heroes like Batman and Superman. If it wasn’t for Blood’s calming influence, who knows what devilry Etrigan might get up to? Despite possessing mere nubbins for horns when compared to some of our other entries, Etrigan’s undisputed status as Hell’s most notorious demon earns him a coveted spot on our list of heroic hornheads. Besides, to paraphrase an old ribald saying, “Etrigan’s horns may be small but they’re cute!” Just don’t tell the Demon we said so…
Considered by some to be the most epic Elseworlds tale of them all, Mark Waid and Alex Ross’ “Kingdom Come” introduced readers to a rich world populated by hordes of intriguing new heroes. Among them was Magog, who became famous for retiring Superman without throwing a punch; then notorious for his part in turning Kansas into a radioactive wasteland. An intimidating figure whose appearance intentionally epitomized everything hideous about ‘90s character designs, Magog was armed with a powerful energy staff and a pair of striking gold rams horns. His popularity eventually won him a place in mainstream DC continuity as a member of the Justice Society of America.
After the New 52 reset the history of the DCU, Magog was recast as a pawn of Wonder Woman’s nemesis Circe, who bonded him to a mystical artifact to grant him his powers. Like previous versions of the character, this incarnation of Magog is a misguided powerhouse with a huge chip on his shoulder, to go along with those impractically massive golden horns. No wonder Magog’s traps would make a professional wrestler green with envy. Seriously, imagine how heavy those things must be. You’d need superhuman strength just to lift your head…
Illyana Rasputin has the dubious honor of possessing one of comicdom’s more convoluted backstories. The younger sister of the X-Men’s Colossus, Illyana was born with the ability to teleport over vast distances. She spent much of her childhood in Limbo, raised in the mystic arts by her captor Belasco. While in Limbo, Illyana sacrificed her soul to create the powerful arcane weapon called the Soul Sword. Eventually, she embraced her occult upbringing — horns and all — rising to the position of Sorceress Supreme of Limbo, after deposing Belasco.
A controversial presence on the X-Men, with questionable morals and loyalties, Illyana was one of the infamous Phoenix Five, who caused widespread devastation under the influence of the Phoenix Force. She currently occupies her time-shuttling mutants to the X-Men’s new school in Limbo, sans her traditional demon’s horns, doing her part to save as many lives as possible from the poisonous Terrigen Cloud. But who knows? As she’s proved time and time again, with Magik, anything is possible. With the extinction of the mutant race ever-present in recent years, it wouldn’t surprise us to see her fully embrace her demonic side once again in mutantkind’s war with the Inhumans.
6. Kid Devil
Being a superhero sidekick isn’t always what it’s cracked up to be. Just ask Jason Todd. In Kid Devil’s case, not only did his loyalty to his former idol and mentor Blue Devil cost him his humanity, it cost him his beloved Aunt Marla. Before he gained his distinctive black horns and lurid scarlet skin, Eddie Bloomberg idolized the Blue Devil, going so far as to design his own battle suit and declaring himself the hero’s sidekick. It took some time for Eddie to truly earn his horns, though. Failed attempts to join the ranks of the Teen Titans and Lex Luthor’s Everyman Project drove Eddie to seek the power to achieve his dreams from the demon Neron.
The deal ended up costing Eddie his friendship with the Blue Devil and his soul, once he turned 20 years old. But at least he was finally cool enough to be a Teen Titan, right? Thankfully, Eddie avoided this fate when Brother Blood drained his demonic powers, freeing him from Neron’s curse. A powerless Eddie later sacrificed his life to save his fellow Titans, proving to his friends more than horns ever could, just how cool he really was.
Standing at the foot of the wondrous Rainbow Bridge as the Asgardians’ early warning system and first line of defense, Heimdall first appeared way back in “Journey into Mystery” #85 by Larry Lieber and Steve Ditko, when he inadvertently freed the imprisoned Loki with a tear. As one of Asgard’s most valiant warriors, Heimdall has played an instrumental role in many conflicts in the Ten Realms. Although Thor counts him as one of his staunchest allies, the two have clashed horns (pun very much intended) several times over the years, usually at the behest of whomever’s ruling Asgard, at the time.
Wearing an imposing helmet usually adorned with massive bull horns, Heimdall also carries the uru sword Hofund. His heightened senses allow him to perceive the universe in ways far beyond the ken of even his fellow Asgardians, never mind mere mortals. Destined to signal the onset of Ragnarok by blowing the mighty Gjallarhorn, Heimdall is one of Asgard’s most trusted protectors. He’s also one of the most visible outside of Thor’s dysfunctional family, thanks to his portrayal by Idris Elba, in the Thunder God’s live action film franchise. Oh, and the giant horns sticking out of his helmet? They help. Really, how could you miss him?
4. Blue Devil
This colorful product of the ‘80s was the brainchild of writers Dan Mishkin and Gary Cohn, with artist Paris Cullins contributing the Blue Devil’s distinctive belt design. As the story goes, Cohn and Mishkin dreamt up the character after a potential opportunity to work with the legendary Steve Ditko landed in their laps. Although Ditko wasn’t very enthused with their efforts, DC liked the character well enough to give him his own series.
After some time spent as an actual blue-skinned, horned demon, the New 52 reboot reset the clock and the Blue Devil was once again a human stuntman named Daniel Cassidy. This time around, Cassidy donned the Blue Devil battlesuit after learning of his family’s secret history as collectors of occult artifacts. As a member of the Enclave, a council of supernatural characters, which includes both good and evil members, the Blue Devil stands beside other powerful magic users, including Swamp Thing and Zatanna as a protector of the world’s mystical community.
3. Marko (Saga)
Stylistically, our number three entry epitomizes everything we’re looking for in our list of horniest heroes. As the co-star of Brian K. Vaughan and Fiona Staple’s award-winning “Saga,” not only does Marko play a pivotal role in the sci-fi epic’s engrossing family melodrama, but his distinctive look continues to help distinguish the book from its many copycats. Heavily featured in the series’ promotional material, Marko’s signature ram’s horns immediately fire the reader’s imagination, signalling their emergence into a rich fictional world unlike any other in comics.
With a design that borrows as much from modern urban fantasy and classical mythology as it does from science fiction, Marko’s physical appearance heralds a departure from traditional sci-fi tropes. Although it features many elements of the classic space opera, “Saga” is first and foremost a story about family that balances its sophisticated world-building with multi-layered character development. This kind of in-universe equilibrium requires an equally robust visual tone, something “Saga” benefits from every time you lay eyes on Marko’s majestic horns.
Without a doubt, one of the most beloved creator-owned characters of the Modern Age, Mike Mignola’s seminal creation Hellboy is also one of the most instantly-recognizable entries on our list of comics’ horniest heroes. A masterpiece of modern comics design, Hellboy’s unique look draws inspiration from a variety of sources, from the robust design aesthetic of Jack Kirby to the existential cosmic horror of H.P. Lovecraft’s Cthulu Mythos. Soaked in puddles of black ink, Hellboy’s design represents a triumph of form and shape and shadow.
Mignola’s ability to create atmosphere and evoke emotion in a mere handful of brushstrokes is on full display in virtually every aspect of Hellboy’s distinctive physical appearance. Even if he spends his time sanding down his demonic horns in an effort to assert his human traits, the remaining circular stubs serve to instantly identify Hellboy for his audience. There is no other character on the shelves today who looks the same as Mignola’s working class hellspawn, thanks in large part to those two glorified Kirby dots on his forehead.
Well, he’s called Hornhead for a reason, and while that reason may not originate with his number one position on our list of horniest heroes, Matt Murdoch’s longstanding superhero nickname did figure into our deliberations for the top spot. Some of our entries may have more majestic horns and others may have more functional horns, still others may even be embarrassed by their horns (we’re looking at you, Hellboy!), but no one on our list is more notorious for his devilish appearance than the self-styled Devil of Hell’s Kitchen.
Although he hasn’t had to withstand the perpetual redesigns of some of his heroic peers, Daredevil’s appearance has still undergone some pretty drastic changes over the years. Through all of shifting color schemes and superfluous additions, only two things have remained relatively constant in Daredevil’s design: his signature devil horns. Serving much the same purpose as Batman’s pointy ears, Daredevil’s horns evoke his defining character trait as a fearless devil-may-care vigilante and more importantly, allow readers to instantly identify him even in the shadows. In a world obsessed with branding, that’s some iconic superhero signage you just can’t buy.
Let us know who your favorite horniest hero is in the Comments!
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