As Halloween approaches, we find ourselves exploring the darker side of entertainment by watching horror movies and TV shows. Of course, there are a number of ways to enjoy comics this season as well, which shouldn't be a surprise considering the long history of horror comics.
While actual horror comics were lost to the past due to the Comics Code, heroes and villains were still created with the same dark elements that made horror characters so enticing, they just dressed them up in nicer costumes. So today we are going to take a look at a few DC characters who would feel right at home in a horror movie.
10 VICTOR ZSASZ
Gotham City is full of terrifying horror movie villains that we'll further explore this Halloween, but a couple fit almost a bit too well in the horror genre. Victor Zsasz is a Gotham serial killer with an unsettling connection to his victims who has challenged Batman with his brutality for years.
Zsasz collects every one of his victims by cutting a tally mark into his own skin after a kill, closing off a group of five with a vicious slash through the other four tally marks. Zsasz is covered by hundreds of these groupings, and his dedication to claiming victims with his knife coupled with his gruesome appearance scream horror movie.
Murmur is a newer member of the Flash's Rogues and doesn't have that many in-comic appearances, but he has become a memorable villain due to his unique level of horror. Dr. Michael Amar was a surgeon who snapped and went on a killing spree but found he was unable to stop blurting out his criminal actions which landed him in jail.
He then cut out his tongue and sewed his lips shut before creating a terrifying mask so he could kill without fear of blurting out his crimes. Murmur also has a unique blood condition that makes him immune to most poisons and diseases, which made him impossible to kill by lethal injection.
8 BLACK HAND
William Hand is a frequent villain of Green Lantern, and more recently, a member of the Black Lantern Corps. Even as a child growing up in a mortuary, Hand was obsessed with death. When he became a criminal known as Black Hand and wore a costume made out of body bags to reflect his beginnings and used a stolen alien weapon that could siphon Green Lantern's light.
When Hand was chosen to be the new avatar of Death by the Black Guardian named Scar, he killed himself in order to come back as a member of the undead and leader of the Black Lantern Corps, which was made up of other dead characters from DC's history. Pick any one of Black Hand's story points from origin to ultimate supervillain and it would fit nicely into any horror film.
7 SOLOMON GRUNDY
The DC Universe is not without its share of monsters, who obviously account for a large chunk of the horror genre. While Swamp Thing is the obvious monster that belongs in horror, he's already had a few moments to shine, most recently with the DC Universe series.
Solomon Grundy is a worthy alternate as a giant hulking undead zombie who has at times gone punch for punch with Superman. Hailing from Gotham City's delightfully named Slaughter Swamp, Cyrus Gold was killed and left in the swamp, where he was reanimated years later to become the mindless supernatural brute who chants an old rhyme while killing his victims.
While we tried to be restrictive about our Gotham City entries, it's impossible to not include Scarecrow when discussing horror-themed DC villains. Dr. Jonathan Crane is a former Arkham Asylum psychologist with a lifelong obsession with fear.
As Scarecrow, Crane uses his knowledge of biochemistry to create fear-inducing toxins and gases that he uses in experiments and as weapons in his various criminal actions. Not only is his appearance reminiscent of a typical horror movie villain, but the fear-based psychological element that worked so well in Batman Begins would do the same in the horror genre.
Rory Regan has had a few origins to his Ragman costume and identity over the years, but the most recent and most haunting reveals that he wears a suit made of evil souls. As Ragman, Rory's suit is made up of multiple patched together rags, with each patch representing a corrupted soul the suit has absorbed over the years.
Rory is able to call on the abilities of the various souls and is a powerful magical being because of this, but he isn't always in control of the suit. In the most horrific scenario, Rory is instead a helpless victim to the absorbed souls contained within his suit, which now wears him to commit the heinous crimes demanded by the souls within the Ragman.
4 THE SPECTRE
One of the most powerful magical beings in the DC Universe also has the potential to be the most frightening. In his original incarnation, the Spectre was essentially the ghost of cop Jim Corrigan who was sent back to Earth to seek vengeance against the ones who killed him.
Over the years it has been revealed that the Spectre was actually a Spirit of Vengeance and the Avenging Wrath of God and only tied to the human soul of Corrigan, and others after him. Spectre's supernatural ties and Divine possession would make for a different kind of horror movie, but one potentially full of terror for all parties involved.
3 DOCTOR DESTINY
While originally a run of the mill Justice League villain until he created the Materioptikon, which allowed him to manipulate the dreams in others. To stop this, the League made Docter Destiny unable to dream, robbing him of his power, withering his body, and further driving him deeper into insanity.
Doctor Destiny received a dark reboot in the pages of Neil Gaiman's Sandman, which saw the character use his Materioptikon to take over a 24-hour diner for his own sadistic purposes. With a Sandman adaptation on the way, it might be entirely possible we'll see Doctor Destiny get a chance to prove he belongs in the horror genre.
2 STARRO THE CONQUEROR
While mind-controlling aliens from outer space sound like they fit more in the sci-fi genre, Starro the Conqueror has always felt like it would be comfortable around other Lovecraftian monsters. Starro is the first threat that brought together the Justice League, and the creature has returned time and again to attempt to enslave the human race.
While Invasion of the Body Snatchers attempted a more subtle invasion of Earth, Starro's preferred move is to drop smaller parts of itself onto a city to latch onto the skulls of human beings in order to take them over, turning them into a drooling controlled zombie.
While the majority of this list is comprised of DC villains, there are a few heroes who are forced to walk the thin line between good and evil. Raven is a perfect example of a character who belongs in a horror movie both due to her abilities and her origins.
Not only is she able to cast her black shadowy energy form known as her Soul-Self to terrify everyone around her, but she is also the daughter of the demon Trigon, in a dark homage to Rosemary's Baby. DC Universe's Titans has touched on the horror aspects of Raven's story, but we'd love to see her origins represented in a severe horror as Brightburn did for Superman.