Being a crime fighter comes with its share of violence. It’s a given. With enemies that can control fire, criminals that have no problems expending bullets, and sociopathic villains at every turn, you are sure to get your hands dirty. Most of these scuffles between good and evil end with a stalemate, and the villain ultimately being arrested for their wrong doings, but this is not always the case. Although most heroes frown upon killing even the most sadistic villain, sometimes they are truly left with no choice. In bigger, more personal battles, sometimes the only option is ending the other person’s life.
While no-one should feel, they have the authority over who lives or dies, some comic characters end up having no choice but to put their adversary down for good. Sometimes the battle gets so intense, that only one combatant could be left standing. It just so happens that one of the most popular methods of incapacitating your enemy in comics is, snapping their neck. It’s gruesome, its personal and it is downright dramatic. One thing it is not, though, is rare. Here are 15 times a character’s neck got snapped in the comics.
15. STUDENT VS TEACHER
They say absolute power corrupts absolutely. Certainly, that was the case in Emerald Twilight, the storyline that saw an unhinged Hal Jordan, going up against his comrades in the Green Lantern Corps, Devastated by the destruction of Coast City, a traumatized Hal Jordan uses his ring to recreate his home town, down to its inhabitants. Shocked by this selfish abuse of power, The Guardians of Oa demand that Jordan come in for disciplinary measures.
Angered by their audacity, Jordan goes on a killing spree, en route to Oa, maiming various Green Lanterns and stealing their power rings. Once on Oa, the guardians send Sinestro, Jordan’s former mentor turned villain, to subdue Hal. The two battle to the death, with both dealing damage to one another. Despite his best efforts, Sinestro is executed by Hal, when Jordan grabs Sinestro from behind and proceeds to snap his neck with his bare hands.
14. THE LAST LAUGH
Frank Miller’s The Dark Knight Returns, deals with a more grizzled Batman, at the end of his crusade. An older and physically damaged Bruce works to eradicate the crime in his city once and for all. No one was more excited to hear that Batman was back than The Joker, who had fallen into a catatonic state in his absence. Joker wakes up, and they meet at a carnival for one last battle.
The two travel to the Tunnel of Love, where Joker murders innocent civilians, as he runs from a pursuing Batman. When Bruce catches up, the two engage in fisticuffs with Batman getting violently stabbed. Knowing he must put him down permanently, Bruce snaps Jokers neck. This only paralyzes the maniac, who proceeds to taunt Wayne about their past. Joker then delivers a goodbye, and snaps him own neck, having the last laugh once and for all by framing Batman for his murder.
13. NOT AGAIN
Reverse Flash killed Barry’s mom when Barry was just a boy. Years later he vibrates his hand through the head of Iris West, Barry’s wife, instantly killing her. Deeply traumatized by all the lives Reverse Flash has taken from him, Barry begins to worry once he hears Eobard is on the loose again. He confronts Thawne in The Flash #323 and Thawne states his vow to ruin Barry’s life, this time by planning to kill Barry’s current fiancé on their wedding day.
Determined to stop him, The Flash chases Thawne around the world. In an act of desperation, Barry grabs Eobard in a choke hold as they get near the church, trying to prevent him from murdering his fiancé, and accidentally snaps his neck, killing Thawne. He is soon put on trial for his actions.
12. SNAP TO THE FUTURE
In Out of Time, we find Barry Allen, 20 years in the future, distraught of the death of Wally West, years prior. Going back in time, Future Barry starts fixing the mistakes of his past by killing several villains when he had the chance. Unsatisfied by his work, Future Flash decides that he should save Wally like he should have 20 years ago and travels to that time.
He confronts the man who is supposed to kill Wally, the new Reverse Flash, Daniel West. and explains that he is not going to hurt Wally this time. Confused, Reverse Flash runs away, but to no avail. Future Flash catches up to Daniel, and with a sickening crack, snaps his neck, killing him instantly. It showed us again just how far Barry would go to save someone he loved.
11. A HERO’S CHOICE
In Zack Snyder’s Man of Steel, General Zod, free from the Phantom Zone, heads to earth to confront the man standing between him and a new Krypton reborn, Superman. The fight they enter destroys many city blocks, and ends when Clark gets the better of the general, and places him in a headlock. Knowing he can’t defeat Superman, Zod begins to use his heat vision to threaten innocent standby’s.
He taunts Superman for his inability to take a life, and swears that it would be Earth’s downfall. In a final act of aggression, to save the lives of the people of Earth, Clark snaps the general’s neck. Zod’s once fiercely glowing eyes fade into the cold stare of death, as Superman now must deal with his actions of not only taking a life, but the life of a Kryptonian. This forever changes Superman, giving him an appreciation for life.
10. SNAP, CRACKLE, POP
Then there was the time The Hulk met The Hulk. Well, it was actually the Hulk from 400 years in an alternate future. In this future, a nuclear war has killed almost all of Earth’s superheroes and has taken the world to the brink of extinction. This future version of the Hulk, called Maestro, seized control after being driven insane by the nuclear radiation he absorbed, which also increased his strength.
Using a time machine, the rebels opposing the Maestro bring The “Professor” Hulk forward from the past, desperately hoping that he can defeat the tyrant. Although Hulk’s quick thinking allows him to land some effective shots against his future self, the Maestro’s superior strength and experience, combined with his knowledge of his younger self, allow him to easily dominate the Hulk and break his neck. Surprisingly, The Hulk doesn’t die from this but his body and ego are badly injured.
9. HEAD HUNTED
The story Injustice takes place in an alternate world, in which superman has become a tyrannical dictator. With Wonder woman by his side, superman cracks down on all who oppose him, even other heroes. Upset with those who fight against Superman and his regime, Wonder Woman does battle with Huntress and Batwoman. The two heroines call Wonder Woman and her comrades tyrants, which enrages the Amazon.
Diana wraps her lasso around Huntress’s neck and gives it a tug, breaking it, and killing her. Wonder Woman seems shocked by the death, but doesn’t have time to react when Batwoman attacks her. Batwoman, with Huntress on her mind, gets the better of Wonder Woman, managing to wrap her lasso around Diana’s neck. She threatens to do as Wonder Woman did to Huntress, but decides against it, saying that as much as she wants to, it wouldn’t be worth it.
8. DOOMED FROM THE START
Victor Von Doom is a dangerous man, but in Secret Wars, he became… well, God, basically. In the 2015 Marvel crossover event, Dr. Doom steals the reality-shaping abilities of the immensely powerful Beyonders, while collecting what he can of the destroyed multiverse and forming a new Battleworld consisting of different alternate realities. He also assumes its all-powerful warden, and claims complete authority of this new world and its inhabitants. He uses his powers to control them into thinking he was always divine.
When the surviving heroes wage war, Doom shows up to the battle and unleashes his power against the Cabal and the surviving members of the life raft from the original universe. Cyclops, who had been inhabited by the Phoenix Force, confronts Doom and temporarily gains the upper hand. Doom recovers, snaps Cyclops’ neck with ease and orders the invaders to surrender.
7. COLOSSAL CHOKE ARTIST
After Mr. Sinister sends a team of villainous mutants named the Marauders to kill the mutant group known as the Morlocks, Riptide (a member of the Marauders) severely injures X-Men members in the process. After seeing the result of Riptide’s actions, Colossus is pushed close to his emotional breaking point. Colossus is further enraged when Riptide badly injures his close friend Nightcrawler, and finally snaps when a villain Harpoon maims his former girlfriend, Shadowcat.
Colossus lunges at Harpoon in pure vengeance, but Riptide tries to stop him, believing that he has the upper hand. He boasts to Colossus that he could impale him using his mutant ability to send a barrage of sharp projectiles at him. Despite being hit by a deluge of blades which penetrated his armored skin, Colossus manages to reach a petrified Riptide, grabbing his throat with one hand, and snaps his neck, killing the mutant.
6. AT THE END OF HER ROPE
When Maxwell Lord threatens to take over the world, Wonder Woman confronts him trying to save a mind-controlled Superman. Diana attempts to talk Lord into releasing Superman from his control, but he refuses, and uses his powers to turn Superman against her. During their battle, Max begins recording it in an attempt to use it against the duo. Diana manages to put down Superman, but he soon recovers.
Able to distract him for a moment, she returns to trap Maxwell Lord in her Lasso of Truth. She brings Superman back to sanity by cutting him with her tiara, and demands to know how to end the mind-control. When under the influence of the Lasso, Maxwell Lord reveals that the only way to end his control would be to kill him. Understanding that this must truly be the only way, she twists Maxwell Lord’s head around, killing him instantly.
5. MAGNETO BREAKS TIES
What happens when the most driven mutant in history clashes with the smartest? In the 2009 comic arc Ultimatum, Magneto, enraged by the death of his children, unleashes a doomsday plan, killing millions, and leaving heroes to wonder how and why. Living in a floating citadel, and holding Thor’s Hammer Mjolnir with his magnetic powers, he challenges those who oppose him to stop him.
Professor X telepathically informs many of the world’s superheroes that Magneto is responsible for the destruction, which Magneto doesn’t react to very well. Thinking he would never stoop so low, Xavier is shocked by his former friend’s blood-lust. Later, at Xavier’s Institute for Gifted Children, Magneto confronts Professor X, and tells him that the deaths of Quicksilver and Scarlet Witch have spurred him to exterminate the entire human race. He then kills Xavier by snapping his neck and leaves.
4. SNAP JUDGEMENT
In Injustice: Gods Among Us: Year Three #13, we get a glimpse of a dream being had by a coma-induced evil Superman. In the dream, the death of Lois Lane is re-imagined to have never occurred, as Batman warned Superman in time. Superman tells Bruce to stand aside and let him interrogate Joker but Batman says he’ll handle him. Superman says he isn’t impressed with Bruce’s track record. Bruce assures Clark that Joker won’t hurt anyone ever again.
He places Joker in the Batmobile and they quietly ride to Gotham. Joker jokes that he simply wanted some alone time with Batman, and Bruce doesn’t say a word. He explains that all the chaos he causes is for Batman, but he wants to play with Clark some more. The Joker contemplates killing Superman’s baby, but Batman snaps his neck before he can finish the sentence.
3. UNSTOPPABLE FORCE, IMMOVABLE OBJECT
Another re-imagining of historic comic events happens in Marvel’s What If #45, which asks the question “What if The Hulk went berserk.” In regular continuity, Bruce Banner stops Rick Jones from taking the radiation from the gamma bomb and becomes The Hulk. In this story, both Rick and Bruce are hit by the radiation which links their consciousness. Banner turns into the Hulk for the first time and goes bananas.
Later, when Thunderbolt Ross tortures Rick Flag, Hulk can feel every bit of pain his friend endures. Going completely savage Hulk wages an all-out war on Ross, and several heroes who attempt to calm him down. Finally, Thor, the god of thunder, arises and after a battle snaps the Hulk’s neck, killing Bruce Banner. He then sets fire to Bruce’s corpse using a lightning bolt. Ouch!
2. A HEAD OF THE CURVE
Cassandra Nova may be the worst sibling in the world. Maybe not sibling as she is just a parasitic life form born bodiless on the astral plane. Conceived without a body, Cassandra, in parasite form that copied Xavier’s DNA to make her own, becoming his twin sister. She grew with her brother until Charles started to sense her malicious consciousness. Charles attempted to kill the creature, making the other twin a stillborn. Despite this, the creature survived.
After she could rebuild herself, Cassandra returns irate, commanding an army of Sentinels to massacre 16 million mutants in the mutant homeland of Genosha. She is captured by the X-Men and brought to the X-Mansion only to defeat them and break out easily. Cassandra then put herself into Xavier’s machine Cerebra (an enhanced version of Cerebro) and switched minds with her brother. Thinking she was still in her body, Emma Frost snaps Cassandra’s neck.
1. THE SNAP HEARD AROUND THE WORLD
It was the snap that changed comics forever. It is the moment some call the “end of the silver age” of comic books. It was the death of Spider-Man’s loving girlfriend, Gwen Stacy. After being thrown off a bridge by The Green Goblin, Spider-Man hopes to save her life, and uses his webbing to grab her leg. The act of the sudden stop, caused by the webbing, breaks Stacy’s neck, killing her.
The comic, written in 1973, features a “snap” sound effect next to Gwen Stacy’s head in the panel in which Spider-Man’s webbing catches her. In The Amazing Spider-Man #125, Marvel Comics editor Roy Thomas answered fan’s questions with a somber quote.
“It saddens us to have to say that the whiplash effect she underwent when Spidey’s webbing stopped her so suddenly was, in fact, what killed her. In short, it was impossible for Peter to save her.”
Can you remember any other times a superhero snapped a neck? If so, let us know in the comments!
- Ad Free Browsing
- Over 10,000 Videos!
- All in 1 Access
- Join For Free!