Comics have been around in one form or another for nearly a century, which has allowed thousands of talented men and women to play their part in the development of characters, stories and even worlds. Because there has been so much written and illustrated over the years, there have been some amazing works of art published for readers to enjoy. Of course, with every Pulitzer-prize winning story, there inevitably are a few hundred that just don’t cut it. These make up the bulk of work, but on occasion, a story is written and drawn that just leaves the readers completely flabbergasted.
We aren’t suggesting that these stories are poorly written or drawn, but rather, may not have been as well-defined or evergreen as publishers may have liked. Some of these stories are really great, but they pushed the envelope on what was considered normal or even appropriate at the time they were published. We combed through the archives of the truly weird and found these, the 15 Most Outrageous Things to Happen to Superheroes, but there are many more we could have covered. So please, sound off in the comments with some of your favorites and let us know what we missed!
15. MS. MARVEL
While it may be a classic, the plot to Back to the Future is a bit creepy when you think about it. Marty travels back in time and nearly removes himself from existence after his mother-to-be crushes on him hard. Well, that plotline is certainly tame when compared to the time Carol Danvers, A.K.A. Ms. Marvel (at the time), gave birth to her boyfriend/assaulter. It’s a confusing set of circumstances to be sure, not to mention a very, very problematic one.
In simplest terms, a man called Marcus came to exist in a pocket dimension called Limbo. Using mind-control and other forms of technology, he plucked Danvers from Earth-616 and manipulated her enough to impregnate her with himself so he could be born in the “real world” and continue to exist. The child is born and turns into the full-grown Marcus, who then explains how he came to be. Readers were not amused.
14. IRON MAN’S ARMOR FALLS FOR HIM… HARD
While battling Whiplash amidst a storm, sparks fly, Tony suffers a massive heart attack and the armor becomes sentient. At first, the armor and Tony get along… they are rather close, so that doesn’t come as a surprise, but as time goes on, the armor turns a bit evil. “She” even kills Whiplash and shows no remorse, so Tony tries to power her down. He even dons an older set of armor to help, but this doesn’t work out very well.
Seeing Tony in another suit of armor, the sentient set goes into a fit of jealousy and rips off each part piece-by-piece. It then forces him into itself and strands him on a deserted island where it tortures him unless he submits and becomes “one” with her. She eventually admits to doing everything to him out of love, which is pretty creepy when you consider what she did.
13. QUICKSILVER AND SCARLET WITCH GOT IT ON
In the Ultimate Universe, there are a couple of Mutant kids who call themselves the Scarlet Witch and Quicksilver who are brother and sister. There’s nothing wrong with that, a lot of people are brothers and sisters to one another. In most cases, they draw a line on how close they are willing to get, but not these two. No… they have a “special” relationship that can only be described as taboo.
In Ultimates 3, Captain America notices that Scarlet Witch’s outfit is too revealing for his 1940s sensibilities, so he suggests she changes. Her boyfrie… brother then goes into a mad rage and threatens to kill Mr. Rogers for making the comment. The Wasp steps in to inform the good Captain that the pair are in love, but it takes him a minute to connect the dots… this brother and sister and actually “in love” with one another.
Wolverine first popped his claws all the way back in The Incredible Hulk #180/181 and he has been battling the big green monster ever since. Given that these two have been associated for so long as occasional allies, but longtime enemies, it seemed only natural that Marvel would come along and mash them together into the mighty Hulkverine! Well, that’s what we are calling it, but Marvel calls it Weapon H.
In truth, Weapon H isn’t just a hybrid of the Hulk and Wolverine, but rather, the Hulk and every former participant — willing or otherwise — from the Weapon X program. His skin is grey, he has Wolverine’s claws, spikes jutting from his body and looks pretty nasty. He has an Adamantium-laced skeleton, but can revert to human form. There were two beings that hatched from the Weapon H program in the Weapons of Mutant Destruction event.
11. THE PUNISHER BECAME A BLACK MAN
Back in the early ’90s, Marvel came up with a Punisher event called “The Final Days”. Frank Castle ends up in prison and gets beaten to a pulp by Jigsaw and his thugs. This actually helps him escape when some guys bust him out after mistaking him for their friend with a torn-up face. Frank goes to a junkie plastic surgeon to fix him up so nobody will recognize him and wouldn’t you know it, she turned him into a black man.
Admittedly, she is one hell of a surgeon… there weren’t any scars or anything and his entire body’s pigment changed, but blackface ain’t cool no matter what the reason. Frank ends up learning what it’s like to be a black man in America in all the negative ways imaginable until the plastic surgery “wears off” and he returns to his original form.
10. BAT-MAN BECOMES BAT-BABY
One of the best aspects of Batman is that he is normally grounded, at least somewhat, in reality. He is a detective who uses his prowess and money to solve crimes. While his rogues gallery is full of insane characters, they don’t often cross the line into the superhuman or supernatural. Because of this, we just cannot forgive DC for deciding it would be wise to “youthenize” Batman and turn him into a child who continues to fight crime as Bat-Baby.
This happened in Batman #147 in a story appropriately titled “Batman becomes Bat-Baby.” We can thank DC’s successes with the Superbaby storyline for this story, but it goes down when Batman and Robin engage a villain named Garth. Bats gets bathed in light and becomes a four-year-old boy. Fortunately, this didn’t last long and Bat-Baby again became Batman without having to trouble himself with growing up a second time.
9. CAPTAIN AMERICA GOES HYDRA
You know how Steve Rogers/Captain America is the paragon of American idealism? He fought the Nazis, after all, so you know this guy is as American as apple pie. Fans knew this and loved him for it, which may be why they got so upset when Marvel decided to do a 180 and make the guy a secret Agent of HYDRA… you know, the Nazi organization he has fought for 70+ years?
The storyline was a bit of a twist and turn with the facts. Initially, it was revealed that Rogers was a sleeper agent since he was a kid. It later played out that he only thought he was and his memories had been altered by the sentient Cosmic Cube, Kobik. Having Steve Rogers seemingly kill his buddy and utter the words “Hail Hydra” did a lot to sell comics, but it really just made many fans angry.
8. THE SPIDER-MOBILE
Peter Parker never had a lot of money and he did what he could to get by while still suiting up and saving the day. When Corona Motors approached Spider-Man about making a special new car with a non-polluting engine, he initially declined, thinking it was a silly idea. Eventually, Pete’s rent and bills pushed him to reconsider, and he decided to team up with Johnny Storm to get it done.
When it was finally finished, Spider-Man himself called it a fiasco, but he drove the thing. It sported web fluid airbags, web shooters, could climb walls just like he could and turned out to be a relatively useful car. He eventually dumped it in a river and then recovered it and returned it to Corona. It didn’t last long, but its legacy endures with Hot Wheels models and variations popping up in the comics every now and again.
7. WOMEN IN REFRIGERATORS
Just like Happy Days coined the phrase “Jumping the shark” to mean a series has reached a point of ridiculousness, DC made history when they stuffed Kyle Raynor’s girlfriend in the fridge. The term “fridging” or “getting fridged” resulted from a storyline where Kyle returns home to find a note from his girlfriend Alex, which reads “Surprise for you in the fridge.” Of course, he opens the fridge to find her stuffed in there and the practice of “fridging” was woven into the comics zeitgeist.
The term, officially coined in an online treatise written by Gail Simone, is used to explain an instance of a person, almost always a woman, who is killed in a story simply for a plot device. The hero is often spurned to action in the form of revenge. Complaints have been made because of this over-victimization of women in comics and the practice of “fridging” has been lessened in recent years, but continues to be a pervasive problem in literature.
6. WONDER WOMAN GETS A JOB MAKING TACOS
Picture Wonder Woman in your mind and you might see a strong character who stands as an ideal of feminism. Granted, she wasn’t always depicted this way and she has been the victim of some terrible stories over the years, but one of the most outrageous was the time she lost Themyscira, found herself without a job, living in her friend’s basement and ended up getting some work at the local Taco Whiz.
Princess Diana goes on to become the best Taco Whiz employee at the restaurant, which isn’t that surprising; she is Wonder Woman after all. Eventually, Themyscira comes back and things return to normal, but seeing Wonder Woman take on a minimum wage job was certainly out of the ordinary for the Amazonian Princess.
5. SUPERMAN’S MOST RIDICULOUS POWER
Superman is the original superhero, so it shouldn’t come as a surprise that he has a few more powers than you might already know. Remember, the guy couldn’t even fly when he was first introduced so it’s a given at this point that his powers have evolved… or devolved in some ways over the years. Whether he was throwing a giant “S” at his enemies in the movies or shooting miniature versions of himself out of his hands, this guy’s powers got freaky.
Yes, we did say he shot little Supermen from his hands and that’s the power we absolutely have to focus on as his most insane. Back in Superman #125, Supes loses most of his powers thanks to a mini-alien rocket, but gains the ability to project a smaller version of himself from his hand because… alien technology?
4. SPIDER-MAN’S BODILY FLUIDS KILL HIS WIFE
We all know that Peter Parker gained his powers after a radioactive spider bit him when he was a teenager. Over the years, it was revealed that there was a form of radiation coursing through his veins. He was somewhat cautious of this, but generally believed everything was hunky-dory when it came to… ahem… interacting with his various girlfriends and his wife, Mary Jane. Unfortunately, it turned out that radiation and bodily fluids are a bad combination.
Marvel went dark in Spider-Man Reign when it was revealed that Spider-Man’s… um… emissions had irradiated and killed his wife. It was revealed that years of exposure to Pete’s bodily fluids slowly poisoned MJ. Of course, the doctors just couldn’t figure it out, but Peter didn’t take long in jumping to the correct conclusion saying, “Like a spider, crawling up inside your body and laying a thousand eggs of cancer… I killed you.” Yeesh.
3. SUPERMAN MEETS CLARK KENT
People who have never read a single comic book in their lives probably know that Superman is Clark Kent. It’s the worst-kept secret in comics, so it might be a little confusing to learn that there was a storyline where Superman and Clark Kent actually meet for the first time. Like a lot of the examples on this list, the story is confusing and nonsensical, which makes it a bit difficult to explain.
Superman dies and doesn’t get the chance to come back to life. Then, inexplicably, Clark Kent pops up sans any superpowers. He is truly a separate person who even undergoes a polygraph administered by a disguised Batman to prove he is who he says he is. Then along comes Superman and, thanks to the multiverses of DC Comics, things get funky and Superman meets Clark Kent. It’s all explained away as a trick of Mxyzptlk, but for a minute there, things got really weird.
2. SQUIRREL GIRL
First off, we have to say that we love Squirrel Girl, so her inclusion in this list isn’t a negative knock of the character. We do have to admit… somewhat begrudgingly… that the character is a bit outrageous when examined and that has a lot to do with her charm. Similar to Saitama from the popular Manga & Anime OnePunch-Man, Squirrel Girl cannot be defeated, by anyone. To prove this, all we need do is look into who she has bested and it all becomes clear.
With her powers allowing her to communicate with the adorable critters that give her her name, SG has confronted and bested Thanos, Doctor Doom, Wolverine, Deadpool, Fin Fang Foom, M.O.D.O.K., Baron Mordo, Ego The Living Planet, Korvac, Kraven the Hunter, and the entire Marvel Universe. She’s the one you call when all else fails because no matter what, she gets the job done. So this isn’t necessarily something weird that happened to her, but that she is the something weird that happened to the Marvel universe!
1. THAT TIME THOR TURNED INTO A FROG
For anyone paying attention to the witty banter between Thor and Loki in 2017’s Thor: Ragnarok, they likely caught mention of the time Loki turned Thor into a frog. Most folks who weren’t aware of the 1980s and comic book weirdness of the decade probably thought it was a silly joke and reference to nothing. It was, in fact, a reference to that time Loki actually turned his adoptive brother into a frog who retained the powers of Thor!
The hopped-up event took place in Thor #363, written and illustrated by Walt Simonson. Loki fired off a transmutation ray at an Earth woman who later on gives Thor a peck on the cheek. With his trap sprung, the power transfers via the kiss and Thor undergoes a bit of a transformation. Thor eventually turned back, but not without inspiring creation of Throg, a similar creature that maintains some of Thor’s powers.
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