In the long history of comics, there have been some very bizarre, violent and downright crazy things to happen to the characters we love. Sometimes, the tragic things happen before the earn their powers or put on a costume. Accidents that give them their powers are often shown as a crucible, something horrible they have to go through before earning the right to become a heroic symbol. But often, they have struggles to go through during their crimefighting career. And although many of these struggles are usually related to a supervillain or an enemy of some kind, sometimes they can be pure chance.
An accident that just so happens to ruin their lives, or the lives of those around them. And sometimes, in the hands of certain writers and artists, these accidents can be pretty gruesome. And although they might not fill the page with blood and guts, just the events alone leave plenty to the imagination. Some characters can’t get away with being too adult after all. Unless we’re talking about a hero like Deadpool, in which case expect the blood, intestines and every major organ to be splattered across the panels for all to see. We’ve pulled together 15 most gruesome superpower mishaps.
15. SPIDER-MAN PUNCHES CHARLEMAGNE
Your friendly neighborhood…murderer? Sorry Spider-Man, you’re not so innocent as we thought. Peter Parker has never had the best luck, and another example of that is when he kills Wolverine’s lover, Charlemagne. The assassin is tracked to Berlin where she decided that she didn’t want to run anymore — and wanted Wolverine to kill her. But when Spider-Man assumes that Wolverine has kidnapped he begins fighting him.
And when everyone becomes separated, Charlemagne sneaks up on Spidey — and when he realizes someone’s behind him he throws a punch with all his strength thinking it was Wolverine. Sure, Logan would’ve been knocked backwards but it wouldn’t have ended his life. Unfortunately, he hits Charlemagne and it kills her. She got what she wanted, but that’s another death on Spidey’s hands. Good one, Pete.
14. NIGHTWING BREAKS HIS NECK
Spoilers, you can’t play as Nightwing during Injustice 2, but you can play as Damian Wayne. And there’s a pretty good reason as to why. During the Injustice comics, Damian and Nightwing are fighting some of the Arkham Asylum inmates when they begin to disagree about how to operate. Dick tells Damian that “Robin doesn’t beat people once they’re down”.
Robin politely responds by hurling one of Nightwing’s batons back at him, causing him to fall down. As he falls, he forcefully lands on a rock, breaking his neck. Robin killed Nightwing. Eventually Damian claims the Nightwing role, but it looks like he had to forcefully take it for himself. Batman’s reaction hits us where it hurts, shouting at Damian to get off the body. Ouch.
13. HAWKEYE GETS BLOWN UP BY HIS OWN ARROW
This is one of the weirdest, almost funny deaths in comic book history. In Avengers #502 the team fights an invading force of Kree soldiers armed laser weapons. One of these laser beams hits Hawkeye’s quiver. And since he’s got explosive arrows stored there, he begins to panic screaming “NOT LIKE THIS!” Which is a pretty understandable reaction to knowing you’re about to die.
What isn’t understandable, is why Clint doesn’t just take off the quiver and throw it at the Kree, still fighting back AND saving his life. Instead, he just grabs the nearest Kree soldier and flies into a Kree ship, blowing himself up. So he crashed into a ship (ouch) and then blew himself up (double ouch) just because he doesn’t take off his quiver? Silly Hawkeye.
12. SPIDER-MAN KILLS MJ WITH RADIOACTIVE SPERM
That’s a sentence we didn’t think we’d have to write today. But yes, that happened. Whilst comics that show older superheroes facing huge odds become quite popular, like Old Man Logan, Spider-Man: Reign didn’t quite resonate with audiences as much. And this is likely one of the reasons why. It turns out that because of their relationship, Mary Jane got radiation poisoning because of overexposure to Pete’s radioactive sperm.
It ended up killing her and Pete is left alone. To make it worse, he could have stayed with his wife as she died, but leaves after hearing gunshots outside. He returns after dealing with them to find that she had died when he was gone. The world slowly forgets that superheroes existed and New York is shut off from the rest of society. If you hadn’t guessed already, it’s quite a bleak story.
11. WOLVERINE KILLS THE X-MEN
“Old Man Logan” was a huge hit with comic book fans because of its western themes and heavy violence. And when we found out that Logan was using it as a basis, we got excited. They didn’t use many aspects of the comic book, and this was one of them. Wolverine is tricked into thinking that a huge group of villains have attacked the X-Mansion, and he goes about slaughtering each and every one of them in true Wolverine style.
It’s bloody, there are limbs everywhere. That is until Mysterio enters the room and Logan realizes that he’s just slaughtered all of his friends and family one by one. It’s heartbreaking, because the story shows us just how much it affects the hero. So much so that he doesn’t pop his claws for years.
10. KING SHARK IMPALED BY A BROOM
It sounds silly, but when that’s how King Shark is killed off during Injustice: Gods Among Us Year 5 #28. It’s when we see The Flash as part of Superman’s regime, and trying to figure out what to do with Iris and a group of people opposed to Supes. When Girder and King Shark push Flash to make a decision, King Shark just decides that he wants to chow down on Iris instead.
Obviously, Barry steps in and beats up Girder as well as fighting King Shark. Flash is knocked down when he grabs a broom and hurls it at King Shark, impaling him on it. It’s thrown with such force that it goes right through the back of the villain. It’s an act that pushes Iris West away from Barry Allen completely.
9. SPIDER-MAN BREAKS GWEN STACY’S NECK
One of the most infamous accidental deaths sees another person in Peter’s life taken from him. The Green Goblin kidnaps Gwen and Spidey fights the villain on top of the Brooklyn Bridge. But during the fight, Osborn hurls Gwen from the top of the bridge, and Pete tries to save her by catching her with his webbing. Unfortunately, when he pulls her up it turns out that the webbing had snapped her neck due to the momentum.
It’s a tragic moment for Spidey, and it drives him to capture the Goblin. Although he can’t kill him, Spidey jumps out the way of Osborn’s glider. It impales Norman instead of Peter, and Norman dies. We saw part of the storyline adapted in both the 2002 Spider-Man film and The Amazing Spider-Man 2.
8. THE FLASH DISINTEGRATES
Barry Allen’s death during “Crisis on Infinite Earths” was a comic book event that saw the character disappear for over 20 years. When the Anti-Monitor was attempting to wipe out many realities, The Flash steps in trying to stop the Anti-Matter Canon. He begins running around one of the metal rings surrounding the energy source to unbalance it. The Flash runs at such an incredible speed that he begins to disappear.
Or more accurately, his body begins to crumble and shrink. We see his suit become loose as Barry falls to pieces running around the canon. It’s later revealed that he was transported back in time and became the lightning bolt that originally gave him his powers. But the panel showing his decay has become iconic and synonymous with Barry Allen.
7. DIABLO BURNS
After we saw the anti-hero debut in the Suicide Squad film, we’re a bit more familiar with his backstory. But at the start of The New 52’s Suicide Squad run, we’re introduced to the heartbreaking moment where he realizes the consequences of his actions. He was originally a gangster who used his pyrokinetic powers to intimidate other gangs and dish out fiery punishment. When he burns down one gangs house, he realizes that although he killed the people he was after, he also burnt several women and children alive.
He killed them by accident, not knowing they were in the house. When the police arrive, he doesn’t resist. He already knows the sins he’s committed, and waits to be punished for them. Until he’s recruited for the Suicide Squad, that is.
6. HARVEY BULLOCK SUFFERS SOME INJUSTICE
Whilst the Gotham City Detective might be one of the most enduring characters that populate Batman’s world — even he can’t escape the madness of the Injustice universe. During the Year Three comics, Harvey is drawn into Jason Blood’s home with the insurgency by Constantine. When Jason tries to summon Etrigan the demon, a blue light fills the entire room and vaporizes Jason and Harvey completely.
Their flesh is ripped away from their bodies as the light hits them, and their skeletons are thrown backwards. It’s a quick death, but it’s a brutal one. And although there’s not much Harvey could do to fight it, his death feels like a disappointment. Someone like Harvey should go down fighting a villain in the streets, not vaporized by a mysterious light.
5. DEADPOOL GETS SKEWERED
Remember that time that Deadpool got skewered? Wait, that might not be specific enough. Remember that time that Deadpool got skewered by an elephant? That’s a bit more memorable isn’t it. The Merc with the Mouth is on the hunt for undead Presidents (obviously) and it leads him to the zoo when looking for Teddy Roosevelt.
And when Deadpool finds himself in the elephant enclosure, the huge animal chases him and impales him on the end of its tusk. But it’s okay though, because Wade ends up pulling himself off the tusk. And then proceeds to electrocute Roosevelt and the elephant up in flames. Although that last part does seem a little bit unfair on the elephant. Damn it, Deadpool. You’ll have animal rights protestors after you soon.
4. JESSE QUICK IS VAPORIZED
The first Injustice game saw many superheroes, villains and civilians murdered by a whole range of people. The biggest of which is The Joker simply because he’s the one who started Superman down this path of death, destruction and dictatorship. When Superman kills Lois, he activates a nuclear detonator attached to her heart rate, blowing up Metropolis.
In the explosion, Jesse Quick had thrown Lex Luthor into his nuclear bunker, but she goes back outside to save other civilians. Unfortunately, she’s caught in the blast, and is vaporized running away from it. Her death is shown during the first year as we learn that she was on Luthor’s pay roll. It’s not the greatest way to go. But it does make us wonder how different the Injustice world would be if another Speedster had survived the ordeal.
3. CH’P GETS FLATTENED
The Green Lantern Corps are made up of thousands of different alien species, and it just so happens that one of their members is a sentient squirrel. Well, he’s an alien that looks like a squirrel. Admittedly, this entry sounds kind of funny at first, but once you think about it — it’s pretty gross.
On the planet Oa, Ch’P and John Stewart were patrolling Mosaic World, when a truck ran over Ch’P when he wasn’t looking. The only consolation was that the cute hero wasn’t alone when he dies. The Lantern is left lying in a pool of blood as the truck carries on driving (they didn’t even stop!) but John Stewart is with Ch’P when he dies. For such an innocent character, it’s quite a brutal and real death.
2. A NEW SWAMP-THING
The Guardian of the Green is a towering defender of nature and Earth itself. He’s strong, powerful and pretty intimidating. But during Swamp-Thing #4 in 2016, Alec Holland is allowed to be separated from the Swamp-Thing mantle. Unfortunately, someone else has to fill the role. And that person is Matt Cable. The man that originally was tasked with protecting Alec becomes the new protector of the Green. And when he first ventures out into the world as a hero, he sees a hunter shooting a deer.
Enraged, Matt runs towards him and accidentally tears him in half — because he doesn’t know how strong he could be. He does then try and enslave the rest of the world, but we won’t go into that. Talk about a tough first day.
1. BLACK BOLT KILLS HIS PARENTS
All good superheroes have tragic backstories, and Black Bolt is no different. The Inhuman was finally introduced into society on Attilan after he turned 19 and could control his powers. But when he discovered that his brother, Maximus, had made a deal with the Kree — he became pretty angry. To stop the Kree from leaving, Black Bolt unleashed his sonic powers, bringing down the Kree ship.
Unfortunately, the ship crashed into the Inhuman’s Parliament building, killing Black Bolt’s parents. They were killed in the explosion. This constantly weighs on the King because of his decision to bring down the ship. To make matters worse for the Inhuman, Maximus’ brain was affected by the noise, and pushed him to mental instability. This earned him the nickname, Maximus the Mad.
Which of these is the worst? Let us know in the comments!
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