Mike Cotton writes for Bleeding Cool.
If feels weird, as a super-liberal, to celebrate someone’s death. But Osama Bin Laden was a first-class dick-bag, so fuck him! And if there’s one thing I love, it’s when the bad guys get what’s coming to them. Like when the hero has been beat to crap, but turns the tables on the villain to give them their just desserts? Man, that’s the stuff! Here’s 10 standout comic tales that’ll quench your thirst for bloody revenge!
10. League of Extraordinary Gentlemen Vol. II
After betraying the League and assaulting Mina Murray, the Invisible Man thinks he can also sneak up on Mr. Hyde, not realizing the monster alter ego of Dr. Jekyll can actually see him, whether he’s invisible or not. After locking himself in the room with his now terrified invisible foe, Mr. Hyde proceeds to rape the Invisible Man to death.
9. X-Men: God Loves, Man Kills
Bigoted, fire-breathing preacher Reverend William Stryker sends assault teams to capture Professor Xavier and murder the X-Men, but it’s the good Reverend who ends up dead when he points a gun at then-16-year-old Kitty Pryde. Mutant or not, the cop who shoots Stryker—later resurrected—isn’t going to let anyone gun down a teenager in Madison Square Garden.
8. Sin City: The Hard Goodbye
Kevin likes women. Specifically, he likes to abduct them, chain them up and eat parts of them. Now, Marv’s a little bit of a lunatic in Sin City, but he doesn’t eat anybody, so when he runs across Kevin, it’s not long before there’s razor wire, severed limbs and dogs eating at Kevin’s bloody stumps.
7. Swamp Thing #21 (“The Anatomy Lesson”)
The Old Man who discovers Swamp Thing’s apparently dead body and contracts the Floronic Man to autopsy the remains really isn’t that evil, but he is a huge dick. He’s a dick to the Floronic Man, he’s a dick to Swamp Thing’s dead body and most of all, he just represents corporate old-money douche-baggery at its highest levels. (This is the kind of guy who drives down a two-lane country road swerving into traffic and singing “Sh-Boom.”) So when the Old Man locks himself inside his complex with Swamp Thing—who’s just woken up from being autopsied to find a file that says he’s not Alec Holland and just a really smart plant hat thinks it’s Holland—Swamp Thing is pretty pissed, which leads to some superb implied vengeance and bloodshed.
6. Starman #9
Rag Doll sounds super-lame, am I right? Well, he is. Unless it’s the version from this Starman flashback story where Rag Doll commands a chaotic cult to wreak havoc across Opal City. Unable to stop the madness alone, Starman enlists the Golden Age Flash, Green Lantern, Hourman and Dr. Mid-Nite for aid. Although they easily catch Rag Doll, the villain boasts that he’ll command his mobs from jail and threatens the lives of all the heroes’ families. Although no one officially knows what happened a few minutes later, Rag Doll ended up blasted to a gruesome death by Starman’s Cosmic Rod.
After destroying Matt Murdock’s life—Wilson Fisk buys Daredevil’s secret identity from DD’s ex, who’s now a heroin-addicted porn star, and then proceeds to blow up Murdock’s house, separate him from all his friends and dismantle his law practice—the Kingpin eventually sends crazed pill-popping super-soldier Nuke to finish off the Man Without Fear. But DD turns the tables and uses Nuke’s body to expose Fisk as a corrupt and brutal crimelord.
4. Flash #324 [V. 1]
If it wasn’t bad enough that Professor Zoom vibrated his hand through Iris West’s head to murder her, he returns to plague the Silver Age Flash Barry Allen when the Fastest Man Alive found love again. Faced with his greatest fear happening once more—and on his wedding day no less!—Barry Allen snaps Zoom’s neck like the fastest badass alive. Allen eventually stood trial for murdering Zoom, and Kid Flash testified against him! (It’s the snitches that’ll getchas!)
3. Doctor Who: Family of Blood
(Not sure if this is a comic, Mike – Rich) The Family of Blood has a badass name, recognize that first. Second, a lot of Doctor Who villains do. (How badly do I want to see the Nightmare Child!?!) But the Family is dying out, and they need to steal the Doctor’s Time Lord essence (thus killing him) to survive. So the Doctor hides where no one else will be in danger—a boys’ prep school. Pretty soon, the Family is terrorizing the locals and being super-creepy, but it’s not too long before the Doctor defeats them all and gives them a version of the immortality they sought: He shoves Mother of Mine out of the TARDIS into the event horizon of a collapsing galaxy; binds Father in unbreakable chains forged in the heart of a dwarf star; traps Sister in every mirror in existence; and transforms Son of Mine into a scarecrow—a perfect living hell for each.
2. Batman: The Cult
Batman: The Cult by Jim Starlin and Bernie Wrightson is completely underrated. Deacon Joseph Blackfire turns Gotham into a hell on Earth as he amasses a giant cult of homeless and religious crazies. He even does the impossible, breaking Batman mentally and driving him pretty crazy to which point he sits in a pile of dead bodies shouting that he’s in hell. (No, really…this s&^% is crazy!) But it’s Jason Todd—What? That’s right, this is also the only good Jason Todd story besides “Death in the Family”—who rescues Bats before the Dynamic Duo return to the underbelly of the city controlled by Frost. Now, Batman won’t kill. Period. What he will do is beat you to a pulp and then let your own followers tear you apart with axes and their bare hands.
1. Preacher: Alamo (Death of Herr Starr)
After taking over the Grail as Highfather, Starr hunts Jesse Custer and his friends across the country murdering and maiming with complete abandon. It’s not just that Starr is evil, he’s also a real prick who enjoys his work. But as the series progresses, Starr endures some seriously humiliating injuries—Tulip shoots off his ear, Jesse carves a line down the center of his head to make it look like a penis, his leg gets eaten by hillbillies, a dog tears off his man parts—leading up to Tulip eventually killing Starr with a gunshot that blows off the top of his head.
Special Addition: “The Departed”
Fuck you, Matt Damon.
Got more ideas on stories where villains get what they deserve? Drop Cotton a line on Twitter at @michaelcotton. He is both unemployed and frustrated by Mike Tyson’s Punch-Out, which he just downloaded on the Wii.