The 7 Biggest Dick Moves in the History of Superheroes
For a while now, comic book companies have been desperately trying to shock readers into spending more money by turning every classic character into a gritty, foul-mouthed, murderous bastard, which is why every current issue of Superman ends with him telling Lex Luthor to "eat a dick."
Well, old-time comics may be less violent and explicit than current ones, but that doesn't mean the heroes weren't sometimes colossal dicks while they saved the universe. If you don't believe us, let us tell you about the time ...
Green Lantern Was Racist Toward His Sidekick
Hal "Green Lantern" Jordan is part of an intergalactic peacekeeping organization where each member is armed with the single most powerful weapon in the universe. In his early comics, his only weakness was the color yellow ... which, incidentally (and offensively), was also the color of the skin of his Asian sidekick, whom he seriously called "Pieface." This is like giving Superman a sidekick made of kryptonite.
Out of necessity, Pieface was the first Asian in comics who could pronounce the letter L.
Pieface was actually an Eskimo, a fact later writers clumsily tried to use to explain away his horribly racist nickname. This, of course, only made things worse:
"White, huh? The only white people I've met have been insensitive and hurtful. I'll call you ... 'Sir,' I guess. This sucks."
The only thing the "Eskimo pie" explanation accomplished was establishing that Hal was definitely the one who came up with the nickname, and also that he was a shithead.
Anyway, Pieface was Hal's mechanic in his secret identity as a test pilot. After Pieface finds out his boss is also Green Lantern, Hal asks him to become his sidekick ... despite Pie being a teenager with no superpowers and no combat training. The poor kid was probably too scared to lose his job if he said no -- the same issue establishes that he's responsible for supporting his entire village in Alaska.
Alaska: Primary exports include fishhooks, pies and whimsy.
This exposed Pieface to a host of dangerous situations he was clearly not prepared to deal with, like that time someone turned him into a chimp dressed in a Green Lantern costume:
You can tell it's him because he referenced fishhooks, you see.
Or the time Green Lantern turned him into a seagull in his sleep because Hal was having a bizarre dream where Pieface wanted to be a bird:
This panel alone held back civil rights for at least five extra years.
"And then -- Oh, I am a bird? Well, sure, my life wasn't already horrible. Sure."
Superman Drops His Cousin in an Orphanage, Makes Out With Her
Supergirl is Superman's teenage cousin who, by a staggering coincidence, also survived Krypton's explosion and arrived on Earth, because comics. When Supergirl first appeared in 1959, Superman decided she wasn't allowed to make her presence known to anyone until she had been properly trained in using her powers.
So where did she live in the meantime? Clark Kent's cozy apartment? Superman's giant, mostly empty Fortress of Solitude? Nope:
"I was raised by a set of loving parents, but I hear these are fun, too."
So wait, this young girl had just gone through a horribly traumatic experience (having watched everyone she knew slowly die from Kryptonite poisoning), and Superman's way of helping her deal with that is to ... abandon her in an orphanage and forbid her from making human contact? And this wasn't just for one story -- she stayed there for years. She only once disobeyed and revealed herself to, um, Superman's flying dog, and Superman punished her by exiling her to a remote asteroid.
"Of course I get off on this, Krypto. Why else would Superman do such terrible things?"
This, of course, turned out to be part of some dumbass scheme that Superman could have easily carried out without necessarily stranding Supergirl in outer space. This sort of thing happened a lot: Another time, Superman forced her to pretend to be his wife from another dimension, "Mighty Maid" ...
The crossing she refers to is dangerous because it usually results in deformed babies.
... and, yes, this plan involved making out with his underage cousin:
Lois was way too old for him anyway.
After becoming engaged to "Mighty Maid," Superman announces that he will be leaving our dimension forever to live in hers. Eventually we find out that Superman had made Supergirl pretend to be his wife to fool some aliens into thinking that Superman was leaving our dimension. We have, like, six different ways to accomplish this goal off the top of our heads, and not one of our schemes would force our underage cousins into making out with us. None of our schemes have that. (It's why we'll never be Superman.)
When the aliens are no longer a problem, Superman explains away the situation to Lois by admitting to be an accidental pedophile, and everything is back to normal.
"Now let's go to the movies," Lois said, as she casually fell off another building.
Professor X Loves Trolling the X-Men, Raping Minds
In recent years, Marvel Comics has gone through great effort to retcon Professor Charles Xavier, the venerable leader of the X-Men, as an unscrupulous, manipulative jerk, but it turns out that none of that was necessary -- he was a bastard from the beginning. Look at those early X-Men comics and you'll notice a pattern of deception, evil and baldness.
On early missions, Professor X would constantly pull shit like pretending to lose his powers when the X-Men needed him the most ... and they'd always, always fall for it.
"OK, then carry me, but don't go too fast, and can we stop somewhere and get milk? I have to pee, also."
"More smug! Smugger than the sun!"
The Professor claimed he only deceived the X-Men to "test" them. A more likely explanation is that he simply got fed up of listening to the inane romantic problems of a bunch of superpowered brats and lied to get himself some alone time. This might also explain the time he intentionally let the X-Men believe he was dead for two years.
See, in X-Men #42, the team watches Professor X painfully die from a deadly combination of a strange disease and being blown to shit.
He was so sick that he accidentally pasted an extra set of eyebrows to his face.
He left them a taped will and everything, so this was all pretty deliberate. The young X-Men are forced to continue without their leader, which results in them immediately getting captured by Magneto and almost killed. And then, two years later, a live Professor X comes out of nowhere and says he's actually been in the mansion's basement all along. The only one who knew was Jean Grey, but he forced her to lie to the others.
"I only came up for more Cheetos and diapers."
The Professor explains that the guy who died was actually just a shape-shifter he hired to pose as him while he prepared for an upcoming alien invasion. It would have taken him 10 seconds to say "Hey, I'm gonna be very busy for a while and it's very important that you don't bother me." Instead, he opted to stage a needlessly complicated hoax that caused his pupils extreme mental anguish.
But hey, at least he didn't use his powers to delete the minds of innocent people or some --
Batman Returns Robin to the Orphanage
Batman has never once in his career been accused of being a nice guy, which almost makes it too obvious to put anything he does on this list. But even though Batman's not one to group hug away a problem, he will without a doubt always be willing to defend the innocent and do anything to protect the people he cares about ... except for that one time he completely disowned Robin for talking back to him.
It's an imaginary story. You know, as opposed to all the real Batman adventures in real Gotham.
In this story, Batman and Superman are the same badasses we know and idolize, with the only difference being that Bruce has grown up believing that Superman killed his dad when they were young.
He's the passive-aggressive wuss-basket Gotham deserves, not the passive-aggressive wuss-basket Gotham needs.
Other than this change, basically everything in this universe is the same as the one we're familiar with. Bruce still becomes Batman and fights crime, and years down the road still adopts Robin as his sidekick. Business as usual, except Batman's actually just been training all these years to get ready to take down Superman. Things take a twist into the tragic for the dynamic duo, though, when Robin accidentally overhears Batman talking about how much he hates Superman and asks what that's all about.
"No, Batman, I'm sure a teenager with godlike powers would be far more responsible than that."
After revealing his plans to get revenge against Superman for killing his dad, Robin rightfully points out that that goes against everything Batman's been teaching him about justice, and crime-fighting, and all that other stuff they stand for. Batman doesn't handle this well.
And sure, we've all wanted to slap Robin a few times, but Batman takes it a bat-step further and returns Robin to an orphanage like a broken toy to a department store.
And he wipes Robin's mind, which, holy shit. It's not just that Batman has stolen part of Dick's life, but now Dick is going to show up at the orphanage with no memories of the last few months. He's most likely got a shitload of old bruises and injuries from crime-fighting, no friends or family can explain to him where he's been or what's going on and probably the last real memory he's been left with is that of his parents dying horribly in front of him. So what the orphanage will now have on their hands is basically Robin the Boy Psych Patient ... if he had any idea he was Robin, of course, which he doesn't because Batman has stolen all his memories.
The icing on the asshole-Batman cake is that at the end of the story, after teaming up with Lex Luthor to try to kill Superman, Batman realizes that Superman didn't kill his father, Lex did (shock!). After realizing this, Batman then dies like a chump, saving Superman from Lex to redeem himself.
"Come to think of it, I have absolutely no idea why I suspected you to begin with. Oh well. Hindsight's 20/20 and all that."
This sacrifice is all well and good for Batman's relationship with Superman, but what the hell does that mean for Robin? Nobody besides Batman knew who Robin was, so now that Bruce is dead, Dick is presumably stuck at the orphanage for good. Despite the fact that the kid was right about Superman the whole time, all he gets for his trouble is being abandoned, having months of his memory wiped and not inheriting Bruce Wayne's billions of dollars now that he's dead.
The Justice Society of America Are Sexist Dicks
The Justice Society of America was the first comic book superhero team and consisted of the Flash, Hawkman, Green Lantern and a few others. The world at that time was constantly in jeopardy and on the brink of several wars, and everyone was expected to contribute in some way to the war effort. Since the team needed all the help they could get, they asked Wonder Woman to join them and use her amazing powers ...
Tax returns for superhero teams must be hideous.
... to be a secretary.
Even though the first time the JSA meets Wonder Woman, she has just single-handedly taken down "two landing forces" of Japanese soldiers who were waiting to ambush an American battalion.
"Saving the world's all well and good, but we think you'd really excel at saving us on toner!"
Once she's back stateside, the JSA immediately makes her the team's secretary and leaves her behind while they go off to fight in all the wars.
"Minutes for second meeting. Hawkman suggests kicking ass. Group proceeds with action. WW tries to slit wrists. Can't."
What makes this even more demeaning is that when Wonder Woman met the Justice Society, she actually already had a day job as a nurse under her alternate identity Diana Prince, which means that Wonder Woman basically used to save lives 24/7. But after joining up with the team, she was delegated to days of sharpening pencils and sitting around the JSA office waiting for the phone to ring so she can take a message, like, wicked fast.
"Look, not all of us are lifesavers. Superheroes and nurses are, sure, and you are both. But we'd like you to be neither. Clear?"
Reed Richards Couldn't Give Less of a Fuck About His Untrained Family in Space
If you watched the Fantastic Four movies, you might be under the impression that all four members of the team were either scientists or pilots, or were at least trained in some other rocket-ship-appropriate profession that would explain why an entire family went into space together. But the truth is that Sue and Johnny had these "jobs" created later to cover up just how much of a dick comic book Reed Richards really was, and how few fucks he gave about the people he supposedly loved.
"Maybe I will pilot it. And maybe I'll expose my whole family to deadly space rays. Who's laughing now?!"
In actuality, when the team went into space, Reed and Ben were the only ones even remotely trained in any way to fly the shuttle. Sue is basically just Reed's too-supportive-for-her-own-good fiancee/eye candy, and Johnny Storm is a 16-year-old kid with a douchey look on his face who thinks it'd be nifty to go up into space. So how the hell did those two get up there if they haven't taken the necessary years of astronaut training -- did they sneak on board in secret or something? No, because that would make a kind of sense. Instead, Ben and Reed just drove them there and took them along with them, training and qualifications be damned.
Any puppies or children that might want to come, too? My grandmother's always wanted to be in space, I'll give her a call.
Man, if Reed and Ben were willing to risk their jobs and family to go into space immediately, it must have been for something extremely important, though. Was the world in danger? Was there a cure for cancer up in those stars? Space boobs?
"Even if it kills you!"
Maybe this negligence shouldn't be too surprising to any of us; after all, you really have to expect any superhero who names himself "Mr. Fantastic" to be kind of an asshole.
"And because I mutilated all your bodies, I get to name our team after me."
Superman Is a Super Bad Dad
Some people complain that Superman has too many powers to make him interesting, and those people have a valid point, because they probably aren't aware that Superman also has the power of World's Douchiest Superhero, as he is the only character who was a big enough dick to make it on this list twice.
For example, despite the fact that hundreds of people must be dying or in danger around the world every day, Superman always found the time to rescue his "best pal" Jimmy Olsen from whatever fucked up problem he got himself into that week, whether it be random mutations, mysterious superpowers or getting stuck with a beard.
After babysitting Jimmy for years to keep the schmuck alive, Superman decides to just officially make it his job to look after Jimmy and legally adopts him, which he then follows up with the most super domestic abuse you can imagine.
"Oh boy, a father figure I can never live up to!"
The story starts with Jimmy being bummed while at a father/son picnic that he attended for some reason, despite the fact that he's an orphan and a grown man with a job and rent, etc. None of this matters to Superman, though, who swoops in and announces he's adopting Jimmy. Jimmy's stoked, but Superman proceeds to accomplish his first dick move in this story when he uses his powers to beat all the other father/son teams at every single event at the picnic.
"Always use your powers for good, son. And to disillusion small children about their fathers, of course."
After the picnic, Superman takes Jimmy to a house that he's rented for them to live in with a conveniently marked "Secret Room" that Jimmy's not allowed in. Superman then continues his unofficial "look how awesome I am" day by taking Jimmy to his Fortress of Solitude, where he shows him how he saved an entire solar system once on a giant mural that he painted himself and most definitely doesn't whack off to when he's alone and turned on by his own greatness.
"So yeah, if you cure cancer and AIDS? It still won't make an impression."
Superman then leaves Jimmy unsupervised to play with a lightning gun, then comes back a few minutes later, having decided he can't play with it after all.
Superman continues this asshole behavior for a few days as he leaves Jimmy alone for long lengths of time, makes him do unnecessary chores and, in an impressive feat of emotional abuse, even frames Jimmy for things he knows he didn't do just so he can call him a liar and yell at him.
The door was going to read "SECRET IDENTITY ROOM AND ALSO KRYPTONITE MINING MAP," but it was too long.
And then Superman burns the Father's Day present Jimmy got him.
"What, were you crying when you stitched this? It's clear you were."
It's at this point that Jimmy's soul is completely crushed. He decides that he was better off as an orphan than as Superman's bitch and has the court overturn Superman's adoption of him.
"Well, I guess it's back to the orphanage and -- oh wait, I'm a grown man."
As soon as Jimmy and his shattered self-confidence and ability to love leave the courtroom, Superman explains to him that he doesn't actually hate him and was trying to protect him. He just chose to do it in the douchiest way possible. It seems that while they were at the Fortress days earlier, Superman had consulted his prophecy-making machine, which warned him that "Superman will destroy his own son."
And the prophecy came true, what with all of the psychiatric help Jimmy needs now.
Apparently Superman's reaction was "Yeah, that sounds like something I'd do," so he proceeded to treat Jimmy like shit so he would get the adoption annulled on his own. Some lessons need to be learned the hard way, and then never unlearned, because they were burned onto your heart, burned like the shoddy stitch work of a half-assed Father's Day gift.
Superman isn't the only one who could be a jerk, check out The 20 Most Ridiculous Batman Comics Ever Released. Or discover the 6 Comic Book Crossovers You Won't Believe Actually Happened.
And stop by LinkSTORM to learn what happens when Magneto gets road rage.
Do you have an idea in mind that would make a great article? Then sign up for our writers workshop! Do you possess expert skills in image creation and manipulation? Mediocre? Even rudimentary? Are you frightened by MS Paint and simply have a funny idea? You can create an infographic and you could be on the front page of Cracked.com tomorrow!