The 6 Most Sadistic Superhero Revenge Schemes Of All Time
Comic book villains can single-handedly destroy planets or turn entire populations into gorillas, and the superhero response is usually to lock them inside an easily escapable prison for several weeks. However, some supercrimes requires a more ... creative punishment. And by "creative" we mean "Significantly worse than anything the bad guy could have dreamed up."
Spider-Man Sentences Sandman To One Eternity Of Infinite Anguish
Spider-Man's standard idea of justice is making fun of you while he kicks you in the face, but he's not against the occasional unthinkably cruel punishment, because, otherwise, what's the point of being a superhero, really?
So, one of Spider-Man's oldest foes is Flint Marko, aka Sandman. As you probably know, or could have easily guessed, Sandman is a man made of sand. It's honestly not much more complicated than that. His punishments however, are. Deserved or not, none of Spider-Man's enemies got it worse than Sandman.
Though when it came to punishment, Sandman could dish it out, too.
This is from a real comic, by the way.
Sandman was an interesting problem for both logic and law enforcement. He's a super strong pile of sand, and what that meant varied wildly from day to day and writer to writer. Sometimes he could smash through a bank vault and other times he was helpless against the walls of a vacuum cleaner's bag. Speaking of, that's usually how Spider-Man took care of him.
"Ha ha, really? Wait, is this working!?"
This happened all the time. In the Ultimate Marvel Universe, Sandman was once separated into jars and frozen by Iron Man. Can you imagine being broken up into pieces and kept alive in separate jars? Probably not, but at least you could argue Sandman was unconscious for that. Our Spider-Man from the original Marvel dimension took madness-inducing incarceration to the next level.
Spider-Man theorized that Sandman couldn't have been just a pile of sand, since that makes no goddamn sense. It made slightly more sense that his consciousness had to be contained in one single magic grain of sand, and all they had to do was capture it. So he hatched a plan. He created a smartphone app that transmitted signals to Sandman's brain to force him to transform into different shapes. We apologize for the word salad, but comics are very strange.
If you download the real-life Marvel companion app, they'll send you an explanation for this bullshit.
Spider-Man knew if they kept fucking with him, they'd eventually find the single grain of sand containing his soul. So he hit a button on his phone that forced Sandman to transform into the shape of his own estranged daughter, Keemia. We're not kidding.
Dude. Dude. Did you just hijack my brainwaves to turn my crotch into my ... my daughter?
Once they found the grain that contained Flint's mind, it was simply a matter of trapping it in a web and locking it away. Think about that for a second -- people go insane in solitary confinement after days, and this was solitary confinement beyond all reason. They locked this man away without eyes, ears, or a mouth to scream. Time would stretch infinitely, and none of your prayers could even be asked, much less answered. That's a living Hell. If they let Sandman out after a month and told him it was now the year 1 zillion, he'd say, "Sand! Sand! Sand!!!!" Which is Sandmadness talk for, "I 100 percent believe you."
Batman Convinces His Parents' Murderer To Kill Himself
Bruce Wayne began his crusade against crime after his parents were brutally slain by a thug named Joe Chill. We bet you've heard this story before. If not, hi, we hope we're enjoying this article, the first thing you've ever read, ever.
"AND AFTER I PLUG YA, DON'T NONE OF YOUS BECOME BATMANS, SEE?"
It was the defining moment of Bruce Wayne's life, so he must have fantasized about what he'd do to this evil bastard every day for decades. So what happened after Batman finally found him? He psychologically tortured him over the course of weeks, of course.
"You kill my parents, I make you pee your pants."
Batman haunts Joe Chill's house night after night, slowly driving him mad. Terrified and confused, Chill surrounds himself with guards, waiting for Batman to make good on his implied threats. He never does -- Batman just ducks in, makes Joe piss himself, and leaves. Over and over.
"So I shoot innocent people every now and then! God, get over it!"
After Chill becomes a jittering, pee-squirting mound of jelly, Batman sneaks in, beats his guards unconscious, and puts a gun to his head. The same gun Joe used to kill his parents.
"So y-you're an ambulance driver? Some k-kind of Martha? I'm sorry, could you start over?
I was shitting myself for most of that."
After a very, very long speech, Joe finally figures it out -- this is little Bruce Wayne all grown up, and he's responsible for creating Batman. Much more quickly, he figures out how upset all his criminal friends will be when they find out. Though now that he uses his pants as a toilet and everyone around him gets beaten up by Batman each night, losing friends was already probably an issue for Joe Chill.
"I MADE YOU? I HAVE TO BE HONEST, BATMAN; I THINK THAT IS GOING TO GET ME LAID LIKE CRAZY."
He hands the gun to Joe Chill and leaves. To his credit, Joe doesn't embarrass himself by trying to shoot Batman. Instead, he breaks down crying and looks down at the gun he used to kill Bruce Wayne's parents. Will he do it? Has The Bat terrified this man enough to blow his own head off?
Of course he has. And The Bat hopes the little bitch section of Hell is extra hot, Joe Chill.
Magneto Is Sentenced To Sarcastic Brainwashing
Professor X formed the X-Men to help bring man and mutant together. He was supposedly based on Martin Luther King Jr., while his arch-enemy, Magneto, was based on Malcolm X. Behind all their superheroics and space adventures, the X-Men are mostly an allegory for civil rights. Which makes what Professor X did to Magneto in the Ultimate Universe so impossibly messed-up.
Specifically, he rewrote Magneto's militant mutant brain to think it was a human social worker.
Jesus, Charles. That's ... unethical? Sadistic? Likely to absolutely stop working someday soon?
So Professor X turned a mutant racist into the thing he hates most. And it's not like Magneto hates humans for no reason -- human beings hunted him, made mutant-lasering robots, and killed his family during the Holocaust. Even if taking away someone's free will was OK, and it's not, this seems like a particularly cold type of slavery to choose for him.
So while Magneto helps the people he dedicated his life to destroying (and vice-versa), Professor X pops by and checks on him every week. We'd like to think it's not to taunt him ...
... but it's definitely to taunt him.
"You should see what I've done to the pizza guy that kept forgetting our cheesy bread."
Just look at that fucking grin. You are such an asshole, Charles. Though what do you expect from a guy who thinks it's OK to just blast someone's brain with painful Holocaust memories during a fistfight?
No way. He really did that? In a kid's cartoon? That wasn't a joke!? GODDAMN IT, CHARLES!
The Flash Turns A Villain Into A Museum Exhibit
The Flash is no stranger to torturous, inhuman punishments. We covered the time he forced Professor Zoom to relive the worst moment of his life over and over and over and over, but let's talk about one of The Flash's lighter moments:
The time he froze a child and kept him in a museum.
The story, like most of Flash's stories, is a convoluted tale of spacetime and questionable physics and clones and ... well, let's start with the child frozen as a statue. His name is Inertia, and he's a clone of the second Flash's grandson from the future. You know what? Just imagine the silliest possible combination of words, and Inertia's origin is somewhere slightly to the left of that.
"My super speed origin is dumber than a kid filled with mongoose blood."
Inertia came back from the future with some kind of plan to take away The Flash's powers, which led to The Flash's grandson, who was also here from the future, being killed. The Flash didn't take it well. And he took it less well when Inertia told him, "He screamed like a little bitch."
"Is this because I killed your grandson and then called him a little bitch? God, how long
are you going to stay mad about that!?"
Screw this evil kid, right? Yeah! He should be punished to the full extent of the law before being extradited to the future to be punished to the full extent of laser law 2000 or whatever! Well, that never happened. What Flash did to him was so, so much worse. Flash used his powers to suck the speed out of him and turned him into a statue for his museum.
We're not even gonna ask about those other statues.
What's so bad about being frozen in time, you might ask? Well, let's show you the very next panel.
Oh, man. He's fucking awake in there in real time!?
"I also made sure to give him a Double Big Gulp, so he has an eternity of having to pee too."
It's your basic eternity of psychological torture and loneliness, only with a gift shop. So, we look forward to seeing that on The Flash next season!
And yet, just slightly worse than that was ...
Superman, Batman, And Wonder Woman Lock Mongul In A Sadistic Matrix Prank
So, any single superhero can snap and unleash hell on some villain who has touched a particular nerve. But when you get three heroes together, you'd think there'd always be someone to raise their hand and say, "Yeah, this is getting weird, guys."
For instance, Superman, Batman, and Wonder Woman are all known for their unshakable principles. They solve most of their problems by putting criminals in the ICU (without due process), but that's only when no other options are available. And they have the same stance against "cruel and unusual" punishment as anyone who claims to be on the side of the good guys.
Except, they all agree, when it comes to space menace Mongul. Screw space menace Mongul.
Is your store out of Thanos figures? How about a Mongul? Mongul is always in stock!"
In a 1985 Alan Moore story, Batman, Robin, and Wonder Woman stopped by Superman's house to bring him a birthday present. They found him standing in a trance with a weird plant on his chest and vines wrapped around his neck.
"It's a weird world. But a green world."
Before any of them could whisper, "We've interrupted some kind of alien autoerotic masturbation ritual; let's sneak out and knock this time," Mongul burst in and explained it was a magic star plant locking Superman in an endless dream.
"Holy Space Sectors! You went all the way to the TANGLED ZONES? We just went in on
a jam sampler we picked up at the airport."
The way the Black Mercy works is that you are stuck inside a dream and you can escape only by rejecting the thing you want most. In his dream, Superman was living as Kal-El on a non-exploded Krypton with his beautiful wife. So Kal had to choose between his wife and Batman. Easy choice, right? Batman, every time. But it wasn't that simple. Superman also had a child, Van, and their final moments together got ... weird.
That awkward moment when you tell your child he's a figment of your subconscious
that got weaponized by a giant yellow space dick.
In his mind, Superman was living for years on Krypton with his loving family, and then he figured out it was all some kind of prank. As you might imagine, when he breaks loose, he is pissed.
"C-crap. Are you talking about the jam sampler? That w-was Batman's idea.
My gift hasn't got here yet."
After waking up from intentionally erasing his family from existence, the normally level-headed Superman just savagely beats the shit out of Mongul. He can't even bring himself to give a speech on justice or principles. All he can manage is, "BURN," before he roasts a hole in Mongul with his laser eyes.
SSSHIZZZZZIIT is right. SSSHIZZZZZIIT!
During the beating, Robin throws the Black Mercy onto Mongul's chest (you know, instead of trying to calm Superman down). Again, this was the worst thing that ever happened to Superman. A sensation Mongul himself called "like tearing off your own arm." A mental torment that turned the most-good good guy in the history of fiction into a rabid maniac. And, as it digs its roots into Mongul's torso, the heroes snap into action.
"Oh. Oh no. The Black Mercy is taking root in his soul. We've got to-
Damn. Too late."
"But," you say, "they're just doing what Mongul did to Superman!" Right, but that's totally not how justice works. If you take a shit on your neighbor's porch, the cops don't come and take a shit on yours. That's why we invented a criminal justice system instead of just letting revenge take care of it. "Well, have you tried kidnapping his children?"
But, sure enough, the heroes all continue their birthday party next to Mongul's body while his mind is trapped, presumably foreverish, in a twisted prank designed to rip away his heart's desire. Because, as we mentioned earlier, screw space menace Mongul.
"I don't know what's worse, realizing your whole universe is a lie or finding out
Robin hung a cantaloupe on your dick while you were asleep."
But, really, this was just one of ...
Superman's Truly Ludicrous Super Punishments
Superman is as good as a good guy can get. But for 75 years he's been attacked by star monsters, pranked by stupid imps, and poisoned by every color of kryptonite you can imagine. It starts to take its toll. The point is, Superman is sometimes a giant dick and has a very strange perspective on things.
For instance, when Lois Lane went undercover as a teacher to report on juvenile delinquency, she was emotionally destroyed by the sheer awfulness of juveniles. So Superman stepped in.
"DID THAT LITTLE SHIT THROW AN ERASER AT MY GIRLFRIEND!? I'LL KILL HIM!
I'LL THROW HIM INTO THE SUN AND KILL HIM!!!"
Superman was going to teach these teenage assholes a lesson if it took all his valuable time and impossible powers. He started by asking them to write an essay about what they want to be, promising that he will make all their dreams come true. And he does, in the most fucked-up Twilight Zone ways possible.
*GROAN!* "WHY AM I ALWAYS SO STUPIDLY WRONG WITH MY ASSUMPTIONS
AT THE START OF ALL THESE SUPERMAN STORIES!?"
The first kid was practically setting himself up for irony with his wish to be "a big shot," a request so nonspecific it's begging to be twisted into something that backfires on him.
"Superman, I'm not crazy about how you said 'big shot' with such deliberate emphasis."
You might be thinking Superman threatens to shoot Maxie out of a catapult or something. Oh dear god, it's so much bigger and crazier than that.
He jams him into a six-gallon bucket and shoots him into space. "HA HA!" he thinks as the boy cries in space. To be clear: Superman got back at a rowdy student by spending hundreds of thousands of dollars to launch him into orbit in a capsule built for a chimpanzee. Which actually seems kind of awesome -- it was only Superman's blind luck that the kid hated it.
The second boy, Louie, wanted to be "king of an empire."
Being exposed as "a welcher" would lead Superman to flee Earth in shame in JLA #142.
King of an empire? So Superman gives him an ant farm or something, right? Oh, you're cute. You're all so cute.
The vegetable people had never been mentioned before and would never be mentioned again.
Superman flies Louie to goddamn Venus, where he makes him king of some kind of vegetable people. "Hold on," you're thinking, "this can't be right." Well it is. He became ruler of the vegetables, and he hated it.
Two of these children have been taken off Earth and traumatized beyond anything they could ever recover from, and we're not even done yet. Artie wanted to become "THE MOVIE'S NO. 1 BOX OFFICE STAR!"
"How can he beat Louie, leading the box office in Attack Of The Killer Tomatoes?"
How could that go wrong? Oh, Artie. Oh, readers. You have no idea the depths of Superman's insanity.
Supes just kept that jewel handy in case he needed to make monsters. As you do.
Superman exposes him to an untested radioactive space jewel that turns him into a monster! And here's what's crazier than that:
Somehow Superman found the one Hollywood producer who saw potential in 10 years worth of movies starring Crybaby Teen Conehead Monster. Superman's world is an unending treadmill of lunacy, and he is only too willing to pull everyone near him into it.
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For more details you probably missed, check out The 6 Most Brutal Murders Committed By Batman and The 7 Most Hilariously Mismatched Superhero Battles.