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Top 10 Shocking Moments In Comic Books

VO: Dan Paradis
*Script Written by Trent Lee Comic Books always feature the most exciting heroes, villains, locations, plot-lines and connected universes. However, the most exciting thing about comics is that they occasionally deliver the completely unexpected! In this list we will focus on the way the top comic books left the audience gasping in disbelief, from main characters dying to heroes suddenly becoming less than heroic. Join WatchMojo.com as we counting down our picks for the top 10 Most Shocking Moments in Comics. Special thanks to our user Roxy for submitting the idea on our WatchMojo.comsuggest page!
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*Script Written by Trent Lee

Top 10 Shocking Moments in Comics


These were the moments that jumped off the page. Welcome to WatchMojo.com and today we’ll be counting down our picks for the top 10 Most Shocking Moments in Comics. In this list we will focus on the way moments unfolded from comic book issues, regardless of how they were portrayed or changed for TV or Cinema.

#10: Magneto rips out Wolverine's skeleton


As fire is weak against water, the outcome of a battle between Magneto and Wolverine would not shock anyone. Wolverine’s skeleton is entirely coated in the fictional metallic alloy adamantium, meaning that Magneto’s mutant ability to manipulate magnetism is especially deadly to him. However, since Magneto has never crossed the line by killing an X-Men this moment came the closest. The sheer horrific image of Wolverine’s skeleton being torn from his body would shock anyone, and the implications for one of Marvel’s most popular characters were equally as troubling. What horrific onslaught would this unleash?

#9: Archie dies saving gay friend


Okay, maybe not the first name you think of when you hear “comic books”, but this was still a doozy. When Archie introduced the first gay character, Kevin Keller, to Riverdale’s idyllic 1960’s time bubble of small town America it caused a storm. But when Archie is killed protecting Keller from an assassin’s bullet it set off an earthquake. It was a risky move to kill off the series’ namesake, Archie Andrews, with no signs of a Superman-like resurrection. Archie’s altruistic act was unmistakably relevant in a time when the American consciousness was still wrestling with gun control and gay marriage.

#8: Joker kills Robin


A Death in the Family is no laughing matter. In this tragic Batman series, Robin AKA Jason Todd is abducted, beat, tortured and blown up by the Bat’s arch-nemesis, the Joker. Readers were actually allowed to call in a vote on the fate of Jason Todd, who had become increasingly unpopular in the comic. Although voting was close, the sheer extent of the torture Todd is put through before his untimely end was enough to make everyone take pause. This, being comics, it wasn’t really the end for Jason, as this series of events set the groundwork for the equally popular Red Hood series.

#7: Marvel's civil war


This was Marvel’s War on Terror, as it challenged our comfort level about national security following the wake of 9/11. The assassinations of members of the Avengers set into motion a government program to reign in costumed heroes and villains. Pitting hero against hero, the shocking moments came thick and fast in Civil War. Iron Man becomes the tyrant for big government, Spider-Man’s is unmasked on television and Captain America’s dies. Although full of heavy handed symbolism, Civil War is also one of the best “what if” scenarios to come out in resent years.

#6: The Watchmen twist ending


Considered by many to be the greatest comic of all time, Watchmen’s gritty realism and prismatic depth make it a serious page turner from start to finish. But, perhaps most shocking’s when ex-cape crusader, Ozymandias, is revealed as the true villain behind an alien attack on earth. Millions were murdered under this pretext of an invasion that would never come to unite earth already on the brink of nuclear holocaust. Ozymandias convinces the Watchmen to see his plot through to the point that Dr. Manhattan kills fellow cape, Rorschach, who threated to go public with it.


#5: Batman beats Superman


It’s been subject of comic book store theory for generations. Finally, legendary writer, Frank Miller answered our prayers. In this titan battle the Dark Knight TKOs the Man of Steel in a surprise upset. Sure he used a suit, but he’s also well into his 50s at this point. Superman’s beat down is billed in modern comic lore as the mortal without powers who defeated a god.
And with these badass lines the Bat immortalized his victory (quote) … and then passes away. Or does he?


# 4: Joker paralyzes Barbra Gordon


Alan Moore delivers yet another provocative panel seared into comic book lore. When Barbara Gordon AKA Batgirl opens her door with her morning coffee she is gunned down by the Joker on the other side as her father, Gotham’s Police Commissioner, Jim Gordon, watched helplessly. It’s one of the most hauntingly effective use of silent panels in comic history. As Barbara lay in a pool of her own blood the violent image of Batgirl’s exposed state and violated home gasped generations of comic readers, paralyzing Barbara, ending Batgirl’s Career and beginning Oracle’s.


#3: Bane broke Batman's back


In yet another iconic scene from the Batman tales, Bane arrived on the scene to claim his place as new force to be reckoned with in the rogue’s gallery. After discerning Batman’s identity, Bane forced Batman into fighting criminals throughout the night as he waited for his return to Wayne manor. When Batman emerged from the Bat Cave exausted and exposed, Bane beat him to a pulp and snapped his back, leaving Batman a paraplegic. And, unlike in the movie, there was no miracle prison chiropractor to help fix him.

# 2: Doomsday and Superman kill each other


In 1994, the DC Universe and the rest of the world along with it bereaved the death of the last son of Krypton, Superman. After their epic battle, the most iconic superhero in comic history was killed by the super adaptive and highly evolved monster experiment, Doomsday. Thankfully, Superman’s death, like his subsequent capeless blue costume, was short-lived before his resurrection. Not only iconic in and of itself, this formula began a precedence of regularly occuring high-profile superhero deaths and resurrections in comics.

Before we unveil our top here are some of our honorable mentions that didn’t make it to the list:

HM. Bucky turns into the Winter Soldier

HM. Iron Man becomes an Alcoholic

HM. Deadpool kills the Marvel Universe

HM. Superman renounces U.S. citizenship

HM. Batman takes Green Lantern's ring

#1: Gwen Stacey’s death


When Green Goblin threw Gwen Stacey off a bridge, Spiderman was in fact able to catch her. However, the sudden stop from being cause by the webbing snapped her neck and killed her instantly, forever changing the comic book universe in the process. This was a major event for a number of reasons. Not only did Spiderman fail to save the girl, but he technically succeeded in what he was trying to do, which was catch her, and she was killed because of it. The death was so sudden and out of place that many mark this is moment as the end of the Silver Age of Comic books, starting comics off on a path to darker and more mature, disturbing themes and ideas, making it an easy pick for our number one most shocking moment in comic book history.

Do you agree with our list? Which shocking moment should belong on our list? For more shocking Top 10s published daily, be sure to subscribe to WatchMojo.com.
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