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Top 10 Most Disturbing Marvel Moments

VO: Adrian Sousa WRITTEN BY: Thomas O'Connor
The life of a superhero sure isn’t easy. Welcome to WatchMojo, and today we’re counting down our picks for the Top 10 Most Disturbing Moments In Marvel Comics. For this list, we’re looking back at some of the darkest days ever faced by the heroes of the Marvel Universe, and moments where the funnybooks might have gone too far.
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The life of a superhero sure isn’t easy. Welcome to WatchMojo, and today we’re counting down our picks for the Top 10 Most Disturbing Moments In Marvel Comics.

For this list, we’re looking back at some of the darkest days ever faced by the heroes of the Marvel Universe, and moments where the funnybooks might have gone too far.

#10: Carnage Kills his Parents' Dog


The man who would one day become the villain Carnage was already a nasty customer before he bonded with the alien Symbiote and started menacing Spider-Man. Not only did a young Cletus Kasady push his own grandmother down a flight of stairs, but he even tortured and killed his parents’ dog with a power drill. Kasady’s origin is often re-told, but this graphic moment is shocking nonetheless. Kasady’s reign of terror was only just beginning, but the fact that he was still just a child makes this among his most disturbing acts of violence.

#9: Iron Man's Armor Becomes Obsessed with Him


Iron Man has frequently equipped his armor with cutting-edge AI to help him control the complex technology that powers his suits. But sometimes that technology can backfire, as fictional AIs do with startling regularity. After one of his suits was struck by lightning during a battle and gained full sentience, it became obsessed with its wearer and even took the life of the villain Whiplash when it started to act more like a crazed stalker. Later on, it even tried to supplant Tony as Iron Man, leading to a climactic battle between the hero and his iconic armor. How often do superheroes get to fight their own costumes?

#8: Spider-Man is Abused as a Child


Marvel has often tried to address serious issues like drug addiction and child abuse, and the results have been rather mixed. In one story intended to raise awareness for child abuse, the webhead revealed to a young abuse victim that he himself was abused as a child when an older schoolmate named Skip tried to touch Peter inappropriately. The story is well-meaning in its attempts to alert children to the dangers out there, and how to talk to your parents and friends about incidents like these. But like a lot of these stories, it hasn’t aged particularly well.

#7: Bruce Banner gets Assaulted at the YMCA


And speaking of stories that have aged spectacularly poorly, this unsavory scene from a 1980 issue of “The Hulk” saw Bruce Banner being assaulted by two stereotypically gay men. Unsurprisingly for someone who spends a lot of his time on the run, Bruce has spent a night or two at the YMCA. During one such visit, he was confronted and nearly raped in the shower by two aggressive men in a scene that positively reeks of “gay panic”. Now, we’re not saying that incidents of assault like this can’t be addressed in an interesting or insightful way, but unfortunately, the scene mostly comes off as sensationalist and more than a little homophobic.

#6: The Deaths in Ultimatum


Marvel’s Ultimate line of comics focused on younger, cooler, edgier versions of famous Marvel heroes, and it was a fairly successful venture by the House of Ideas. But there were definitely times when the Ultimate Universe got too edgy for its own good, and the “Ultimatum” storyline was one of them. In one grisly scene, The Blob actually ate The Wasp, an act that her ex-husband Giant Man retaliated for by biting off Blob’s head. The series kept racking up a serious body count from there, often killing off characters with disturbingly casual brutality. Years later, it remains a low point for the Ultimate Universe.

#5: Kraven's Last Hunt


It can be kinda hard to take longtime Spider-Man villain Kraven the Hunter seriously sometimes. After all, this is the guy who runs around in a lion pelt and jaguar-print pants claiming to be the world’s greatest hunter. But if there’s one story that tries to inject some life into the villain, it’s this one. The story begins when Kraven seemingly kills the webhead, and takes over his identity, running around New York looking to prove he can out-Spider-Man Spider-Man. The real webhead eventually returned and set things right, prompting Kraven to return home and commit suicide. Yikes.

#4: Gwen Stacy's Affair with Norman Osborn


The death of Spider-Man’s first great love Gwen Stacy remains a pivotal part of the wallcrawler’s history, and any story that seeks to revisit the character needs to be measured and tasteful. Too bad this storyline was anything but. After Gwen’s twin children suddenly appear, it’s revealed that Gwen had a steamy affair with Norman Osborn. Remember, incidentally, that Gwen was barely out of high school and Norman must have been in his 40s. As if the idea wasn’t bad enough, there was even a sex scene where Norman’s face briefly changed into that of his Goblin persona. If anyone needs us, we’ll be scrubbing our eyeballs with soap.

#3: Ultimate Quicksilver and Scarlet Witch


Remember a few entries back where we said that the Ultimate universe could be too edgy for its own good? Get ready for example number two. The Ultimate versions of longtime Avengers Quicksilver and Scarlet Witch were more or less carbon copies of their regular Marvel Universe counterparts except for one crucial detail: that the two were in a romantic relationship. That’s right, before Jamie and Cersei, we had Wanda and Pietro. But just like on “Game of Thrones”, the relationship just seems weird and creepy, to say nothing of how it added an entirely unnecessary and sensationalist angle to the new characters that absolutely nobody wanted.

#2: Hank Pym Hits the Wasp


In a moment that has haunted the otherwise happy couple ever since, this infamous encounter saw two of the founding members of The Avengers engaged in a nasty incidence of spousal abuse. During a heated argument, Hank Pym, going by Yellowjacket at the time, dealt a vicious blow to his wife The Wasp, backhanding her in a panel that now lives in infamy. Obviously, this incident has haunted the pair ever since, casting a dark shadow over one of the major pairings in the Marvel universe. Obviously, their marriage was ended soon after, though the pair attempted reconciliation several times in the following years.

#1: Carol Danvers Gives Birth to Her Own Rapist


What were they thinking with this one? After the Avenger Ms. Marvel, aka Carol Danvers, became suddenly and inexplicably pregnant, she gave birth to a baby boy who matured overnight into a man named Marcus. Marcus then explained that he was from a timeless dimension called Limbo, and gained access to our world by impregnating Ms. Marvel with himself by briefly bringing her to Limbo and using a machine to influence her mind, compelling her to sleep with him. If this all wasn’t creepy enough, the Avengers even watched happily as Carol and Marcus returned to Limbo together, even though he’d just explained how he kidnapped and raped her. When she finally returned, she let her supposed teammates have it.
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