5 Comic Book Villains Too Disturbing for Movies
In the colorful world of comic book adventures, you’re only really as good as your villains, and superhero movies are no exception. Case in point: Spider-Man tangled with the Green Goblin, Doc Ock, Sandman, Venom, the Lizard, and Electro, Batman had to butt heads with the likes of the Joker, Catwoman, Two-Face, Scarecrow, Bane, and Ra’s al-Ghul, and Superman’s enemies include Lex Luthor, Lex Luthor, Lex Luthor, Richard Pryor, Lex Luthor, General Zod, and, in the near future, Lex Luthor.
Still, not all comic book bad guys are lucky enough to make it to Hollywood. Furthermore, despite the fact that losers like Whiplash and Coldblood somehow managed to stumble their way into the Iron Man films, there are just some villains who are really better off staying as far away from the silver screen as possible.
Off the top of my head, I can think of three reasons why a comic book villain would (should?) be banned from ever making it to any live-action adaptation. The first reason would be if the villain were too ridiculous to take seriously – while I won’t deny that there’s something hilariously appealing about a Spider-Man vs Leap-Frog & the Walrus movie, I don’t think it’ll help get the wall-crawler out of the unfortunate mess his cinematic future is currently in.
Villains who are unfortunate products of their time (with the exception of the Mandarin – except at this point, we’re not even really sure who he is, right?) are an entirely different category of “Bad Guys Who Have Absolutely No Business Being in a Comic Book Flick.” (That’s probably why no one’s really clamoring for Egg-Fu to be in the Wonder Woman movie.)
As for the third reason, well… There are some comic book villains that may be a bit too, er, messed up for the general, happily normal superhero movie audience. Here are five really twisted examples.
The Mindworm had the ability to control minds, a really large head, and terrible hygiene. (That’s three superpowers, right there.)
After accidentally killing his mother when his powers first manifested, he was transferred to an orphanage, where he was bullied relentlessly until he learned to use his powers to his advantage. Unfortunately, because this is the world of comic book insanity, the Mindworm decided to turn to crime, instead of resorting to more peaceful and practical ways of using his mind-control powers. I don’t know. These types *always* seem to go out of their way just to get their daily dose of Get-My-Ass-Kicked.
Too bad for Mindworm, though, because he ended up facing off against the Amazing Spider-Man, a.k.a. Mr. I’ll-Kick-Your-Teeth-In-While-I-Make-Fun-Of-Your-Fashion-Sense.
After Spidey defeated him, he tried to swear off his life of villainy. Sadly, after failing to get his shit straightened out, the Mindworm became a drunk wanderer who lost control of his powers, subconsciously putting everyone around him in a crappy mood. Eventually, the bastard fell prey to a gang of street thugs who promptly murdered his sorry derriere.
In summary, he was a melting pot of negativity who became such a downer that people had to put him out of his misery just to end theirs.
Good God, is that depressing or what.
4. The Thousand
Ever wonder what happened to the spider that bit Peter Parker? (After it bit Silk, I mean.)
Carl King was one of Peter’s old high school bullies. He also held the distinction of being the only person at the experiment where Peter gained his powers who was smart enough to put two and two together and deduce that Peter and Spider-Man were one and the same.
Sadly, Carl was a self-entitled little shit, and he believed that HE should have been the recipient of the spider’s amazing powers. He proceeded to break into the exhibition area that same night and EAT the spider that bit Peter.
His plan worked, I guess, if his objective was to have thousands of radioactive hell spiders in his stomach eat his internal organs and wear his skin as a shambling mass of hatred.
The spiders bonded with his consciousness, consumed Carl’s loved ones, and jumped from person to person, trying to find Peter to bond with HIM and live his life. Man, between this guy and Doctor Octopus, I think I’d take Otto any day.
His career as the collective noun for “a group of sentient, murderous hate-arachnids” ended when he was electrocuted during his first, last, and only actual showdown with Spider-Man.
Carl’s consciousness managed to escape his, er, shocking death, and lived on in a single spider. He quickly crawled away, plotting his revenge… and casually getting squashed under a random New Yorker’s foot.
A thousand dreams of world domination, crushed by an uncaring foot. Such tragedy.
Son of major Avengers pain-in-the-ass-from-the-far-future Immortus, Marcus Immortus decided to ditch Limbo and head to Earth, because being the son of a time-traveling supervillain significantly increases the likelihood of you making stupid life decisions.
He also knew that he had to be physically *born* on Earth so as not to disrupt the timestream (ah, comic book logic), so he used his powers to make the Avenger Ms. Marvel fall in love with him, impregnated her with his essence, and came out of her as her own kid.
Yeah, I’ll give you a few moments to let that sink in.
He grew faster than and, in a move that would have made Ozymandias proud, explained his entire ruse to Ms Marvel, who… beat the tar out of him? Tore his head off? Punched him through dimensional barriers and back to where he came from?
Nope, she fell in love with him. Yep, only in a comic book, ladies and gentlemen.
Surprisingly, the Avengers were okay with Ms Marvel ditching the team – and Earth – for her rapist, er, son, er, lover. Whatever. She followed him into Limbo, but soon returned to Earth after coming to her senses. She got really, really mad at the Avengers, and opted to stay at Professor Xavier’s mansion instead, because clearly, she had yet to reach her quota of people who had the ability to mess with her mind at that point.
One of Darkseid’s flunkies, Sleez was… well, a complete sleaze.
Not surprisingly, Sleez came from the sewers of Armagetto on Apokolips. That’s cosmic talk for “Good heavens, what were they smoking at the DC offices?”, and as disgusting an origin story as any DC character could possibly get.
Sleez’s disturbing antics and penchant for utter depravity somehow appealed to Darkseid enough to give him a promotion. However, even the Dark Lord of Apokolips has limits, and he soon banished Sleez to Earth for managing to be even more twisted and vile than Darkseid himself ever wanted to be.
Mentally controlling Superman and Big Barda and manipulating them into making a low-quality porno flick was pretty much his crowning achievement during his pathetic career. Thankfully, Barda’s wife Mister Miracle arrived just in time to save the comic book from an R-rating.
Sleez would eventually meet his demise via his own torture device in another tussle with Superman, proving that there really is such a thing as karma.
Kid Marvelman was the young and enthusiastic sidekick of Marvelman, the superhero of choice for Alan Moore fans and people who want to sound like comic book historians.
After being part of a secret experiment – the same experiment that created Marvelman/Miracleman, whichever name you prefer – young Johnny Bates gained the power to switch bodies with a powerful cellular replicate in a ridiculously horrible yellow costume.
After a dream simulation session went terribly wrong, Kid Marvelman escaped from the facility where he was being held for tests, grew up to become a corporate hotshot, and slowly but steadily descended into batshit craziness and wanton brutality.
Johnny’s gruesome and destructive actions were put to a grinding halt when the Kid Marvelman persona was buried deep within his psyche; the little snot was subsequently sent to an orphanage. Sadly, the kids there were downright terrible to him, so Johnny returned the favor when his long-suppressed Kid Marvelman persona re-emerged (and by “return the favor” I meant “brutally slaughtered everyone in sight”).
In the end, Marvelman had to do the heroic thing and kill his friend and sidekick (while in Johnny Bates form, no less). Unfortunately, the damage that their final battle did to London was irreparable, and Johnny’s death would haunt Marvelman for the rest of his life.