Throughout the history of comic books, there have always been a few concrete truths shared between all graphic novels: where there is good, there is evil; where there is a problem, there is an ongoing effort to find a solution. As with most protagonists, they are not just born for the sake of doing good – rather, trying to find the root of their life’s problem by taking down crime lords that were tied to a rather disturbing incident from their childhood (or something amazingly similar to fit the plotline). What you may not have realized, is that most of these superheroes we looked up to are actually selfish assholes.
Frank Castle, albeit known as an anti-hero, is a vigilante. His ‘save the day’ methods are more than tying burglars to a lamppost and leaving a note for the police – No; they usually involve kidnapping, extortion, and murder. The roots of Punisher’s problems come from the all too typical family getting murdered scenario. After Punisher gets revenge on his family’s killers, he doesn’t just stop there. He wages a full out war on the mob, and frankly any criminal that pisses him off on any given day. Although the Punisher is an asshole, he’s also pretty damn entertaining to watch.
Bruce Wayne is another shining example of a normal guy (although filthy rich) driven to superhero status after the death of his parents. When he witnessed his parents get murdered, he took an oath to get revenge on not only the person solely responsible for the murder, but criminals in general. Batman is an asshole in both of his personas. Bruce Wayne is a billionaire playboy, with a smart-ass personality. As Batman, he would race down a city street in the Batmobile, endangering people’s lives and blowing up cars with errant use of his car’s weaponry and not even batting an eye about it.
Guy Gardner was a core member of Green Lantern’s crew. Following the superhero trend, Guy had family issues. His father was a raging alcoholic that beat Guy, so as a kid he felt the need to excel in school to impress his father and win his approval. After failing to impress his father, Guy decided to be a juvenile delinquent and get a bowl cut. After the teen-angst phase, Guy starts to be a genuinely nice human being. When Justice League International was established, Guy was a founding member – but he was extremely jealous of Batman’s leadership of the group, so he made a dick-move and challenged Batman to a fistfight, during which Batman basically one-punched him just to shut him up. After that, Guy was all about arguing with his fellow JLI mates until one day he quit due to being ‘belittled’ by Superman.
Tony Stark, aka Iron Man is an asshole in his own right. A natural businessman and capitalist extraordinaire, his ascension from regular billionaire to superhero status was brought on only after being kidnapped and suffering a heart trauma. His captors forced him to build a badass weapon, which turned out to be a suit of armor with some special weaponry. What really makes Tony Stark an admirable asshole is the fact that he has continued to roll out products for profit.
John Hancock is a scruffy homeless looking man. A drunk with superpowers that he uses to occasionally rescue people from harm, Hancock is incredibly careless and destructive. Due to his drinking problem, he seems to have trouble getting motivated to do much good for anyone. Throughout the storyline Hancock seems to put forth the effort to improve his public image with the help of a publicist, however he always seems to find himself reverting back to the same old self-destructive bad attitude.
Remy LeBeau is a Louisianan with a bad mullet. He harnesses tremendous amounts of energy and channels it into objects, making him quite a versatile weapon. His weapon of choice is playing cards (honestly, who throws cards?) Aside form that, turning against the X-Men crew and being generally delinquent define the latter part of his career made him a real asshole.
Michael Jon Carter is one of the most ridiculous characters ever created. Known as a showboating glory-hog from the future, his antics usually included staging heroic acts by using his knowledge of the past (or in this case, the present) to obtain fame and notoriety. Also, he wore one of the most outrageous costumes, which kind of put him up as a valid candidate as one of the biggest assholes in the superhero universe.
Edward Morgan Blake was another vigilante that had superhero ambitions. Over the years Blake became quite the patriot and hero to the United States. The Comedian was depicted wearing a leather outfit and a mask over his eyes. What makes the Comedian borderline evil is his willingness to murder anyone he wants with no remorse. Also, he made an attempt to rape Sally Jupiter. Total asshole.
Superman is nearly invincible. The only thing that can kill him is a special chunk of rock called Kryptonite. So where do we get a chunk of this incredibly powerful rock? We can’t! The planet it comes from is destroyed. Additionally, Superman has some other issues – split personality, girl problems, and lets not forget about the fact that he’s an alien. Superman is not incredibly helpful in society. Some people would argue that he goes way too easy on criminals. For example, Lex Luthor is seemingly able to get out of prison time and time again and Superman does nothing to prevent it.
The Incredible Hulk
Bruce Banner is the Incredible Hulk — a man that will walk into a dangerous situation, “Hulk out” and destroy anything in his wake. His transformation into the Hulk is completely involuntary, so anything that upsets him will make him freak out and go nuts. He gets himself into ridiculous predicaments and causes a great deal of grief to the public, mainly through unnecessary destruction of property.
The Green Lantern
Hal Jordon was quite the character. As the Green Lantern he was a seemingly average superhero, which gave him some points in the good books – up until he became Parallax when he discovered his hometown was destroyed. Parallax, the gigantic alien bug, somehow ended up killing all of the Green Lantern members, as well as any of his remaining friends, which honestly was a real dick-move.
The Suicide Squad
The Suicide Squad consisted of Jess Bright, Dr. Hugh Evans, Rick Flag, Jr., and Karin Grace. They had no super powers whatsoever, which is somewhat troubling from the get-go. The Suicide Squad’s membership was usually a rotating cast of characters, including low-life criminals that would take on missions for the Suicide Squad in exchange for early prison releases. If they were truly superheroes, and not assholes, they wouldn’t accept bribes in exchange for dirty work.