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Comics 411: The Scariest Comic Book Characters

October 10, 2018 | Posted by Steve Gustafson

I’m Steve Gustafson and thanks for stopping by. Don’t forget to check out 411mania’s Comic Book Review Roundtable, every Thursday! Read up on the best reviews and let us know what you’re reading as well. Click to read the latest Comic Book Review Roundtable! Heroes in Crisis #1, Doomsday Clock #7, and more!

Now, on with the show!

Last week we discussed our The Scariest Comic Books Ever. Here’s what some of you had to say:

D2Kvirus: “Off the top of my head/comic book collection I can think of…

Revivial not only combined plenty of nightmare fuel in the scenario itself and some of the imagery, but also some adult fears such as the resurrected child who’s a walking trauma bomb for her parents.

Several of the comics by Brubaker & Phillips can be downright terrifying, be it the Eldritch horrors beneath the surface of Fatale or the uncertainty of what’s real, what’s paranoia and what’s delusion in Kill or Be Killed

While I barely remember the story itself, the first comic that sprang to mind when seeing the headline was Green Wake due to it’s freaky art style and disturbing imagery

Also, even though we’re only a couple of issues into the run, Cold Spots certainly knows how to fill its frames with dread to enhance the story’s creepiness

Oh, and then there’s basically everything Junji Ito’s ever written.’

prowriter: “Yeah Crossed is less scary than man how is a comic and not something out of Heavy Metal. It’s truly sick. Caligula: Heart of Rome is another wowser kind of comic. Surgeon X is a great comic, primarily because it deals with the all-too real fear: a future where most antibiotics no longer work, and the few that do are rationed. There’s also Beauty, a comic about a STD that grants the infected supermodel looks with a price: they will at some point spontaneously combust. Then there’s Eclipse, where sunlight can instantly kill the exposed due to a massive solar flare that’s turned the outer world into an unlivable mess. People live underneath major cities, only venturing out in air-conditioned suits.”

redraptor: “As a slasher fan I like Hack/Slash or the Friday the 13th series Dynamite did a few years back and the Jason v Freddy v Ash stories. Somebody did a four issue series with Evil Dead around the same time that basically served as a “directors cut” of the movie. All great reads.

Nailbiter started really well, but I fell off after I moved so I cant speak to how it wrapped-up.

’68 is solid too. Starts better than it ends, but still fun zombie action.”

mcdropkick: “If you’d like a good horror manga, I suggest The Enigma of Amigara Fault. Human shaped holes are scattered across the mountain, and it soon becomes clear that the holes are “calling” to the people they are shaped like.”

To read all the comments or to read last week’s column, CLICK HERE! As always, thanks for the input!

This week we discuss…

The Scariest Comic Book Characters

Spooky themed column October continues! This week we take a look at some of the scarier comic book characters out there. There’s plenty to choose from but these make my list.

Growing up, Tales from the Crypt Zombie from E.C. Comics scared me on looks alone but let’s start with the Joker. Easily the first character you think of when it comes to horrifying behavior in comics. The Joker is the polar opposite of Batman. Both were created by a great tragedy, but Batman has since vowed to do whatever it takes to prevent similar incidents, the Joker revels in creating chaos and destroying lives, believing that life’s a big joke and psychotically demonstrating that in a moment, it can all change. From killing Jason Todd (sort of) to Alan Moore’s The Killing Joke, the Joker is without equal when it comes to scary. The man cut off his own face and then wore it was a mask. That alone gets him on the list.

Comic books are littered with the classic monsters like the Werewolf, Frankenstein’s Monster, and Dracula. I’d put Bernie Wrightson’s Frankenstein from IDW Publishing on the list along with Morbius, the Living Vampire and Werewolf by Night. Note, their earlier stories are much creepier than their modern ones.

The devil makes his rounds as well across a number of publishers. In comics, a wide spectrum of demon related characters have popped up like Mephisto, who have both battled our superheroes and put the fear in us. Add in Trigon, Surtur, Satana, and the Violator, who can all claim terror from from some aspect of hell.

While Marvel’s The Zombie is scary, I’d put The Walking Dead’s The Governor and Negan as scarier. Both villains proved to readers that it wasn’t only the undead who they should be afraid of. Both villains have intense, horrific moments under their belt and were just as dreaded just as much as any monster on the list.

While Swamp Thing and Man-Thing may not come to mind at first, each have been involved in creepy stories and used in effective spooky ways.

Other standouts that come to mind are Vermin and Man-Bat. Again, while they have been used in inconsistent ways, they’ve been in stories that showed they can be truly terrifying to readers. Vermin’s backstory and subsequent evil deeds are the stuff horror films are made of.

Rounding out my list is Saint of Killers and Sadu-Hem. The Saint of Killers first appeared in the pages of Preacher and was a heartless murderer, who is transformed into the Angel of Death under the condition that he takes up the role of collecting the souls of those who die by violence. His presence was heavy and his purpose was clear. A memorable villain and even scarier presence. Making his appearance in Hellboy, the Sadu-Hem was one of the 369 Ogdru Hem, the children of the Ogdru Jahad. No spoilers but to find out why he’s on the list, pick up Hellboy: Seed of Destruction #1.

Who makes your scary comic book character list?

That’s all the time I have. Check out our Comic Book Reviews tomorrow and see you next week!