Movies & TV / Columns

The Scariest Comic Book Characters of All-Time

October 16, 2019 | Posted by Steve Gustafson
Negan The Walking Dead

I’m Steve Gustafson and thanks for stopping by. If you enjoy reading or discussing anything comic book related, you’ve come to the right place. I throw out a subject, you comment below. Easy. Let’s get started. 

Previously on…

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

Tayo Jones: “Scariest story I ever read was the Dr Destiny story from Sandman, where he tortures a diner full of people for 24 hours. The things he does to them is sickening.

And there was the classic TMNT story where Splinnter runs into Rat King, but at the end of the story (spoiler) he discovers that Rat King is dead and he wonders if that was his ghost or an hallucination.”

Gil: “The latest Hulk series: The Immortal Hulk. Some of the visuals are crazy! And the storyline is awesome too.”

Hades209: “Hack/Slash, Rachel Rising and Sandman are some of my all time favorites. Other good scary comics I would add are The Chilling Adventures of Sabrina, Coffin Hill, Black Magick, Wytches, and Revival (also created by Tim Seeley)”

D2Kvirus: “From a manga standpoint, there’s two suggestions: first is the vast majority of Junji Ito’s works, ranging from long-form titles such as Uzumaki and Hellstar Remina to short stories like The Hanging Balloons, The Enigma of Amigara Fault or Layers of Fear. Secondly is Ikigami, where the basic premise is that the government mandates a programme where one in 10,000 children receiving their inoculations before attending school is unknowingly injected with a capsule which will trigger them to have a heart attack at some point before their 21st birthday and their only warning is a knock on the door 24 hours before they die from the series’ main character, and the idea that the government is willing to let a percentage of their population die every year under the guise of crime being reduced as people make more of their lives due to the fear of death and have made the process so bureaucratic that somebody has to sign a waiver form while being told they have 24 hours to live is pretty bloody terrifying”

Wrestling Fan: “What book gives me nightmares, 31 years later?
DC’s Millennium crossover. Yikes, that was bad!”

hybridial: “I can’t really let the mention of manga pass without bringing out that finally Devilman was published fully in English, and to this day is pretty much one of the greatest works of horror fiction ever, certainly in the field of comics at least. Spawn and Hellboy are fine but they don’t quite match up. And if you watched Crybaby and thought it was kind of eh, I would agree, it was kind of disappointing as an adaptation, and you should still check out the manga.”

Mojotheclown: “Not so much the story, but the artwork for Arkham Asylum is worthy of a mention for this category.”

Moody: “What the hell happened to Afterlife with Archie? I loved that series then it just stopped….”

poopsadaisy: “Glenn Danzig’s Verotik had some really horrifying stuff. One particular story, “A Taste of Cherry” crosses the line from horrific to beyond disgusting and is the most offensive thing I’ve ever read. Not recommending it; more so a warning to anybody who might be curious”

The Wild Balogna: “Thank’s for mentioning Rachel Rising. Such an amazing series. I read back through it every Halloween”

Too many great comments to share. Go back and see for yourself. Also, 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.
Someone who would give the Joker a run for his money in the scary department, if he was more well known, is Kid Marvelman, later known as Kid Miracleman. Let me try to explain without going too far for those who don’t know him. Just know that Alan Moore got his hands on him and created one…wicked character. Kid Marvelman is a violent, sadistic sociopath who is near invulnerable. I urge you to look him up and read up on him on your own time. You’ll see what I’m talking about.  

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. Vermin is easily one of the most underrated baddies out there. 

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!