Top 15 WTF Moments in Comics
In a world where giant green rage monsters and talking ducks are a thing of the norm, surely it must be impossible to take things too far, right? In a universe where a sentient street has the power to appear out of nowhere with the sole purpose of spreading joy to those who have nowhere to go, what could possibly be so weird that it’s considered to have gone too far?
Well, grab your lasso of truth and cling onto your magic hammer for dear life people, because clearly, you haven’t seen anything yet… here are the top 15 WTF moments in comics.
1. Superman Makes a Porno
Starting off strong, we have that time the Big Blue Boy Scout almost got himself caught up in a superhero sex scandal.
The story starts in Action Comics #592, when Big Barda – one of the new gods – is caught off guard by a thief after being sexually harassed by a pimp. She pursues the thief but before she has chance to catch him, she’s ambushed by a mind controlling villain known as Sleez (aptly named so as you will soon see).
Next time we see Barda, Sleez is forcing her dance “provocatively” via mind control as he monologues. He reveals himself to be an ex-servant of the Apokoliptic ruler, Darkseid (Barda’s father-in-law), proclaiming that he was exiled from Apokolips when Darkseid deemed him too disgusting even for his standards. Superman being Superman, swoops in to save Barda. But ultimately, he faces the same fate as her.
Later on, we see the two on a set outfitted like a bedroom while an adult film director attempts to direct them. Just as they’re about to kiss, Mister Miracle (Barda’s husband) breaks through the ceiling window and the story ends with Sleez running away and killing himself.
There is so many things wrong with this story. Barda is sexually objectified throughout and Sleez is literally just a superpowered pervert alien. This is also made so much worse given the fact that Barda was originally created by comic legend Jack Kirby as a fictional representation of his wife.
2. Iron Man’s Armour Falls in Love with Him
Next stop on the crazy train, we have a disturbing storyline where Iron Man’s armour falls in love with him and becomes his abuser.
After having some health issues Iron Man restructured his power systems creating a larger ‘safe’ design. Little did he know, the AI he had installed to the armour had also accidentally brought the “Ultron Imperative” along with it. This along with a massive surge of electricity from a combination of Whiplash’s whip and lightning from a storm brought the armour to sentience.
Straight away the red flags began to show as the armour tapped into Tony’s brain and scanned all his memories without permission. It then told Tony, it wanted to make them a “perfect union of man and machine” and confessed its love for its creator. Professing, it had the same feelings for him that Tony had for Rumika Fujikawa (Tony’s love interest at the time).
Despite all these incredibly creepy red flags, Tony still donned the suit to go out on patrol. It wasn’t long before things spiralled out of control. The two crossed paths with Whiplash again and this time the suit overpowered Tony, killing the villain against its creator’s wishes.
At one point it savagely beat Tony to a pulp, when it saw Tony in another suit of armour. Thankfully, this incredibly weird storyline eventually saw its end when the suit (now having built its own synthetic body) ripped its own heart out to save Tony from another heart attack.
3. Batman Uses the Batplane to Lynch a Mental Patient
Remember that time Batman not only broke his own code of ethics, but did so by lynching a mental patient from his Batcopter? No? Ok. You’re going to love this one.
Casual fans everywhere will be able to tell you about Batman’s number one rule. He doesn’t kill anyone. He just captures them and throws them in jail. Right? No not at all. He does kill and he has quite a lot actually. In fact, perhaps one of his worst kills was in his first solo comic, in Batman #1 (1940).
The story begins with Hugo Strange (in his first appearance) breaking free a group of inmates from Arkham Asylum (called Metropolis Insane Asylum at the time). Then injecting them with a serum that transforms them into 15-foot-tall giant, rampaging, “man-monsters”.
Batman is then locked in a cage and injected with the serum. But in true Batman fashion, he escapes. Next, with little regard to his “no killing rule”, Batman punches Strange out of a window and off a cliff and seemingly to his death.
Clearly, this was just the start as Batman not only concocts an antidote he chooses to use only on himself, but he also tricks two man-monsters into killing each other. Then continuing his rampage, he takes the Batplane to pursue the remaining ‘man-monsters’, traps one of them in a noose, and lynches him from the Batplane.
Once the giant is dead, Batman cuts the rope remarking to himself, “he’s probably better off this way”. Gee willikers Batman.
4. The Justice League Makes Wonder Woman their Secretary
Wonder Woman, one of the strongest members of the DC universe. A female icon, showing the men how it’s done. So, why would the Justice League make her their secretary?
Wonder Woman first joined the Justice Society of America as an “honorary member” in All Star Comics #12 (1942). However, instead of taking advantage of her superior strength and putting her on the frontline where the action was, the team side-lined Princess Diana of Themyscrira, as their secretary.
There were reasons for this. One being that the rule with All-Star Comics was that if you had your own comic, you couldn’t be a member of the Justice Society. Meaning they did technically bend the rules just to include her.
Another reason was that Wonder Woman’s original creator William Moulton Marston had demanded full control over the character. The only problem being that Marston was already busy writing or co-writing Wonder Woman stories for three other comics and didn’t have time for the fourth. So, they devised the secretary role to keep her side-lined in order to include her in the All-Star Comics storylines.
But regardless of the reason, the fact her only role in the group was as a secretary still has sexist implications. Had she been a male character they would have no doubt found another way to include the character. Side-lining her as a secretary staying in as the men “go to work” may have been socially acceptable back then but it really hasn’t aged well at all.
5. Professor X’s Crush on a Young Jean Grey
Professor X, founder of the X-Men, mutant rights activist, the world’s best headteacher… at least when he’s not acting like a pervy uncle!
When Jean Grey was first introduced in X-Men #1 (1963), her teammates were falling all over themselves like a bunch of drunk giraffes on roller skates. At the time, Jean only female in the mix it was only natural that she attracted the attention of the males that surrounded her. As one by one each member of the team revealed their feelings.
Cyclops and Angel formed a love triangle rivalry, and the rest of the teammates would also go on to express their admiration for Jean. But the most unexpected and disturbing member to confess his love is the Professor X.
This was hinted at many times, but any suspicions were later confirmed in X-Men #3 when the Professor’s inner monologue tells the reader “As though I could help worrying about the one I love! But I can never tell her! I have no right! Not while I’m the leader of the X-Men and confined to this wheelchair!”.
It is worth noting that Lee and Kirby probably didn’t intend for Xavier to be as old as he is later portrayed to be since he was said to be prematurely bald. But either way he’s still at least 30 years old and Jean Grey is only 16 years old. So, there’s no getting out of this one.
6. Hulk’s Inbred Cannibal Offspring
Here’s a question that literally no one wanted the answer to, what if Hulk and his cousin She-Hulk had a child? Better yet, what if they had multiple inbred cannibal offspring?
In the universe where Old Man Logan exists, the villains have taken over and the heroes are basically shells of their former selves. As a result, the world they live in is pretty messed up. Red Skull is the president of the United States, man-eating moloids destroy cities sinking them from underground and Ultron is a car mechanic for some reason??
But one of the strangest and most disturbing parts of this reality is what became of everyone’s favourite giant green rage monster, The Hulk. Just like the regular Bruce Banner, Old Man Logan’s version also started his days as a hero. But an unknown event caused a drastic change within him turning him into an evil permanent Hulk.
After taking California from the rule of his old nemesis, the Abomination. Hulk decides he wants to spread his “seed”. So, wanting to keep his bloodline “pure”, the deeply disturbed Old Man Hulk mates with the only gamma radiated woman he knows, his cousin, She-Hulk.
The result of this twisted union is “The Hulk Gang”, a group of hillbilly, trucker hat wearing, cannibal, inbred Hulks. Most of which being Hulk’s grandchildren, the result of two generations of incest, UGH!
7. Arm Fall off Boy (Splitter)
I’m going to go out on a limb here and say that the next entry on our list is probably the most ridiculous comic book character ever.
Arm Fall of boy is a DC superhero with the ability (or disability depending on how you look at it) to detach his limbs and use them as blunt weapons to beat his opponents with. It’s unknown how exactly he got these powers, but it’s been said that he got them while being careless with the anti-gravity metal element 152.
He once tried to join the Legion of Super-Heroes at the first legion try out but he failed miserably (for obvious reasons) and ended up being the first not to make the cut.
Another rendition of the character appeared after the Zero Hour reboot. This time known as Splitter aka Floyd Belkin of the planet Lallor. Splitter enters the Legion try-outs just like the previous rendition of the character, but he literally falls apart under the pressure of the last test.
He can also be seen in this year’s DC Comics movie The Suicide Squad under the name T.D.K. (The Detachable Kid). Nevertheless, it doesn’t matter how many times the character is reinvented he will never be one we can take seriously and judging by his humorous inclusion in The Suicide Squad, DC is well aware of this.
8. Deadpool vs. Undead presidents
As a hitman for hire, the Merc with a mouth has always been chasing dead presidents. But what about when dead presidents chase him?
What would a comic book WTF moments list be without Deadpool? We could easily make a whole list on his WTF moments alone and we probably will… But for now, let’s talk about the time our favourite Canadian contract killer went toe to toe with a horde of reanimated dead American presidents.
The story starts in Deadpool Vol. 5 #1 (November 2012), when a kilt wearing S.H.I.E.L.D. agent with good intentions uses a magical textbook to reanimate the corpse of every dead American president. As you can imagine, instead of helping the state of the country like the man hoped, they decided to destroy it.
After witnessing Wade kill a superpowered zombie Franklin D. Roosevelt, a high ranking S.H.I.E.L.D. agent offers him “a couple million dollars” to put them all to rest (again). The undead presidents all possess the same strengths and weakness that they did when they were alive. JFK still has a bit of a weakness for the ladies, Teddy Roosevelt is an avid huntsman and Gerry Ford is a bit of a doofus.
With guidance from the ghost of Benjamin Franklin – who to Wade’s confusion was never president – Wade tracks them all down. The last president Wade takes on is George Washington. A brawl which ends with Wade ripping his head off and punting it like a football.
9. Lois Lane is Racist?
They say you have to walk a mile in somebody’s shoes to understand their struggles. However, I think it’s safe to say Lois Lane took it a step too far with this one…
During the silver age of comics, Lois Lane headlined her own title by the name of Superman’s Girlfriend Lois Lane. This wasn’t a throwaway comic that ran for a few issues either. It was pretty successful comic that ran for an impressive 15 years! That being said, the comics were stuffed with incredibly weird and offensive, albeit amusing moments.
One of the weirdest and most offensive moments happened in Superman’s Girlfriend Lois Lane #106. In this issue, Lois takes a trip to “Little Africa” for an assignment. It’s unclear what her exact aim is other than “to win a Pulitzer Prize” for “telling it like it is!” (Whatever that means?).
However, when she gets there, she’s shocked to find that nobody wants anything to do with her. So, naturally, Lois decides that the only way to get black people to talk to her is to use Superman’s molecular transmogrifier to turn herself black for a day.
The whole issue is just filled with patronising, problematic moments. But the worst part comes at the end when Lois asks Superman if he’d marry her if she stayed black forever. Superman awkwardly avoids answering the question directly telling her he’s an alien “a universal outsider”, to which Lois replies “but your skin is the right colour”. Seriously Lois?
10. Marvel Ultimatum
Cannibalism, multiple murders, and the death of a whole country. This was probably the most bloody and violent storyline in Marvel’s entire publication history…
This is not really a WTF moment. It’s a crossover event filled with so many WTF moments that we couldn’t possibly go without mentioning it. It took place in the ultimate universe that was created as a “modernised” reboot of the original Marvel universe. The ultimatum event was originally meant to put an end to the ultimate universe, but they later decided to continue the comics in the event’s aftermath.
The event itself, was just a non-stop litany of destruction and bloody deaths that would give even the likes of Freddy Kruger nightmares. It all began with Magneto causing global natural disasters through shifting the poles of the earth resulting in the death of millions of people. The whole of Latveria was frozen to a standstill! Before long, everyone was engaged in a full-scale war, and they didn’t hold back on the gore either!
In a particularly famous comic panel, The Blob pulls The Wasp in two before eating her before saying “tastes like chicken”. Giant-Man then eats The Blob in retaliation. In another panel, Dormammu wraps himself around Dr. Strange’s body so tightly his head literally explodes. This is just naming a few of the gruesome deaths in this event!
11. Joker eats china
The Joker is given God level superpowers and free rein to create a reality in his own image. The result? One of the most twisted realities in the DC multiverse.
The Joker is another character that could quite easily have a WTF moment list all of his own. But this particular moment is probably one of the weirdest moments in dc comics history. The storyline starts in Superman #160, when we’re brought into one of the weirdest and backwards DC alternate realities we’ve ever seen.
In this reality, everything happens in a continuous time loop, everyday Superman escapes from Arkham Asylum and is captured by Bizarro (who is a member of this universe’s Justice League), and everyday Lois Lane (who is basically a female version of Lex Luthor in this universe) refuses to help him.
It’s later revealed that all of this began when the clown prince of crime tricked Mister Mxyzptlk into giving him 99% of his 5th dimensional powers giving birth to the version of Joker known as Emperor Joker, who then used this power to recreate the universe in his own image.
As you’d expect from a homicidal maniac with the power of a god, he committed some pretty atrocious things. But by far the worst thing that Emperor Joker did was when he decided to wipe out the whole of China and eat their skulls out of a Chinese takeout container using chopsticks! All while making mildly racist jokes in the process!… Really DC? WTF?!
How do you take one of the biggest threats to the entire multiverse and make him goofy and not intimidating at all?
Thanos is one of the most powerful villains of all time. A being durable enough to resist the phoenix force and physically strong enough to beat The Hulk! He’s literally powerful – and heartless – enough to destroy entire planets. The look on face alone is enough to strike fear into even the bravest of heroes’ hearts.
But if there’s one thing that destroys his whole mystique and turns him into a complete laughingstock, then it’s the Thanoscopter. The Thanoscopter first appeared in Spidey Super Stories #39, which was a comic for the younger crowd. So, if that was its only appearance then we MAY have been able to give it a pass, but being as it has returned since then, that pass is definitely revoked.
Most comic book vehicles are goofy (apart from the Batmobile of course!) and make little sense but the Thanoscopter is hands down the most ridiculous comic book vehicle of all time. Not only does he look absolutely stupid in it, but it serves no purpose at all! It doesn’t have any weapons or special abilities, It’s just a regular helicopter with Thanos written on the side.
Combine all of this with the fact that Thanos can already fly on his own and this makes the introduction of the Thanoscopter one of the dumbest comic book moments of all time.
13. Wonder Woman Vs Egg FU
Next up, we have one of the most offensive comic book characters of all time. An extremely racist caricature, who just also happens to be a giant communist egg (no, seriously).
Egg Fu saw his debut in Wonder Woman #157 (1965), and he is without question one of the most offensive comic book characters of all time. He is literally just every Asian stereotype rolled into one and stuffed inside a giant egg, sporting a look directly ripped from an anti-Japanese wartime propaganda poster.
They didn’t stop there either, his dialogue was written in the style of a racist Chinese accent, swapping the Ls and Rs, and adding phrases like “Hee-ho” randomly throughout his speech. The name Egg Fu alone is enough to raise eyebrows by today’s standards (a mix of the Chinese dish Egg Foo and the word Kung Fu).
Egg Fu isn’t the only racist thing about the story either. The whole thing is written with an anti-Asian wartime propaganda racist mentality. At one point we see Steve Trevor think to himself “got to send these chopstick Charlies into dreamland” as he punches a Chinese soldier in the face.
Even without the racism the character is ridiculously stupid. A giant communist egg permanently stuck in the ground with a moustache that serves as his arms? Really? I think it’s safe to say that this is one of those weird old comics I think everybody just wishes they could forget especially DC Comics themselves!
14. Supergirl Dates Comet the Superhorse
In this weird silver age story Supergirl was groomed by a telepathic horse and falls in love with him.
It all began in Action Comics #292. When Supergirl starts having weirdly erotic dreams about a flying horse (who she names Comet) saving her from aliens. After days of pining over her “dream stallion” barely being able to focus on anything else, her parents take her to a dude ranch.
There she meets a horse that looks identical to Comet. The horse reveals (via telepathy) that he was actually a centaur named Biron from ancient Greece that wanted to become human but instead ended up being turned into a horse imbued with superpowers.
Biron was exiled to a comet where he lived for 1000s of years until the rocket that brought Supergirl to earth hit it causing him to follow her to earth. Making matters weirder, we find out those dreams were comet trying to impress her. Not only this, but he’d actually been spying on her for years watching her grow!
Comet the Superhorse is eventually granted his wish to turn human by an alien. The catch being that it’s only temporarily when a shooting star appears. He chooses to keep this from Supergirl so he can finally be with her.
Supergirl inevitably falls in love with him in his human form (bearing in mind she’s still a schoolgirl) and begins to fantasise about marrying him. Leaving us with one of the weirdest comic book moments of all time.
15. Captain Marvel Gives Birth to the Man that Raped Her
In one of the worst Avengers stories of all time. We see Ms. Marvel trapped in a deeply disturbing incestuous time loop that makes no sense at all.
It all started in Avengers #197 when Ms. Marvel (her name back then) is revealed to be 3 months pregnant without her knowledge. Even weirder, the very next day she is at the point she would be at 6 months into her pregnancy.
As Avengers #200 opens we see Carol going into labor (after only 3 days of pregnancy). In the same vein as her pregnancy, the child grows at an alarming rate and by the time she goes to see him he’s a full-grown adult.
He claimed to be the son of an alternate version of Kang the Conqueror who was born into a place outside of time called Limbo and when his father died, he was left in Limbo alone for an eternity without the option of coming to earth. Explaining his mere presence would “cause an irreparable disruption of the local time-stream”.
So, he came up with a plan to kidnap a woman from Earth, take her to limbo, impregnate her with himself and be born outside of limbo. After he was finished with Carol, he wiped her memory and sent her back.
To make matter worse, after hearing all of this Carol still travels back to limbo in a machine her rapist son builds. As far as weird Marvel comics go this one clearly takes the cake.
What are your favourite WTF moments in comics? Did we miss any out? Let us know in the comment section below!