[[quoteright:250:[[ComicBook/{{Asterix}} http://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/untitled-11_2962.png]]]]
[[caption-width-right:250:[-[[SelfParody "Why don't you, like, you know, have the druid inventing modern gadgets?"]]-] ]]

* In comics, this move is most famous for Franchise/{{Batman}}. After the end of the ''Series/{{Batman}}'' TV series, it became apparent the campy tone had burnt out, and DC realized a change was needed quickly. With Denny O'Neil's writing and predominantly Neal Adams's gothic and realistic art, Batman was made a darkly fearsome night stalker much like he was in the original stories before he was softened for kids. Later, in the mid-80s, Creator/FrankMiller's ''Comicbook/BatmanTheDarkKnightReturns'' overclocked this to dangerous levels.
** The shift also carried over to Batman's RoguesGallery, most notably ComicBook/TheJoker, who had been written as a comical "Clown Prince of Crime", but now returned to his [[MonsterClown psychotic murderous]] roots and building up one of the largest body counts in the DC Universe (only being outdone by alien societies and villains with near-god level power).
** In the '90s the ComicBook/{{Batgirl}} mantle was passed from Barbara Gordon to [[ComicBook/{{Batgirl 2000}} Cassandra Cain]], a character who came complete with a much darker origin (she's a mute [[{{Tykebomb}} trained from birth to be an assassin]]) and a costume that wouldn't look out of place at a BDSM club. Fortunately, she was written well enough in her own series to not come off as ridiculous.
** [[ComicBook/{{Knightfall}} Bat-Azrael]] was a darker, edgier, more brutish version of Batman, created to show what makes the true Batman ''not'' a vigilante. However, DC was ready to keep Azrael as Batman, if it sold well enough.
** Jason Todd as Batman is similar to Azrael: a thuggish, heavily armored Batman who guns criminals down with his [[GunsAkimbo pair of pistols]]. Fans have taken to calling him "[[FanNickname Gunbats]]".
** From ''ComicBook/DeathOfTheFamily'', a number of people might laugh and say that Joker can't possibly achieve this trope at this point. They would be wrong, because his treatment of [[spoiler: Harley Quinn]] is even worse than it was before! [[KickTheSonOfABitch Though given who she is...]]
** Not even the mantle of Robin is safe from this "dark and edgy" obsession. Tim Drake whose era as Robin is probably most similar to Dick Grayson, gets replaced by the dark and edgy Damian Wayne. Ironically, Tim Drake was an aversion of this trope by replacing the dark and edgy Jason Todd as Robin and right at the cusp of the Dark Age of Comics no less.
** ''ComicBook/TheNew52'' remade Mr. Freeze in this fashion, because apparently his CanonImmigrant status as a TragicVillain from ''WesternAnimation/BatmanTheAnimatedSeries'' didn't work with the rest of Batman's RoguesGallery being psychopaths and lunatics. In this new iteration, Freeze and Nora were never married; Nora was frozen in cryogenic stasis in the 1920s for a heart condition, Freeze merely worked at the storage facility where her capsule was kept and became obsessed with her, leading to his physiology-warping accident. Also, Freeze's obsession with freezing things and ice manifested when, after his mother fell through some ice and almost died as a little boy, he subsequently took her back and pushed her back into the freezing-cold water.
* Indeed, UsefulNotes/{{The Dark Age|OfComicBooks}} was an instance of this for the entire American ComicBook medium.
** Creator/AlanMoore, who helped begin the trend with ''Comicbook/{{Watchmen}}'', has shown some regrets over this. [[http://www.avclub.com/content/node/24222 "The apocalyptic bleakness of comics over the past 15 years sometimes seems odd to me, because it's like that was a bad mood that I was in 15 years ago."]]
* Speaking of Alan Moore, he actually did a Darker and Edgier reboot of UK superhero [[ComicBook/{{Miracleman}} Marvelman]] as well. What had originally started out as a British Captain Marvel rip-off, turned into a gritty, ''[[Film/TotalRecall1990 Total Recall]]''-ish, what-is-real head trip, that even turned his Freddy Freeman-esque sidekick Kid Marvelman into a violent psychopath.
* The ''ComicBook/TransformersGeneration2'' comic books, loosed from even the moderate ContractualImmortality restrictions they had been operating under before, promptly started massacring the cast. Issue #1 cover copy: "This is Not Your Father's Autobot." #2: "Fort Max Gets the Ax." #3: "Killing Frenzy." The characters would also kill without hesitation and use guns that weren't their signature weapons.
* Here's one way to kill the party: Turn [[FunPersonified cheerful, bouncy]] Robbie Baldwin from the [[PersonalityPowers playfully heroic]] Speedball into an apparent murderer with a [[{{Angst}} guilt complex]] worthy of Series/{{Angel}}. Now he calls himself Penance, and wears a suit with 612 built-in points of pain, one for each person killed that day. His new powers can only manifest when he is in pain.
** In ''ComicBook/{{Thunderbolts}}'', however, Penance has come to terms with the Stamford incident not being his fault. [[BatmanGambit He reveals to Nitro the real reason for the suit.]] [[spoiler:The suit wasn't for Robbie, although his survivor's guilt led him to wear it [[{{Angst}} as a form of cutting]], it was for Nitro. Robbie captured Nitro in Latveria to punish him for the Stamford incident, put him in the suit and proceeded to beat the CRAP out of him, after which he removes the last spike from his own chest to symbolize that he's freed himself of guilt.]]
** He later returns to the Speedball identity as an instructor at the ComicBook/AvengersAcademy, but retains his more serious demeanor. He leaves the school after finally coming to terms with the Stamford incident, and has since appeared in ''ComicBook/{{Nova}}'' with his previous cheerful personality restored. He still occasionally uses the Penance helmet though, as it's apparently the only way he can access his pain-based powers.
* Much of Marvel's [[ComicBook/UltimateMarvel Ultimate Universe]] runs in this vein. A stunning amount of the process of its "updating" traditional Marvel characters for the modern era has involved inflating the sex and violence content (e.g. [[Comicbook/IncredibleHulk the Hulk]] isn't merely violent or even murderous, but is also [[ImAHumanitarian cannibalistic]]; Quicksilver isn't just [[BigBrotherInstinct very protective]] of his sister the ComicBook/ScarletWitch, but is in a [[BrotherSisterIncest sexual relationship]] with her; [[ComicBook/IronMan Tony Stark]] is a genius as expected -- due to a painful cancer-like affliction which has spread brain matter throughout his body and will soon kill him). "Updating" personalities means turning everyone into a complete and utter {{Jerkass}}. ComicBook/SpiderMan largely escaped.
** The biggest example of this in the UltimateUniverse is ComicBook/CaptainAmerica, who in the 616-universe is the embodiment of American ideals and values, including but not limited to equality, openness to political discourse, and dedication to international harmony. Ultimate Cap is a sexist hardliner who calls the French cowards. His characterization is more of a {{Deconstruction}} of the original idea: a man who's been frozen in ice since the 1940s and yet ''has'' to be the quintessential American hero for today, despite ''being'' the hero of (and thus holding ideals from) yesterday. Or rather misshapen approximations of the ideals of yesterday, since the whole 'the French are cowards' concept didn't enter popular American consciousness until after WWII and a man from the forties who fought alongside French resistance fighters shouldn't hold that idea. Given that anti-French sentiment in the US hit a peak after 9/11, it's more like he had ideals of a modern subgroup of the populace.
** In ''[[ComicBook/CataclysmTheUltimatesLastStand Cataclysm]]'', it's even lampshaded; with Vision noting the bleaker tone of the Marvel Universe when compared to the 616. [[BigBad Galactus]] also notices it.
* Said Ultimate Universe spread to the 616-universe, as far as evil ComicBook/IronMan and Reed Richards and Comicbook/{{Cyclops}} expelling Xavier from the ComicBook/XMen (even though Cyclops utterly bombed as Top Guy at the school as far as Xavier saving the X-Men's asses during the Messiah Complex X-Over) and starting his own murder squad, a move even ''ComicBook/{{Wolverine}}'' found distasteful and only agreed to lead to try and keep Scott from turning Wolfsbane, ComicBook/{{X 23}}, and Warpath into soulless murderers.
** The whole "Professor X is no better than ComicBook/{{Magneto}}" creep from the Ultimate to the main universe that was exemplified by ''Deadly Genesis'', where it was [[RetCon revealed]] that Professor X led a team of X-Men to their deaths in rescuing his original team from Krakoa and just mind-wiped everyone into forgetting that it happened and trying again with another new team. And that Professor X later realized that the Danger Room was becoming sentient, but ignored it, leading to Danger being created years later.
** This all came to a head with the finale of ''ComicBook/AvengersVsXMen'', where Cyclops snapped and killed the Professor while possessed by the Phoenix Force. Now he's on the run with his own team of outlaw X-Men, and has already clashed with the Avengers and his former friends. Fittingly, he and Emma Frost have ditched their old costumes for black leather duds. The ultimate irony is that now Wolverine is the more passive of the two. He's disbanded the X-Force and now runs the Jean Grey School for High Learning, where he trains the next generation of mutants. He's also being depicted as a more traditional superhero in ''ComicBook/UncannyAvengers''.
*** The current example is somewhat zig-zagged, however, as Cyclops' team has arguably returned to the old 'hated and feared' roots and Wolverine regularly comes off as thoroughly sanctimonious and holier-than-thou, which, considering his past, is more than a little hypocritical. He's not alone in it either, something which, after Battle of the Atom, Kitty Pryde, moral centre of the X-Men, calls them out for. Indeed, Cyclops' team is arguably still fairly idealistic - specifically, when Magneto reprimands Teen Jean for [[spoiler: trying to mind control Teen Angel into staying with the O5]], he says, "That is not what Charles Xavier taught you, young lady!"
* A 2004 ''WesternAnimation/ThunderCats'' mini, ''Thundercats: The Return''. Lion-O gets trapped in the Book of Omens for five years, and when he gets out he finds the Thundercats beaten, Bengali killed and enslaved by Mumm-Ra. Like Wilykit and Wilykat. Let's just say that puberty has been good to them, and that Mumm-Ra has the same tailor for his slaves as Jabba the Hutt. There is also implied rape of Cheetara by the Mutants. And then there's Lion-O brutally breaking the neck of an ape mutant.
* Marvel as much as said at the time that the thinking behind [=USAgent=], Comicbook/WarMachine, and Thunderstrike was to have Darker And Edgier versions of ComicBook/CaptainAmerica, ComicBook/IronMan, and ComicBook/TheMightyThor, without losing the originals. There's even a famous ''[[Comicbook/TheAvengers Avengers]]'' cover of the two versions facing off. Though created prior to the decade, they would see their heyday as {{Nineties Anti Hero}}es.
* ''Comicbook/SuperiorSpiderMan'' runs on this trope. The plot involves Otto Octavius becoming the new Spider-Man after [[GrandTheftMe stealing Peter Parker's body]], and taking up his predecessor's war on crime while ignoring his ThouShaltNotKill rule. He's more vicious, brutal, and [[InsufferableGenius condescending]] than Peter, and even sports a black and red outfit in contrast to Spidey's classic, colorful duds. Fun fact, [[RetCanon the costume was originally designed by Alex Ross for the first]] Creator/SamRaimi ''Film/SpiderMan1'' movie. The suit was mostly black because Ross felt it'd make the outfit [[MovieSuperheroesWearBlack more serious and realistic]]. Ultimately, Superior subverts it by having Otto realize that Peter and his LighterAndSofter approach are superior, making Peter the true Superior Spider-Man.
* Franchise/TheDCU's ComicBook/PostCrisis universe was so grim, it supposedly drove UsefulNotes/{{the Silver Age|of Comic Books}}-inspired Superboy-Prime crazy -- causing him to become a mass-murdering fanatic and perhaps the darkest and edgiest DC character of all time.
** One of the flashpoint events leading to this was Franchise/WonderWoman's killing of BigBad Maxwell Lord.
** The Superboy-Prime saga, which climaxed in ''ComicBook/InfiniteCrisis'', was followed by an even darker and edger storyline called ''ComicBook/FiftyTwo'', and also saw the relaunching of numerous series with a generally darker tone. A prime example is ''ComicBook/{{Checkmate}}''; issue #1 featured a team of superpowered spies infiltrating a Kobra base and leaving no survivors (with the BadAss heroine of the series, Sasha Bordeaux, shooting the Kobra BigBad dead, execution style). The series muted its violence considerably after the first half-dozen issues.
** While not generally darker and edgier as a whole, the ComicBook/{{New 52}} titles are divided into groups, such as "Batman", "Superman", "Justice League", etc. Two of the groups are known as "The Dark" (supernatural titles) and "The Edge" (titles about anti-heroes).
*** Blue Beetle was originally a fun book that didn't take itself too seriously - for example, the scarab was played as a HeroicComedicSociopath. In the ComicBook/{{New 52}}, it was initially just [[SociopathicHero a sociopath]], and Jaime couldn't rein it in as much as he used to at first.
*** A literal version shows in ''Franchise/TeenTitans'', with the character Solstice. Prior to the New 52, she was a cheerful girl with [[LightEmUp light powers]]. Afterwards, she had a permanently inhuman appearance and [[CastingAShadow shadow powers]]. In addition, [[spoiler:Kid Flash has become a murderous rebel leader from the future, Raven is secretly working for her demon father, Wonder Girl now gets her powers from an ArtifactOfDoom, and Superboy is the clone of Superman and Lois Lane's evil son from the future]].
*** [[ComicBook/{{Shazam}} Billy Batson]] has become a little brat from losing his parents. While he has still shown a [[JerkWithAHeartOfGold hidden heart of gold]], it's still jarring for readers used to seeing him as more of TheCape than Superman.
*** ComicBook/{{Supergirl}} started out this way, with Kara being a reluctant hero at best, traumatised and, like most teenagers would under her circumstances, feeling overwhelmed and simply wanting to go home. She also holds a fairly dim view of humanity at large, but considering that they keep shooting at her and have poisoned the atmosphere with Kryptonite. Grief morphed to rage, partly under the influence of being manipulated and betrayed by H'el, and she became a Red Lantern for a little bit. Now, however, she's discarded the Red Lantern Ring, has come to terms with her losses, matured and become that much wiser. She has since accepted Superman's charge to be Earth's hero in his stead while he deals with [[spoiler: the Doomsday virus]].
*** This ultimately is brought in for a {{Deconstruction}}, courtesy of Creator/GeoffJohns and ''DC Universe: Rebirth'' #1, who shows that no one likes a world filled with DarkerAndEdgier ideas, especially when it's the heroes who are hit with this. This is driven home with the revelation that [[spoiler:Dr. Manhattan of ''Watchmen'' is the cause of all of this, having turned the pre-''Flashpoint'' universe into the New 52 universe and seems utterly confused as to why it isn't working.]] It also serves as a TakeThat to those who use the spoilered title as a manifesto to writing comics and not getting the message it was giving out.
* ''ComicBook/XForce'' demonstrated the trope more than once:
** The original ''X-Force'' book was a Darker and Edgier version of ''ComicBook/NewMutants''.
** The 2008 ''X-Force'' series starred a team led by Wolverine, functioning as the X-Men "black ops" team. [[http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/en/7/7d/X-Force-1-cover.jpg Where everyone wears black leather and has red eyes, and there is much growling and slashing had by all]]. Or in other words, it was a Darker and Edgier version of an already Darker and Edgier book! The book sometimes reached StealthParody levels, or occasionally overt self-parody, as with a reprint of the first three issues with a variant cover showing [[http://forums.comicbookresources.com/showthread.php?t=218997 puppies and rainbows coming out of wounds like blood.]] There is also a hint of deconstruction. Deadpool grows increasingly disgusted and angered over the dark actions the team takes over the course of the series. You know things are getting bad when ''Deadpool'' is having to be the OnlySaneMan/moral compass.
* ''Dare'', a 1991 take on Frank Hampson's iconic British 1950s space explorer Dan Dare. The 1991 version was written for Toxic magazine by Creator/GrantMorrison, and illustrated by Rian Hughes. Dare awakes in the 1990s to find that Britain has become a capitalist society, and that a thinly-disguised parody of Margaret Thatcher has sold Britain to the evil Mekon. During the course of the story all of the main characters are killed - Digby even has his arm blown off - and the final edition ends with Dare blowing up London with a nuclear bomb.
* ''Comicbook/TheLeagueOfExtraordinaryGentlemen'' is a DarkerAndEdgier take on all Victorian literature, though [[Literature/TheStrangeCaseOfDrJekyllAndMrHyde said literature was]] [[Literature/{{Dracula}} hardly light and fluffy]] to [[Literature/TheWarOfTheWorlds begin]] with.
* Parodied extensively in the Belgian comic ''ComicBook/DeKiekeboes'', where in one issue, The Simstones, a character from the comic buys the publishing rights to the comic (very meta) and introduces a darker and edgier style.
* ''Marvel Year In Review 1993'' parodied this in their own titles, by taking characters that this had been done for, and then making new characters that turned it UpToEleven:
** Franchise/SpiderMan (Super hero with the proportionate strength of a spider) -- Venom (Obsessed lunatic with the proportionate strength of a spider) -- Carnage (Crazed serial killer with the proportionate strength of a spider) -- Bile (Cannibalistic madman with the proportionate strength of a spider)
** ComicBook/CaptainAmerica (Liberalistic flag-waving symbol of democracy) -- U.S. Agent (Extremist right-wing hard-nosed American) -- The Patriot Missile ("Blow all them foreigners to hell and let God sort 'em out!")
** [[ComicBook/TheMightyThor Thor]] (Norse God of Thunder) -- Thunderstrike (Norse God of Thunder from Brooklyn) -- Godhead (Convinced he is God. Holed up in his compound, waiting for Ragnarok)
** ComicBook/{{Wolverine}} (Savage killing machine with the soul of a Samurai) -- Sabertooth (Uncontrollable, savage killing machine with the attitude of a psychopath) -- Clawjaw (Unhousebroken, uncontrollable killing machine with poor bodily hygiene)
** ComicBook/IronMan (High-tech armored Avenger) -- War Machine (High-tech armored Avenger with an attitude) -- Terror Device (High-tech armored Avenger with two attitudes and PlausibleDeniability)
** [[Comicbook/IncredibleHulk Green Hulk]] (Mindless rampaging monster) -- Gray Hulk (Intelligent rampaging monster) -- New Green Hulk (Intelligent rampaging monster with a big gun) -- [[HilariousInHindsight Red Hulk]] (Intelligent rampaging monster with a big gun and razor-sharp claws)
* [[ComicBook/NewMutants New X-Men: Academy X]]. After ''ComicBook/HouseOfM'', the title was hit by Darker and Edgier ''hard'', but the change was especially marked in contrast with the first half of the series. Under Weir and [=DeFilippis=], the book was fairly light-hearted fluff that focused on relationship drama. When Kyle and Yost took over, dozens of students were immediately blown up, and everyone else was left traumatized by their failed rescue attempts. Then a main character was shot in the head and killed. And ''another'' main character betrayed the team, was mutilated, and died. They were replaced by a former assassin TykeBomb. Succeeding plotlines saw the entire team sent to HELL, one of them tortured and spending a lot of time crying herself to sleep, and so forth and so forth. In fact, most of Kyle and Yost's work falls under this trope. See also: X-Force, mentioned above.
* DC's Creator/{{Vertigo|Comics}} imprint revolves around material intended for mature audiences. After the success of ''Comicbook/SwampThing'', ''Comicbook/DoomPatrol'', ''ComicBook/{{Hellblazer}}'', ''ComicBook/ShadeTheChangingMan'', and ''Comicbook/AnimalMan'', all of which starred fairly obscure characters from established DC canon, there were a few misfires - up to and including a brooding, psychological take on ''Brother Power, the Geek''. For the uninitiated, Brother Power is a human-sized hippie rag doll given life and super strength by magic sunshine who once ran for a U.S. congressional seat and was last seen orbiting the Earth. Someone tried to make ''that'' serious.
** Similarly, Creator/GrantMorrison himself tried to revive ''Kid Eternity'' in a darker and edgier fashion. Kid Eternity was a demi-angel who could summon the spirits of dead famous people. All told, it actually worked out surprisingly well; the miniseries sparked a (short-lived, but still) ongoing by Ann Nocenti, if that's any indication.
* ''ComicBook/SupremePower'' is a darker and edgier reimagining of the original ''ComicBook/SquadronSupreme''.
* ''ComicBook/SupermanEarthOne'' was explicitly advertised as being darker, sexier, and moodier, and many standard elements of Superman's story are given a darker spin -- for example, Jonathan and Martha are forced to keep Kal-El a secret after government agents secretly impound his spaceship in a secret base.
* ''ComicBook/SonicTheComic'' is this to the games at the time it was being produced (and ''Webcomic/SonicTheComicOnline'' is this to the source comic). The most well-known aspect is that Super Sonic is a SuperpoweredEvilSide who eventually splits up from Sonic and becomes basically a physical god. Sonic once believed he killed his friends and fell into a HeroicBSOD.
* ''ComicBook/ArchieComicsSonicTheHedgehog'':
** The comic started out as a GagSeries similar to ''WesternAnimation/AdventuresOfSonicTheHedgehog''. Around issue 20 or so, it shifted to a more serious, interconnected tone similar to ''WesternAnimation/SonicSatAM''. The Endgame arc (where Sonic becomes a fugitive after being accused of killing Princess Sally, and Robotnik is KilledOffForReal) is where it dove off the deep end, and established itself as one of the darkest incarnations of Sonic, dealing with themes such as abusive relationships, birth out of wedlock, drugs, genocide, and bigotry. It stayed that way for 10 years or so, before Ian Flynn took over as writer and returned the comic to a lighter tone, though still not ''as'' light as the recent games. Coincidentally, the darker period from issue 50 to 160 is widely regarded as the series' DorkAge, providing an example of TropesAreNotGood.
** Way back when the comic was humor-oriented, the cover for issue #4 parodied this by promising an "all-new, darker, grittier" Sonic. Turned out he was just covered in dark grit from cleaning the chimney.
* Parodied in issue #10 of the old ''WesternAnimation/ChipNDaleRescueRangers'' comic book. In it, the Rangers are brought to the set of a movie featuring a dark-and-gritty version of a superhero squirrel puppet who originally appeared in a Creator/{{Sid And Marty Krofft|Productions}}-type children's show. The character's creator is shown working as the movie's creative consultant and is not at all happy with the way the movie portrays his creation.
* ''Franchise/ArchieComics'', surprisingly enough, has done this several times:
** ''ComicBook/LifeWithArchieTheMarriedLife'' presents stories from the "future" in which Archie has grown up and gotten married, and now has more realistic, adult-sized problems to deal with. It's so dark that [[spoiler:Archie gets killed]] in the final issue.
** ''ComicBook/AfterlifeWithArchie'' sounds like a funny concept: Archie meets the ZombieApocalypse. The series is anything but funny. You know something's up when there are [[Franchise/CthulhuMythos Cthulhu]] references in an Archie comic. It's drawn in a dark realistic style and the first issue has Hotdog being hit by a car and dying. Jughead gets Sabrina to bring him back but he's brought back as a zombie. He bites Jughead and...
** The original ''Life With Archie'' series (1958-1991) featured longer, more "adventure" oriented stories than the typical Archie titles, including elements like five-alarm fires, attempted kidnappings, and... [[http://the-isb.blogspot.com/2006/01/life-in-riverdale-surprisingly.html mysterious Satanic boxes that melt people's faces off]].
** One of those stories, "Secrets of the Deep", was a pretty standard scuba-diving-shipwrecks-and-sunken-treasure adventure... in which an evil treasure hunter shot at the gang with a spear gun and set an electric eel on them!
** The above story wasn't even the ''only'' Archie comic to feature [[ImMelting face-melting action]]. From 1972 to 1974, Archie published a ''Comicbook/SabrinaTheTeenageWitch'' spinoff, ''Chilling Adventures in Sorcery as Told By Sabrina''. It had the odd combination of [[http://www.misterkitty.org/extras/stupidcovers/stupidcomics284.html straight-up horror stories]] with art in the familiar Archie house style. One story in particular stands out, featuring a boy who teases a stutterer at school. The kindly teacher happens to be a witch, and gives him an enchanted book that ''melts his face off'', and possibly kills him! The story probably violated several rules under UsefulNotes/TheComicsCode, but somehow gained the CCA seal of approval (perhaps because Archie ''ran'' the CCA?)
** ''ComicBook/ChillingAdventuresOfSabrina'' is in a similar realistic art style as ''Afterlife with Archie'' and has the same writer. It emphasises the horror aspect of ''Sabrina The Teenage Witch'' heavily.
** In one ''ComicBook/JosieAndThePussycats'' story, Josie [[http://www.the-isb.com/?p=578 gets possessed by Satan!]][[note]]''Josie and the Pussycats'' #72 (1973)[[/note]]
** ''ComicBook/ArchieVsPredator'' sees several supporting characters from the series getting gruesomely killed by the titular Franchise/{{Predator}}, firmly planting it in this territory compared to the main books. Interestingly enough it's also something of a case of LighterAndSofter too, since as opposed to both ''Afterlife'' and ''Chilling Adventures'' it isn't played as seriously and several bits in the book are played for (very dark) laughs primarily from the sheer bizarreness of seeing the Archie Gang mix it up with the Predator of all things.
* ''ComicBook/PaperinikNewAdventures'' is a rare case of this done '''well'''. Those stories are way darker than the ones on "Topolino" (the Italian magazine where it is usually published): Paperinik stops fighting the [[HarmlessVillain Beagle Boys]] to defend the Earth from aliens, time travelers and crazy AIs, creating a [[OldHeroNewPals new roost]] of supporting cast and using weapons which are much more powerful. However, he remains a very optimistic hero, and the comic gives us several funny and heartwarming moments to balance the mood.
** Creator/{{Disney}} Italy does this as an habit. Aside for publishing some 'normal' stories with classic characters and settings with darker themes, once in a while they bring back Doctor Vultur (a ''[[ANaziByAnyOtherName Nazi in everything but the name]]'' orango trying to TakeOverTheWorld) and a truer to the origins version of the Black Spot, and, in chronological order, they created the following: Paperinik himself (theorically Franchise/DonaldDuck's superhero alter ego. In practice even his lighter stories show the sadistic streak that in two occasions prompted him to ''set off [[TorchesAndPitchforks lynching mobs]]''), ''Paperinik New Adventures'', ''Mickey Mouse Mystery Magazine'' (where Mickey is forced to temporarily move in [[CrapsackWorld a city more corrupted than]] ''[[Franchise/{{Batman}} Gotham]]'' and survive in spite of his very existence being a danger to the men who control the city), ''ComicBook/{{WITCH}}'' (where the heroes have no qualms in trying and killing their enemies), and ''ComicBook/DoubleDuck''.
* ''ComicBook/GodzillaKingdomOfMonsters'' is this to the entire Godzilla franchise. How dark is it? Godzilla reduces Japan to rubble in the first two issues. The rest of the series has the monsters tearing apart civilization and bringing out the worst of humanity.
** However this actually brings it closer to the tone of both the original film and the Heisei era. One of the complaints people had about the series was that, even with that knowledge in mind, it was little ''too much'' of a tone shift. Especially in reference to the scene of Rodan ''eating a child alive''. There's another dark scene where Godzilla lets loose his atomic ray '''on a bunch of people trying to escape Los Angeles which he was currently destroying at that time.'''
* The European G1 ''ComicBook/MyLittlePony'' comics are darker than the toy-line and [[WesternAnimation/MyLittlePonyAndFriends American cartoons]]. While they were usually cute and fluffy, they delved into certain stuff other parts of the franchise wouldn't. The most infamous issue had an explanation for the Twinkle-Eyed ponies. They were enslaved by a wizard and forced to live in darkness so long they [[EyeScream went blind]]. Applejack [[AccidentalMurder accidentally pushes]] the wizard to his death and saves the ponies. The rescued ponies end up using the jewels in place of eyes, and that's their [[DarkAndTroubledPast backstory]] for characters like Fizzy.
* ''Franchise/MyLittlePonyGeneration4'':
** [=IDW=]'s ''[[ComicBook/MyLittlePonyFriendshipIsMagicIDW My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic]]'' comic series is noticably darker than the [[WesternAnimation/MyLittlePonyFriendshipIsMagic animated show]] it was based on. Issue #3 starts with Queen Chrysalis (who by herself is portrayed much more sinisterly here) and her changelings invading a little town of [[RidiculouslyCuteCritter cute loving kitties]] and sucking all the love out of them. One month later the whole land is converted into the new changeling kingdom.
** ''[[ComicBook/MyLittlePonyFiendshipIsMagic My Little Pony: Fiendship Is Magic #1]]'' is perhaps the darkest G4 comic to date. Highlights include the BodyHorror of Sombra's transformations, his shattering of Amore after turning her into Crystal, and the StarCrossedLover story between Sombra and Hope. In contrast to the usual comics and show, there is very little humor in Sombra's tale; it's pure tragedy.
* [[Creator/RegisLoisel Régis Loisel]]'s [[FrancoBelgianComics re-imagination]] of ''ComicBook/PeterPan'' is most definitely this. Forget the cute Disney version of your childhood, this one is most definitely not for children, as this adaptation has [[AbusiveParents abusive]] and {{alcoholic parent}}s, AttemptedRape, and {{self made orphan}}s.
* ComicBook/SuskeEnWiske now also has it. The new spin-off/reboot series. The first album entitled ''Amoras'' features partial nudity, swearing, blood, substance abuse and a mature theme. The series is written als a multi-album story. So far, critics like it. But old time fans expecting the milder tone of the original series will be in for a very unpleasant surprise.
** The new series was actually ''announced to the press as an obituary for Wiske'', making it very clear that she dies in the first album. In fact, her death scene is the first album's front cover. Look [[http://www.amoras2047.com/ Here]].
* ImageComics' March 1993 one-shot ''Darker Image'' is this, featuring the first appearances of DarkAgeOfSupernames heroes Bloodwulf and Deathblow. It is also notable for containing one of the first appearances of ComicBook/TheMaxx.
* Parodied in an ''ComicBook/{{Asterix}}'' one-shot with the conceit that they were [[RunningTheAsylum fulfilling reader's suggestions]], one of which (pictured) was to add SteamPunk elements, give them all guns, draw them in a less childish style, and have them talk in a more naturalistic way rather than just punning all the time. The characters are shown drawn in a hyperdetailed [[UsefulNotes/TheDarkAgeOfComicBooks Dark Age]] style (Asterix's feathered helmet wings are replaced with bat wings) with GrossUpCloseUp-type details on the normally cuddly characters; Obelix is wearing a BadassBandolier {{Pistol Whip}}ping Romans with a {{BFG}} in a missile stockpile (Asterix is phoning Getafix to tell him these new gadgets don't work), and everyone is engaging in dreadfully-written ''Film/PulpFiction''-esque BuffySpeak, rendered in the UK English translation as [[BritishAccents Geordie]] (and still making a wholly unnaturalistic HurricaneOfPuns).
** Before this were a few twists on dark storytelling in the series; ''Asterix in Switzerland'''s plot involves the heroes' efforts to save an innocent from murder. Quaestor Vexatius Sinusitus' potential death offered a jarring but refreshing sense of drama to the otherwise frivolous comedy strip. The same story also contains a more serious look at the Romans than usual - normally, ''Asterix'' villains tend to be {{Punch Clock Villain}}s, {{Ineffectual Sympathetic Villain}}s or just ordinary people who happen to get in the heroes' way (occasionally even {{Designated Villain}}s, PlayedForLaughs), but Varius Flavus's actions (corruption, insane decadance and poisoning his opponents) are much more like what evil Roman patricians in history actually did. Oh, yeah, and an [[WhatDoYouMeanItsForKids actual Roman orgy]] (if limited to eating like slobs, getting drunk and hideous makeup) is depicted.
** Stories featuring similar moments of deadly menace include ''Asterix and Son'', where the village is burned to the ground, and the impending threat of Orinjade's execution in ''Asterix and the Magic Carpet''. Also ''Obelix All At Sea'', in which both Asterix and Obelix almost die (and the villain does, breaking NobodyCanDie), and ''Asterix and the Picts'', which involves ScarpiaUltimatum and a much more complicated plot than usual. To a lesser extent, ''The Roman Agent'' and ''Caesar's Gift'' are both about just how ridiculously awful living in their QuirkyTown would be.
** In ''Uderzo croqué par ses amis'', a compilation album of short stories drawn by various artists about Uderzo, one story is a realistically-drawn, historically-accurate, painfully serious take on the concept of a pair of Gaulish warriors fighting Romans using magic potion. For instance, the magic potion appears to be a kind of religious MagicFeather, they put the skulls of dead Roman soldiers around their village to keep them out (like the historical Gauls did), and they murder Romans with swords. It turns the usually ridiculous little Gauls into something quite dramatic and mystical and BadAss.
*** ''Uderzo croqué par ses amis'' also has another story in a similarly realistic art style, but with the usual characterisations of the Gauls. The story contains a gag where Asterix and Obelix accidentally catch Vitalstatistix ''in flagrante delicto'' with a hot blond who is not his wife, which is depicted in [[FanDisservice intentionally]] {{Squick}}y detail (since Vitalstatistix is both a beloved childhood character and a fat, ugly middle-aged man). ''Asterix'' is not exactly sexless but a gag like that would never get into the main stories.
* The Revolutionary War hero ComicBook/{{Tomahawk}} received a pretty good Vertigo reimagining in ''Vertigo Visions: Tomahawk''.
* A lot of Disney comics are often this. ''Disney/TheLittleMermaid'' and ''Disney/TheLionKing'' have quite a few dark examples. For example, ''The Little Mermaid'' comic "Serpent Teen" has Ariel meeting a race called the Moray. They thought that mermaids wee a myth and consider them dangerous. The princess ends up keeping Ariel as a pet, and when Ariel's older sister Aquata arrives to help her she's almost eaten by a monster. Ariel ends up revealing she's a princess and is held hostage. The king of the Moray wants to kill all the merpeople however when Triton appears he destroys a lot of their town to get his daughters back.
* ''ComicBook/JemAndTheHolograms'':
** The comics is this to the [[WesternAnimation/{{Jem}} cartoon]]. In the cartoon the main characters ''nearly'' died dozens of times but always escape without a scratch. The comics are aimed at a slightly older audience than the cartoons were, so they get away with light curses like "hell" and characters being shown injured. [[spoiler:Clash]] nearly kills Jem in an early issue but [[spoiler:Aja]] pushes her out of the way. [[spoiler:Aja]] ends up with cuts and bruises, as does Jerrica. A few issues later Pizzazz [[spoiler:gets into a violent car crash]] which leaves her unable to be in her band for a while.
** Played comedically in the second arc. In the "Dark Jem" arc Jerrica and her sisters get brainwashed by Synergy. They start dressing in darker toned outfits, start wearing black makeup, begin talking in monotone, act dismissive about everything, and generally act like stereotypical goths. Their new moody attitudes clash heavily with their typical, sweet and energetic ones.
* This is parodied in the "Comic Book Carnage" issue of ''ComicBook/HackSlash'', set at a comic fan convention. A new comics company is depicted reviving an old comic called ''Wunderkind'' (a blatant CaptainErsatz for ''[[ComicBook/{{Shazam}} Captain Marvel]]'') in a ridiculously over-the-top grimdark manner, whereupon a pair of {{Loony Fan}}s are so outraged that they start murdering the comic's creators ([[AsHimself who are real-world writers and artists]] who were pals of the comic's writer Tim Seeley and didn't mind getting bloodily slaughtered on paper).
* Creator/DCComics's ''ComicBook/EarthOne'' takes the same apporach as ''Ultimate Marvel'' did. Among other things, Krypton's destruction was a deliberate act of war, Superman's more angsty than other portrayals and is distrusted by the public, Bruce Wayne isn't as skilled as other versions and is originally sorely about bringing in the man he believes had his parents killed to justice, Alfred is the family's bodyguard (not their butler) and encourages Bruce to kill, Jim Gordon is a reluctant DirtyCop, and [[spoiler:Hippolyta originally had Diana for the purpose to enact a war against all males]].
* Parodied by Creator/AlanMoore, at about the same time as he was getting a rep for it, in ''In Pictopia'', set in an absurdly darker and edgier version of a CaptainErsatz comic strip setting, with things like not-ComicStrip/{{Blondie}} as a prostitute, who gets raided by not-ComicBook/JudgeDredd. The main character, Nocturno the Necromancer (Comicstrip/MandrakeTheMagician) is horrified by what's happening to the place, especially when his goofy buddy Flexible Flynn (Comicbook/PlasticMan) is replaced by a snarling NinetiesAntiHero.
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