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Bullying A Dragon: Comic Books
  • It was established in Damage's own series that his "parents" were actually employees set to watch him until the superpowers he'd been genetically engineered for showed up. Given that, later retcons that his foster-father physically and sexually abused him—according to one comic, badly beating him directly after he'd accidentally blown a friend's hand off—make the guy look extremely stupid.
  • Marvel Comics. Several superheroes and supervillains have this as their raison d'etre.
    • Happens very frequently to mutants in X-Men comics. X-Men was supposed to be about how racism is wrong. It always seems to come across as bullying a dragon since most of them can easily kill you. Yeah, there are some that don't have good powers, and picking on them is kinda like racism. Picking on the guy that can shoot lasers from his eyes? Not so much. It's like the difference between someone picking a fight with a gay guy, and picking a fight with a gay guy while he's holding a loaded shotgun. In fact, this happens to the Friends of Humanity so often, you start to wonder just why joining them seems so appealing.
      • Almost all evil mutants only became evil because of how they were treated because of their mutations. Apocalypse, probably the biggest Mutant threat to the Marvel Universe only wants Mutants to shine because in his youth he was rejected by many people because of his grey skin, and forgot about his incredible strength and power.
      • Though it's worth considering how much of that bullying was done by actual stupid people, and how much was deliberate provoking of a counterattack to further raise anti-mutant sentiments. The logic here being "if they're so much more powerful than us, then better to provoke the fight now, while we have superior numbers and theoretically a chance of killing them all before they exterminate us, then wait for them to have the numbers that we can't sustain the kill ratio".
      • Ironically, it even happens within the mutant community. X-23 gets a bit of harassment from some of the other younger mutants in Utopia at the beginning of her solo series, even though her tormenters know damn well she could tear them to shreds if she wanted to. And they're doing it because she just finished a stint on X-Force, Cyclops's licensed to kill black ops attack team.
      • And then there's what she did to Zander Rice in Innocence Lost when she was actually pushed too far. Rice tormented her for thirteen years at the Facility, including cases of physical abuse that went way off the deep end and into outright Cold-Blooded Torture. When Laura's mother finally had enough and orchestrated her escape, Laura went looking for Rice. She could have easily killed him in less than a second, but oh no, that was too good for him. When she cornered him, Laura put away her claws and went to work on him bare-handed for ten fucking minutesnote . Keep in mind Rice's project bred her specifically to be a living weapon and the perfect assassin, so he was entirely aware of Laura's capabilities. Somehow he still decided subjecting her to constant abuse and letting her know he was taking his hatred of Wolverine out on her was a good idea.
    • Happens to the Hulk all the time. Most of his rampages could have been avoided had they just backed off a bit. Considering his Catch Phrase (apart from "Hulk Smash!", of course) is usually a variation of him bellowing "LEAVE HULK ALONE!" you'd think the denizens of the Marvel Universe would have cottoned on, but then you remember this is the Marvel Universe, where Dragon-bullying (and bitching about the results afterwards) is a widely accepted pastime.
      • This was once lampshaded by Doc Samson, in discussion with General Ross:
      Samson: The Hulk keeps yelling at you to leave him alone. So my advice is to leave Hulk alone. Watch him by satellite. If he gets near a populated area, send out Hulk alerts the way we send out weather alerts.
      Ross: And if America's enemies get hold of him?
      Samson: Send condolence cards to America's enemies.
      • This was deliberately done by Deadpool when he wanted to die: as his Regenerative Factor allowed him to survive or even to resuscitate from things that would have killed Wolverine, he decided that being reduced to subatomic particles was his best bet, and pissing off Hulk by nuking him twice was the chosen method. Sadly, by the time he managed to get punched Hulk had calmed down enough that Deadpool was merely liquified, and was back in one piece in five days...
    • Marvel Comics also has Super Hero hate groups. SUPER HERO HATE GROUPS. These people should just form a "Drink-A-Gallon-of-Bleach Club"; it'd be safer.
    • One of the long running gags in the Spider-Man mythos was that Flash Thompson was both a totally fanboy of Spider-Man and the daily-tormentor of Peter Parker. During the Civil War storyline in Marvel in 2006, where Peter had revealed his identity to the world, Flash decided to challenge Peter to a dodgeball match in front of the children at the school they taught at because he refused to believe that Peter could possibly be Spider-Man. It ended with Peter kicking the dodgeball full force into Flash's face, giving a shiner on each eye. Of course, for this to happen, decades worth of Character Development had to be stripped away from Flash, who previously had matured from his high school days and become a close friend of Peter's.
    • Maybe not as extreme as the other examples (since he has no actual super-powers), but there have been a few times where Frank Castle (AKA The Punisher) ends up in jail. Since Frank is a known badass with a body count nearly as high as The Joker, criminals waste no time in throwing their lives away by trying to attack him. Frank, who is inevitably heavily restrained, adds a few more bodies to the count before the guards show up.
      • Nicky Cavellla from The Punisher MAX. He wanted to eliminate the Punisher, and thought he could do it by making him clumsy. To do that, Nick dug up the Punisher's family's remains, pissed on them while recording himself doing so, and sent the video to the local news. His plan worked, and Frank stopped being as methodical as he normally is, but with the trade-off that Frank went into such an Unstoppable Rage that he killed several important figures in Cavella's criminal family in one day. The remaining family ditched Cavella and Frank shot him in the stomach.
      • Ironically, Frank Castle ends up on the wrong side of this himself when he tries to assassinate Norman Osborn... who is, at the time, not only still his Green Goblin self, but also the President of the United States AND the leader of the Dark Avengers. The result is that Osborn sends Daken (Wolverine's Ax-Crazy son with the exact same power set) after the Punisher, and he ends up unceremoniously cut into pieces and dumped down a sewer.note 
      • In fact, Frank Castle has also made an enemy out of Wolverine himself by shooting him in the face and genitals with a shotgun, then parking a steamroller on top of him, and once shot Anti-Venom in the face and was then going to kill his Morality Chain, Jenna Cole. He was lucky to get off with only being punched through a wall in the latter case, given Anti-Venom's notorious tendency to kill and/or eat his enemies.
    • A less antagonistic version is the Yancy Street Gang, who constantly prank and heckle Ben Grimm of the Fantastic Four. Ben tolerates this because he knows it's all in good fun, and the Gang are good at heart, often assisting the Fantastic Four against villains.
    • In the early days of Marvel, people kept trying to attack the Silver Surfer, accusing him of being responsible for anything bad that occurred and generally insulting him. The Surfer may be a borderline Purity Sue, but he's also a borderline Reality Warper, and EXTREMELY dangerous when angered. For some reason, this never occurred to them.
  • Beast Boy of the Teen Titans spent most of his life enduring this kind of bullying, which has had a profoundly negative effect on his self esteem; so much so that he's afraid to let anyone know that he can make multiples of himself.
  • A prisoner threatens to kill Rorschach in Watchmen in the lunch line (and is building up to shank him), confident that in prison, he won't be as tough. Rorschach, being Homicidal, Ax-Crazy, and a Combat Pragmatist, throws hot grease in his face before he can even lift a finger, burning him horribly. Right after this, he deliberately invokes the trope.
    "None of you understand. I'm not locked up in here with you. You're locked up in here with me!"
    • Afterwards, three other guys try to kill him. Admittedly, they thought they had the advantage over him...but once again, underestimated him. They also die bloodily.
  • In Secret Six, a handful of carnies attack Bane during his date, which goes as well you'd expect. But instead of retreating when the 7-foot giant takes out half their number casually, they try to kill his girlfriend.
  • Happened in an issue of Jack Kirby's Etrigan the Demon series, where a creature like Frankenstein's monster created by a mad scientist was subject to a street gang throwing bricks at him and taunting him. When they captured a girl who had been in psychic communication with him (don't ask), all he had to do was stand up and the gang quickly retreated.
  • King Mob lampshades this in The Invisibles. Luckily for his sake, the red-neck is Genre Savvy enough to back down:
    KING MOB: I'm telling you that you're in the wrong film, fatboy. You're not in the cowboy film you thought you were in. This is a different kind of movie. And you're in the scene where the redneck shitkicker picks on the stranger in town, only it turns out to be big Arnie or a gang of vampires. I'll bet you've seen that a million times, cowboy.
    BILLY-BOB: Sure.
    KING MOB: So here's the deal: you've just made the mistake of your life but you can wash away your sins by apologizing to the lady. Otherwise I squeeze, you pop and guess who's singing castrato in church on Sunday?
    BILLY-BOB: I... ah... I called you a faggot and... ah... well, I'm sorry. Fuck.
    LORD FANNY: That's all right, darling. I am a faggot. And you do have a lovely dick.
  • People spend rather a lot more time insulting, belittling, and reprimanding the Great Red Dragon in Bone than is probably wise.
  • One of the stories in Volume 2 of Witch Girl's Tales features the team of Witch Girls falling victim to what starts off as Mugging the Monster... but it turns into this when one of two remaining thugs decides to charge one of the witch girls after they've already dispatched most of the group with their magic. He also didn't read the atmosphere and chose to charge Heroic Comedic Sociopath and Token Evil Teammate Princess Lucinda, rather than one of the ones who had previously been seen using non-lethal methods. He's turned into a bug for his troubles... but he still doesn't stop doing this, as when the final gang member is turned into a frog, he taunts said person who is now roughly ten times his size and his natural predator. Predictably, he gets eaten.
  • Monica from Brazilian comic Monica's Gang is frequently taunted by her male friends for being overweight, bucktoothed, and short (among other things). Too bad she is A) easily irritable B)superstrong, and C)armed with a plush bunny. Not to mention single-minded.
  • Done deliberately in a few of the comics in The Book of Bunny Suicides. The cute little bunnies antagonize large dogs or Those Wacky Nazis because, well, remember the title.
  • In The Devil's Advocate The Joker is sent to a regular prison, for a crime he was framed for. Another prisoner is displeased with some of the Joker's actions. He starts threatening him, boasting that he has killed over thirty people. This is an extremely unimpressive number to someone like The Joker and it predictably ends badly for him. In his defense though, he may have thought that while Joker was an Ax-Crazy mass-murderer he was an unskilled fighter. The Joker's level of combat skill largely depends on the writer. That being said, pissing off a psychotic mass-murderer is still a dumb move.
  • In The Sandman, the angel Remiel — who along with Duma has been given the unpleasant task of watching over Hell since Lucifer quit — visits Lucifer's bar and asks him to take back Hell. Lucifer laughs in his face and proceeds to mock Remiel for his cowardice. Remiel then spits on Lucifer's face in a fit of pique. Lucifer calmly wipes off the spittle, then just as calmly reminds Remiel that Lucifer was once the leader of Heaven's army and that he gave up none of his power when he gave up Hell and his wings. If Lucifer wished it, Remiel would cease to exist right on the spot. Taking the warning to heart, Remiel beats a hasty retreat.
    • Also in the same series, in the Season of Mists arc, Azazel is in Dream's realm, and attempts to blackmail Dream by taking Nada, his beloved, inside himself and threatening to consume her, complete with various insults directed towards the master of the realm he's currently in. Dream simply asks Azazel if it was wise to threaten the lord of the realm he was in, and he is promptly put inside a glass jar, and then placed inside a chest to think about what he did.
  • Zigzagged in Empowered, with the existence of a significant population of people who hold anti-Cape sentiments. For one thing, this attitude is so common because a lot of Capes, heroes and villains alike, a monumental Jerk Asses, and if things get violent, it's quite possible for a normal to take down a superhuman. On the other hand, a normal beating a Cape requires a lot in the normal's favor, including the proper equipment and training, and if the slightest thing goes wrong, the normal will not live to regret it. While the precise details remain sketchy, anti-Cape sentiment reached a boiling point in recent years with something known as the San Antonio incident, where a group of normals banded together and went on a Cape-killing spree. They got several Capes, at least... and then the Capes rallied and slaughtered every anti-Cape protester they could catch in return, getting so carried away they destroyed the entire city with a volcanic eruption, implicitly killing every normal in it. So far, Thugboy is the only anti-Cape activist known to have survived the incident.
  • Transformers: Robots In Disguise the NAILs blame everything on the Autobots and Decepticons on the war the nearly destroyed Cybertron. The Autobots aren't going to try anything aggressive against them, but the Decepticons are more than willing to blast them when they get the chance.
  • One could argue that this is the case for a lot of Superman's less powerful enemies, but special mention has to go to the Prankster. Here's a guy with no superpowers whose only real goal is to pull the biggest practical jokes on the largest number of people possible... and his favorite target is the most powerful being on Earth. And he never stops trying!
  • Little Lotta was frequently teased over her weight, even by kids who knew about her super strength.
  • In Peanuts, Snoopy constantly teases and insults World War III the cat next door, even though the end result is usually having his doghouse torn to pieces by the angry cat, and any physical confrontation between them results in Snoopy (and anyone else caught in the middle) almost killed.
Anime & MangaBullying a DragonFan Works

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