Serial Escalation / Comic Books

  • Blue Beetle: How is Jaime Reyes gonna get screwed over this time? How awesome are Brenda and Paco gonna be next issue? Is that a giant naked guy? Is Paco going to use his stick? Is the Scarab going to figure out how to take down EVERYTHING?
  • The achievements of the Saint of Killers from Preacher get steadily more impressive until the end where he kills God.
  • Nextwave: Agents of Hate. Take a normal super team, give each one of them a triple espresso shot of snark, exaggerate their character flaws and set them against increasingly ridiculous enemies. Throw away any aspiration of being taken seriously, then hang lampshades on everything fans like in comics. Then make it more ridiculous in the next volume. Then it explodes!

    The series reaches its high point (or "insanity nexus") with a series of six two-page spreads in issue #11 where the team fights their way through Golems, Goblins, Living Brains, Purple Soviet Apes, Laser Hawkings, Naked Ninjas, S&M Iron Man Babies, Flying Windmill Men, Blue Skinned Space Pirates with Death Ray Peg Legs, Hamburger Shooting Bruce Campbell Elvis MODOKs, Cyclops Brontasauri, Samurai Siamese Twins, Chimney Sweep Gargoyles, Snakes on Planes, Wolverine Monkeys, A Giant Wolverine Ape, A Sentinel Robot, Hidden Men, Giant Cyborg Astronaut Tigers, Two Kinds of Little Green Men and evil trees.
  • All Grant Morrison's DC work uses the Mind Screw in an escalating pattern.
  • So, just how insane and ridiculous can Deadpool get today?
    • More insane and more ridiculous. Obviously.
    • To elaborate: One of his issues begins with a panel of Deadpool garotting Santa Claus while the caption reads: "A routine assignment." And that is probably the least weird thing that happens in that issue.
    • By the way, no, you never find out why he's garroting Santa Claus. Did we mention it was with barbed wire?
    • And there's the old Cable & Deadpool storyline, "Deadpool vs. the Marvel Universe". It starts with a fairly typical (read: way over the top) story of Deadpool tracking down Wolverine to keep him from killing Weasel, and escalates until it's Deadpool, Bob, Weasel, and a handful of lesser Marvel heroes fighting off a horde of Carnage possessed dinosaurs.
  • Occurs to some extent in ElfQuest: How much more evil can we make Winnowill in this story arc?
    • Also, the climactic fight between Cutter and Rayek in the Troll Caverns starts out as a simple fistfight, but by the end of it they're hitting each other with freaking great stalagmites. They both win - Cutter satisfies his lust for revenge, and Rayek wins the Wolfriders' respect.
  • War Machine, one of his latest suits allows him to repurpose any weapon whether it's damaged or practically broken and attach it to his suit to become one living WMD, this might just seem out a little out there but when you see him literally put pieces of a jet together to make a clawed gauntlet weapon and FLY at the same time or when he pulls pieces of a tank including treads and becomes a living breathing tank. To top that off implications that he can possibly interface with some of the deadliest weapons in the Marvel with no known limit mean he can always push his abilities Up to 11.
  • Red Hulk. How many popular characters can he effortlessly beat? How many ways can he violate the rules of the Marvel Universe just for something that looks cool? How many items can he tick off the Villain Sue checklist?
    • Hulk often uses this trope himself to a lesser or greater extent depending upon the author. Just how mad/strong can he become?
  • How many millions of people can be killed in Mega-City One in the latest catastrophe/big bad plot in "Judge Dredd"??
  • Played with in one strip from Piranha Club, where Bud Grace (the author/artist, who regularly appeared in the comics for behind-the-scenes tomfoolery) was told by a frustrated editor that his comics were getting weirder and weirder — which was around the time the martian Zerblatt had become a recurring character and had fathered dozens of froglike kids with a supermodel. In a later interview, Grace admitted that his comics were getting increasingly more and more bizarre, likening it to eating a lot of spicy food — after a while it doesn't seem as spicy anymore, and then you want something spicier.
  • Dilbert character Topper embodies this. Every story you tell, he did it better, even if it seems logically impossible.
  • Shakara: The comic opens with the Earth being destroyed by the Hierarchy and Shakara subsequently laying waste to their fleets. The comic gets increasingly batshit from there, culminating with a final battle against the Big Bad and his acolytes before he wipes out all of reality. Knowingly embraced by the writers, who noted that they tried to make every new issue bigger than than the previous.