Follow TV Tropes


Asshole Victim / Comic Books

Go To

  • In ThunderCats: Dogs of War, Lion-O tries to get the Doberlord court-martialed for War Crimes, only for Lion-O's nemesis, Mumm-Ra, stab the latter through the chest from behind. When you consider how the mad dog enslaved and or massacred millions, if not billions, universal-wide, it'd be impossible you to have any kind of sympathy for the bastard.
  • Watchmen:
    • The Comedian, although that had nothing to do with the (primary) motivation behind his murder. By the end of the comic, some readers feel some sympathy for him. But he's still an asshole who tried to rape the first Silk Spectre and murdered a Vietnamese woman who was pregnant with his child, among other things.
    • Advertisement:
    • Moloch, though he hadn't been an asshole in years.
    • Gerald Grice. The plot needed to show Rorschach violently murdering someone, to establish the full onset of his insanity. Grice being a murderer himself makes the story a very solid Black and Grey Morality type.
    • Rorschach's mother was brutally murdered by her pimp. Considering that she was shown as highly abusive toward her son, it's not hard to see why Rorschach simply said "Good" when informed of his mother's death.
  • As bad as Doctor Doom is, King Vladimir Vassily Gonereo Tristian Mangegi Fortunov, the former ruler of Latveria, whom Doom deposed and killed, was a far worse tyrant by most accounts. The same goes for anybody who successfully overthrows him; every time it happens and he later seizes back his power, the citizens are always glad to have him back.
  • Advertisement:
  • The Punisher usually goes after some rather nasty people. The people he kills tend to be even worse. At least one (if not two) exception was the Punisher being unwillingly wacked out of his skull on drugs.
  • Most people who get beat up by The Hulk usually have it coming. Bruce Banner just can't stop running into assholes who go out of their way to make the poor guy mad.
  • In the Shadowland comic series Daredevil completely loses his shit and murders Bullseye after dislocating his arms. This was supposed to show that Daredevil was descending into darkness, but it backfired as most people wanted Daredevil to actually kill the man who blew up a block in Hell's Kitchen and gloated over it.
  • Supergirl:
    • In the start of Red Daughter of Krypton, a crime lord is gunned down by one of the dancers whom he used to abuse sexually. No one sheds a single tear.
    • Advertisement:
    • In Bizarrogirl, Bizarro Luthor gets stomped by the spawn of the monster he summoned to kill Bizarro #1, so it’s hard to feel sorry for him. Bizarro #1 certainly does not.
  • Johnny the Homicidal Maniac:
    • Most of Johnny's victims are this. Or are implied to be people like this. Or hung out with people like this. Or stood too close to people like this (i.e., around two kilometers). Come to think of it, Johnny doesn't really discriminate once he's gotten going, but it takes a soon-to-be Asshole Victim to trigger his homicidal rampages... Mostly. Most of the people he takes back to his Torture Cellar (who will be dead pretty soon) are prime examples however. Or at least implied to be.
    • Jimmy, Johnny's creepy fanboy/admirer, murders several innocent people for no reason other than being like his "hero", Johnny. But without a doubt his worst crime is raping and killing an innocent girl, just because she looks like another who dissed him in school. He's the title character with no sympathetic qualities. When the reader witnesses his brutal murder at Johnny's hands, not a single tear is shed.
  • From Dark Times, Dezono Qua.
  • Tommy Monaghan, the titular protagonist of Hitman, only takes contracts out on those he considers to be "bad" people.
  • In the backstory of Kingdom Come, Magog kills the Joker while he's in police custody. This is The Joker, and he was arrested because he went on a rampage in the Daily Planet offices and killed 75 people — including Lois Lane. When Superman protests, the public sides with Magog for this very reason. This kind of mindset is gradually deconstructed, however. The public deciding that it's okay for heroes to kill someone just because people think they're an asshole eventually leads to an entire generation of out-of-control and reckless heroes who don't hold back for anything — including innocent bystanders. But still...
  • Speaking of the Joker, he kills Sheila Haywood, Jason Todd's mother in A Death in the Family. She'd lost her medical license for performing back-alley abortions (one of which killed a patient) and was embezzling from her aid agency. She turned over her son to the Joker to save herself (instead of using her gun), but the Joker decided to kill both of them anyway.
  • In the first Deadshot miniseries, Deadshot—at the time a Boxed Crook working for the government—went on an unsanctioned spree of torture, maiming, and murder. However, since every one of his victims was complicit in the kidnapping, rape, and murder of Deadshot's young son, neither his boss nor the readers cared all that much.
  • Anyone the Secret Six killed in their eponymous series for the exact same reason as the Punisher example above.
  • As he's moved to being a more heroic and less serious character, Deadpool often ends up with these kind of targets when he's working as an assassin.
  • Much like for the Punisher, the people Spawn kills usually are douches, making it easier for the fans to cheer as he dismantle them gruesomely.
  • X-23:
    • When she kills Zander Rice, she puts away the claws and beats him for ten minutes in a truly brutal No-Holds-Barred Beatdown. Rice tortured and both physically and emotionally abused Laura all her life to that point,note  so it makes the scene far more satisfying to read than watching someone get pounded into an unrecognizable pulp would normally be.
    • Martin Sutter, as well. Although he didn't take a direct hand in her brutal upbringing that Rice did, he fostered the environment which enabled him to do so. Sutter summarily rejected every suggestion or warning Sarah Kinney made, and his entire motivation for the project was sheer greed. He never once had misgivings about what he and Rice were doing, and it's hard to feel a shred of sympathy for him when Rice manipulates him into turning over full control to him, and then sends X-23 to kill him.
  • Happens in quite a few EC Comics, as often someone invokes a Karmic Death by driving another person to kill them.
  • The Batman story, Dark Victory involves a Cop Killer called the Hangman. Among the victims are the Corrupt Cops from Batman: Year One: former commissioner Gillian Loeb, Gordon's former partner Arnold Flass, SWAT Lt. Branden, and SWAT officer Pratt. While Flass and Branden only appear in the mini as corpses, both Loeb and Pratt each get a moment to further cement their asshole behavior before they die: Loeb swings by recently promoted commissioner Gordon's office to gloat about Harvey Dent's transformation into Two-Face and Chief O'Hara being the first victim of the Hangman (and not-subtly imply he's gunning to get his job as police commissioner back) and Pratt tries to shoot Batman in retaliation for Batman punching him through a wall.
  • Several of the heroines in Misty were unpleasant Jerk Asses or Alpha Bitches, in order to justify the many Downer Endings of the stories.
  • Caballistics, Inc.: Demon Jenny hits the bars a few times in search of fresh victims, one of whom was apparently a serial rapist and another one a child molester. Justified because she mentions that she feeds on human sin.
  • 100 Bullets has this trope as the impetus for its plot: ordinary people, selected seemingly at random, are given a chance to get even with someone who has done them a great wrong and get away with it. Many take the chance, and many other assholes are similarly dispatched even if they aren't the primary target. Examples have included...
  • Arawn: Math and Engus were two vicious and bloodthirsty warlords that betrayed their own kin for ultimate power, murdered several innocents and were depraved rapists (the former raped his brother's wife and the latter was a pedophile). When Arawn finally becomes King of Hell, inflicts eternal torture upon them by having Math to be quartered forever and Engus beheaded and forced to look to a mirror for all time with his eyes stitched open. Even with such brutal punishments, Arawn feels they got off too easy.
  • Deathstroke's bastard Titans went up against these types of villains on most of their missions, including a crime syndicate that manufactured a highly addictive drug literally made from children, a serial child molester with an hypnotic voice, the man who remorselessly murdered Tattooed Man's son, and the leader of an organization of underground human death matches where the fighters are experimented on and mutilated before they fight. This was on part of writer Eric Wallace's attempt to make the team of self-admitted villains seem better in comparison and thus earn sympathy from the readers. For a variety of reasons, it didn't work and fans hated the Titans just as much as their enemies.
  • Subverted in The Mask comics: the fates "Big Head" inflicts on people are often so extreme that even when the victims are assholes, it's usually more horrific than cathartic.
  • Notably averted in Tom King’s Mister Miracle (2017) run. Orion acts like a total Jerkass to Mister Miracle and Big Barda for most of the story, culminating in trying to have the former executed out of fear he may be infected by the Anti-Life Equation. Yet when Darkseid brutally kills him, Miracle is horrified and nearly collapses in grief; Orion may be a total dickhead, but he’s also Scott’s brother and Scott will always love him as one.
  • Druuna: Morbus Gravis: A sadistic soldier is dragged offscreen and eaten by one of the mutants while he was in the process of raping a female captive.
  • X-Men: Reality-warping serial body-snatcher Proteus' first victim is a man who previously had refused to lend the X-Men a boat which they'd paid for, then refused to give them their money back, resulting in the X-Men hanging him from a pipe and taking the boat anyway, only for it to get totalled by Magneto. In response to this, the man travels to Muir Island to blow up Moira Mactaggert's lab, even thinking that if any innocent folk get hurt "so much the better". Then Proteus comes along looking for a new body... Then, Proteus' last victim is his own father, who really had it coming.
  • X-Force: After being drugged and brainwashed by the Purifiers, Wolfsbane winds up killing and slightly eating her father, Reverend Craig. Given he was an abusive arsehole, who spent Rahne's childhood instilling her belief she was automatically damned to Hell, and is responsible for Rahne's laundry list of issues even before he tried lynching her as a teenager, the only one who actually feels he's a loss to the species is Rahne herself.
  • Fables: In an arc set before the story proper, Snow White had her husband, Prince Charming, train her in swordplay all to enhancer her skill so that she could secretly murder a group of dwarves that had taken her hostage and raped her. The Dwarf King threatens war for the deaths unless the culprit is found and even though Charming realizes it was his wife all along, he covers it up by framing an unrelated man for the deed, executing him, and sending the head to the Dwarf King. Said man was a notorious killer and on death row anyway, so Charming's actions weren't entirely unsympathetic.
  • Ultimate Galactus Trilogy: The X-Men announce that they intend to liberate all those Russian prisoners who had been experimented with and then left abandoned in the bunker. One of those guys, who could turn into a giant, thanks in full Sarcasm Mode about the hero who comes to liberate them, and gets enraged, thinking that it's just psychological torture.
  • Dynamo5 Zigzagged. The more we learn about Captain Dynamo/William Warner, the more despicable he appears to be. It is revealed in the series that he was a habitual womanizer who cheated on his wife, Maddie Warner, even when it compromised his crime-fighting duties. He also was not above using his shape shifting power to impersonate married women's husbands in order to sleep with them. He had an affair with one of his enemies, a supervillain named Chrysalis, and had a daughter with her named Cynthia, and led a second life to help raise her. The worst thing he did was when he fathered a child with an alien woman that he had met in outer space, after coming to the aid of her malfunctioning starship. When the mother gives him the child because she can't raise him herself, he leaves the infant at a F.L.A.G. research facility, where the child grows up without parents. When one of the scientists bonds with the child and begs Captain Dynamo to free him, Captain Dynamo refuses. However, his wife Maddie Warner and best friend Augie Ford still very much respect his memory and miss him, despite learning about his faults. It is implied that Captain Dynamo/William Warner truly did love his wife Maddie Warner and his best friend Augie Ford and aside from the cheating and womanizing, he took his crime-fighting duties as protector of Tower City seriously.
  • Done rather humorously in Marvel Zombies, where one of Zombie Spider-Man's victims is J. Jonah Jameson.


Example of: