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Butt Monkey / Comic Books

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  • Hank Pym is the Butt Monkey for the Marvel superheroic community. In multiple universes. And it's carried over into the animated adaptations too, thanks to Ultimate Avengers.
    • In the Ultimate comics, Captain America gave him a serious beatdown for beating up his wife. Just an example.
    • This has gotten kind of ridiculous in recent years, perhaps epitomized by this quote from Mighty Avengers #23 (to give it a certain amount of context, Iron Man has showed up and told Hank he's going to now lead Hank's newly assembled team):
    Hank Pym: You can take over from here? You? Tony Stark? Mister Fought-against-Cap-in-the-civil-war, shot-Hulk-into-space-and-caused-World-War-Hulk, gave-the-Skrulls-everything-they-needed-to-invade-Earth. You're taking over? Come on, give me one good reason why—
    Iron Man: Three words. You're. Hank. Pym.
    • Speaking of that, during the Skrull's infiltration, one Skrull impersonated Pym. Then he complained to the Queen why Pym got no respect, because by impersonating Pym, he's got the butt-end of jokes by many heroes. The Queen's response? "Nobody cares about Pym/Ant Man"
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    • Pym does have his moments of awesome. For example, the efforts he went to in redeeming himself after his period of psychosis that brought about the original Yellowjacket identity, and his current run with the Mighty Avengers. However, these come so few and far between that it's like every "badass" period is just set up as another grace for him to fall from.
      • Like this cover image of the final issue of Mighty Avengers, for example.
      • Dan Slott claimed in interviews that he was going to redeem Pym as a character, after he'd been handed Butt-Monkey status for so long. Since that interview, the comic's taken a huge swerve where we've seen Pym reduced to an obsessive, useless jackass, whose only good work was adaptations of other people's discoveries, and who has apparently been using a sentient gynoid he previously treated as a friend/daughter as a stand-in for his ex while not telling her he was trying to revive said ex using all of the apparent upgrades he'd given her. And as of the latest issues, the team has fallen apart under the opinion that he's lost his goddamn mind, and Ultron and even the infamous slap have been brought back yet again as further proof of his failures. What was that about redeeming the character, again?
      • His Marvel Zombies counterpart was fairly respected amongst his comrades.
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    • Hank Pym's Butt-Monkey status was cemented when he recently met Eternity, the Anthropomorphic Personification of everything. The first thing Eternity does after saying "Hi!" is punch Hank in the gut. That's right: the universe itself is literally hostile to Hank Pym.
    • Deadpool and Spider-Man recently had a "Yo Momma" battle and guess who was the punchline of the joke?
      Deadpool: Your mother's so fat, Hank Pym had to beat her up in the back of a Quinn Jet.
    • In the Marvel Cinematic Universe, Hank and The Wasp were the only founding Avengers not featured in The Avengers movie, and it's been confirmed that the upcoming Ant-Man movie is not about Hank, but instead features Scott Lang as the lead. That being said, it's Subverted this time around, as Hank is portrayed as a Cool Old Guy Eccentric Mentor to Scott.
  • Hellion of the New X Men. His parents disinherit him for an incident which he didn't even start (and generally had a low opinion of him even before he manifested his powers). He loses his girlfriend shortly after M-Day (his own fault), and many of his friends are killed during Stryker's attacks, including one of his best friends and teammate. He does the right thing when Emma Frost tries to rig a contest to take out X-23, and just gets punished for his trouble. He's been gutted by Deathstrike, the Leper Queen turned him into a walking bomb with the Legacy Virus, Nimrods destroyed his hands (which have somehow never been healed despite the presence of powerful mutant healers like Elixir and Triage) while helping defend San Francisco from Bastion. He's punished for doing the only thing he could to stop Karima — at her own request no less — and treated like a monster by every senior X-Man despite them all having done far, far worse. Then his second girlfriend rebuffs him when he reaches out to her for help coping with what he's going through, and she coldly lies to his face about not caring about him anymore to break it off. Then he gets dumped into Spidey's remedial class because he's viewed as untrustworthy and likely to undergo a Face–Heel Turn. Most recently, he's revealed as one of the mutants who has somehow been overlooked by Storm and her team sheltering in Limbo, infected with the M-Pox, and nearly gets himself killed when he decides to single-handedly attack Attilan reasoning he's dying anyway (fortunately Synapse manages to shut down his powers and saves his life). Pretty much any time he turns up, you can pretty much expect something bad to happen to him.
    • For that matter, the New X-Men. Almost their entire generation was wiped out during the Decimation. Forty of their depowered number were murdered in a bus bomb set by the Purifiers, while others were killed when Stryker attacked the Xavier school in the chaos afterwards. Despite their frequently Lampshaded combat experience, they're still often treated as raw newbies by the experienced X-Men. If they're even remembered at all. These days they rarely even appear as wallpaper despite their immense popularity, and when they are brought out of the background, it's usually to kill one of them off for shock value (usually Elixir, who, thanks to his powers, has suffered this several times!).
      Surge: There's nothing you can teach us, "Prof".... We already know how to die.
  • After the controversial Civil War storyline in Marvel Comics, several heroes who were on the side of registering metahumans were very unpopular among the fans and turned into Butt Monkeys. Tony Stark, leader of the pro-regs, spent every guest appearance for a month or two afterwards being yelled at and slapped around by other heroes, including getting beaten up by THOR; he was also sued (successfully) by She-Hulk (clearly, lying to someone about her cousin so she'd sleep with him and then arresting her is not a good idea, especially when said person is a lawyer). Tigra, who spied on the anti-regs while being pro-reg the entire time, was shot and beaten by the Hood while barely putting up a fight, constantly screaming "AIIEE", and being videotaped. She also joined Stature in being kidnapped by Puppet Master, almost sold into slavery, and being forced to fight her rescuer, Ms. Marvel (and losing). Interestingly, she also has a relationship with Hank Pym around this time.
  • Weasel, Bob Agent of Hydra.... Any of Deadpool's side-kicks really.
    • With the possible exception of Blind Al, who dished it out as much as she took it.
      • The writers after Joe Kelly have all claimed that Blind Al was removed from the series, and won't be a fixture again, because of just how much she stole the show.
    • Tryco Slatterus (a.k.a The Champion) in Deadpool Corps is also one. Considering he's always humiliated at the end of each issue he appears in.
    • Deadpool himself is one too. Everyone hates him, He has awful luck with women and is subjected to all sorts of Slapstick.Oh and also , ya know being [[Blessed With Suck living Stage 4 and all.
  • What's the most thankless job at Marvel's biggest newspaper, the Daily Bugle, the guy who has the biggest reason to shout Dude, Where's My Respect?? The guy who writes obituaries! Seriously! His name is Dilbert Trilby, and in Spider-Man Unlimited #1 after Doctor Octopus was killed (and subsequently resurrected by the Hand) he had a meltdown that you just have to sympathize with at the prospect of having to retract an obituary of the villain that he claimed was Pulitzer material, ranting in despair to Ben Ulrich how he has files full of past ones he had written on guys like Spider-Man, the Hulk, and the Fantastic Four. ("Don't even get me started on the X-Men!" he moans). all of which he painstakingly worked on after researching the lives of the subjects, only to have to retract them. In a universe where Death Is a Slap on the Wrist, someone like him just can't catch a break.
  • Detective Soap from the Garth Ennis era of The Punisher. Just a few of many examples; Assigned to a joke squad to catch the Punisher after the brass is blackmailed. Sleeps with a convict and his own mother, both of which could have been avoided if the one person he thought was his friend said anything. Intimidated by the Punisher into feeding him info on crooks to kill. Regularly gets splashed in bodily fluids. Gets blackmailed himself, left and right. His love interest turns out to be gay. As a CHILD... dropped on his head as a baby, avoided rape because the pastor thought he was ugly... In the end, though, he gets his just rewards. It turns out he has a huge penis and is now a porn star..
  • Some writers seem to think that the biggest appeal of Spider-Man is that things constantly go wrong for him. As a result, we get countless stories of Peter suffering humiliation, lack of money, sickly aunt, girl trouble and just all around unpleasantness, to the point that reading the stories can actually get a little depressing. Note that after John Romita Sr started working on the title with Stan Lee, the book became much Lighter and Softer than it had been recently, a move which led most fans to label it as the golden age of Spider-Man.
    • Originally, Peter Parker and Scott Summers of the X-Men had something in common, their characters were supposed to be guys who things often tended go wrong for, but not just for the sake of that, and they were impressive, each in his own way, in how they dealt with it. But too many writers just can't grasp the difference between that and 'kick them harder!'
    • J. Jonah Jameson, the Shocker, the Jason Macendale Hobgoblin, and others have all shared this role at different times over the years. Jason Macendale had it worse as it seemed he couldn't do anything right, up to getting a power boost from a demon. He was ultimately put down by the Roderick Kingsley Hobgoblin, tired of his failures.
    • In the Marvel Now Amazing Spider-Man, it hasn't even been ten minutes since being Spider-Man again before he has his suit unravel by a villan's power, and having him nude except for his mask being posted all over the internet. This convinces '''everyone''' that the real Spider-Man is back.
  • The aforementioned Stature really deserves her own bullet. Her former team, the Young Avengers, were anti-reg and the others stayed anti-reg after she left. It's possible that the popularity of other members over her and the former cohesiveness of the team made her betrayal seem particularly outrageous, which would explain her treatment in the later comics. Stature was kidnapped by Puppet Master, almost sold into slavery and had to fight Ms. Marvel. During this fight, she had a car hit her in the face. She joined a superhero boot camp some unspecified time after Civil War. Other instructors included former supervillains, including Taskmaster, who had fought Stature's superhero dad (Ant Man). New Ant Man Eric O'Grady mocked the former Ant Man to ingratiate himself with Taskmaster. Stature promptly tried to kill him, only for O'Grady to grow to giant size and smack her with a bus. They both were taken down by Taskmaster without Stature hitting O'Grady once. Later at the camp, a clone gone wrong combined with an alien weapon ran around maiming and beating trainees, including her. When she was eventually sent home, she had a screaming fight with her mother and stepfather and accidentally crippled her stepfather during a fight with a supervillain. Just prior to the Siege crossover, she discovered that her teammate Scarlet Witch was really Loki in disguise, but was unable to reveal this potentially life-saving information to her teammates because of a magical mental gag that was placed on her. And then after the Avengers reformed, she tried out to become the nanny of Luke Cage and Jessica Jones' baby, and was even denied that. The only good things were off-screen reconciliations with the other Young Avengers and some Epiphany Therapy. Keep in mind that the last time we were updated on her age, she wasn't even fifteen.
    • Though after she returned to the Young Avengers full time, things did finally start picking up for her. The biggest win for her? During the Children's Crusade, she was able to reunite with her dead father after he was resurrected by the real Scarlet Witch. And then she died.
  • This apply to various villain:
    • Trapster, favored punchline of heroes (especially Spider-Man), despite being reasonably dangerous with his glue-based weaponry. He simply can't live down his initial moniker of "Paste-Pot Pete" (or the costume he wore with it). Just calling him "Pete" usually puts the fight half in the bag.
    • The Ringmaster flirts with this status as well; he was once beaten by Howard the Duck.
    • The Wrecking Crew are the universe's punching bag, despite being super strong with reasonably threatening powers, they exist solely to be beaten up by every hero they are up against.
  • Speedball of New Warriors is a bit of a writers' punching bag simply for his ridiculous power. He's often referenced, at least in the Ultimate line of comics, where he doesn't even EXIST. And even though he temporarily became Penance, his angst was still treated as a joke in some appearances.


  • Batman villain Killer Moth. Oh, boy. While Killer Moth had a ridiculously bright costume when he first appeared, he was treated as a threat, an Evil Counterpart to Batman. Then, they made the mistake of having him be the first foe for the newest addition to the Bat-Family, Batgirl, the end result was turning him from a threat to a laughingstock instantly. No one took him seriously anymore. During Underworld Unleashed, they tried to save his character by turning him into the monstrous Charaxes and was still ignored, only to be killed by Superboy-Prime in Infinite Crisis.
    • Similarly Kite Man is a silver age villain who very much remains a silver age villain even in later periods of time and is the butt of many jokes. Even in the late 2010's when Kiteman got a boost in popularity and a catch phrase (Kite Man. Hell yeah) he still remained, well, Kite Man
  • Supergirl in Supergirl: Cosmic Adventures in the 8th Grade is convinced that her new homeworld hates her. Her schoolmates mock her, her teachers are sadistic jerks, and her powers malfunction at the most inopportune times.
    Supergirl: This planets hates me.
  • Wally West is kind of the go-to Butt-Monkey for The Flash writers. However bad any other speedster has it, they can always look at Wally and thank their lucky stars they're not him.
  • Garryn Bek from L.E.G.I.O.N. is almost always the most picked on member of the cast. Nobody in the whole galaxy takes as much punishment and humiliation as Garryn Bek, at least for the first forty issues or so.
  • The poor Jimmy Olsen when was a constant target of Super Dickery.
  • The Jokester, a heroic doppleganger of The Joker from Earth-3. The entire multiverse really has it in for this guy, which makes sense, if the Joker is a terrifying villain who never suffers any consequences, his exact opposite would be a Failure Hero who constantly takes it in the teeth. A brief synopsis of his life story:
    • He was a friendless, bullied loser throughout his childhood;
    • When he grew up, he found love with Evelyn Dent, the future Three-Face, who abruptly left him while pregnant with their daughter;
    • He became a successful standup comedian by mocking Owlman, only for Owlman to murder his manager/Only Friend and disfigure his face;
    • He then became a vigilante hero and reunited with his daughter and Evelyn, only to learn that she had remarried and had left him because she had developed Multiple Personality Disorder and two out of her three personalities hated him;
    • He began to build a relationship with his daughter and even managed to woo Evelyn's other personalities, only for the Crime Syndicate to attack their hideout, leaving Jokester as seemingly the sole survivor;
    • Deciding he had no reason to stay on Earth-3, he joined up with Donna Troy, Kyle Rayner and Jason Todd, stepping through an inter-dimensional portal just in time for Evelyn, who was alive and racing to get to him, to tearfully watch him disappear;
    • On his first dimension hop he was unceremoniously shot in the back, and died on a world that was not his own, far away from anyone who ever loved him, unmourned and never spoken of again, having achieved nothing.


  • Astro City has Glue-Gun, an obvious Expy of Paste-Pot Pete. If something embarrassing happens to a villain in Astro City, odds are good Glue-Gun will be the victim.
  • Cacofonix the bard in Asterix is the village punching bag. He gets beaten up whenever he tries to sing, and quite often when he doesn't even try to sing, such as when Obelix accidentally uprooted his house. At the end of most stories he's Bound and Gagged. He tends to do better when he saves the day in some way (like in Asterix and the Normans), or when the village is doing badly - a particularly sad sequence in The Roman Agent shows Cacofonix, who has not been involved in the events of the story so far, sitting at the feast table like he rarely gets to but, because the village is now consumed with suspicion and paranoia, feeling like he's on his own. Though, at the same time, when Cacofonix is under threat of the Romans, like in Asterix the Gladiator and The Mansion of the Gods the villagers do everything to rescue and/or defend him.
  • Walter The Softy and Cuthbert Cringeworthy from The Beano have to undergo torment, harassment and bullying that would destroy any normal boy their age.
    • To say nothing of Calamity James!
  • Bécassine: Bécassine, whose naivité and clumsiness makes her somewhat of The Woobie too.
  • Cubitus: Balthazar the neighbour cat. Cubitus always thinks up crafty ways to find an excuse to beat him up. Though, the cat often deserves it and Cubitus himself sometimes gets his comeuppance.
  • De Kiekeboes: Balthazar, an incompetent villain who is more a nuisance than a help to his fellow criminals.
  • Peter Fox was proven to be the Butt Monkey of FoxTrot by the strip's first week.
  • Manhog from Frank. He is shown to be quite bitter about his lot in life but is usually too stupid to fix anything about it.
  • Jon Arbuckle of Garfield is an extreme example, as seen to the right.
  • Hacken from Hitman, perhaps the best defining moment of his crappy luck was when the characters were fighting their way out of an aquarium full of zombie sea animals (Long Story) he gets his hand bitten by a baby seal and in panic chops it of only to find out a few scenes later that these zombies aren’t contagious, cue to panel of him staring sadly at his new stump.
  • Jommeke: Filiberke, who is often ridiculed by Flip and put down by Jommeke for his often bizarre role-playing, like pretending to be a kangaroo.
  • Lucky Luke: Averell Dalton, a dumb and hungry outlaw who is always a source for Joe's irritation and anger.
  • One of the last good things about MAD after all its old regular artists and writers started dying like flies, Monroe's title character is a definite example of a Butt Monkey, with ridiculously neglectful parents, a cruel bully who constantly leaves him battered and bloody, his only friend is a nerdy toadlike kid who is the only person liked even less than him, and any spot of hope for him is usually destroyed by the end of the story.
  • Nero: Meneer Pheip, a Henpecked Husband who is domineered by his wife, but also ridiculed by the others for being arrogant and unable to speak Dutch without intertwining it with Gratuitous French.
  • Charlie Brown from Peanuts. Woodstock and Snoopy have their moments as well.
    • Word of God says that Charles Schulz based Charlie Brown's eternal pessimism and butt monkey qualities off himself. So Charlie Brown is an Author Avatar.
  • Herr Starr from Preacher is the recipient of ever-increasing quantities of humiliating violence. As a child, he has one of his eyes put out and goes bald; during the plotline of the comic, he gets raped by a male prostitute, has a large scar carved into his head (which makes it look like a giant... Uh...), has one ear shot off, narrowly escapes cannibals who eat his leg, and finally has his genitals eaten by a Rottweiler, leading to his forlorn use of the phrase "my cock is in the bitch's mouth and not in a good way".
    • And finally, to add insult to injury - literally - at the crescendo of his crusade of vengeance against Jesse Custer, he is handed prank binoculars and winds up addressing his troops for his final battle with black circles inked around his eyes.
    • Though one wonders why a trained military man, who never goes unarmed, who is the second most powerful man in the entire WORLD...could get overtaken by a male prostitute.
  • Quick and Flupke: Agent 15 is always the foil of Quick and Flupke's jokes.
  • Under Gail Simone Red Sonja has become one. Despite her unmatched martial skill she gets exiled, plagued, kicked into the mud, rebuffed by bouncers, rejected for sex, and spanked mid-combat. While a departure from earlier characterizations, this makes her a much more identifiable hero.
  • Brainy Smurf of The Smurfs is the village's butt monkey.
  • Erica Pierce from Solar, Man of the Atom is a rather unlucky woman. First off, she was with Solar when he had his accident in the reactor which gave her powers as well (she doesn't first), she later tries to have sex with the titular Solar but is turned down, Solar takes Erica with him outside the universe where she ends up cracking up do to her self-esteem issues, she tries to kill Solar due to the previous trip, Solar later on goes haywire which results in the universe being sucked into a black hole, she survives along with Solar, both of them being sent into a new universe. In the new universe, it's revealed that Erica (a another one albeit the same) has a abusive husband who impregnated her, said baby coming to life with powers similar to Solar, the baby ends up killing herself due to its power which traumatizes Erica even more, and finally she kills her husband in a fit of rage. She is then killed by the Erica from the previous universe, who takes her son Albert with her into hiding.
  • Tails in Sonic the Comic. He's frequently the victim of Sonic's "strange sense of humour" and the people he rescues tend to complain that they wanted to be saved by Sonic.
  • In Spy vs. Spy, Whenever the Grey spy makes the scene, the black and white spies lose every time. When she isn't present, though, whenever one spy wins, the other looks fitting for this trope. But since the victor alternates, this randomly switches.
  • Suske en Wiske: Lambik, who is always beaten up, falling down or ridiculed by the others for being vain and arrogant.
  • Captain Haddock, Cuthbert Calculus and Thomson and Thompson are the Buttmonkeys from Tintin.
  • Tom Poes: Olivier B. Bommel, whose impulsiveness always gets him in trouble. Marquis de Canteclaer looks down upon him because Bommel is beneath his noble heritage and Officer Bulle Bas always suspects Bommel to be the suspect of every possible crime.
  • Even The Transformers has a few in its setting. The Adorkable Autobot psychologist Rung is first introduced being as a friendless model-ship-building nerd getting beat up in a bar and thrown across a table. He's been mugged in an alleyway for effectively no reason by Brainstorm, threatened by Fortress Maximus, shot in the face by Swerve, forced to listen to Swerve apologize for 147 straight hours while in a coma, picked up by Swerve to beat an enemy spy unconscious, and everyone forgets his name. The Decepticons get Nautilator, whose who is a both a complete loser and subject to a lot of comical mistreatment thanks to the fact that he's an underwater excavation specialist and part of the Decepticon aquatic strike force who both rusts and swims like an AMC Gremlin. He fulfills his function by accidentally sinking himself to the bottom of the ocean and stumbling across useful salvage while begging to be rescued by a team that would rather forget he exists. Both the TFWiki and our own have compared Nautilator to Doctor Zoidberg, which says a lot.
  • Transhuman by Jonathan Hickman has a group of literal butt-monkeys. That is they are supposedly the showcase for a new type of genetic modification designed to give you superpowers, yet upon being sent to recapture a group of escaped, enhanced intelligence monkeys, they are captured and anally raped these monkeys live on TV. People make jokes about this, even to their faces, for the rest of their lives. The genetic modifications eventually have horrible side effects as well.
  • Urbanus: Dikke Herman, an obese child with glasses and buck teeth who is frequently and sometimes (but not always) undeservedly the victim of other people's violence.
  • Violine has Kombo, an African witch-doctor and reluctant ally to Violine, who always causes or gets in trouble.
  • In the German comic Werner: Meister Röhrich.
  • Filler Bunny from various Jhonen Vasquez comics was created purely to entertain the audience by being tortured. Appropriately enough, at one point he has a monkey climb up his butt.
    • Don't forget Todd (Squee) from Jhonen's comic Squee!; throughout the series, he gets frequently harassed by space aliens who want to probe him, a gigantic dust mite, and his cyborg-Grandpa; his parents continuously ignore him, the worst offender being his dad, who constantly says stuff like, "I haven't smiled since the day you were born" (at one point he's even seen watching a video of Squee's birth being played in reverse); his classmates constantly pick on him and laugh at him for no apparent reason whatsoever; his only real friends are Shmee (his stuffed bear), Pepito (the son of Satan), and Johnny (Nny); heck, at the end of the series, his parents place him in a mental institution!


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