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Butt Monkey / Marvel Universe

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Marvel Universe

  • 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.
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    • 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"
    • 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 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 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.
  • 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 living Stage 4 and all.
      • However, Deadpool's status as a Butt-Monkey is mainly his own doing, due to being scatterbrained, having a serious case of ADD, and pretty much refusing to take almost anything seriously. That being said, he's also been shown to be one of the most capable and deadliest mercenaries in the Marvel University when he sets aside the BS and gets right down to getting the job done. Whether or not his schtick is an act or not is hotly debated. The current consensus is that it's not a act, but when he switches it for Let's Get Dangerous! you'd better hope you're not his target. While many other characters regard him as a joke, those who know better understand how dangerous he is and don't make the mistake of dismissing or underestimating him.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.
    • This seems to apply to anyone who takes on the Spider mantle. Gwen Stacy has it even rougher in the alternate reality where she's bitten by the radioactive spider rather than Peter Parker. Her life is so bad that she has to travel to an alternate universe to improve her situation.
  • This applies 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.
  • 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.

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