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Crapsack World / Comic Books

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"The Streets are extended gutters and the gutters are full of blood and when the drains finally scab over, all the vermin will drown."
Rorschach, Watchmen, opening monologue

  • Pretty much everything in 2000 AD was set in a world that was gloriously crapsack. To wit:
    • Judge Dredd:
      • After the Atomic War of 2070, most of the Earth has been reduced to a radioactive wasteland populated by mutants, warlords, and exiles. Most of the remaining population has congregated into sprawling Mega Cities, all of which are totalitarian states under martial law. The rest of the world isn't much better either. The Atlantic is severely polluted, the self-proclaimed Mongolian Free State is a safe haven for criminals, the Mediterranean coast has been ravaged by mutagens, two giant deserts have formed in Africa, and some places, such as Indonesia, are completely lawless. Inside Mega-City-One (Dredd's city, covering the U.S. East Coast), 97% of the population is unemployed, there is a massive suicide and crime rate, and such harsh book laws that people can be arrested simply for the possibility that they might be hiding something. Mutants in the megacities live under a system of apartheid, with expulsion as the worst punishment possible. Insurgencies, attempted revolutions, and terrorist attacks are all disturbingly frequent, and every few years the city has to cope with threats from without when it is again attacked by other Mega Cities, alien invaders, or a group of extradimensional monsters obsessed with destroying all life.
      • Deadworld was an even crappier place to live in before its end. There had been several genocidal atomic wars, famines, and "critter swarms" by the time the judges took power, to the point where the value people placed on life had already dropped to zero. In such an environment, the judges could afford to be little more than cold-blooded killers, which eventually spawned the Dark Judges from their ranks who ultimately put it out of its misery.
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    • Nemesis the Warlock: The Hero is a genocidal maniac who wants to wipe out humanity, and, given that humanity in this series is best described as "The Imperium from Warhammer 40,000 but competent", it's kind of hard to not root for him anyway.
    • Rogue Trooper is set during a Forever War, in which the planet which is the main setting has been completely destroyed. The atmosphere is unbreathable due to excessive use of chemical weapons, bio-engineered diseases and organic terror weapons run rampant, tens of thousands of people are fed into the meatgrinder on a daily basis, and the war between the equally bad sides shows no indication of ending. The heroes, meanwhile, are completely unconcerned with the conflict at large and only care about tracking down the traitor who caused their unit to be wiped out.
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    • Savage is set in Britain after an invasion by Stalinist Volgans in the late eighties. The Volgans are a savage and repressive occupying force, but the hero is openly racist and eventually established to have become a Serial Killer, willing and eager to kill Volgan civilians for no real reason, and his small band of terrorists/guerillas can't really do much except annoy the Volgan war machine.
    • Shakara takes place in a crapsack universe. In the past, the Shakara Federation ruled the galaxies with an iron fist, ruthlessly crushing dissent and forcing all other species and civilisation to conform to their own model. Eventually, Lara Procopio released a genetic plague upon them, wiping out the entire species — at which point the alliance backing her started conquering the galaxies and spreading terror, chaos, and genocide across the stars. The last of the Shakara, a liquid being also called Shakara, lives only to see vengeance for its creators, which it accomplishes by committing xenocide on a scale that would be impressive in Warhammer 40,000 and only comes across as slightly sympathetic because its enemies are worse. There is another: The greatest Shakara, the one who started the Shakara Federation is actually later revealed to be alive and untouched by the plague. He is also the one who is destroying every inhabited planet in the universe including gulp earth.
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    • Strontium Dog: The world is still reeling from the aftershocks of a nuclear war, mutants are openly discriminated against and segregated, and only won that much recognition through a bloody and brutal guerilla war. Everything is worn, crime is rampant, poverty is rife, mutants are legally prohibited from taking any jobs except bounty hunting, a lot of people believe mutants are insufficiently oppressed, and very little becomes better in any relevant way.
  • DC Comics' first Atari Force comic has one in its backstory. In the year 2005, Earth is ravaged by endless war and terror attacks, the United States has been shattered, the United Nations is dead, famine and disease are rampant, billions have already died, and a hemispheric drought has reduced the planet's arable land by a million acres. It's desperate enough that humanity's last hope is to send a team to travel across dimensions and try to find a new planet for everyone to colonize. What Do You Mean, It's for Kids?
  • In some versions of Batman (especially those by Frank Miller) Gotham City is depicted as one of these, particularly in stories set early in Batman's career. It's often shown to be blighted by the worst in urban decay and crime, and it's often suggested that the entire police department is corrupt and venal apart from James Gordon. Several issues imply that evil and insanity are Inherent in the System and legends allude to an evil Bat-demon that has haunted the city (and especially Arkham Asylum) since its early days. Grant Morrison's Batman run suggests that the demon in question is actually a living embodiment of the evil Omega power of Darkseid, sent back in time as part of a convoluted scheme to kill Batman and destroy the Earth; if not, then it just posed as it, implying the corruptive supernatural evil that plagues Gotham is still out there—that, or Gotham is just a Weirdness Magnet for maniacs and psychopaths.
    • The most infamous version is All-Star Batman & Robin, the Boy Wonder where the superheroes are either sociopaths (Batman, Black Canary, Wonder Woman), future sociopaths (Batgirl, Robin), or morons (Superman, Green Lantern).
    • The No Man's Land arc took the crapsack Gotham City and made it into a blighted, disease-ridden, quasi-apocalyptic hell hole where the villains far outnumbered the police. Then again, Gotham being Gotham, it's a wonder anybody noticed a difference.
    • Jack Napier, who would become the Joker, commented on Gotham's sheer horror with a single throwaway line in Tim Burton's Batman (1989):
      Harvey Dent: [on television] Together, we can make this city safe for decent people!
      Jack Napier: Decent people shouldn't live here. They'd be happier someplace else.
    • And then there's the version of Gotham presented in Batman: Holy Terror, in which America is a brutal, corrupt theocracy where non-Christians are tortured, anyone with superpowers is experimented upon, and Superman is dead.
    • Batman: Thrillkiller: This is the standard Gotham of crime bosses and universally corrupt police, but with extra systemic sexism and homophobia laced in.
  • Birthright has the fantasy land of Terrenos. While the story doesn't necessarily take place there, characters during the narrative describe it as "hell" with flashbacks backing their claims: it's an Death World populated by all sorts of hostile lifeforms and monsters, and ruled by an uber-powerful God-Emperor that rules mercilessly over it's inhabitants. Resistance against him has been at very best ineffective because he has near endless armies at his disposal and is virtually impossible to defeat, with none of the heroes being capable of matching him in power. On top of that, most of the heroes are vicious zealots or nominal heroes willing to sacrifice innocents to achieve their endgoals.
  • Black Moon Chronicles: War is virtually constant in this Dark High Fantasy world (often as proxies for divine forces), the rulers are either brutal pragmatists trying to salvage what's left (Emperor Haaghendorf) or total monsters who just want to destroy and kill everything and everyone (Haazheel Thorn), feudal holdings and cities are often ruled by cruel nobles or unscrupulous magistrates, and even outside the cities dozens of warlords regularly go on their own campaigns of killing and plunder. Never mind the nigh-infinite list of creatures that feast on unfortunate wanderers who are too stupid to not travel in armed groups. Basically, Everything Is Trying to Kill You, or suck out your soul to dine on it, or worse.
  • Block 109: This might be one of the worst "Alternate WWII" scenarios. Hitler is assassinated in 1941, leading to The Purge and a more efficient leadership taking control of the Third Reich and focusing more on the west. The war expands to Africa, Asia, and South America. Then the Nazis develop atomic bombs and destroy most of North America. They finally declare war on the USSR in 1944 but get bogged down in a quagmire that still isn't resolved by 1953, by which time only 30% of pre-war humanity remains. Weapons used by both sides get increasingly high-tech and exotic, culminating in the Nazis unleashing a viral plague that creates a Zombie Apocalypse. Grand Master Zytek ultimately decides the best thing for humanity is to destroy every warring faction and restart civilization.
  • Bomb Queen: The comic book's setting New Port City is a criminal mecca where virtually every citizen is a crook, murderer, drug dealer, member of a hate group, or at the very least beats and/or rapes their children. Even people who were normal before they moved there turn evil. The city's dictator is a supervillainess with a sky-high approval rating. Superheroes are illegal. Throughout the city are designated crime zones where anything goes. The later stories try to explain this by implying demonic influence on the area.
  • Season Eight of Buffy the Vampire Slayer makes the 'verse into pretty much an immutable Crapsack World: Buffy's empowerment of the potential Slayers achieved nothing good, the new generation Slayers die like flies, in horrible ways, and the empowerment somehow caused a near-destruction of the universe that was only averted by banishing the good magical entities from it or depowering them and leaving the usually-irredeemably evil ones still present and in force. Certain elements of this were improved in the later comic arcs, though.
  • Camelot 3000: Earth is a dystopian nightmare split between the United States, the USSR (which still exist in the distant future due to the comic being written in the 80s), China and Africa whose leaders are extremely corrupt and oppressive, turning criminals and political dissidents into brainwashed Battle Thralls to repress the population. Meanwhile, a Alien Invasion is going on at the start of the series with nobody else being capable of stopping them. When King Arthur emerges to save the world from it, the world leaders waste no time in trying to have him killed because he is considered a threat to their position.
  • Chaos! Comics would win any comic-book crapsack contest. Let's see...the entire eastern United States is overrun with zombies controlled by a sadistic mass murderer, with the survivors barely scraping together a society as cities and towns are picked off one by one; said sadistic mass murderer has managed to hijack nuclear bombs and nuke a few world cities; vampires, werewolves, and sorcerers are real and are mostly unchecked; Hell is also real and apparently most people go there; and Heaven is run by angels who are indifferent to humanity and aren't even powerful enough to stop Lucifer from messing with their plans including the Rapture. Oh, and God is real too, but has abandoned the universe.
  • Darkseid's Apokolips is an Immutable Crapsack World. "Live for Darkseid! Die for Darkseid!"
  • The DCU:
    • Is one in the Flashpoint altered reality. To sum up: Kal-El never became Superman because after his ship crashed into Metropolis instead of Smallville (along with a meteor shower that wiped out the city), he was taken by the military and has spent his entire life being experimented on, as were Kara and Krypto when they arrived (unlike Kal, they didn't survive the experiments); Bruce Wayne died in place of his parents, causing his father to become a much more brutal Batman and his mother to become an even crazier version of The Joker; a Nazi remnant is in control of Brazil; Aquaman and Wonder Woman are at war, which has led to Britain being occupied by the Amazons and all of Western Europe being flooded; Grodd has conquered Africa and killed half the human population (and that's viewed as a background event); and meanwhile, the Black Lanterns and Manhunters are overrunning the Green Lanterns and destroying planets left and right. Needless to say, this is one of the crappiest worlds in comic book history, if not the crappiest of them all.
    • The DCU's Earth-3, especially in the Earth 2 Graphic Novel. Evil is considered good, so Jeffrey Dahmer is president and people engage in recreational puppy kicking.
    • The DCU may be considered this in general — not only is it the place Gotham, Bludhaven, Hub City and Apokolips exist, it's also the world where the worst criminals never face justice and even entire cities are constantly being destroyed by aliens and supervillains. That wouldn't be so bad, at least not much worse than the Marvel Universe, if it wasn't for Fridge Horror related to DC likenesses of Cosmic Retcons — you never know if tomorrow, you aren't going to wake up with your entire life or personality changed beyond recognition or won't wake up, as you don't exist and never existed at all, just because Superboy-Prime punched reality.
      • And if you try to change anything, you'll become a Knight Templar and evil.
    • Every few years, the DCU experiences another Crisis. Which essentially means reality goes out to lunch for a while, random alternate universes are created, destroyed or rebooted and in most cases there's an Omnicidal, nigh omnipotent villain behind it all. In InfiniteCrisis alone, the Earth was plagued with horrible and unnatural weather events, a massive superhuman war and civilians dying by the millions. Putting aside how tanked the global infrastructure would be after a series of events like that, for however brief a time it was, the DC universe was a nightmare world where everyone not a popular superhero (Not that that can save you forever) was in danger of being swept away by a catastrophe they couldn't begin to understand.
    • Even worse is the Dark Multiverse, a Crapsack multiverse spawned of the hopes and fears of every living being in the main Multiverse brought to life where everything goes hideously wrong.
  • Featured prominently in Give Me Liberty, with inner-city ghettos turned into virtual prisons, fast-food restaurants waging war for farmland, and the Divided States of America on the verge of a fifteen-way civil war.
  • The setting of Gotham City Garage is a post-apocalyptic world. The entire planet is a barren, lifeless desert. Most cities are scorched ruins fought over by scavengers. And the only thriving city is under the rule of Lex Luthor.
  • In the Green Lantern books, Sinestro Corpsman Karu-Sil's homeworld of Graxos III is this. Every single animal has at least some appetite for meat, ranging from opportunistic scavengers to incredibly aggressive predators. Karu-Sil's family was killed by their neighbors so the neighbors could claim their food supplies, and after that, she was raised by a family of the aforementioned predators. The predators were a step up; the murder was considered normal behavior.
  • Idées Noires: Perhaps the best example. All the gags in this comic strip are Black Comedy about stuff that worry and depress most people: suicide, fear of world war, fear of the bomb, fear of nuclear power, fear of epidemics, ... but also fantastical After the End jokes, Take That! comedy aimed at hunters, the death penalty and jokes about bizarre monsters.
  • The world of I Killed Adolf Hitler, where murder is legal, is so bleak that even successfully killing Adolf Hitler doesn't fix anything.
  • "Land of No Tears" from Jinty was set in a very depressing future world where people less than utterly perfect are second-class citizens called Gammas, and forced to slave for the perfect Alphas.
  • The world of Johnny the Homicidal Maniac, especially as filtered through the eyes of its pessimistic main character.
    • Just how much of a Crapsack World that Johnny the Homicidal Maniac takes place in is best exemplified in the sixth issue, which occurs after Johnny's "death" and takes place almost entirely in the afterlife. Johnny finds that Hell is almost the same as Earth, the only major difference being, as Johnny puts it, "At least on Earth there were nice people mixed in with the social maggots."
    • To be fair, this is Jhonen Vasquez... The filler strips were even greater offenders, with the tortured Fillerbunny and Happy Noodle Boy. "It's quite popular with the homeless insane."
    • Then there's Squee!, where an entire universe seems to be acting its animosity out on one poor kid.
  • Junessa from Gemini Storm is described like this. Ten years of monsters running around has caused decay and the streets aren't safe except for those accompanied by thirty guards. But if you're lucky enough to be employed by one of the rich families and are female, you're likely to get felt up because there are no cops to stop it.
  • The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen slips into this over the course of time, but it's pretty pronounced by the middle of Volume II.
  • Luther Arkwright: The primary parallel of the main story arc, 00.72.87, is dominated by ruthless dictatorial great powers all out to dominate the lesser powers and wreck the other great powers. Then it got worse in Heart of Empire.
    What I saw was genocide, torture, rape and summary execution. Whole cities razed, whole countries crushed beneath the tracks of our ironclad dreadnoughts and bombed into submission by our skyships.
  • San Futuro, the home city of Marshal Law, is a post-earthquake wreck largely populated with psychologically damaged war veterans, who also have superpowers.
  • It is little wonder that the Marvel Universe is often considered one of these. There are very many villainous persons of mass destruction, world-threatening private militias, overlords with Joker Immunity; Multiple warmongering alien armadas; Hordes of eldritch abominations, demon lords, evil deities, or casually genocidal Omniscient Morality License cosmic entities, and an Easy Road to Hell allegedly awaits most of the inhabitants. Nineties antiheroes, heroes with an F in good, Byronic heroes, and sociopathic heroes are very prevalent. Other defining tropes include: Gorn, Dysfunction Junction, Failure Is the Only Option, Status Quo Is God, Cosmic Horror Story, Black-and-Gray Morality, and Hope Spot. The overall atmosphere tends to be cynical and hopeless, with the futures uniformly shown as dystopian. Increasing from the The Dark Age of Comic Books, and onwards. However, it should be noted that just because the foundation is crapsack, not all books set within it need to be.
    • In a crossover between Marvel's The Avengers and The Justice League of America of DC, the Avengers immediately suspect the JLA have mind-controlled the populace simply because they find that the people in the DC-verse actually seem to like and respect their metahuman heroes and costumed adventurers. Conversely, the JLA are completely aghast at the state of the Marvel-verse — where tyrants rule unopposed, crazed vigilantes slaughter criminals wholesale, and the heroes are given no respect at all — and can only assume that the Marvel heroes are colossal failures to have let things get that bad.
    • To give one major example of what a Crapsack World Marvel is: a man once ran for the position of Senator of the United States with a campaign promoting the creation of an army of Humongous Mecha with genetic scanning capabilities who would tirelessly patrol the country and immediately attack anyone detected as bearing the "X-gene"; if the target fought hard enough, they would be killed, otherwise they would be beaten unconscious and hauled off to disturbingly Nazi-like internment camps for life imprisonment. People actually supported him in such numbers he almost became Senator.
    • Another example that simply becomes more horrific when you think about it: in X-Men: Schism, most of the students choose to stay with Cyclops and learn to fight because they "became a target the day (their) X-gene activated" and "it's better to be a target that can shoot back". That's right, in this world, not only does Fantastic Racism exist, but racism so strong that people of all nations and ethnicity are willing to kill in the name of it. We're talking a world where "death by lynch mob" is something that children realistically have to worry about. No wonder a lot of readers say that Magneto's willingness to kill off humans to protect mutants is understandable...
    • And then of course there's the Ultimate Universe, which has everything that sucks about the Marvel Universe, but with the added fact that when you die a horrible death, you won't get lucky in the cosmic scheme of things and be reborn.
      • Ironically, Ultimate Spider-Man (whose life in the mainstream pretty much sucked) seems to be the one with the better life. Sure, his life problems are as bad as in the mainstream universe, if not worse, but the people seem more willing to believe that Spider-Man is a hero instead of going against him the very moment he makes a little mistake, and even when he dies, people actually mourn his death and remember him as a hero, and even take great offense to anyone who does something that could be considered a disrespect to his memory.
      • It's lampshaded in Cataclysm by several characters. It's noted by people in the Ultimate Universe that despite its flaws, the mainstream Marvel Universe isn't nearly as bad as the Ultimate one, and Galactus, the Big Bad of the piece notes that the Ultimate Universe seems "broken" compared to the one he originated from.
    • The Marvel Zombies universe is even worse.
    • The world of Ruins, an alternate universe Anti-Marvels. Wolverine is dying of adamantium poisoning, Bruce Banner is a mass of tumors, the X-Men have all been imprisoned and experimented on by President Xavier, and Nick Fury is a crazy survivalist who was taught cannibalism by Captain America. After Phil Sheldon has investigated all this, trying to find out what's wrong with the world, he dies of radiation poisoning, because he was bitten by one of the radioactive spiders Peter Parker deliberately released in the Daily Bugle building. Would you be surprised to learn it was written by Warren Ellis?
    • There is also the Cancerverse, in which a pack of Eldritch Abominations had killed Death, so life runs rampant, nothing can die and all living beings have been corrupted and often turned into monstrous versions of themselves and cosmic beings have been murdered and turned into weapons of mass destruction.
    • The Bad Future of Old Man Logan counts: it's several decades since the villains seized control of the world, all but destroying it in the process, with most heroes dead or corrupt or just given up. The fact that The Incredible Hulk has gone mad and become one of the warlords, leading a vast brood of inbred redneck offspring who have inherited weaker versions of his powers, with the whole twisted clan being avid cannibals, is just one aspect of what makes this world so crapsack.
    • During "Dead-End Kids", the Runaways ended up in New York City in 1907. Child labor is rampant and often occurs in unsafe work environments, child rape is technically legal if the rapist and the victim are married, lesbianism is considered either sinful or a sign of mental illness (and even suspected lesbians can get harassed by the police), and the closest available approximation to the Avengers is a gang of racist religiously-devout assholes who see no problem with killing people for "wickedness"... or just for being Chinese. As Molly Hayes put it, "1907 is ass."
    • The Age of Apocalypse. Holy crap. The first we see of it, Bishop is climbing a literal mountain of corpses. It goes downhill from there.
    • In Young Avengers v2 the team gets a guided tour (they were chasing a villain) through some choice alternate universes which results in Kate stating that it's entirely possible that Earth-616 is the best of all possible worlds. You can guess how bad those were.
    • The Battleworld of Secret Wars (2015). This Battleworld is a combination of most of these worlds listed and so much more. A good example of this is in the South Pole of this world, which is blocked off by the SHIELD-built "The Wall", containing the Deadlands (home to the Marvel Zombies) and Perfection (home to the world of Age of Ultron) and people who have done horrible things are sent to this area. Then, it gets worse: This is a world ran by Doctor Doom, who uses his army of Thors to prevent anyone from crossing from one domain to the next, tossing them into said south pole as punishment. Oh, and it seems apparent that he's erased many of these people's memories of their old worlds.
  • Almost any of the graphic novels of Alejandro Jodorowsky. The Metabarons is essentially one long Greek tragedy in space; Technopriests features game designers worshiping a monster whose purpose is to plunge the universe into a deep, inescapable depression; and Megalex features a polluted Earth where the inhabitants make endangered species extinct for fun.
  • The surreal world of The Motherless Oven is pretty harsh and dreary. For one thing it rains knives from the sky. People are controlled and discouraged to ask questions about the world. Anyone who rejects the rules is liable to be pickled in a jar until they die, or forced to commit suicide.
  • Nightwing used to take place in Bludhaven, Gotham's sister city, which was, if possible, even worse. The corruption was so institutionalized that the clean cops were the ones that had to hide their actions. Sadly, just as things were starting to get better and the police department actually being cleaned up and turned honest, the entire city was nuked into a radioactive wasteland.
  • Nth Man: The Ultimate Ninja starts off in the middle of World War III, albeit a non-nuclear one fought with conventional weapons. It gets worse after a powerful telekinetic accidentally turns a biological weapon into a global mutagen instead.
  • Pick just about any of the Porn with Plot comics by Milo Manara; chances are it takes place in a Crapsack World. It's played for titillation and sometimes for laughs, but there is no such thing as a good, honest or decent person in these worlds; everyone is a corrupt, selfish Jerkass and the few who have any kind of redeeming qualities tend to end up either as Butt Monkeys, as victims of rape and/or violence, or Taking A Level In Jerkass by the end of the story — sometimes all three.
  • Prez (2015) is set in a dystopian near-future world where selfish corporate interests and shallow social media rule the day, one of the most popular TV programmes involves poor people voluntarily mutilating themselves for a shot at a large cash prize, and the world is being torn apart by resource shortages and rising sea levels. It's a satirical comedy.
  • The Question's Hub City is host to every urban city crapsack trope you can think of that's usually attributed to Gotham and Bludhaven, without there being a single positive thing about it such as Gotham's economy and industrial hotspot status. It's so bad, that by the end of the series The Question decides the best thing to do is give up and leave.
  • Résurrection in Requiem Vampire Knight is a very Crapsack world. It's a parallel dimension of Earth where the deceased go, but their status on Résurrection corresponds to the amount of evil they did in life. Everyone is a monster of some breed (vampires, werewolves, ghouls, etc.) that prey on the weak, and warfare between factions serving different dark gods is constant. The ones who really get the shaft in this world are the Lamias/Lemures, the ones who died because of another's evil, who are the bottom of the totem pole.
  • Sam & Max: Freelance Police It's this kind of world. Although it's downplayed in the animated series and the games, in the comic book it's much more evident. The titular characters seem constantly amused and delighted that they live in such a horrible world though, which stifles the more depressing and darker parts of this trope.
  • Scooby Apocalypse: all humans save for those in Mystery, Inc. begin to mutate into monsters from a top secret project Gone Horribly Wrong.
  • Basin City a.k.a. Sin City is one of the darker examples of a Crapsack World. It's a crime-ridden hellhole where vicious gangsters rule the streets and scum prey on the innocent, the police range from incompetent to outright corrupt (they even have a death squad to deal with those who get too close to the real bastards behind it all), and even the heroes of the setting tend to be ruthless sociopaths.
  • In The Supergirl Saga from the Superman comic book titles in 1988, the Pocket Universe Earth that Superboy of the Legion of Superheroes came from became this when its Lex Luthor had accidentally released the Phantom Zone criminals from their prison, as they subjected the world to their cruel relentless barbarism. Things went From Bad to Worse when Lex Luthor created a La Résistance team of humans to withstand the rogue Kryptonians, forcing them to pull a Class 6 Apocalypse How on the Earth by destabilizing its core and causing hot gases to erupt and destroy its atmosphere, instantly killing five billion people on the planet except for those who were living in Lex Luthor's Smallville citadel.
  • In the Italian comic book Alan Ford by Max Bunker, the society of New York City is basically separated in two social classes (the rich and the poor), the city is ruled by three cheaters who look like pigs and pretty much every character outside of the titular protagonist Alan Ford and his companions of the TNT Group is either an asshole or a moron.
  • The City (it has no other name) and much of the planet, from what little is seen of it, of the series Transmetropolitan.
    • Spider Jerusalem notes that it was even worse when he was a kid, though, and it seems like it's pretty good for the "haves". The "have-nots", on the other hand...
      "The future is inherently a good thing. And we move into it one winter at a time. Things get better one winter at a time. So if you're going to celebrate something, then have a drink on this: the world is, generally and on balance, a better place to live this year than it was last year. ...For instance, I didn't have this gun last year." (The gun in question being a fully-automatic snowball gun.)
  • Vampirella is a horror comic so this is standard but it goes even further. The universe's fundamental cosmology is a mixture of Order Versus Chaos and Cosmic Horror Story. There's Eldritch Abomination, God of Evil, and Humans Are the Real Monsters stories mixed with the fact God Is Evil plus Knight Templar Nominal Hero types. Vampirella is really the only light in a very dark setting. The 2017 series manage to make it worse, since in a distant future, the United States has been turned into a Police State run by Lucifer (yep, that one).
  • V for Vendetta: It's a post-nuclear wasteland, the second coming of the Nazis has taken power over Britain, and the only person who dares to stand up to them is an apparently insane terrorist who wants to replace them with... nothing (Anarchism). The characters themselves point out they would be better off dead. They really mean it.
  • As if it really needed to be said, the setting of The Walking Dead is a really crappy place to live. Between the cannibalistic survivors who see you as little more than especially gullible prey, and Crazy Survivalists who will shoot you dead or rob you blind at gunpoint under the assumption that you'd do the same anyways, and that's ignoring the manipulative, dog-kicking dictators that have sprung up here and there, or the roving bands of raiders who are out to prove the aforementioned survivalists dead right. Oh, and also, there are zombies everywhere who naturally band together in ever-expanding, very sound-sensitive (easy on the guns!) groups, with all the usual baggage of infecting and killing a person with a single scratch.
  • The setting of Mark Millar's Wanted plays with this: the villains who finally beat the heroes changed reality to make it a Crapsack World... in other words, ours. Except it's worse than our world, because it's our world secretly ruled by a conspiracy of supervillains, who can do everything they want, we have no power to change the situation and it wasn't always this way. At least our world isn't (I hope)
    • And even worse, Wanted shares the world with two other comics — Chosen and The Unfunnies. So it means that The president of the United States is an Anti Christ and Satan is very real and actively trying to bring the Apocalypse and that people can enter the worlds they wrote by switching places with their characters, exposing completely innocent beings to general crappiness of their world.
  • New York City as presented in Watchmen is Crapsack on a level rivaled perhaps only by Taxi Driver. What's interesting is that the presence of superheroes actually caused it to become like that. More specifically the Cold War tension becomes stronger every day leading to the ever-present fear of a Nuclear Holocaust. There is very little law enforcement leading to the streets becoming a jungle of concrete where criminals lurk in every corner. It turns out that throughout the entire book Veidt has been manipulating things behind the scenes with the ultimate goal of subverting this trope and making the world a better place to live. The means with which he does this are questionable, however-but ultimately, it actually seems to work.
    • This world gets even worse in Doomsday Clock: Rorschach's journal is discovered and revealed to the world on November 22nd, 1993, plunging the entire world into chaos — riots, invasions, mass murders, and even World War III looming in the wings.
  • The WildStorm Universe wasn't ever a nice place to begin with, but at least there was some hope in it. Since the end of the world? Not so much. All cities have been completely leveled, superpowered beings rampage across the States, several of the most powerful people on the planet have gone insane, an army of the undead rises in Europe, the Wild CATS are fighting with Daemonities over the control of what's left of Los Angeles, there's a plague turning people into rampaging monsters spreading throughout Britain, The Authority is crippled, with most of members missing in action, depowered or unable to stay on Earth anymore, all places that are still decent are ruled by mad dictators and two extremely dangerous alien forces are preparing to invade the Earth.
    • The Authority sometimes run into places like this, like Sliding Albion, where human and aliens have lived peacefully since the 16th Century, but went on so many world wars that most of the civilization is destroyed, the world is literally poisoned, both races are slowly dying, China has been turned into giant rape camp and all is ruled by mad dictators and mass murderers. Or alternate Earth where a maniac called Adolf X had lead to extermination of all non-black people on the planet and created a fascist dictatorship. Or the Earth where life is controlled by an Eldritch Abomination, that feeds on our life energy, its whole presence causes general misery to some people and occasionally makes them commit suicide or other horrible acts. Other than that, it's a world exactly like ours.
  • Earth-Omega is this in Wrong Earth. It's almost parodic how awful everyone is, especially compared to the bright and cheerful Earth-Alpha.


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