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Deadpan Snarker / Comic Books

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Oh, hat smarts!

  • Asterix: Julius Caesar has been known to be this to Brutus and anyone who fails him.
  • Batman:
    • Alfred Pennyworth, in various incarnations of Batman, constantly makes ironic (but highly polite and proper) comments on Master Bruce's lifestyle.
      Batman: Jim will pull through!
      Alfred: Or what, master Bruce? You'll dress up like a giant bat and haunt the night for the rest of your life?
    • Whenever Batman (in any incarnation) isn't either moping around in Wangst or being The Comically Serious, he's generally the one with a deadpan line. Or, as Jaime Reyes (Blue Beetle III) put it, "Batman's actually kind of funny, in a dry, scary way." Typically, Batman needs Superman as a foil if he's going to be funny.
    • The Robins (most of them) tend to pick up the slack as far as snark goes. Though Jason and Tim tend to be rather cutting and dark with their snark and Dick and Steph are both pretty upbeat all four of them are loath to let an opportunity to snark at anyone pass them by. Damian uses snark more sparingly than his predecessors.
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    • In Supergirl/Batgirl story Elseworld's Finest: Supergirl & Batgirl, Barbara and Bruce have a quite dry, sarcastic sense of humor:
      Barbara: You're ruining my reputation, Mister Wayne.
      Bruce: That's the price you pay for my assistance in crime-fighting, Ms. Gordon.
      Barbara: Down here, that's Batgirl.
      Bruce: As you command, but be good to me, or I'll tell Gotham about this cave hidden under its civic center.
      Barbara: Threat noted. Your disappearance scheduled.
    • Kate Kane, the second Batwoman, has shown a very dry sense of humor on occasion.
    • Red Hood from Red Hood and the Outlaws, although Arsenal and Starfire do get their shots in.
  • In Cardboard, Mike has his moments.
    Marcus: Hey, planet killer! Get a hybrid!
    Mike: Right after you get a haircut!
  • Captain Klutz, of all people, gets in a good one to a movie star in "Hollywood Whodunit," even though he's supposed to be dumber than dirt:
    Deanna Drano: My life is in danger!
    Klutz: I saw your last picture and I'm not surprised! I narrow it down to two suspects! Your critics or your audience!
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  • Everyone says lines like that in any book involving Deadpool.
  • Death's Head, Freelance Peacekeeping Agent.
  • Much of the cast of Death Vigil, but extra points to Sam and Marlene.
  • Eva Kant from Diabolik has her moments. Her favourite snark is insisting her husband's death (devoured by a panther) was an accident, as he was trying to set the panther on her, and Eva didn't mean to set the panther on him.
  • Doctor Strange on occasion. His manservant Wong is pretty good at it too. Same goes to Umar, especially towards her brother, Dormammu.
  • Flash Forward/Negative Man II of the Doom Patrol. His nickname is an in-joke referencing the fact that there was a "Negative Man" in the original Doom Patrol — that, and the fact that he's extremely hard to get along with due to his icy personality and seeming inability to say anything nice about anyone.
  • Gotham City Garage, Kara Gordon's wit is pretty dry (as per usual). Some examples:
    • In chapter #7:
      Nightwing: So you know what I do?
      Supergirl: No, but I have this sneaky feeling you're gonna tell me.
    • In chapter #9:
      Kara: Yeah. Okay. This is a murder trap. I'm walking into a murder trap.
  • John Constantine the Hellblazer embodies this trope. Not only is he a witty talker, his English accent makes it twice as badass.
  • Etrigan: Jason Blood is also a sassy Brit, but he's more of a Gentleman Snarker than Constantine.
    Jason: Listen to yourself, man. You're told what anyone with half his wits would regard as a children's tale of macabre fantasy, and you buy into it— hook, line, and sinker. Presumably because it's told to you by someone with a European accent. Typical American.
  • Hellboy often uses deadpan. His Catchphrase "Ah, Crap," is an example, as is his habit of yelling "Boom!" when he punches someone with the Right Hand of Doom.
  • Black Bolt from the Marvel Comics The Inhumans is The Voiceless; if he were but to whisper, it would unleash a shockwave strong enough to destroy a city. Despite this, he's constantly thinking such lines. During his time with the Illuminati, fellow member Charles Xavier doubles as a translator. Also, when he wants to declare war, well, he doesn't beat around the bush: he declares "War."

    The Illuminati miniseries has a very funny part where Black Bolt comments that his wife (who speaks for him) never lets him get in a word edgewise.
  • Johnny the Homicidal Maniac: Psycho-Doughboy and Mr. Fuck tend to slip into this when Nny's planning on killing himself, and Nailbunny does likewise when Nny starts angsting. Tess falls into this as well, mostly in reaction to Kirk, and Devi becomes one of these in her own series.
  • Jonah Hex has a fine line in acerbic putdowns.
  • Judge Dredd in that he's shown to be lacking emotion, yet has a ridiculous number of one liners for any given situation.
  • Last Man Standing has Gabriel show shades of this.
  • Ragamuffin from Lenore the Cute Little Dead Girl. Well, that's because he seems to be the Only Sane Man in that freaky comic.
  • Stephanie from Lost at Sea has some Snarker moments.
  • Elaine Belloc from Lucifer has occasional moments of deadpan snarking, most notably when she sat at the table with Archangel Michael, Lucifer and Destiny of the Endless debating heatedly. Her comment was: "Another glass of testosterone, anyone?"
  • Mini Marvels:
    • The Fantastic Four engage in a long dialogue about the tragic departure of the Human Torch from the team, with Reed conforting Sue by saying they'll get through "this wretched increase in our quality of life together". While Johnny is still in the room.
    • That arc in general turned pretty much everyone that wasn't the Torch into a Deadpan Snarker. For instance, when he tries to join The Avengers:
      Human Torch: I don't have to take this!
      Wolverine: Does 'I don't have to take this' mean 'I'm going to stop being on fire?
      Spider-Man: I was hoping it meant 'I'm going to leave now, and I will not see you later'.
      Torch: That's it! I hereby withdraw my Avengers application!
      Wolverine: Does 'I hereby withdraw my Avengers application' mean 'I hereby withdraw my Avengers application'?
      Spidey: It does if we're lucky.
      Torch: Later! *slams door*
  • Atticus Pix from Ministry.
  • In Nikolai Dante, Nikolai's Weapons Crest never wastes an opportunity to insult Dante for his impetuous actions, often quipping about the situation he's stumbled into.
  • Zodon from the web- and print-comic PS238.
  • Matt Fraction's 26 issue run on Punisher War Journal gave Frank a sort of dark, subtle sense of humor.
    Punisher: Nobody gets me. Maybe it's the skull.
  • Denny O'Neil and Greg Rucka's versions of The Question, although as Vic Sage he tends to combine this with Jerkass.
    • According to the Author's Notes, this was deliberate in regards to Renee Montoya in 52. When she's out of the mask she's serious, angtsty and often quite brusque, when she's The Question, she starts to snark and make jokes. Not well, but it shows how she can become someone else.
  • Rachel Rising has Aunt Johnny, complete with actual deadpan delivery.
    Johnny: Oh, you'd be amazed at the people I've talked to in this building after midnight. Buddy Holly, Jack the Ripper, that beautiful ensign from New Zealand (God, I miss the Navy) ... one night Christ rode in here on a donkey, palm leaves all all over the place. That was a mess. I saw Elvis in the bathroom, go talk to him.
  • John Byrne's character, Rog-2000, does this often.
    Crook: Cheese it! The Coppers!
    Rog (As crook's knife shatters on his chest): I'm not copper! I'm 100% Stainless steel, see?
  • Everyone in Runaways is this at one point or another, but the most straightforward example is Gert. Nico takes on this role as well.
    • Xavin and Klara Prast are notable exceptions, with the former usually being The Comically Serious and the latter often failing to get the joke.
  • The Savage Dragon does this both on and off the job. Sometimes, he takes it far enough that people consider him a Jerkass at times.
  • Kim Pine in Scott Pilgrim. So much. Stephen Stills and Wallace Wells as well, to a slightly lesser extent.
  • This is such a defining characteristic of Lenny from Shade, the Changing Man that when her ability to snark was stolen (along with her sex drive,) she attempted suicide.
  • Much of the cast of Silverblade indulge in snark from time to time, including Jonathan Lord (particularly when he is a Grumpy Old Man) and Brian Vane (whose wry observations have the unique perspective of being a ghost). However, the two standouts are Bobby Milestone, Jonathan's major domo and possibly only friend, and Jonathan's ex-wife Sandra Stanyon, neither of whom put up with Jonathan's crap. Special mention to Sandra's reaction on discovering that Jonathan has an adult son (actually a case of My Grandson Myself) who would have to have been born while they were married:
    "Tell me, Jonathan. Am I the mother?"
  • She-Hulk Jennifer Walters. Especially when written by John Byrne and Dan Slott.
  • Every character who isn't Ax-Crazy (or The Voiceless) in Sin City. And some who are, ie. Marv.
  • Sonic is incredibly snarky in Sonic the Hedgehog (Archie Comics). During one battle with the near omnipotent Enerjak, Sonic makes several puns on the name. When Enerjak immobilizes him with chaos energy and asks if he's quite finished with the witty remarks, Sonic makes seven or eight more cracks in rapid succession, before Enerjak hurls him through a wall.
  • Spider-Man:
    • Spider-Man, to the point of deserving to have the trope named after him. Though really, he spends a lot of time in incredibly-energetic-snarker mode too. At one point, this embodied him so much, a lot of people used to call them "Spider-zingers". His snarkiness is well known even in-universe. In an issue of Excalibur, the members of the Wrecking Crew briefly mentioned Spider-Man's name, eliciting a "I hate Spider-Man" from one of the members. The response: "Everyone hates Spider-Man." In the Secret War miniseries, Spidey met Black Widow out of costume and made a quick joke. Widow suddenly realized who she was speaking with.
      Black Widow: Oh God, I recognize that voice.
    • The Green Goblin is usually able to verbally hold his own with Spider-Man during their battles in the comics and most versions.
    • Played with by Spider-Man 2099, who's terse and straightforward in costume, but a killer snarker in his civvies. When he has to deal with a particularly talkative foe at one point, he wonders if people find his civilian personality annoying.
    • Spider-Girl over on Earth-982 inherited this trait from her father. So did the resident Snark Knight, her "cousin" Darkdevil.
    • Really, it's just easier to assume that most Spider-Heroes in the multiverse carry this trait, if not as civilians, then as soon as they enter battle. It can get to the point where they're capable of annoying each other with the constant snarking when it comes time for a Bat Family Crossover.
  • Supergirl:
    • Pre-Crisis Kara Zor-El was the nicest and kindest Supergirl's version, but she had little patience for idiots.
      • In The Daring Adventures of Supergirl Vol 2 #12, while several mooks are shooting at her:
        Supergirl: I hate thinking of the fortune in ammunition thugs like you have wasted on me over the years!
      • A short while later, a cop is berating her:
        Lieutenant Peters: You wanna play cop, join the department and get yourself a badge! Until then, stay out of my way!
        Supergirl: You need a hint as to what you can do with your badge, Peters?
      • In issue #21 she swoops in on a gang of armed robbers:
        Supergirl: Going someplace, boys?
        Mook: Not! Not Supergirl!
        Supergirl: What do you mean "Not Supergirl!"? What other blondes with a cape do you know who can fly?
        Mook: (as she grabs him) Yikes!
        Supergirl: Oh, now that's a snappy repartee! Remind me jot that one down for future reference!
    • In Many Happy Returns Linda has this reaction when The Spectre explains the events of the Crisis on Infinite Earths:
      Linda: I thought I was fighting Xenon! What the hell—? Auntie Monitor?! Who's her partner, Uncle Screen Saver?
    • Post-Crisis Kara often makes sarcastic remarks when she gets angry. In Supergirl Vol. 5 #22 she fights a Super Soldier who claims to be "your tax dollars at work". After defeating him, she grumbles:
      Supergirl: Tax dollars at work, my butt!
    • Post-Flashpoint Supergirl also has some good deadpan lines. In Supergirl Vol 6 #22, after Cyborg Superman reveals that he needs her flesh to become whole again, Supergirl gives this gem of an answer:
      Supergirl: You want to say that again? I couldn't hear you through all the creepiness coming out of your mouth!
    • In Supergirl (Rebirth) #1, Kara and her foster mother Eliza have a friendly battle of wits:
      Supergirl: Eliza, Jeremiah — Do you need help?
      Eliza: Not at all! I live to work hours cleaning twenty square feet.
      Supergirl: Sarcasm is not unique to Earth, you know.
      Eliza: Good. You already speak my language. This adjustment process will be easy.
    • In Supergirl: Being Super Kara has a dry sense of humor.
      Kara: Some things make no sense no matter where you start. Like yearbook photos. Why do we take yearbook photos in September?
  • Superman:
    • Golden Age Superman did this alot. Back when it was Jerry Siegel and Joe Shuster writing, It would hardly be an issue where the Man of Tomorrow didn't throw a one-liner (albeit in a very DEADPAN fashion):
      Criminal: Let go of my hand!
      Superman: Your foot will do just as well.
      (Promptly flies away holding him by the foot)
    • In contrast to Spidey, Clark Kent tends to be quite snarky at the Planet, but drops it as Superman. This is Depending on the Writer — in the Movie, Superman was at least as snarky as Spider-Man ever was.
    • It often depends who he's talking to, as well. When he's "Superman", say in public, or against a villain, no snarking. When he's around somebody that knows the real him (Clark), like Batman, he tends to be more snarky.
    • In Krypton No More, he tells a mob boss this:
      Superman: I heard you were hiring out-of-town talent, Simeon -— to use in your so-called war against the Skull Organization! But I never thought you'd pay money for thugs so -— stupid!
    • In the New 52, he's actually fairly witty or sarcastic with most of his lines, both as Superman and Clark Kent. Like this particular gem, in a spaceship, with a gaping whole blown in the side of it by a giant:
      Superman: Grifter, take your friend hiding in the rafters—
      ???: Deathblow.
      Superman: Seriously? Never mind, just let me handle this—
      Grifter: But the hull is breached!
      Superman: You think...?
    • In Who Took the Super out of Superman?, a villain can't resist the temptation to write his name in gigantic letters in the sky while teleporting away from Superman. Superman is most definitely not impressed.
      Superman: But at least I've got a name for my playful flyboy now! Solarman! We'll see how long it takes me to change that alias to a set of prison ID numbers!
  • Superman vs. the Amazing Spider-Man:
    • Spider-Man provides a good helping of sarcasm, as usual.
      Crook: Yerrrk! It's Spider-Man!
      Spider-Man: Not bad, fella. Most crooks get too choked up when they see me, and can't quite say their line. But you — well, fella, I'm proud of you! You came through like a pro!
    • Morgan Edge's has a very, very dry sense of humor.
      Morgan: Do you always talk in cliches, or is today something special?
  • In Trinity (2008), Lois Lane and Supergirl provide a healthy dose of sarcasm as per usual.
    Lois: SUPERMAN! We need to talk—!
    Alfred: Ah, I fear, Ms. Lane, that they are not in a listening mood, at present...
    Supergirl: Hnh. And when are they ever? Didn't ask any of us if we wanted to be changed back, did they?
  • Iron Man:
    • There's a reason why one of his fannicknames is "Tony Snark."
      Iron Man: Any particular reason I should fight you?
      Knight: I'll skewer you where you stand if you don't — and bring the house down around your ears to boot.
      Iron Man: That's a reason all right.
    • His Ultimate version takes the cake:
      Iron Man: I've got a feeling something terrible is going to happen and I don't want to be in bed when I hear the bad news.
    • This aspect of his personality got turned Up to Eleven after Robert Downey Jr. started playing him.
  • Most of the characters in the comic book prequel to Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic have their moments, but the absolute king of snark is unquestionably Gryph. The title of Prince would probably go to Zayne.
    Gryph: (upon being levitated by Zayne) I seem to have lost weight.
    (reading the news report on Zayne's escape:)
    Gryph: "... Failed Padawan..." "... Slew classmates..." "Fugitive is armed and..." Umm...
    Zayne: Dangerous?
    Gryph: No. "Deranged." Well, that certainly sounds like you.
  • The bulk of the characters in Star Wars: Rebellion volume 2: The Ahakista Gambit have one or two smart remarks, but Baco Par, the Snarky Non Human Side Kick is notable in that he barely has ten lines which aren't snarky. See the quotes page.
  • Terra, from Teen Titans, is iconically sarcastic, which hints at her infamous twist. Her second version, and cartoon version, lack this sarcasm.
  • The Transformers: Dark Cybertron: Bumblebee is extremely snarky, particularly with Megatron.
    Megatron: SHOCKWAVE!
    Bumblebee: Farewell element of surprise. It was nice knowing you.
    • Everyone at least tries in The Transformers: More Than Meets the Eye. Ratchet, Chromedome, Whirl and Nightbeat have a particular line in the "snark" side, while Ultra Magnus - once he lightens up a bit, anyway - proves to be impressively deadpan.
      Ratchet: First, I survived a terminal illness by dying - something which makes even less sense when I say it out loud. And then I'm told that everything I lived my life by - everything I defined myself with reference to - science, medicine, rationalism - was wrong.
      Ultra Magnus: I believe they call that a "double whammy".
  • Ultimate Marvel:
    • Ultimate FF: The entire squad with the exception of Sue and Victor are this. It is to the point that they go into full snark fests with each other and Tony cannot go a panel with out saying something irrelevantly humorous.
    • Atrea from Ultimate Fantastic Four can be very sarcastic. Or rather, she is sarcastic all the time.
    Atrea: (on seeing Thanos' devestation) My father doesn't do subtle.
    Reed: Your father???'
    Atrea: You didn't notice? We've got the same nose.
  • Wilq the Superhero, the main protagonist of a Polish comic series of the same name, is so sarcastic that he was actually called "the most frustrated character of Polish comic books" by the Wprost magazine.
  • X-Men:
    • Gambit. Every other sentence that comes out of his mouth is a snark. And you can never tell when he means it...
    • Cyclops is quite snarky when he wants to be as well. In the First Class comic for example:
    Bobby, is my memory going, or do you have super powers? (When about to be devoured by a mutated animal of Monster Island)
    • Cable has his moments too. Such as during the X-Cutioner's Song crossover, when informing Wolverine and Bishop that he'll need to make adjustments to his space station's teleporter if they want to bodyslide to the moon.
    Wolverine: How long will that take?
    Cable: If I do it myself, about twenty, twenty-five minutes.
    Wolverine: And if we help?
    Cable: An hour and a half.
    • X-23 has a very subtle and generally black sense of humor, and when she does make a joke it's generally this. With a particular emphasis on the "deadpan".
    • Dr. Nemesis has a particularly scathing and sharp tongue, once telling Emma Frost he would personally destroy every fetishwear store on the planet if she doesn't follow his orders.
    • To be honest, it would probably be quicker to name an X-Man who's not this trope.
  • Wonder Woman:
    • Wonder Woman (1987): When Ares snarks it's often gold, for example:
      "Oh, good. I made it in time for the murder."note 
    • The Legend of Wonder Woman (2016): Etta Candy snarks up a storm, and it is about the only time she is ever deadpan as she's generally quite loud and boisterous.
  • Every single member of the Young Avengers displays this to some extent. They beat up about one enemy for every ten lines of snarky dialogue and Witty Banter.
  • While he doesn't display it very often (mainly because he doesn't talk much at all), the Punisher has been shown to have a very dark and dry sense of humor sometimes.
    • Cop: "Any time you want to finish this, big man, I'm ready. You and me, one on one-" Frank: "I'm not really dating anyone right now."
    • In another story, Frank had allowed himself to be arrested and imprisoned in order to get at some incarcerated wiseguys. While he was being led to his cell, the corrupt chief guard pointed out a heavily muscled inmate who was giving Frank a death glare. "See that guy, Castle? He's the toughest con in here and he's the one they're going to send after you." The Punisher promptly breaks loose, overpowers both guards, grabs a baton and uses it to beat the inmate to death before anyone could stop him. Tossing the baton aside, he looked at the chief guard. "Tell them to send the second toughest."
  • In any comic book written by Peter David, the majority of the cast will be snarkers.
  • Credit goes to Manny Monkton of Astro City, a comic book publisher who can deliver zingers even when he's being threatened by a super-villain.
    Glowworm: "Do you know what my mother thought when she read that stinking book of yours?!"
    Manny: "And, um, how does she feel about you robbing banks—?"
  • Wildfire of the Legion of Super-Heroes tends to be this, stemming from the fact that he is a mass of anti-energy in a containment suit. He is the most brutally honest of the Legion, and one memorable line happens when the Legion is on a mission, preventing Tyroc from helping his home planet.
    Wildfire: "My heart would bleed for you, Tyroc, if I had a heart, which I don't."


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