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Gone Horribly Right / Comic Books

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  • Sonic the Comic:
    • Commander Brutus, once a generic Trooper Badnik, was hand-picked by Robotnik to be programmed with a copy of Robotnik's brainwaves to serve as his Dragon. However, Robotnik failed to anticipate that, in uploading his brainwaves onto Brutus, he also programmed the robot with his personality and his ambitions, and it doesn't take long for Brutus to betray him and try to take over Mobius for himself.
    • Metallix, the STC version of Metal Sonic; the first two were a success, but the rest were an army of mass-produced Robotnik-built rebellious robots.
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    • In one of the later arcs, Robotnik, having been sent to a sub-atomic universe called Shanazar, eventually created a "Dimension Blender" to enlarge Shanazar until it occupied the same space as Mobius, fusing the two planets together; in the expected chaos and destruction created from the merger, Robotnik planned to conquer Mobius once again. The plan backfires when Mobius and Shanazar fuse without ill effects; instead, the Zones from Shanazar as simply added onto Mobius.
  • In the American Archie Sonic the Hedgehog series, the former Julian Kintobor Robotnik creates a robotic vine known as Krudzu, which runs rampant in the Great Forest until they're destroyed with water. Snively and Antoine attempt to find another set, but are destroyed in the process. One last batch evolved into a deadly "Krudzu Hybrid Hydra", only to be destroyed by Dr. Eggman, who felt that only he could defeat Sonic.
    • Also in the Archie comic, Mina Mongoose, suffering from PTSD after the Magitek-wielding Iron Queen took over New Mobotropolis, used her status as a public icon in an attempt to send a message for the citizens to rise up against fear and take care of themselves. It worked, only she didn't expect Ixis Naugus to use his magic to amplify the existing fear and anger of NICOLE, eventually leading to NICOLE being exiled from the city completely.
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  • A cartoon from Quino (of Mafalda's fame) has a man teaching his son to be a ruthless businessman caring only for money. Then, when the man is old, he's forced to live in the street because the son doesn't want to pay for his retirement home. The last panel has the old man begging to a passerby, saying something in the vein of "help me, my son grew up right!"
  • An issue of Justice League of America has the two Mad Scientists Dr. Ivo and Dr. T.O. Morrow team up to both destroy the JLA and prove which of them is the better scientist. Ivo creates a robot body so sophisticated that it can pass as a living thing even to the enhanced senses of Superman. Morrow creates a mind so advanced that it is truly sentient and can fool the telepathy of Martian Manhunter. The resulting "Tomorrow Woman" contains a bomb, and at the moment when the League is at its most vulnerable she will detonate and destroy them all. But she pulls a Heel–Face Turn and sacrifices herself to save them instead. Morrow takes this as proof that he is the superior scientist. His robot brain was so advanced that it developed the concept of morality on its own, even though this was deliberately left out of her programming. He even claims that what they witnessed was "a soul being born". Morrow actually suspected this would happen, he's had problems with that before.
    • Dr. Morrow goes and does it again with 'Genocide' who runs off and decides to kill everyone ever. Personally. Then she discovers mental torture.
    • A classic flaw of power mimics such as Amazo. Some such mimics copy the weaknesses of their target in addition to the strengths, since the weaknesses are inherent to and inseparable from the powers. The ultimate expression of this might well be the time when Amazo was defeated by Superman declaring that the Justice League was officially disbanded. Superman was the chairman of the Justice League at the time and thus had the authority to do so. Since Amazo's powers are based around mimicking the powers of the Justice League and not the individual members of the League, Amazo's powers immediately vanished, allowing him to be disassembled pretty handily. The Animated Series took a similar take on this, where Amazo copied Superman's powers, enabling Batman to defeat him with Kryptonite. And then Martian Manhunter deliberately exposed himself, so that Amazo would copy his telepathy...and read Lex Luthor's mind to discover that he was being manipulated by Luthor and that Luthor had implanted a self-destruct device in Amazo. Cue Mistreatment-Induced Betrayal.
  • Supergirl:
    • In Red Daughter of Krypton, Supergirl fought Lobo. Knowing he couldn't go toe-to-toe with a Kryptonian, Lobo tried to piss her off so she was so irrationally angry that she couldn't fight effectively. He succeeded and he drove her mad. He drove her so mad that she flew off the handle and crushed him like a bug.
    • In Bizarrogirl, Bizarro Lex Luthor succeeded into drawing a creature able to kill Bizarro #1… never thinking that creature might -and DID- kill him, too.
  • Livewires: a team of ultra-tech androids created to control the spread of ultra-tech in the Marvel Universe. They started with the scientist that created them.
    • Of course, the scientist in question planned it that way. Project Livewire itself was the government acknowledging that rogue agencies were constantly screwing up ultra-tech projects and making the government look bad when superheroes intervened - and decided to start up a project dedicated to that one purpose. The implication is that the head scientist was disgusted with how the government started Livewire without understanding the implications - that they have created so much runaway ultra-tech that they were now starting ultra-tech projects for the sole purpose of policing ultra-tech. His idea was that they should create ultra-tech that replaced human authority, so he made sure the androids would have a Zeroth Law Rebellion.
  • The Red Skull was the result of Hitler claiming that he could turn even a simple bellhop into a great Nazi. He succeeded so well that eventually Hitler became afraid of him.
    • A major arc for Captain America involves the Red Skull getting a Reality Warper to rewrite Steve's life so that he was secretly The Mole for HYDRA all this time. However, Steve remains the same; "Loyal to nothing except the dream." Formerly, it meant loyalty to the American Dream and not the government. Now it means loyalty to the dream of HYDRA... and not Red Skull. Rogers feigns subservience to the Skull for awhile, but when the time comes he unhesitatingly kills him and takes over HYDRA himself.
  • Multiple examples from X-Men:
    • In The Dark Phoenix Saga, Mastermind manipulated Jean Grey's mind to remove both her morals and the blocks she'd put on her cosmic power. The result was... a little more than he could handle. Dark Phoenix "rewarded" Mastermind by giving him exactly what he wanted: she made his mind "one with the universe", shattering his sanity in the process as the human brain lacks the capacity to comprehend what he'd experienced.
    • This is the recurring problem with the Sentinels, courtesy of A.I. Is a Crapshoot. See, the Sentinels are programmed to eradicate all mutants. Mutants evolved from baseline humans as a result of a specific combination of genetic traits. The Sentinels are equipped with genetic scanners that let them identify this "X-Gene" both in active and in passive form. Meaning they can not only track mutants, but they can also track humans who might turn into mutants, and even humans who have a chance of having mutant children. Logically, then, the next step is to start wiping out those humans too. And if humans attack the Sentinels in defense of those humans, then the Sentinels, by virtue of their self-defense programming, are obliged to terminate those humans as well. Needless to say, the very first of the Bad Futures the X-Men were involved with was the Days of Future Past storyline, involving a world where Sentinels wiped out mutants and then all humanity.
    • Similarly with the Purifiers, who gave Bastion a new body so that he could help them kill the X-Men. Bastion took one look at their plan, dismissed it and created his own, almost instantly hijacking the Purifiers' purpose completely. Unluckily for the Purifiers, they didn't know Bastion had no qualms about using ordinary humans as weapons...
    • Similarly, with Madelyne Pryor: When S'ym and N'astrir unlocked her powers and corrupted her, they assumed that they would be able to control her only for Maddie to hijack the entire Inferno plan to go after her husband Cyclops.
      • That happened twice involving her, in the same event! Mr Sinister created her as a clone of Jean Grey, and did so good a job the Phoenix entity itself considered the two one and the same and gave her a portion of its power. Neither he nor the two demons realized she had that kind of power in her, and it backfired on them -badly-.
  • In Supergod, the entire world is totally screwed because each nation was a little too good at creating an unstoppable Physical God during their superbeing arms race.
  • Superman:
    • In one story, Bizarro, the imperfect clone of Superman, decides to use the duplicator that created him on himself, creating a Superman that looks exactly like the man of steel. This went beyond mere looks, however; While the regular Bizarro was immune to Krytonite, the new clone was such a perfect physical copy of Superman that he melted when exposed to Kryptonite radiation. This was lampshaded by the original Superman.
    • The Death of Superman: Doomsday was genetically engineered to be the ultimate warrior, courtesy of genetic experiments that made it capable of Lamarckian evolution. As shown in Superman/Doomsday: Hunter/Prey, the creators succeeded, and were wiped out by their own creation, which was so traumatized by the Genetic Memory of countless deaths that it had come to view all other life as a terrifying threat to its own survival. On top of it all, it turns out that said creators were so focused on the experiments that they never actually thought about what to ‘’do’’ with their experiment once it actually worked.
    • In All-Star Superman, Lex Luthor manages to gain Superman's abilities for 24 hours in order to place himself on the Man Of Steel's level. However, the rush of sensory data and enhanced perspective has an unexpected side-effect - seeing the world the way Superman sees it makes him (at least temporarily) rise to Superman's level in the empathic and moral sense, too.
  • In the classic "Born Again" storyline, The Kingpin discovers Daredevil is Matt Murdock and sets out to ruin his life. In the space of a few weeks, Murdock is bankrupt, disbarred on charges of bribing a witness, his assets frozen and he returns to his apartment building just in time for it to blow up. The Kingpin then beats Murdock to a pulp and has him dumped in a cab pushed off a dock. But when the cab is discovered without Murdock's body, the Kingpin realizes he's made a mistake. Because he took absolutely everything away from Murdock...which means Murdock has nothing left to lose, not even hope.
    The Kingpin: And I...I have shown him...that a man without a Man Without Fear.
  • The Life and Times of Scrooge McDuck show that Scrooge receiving his #1 Dime was planned out by his father to teach his son to be more careful not to be cheated like their ancestors were. It works, but when Scrooge starts insisting on receiving receipts for the money he gives his family (For tax purposes!) Fergus remarks, "Hoots, mon! Ah may have overinspired the lad!"
  • In The Secret of Atlantis, Scrooge hatches a scheme to make a fortune by buying up every 1916 quarter and then destroying all but one of them, making it a rare coin. Ultimately, he succeeds; but when he tries to cash in on the sole remaining quarter, he's informed that there's only one person in the world rich enough to buy it: Scrooge himself.
  • The Smurfs comic book story "The Smurf Threat" had Papa Smurf create a group of evil duplicates of himself and his little Smurfs so that they could see in the duplicates what they were becoming with all their fighting among themselves. It succeeds all too well in bringing the Smurfs together when the duplicates become such a threat that they nearly destroy the village and take the original Smurfs captives. Near the end of the story, Papa Smurf works on a way to make the duplicates disappear.
    • Another story called "The Strange Awakening of Lazy Smurf", which is actually an adaptation of the cartoon show episode "Smurf Van Winkle", where Lazy is led by his fellow smurfs to believe he has been asleep for a few hundred years and that his friends have aged while Lazy somehow stays the same physical age (He didn't think to check himself in a mirror to see if he had aged as well). It's actually a huge Faked Rip Van Winkle masquerade by the other smurfs. It's basically done to teach him a lesson about not being lazy all the time. However, what the other smurfs didn't know, is that the prank would lead to...unforeseen consequences. In the cartoon, the "gone horribly right" part comes in after Lazy, who actually IS convinced that hundreds of years have passed while he took a nap, tries to make things go "back to normal" by giving the other smurfs a rejuvenating potion, wich turns them all into children smurfs. In the comic, however, Lazy figures out that he's being pranked much sooner. He gets revenge on the other smurfs by making them believe that they drank a rejuvenation potion and that they will all de-age pretty soon. The "gone horribly right" part comes in when the others smurfs actually do believe that Lazy is telling the truth, wich leads them to go to Gargamel's house to search for a potion that will make them age a few centuries to negate the effects of the supposed rejuvenation potion. They nearly succeed.
  • In the Gold Digger series, the Djinn Madrid takes on Gina's form with some outside assistance in an attempt to get past her race's No-Self Buffs limitation with their wishes by using said disguise to access an artifact called the "Magic Sun". She ends up imitating Gina so well that she ends up taking on Gina's memories and personality traits (it helps that their most obvious differences were bacically that Madrid lacked a work ethic or moral compass), as well as her technological skills, and apparently losing her magic powers. Eventually, she basically suffers a Death of Personality as the result of being abused by a pair of dragonesses and effectively becomes a clone of Gina with Madrid's memories.
  • Mortadelo y Filemón: in "El racista", the vice-president is a racist that is intent on kicking all members of other races and/or ethnic groups out of the TIA, assigning them dangerous and difficult missions so that, when they fail, he can present that as a consequence of what they are. After failing at helping those other agents with their missions, Mortadelo and Filemón plan to have Mortadelo disguise himself as an agent of another race and then Filemón tells some big story about that agent. The president becomes so impressed at those stories (without checking whether they are true or not) that he kicks the vice-president out... and then decides to put people of other races in charge of most of the organization's operations, leaving the Súper as a lowly delivery boy.
  • Big Hero 6: In one story of the Comic-Book Adaptation, Fred asks Hiro to make an invisible suit. Hiro does such a good job that neither him nor Fred can find it afterwards.
  • According to Jimmy Olsen, Lex Luthor once invented an invisibility belt, which worked so well that even Superman couldn't see him with it on. The problem was, he had rendered his own retinas invisible, making him blind and causing him to make noise bumping into things, which Superman could detect.
  • In the Shadow of the Bat story "The Ugly American", Batman learns of a man who was trained and experimented on to be the perfect patriotic soldier, building up his loyalty to the US. However, it worked a little too well, turning him into a madman who considers anyone not "white" to be "the enemy".
  • In Violine, Muller forces Violine to read the minds of several of the president's ministers to prove that she can read minds, so he can weaponize her. Unfortunately, being in an African dictatorship, all the ministers are plotting the president's overthrow, and after several such revelations, the room descends into chaos as all the ministers put their plans in action at the same time, all calling on the same military to support them.
  • In Preacher, God deliberately creates the Saint of Killers, an unstoppable undead assassin capable of killing absolutely anything with a single shot. God found out that this had been a bad idea when the Saint was informed of how badly God had deliberately screwed his life up to prepare him for taking on the role.
    • In point of fact, it was the Angel of Death who passed his power onto the Saint of Killers. God didn't DIRECTLY create him.
  • Superlópez: El Supergrupo's Big Bad creates perfect robot copies of the entire group, the only differences being that they are completely loyal to him and that they never get tired. In the middle of a fight between the real team and the copies, Superlopez realizes this makes them perfect suckers for getting them to fight each other: claim that the copies will surely surrender if their leader - the Superlopez copy - is defeated, and watch the fireworks.
  • In The Punisher MAX, one of the gangster capos thinks that it would be a great idea to record a video of him digging up Frank's family and urinating on their bones, then sending it to every news station in the city. The plan was to make Frank incredibly angry, because the gangster believes that angry people always make sloppy mistakes and he can take advantage of that to kill the Punisher. This plan succeeds in making Frank angry all right... but it ends up sending him shooting right past Unstoppable Rage and into pure Tranquil Fury instead. Rather than making mistakes out of fury, Frank uses his newfound focus to effortlessly butcher his way through dozens of local mafia-types en masse until the police bow to his demands to reinter his family.
  • Iznogoud: In the story "Scandal in Baghdad", Iznogoud hires scandalmonger Leguenn Scandales to discredit the Caliph by planting a fake story in the newspapers that he has an illegitimate child whom he abandoned at birth, and soon, the whole country (except, inevitably, for the Caliph himself) has heard the news. The plan backfires when over three hundred people come forward claiming to be the Caliph's illegitimate child, including Wa'at Alahf and a woman old enough to be the Caliph's mother, and the kindly Caliph adopts them all.
  • Asterix and the Normans: Timandahaf, the kuningaz of a Germanic tribe that has forgotten fear, leads a band of proto-Vikings to Gaul on a mission to re-learn it. By Þunraz and Wōdanaz, they find out all right, with the help of a Dreadful Musician. When Timandahaf begs Asterix not to let Cacofonix sing again...
    Asterix: In short, you know the meaning of fear!
    • He's even more succinct in the Latin translation:
    Asterix: UNO UERBO: TIMES!lat 
  • Ultimatum
    • If you had been reading Ultimate X-Men since day 1, it should be abundantly clear that Magneto is absolutely not being out of character here. This kind of mass genocide had always been his goal; the only difference here is that the X-Men could not stop him in time this time. So, when you find Sabretooth and Juggernaut drowning their sorrows in the last X-Men issues because they had never signed for genocide, it's clear that they had been hit with this trope.
    • Dr. Doom manipulated Magneto to declare war on mankind. And it worked. It worked too well.
  • DC's Cluemaster was a Batman villain who, like the Riddler, had a compulsion to leave clues behind when he committed crimes. He was quickly caught and sent to Arkham Asylum, where he was cured ... of the compulsion to leave clues. He still committed crimes, just without leaving any hints behind.
  • The Search reveals that a genetic experiment was the main reason behind the birth of the fire nation sibilings, Zuko and Azula. Azulon wanted to create children mixing the bloodlines of Avatar Roku and Fire Lord Sozin into one family. That part of it worked, sort of. Azula came about with exceptional firebending talents at birth and Zuko grew into his own abilities over the course of the show. However; Azulon utterly failed to account for Ozai's absolute failure of parenting which also affected the children's growth; making them both flawed humans. Zuko became heavily traumatized and thus completely unable to master advanced firebending techniques at the start of the animated series. To date, he still can't generate lightning, an advanced technique his sister has proved to be able to do. By contrast, Azula was able to master firebending at a very young age by sacrificing basic social skills for her training; but the trauma of her father's emotional abuse and Ursa perceived neglect drove her insane at her core and left her completely unable to socialize or act like a normal person. Basically, Azulon got the ideal bloodlines in terms of abilities, but thanks to Ozai's failure of parenting had created very broken and traumatized children in his wake.
  • It's been suggested that Lobo was the universe's attempt to balance out the peaceful world of Czarnia, which had no real evil in millennia. He balanced things out, alright — by killing every last person except himself.
  • Kicks off the Myth Arc in Transmetropolitan. Spider hates the incumbent president, the Beast, so much that he tries to help the opposition, Gary Callahan, win the election and push the Beast out of office. It works... just in time for Spider to discover that the Beast was just a lazy and cynical man coasting through his term, whereas the seemingly squeaky-clean Callahan is secretly a deranged psychopath who wants to become president in order to carry out all of his horrific, depraved fantasies on the people of America.

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