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Hoist By His Own Petard / Comic Books

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Comic Books have no shortage of Guile Heroes and arrogant villains, so it makes sense that many of the former get rid of the latter who're otherwise invincible with their own almighty powers.

  • In both the Spider-Man movie and the comic storyline it was based on, the Green Goblin attempts to kill Spider-Man by impaling him with his hovercraft, but Spidey jumps to avoid it and it hits GG instead.
    • Parodied in Spider-Man 3 How It Should Have Ended.
      Spidey: I'm just sayin' there's only one way this is gonna go down, it happens every time. We'll fight for a bit, you'll tear my mask, but in the end I'm gonna leap outta the way and you're gonna do something that makes you kill yourself.
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    • Norman's son, Harry (before the One More Day Retcon), also suffered a Hoisting of his own — he created a new Goblin Formula that made him stronger. However, it would later kill him. Thankfully, Spidey saved his son from that same fate later on down the road.
    • During the AXIS storyline, Phil Urich, taking up Norman Osborn's old title of "Goblin King", ends up getting impaled himself when battling the inverted Hobgoblin.
  • Another Spider-Man villain, the voodoo practitioner Calypso, ended up killed in trying an old plan twice - she had brainwashed the Lizard previously and came close to killing Spider-Man, thus she opted to try again. The second time ended with an angry Lizard cutting her throat open.
  • In the limited series The Thanos Quest, the titular supervillain seeks (and ultimately attains) the Infinity Gems in order to become God and thus a worthy mate for Mistress Death. However, he miscalculates spectacularly when he discovers that omnipotence made him not her equal but superior, preventing anything other than a servile relationship; for the extra kick in the teeth, he is now subjected to the (no pun intended) cold shoulder of the cosmic being, who considered his pursuit and attainment of godhood a heinous betrayal, and his subsequent attempts at wooing her back childish and insulting.
    • It doesn't get much better in the follow-up storyline The Infinity Gauntlet, as when Thanos decides to give up on Mistress Death and fully embrace his status as God, eventually defeating Eternity and becoming the very embodiment of the universe, he makes another grievous error (or perhaps not) when by forsaking his body in replacing Eternity, he leaves it (and the Infinity Gems) vulnerable to theft by his upstart "granddaughter" Nebula.
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    • Later in the same story, Thanos' friend and eternal nemesis Adam Warlock outright states that Thanos subconsciously sabotages his own schemes for ultimate power, as, in the darkest depths of his soul, he believes he's unworthy of it.
  • Superman:
    • Subverted with Lex Luthor: the kryptonite ring that he used to bedevil Superman ends up giving him fatal radiation poisoning due to prolonged exposure. However, he cheats death because of his brilliance Joker Immunity.
    • Played straight in The Black Ring: Lex Luthor gains omnipotence and learns Superman's Clark Kent. However, he can only hold onto that power if he never uses it to hurt anyone. Ever. Not even Superman. The knowledge increases his anger and his desire to kill Superman, leading him to lose it all, and for good measure, sends him spiraling into the Phantom Zone.
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    • Mentioned for being hilarious, the otherwise quite forgettable Superman vs. Dracula comic ended with Dracula draining Superman's blood and absorbing his power - at which point his head exploded. Superman, after all, is solar powered.
    • In Superman Volume 1 #338, Brainiac shoots his shrinking ray at Supergirl, but she deflects it back at him. Struck by his own ray, Brainiac begins to rapidly shrink, and he pleads with Kara to save him, but she coolly states that the enlarging ray has not enough energy left to save Superman, Kandor and him, so Brainiac is out of luck (note that Brainiac had previously shrunk both Superman and the city of Kandor). Even Superman begs her to use the ray to save Brainiac, and she replies: "Cousin... NO!"
    • In the Superman storyline The Trial of Superman, Superman's brought to a tribunal to be judged in a case of Sins of Our Fathers for the near extinction of the Kryptonian race. This was brought on by Hank Henshaw, the Cyborg Superman. Not only was Superman deemed innocent in the end, but the tribunal member who had a major hard-on for trying to execute Supes is deposed for being blatantly insane, then executed for resisting arrest, and Henshaw himself is tried and convicted for the destruction of Coast City.
    • Krypton No More: When Superman fights villains Protector and Radion, he tricks the Protector into becoming a reflecting surface, and Radion into shooting at him. Radion's beam knocks Protector out before bouncing back to Radion.
    • In War World an alien race known as the Warzoons built Warworld for the purpose of conquering the universe. However, their super-weapon was the cause of their destruction.
      Superman: Do you remember that mountain of graves we noticed on Warworld? That's what gave me the answer! The Warzoons weren't buried in a mass grave as there'd be if the race was destroyed by some great illness!
      Supergirl: You're right! The Warzoons must've died one by one! They buried each other — except for the last one buried by the peace-loving Largas!
      Superman: Precisely! And there's only one thing on that entire satellite capable of killing the Warzoon one at a time — the control helmet in the command console!
      Supergirl: The massive energy-drain must've proven too much for their minds to endure! One by one they were destroyed by the very weapon their warlike race had spent untold centuries creating — one by one, they died — victims of massive cerebral hemorrhage — and their own insatiable lust for power!
    • In Kryptonite Nevermore, two crooks run into a spirit who has possessed a statue and stolen two thirds of Superman's power. The ghost is naive, and they teach him to use his power to hurt and destroy. Suddenly he wonders why he should follow their orders instead of hurting them since he is more powerful than them.
    • In Superman/Doomsday: Hunter/Prey, we learn that Doomsday's creator, Bertron, never stopped to consider what would happen if Doomsday broke loose and, even worse, remembered all of the deaths brought upon him. He learns too late that the end result is having the monster turn his attention to you after he's killed everything else and murder him, too.
  • Supergirl:
    • In Action Comics #286, Lex Luthor tried to shoot at Supergirl, but he accidentally shot himself.
    • In Demon Spawn Nightflame summoned a floating pentagram in order to drain Linda's powers and life-force. During her final bout, Supergirl grabs Nightflame and tosses her in the floating sign. Nightflame’s body dissolves instantly.
    • The story arc Red Daughter of Krypton provides several examples:
      • When Lobo fought Supergirl, he thought of driving her irrationally mad so she was unable to fight effectively. So he pushed her Berserk Buttons constantly, taunted her and mocked her until she flew off the handle... and pummelled him brutally.
      • The King of the planet Primeen got a judge shot to protect his son. His actions drove Sheko — the aforementioned judge — so furious that she became a Red Lantern and killed them all.
    • Elseworld's Finest: Supergirl & Batgirl: Lex Luthor hired a hit-man to kill the Wayne family. Joe Chill murdered the Gordons instead, and their daughter trained and prepared to take their murderer down. He also made a fortune researching the cells of baby Kal-El whom he killed. However Supergirl turned against him right away when she found out about it.
    • In Supergirl: Cosmic Adventures in the 8th Grade, Mr. Mxyzptlk manipulates events to bring Kara to Earth, collects her emotions during a year and builds a machine based on Kara's Kryptonian biology to process them and make him all-powerful. However, because his machine is based on Kara's biology and powered with her emotions, she can go after him and claim the power he wanted to seize.
      Supergirl: Your machine utilized and magnified my emotions... my energies... it never occurred to you that I could follow you? That I could claim this power?
  • This seriously happened to the Red Skull soon after he was reborn in a clone of Steve Rogers' body, and he has never recovered from it. Throughout the Skull's entire career, he used a poison called the Dust of Death, which not only killed people, but caused the skin on their head to shrivel and turn red, making the corpse look like a "red skull". But when he tried to use this on Captain America, he fell victim to it himself. He survived due to an antidote he took, but still suffered the secondary effect, turning his head into a living red skull.
    • To make this more ironic, soon after being reborn in the clone's body, he had resolved to change his strategy, and no longer use his masked identity at all, thinking that being a well-recognized terrorist was a hindrance to his plans. After this accident, he really didn't have a choice.
    • When he discovered Kubix, a living Cosmic Cube, could alter memories, the Skull came up with a genius idea. He had Kubik alter Captain America's memories so Steve was convinced he'd been a decades-long deep cover Hydra operative, believing in them totally. The Skull figured with Captain America a willing agent, Hydra would rise higher than ever. But Steve became convinced he was loyal to the "true" Hydra that the Skull had warped and the Skull was holding them back so began his moves to take over Hydra for himself. In a confrontation, the Skull admits what he did...and is shocked that Steve doesn't believe his memories could have been warped and kills the Skull to take over Hydra.
  • Used in the tongue-in-cheek The Punisher Kills the Marvel Universe: The Punisher actually manages to kill the nearly unkillable Wolverine. How does he do this? By forcing good ol' Logan into a generator, using his metal bones as a conductor to electrically fry every cell in his body.
  • In Runaways, the teens discover that one of their newest companions is a vampire and, to save the others, Karolina offers herself to him. When he goes to drain her, he realizes too late that Karolina is solar powered and he promptly explodes.
  • After a rooftop battle in the first issue of Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, a defeated Shredder is about to use a thermite grenade to kill both the turtles and himself, when he is thrown off the roof by Donatello's bo staff. Boom.
  • In Superior, demon Omron tricks young Simon into giving up his soul in exchange for becoming the hero Superior. With time running about before the deal expires, Omron celebrates how he's going to avoid being thrown into the depths of Hell. At which point, Simon's friend, Madeline, sets him straight.
    Madeline: You made him into the most powerful super-hero ever created. A character whose every single molecule is indestructible and impenetrable and undying and never-aging under Earth's yellow sun. Every atom in his body is in essence immortal....And if Superior can never die...
  • Unus the Untouchable was a mutant criminal with a force field that protected him from all harm. Eventually, it got so powerful that not even air could get through.
  • In Watchmen, Dollar Bill was killed when his cape was caught in a revolving door in a bank, and was shot by some thug. It becomes double when the bank happens to be the one who he worked for, and made him put on a cape.
  • The Punisher 2099 villain Fearmaster has a hand (later a claw) that can turn anything biological it touches into anything else. When the Punisher finally corners him, he tries to turn Jake's entire body to mud. Too bad he forgot that he chopped off one of the Punisher's hands two issues prior; all Jake has to do is reach out with his prosthetic hand, grab Fearmaster's arm, and shove the claw right back in his face.
  • In Teen Titans Terra died by accidental suicide when she imploded the HIVE complex out of sheer rage, trying to kill Deathstroke when she thought he betrayed her.
  • The U-Foes, enemies of the Incredible Hulk, seem to kill themselves off like this the first time they turn up — their newly gained powers are strong enough to potentially take down the Big Green Machine, but Power Incontinence kicks in. Vapour can turn herself into any gas... but soon cannot keep her molecules together. Ironclad can increase his mass... which keeps increasing so he cannot move and sinks into the ground. And their leader Vector, just like Unus above, can repel things — eventually he repels the air around him so he suffocates, then he repels Earth itself and shoots out into space. X-Ray's ability to manipulate radiation very nearly causes him to explode from absorbing too much energy. They come back.
  • In Final Crisis, Batman shoots Darkseid with the same bullet that Darkseid used to kill his son, Orion. Then, Wally West and Barry Allen turn intangible and run through him, causing the Omega Beams that were chasing them to hit the villain and blow him up.
    • Darkseid really should give up using those beams against opponents with super-speed. Superman has done the same thing to him at least twice, except that he dodges out of the way at the last second rather than vibrates through Darkseid. The beams, while shown to be highly manoeuvrable, apparently can't turn as quickly as Superman and hit their sender.
  • In Wolverine: Enemy of the State, the titular hero kills Gorgon by using his metal claws to show the villain his own reflection, thus turning his own petrifaction abilities on himself.
  • In one of the later comics, Conan the Barbarian comes across a particularly vile Zingaran noble/religious fanatic who assassinates his rivals by giving them the Ring of Molub, a Clingy MacGuffin that can only be stolen or passed on to others without their knowledge. The ring is connected to an ancient, Nigh Invulnerable demon of the same name who graphically slaughters the bearer of the ring and anyone who tries to stop it. Conan later acquires the ring himself and then passes it to the noble by slipping it on his finger. Then he breaks his finger just to make sure he can't get rid of it.
  • When Emperor Palpatine returns from the dead to restore his empire, he captures Luke Skywalker and nearly turns him to the Dark Side. Leia eventually boards Palpatine's flagship to rescue her brother, and the two Skywalkers defeat Palpatine. In retaliation, he summons a devastating storm of dark side energies to lay waste to the New Republic fleet, but Luke and Leia overwhelm him with the Force, causing him to lose control of the storms. His flagship (and he himself) are subsequently torn apart by them. But he is still Not Quite Dead.
    • Done again at the climax of the story. His new breed of dreadnought The Eclipse has a bow that is extra-reinforced and the shields are boosted, allowing the titanic battleship to ram into and through other ships without hesitation or damage. The New Republic takes advantage of this in order to eliminate the Empire's other, even deadlier superweapon, the Galaxy Gun. The Gun can fire planet-killing missiles that fly through hyperspace, allowing it destroy targets anywhere in the galaxy while remaining in a single location. Since a direct attack against the heavily-guarded Galaxy Gun would be doomed, instead they board and hack the Eclipse nav computer and program it to ram the Galaxy Gun, destroying both. The destruction of the Galaxy Gun causes a projectile to misfire and hits the current Imperial capital world destroying it and the massive fleet guarding it. Four birds, one stone.
  • In the Atari Force second series, the Dark Destroyer intended to destroy Martin Champion's New Earth universe with an anti-matter bomb. However, as Dart tried to defuse the bomb, she accidentally deactivated the fail-safe mechanism and caused it to detonate. The Dark Destroyer, who at that point was defeated by Martin Champion in a fistfight, ended up dying in the explosion of his own bomb while the Atari Force team escaped.
  • Fantastic Four
    • In one story Doctor Doom gloats to an imprisoned Reed Richards about a torture room he designed full of thousands of mirrors arranged in such a way that the myriad reflections are so incomprehensible to the human mind that looking at it without protective goggles can induce a Heroic BSoD. At the end of the story, about five issues later, Doom and Reed's climactic battle leads to Reed chasing Doom into the aforementioned room, where Doom beats the living crap out of Reed and strangles him while screaming about how much he hates him. However, Reed manages to tear off Doom's mask just before he passes out, and the sight of his grotesquely disfigured face reflected at him thousands of times drives Doom completely insane (he gets better).
    • Fantastic Four #10. Doctor Doom develops a Shrink Ray device with the intent of using it on the Fantastic Four, but he ends up getting shrunk down to nothingness by it.
  • In Asterix and the Roman Agent, Magnificent Bastard Tortuous Convolvulus has sown seeds of discord in our heroes' village, and for a time convinced them that Asterix, Obelix, and Getafix have been suborned by the Romans. After our heroes set their differences aside and pwn all four Roman garrisons, Asterix gives Convolvulus a gift and thanks him for "keeping your end of the bargain". Centurion Felix Platypus is enraged and has Convolvulus chained up and taken back to Rome as a traitor. Convolvulus is back up to his old tricks before long, however.
  • In Tintin: The Broken Ear, after several failed attempts at assassinating General Alcazar, Corporal Diaz is given a time bomb set to go off at eleven o'clock. Diaz sets his watch by the street clocks, but at ten o'clock, when he thinks he still has time to spare, he is puzzled to see a municipal worker adjusting a street clock to make up for time lost due to an earlier power cut. The corrected time: eleven o'clock. BOOM.
  • In the Batman mini-series, The Cult, Bats is able to turn Deacon Blackfire's own doctrine against him when he beats him within an inch of his life, then lets him live for his followers to deal with. His followers, who were broken by him into believing that their own suffering meant nothing in the greater scheme of things, are so enraged by his own weakness, they literally tear him apart.
    • "You committed a BONER, Joker! You were so busy forcing ME into a boner, you forgot you were committing one yourself!"
    • Joe Coyne of the 1940s story "The Penny Plunderers" does this twice. A penny-themed criminal, when he traps Batman and Robin in a Death Trap, he smugly tosses them two pennies, to symbolize that their lives will only be worth two cents. However, one of the pennies is made of zinc, and Batman is able to fashion a makeshift distress beacon to call for help and is rescued. Later, when the Dynamic Duo track Coyne down, Coyne needs to call the rest of his gang for help. However, the only phone in the room he's in is a payphone. One that will only work if given a nickel.
    Coyne's hand comes out of his pocket carrying all the coins he is carrying- Five cents - but in pennies!
    Coyne: No... They're no good to me... No good at all! It's a pay phone! I need a single nickel to be able to dial!
    And then Coyne realizes he is lost! His obsession for pennies has become his doom!
  • In Flashpoint, the Reverse Flash has suddenly appeared and begun attacking Barry Allen while telling him that the reason this timeline exists was because Barry tried to save his mother from Zoom and suceeded, only to screw up the rest of the world.. As he does, he tells him that, because how things are, Barry could never kill him lest he break time again. As he says that, he learns of a loophole too late as Thomas Wayne!Batman impales him with a sword.
  • This happened at least twice in the Mickey Mouse Comic Universe.
    • In the comic strip story "Race To Death Valley", Mickey swipes a map out of Shyster's hand from a window, boasting, "It's an old Shyster custom I learned from you!".
    • The comic strip story "Blaggard Castle" involved a trio of simian mad scientists named Professors Ecks, Doublex, and Triplex, who invented a Hypno Ray as part of an evil scheme to take over the world and invited Mickey Mouse and Horace Horsecollar to their lair with the intent of using them to test their invention. The story ended with Mickey using the mad scientists' machine on them and hypnotizing them into being good.
  • General Spears in Aliens: Nightmare Asylum is a General Ripper on a remote colony who does not believe the heroes when they tell him that Earth has been overrun by the Aliens. He has been training Aliens to be his own personal soldiers by training their Queen with Pavlovian responses to fire. The moment they touch down on Earth and he plans to defeat the entrenched natives, the Queen turns her drones on him. She hadn't learned to fear him—she had learned to be clever.
  • In Sonic the Hedgehog's Sonic Universe side-series, the demigod Enerjak is invincible, and makes a note to rub this in the face of Silver, who he's dueling. Upon mentioning that Silver is not strong enough, skilled enough, or wise enough to best him, Silver realizes Enerjak is correct. He proceeds to redirect Enerjak's attacks at him, actually cracking his armor and inflicting pain on the demigod for the first time in decades. Enerjak is promptly drained of his powers moments later.
    • The original Robotnik fell to this, as well, being the only one destroyed by the Ultimate Annihilator's destruction. Granted, Snively pulled a Starscream on him, but it WAS his weapon.
    • Interestingly, this is the ultimate fate of the post Sonic the Hedgehog/Mega Man: Worlds Collide Mobius - because Eggman was so hasty in trying to snatch victory from the jaws of defeat, his attack on Sonic has reversed everything he has done - Princess Sally is no longer roboticized, Knothole and Mobotroplis stand once more, the Freedom Fighters are whole again and he's still no closer in getting rid of Sonic.
      • The reboot is also this for many characters in the old continuity, namely those who could've stopped Robotnik/Eggman in the past, but chose not to for whatever reason. Namely Ixis Naugus note , and the Brotherhood of Guardians (and the echidna race by extension) for feeling that the world conquering villain that makes flying armored battle stations and apocalyptic super weapons like the Ultimate Annihilator was not a threat to them.
  • In the Final Crisis storyline "Legion of Three Worlds", Legion of Super-Heroes villain the Time Trapper sends Superboy Prime into the future, where he attempts to finally make his mark on the world and unleashes a plethora of villains. While the Legions of three different dimensions resurrect Kid Flash and Superboy to battle Prime, Superman and the Legion's three founders are dragged in to deal with the Time Trapper, revealed to be a future version of Superboy Prime. Eventually, the four drag the Time Trapper out and he and Prime confront each other. When the Time Trapper starts commanding Prime to aid him in eradicating them all, Superboy Prime flips out and slugs him, causing them to be seemingly eradicated. Braniac 5 sums up that moment perfectly:
  • In the final arc of New X-Men, bacteria-based Big Bad Sublime summons the Phoenix to Earth, in hopes of using her in her role as destroyer of evolutionary dead ends to wipe out mutantkind. Guess who she ends up deeming the actual evolutionary dead end and destroying?
  • Superior Spider-Man:
    • Ock!Spidey gets one over J. Jonah Jameson. He records Jameson giving him explicit instructions to outright murder Alistar Smythe and, once he does the deed, uses it to blackmail him into giving him the Raft.
    • Issue 19 has everything tumble on top of him. In issue 9, Octavius seemingly deletes Peter and his memories and prepares to romp around as a truly Superior Spider-Man... until a time disaster strikes Horizon Labs and Spider-Man 2099 arrives in an attempt to fix it. Ock promptly knocks him out, then tries to stop everything by himself. In a short time, he's briefly killed, loses 9 hours of his life, destroys Horizon Labs, allows Ty Stone to acquire what's left, forming Alchemax Labs, gets Spidey 2099 stranded in the past, loses more credibility from his closest friends... oh, and gives Peter the chance to dig himself out of the Mental Rubble Octavius buried him in.
    • Issue 25: What makes The Avengers stop pussy-footing around and go and fully confront Spidey? Tony Stark finding out that he erased the files on his diagnostics and the security camera tapes... except for the one Tony knows about. For all of Octavius' smarts, he was outwitted by one man smarter than him.
  • The JSA villain Johnny Sorrow can kill people by making them look at his face. He does this to Dr Mid-Nite, believing he's killed him. Except Dr Mid-Nite is not only blind, but used the lenses in his goggles to record the image, and shows it to Sorrow himself.
    • In a later story, Wonder Woman does something similar when she gets Sorrow to look at a reflective surface.
  • In the Archie Comic adaptation of NiGHTS into Dreams..., Reala is supposedly killed when his anchor in the real world, Roger, is convinced by Claris and Elliot to let him go as he has no real reason to keep him around anymore.
  • In an actual Archie story, Veronica designs and creates a beautiful ballroom gown, planning to wear it to the biggest dance of the year; Cheryl Blossom steals it in order to show her up and be the center of attention. Unfortunately for Cheryl, Veronica is a poor seamstress; the dress falls apart while she's wearing it. At the dance. (Still, this is a Pyrrhic Victory for Veronica; while the result humiliates Cheryl, it also exposes her shoddy work.)
  • Iznogoud: Almost every story ends this way. Whatever magical object or scheme Iznogoud concocts to get rid of the Caliph, he'll end up falling victim to the scheme himself (leaving him imprisoned, Taken for Granite, turned into a Baleful Polymorph, trapped in another dimension, etc.). As if to add insult to injury, sometimes the Caliph will also fall into the trap - and quickly find a way out (often by accident) that won't work for Iznogoud.
  • Neron in Underworld Unleashed is defeated when he gets what he wants - the soul of Captain Marvel. However, because Cap gave it to him selflessly, his soul was too pure to keep and he's hurt by its pureness.
  • Vampirella:
    • In "Slitherers of the Sand" the monster is beaten when Vampirella lures it onto its own waste, which is toxic to it.
    • In "Into the Inferno" Granville is killed by Vampirella, who he had accidentally driven into a bloodthirsty madness by the drug he had ordered given to her.
  • In the Quasar storyline "Starblast", Bigger Bad Skeletron's desire to obtain the Star Brand is what leads to his defeat, as he gains the portion of the power from The Stranger, but The Stranger is able to leave him stranded in the now-lifeless universe of The New Universe while its Earth is shunted into the 616 universe.
  • Judge Dredd: To turn the tide of the Apocalypse War, Dredd assembles a strike team to infiltrate an East Meg nuclear silo so it can be turned against its own city.
  • Happens several times in Thunderworld #1. From Dr. Sivana and his counterparts across the multiverse foiling their own plans of creating a 8th day (Sivanaday) where they're allowed to win by cheating themselves out of suspendium to make it an 8-hour day, to Lady Sivana (Georgia Sivana) getting tricked into depowering herself by Captain Marvel Junior out of her own desire to use her beauty to get her way.
  • In issue #8 of the 1973 Mister Miracle series, the eponymous hero is sentenced to a trial by combat with the Lump inside the latter's mind. In the real world, the Lump is pretty much what his name implies — a vaguely humanoid, immobile lump of pink matter; in his mental world, on the other hand, he's a shape-shifter who, while still pink, can become virtually anything he can think of. A battle royale ensues between him and Mister Miracle until, after surviving a blast of near-nuclear strength, the Super Escape Artist forces the Lump back into something like his outside form, and then shows him his refection in a piece of "glass" created by the explosion. The Lump is horrified and retreats into his Id, allowing Mister Miracle to escape from the mental world.
  • In What If?: Infinity - Dark Reign we're shown a world where Norman Osborn gains control of the Infinity Gauntlet and uses it to take over the world and resurrect his father. However, despite all of this, his father shows him love not because he's done all of this, but just because he's his son. Norman can't accept this and erases him from existence. It takes a moment before he realizes, whoops, he's just erased himself, too.
  • Amazing-Man was a very minor DC hero who had the ability to assimilate the properties of any non-organic substance he touched. He died in the pages of Starman when a villain tricked him into assimilating glass and then shattered him to pieces.
  • In Deep Gravity, the person responsible for the accident on Vanguard is not one of the survivors, having tried and failed to leave the ship before anyone noticed.
  • In Astro City arc "Confesions", the villains send the Confessor a message (via Altar Boy) that they know his secret, and they want him to not do something. The Confessor blinks, absorbs the knowledge that they only care about that act, and makes the deductions that allow him to throw a spanner in their plans. (Though he's killed, and other superheroes have to do much of the work to finish the job.)
  • In a Super Goof story, the Beagle Boys tricked the hero into taking a hunger amplifying formula; by the time Super Goof stopped eating and got his act together enough to look for the four crooks, he was so obese, he could barely keep airborne while flying. Nonetheless, he did so until he found them, and the Beagles made the mistake of laughing and telling a few fat jokes; then the hero finally could not stay airborne and crashed, right on top of the villains, apprehending them.
  • A horror comic featured a lawyer who made a Deal with the Devil... on the condition that they use the contract he'd prepared, an extremely Long List to account for every possible ambiguity or Exact Words that could lead to the Devil winning. The Devil curses but agrees, then points out the lawyer needs to sign all the subclauses in the contract. The lawyer gets to it, then punctures his finger and draws blood, signing the first of many, many subclauses with his own blood, as is tradition. He's found dead in the morning of blood loss.
  • Revka Temerlune Edifex Scyros III a.k.a The Psycho-Man from Ultimate Fantastic Four constantly put others under his blissful mind control, but could not feel the sense of bliss himself. Thanks to Reed causing a psychic backlash, Psycho-Man was placed in an eternal state of ignorant bliss while being unable to put anyone else in the same state ever again.
  • In battles between Wolverine and Magneto, the latter tends to make short work of the former with him controlling his adamantium skeleton. In their first fight, Wolverine is nearly skewered in the head with his own claws and is only knocked out as he's able to retract them in time.
  • This is what allows Captain America to enact his plan in Secret Empire - Maria Hill, former Director of S.H.I.E.L.D., had found evidence of Cap secretly being a member of HYDRA. She contacts Rick Jones with this news, but he seems incredibly doubtful and ultimately rejects this, specifically due to the fact that saying something like this is the sort of stunt she would have pulled ever since she took over S.H.I.E.L.D.
  • In Justice League of America (Rebirth), Vixen ends up defeating Lord Havok by exploiting a major flaw of his - his steel-like body. As he constantly boasts, it's not armor, it's his skin. So, Vixen ends up just channeling a poison dart frog and slugs him until the poison takes effect as it's absorbed by his skin.
  • Noob: Comic 12 has three players from the next day's rival virtual sports team plan to take shifts in basically ding-dong ditching Kévin/Sparadrap (a Genius Ditz at the sport) all night so Noob's best player will be sleep-deprived the next day. They didn't count on the fact that he was sharing his room with someone who is more astute than him, sleep-deprived into a very bad mood and extremely protective of him. The dressing-down they get from the room's other occupant keeps them up all night (they even consider all moving in together after the tournament because they don't want to sleep alone anymore).
  • Mortadelo y Filemón:
    • In a short story, the Super grows tired of Mortadelo and Filemón's incompetence and plots to get them fired. He tasks them with keeping safe a very important document, only to steal it himself. After his attempts to steal the document fail one after another, he overhears Mortadelo talking to the T.I.A. managing director and mentioning that the document is hidden in a cigar they left on the Super's desk... which turns out to be the same cigar he is smoking. The Super is subsequently fired (but thankfully for him, Negative Continuity is in effect).
    • The ending of "La gripe U" sees Kamikaze Regúlez hospitalized after becoming infected by the very virus he had created.
    • In "Los guardaespaldas", the agents are protecting a rich old woman who has a slew of killers after her. One of them appears at her door and attempts to gift her an alarm clock, which is loaded with explosives inside. Mortadelo notices the clock has a half-hour delay and corrects the time. Then the killer takes the clock out of the bedroom's window:
    Thank goodness I calculated the explosion for half an hour from now! [his expression changes as the realization hits him] Ha— half an hour! He advanced half an hour all of a sud— *BOOM*
  • This happens as a result of racism in Sergio Aragones' "A Mad look at: Racism." In one strip, thinking that home values would drop, a realtor refuses to sell a house to an African American family, and inadvertently allows a family of Neo-Nazis to move in and drive down house values. In another, a racist restauranteur and his staff give an African American terrible service, and laugh him off when he angrily storms off, and then it turns out he was a food critic that gave said restaurant terrible reviews.
  • Batman '66: Lord Marmaduke Ffogg's plan to take over Gotham City is foiled when his own fog prevents his minions from realizing they were beating up each other.
    Batman: We never lifted a finger. Hoist by your own petard, Lord Marmaduke!
    Robin: Defeated... by fog!
  • In one issue of Marvel Adventures: The Avengers, Giant Girl (Janet Van Dyne) ends up under the control of the insect humanoid Psyclops. Seeking answers, Storm, Wolverine and Spider-Man head for Van Dyne Labs for answers, where they meet Hank Pym. Pym reveals that her costume's equipment were meant for shrinking and communication with insects. When Janet discovers she can grow, she ignores all of that until Psyclops' powerful insect control took her over. Thankfully, her new costume averts that problem from then on.
  • Scooby-Doo! Team-Up:
    • In "Perils Before Swine", Sylvester Sneekly tries to use the Scooby Gang as unwitting pawns in a plan to get rid of the Ant Hill Mob. Fred ends up being the one who exposes him as the Hooded Claw.
    • Yankee Doodle Pigeon tricks the Vulture Squadron into thinking he became a real ghost by using leftover luminous paint from one of the squadron's past attempts to capture him.
  • All-New Ultimates: Diamondback has Bombshell under her control, and uses her against the Ultimates. But when she mentions the death of Poey, the anger allows her to break free of their control.


Example of: