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Jack Bauer Interrogation Technique / Comic Books

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"Will you tell me what I need to know? Or will you Talk to the Fist?"
  • This is the usual technique of Batman when he's trying to find someone. He beats up a lower mook until he gets the name of someone else above the chain of command. Then he goes after him and repeats the cycle until he finds one he was searching for. The other members of the Batfamily (especially Red Hood and Huntress) do the same.
  • Pretty much a staple of Marvel's The Punisher, with Frank Castle able to come up with some rather impressive techniques, to the point where the 2005 Punisher video game consisted of a variety of ways to use the environment to threaten a criminal with horrific bodily injury... and then let him have it anyways once he gives up the needed information. Note that he sometimes merely threatens torture, but the MAX version is much more overt about him committing it and The Punisher: Force of Nature one-shot (MAX) had a page with him monologuing about torture as well as the threat: for some the threat is enough, some never break, and some just pass out. One of the villains even says that he figures that the Punisher would simply "shut down" if he were tortured.
    • In the MAX arc "The Slavers", Frank needs to get information from one of the titular Croatians and realizes that, hard as they are, "what I would need to do to such men would be...extreme." So he drugs the guy, cut a hole in his belly, pulls about two feet of his intestines out, and drapes them on a tree branch in front of him. And that's where he starts.
  • Rorschach from Watchmen seems to consider this the best way to get information about the criminal world.
    "I've just broken this gentleman's little finger.. Who killed Edward Blake?"
    "...and his index finger. Who killed Edward Blake?"
    • And he does this to completely random people at dinky bars. He doesn't care if the person is actually guilty of anything — he just expects that when he does it enough times, he'll find someone who is, or is willing to talk about a guilty person to make it stop. In one of his diary entries, he comments how depressing it is when no-one's guilty.
  • Spider Jerusalem will get at the truth, no matter who he has to maim to do so.
    • Or even just if he doesn't like them, although that's usually limited to punches, general manhandling, and shots with his bowel disruptor rather than anything terribly permanent.
    "Do not offend The Chair Leg of Truth. It is both wise and terrible."
  • Tex Willer: Tex's typical modus operandi involves punching the poor sop across the room until he finally tells the truth.
  • During the Daredevil arc "The Devil, Inside and Out", Daredevil interrogated Hammerhead by hitting some Pressure Points that made "his eyes feel like hot coals in his head".
  • Wolverine has used a simple method to intimidate or interrogate someone throughout his whole career that rarely fails to work. He subdues the victim in some way (like shoving him against a wall) and then holds the knuckles of one hand against the victim's throat in a position where, if he were to unsheathe his claws, the middle one would impale the victim's throat and kill him. But he only unsheathes two claws, the left and right one, keeping the middle unsheathed. This almost never fails to scare the shit out of the victim (as Wolverine hardly needs to remind him that he could have unsheathed all three) and usually works.
    • For example, in the Graphic Novel God Loves, Man Kills, after capturing some Mooks, Wolverine shows his claws on one hand and puts the other under the mook's chin.
    Wolverine: See these? Remember what they did to your car?
    (Pops claw up on left side of Mook's face)
    Wolverine: That's one.
    (Pops claw up on right side of Mook's face)
    Wolverine: That's two. Wanna go for three?
  • Asterix:
    • In Asterix and Cleopatra, when the heroes suspect that the captain of a Nile ferry was lying about there being no more stone left in the quarry, Obelix proceeds to beat him [the captain] in the face repeatedly (apparently toning the force of the blows down enough to not be fatal). The captain confesses how Artifis had bribed him to toss the stones in the Nile.
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    • Also occurs in Astérix chez les bretons.
  • A staple of Diabolik: if he can't use Truth Serum for some reason, he'll first aim a knife at your throat, and if you don't talk anyway he starts torturing.
  • Amanda Waller does it to a courier working for a terrorist group to find out what he was transporting in Suicide Squad #0.
  • In Identity Crisis, the revelation that the mysterious killer targeting the loved ones of superheroes knows that Superman is Clark Kent and sent a death threat to Lois makes the superhero community even more desperate. Clark's secret identity is really secret, so if the killer knows that, then no one is safe. There is one page dedicated to showing various superheroes slamming a battered villain against a wall demanding information. It doesn't work since none of these villains know anything.
  • X-23's methods don't exclude torture as a means of obtaining information. Wolverine (himself perfectly willing to use it) accepts it, but many of Laura's other teammates get quite disturbed by it, particularly when she summarily executes the subjects once they have no more information left to give. In fact, on her first day in school, when the French teacher asks if she speaks the language, Laura stands up and recites (in perfect French) her entire interrogation protocol, which outright states high-ranking officials should be tortured because bribes would be too expensive.
  • Huntress does this a lot. At one point, she interrupts an interrogation Nightwing was conducting of the Tattooed Man and just starts beating the information out of him. Nightwing is shocked by how far she's willing to go. Considering who trained Nightwing, that's saying something.
  • Ultimate Marvel
    • Ultimate Galactus Trilogy: Marh-Vell has to suffer one of those after being captured, when Nick Fury refuses to believe him. After all, he's still an alien that infiltrated a high security meeting, so Fury and Danvers are wary on his good intentions at first.
    • The Ultimates: Black Widow tried it with a Chitauri, asking how to deactivate the Doomsday Device. But he refused to help at all, so she killed him.
  • Wonder Woman (1987): Ectreba starts torturing the captive A'iir, who is the Emperor's chief advisor, but he gives up no information and Wonder Woman runs in and stops her as soon as she learns what's happening. Wondy gets far more info out of him just sitting and talking with him the next day after she had him sent to medical, even though A'iir is still unquestionably loyal to his Emperor he lets more slip than he realizes.


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