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Mind Rape / Comic Books

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    Psychic Assaults 


  • Superman
    • In the Emperor Joker story, where the Joker tricks Mister Mxyzptlk out of most of his 5th dimensional powers to reshape reality, the Joker finally manages to kill Batman. He then revives Batman and kills him in a different way. The process is repeated over and over for several months until Superman works up enough willpower to challenge the Joker. When he asks Batman what he should do, Superman is horrified to learn that Batman is so broken, he asks Supes to kill Joker when he has a chance. When reality is properly restored, Mxyzptlk and the Spectre reveal to Superman that the experience of dying countless times has ruined Batman's mind and he literally can't live with that knowledge. Superman makes the hard choice to move the memories to The Joker's mind. In the epilogue, Batman mentions that he has slept well while Superman mentions having some trouble sleeping...
    • In some of their first Post-Crisis encounters, Superman was the victim of a series of vicious psychic attacks by Brainiac. Coupled with his guilt from recently being forced to take the lives of the Phantom Zone criminals, the whole experience was so traumatic that it led him to suffering severe Sanity Slippage, to the point that he started to develop an actual split personality. This results in the story arc "Exile," where he left Earth to sort things out without causing a danger to anyone near him.
  • Supergirl:
    • In Red Daughter of Krypton, Red Lantern Sheko does this to her victims to judge whether they are innocent or guilty. She tries to violate Supergirl's mind to read her memories, but she's stopped by Supergirl's mother's memory.
    • In Demon Spawn sorcerer Nightflame and her minions do this to Supergirl, stealing her soul, bringing her to a psychic Hell and then trying to drain her life-force and her powers as tearing away a part of her mind from the rest.
    • In ''Supergirl Vol. 2 a psychic mutant assaults Supergirl telepathically. Kara beats his attack when she stops resisting it and instead channels her energy into blow him away with her Super Breath.
      Barry: This is merely the prelude — to this... the seizing of your mind!
      Supergirl: My head... suddenly feels so hot... throbbing...!
      Barry: That is me, Supergirl. Your mind may differ from normal humans, but it is still vulnerable to attack from within — an attack most painful!
      Supergirl: Gnngh! N-no! Get... out of... my head...!
      Barry: Do not be ridiculous, child! You are mine now! It ill serves me to relinquish my control... before you are dead!
      Supergirl: S-stop... it...
      Barry: I think not. Please... Do not resist. It only makes the process that much more painful — and prolongs the agony!
  • This is the explanation for Dr. Light's Villain Decay in The DCU. As revealed in Identity Crisis, while mindwipes were tolerated (to protect secret identities), a cabal in the League decided to screw up Light's brain to change his personality to make him a near-Harmless Villain after he physically raped one of their wives. When Batman saw the mind wipe and tried to stop it, he was mind wiped too of the previous ten minutes. While Dr. Light eventually retook a level in badass, Batman lost what little trust he had in the Justice League of America and created Brother Eye.
    • The mindwiper in question was Zatanna. In that continuum, she had been a trusted friend of Batman's since childhood. Double whammy on the mind screw.
  • In Gotham City Garage:
    • Lex Luthor took control of Gotham City and put mind-controlling devices in everyone's heads. James Gordon exploited that in order to protect Kara by rewriting her memories and altering his daughter's Barbara. The thought that he did to his birth daughter to save his adoptive one keeps him up at night.
  • In Apokolips, mind-rapes are an everyday occurrence.
    Big Barda: For showing compassion, Granny would condemn me to a thousand mindyears of all-pain.
  • Martian Manhunter: Pre-52 J'onn's Evil Twin Ma'ale'fa'ak did this once to his own sister-in-law, J'onn's wife M'yri'ah. To the Green Martians this was the greatest violation of the open trust shared by their race possible. Malefic's punishment was severe indeed: his Psychic Powers were stripped away along with his memories of the event, leaving him to be shunned without knowing exactly why. J'onn himself has been guilty of mentally violating someone more than once, usually for the greater good.
  • Wonder Woman villain Doctor Psycho virtually embodies this trope.
  • Legion of Super-Heroes: Saturn Queen of the Legion of Super-Villains is a native-born telepath from Titan in the 31st Century, so naturally this is her modus operandi. There are least two distinct versions of her that operate under different motivations:
    • The Saturn Queen seen in the post-Infinite Crisis Legion series, which is supposed to be set in the definitive 31st Century of the DC Universe, is a misanthropic sociopath who believes that all human beings are inherently evil and self-serving individuals who simply hide their dark desires from everyone else.
    • The Saturn Queen seen in Superman/Batman and later in Supergirl (2005), has the credit of murdering the Martian Manhunter twice in her lifetime by shutting his mind down, and has also lobotomized at least one version of the Legion of Super-Heroes in its entirety.
  • Doctor Fate's Helmet of Fate has the power to mind-rape anybody who tries to wear it and use it for evil purposes, usually by causing the unwanted wearer to go insane, as Glorious Godfrey found out the hard way at the end of DC Comics' Legends, and also his nemesis Wotan in an issue of Secret Origins.
    • The Helm may work like this on everybody. Depending on the writer the Helm may be a tool, a sentient tool with some definite opinions on how it should be used, or the real Dr Fate with the guy wearing it just being the body currently being ridden by the helmet. Writers who incline towards the latter interpretation tend to depict the human part of Dr Fate as choosing to sort of mentally "lie back and think of England". Notably, the Golden Age Dr Fate had a period where he wore a half-helm, leaving the lower part of his face bare, specifically to avoid the possessive/controlling nature of the real Helm.
  • Gail Simone created a villain named Mortis in her last run on Birds of Prey who basically has this as her superpower. The moment she gets in physical contact with another person, she forces them to relive every bad decision and horrible thing they've ever done in their lives, and most of her victims end up killing themselves just to make it stop. She subjects Black Canary to this, forcing the heroine to first endure visions of her dead parents, then visions of Green Arrow, Roy Harper, and her adoptive daughter Sin for collectively abandoning them when they really needed her. However, Canary is able to break out of this when Mortis tells her that her friends have failed her, as Canary's belief in her teammates is unwavering.
  • During the horrific events of the Blackest Night, Black Lantern Psycho-Pirate is dispatched to Smallville, where he uses his powers to twist the locals by filling their hearts with rage, greed and fear, and proceeds to calmly stroll down the street as people kill each other in their houses. Perfectly ordinary people who were treating each other with decorum and politeness turn into homicidal lunatics as he enters their range.
  • The cover of an issue of Infinity, Inc. shows Fury having the memories of her pre-Crisis parents (the Golden Age Wonder Woman and her husband General Steve Trevor) forcibly erased in a Mind Rape-y fashion by her fellow member Brainwave Jr. In the actual comic book story itself, however, Brainwave Jr. sees that Fury is tormented by the memories of her pre-Crisis parents since not only are they gone from the mortal realm to be with each other forever on Mount Olympus, but also that they no longer existed in the new post-Crisis history that was just created, so he alleviates her pain with a bit of Laser-Guided Amnesia applied to her memories via his telepathic powers.


  • An example of an attempted physical rape that ends up as pure Mind Rape: in the 80s Captain Britain series, one of the concepts constantly explored in the series is Alternate Universes. Well, a "Kaptain Briton" from an alternate universe where England is a totalitarian state switched places with ours, and in a scene infamous to this date, he tried to rape Betsy Braddock, aka Psylocke, Captain Britain's sister (and in a certain way, his own). Psylocke killed him in self-defense using her telepathic powers, still believing it was her own brother who tried to rape her. Needless to say, this experience fucked her up.
  • This is the premise of Ghost Rider's "Penance Stare" power. By looking into the eyes of a sinner, he forces them to experience all the pain they have inflicted onto others.
  • X-Men. 'You feel no pain. You will go straight to a hospital. Remember nothing of this place. And every time you hear the words parsley, intractable or longitude, you will vomit uncontrollably for forty-eight hours.".' Seriously, don't piss off Emma Frost. Frost is this trope.
    • When she was originally introduced as a member of the Hellfire Club back in 1980 she was essentially an Evil Counterpart of Professor X, being a Corrupt Corporate Executive telepath, who ran the Massachusetts Academy, her own equivalent to Xavier's School, but with the goal advancing the interests of the Hellfire Club. In her first appearance she captures some of the X-Men, puts them into bondage using Power Nullifier devices and attempts Mind Rape on Storm while keeping her bound on what was essentially a Saint Andrew's Cross before she is stopped by Phoenix. Mind you, she does all of this while dressed as a Dominatrix.
    • Her most awe-inspiringly grotesque act of Mind Rape was in issue #17 of Joss Whedon's Astonishing X-Men, where she traps Kitty Pride in what starts out as a Lotus-Eater Machine where she marries and bears Colossus' son... only for Professor X to declare the baby too dangerous for her to raise. Colossus then knocks Kitty out and takes the baby, whereupon Xavier locks him in a cryogenic vault beneath the mansion. Kitty then tortures the location of the vault out of Colossus by phasing an axe into his head. She then goes straight there, phases through the box and frees... Cassandra Nova, who had been manipulating Frost from inside that box since the beginning of Whedon's run.' It takes several dozen near-death experiences for Kitty to get over the knee-jerk hatred she had for the rest of the X-Men remaining from the dream.
    • Another of her famous tricks was punishing Dr. Kimura, a sadistic villain with an awful past as well as X-23's abusive trainer, by making her forget the only person who was ever kind to her before sending her out to kill everyone in the facility she worked on.
    • An example of one of Emma's more hilarious tricks was causing a group of anti-mutant protesters to orgasm uncontrollably.
    • When Jean Grey catches Emma Frost and Cyclops in bed (inside of Cyclops' mind) - something that bordered on Mind Rape itself, since Cyclops had been mind-raped by sharing mind and body with Apocalypse for a good long while, and Emma was supposed to be his therapist, making this horrendously unethical on multiple levels. Emma's cavalier response provokes her to psychically tear Emma to shreds, making her relive her worst memories.
    • One of Emma's students, Empath, learned from her example and was prone to abusing his powers. At one point he psionically coerced two human staff members at Xavier's School to have sex.
    • Actually, X-Men is full of examples of Mind Rape, both by villains and heroes alike, from Professor X formatting Magneto's brain, through Cassandra Nova forcing Beak to beat Beast an inch away from death with a baseball bat and mindraping Kitty, to Dark Phoenix punishing Mastermind's hunger for power by granting him omniscience.
    • Cassandra Nova specifically was punished and contained by making her stupid, while still conscious about having been previously a genius.
    • This is also how Nate Grey defeats Domino in Age of Apocalypse.
    • When Chuck Austen needed an excuse for Lorna aka Polaris's seriously OOC behavior against Havok and Nurse Annie, he came up with her having been unstable from a while already due to a previous and really massive Mind Rape. Said Mind Rape? Being telepathically forced to witness the Sentinels's Massacre of Genosha, with the culprit being the aforementioned Cassandra Nova. It still wasn't enough for Austen to dig himself out of the huge hole he jumped in, though.
      • Considering that Alex and Annie had "psychically dated" while he was in a coma, there's Mind Rape in how these dates came to be too. They were caused by Annie's son Carter, a boy with telepathic powers who wanted a daddy so badly that he wasn't above forcing Havok to date his mother in his mind. Not that it helped the plot too much, Chuck.
  • Runaways
    • Molly's parents were evil mutant telepaths who absolutely loved raping people's minds, to the point where they once left a would-be rival unable to move for seven years. It's implied that they may have used their powers on Molly herself on several occasions. For added Fridge Horror, Molly's mom was a therapist.
    • In Joss Whedon's run, the kids meet the time-traveling parents of Gertrude Yorkes, who had died some time earlier. The kids are then faced with a problem: The elder Yorkeses can not be allowed to return to the future with the knowledge they have, because that could change said future (which, having already happened, was the past for the main characters), but just mind wiping is considered too nice considering their actions (and they had already used a mind wiping spell). Nico, however, realizes that she has options and casts the spell "The Show Must Go On." The Yorkeses know everything that will happen to them, up to and including their own deaths and the death of their daughter after them, but are incapable of doing anything to alter the flow of events. Nico is a very clear example of why you should always Beware the Nice Ones.
    • In the "Homeschooling" arc, Nico uses magic to make Klara docile after the latter is caught in an explosion and won't stop crying and Chase threatens to beat her if she doesn't shut up. Molly raises the question of how this is in any way different from what her parents used to do to make her behave.
  • This is the modus operandi of the Psycho-Man, an old Fantastic Four villain. He uses an emotion controlling device called the Control Box with three buttons on the side labeled 'Fear', 'Doubt', and 'Hate'. He takes a sadistic pleasure in using it to instill the corresponding emotions in his victims.
    • Doom has forced a number of different forms of this upon Reed Richards. The time when he repeatedly invaded Reed's dreams to turn him into a Manchurian Agent and make him turn his friends over to Doom for torture and imprisonment was one of the very few times Reed actually considered flat-out murdering Doom.
  • Telepathic mutant villain Mindscan's favored tactic in Guardians of the Galaxy.
  • Ultimate X-Men: Rogue (working for Weapon X) steals Jean Grey's powers and makes Iceman relive an invasive surgery he experienced as a child, without the anesthesia.
  • Back in 1991, Alpha Flight fought a villain named Headlok, and his psychic attacks were actually called mind-rape.
  • In All-New X-men, when Teen Jean gets her psychic powers, she hijacks Angel's brain twice in a day to make him go along with what she wants, which is very specifically to stay in the present-day Mansion.
  • In X-men Blue, Emma attempts to psychically transform Teen Cyclops into the (now dead) Adult Cyclops.
  • Carol Danvers was mind-raped twice. An extra-dimensional character called Marcus (supposedly the son of Avengers foe Immortus) kidnaps her "and admittedly, with a subtle boost from Immortus's machines—you became mine." He impregnates her with his own essence to be born on to her on Earth. She returns with him to Limbo but he rapidly ages and dies. Upon her return to Earth she is attacked by Rogue who, through prolonged contact, permanently steals Danvers's powers as Ms. Marvel. Professor Xavier is able to restore her memories but not her emotional connection to them. Comic book historian Carol A. Strickland criticized the storyline in an essay titled "The Rape of Ms. Marvel".
  • A Squadron Supreme mini-series sees the Earth-712 Squadron launch a project to solve all the world's problems. To prevent crime Tom Thumb invents a machine that can reprogram minds. Initially used to rehabilitate criminals on a voluntarily basis it's eventually used to forcibly reprogram some of the supervillains against their will and Golden archer uses it to force Lady Lark to love him.


  • In Watchmen, this is the effect that Ozymandias' cloned monstrosity has on several thousands of the people who survived the creature's explosion. Ozymandias actually had artists, musicians and writers come up with imagery and sounds so thoroughly alien and bizarre (without them knowing what they were doing) that when coded inside a "psychic shockwave" released by the creature in its death drove said thousands utterly insane. A particularly disturbing example briefly mentioned in a news report was a woman that performed an abortion on herself because she was convinced her unborn child was eating her from the inside!
  • From The Darkness:
    Sonatine: Listen. Your mother was a prostitute, your father was her pimp. Start believing... NOW.
    Jenny: What'd you do to him?
    Sonatine: Rewrote his memory. Tremendous fun.
  • The Sandman. Preludes and Nocturnes. 24 Hours. John Dee.
    • To the entire world, no less. The fact that Morpheus fixes everything but leaves John Dee with what amounts to a slap on the wrist shows quite clearly how much the Endless are Above Good and Evil.
    • Also, in a reminder that our "heroes" are not always nice, when a cop rightfully pulls Delirium over for reckless driving, she leaves him envisioning bugs all over him. "for ever and always"!
  • In the Strontium Dog "Portrait of a Mutant" story, Johnny mind-rapes a couple of Kreelers under the guise of reading their minds to prevent them from revealing that he is Nelson Kreelman's son.
  • In Dark Empire, Luke Skywalker joins the Emperor. It was the better option of a Sadistic Choice, and he planned to subvert the cause from within. Things didn't work out as planned, but when Leia's presence reminded him what he'd been trying to do, he tried to kill the Emperor. The Emperor survived, but didn't kill Luke, who could still be useful.
    Emperor: You. Are. Nothing.
    Luke: Where am I?
    Emperor: Alone.
    Luke: No - Help me-
    Emperor: There is no one. There is only the Dark Side.
    Luke: I... am... a Jedi. *he screams*
    Emperor: You are not Jedi. You are nothing. You have no name.
    Luke: My name - is - Skywalker! *he screams again, louder*
    Emperor: YOU. HAVE. NO. NAME!
    Luke: I-
    Emperor: Listen to the Dark Side. You have no name.
    Luke: I have... *all the strain goes out of his voice. Dully:* no name.
    Emperor: You serve the Dark Side.
    Luke: I... s-serve...
  • Just before the events of The Phantom Menace, Lord Sidious tasks Darth Maul with crippling the most powerful criminal organization in the galaxy, Black Sun. Maul accomplishes this flawlessly. As he is killing the last of the vigos, an Iktotchi, a species with innate telepathic abilities, tries to force his way into Maul's mind to find out who sent him. It backfires terribly—the sheer blackness of the Sith's mind ravages the vigo's without Maul even having to do anything to him.
  • Near the end of the fourth saga of W.I.T.C.H., Phobos in Endarno's body tortures Will by making her 'see' a supposed future in which she'll be left alone by everyone if she doesn't surrender the Heart of Kandrakar to him. In the end she believes him... And still electrocutes him with lethal force, stopping short from actually killing him only because she wanted to reverse the "Freaky Friday" Flip before sending him back to his cell, a Fate Worse than Death for him.
  • In the Astro City story "Ellie's Friends," this happens to Ellie when her college roommate used a device to scan her genius knowledge of robotics and keep her from sharing it with anyone else.
  • Mind rape is essentially what the Dark Man of Fables does to his victims. He is the darkness and evil of the world, the boogeyman, the terror in the closet and under the bed. He terrifies his victims, then consumes and uses their own fears to get behind the victim's defenses to destroy them.
    • In Fables: Rose Red, he's shown coming up silently and invisibly behind two NYPD officers. His influence causes the younger to confess to the elder that he's been sleeping with Kathy. (Apparently a wife/girlfriend.) The elder officer shoots the younger, then suicides. Part of the point being so the Dark Man can claim their teeth.
    • Later in the same book, his summoned witherlings -a type of zombie- aren't building fast enough for the Dark Man's liking. He invokes fears in their minds: one, the horror of drowning while inches below the surface; the other, the image of his lady leaving him. The Dark Man speaks, describing in detail what he's forcing into the man's mind; the woman of this once-man's dreams, with another, in the most carnal way possible. The witherling chooses to jump off the building. And yet, if the Dark Man has any of the man's teeth left, he can summon him again.
  • Judge Dredd: The Dark Judges in their second appearance focus their psychic powers in an attack on Judge Anderson's mind to "crush it until it bleeds". She's losing this fight until she channels the spirits of their victims to obliterate them.

    "Mundane" Torture 
  • In the Batman graphic novel The Killing Joke, the Joker brutally tortures Commissioner Gordon with images of the Monster Clown's torture of his daughter Barbara Gordon, AKA Batgirl, in an effort to prove that "one bad day" can drive anyone insane. He fails.
    • In The Batman, the Joker gives a similar speech to police detective Ethan Bennett, while simultaneously terrorizing him with hypnosis and poisoning him with the chemicals that would turn him into the first Clayface.
    • Batman Beyond: Return of the Joker, where mind rape was just one of SEVERAL things that the Joker subjected young Tim Drake to, torturing and brainwashing him into becoming "J.J", the Joker's Mini Me. The effects of such a mind rape last until Tim's adulthood and are a BIG plot point in the movie.
  • Also in DC, Catwoman's sister. Black Mask drove her to insanity by killing her husband in front of her and then force-feeding her his eyeballs.
  • V for Vendetta V drives Lewis Prothero, the former head of the concentration camp that created him, into incurable insanity by throwing his treasured doll collection into the very ovens where Prothero had burned the bodies of his victims. When V dumps Prothero on the Norsefire government's doorstep afterwards, he is reduced to a catatonic state, and is only capable of muttering "Mama!" over and over again.


Example of: