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Never My Fault / Comic Books

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  • Batman:
    • The titular superhero has been known to act like this from time to time, whether because his general paranoia was getting the better of him, or his Manipulative Bastard tendencies were in overdrive, or because he thinks everyone else is failing to see the brilliance or tough but necessary measures of his plans.
    • The Joker himself suffers from this in The Killing Joke. He spends the whole book claiming that society made him what he is by pushing him to have "one bad day" which drove him over the edge and forced him to become the insane Clown Prince of Crime. To prove his twisted theory, he shoots Barbara Gordon (permanently paralyzing her), kidnaps her father, then subjects him to a nightmarish carnival ride in which Gordon is forced to view images of his naked, crippled, bleeding daughter. The Joker then brags that Gordon has been driven mad just as he was, insisting that humanity overall is to blame for making him crazy...trouble is, Gordon is fine, though understandably shaken up. Batman then points out that it's not society's fault that the Joker went nuts, instead claiming that it was his own fault rather than anyone else's: "Maybe it was you all along." The Joker refuses to accept this.
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    • Two-Face also tends to use his coin and the random chance it represents to justify his own evil actions and fall into disgrace.
    • In Robin Dodge decides to go from wannabe hero to a Robin targeting villain after he wakes up in the hospital because the prototype he stole malfunctioned and fused to him. In his mind it's Robin's fault he got hurt, even though Robin saved his life and those of the hostages Dodge had endangered in his self-centered arrogance and the injuries came from something Dodge stole before Robin had even heard of him.
  • Spider-Man:
    • One of the best known examples is Eddie Brock, who blames Spider-Man for destroying his journalistic career in both the 616 and Maguire/Raimi movie continuities, when in both cases all Peter did was expose Brock's lack of ethics. In 616, Brock said he knew who the serial killer was, only for Spider to bring in the real crook while Eddie's guy turned out to be a serial confessor. In the film, Peter busts him for selling photoshopped pictures to the Daily Bugle.
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    • Peter Parker's boss J. Jonah Jameson is guilty of this from time to time as well. His irresponsible journalism often puts people's lives at risk, but he always blames Spider-Man for causing the problems. Subverted in Amazing Spider-Man #654 where Alistair Smythe kills Jameson's wife, Marla (who took the hit that was meant for him). He even says that he's not going to blame Spider-Man, instead saying that "It's All My Fault."
    • Also in Ultimate Spider-Man, after Peter gets his powers, he finally stands up to Jerk Jock Flash Thompson. They get in a fight, which Peter calmly tries to talk Flash out of, while the creep keeps throwing punches at him. Finally Peter catches Flash's hand and breaks it by accident. Flash goes crying to his mommy and daddy who sue Aunt May and Uncle Ben for the medical bills.
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    • Another example in Ultimate Spider-Man would be Norman Osborn, who blames everyone but himself for his own crimes and the horrible things he's done both to his own body and to his son. In particular, he seems convinced that Nick Fury is behind everything bad that ever happens to him, motivated out of jealousy, when in reality Fury barely acknowledges Osborn's existence.
      • In the prime (Earth-616) universe, Osborn generally does this to a lesser extent; while he doesn't blame Spider-Man for everything wrong in his life, he does deflect responsibility for his poor relationship with his son onto other people rather than just accept that he's a bad father.
    • It gets taken to ridiculous extremes in Friendly Neighborhood Spider-Man #5, Vol. 1. There was a girl, Vanna Smith, who kept being in the wrong place at the wrong time and kept having to deal with an insane crisis with Spider-Man in some manner. This happens for years because Peter just happened to go to the same school as the woman, eventually reaching the point where she gets a restraining order. So because of this, she shut herself in and became an extreme recluse and thought Spider-Man was stalking her. She blamed him for ruining her life. Never mind that he was saving the day, it was his fault that her life was so miserable. She reports this to the Daily Bugle where Peter Parker, of all people, took her picture for her story after she got the restraining order. Decades later, with Spider-Man long dead, the now elderly woman is still a recluse. When an angry Mary Jane called her out on slandering Spider-Man after his death, Vanna admitted that the real reason she did that was because it made her feel special. Deep down she actually liked the idea of a superhero being interested in her. Without Spider-Man her life is now completely empty.
  • The entire basis of Doctor Doom's vendetta against the Fantastic Four is that he is unable to accept that Reed Richards was actually right when warning him of a critical error in his calculations during an experiment Doom was conducting. Doom dismissed Reed's warnings as jealousy, only for the experiment to blow up in his face. The idea that Richards was correct- and therefore, in Doom's eyes, smarter than him- was so abhorrent to Doom that he concluded that Reed had deliberately sabotaged Doom's experiment, and so has attempted to creatively kill Richards and his family on numerous occasions. Even more jarring is that the retcon shows that Doom really was right and Richards was indeed wrong: the machine worked perfectly. It blew up because Doom used it to take a peek into Hell. With Doom it's more "Always Reed Richards' Fault".
    • FF #5 reveals that the accident was apparently Ben's fault, as he tampered with the equipment to show Doom up for picking on his friend. Issue #9 puts the kibosh on that and reveals that alternate universe/timeline Dooms from the future made sure it would happen, and past Doom went along with it after seeing how powerful he would become in the future. So the accident was all Doom's fault.
    • In the Ultimate Marvel universe, things are slightly tilted — Doctor Victor van Damme, in this continuity, interfered with Reed Richards' prototype teleporter. The resultant energies resulted in the creation of the Ultimate Fantastic Four, and his own transformation into a demonic-looking being of living metal. Doctor Doom insists that the transformation is not his fault, but rather that Reed's calculations were "so bad even [he] couldn't fix them". The fact Reed lays the blame for the transformation squarely on van Damme is supposed to show that they're Not So Different, but it kind of falls flat when we see that, in an Alternate Universe where van Damme kept his grubby fingers to himself, nobody was transformed. Of course, that universe also resulted in humanity being wiped out by the Skrulls when they appeared as benefactors and gave everyone superpowers... with deliberately rigged technology that allowed the Skrulls to kill them all when they were ready to conquer Earth... but what's that saying about omelets and eggs?
  • In the Squadron Supreme limited series, Nuke blames Tom Thumb after his parents died. Though it's obvious that Nuke's power killed them, he blames Tom for not finding a cure for cancer in time.
  • Despite Magneto's desire to help his fellow mutants and deliver them from persecution his actions have probably done more to hurt his cause (and harmed more mutants) than he has helped. Naturally, this is always humanity's fault. How far this goes, or if it applies at all, depends a lot on who is writing him. Most of the time he sees that he is culpable for what he did and is ready to do, but he feels he has to do what is necessary, not what is morally right. Chris Claremont brought this out in Uncanny X-Men #275, where he says "My people are in danger [...] and a kinder, gentler Magneto cannot save them", and where there is also this telling exchange with Colonel Semyanov, who betrayed him, Rogue and the forces of S.H.I.E.L.D. to the Big Bad, Zaladane, in order to get revenge on Magneto for killing his son 125 issues earlier:
    Magneto: I am sorry for your son, Colonel. Which is more than I ever heard for the slaughter of those I loved.
    Semyanov: Your daughter, you mean? And that absolves you of any crime?
    Magneto: For who we are and what we have done, comrade Colonel, we are both condemned. [kills him]
  • Countless European Scrooge McDuck stories have Scrooge engaging in this. A common story template goes like this: Scrooge starts worrying that he's losing money (or in most cases not making as many billions as he used to). Scrooge whines about it to Donald Duck who either gives him a well-meaning suggestion or simply makes a random remark that gives Scrooge an idea. Scrooge immediately implements said idea spending a ton of money. Said idea fails due to a reason that could have been anticipated with a market test or simple common sense. Scrooge laments the loss of the money... and immediately blames Donald, with the story ending with Scrooge chasing him with the intent of causing bodily harm.
    • Here's a concrete example of the above: in one story, Scrooge notices that his business is slowing down... because Scrooge already produces everything and there are no markets to expand into. Scrooge goes to Donald's house in the middle of the night to whine about it prompting him to snidely remark "You'd even sell dreams if you could, wouldn't you?". This gives Scrooge the idea to do just that. He enlists Gyro Gearloose to create a dream selling business via a machine that accesses your greatest desires and turns them into a dream stored in a tape that you can "replay" while you sleep. The business is a success... then Scrooge finds out that all his other businesses are going under thanks to people gradually replacing their non-essential possessions with dreams (why have anything else when you can relive your innermost desires every night?). Guess who Scrooge blames?
    • In another comic, "Cry Duck!", Scrooge stages several crises, such as a robbery and a fire just to keep employees on their toes. Naturally, nobody believes him when he is genuinely robbed, but instead of acknowledging that he is at fault, he gets angry at Donald for not helping him.
  • Donald Duck himself is not immune to this trope, Depending on the Writer. It's not like he doesn't want to work... it's just that no job is available in a two-meters range from his sofa. Not his fault, really. Daisy is probably cosmically endowed with this trope: if you find her admitting any fault, you get a prize.
  • Superboy Prime kills a multitude of people, but refuses to take responsibility. Coming from a world where he was the only superhero, and being parented by a Golden Age Superman, he thinks the DC universe is full of degenerates. In his mind, it's their fault that he's driven to kill. No one agrees with him.
  • In the gaming comic Knights of the Dinner Table, anything bad that happens to Bob, Dave, and Brian is always somebody else's fault. No exceptions.
    • In their Hackmaster role-playing campaign, the boys' characters, called The Untouchable Trio, have burned villages to the ground, started wars, committed mass murder, devastated entire nations ... Yet, whenever the Untouchable Trio encountered trouble from people knowing them by reputation and hating them, the boys would immediately start whining about how they were always getting "screwed over." When the Untouchable Trio was arrested and taken under imperial guard to stand trial for their crimes, Bob accused B.A. (the group's GM) of having a vendetta against their characters. It never seemed to occur to Bob that being put in prison just might be a logical consequence of killing thousands of innocent people.
    • When Sara tried to run the group through an adventure she had designed (and won an award for), the boys kept wasting time hunting small animals for easy experience, and doing other trivial activities that had nothing to do with the adventure. When the game went sour as a result, Bob blamed Sara, asking her, "You claim this piece of *** took top honors?"
    • In one storyline, B.A. ran the group through the module The Biggest Damn Dungeon Ever, which was rated as being an extremely dangerous adventure. The group kept sending their 1st-level characters into the deadliest part of the dungeon, and when their characters always died, the boys blamed B.A., and insinuated that he was cheating.
  • Pre-Flashpoint, Deathstroke's entire motivation for hating the Teen Titans and trying to kill them was that he blamed them for the loss of his family. In reality, Deathstroke himself was the one who drove them away with his life as an amoral mercenary. Averted in one storyline when he eventually realized he was a terrible father. He enacted a scheme to endear his remaining two children to the Teen Titans so they could have the family he couldn't give them. Brought up in Infinite Crisis. Batman asks Deathstroke why he's abandoned his moral code, and Nightwing says it's because his children left him. Deathstroke rages that that was because of him, and it had always been of because of him. He's promptly knocked out, and told to own up to his own mistakes.
  • This is a major part of Lex Luthor's character. Whenever he does something horribly immoral, he always finds a way to blame Superman or anyone else around him, refusing to believe he could ever make a mistake. He is unshakably convinced that he is always in the right.
  • Supergirl:
    • Worldkiller-1 (essentially an alien, body-surfing abomination) whom Supergirl fought during the storyline Red Daughter of Krypton blames Supergirl for everything he does. He flies in a city, destroys buildings and kills innocent people? It's all Supergirl's fault because she doesn't let him take over her body and erase her mind.
    • In The Supergirl from Krypton, Darkseid appears to disintegrate Supergirl, and blames Superman for it. What did Superman do? Having the gall to rescue his cousin when Darkseid kidnapped her and brainwashed her.
    • In Supergirl: Cosmic Adventures in the 8th Grade, Belinda Zee steals Supergirl's quasi-space communicator—right after hearing she should never get her hands on it—activates it, overloads it by throwing a tantrum, and gets turned into a sentient crystal statue. All of it was her doing. And she blames Supergirl.
  • The Pink Panther once suffered an accident while skiing and blamed it on a tree.
  • In Avengers vs. X-Men, Captain America first chooses to consult a man who was already in conflict with Cyclops, then ignoring the fact that the Phoenix was almost always under control during Jean Grey's possession, and completely under control with Rachel Summers's possession. He goes to Utopia, a sovereign nation, and he tells their leader to give up his granddaughter and brings an army to the fight. When asked to leave, he refuses. He then leads in pushing and poking the Phoenix-empowered X-Men even though they were only improving the world, which Reed Richards points out (although whether or not they're improving the world for the right reasons or just wanking off at themselves and their newfound power while basically putting all their oppressors under house arrest is debatable). He refuses to take responsibility for provoking the war and blames Cyclops entirely.
    • Much later... Captain America and Professor Xavier get the X-Men and the Avengers together to gang up on Cyclops and Emma. While the X-Men and the Avengers attack him physically Xavier tries to mindwipe him. Cyclops begs him to stop, but he doesn't, so Cyclops channeling the power of the Phoenix Force, kills Professor Xavier in a fit of rage when Xavier tries to mindwipe him again. Cyclops breaks down crying...and blames Captain America for making him do it.
    • In the end, Cap subverts this by accepting some responsibility for the whole mess. Cap resolves to be more supportive of mutants in general and officially endorses the X-Men, and even goes so far as to make a team that would pair Avengers up with the X-Men and other mutants, while Cyclops is wracked by guilt for killing Xavier.
  • In The Sandman, Lucifer grumbles to the title character that humanity has been using him as a scapegoat throughout history. He might even be sincere.
    Lucifer: "The devil made me do it." I have never forced one of them to do anything... They own themselves: they just hate to admit to it.
  • Green Lantern has the Guardians of the Universe. Ironically, they became the Guardians in the first place to become a species-wide The Atoner example in reaction to Krona, but they became this over time as they tried to protect the universe their own way. It became worse and worse over Geoff Johns' run on the series until it came to a head in Rise of the Third Army, wherein they decide that the problems of the universe are caused by emotion itself, and thus Emotion Suppression and removal of The Evils of Free Will will remove the problems. This is in the face of the fact that the problems of the previous two armies were pretty much entirely their own fault. The Manhunters were created by them (and replaced by the extremely similar and also eventually evil Alpha Lantern Corps), and the Green Lantern Corps were led by misinformation and factors completely beyond their control, with their last "problem" being that one of them managed to kill a rogue Guardian. To lay into this contrast, when a group of Oans who have not been in contact with the majority of the Guardians see them after millennia, they react in horror to what has become of them.
  • Archie Comics' Sonic the Hedgehog has Geoffrey St. John. When he was put on trial for committing treason to put Ixis Naugus on the throne, he blames the Republic of Acorn's problems on the royal familynote  ignoring that fact that his own manipulations screwed things up for the heroes as well. It wasn't until he discovered Naugus' plan to mind control the Council of Acorn that he realized how badly he screwed up.
  • Issue #67 of The Powerpuff Girls (DC run), "Monkey Business", tops off with everybody at Mojo Jojo's restaurant (except Blossom) having chili, which in turn makes everybody in the restaurant break wind. At the conclusion, Bubbles denies she did.
  • In Legends, the Star City police officer who shot another police officer trying to stop him from firing at Black Canary decides to blame her for the death instead of taking responsibility himself, most likely since he was under the mental influence of G. Gordon Godfrey.
  • Captain America and the Avengers' archenemy Baron Zemo has gotten the idea into his head that the only reason he isn't able to help the world by ruling it is because those selfish, mean superheroes just won't give him a chance. He's tried to switch sides before and expects total forgiveness/trust despite a.) acting like a mentally unstable sociopath even on his best days and b.) pretending to be a hero once as part of an Evil Plan. He's been known to wear his costume and continue using his supervillain name during trials for his crimes, and yet when he's found guilty it's the system discriminating against him. This was largely caused by his father beating praise into him through his entire childhood; by the time he was an adult, he was completely convinced of his inherent superiority over others. Thus, in his mind, he can do no wrong. Because of this, Zemo is constantly struggling with his morality.
  • Avengers: The Initiative: Henry Gyrich, all the way. When a student at a super-hero training camp is killed in a training exercise, one he oversaw, Gyrich buries all knowledge of it, has the student dissected in order to work out how he got his superpowers (Which he didn't actually have), and has the kid cloned repeatedly, eventually resulting in one going utterly psychotic, rampaging about the base, killing several people and graphically wounding several others. Gyrich's response? It's not his fault, and he doesn't deserve to be dragged over the coals for it. Iron Man disagrees, and has him fired.
  • Namor the Sub-Mariner. Almost every time he ever appears outside his own comic book and sometimes in it he acts like a completely psychotic Jerk Ass to everybody he meets for reasons that usually amount to Insane Troll Logic and/or Blue and Orange Morality then blames the various heroes that are trying to stop his destructive acts and/or humanity as a whole for the fact that he's doing this and the pain he's going to inflict on them for getting in his way. For instance, he's kidnapped or tried to kidnap Sue Storm multiple times but blames the Fantastic Four for trying to rescue her and bring him in.
  • The Transformers:
    • Nautilator is a bungling nincompoop who somehow manages to have No Sense of Direction and Super Drowning Skills while transforming into a lobster monster. He's a member of an underwater strike team who can't swim worth a damn and isn't even a good limb for the team's combined form. He constantly blames everyone else for his own failings, such as trying to deflect responsibility onto the Seacons for not supporting him more or to Decepticon Command for posting him to an aquatic team without checking for any competence in the area of basic seaworthiness. So far, he's been smart enough to not try to shift blame onto Megatron, which is probably why he hasn't been fusion cannoned for his whining and shirking.
    • Tarn of the Decepticon Justice Division is a far more serious example. He believes in the Decepticon cause and it's noble end goal of galactic peace, but is aware of the evil war crimes the Decepticons have committed, as well as his division's part in them. He desperately tries to reconcile this in his own mind by insisting that he's actually disgusted by his underlings and only helps them because the dirty work needs to happen to make long term peace happen. When a signal that gives people an attack of conscience hits Tarn's army, many of his henchmen are affected but Tarn himself is not; in his mind it's not his fault he does bad things, it's Megatron's or his teammates' or the Autobots'.
  • Wonder Woman:
    • Mona Menise cracked up her car while speeding and says it's the policeman's fault for trying to make her stop.
    • Wonder Woman Vol 2. Hera refuses to take the blame for any of the things she does that upset her fellow goddesses. For instance she doesn't see how the Amazon's patrons could possibly think it's her fault she destroyed Themyscira, obviously the blame lays entirely with Zeus for upsetting her.
  • Marshal Law features a Captain Ersatz of The Punisher, named the Persecutor. After years in Vietnam as a brutal Torture Technician, he returned home to his family, only to be attacked by revolutionaries seeking revenge, who shot his family while he jumped out of the way. Rather than realizing that they'd attacked him out of revenge and his family's death was his fault, he concluded that it was because the dirty foreigners and lower classes and hippies were ruining America and trying to hurt him for no reason, and devoted himself to gunning them down. He's explicitly noted to suffer from a persecution complex (hence the name), and seems completely baffled that anyone would do the things to him that he does to other people daily.
  • The Flintstones: In the first issue, a Neanderthal who would join the quarry's work force dies because Mr. Slate goads him into trying to kill a mammoth and the other two Neanderthals who were about to join decide to leave because of this. Mr. Slate blames Fred for this and punishes the latter by denying him the promotion he promised in return for Fred convincing the Neanderthals to join in the first place.
  • Drain: Freya, Chinatsu's former lover, blames Chinatsu for turning her into a vampire despite Chinatsu's earlier warnings that being a vampire sucks since they have uncontrollable bloodlust and Freya choose to become a vampire out of love and desire to be with Chinatsu forever.
  • The Incredible Hulk: Brian Banner was all over this one. His horrific abuse of his wife and son is his dad's fault, for being abusive, or little Bruce's fault for being born super-smart. His eventual murder of his wife? Bruce's fault, for being born at all. Even in Immortal Hulk, when he's been dragged down to Hell itself for his actions, twice, he still refuses to acknowledge that the situation might possibly in any way be his own fault.


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