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Properly Paranoid / Comic Books

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  • The Punisher tends to lapse into this more often than not. But given the countless perilous dangers he faces in his world, you can't really blame him. Plus, nine times out of ten, he tends to be right.
  • Watchmen: Rorschach, though an Axe-Crazy nut, plays a big part in uncovering the larger conspiracy that is unfolding around him. But in the end, he's wrong about why the Comedian was killed.
  • Runaways. The Pride: the only thing they do more than work behind each others' backs to take the others' chances at Immortality is prepare counter measures for the others planning to take their spots. At least until their children find out.
  • Batman:
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    • The Dark Knight tends to get called paranoid by people he works with when he whips out his fifth spare Batmobile or his tenth secret identity or even a whole spare split personality in case of brainwashing. The problem is, they wouldn't have known he had them if he didn't need them right now. So any level of paranoid preparation that Batman appears to have is justified. When you have no superpowers and are regularly involved in JLA-level superfights, and have several dozen of the most horrifying psychopaths in existence all viewing you as their personal embodiment of Nemesis, there is no such thing as "too paranoid".
    • Batman constantly injects himself with various poisons and toxins. Since a lot of his major villains use poisons and toxins (including Scarecrow, Poison Ivy, and the Joker), building up resistance to them makes complete sense.
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    • Then there is pretty much the beginning of Batman: No Man's Land where despite the costs and no prior history of earthquakes (as Gotham is built over solid bedrock) Bruce instructed every Wayne owned building to survive a 9.0 earthquake. Sure enough a earthquake hits at 8.3 leveling every building aside from the ones owned by Wayne Enterprise. Too bad he forgot about Wayne Manor and the Batcave (albeit because he couldn't protect those places without risking the construction crew discovering his identity.
    • In Death of the Family, funnily enough, the Bat-Family seems to be this about Joker knowing their identities, while Batman of all people is not being paranoid enough about it (Batman argues that he understands that the Joker doesn't care about their identities)!
  • For Better or for Worse: the creator attempted to make Straw Feminist Therese seem like a bad person because she was suspicious of her husband's friendship with his ex from high school. Since said husband mooned over said ex constantly and they ended up getting married, Therese ended up falling into this trope.
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  • In Supergirl storyline Girl Power, the Girl of Steel is being spied on by Lex Luthor's henchman Noah Kuttler alias Calculator. Suddenly she turns towards the camera. Noah is sure that she has seen him, but Luthor chides him for his paranoia, reiterating Supergirl can't be aware of him... even though she is.
  • Saxon Kenchu in Candorville describes himself as this, but within two panels it's partially subverted, as he admits he's even more paranoid than a Dhampyr outcast needs to be. Lemont thinks he's Axe-Crazy and delusional, which would be a full subversion—but he's completely sane, and the story he's telling is true.
  • According to Spider Jerusalem, a paranoid is just someone in possession of all the facts. And in a world where bacteria-sized surveillance cameras fill the air and an Ax-Crazy President wants him dead, Spider's right.
  • In the Archie comic issue "Golf Wars", Dilton gets suspicious of their twin competitors in a mini-golf tournament with cheating after they managed to get a hole-in-one with a windmill hole (which he cited was an extremely difficult hole to get through, especially on the first try). The others think that they are simply good golfers. However, he was actually spot on: The twins used remote controlled golf-balls with the controls disguised as watches, and decided to test out his theory to see whether it was applicable by developing a makeshift radio signal blocker, which it was applicable. However, afterwards, he learned that not only were they using remote controlled golf balls, but they in fact also paid off one of the judges to claim that they were getting hole-in-ones, although he was unable to warn his friends because Moose accidentially knocked him out when preparing to putt the ball. Eventually his friends (more specifically Jughead) caught on and realized that their "hole-in-ones" were very suspicious at the final hole after they retained their balls despite their supposed "hole-in-ones" (as the final hole does not allow the ball to come back), with Dilton regaining consciousness just in time to implicate them and the judge in question for cheating, resulting in their being permanently banned from the sport.
  • Marvel's Thunderbolts team has the Ghost, a character who wears a suit that allows him to become invisible and intangible. He also has trust issues, hygiene issues, issues with authority, issues with women, serious issues with Iron Man...and he is also completely paranoid. It comes in handy, as when they are about to go on a mission and he reveals that someone sabotaged a parachute so that the person wearing it would be conveniently killed without arousing too much suspicion.
    Ghost: I found it when I triple-checked the equipment. I always triple-check the equipment.
  • Diabolik has Ginko, who, after the first stories taught him that Diabolik can do almost anything, started taking precautions worthy of Batman. Some people call him paranoid, only to learn that those precautions are barely enough. Point in case, the very first story: upon discovering Diabolik's empty car near a field with multiple scarecrows, Ginko shoots the scarecrows expecting Diabolik to fall out of one of them, but when it doesn't happen he leaves... At which point a pained Diabolik leaves the scarecrow he was in nursing the arm where Ginko shot him.
    • Most evident in Diabolik's Treasure. After Diabolik had disappeared he continued taking his anti-Diabolik precautions, as he suspected the thief was lying low for some reason. Even his most devoted followers started calling him paranoid... While Diabolik continued faking being dead awaiting for the man who had stole his favourite treasure to feel safe enough and start selling it, allowing Diabolik to find him. Ginko's grin when that man is found killed by a knife and near the remains of two Diabolik-made masks is a silent 'told you so'...
    • Diabolik himself is one (to a level that makes Batman seem overly trusting in comparison), and so is his lover and accomplice Eva Kant. They walks around with dozens of gadgets and tricks on their persons and car, have placed various devices to help escape on all the major roads and many of the minor ones, and Ginko still managed to catch them on multiple occasions. He never succeeded in keeping them in long enough to have Diabolik executed (even if sometimes Diabolik is walking to the guillotine when he escapes or is saved), but he still managed to catch them.
      • The top of Diabolik's paranoia is found in Shameful Accusation, where Diabolik, using a chance occasion, hypnotically conditions Ginko into letting him go when told an activation phrase, in case Diabolik finds himself unable to escape a lone Ginko and Eva has already been captured, with the added bonus of getting rid of Ginko for good due the accusation being born by Diabolik and Eva being the only one who know why Ginko would let them go and say they weren't Diabolik and Eva. Given the situation's sheer improbability, Diabolik didn't expect to have to use this prepared trick soon... And said it out loud after having to use it in the very next caper. And it fails to get rid of Ginko for good: Ginko's replacement was smart enough to ask him for a few pointers and managed to catch Diabolik with his pants down, and found evidence of Diabolik's trick (who was so absurd that, when told, Ginko Face Palmed).
  • Transformers: More than Meets the Eye: Deconstructed with Red Alert. He's incredibly paranoid, and frequently sees a psychologist, he's also right a lot of the time, he correctly guessed that Momus was a Decepticon, and he believed the institute was messing with people's thoughts, in the present he investigated sounds which people thought were in his head and discovered Overlord on board. However, his paranoia is also his undoing, as the Momus and the institute incident came back to bite him, when the institute has him brainwashed to lead the investigation to take Momus down because of his snooping. When he finds Overlord, he's too paranoid to tell anyone about him fitting since the ship's captain is in on it, and tries to kill himself, leaving everyone unaware until the monster gets free and kills 4 people. Then in The Transformers: Titans Return, it turns out the reason for his paranoia was because long before the war ever started, Sentinel Prime used shadowplay on him to turn him into a Manchurian Agent, something he was subconsciously aware of the whole time.
    • More broadly, in all continuities, the Autobot spy Punch working undercover as the Decepticon Counterpunch is thoroughly paranoid, due to being one of the Autobots' top agents. He is fully aware that if he can be inserted into the Decepticon ranks as a Double Agent, then the Decepticons must have done the same thing to the Autobots, and he's been proven right several times. Just have one look at his motto to see what this has done to him emotionally:
    "In my businesses, there are no friends, only suspects."
  • In PS238, a Muggle named Cecil is convinced that something supernatural is happening with some of the kids at his school because he actually has the metahuman power of being able to sense of other metahumans near him. His only mistake is thinking that they're aliens instead of superheroes (and even then, it was because someone purposefully misled him).
    Ms. Kyle: ...[Tyler]'s only made one friend aboveground, and that child is a conspiracy nut.
    Spell Siryn: Yet the conspiracy he sees is real.
    Ms. Kyle: Okay, I'll give you that...
  • Empowered: ThugBoy and his gang of minions-for-hire once specialised in secretly ripping off the supervillains who hired them. Then they tried to rip off the amoral, depraved, Pyromaniac Willy Pete; he was the only survivor, with the catapult nightmares to show for it. When the now reformed Thugboy is brought in to help advise WP's capture, he warns them not to take the "goddamn fire elemental" lightly. They do.
  • Ultimate Marvel
    • Ultimate Galactus Trilogy: As Marh points out, Danvers never trusted him when she thought he was human. As Carol retorts, she didn't trust him because she thought he was a flake, not an alien spying on mankind.
    • The Ultimates: You don't get to be a billionaire by trusting the first beautiful spy who decides to marry you implicitly, as Natasha learns. And it's not a smart idea to hold said man hostage when he made the tech that's in your veins.
    • Ultimate X-Men
      • The X-Men go to great lengths to keep normal people at a length for the protection. Professor X often combs the brains of visitors and tries to make sure no one spills any details they aren't supposed too. This is because in the Ultimate Universe, mutants are even more hated and feared than usual and in some cases are murdered on sight. So a group of paramilitary superheroes made up of these people would probably not go over well.
      • While in hiding as "Karen Grant", Jean Grey goes to great lengths to avoid having her photo taken and posted on internet, a fear that proves valid when the day after her birthday, Mystique and Sabretooth use a photo of her to track her down.
  • 100 Bullets: When Joan D'Arcy approaches Will Slaughter with a contract, he notes that it would be suicidal just to ignore how many of her colleagues were being killed and not suspect that she was next. Indeed, While she's off meeting Slaughter, a hitman is attacking her office and killing everyone he finds there.
  • The Mickey Mouse Comic Universe saga "Darkenblot" features a heavy use of robots... And it turns out, everyone involved with them knows exactly the involved dangers and took steps to pre-emptively deal with them:
    • All the robots in Avangard City are Three Laws-Compliant, including the police robots-that as a result need human officers to actually perform the arrests. There's however the possibility someone will show up with an army of non-compliant robots... So when Phantom Blot does just that to threaten the ceremony for the renaming of the city as Robopolis the mayor reveals the heavily guarded device that allows him to deactivate the compliance in police robots, safe in that they're still programmed to obey the highest available authority, be it police officers, the mayor or his deputy. All according to PB's plan: he didn't really have a robot army, just the one and enough spare parts and holograms to fake it so that the mayor would deactivate the compliance, with him having replaced the deputy mayor and incapacitating the mayor to take over the police robots.
    • In the second story Phantom Blot's plan has the unintended side effect of driving Robopolis' robots insane, making them dangerous because they don't recognize humans anymore. While Phantom Blot tries to destroy the device keeping the robots insane, the mayor goes on TV... And reveals that, anticipating the chance of one or more robots going insane, all robots made in Robopolis are programmed to deactivate on the spot if anyone pronounces the appropriate password, and starts revealing them. The citizens promptly start shutting down the crazy robots.
    • In the third story it's revealed that the neurobots of Robotorama, the predecessor city to Robopolis, were not Three Laws-Compliant but had advanced learning AIs that needed a human educator to mature and learn the difference between good and evil. Upon finding out, Mickey is glad said robots are all out of production since Robotorama was destroyed, as someone could easily educate them as evil minions. What he doesn't know is that an AI similar to the neurobots survived the destruction of Robopolis and spent far too much time talking with a pirate, becoming evil enough to entertain taking over the world, and to learn how has lured Phantom Blot to its side.
    • Knowing that every iteration of the Darkenblot, Phantom Blot's Powered Armor, is greatly superior to its predecessor, Robopolis' police has developed four power armors with Elemental Powers, each more powerful than the Darkenblot 2.0 and expected to go toe-on-toe with the 3.0. Turns out they weren't paranoid enough, as the Darkenblot 3.0 is powerful enough to wipe the floor with the entire quartet at once.
  • Sonic the Hedgehog (IDW): When they come across Eggman, now an innocent amnesiac mechanic calling himself Mr. Tinker, Shadow is fully prepared to kill him, insisting he's too dangerous to keep alive and needs to be taken out lest he regain his memories. Sonic is able to talk him down and let him live, but Shadow's fears soon prove justified; Eggman does indeed regain his memories thanks to Starline and Metal Sonic and continues his evil actions. Sonic himself notes that Shadow will most likely give him an "I told you so" once he finds out, and that's exactly what happens; Shadow reads Sonic the riot act for not letting him kill Eggman when he had the chance and holds him entirely responsible for the Metal Virus outbreak to that end, going so far as to spitefully state that Sonic deserves to be infected with the virus.
  • In Papyrus, there are MANY individuals who try to overthrow the Pharaoh, ranging from ambitious nobles, powerful lords, corrupted priests to rogue generals. This is why Merenptah is very suspicious and never hesitate to have Papyrus executed even on the smallest hint of betrayal, despite the latter saved him, the princess and Egypt numerous times.
  • Legion of Super-Heroes:
    • One Bronze Age story shows that the parents and family members of the Legionnaires have been given personal weapons, communicators and force-field devices in case villains try to go after them. Unfortunately, in that story, the villain (Dagon the Avenger) was aware of these measures and knew to counter them.
    • The Great Darkness Saga shows why Brainiac 5 is a control freak who always plans for anything. As tracking the Master of Darkness down, several Legionnaires arrive in a dead world. Brainiac 5 suddenly decides to send their ship down on auto-pilot instead of performing the landing manually. Brainy's wariness pays off when the Cruiser gets shot down by one of the Servants.
  • X-Factor (2006): During a phone conversation in Issue #217, Felicia Hardy warns Jameson that using his phone to communicate with her is dangerous as his line is not secure. Jameson dismisses her as paranoid, citing his bodyguards and the impossibility of anyone wanting to kill him. As it turns out, not only are the SCA Rs team after Jameson for their next target but one of them has indeed tracked down Jameson by tapping his phone.
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