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Serial Killer / Comic Books

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  • Arkham Asylum: Living Hell, in addition to regular Batman villains, introduces Jane Doe, who kills people to take their identity and life, and Doodlebug, who drains people of their blood for his paintings but also to free several demons trapped beneath Arkham Asylum.
  • Batman has dealt with many of them, and several members of his rogues gallery fall into the category from time to time. The most recurring ones are The Joker (obviously) and Victor Zsasz. But by far the most notable serial killers in Batman history (by virtue of their actions being the main plot of a mini-series) are Holiday and The Hangman.
  • The Penny Murderer from Brody's Ghost is a murderer of young women, whose modus operandi is to strangle them and leave pennies on their foreheads. The series centers around Brody tracking him down and putting an end to his murders, with the ghostly Talia's help.
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  • Foolkiller is on a mission to do Exactly What It Says on the Tin. Although he often falls into Vigilante territory, he's not limited to criminals. The character points out frequently that many of the biggest "fools" have the protection of the "letter of the law" if not the "spirit of the law".
  • Onomatopoeia, a mask-wearing Serial Killer introduced in a Green Arrow story and later seen in Batman: Cacophany, targets Badass Normal vigilantes. He isn't against killing other people such as prostitutes either. The creepiest element of his character is one shared by more than a few Real Life serial killers: he leads a double life as a loving and seemingly normal family man with a wife and two kids. He handwaves the injuries he gets as sports accidents and has a secret trophy room in his house with the masks of the vigilantes he killed.
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  • Johnny the Homicidal Maniac is a serial killer protagonist. Psychologically, he see-saws between being a visionary and a thrill/control killer: On one hand, Johnny is very obviously psychotic, talks with his own furniture, suffers memory loss, and believes there's a thingnote  living inside one of his walls (it's never consistent which wall), which he needs to paint with fresh blood regularly to keep the thing inside from escaping. On the other hand, Johnny is aware he's a psychotic serial killer and cherry-picks his targets from perceived Asshole Victims (or anybody unfortunate enough to stand close enough to one) and also exhibits a personal enjoyment in murdering people. Oh yeah, and that thing in the wall? It's real (well, that, or Johnny's psychosis is contagious. And sentient. And able to kill people). It's implied that Johnny was 'chosen' to become the thing's prison guard, with the duty having driven him insane and made him kill people. Then again, his personality doesn't really change all that much from being released from his duty. Senior Diablo notes that Johnny was pretty off to begin with, and being chosen just pushed him over the edge.
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  • Judge Dredd: Actually a fairly mundane type of villain in the dystopian urban setting. Recurring bad guy PJ Maybe, a mastermind-level Chessmaster, is probably the most famous example, but there have been regular serial killers, cannibalistic serial killers, skin-stealing serial killers, Snuff Film serial killers, a dentist serial killer, and robot-hating serial killers. There was even a secret club of serial killers who tried to set a new record by having all of their members go on a killing spree at the same time, unleashing a murder wave in Mega-City One that ended with their leader trying to detonate a nuclear bomb.
  • In Lady Rawhide: It Can't Happen Here, Lady Rawhide battles a serial killer with a similar M.O. to Jack the Ripper (although the story is set several decades prior to Saucy Jack's reign of terror).
  • The Punisher: Frank Castle's characterization varies Depending on the Writer, but during Garth Ennis's run on The Punisher MAX he is basically described as a serial killer who kills criminals.
    • This is eventually taken Up to Eleven in The Punisher: Born, set during Castle's last tour in The Vietnam War, where he is depicted as a Sociopathic Soldier in love with war to the point of not being able to cope with the fact that the Americans are retreating from Viet Nam and it is revealed that he was committing random murders way before his family's massacre. Finally, he hears a mysterious voice in his head throughout the series, that may or may not be a manifestation of his psychosis...
  • The Sandman has an issue where a bunch of serial killers have a convention, in the style of a comic book or sci-fi convention. They advertise it as a convention for the cereal industry. The escaped nightmare who draws the plot's attention there is the Corinthian — who became one of these for his own amusement in Morpheus' absence. For over half a century.
    • Has a crossover connection to Hellblazer, where John Constantine was having a run-in with the Cereal Convention's absent guest speaker at the time. ("Anyone seen the Family Man?")
    • Dog Soup hung a lampshade on this trope, complaining at a panel discussion that female serial killers like herself are stereotyped as either angel-of-mercy nurses or black widows. "I'm a serial killer and a woman, and I'm proud of it!" Judging by the name, she is a lot more hands-on about her work.
      • Bonus points because she's flanked by a woman in a nurse outfit and a woman tagged as "the grass widow," both of whom are giving her dirty looks as she says this.
    • The presence of at least two conventioneers who'd written "God" on their name tags, along with the "Religion Panel," may also be a lampshading of the kinds of delusions commonly attributed to serial killers.
  • Sin City:
    • Kevin from the comic/film is a particularly disturbing example. He kills and cannibalizes vulnerable hookers. On the side he's also a hit man for the Cardinal.
    • Roark Junior from the story That Yellow Bastard is another particularly vile one of these. He rapes little girls and slashes them to ribbons, and particularly enjoys hearing them scream. He's protected by his powerful U.S. Senator father, who makes life hell for anyone who tries to take Junior down.
    • A serial killer briefly appears in the short story "And Behind Door Number Three?". He was targetting Old Town girls. Things ended very badly for him, to say the least.
  • One of Spawn's early villains, Billy Kincaid, was a particularly vile one of these who targeted children, posing as an ice cream man in a Bad Humor Truck to get close to them before kidnapping and murdering them in truly horrific fashion. Back before he became Spawn, Al Simmons had been hired to take the bastard out by the father of his latest victim, but the police got to Billy before Simmons could, and all evidence of his serial killing was systematically destroyed afterward, topped off by Simmons's then-boss Jason Wynn telling him basically to forget about it. When Spawn catches up to Billy following the latter's release from the local mental institution and the murder of two more kids, his end is anything but pretty.
  • Carnage from Spider-Man is one of these; his alter ego Cletus Kasady was one even before he came in contact with the symbiote. (He had been convicted of eleven murders, but he bragged of a dozen more that the police couldn't find evidence for.) Early in his villainous career, he would leave the message "Carnage Rules!" written in his victim's blood (or with his own) at the site of each murder.
  • Supergirl: In Many Happy Returns, two different Supergirls faced up to Xenon, a serial killer of Supergirls throughout the Multiverse and Hypertime. It's implied he's already killed a good number of them, and he is shown murdering a slightly South American-esque Supergirl.
  • One story from Alan Moore's famous run on Swamp Thing was told from the perspective of a serial killer who called himself the Bogeyman. His career comes to an abrupt and anticlimactic end when he runs across the eponymous plant-man.
  • Young Justice has Harm, a sociopathic killer whose ambition is to become the world's top murderer.


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