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Subverted Kids Show / Comic Books

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  • Alan Moore did this to Superman in Whatever Happened to the Man of Tomorrow?, in which basically every joke villain in his gallery suddenly goes serious. To wit: Bizarro attempts the "perfect imperfect duplicate" by massacring citizens and committing suicide ("Superman... alive"), Toyman and Prankster kidnap, torture, and kill one of Clark Kent's coworkers and expose his secret identity during a news broadcast, an army of Metallos besieges the Daily Planet and forces Superman and his closest allies to withdraw to the Fortress of Solitude, Brainiac takes over Lex Luthor's body and allies with the Kryptonite Man and the Legion of Supervillains and kills Jimmy Olsen, Lana Lang, and Krypto the Super Dog. And the mastermind behind it all is Mxyzptlk. "Did you honestly believe that a fifth-dimensional sorceror would resemble a funny little man in a derby hat?" Superman kills him by ripping him apart between his own dimension and the Phantom Zone; then, in penance, walks into a room of Gold Kryptonite and then into the Arctic. At least the ending is happy.
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  • Moore also plays with this in a parody children's comic section in The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen by solving a maze so a character can get a narcotic hit. The second volume of League had an extended section devoted to this, which depicted the characters from various well-known British Funny Animal comics (in particular Rupert Bear) as horrific mutations created by Doctor Moreau.
  • Robert Crumb was influenced by the Funny Animal comics he read as a child, but he twisted this in his own work by including topics such as sex, drugs, bloody violence, vulgar language and politics. It inspired the Underground Comics movement where the innocence of comics as a children's medium was further subverted.
  • The British comic Viz follows the format and style of popular kids comics from the UK, such as The Beano, but with swearing, gag penises and toilet humor.
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  • Steph Cherrywell's Widgey Q Butterfluff pokes fun at syrupy children's cartoons such as Strawberry Shortcake.
  • Transmetropolitan has the kid's shows "The Sex Puppets," which is Sesame Street as hardcore porn, and "Anthrax Cat," which is Tom and Jerry as Gorn. But this trope only applies out of universe, where the adults are most definitely the audience for these parodies. In-universe, these are perfectly acceptable to market to kids.
  • Sam & Max is a series based on the comics drawn by the creator and his little brother when they were children, about a cuddly dog and an adorable rabbit-creature solving crimes in a bright, psychedelic and fantastical world. It's also a violent, deeply twisted, satirical Black Comedy.
  • In The Sandman we have it when Doctor Destiny watches TV, as he drives the world insane - one of the things he watches is a kids show in which the host suddenly decides there is no hope in the world and commits suicide, while teaching children how to effectively slit your wrists. Destiny couldn't stop laughing.
  • There's a Judge Dredd comic in which a kid's show host finds out that his wife (who played another onscreen character) is cheating with one of his assistants. He proceeds to teach the kids how to throttle someone to death on live air, before Dredd bursts into the studio and arrests everyone.
  • Simon Hanselmann's Megg, Mogg and Owl comics feature the characters from the British picture book series and TV cartoon Meg And Mog, about a kindly Witch Classic and her cat, as drugged-up, screwed-up slackers.
  • The Unfunnies takes place in a universe of Funny Animal characters that at first seems peaceful and saccharine, but takes a turn for the worse when the universe's creator, an incarcerated child murderer named Troy Hicks, takes over and causes horrible things to happen to the characters. There is also a side story revolving around a character being manipulated into having his testicles amputated by an unscrupulous doctor and being manipulated by his adulterous wife into allowing her to cheat on him due to his guilt of not being able to give her a child.
  • The 2016 annual issue of Deadpool had a story called "Deadpool and His Insufferable Pals", a fictional pilot episode for a spinoff of Spider-Man and His Amazing Friends where Deadpool tried to take Spider-Man's place after burying him alive, the Merc with the Mouth doing such things as hitting on Aunt May and manipulating Iceman and Firestar into helping him graphically murder the Sinister Six by falsely accusing them of killing Spider-Man.


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