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  • Batman often plays the unfunny role. Anything can be made funnier by adding Batman as the straight guy. A rare exception is found in the The Killing Joke, when The Joker tells him a joke that's so applicable to the two that it makes them both laugh. More typically: In Hush, when Nightwing and Batman are in the Batmobile discussing Catwoman (well, Nightwing is discussing her, Batman is glaring off into the distance ignoring him):
    Nightwing: If you don't want to talk with someone, why do you even have a passenger seat in the Batmobile?
    Batman: Balance.
    Nightwing: ...was that a joke? ... Of course not.
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  • Anyone who hangs around The Joker for any length of time who is not named Harley Quinn and/or doesn't end up getting a whiff of laughing gas tends to become this by default. Not so much true in the Silver Age stories, in which the goons would often laugh along with their boss, but definitely so in most stories from the 1970s onward, and especially in stories from the '90s onward. There's Devil's Advocate, in which "Mister J" is tried in court for murder for the first time in his life and has his lawyer sign all his legal briefs with a lavender crayon (which the lawyer gladly does). Especially funny in the "Death of Batman" story arc, in which the Joker shoots a Snuff Film that's supposed to end with Batman being gunned down in a '40s-era café. Not only does an entire movie studio treat the Clown Prince like just another prima-donna filmmaker, but two stone-faced film critics who look just like Siskel & Ebert stop by and give the Joker's film a bad review. He shoots them both dead. ("TWO THUMBS DOWN!")
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  • To a lesser extent, Wolverine tends to be this. Whenever he teams up with young girls (which happens more often than you might think, though an exception can be made for X-23 who is pretty much as hardened as he is) it tends to be a mix between heartwarming and hilarious.
  • X-23 herself, possibly even moreso. She's The Stoic in the extreme (and her Not So Stoic moments generally involve Heroic BSODs and bouts of suicidal depression), only rarely cracks a full smile, and has never truly been shown laughing in the ten years since she was first introduced in the books. She does have a subtle sense of humor, but generally a black one, and is a bit of a Deadpan Snarker (emphasizing the deadpan). Much humor is derived from Laura's completely serious reactions to the craziness that often surrounds the X-Men. Even during a day spent playing hooky from school with her cousin Megan (involving amusement parks, a Dazzler concert, and being buried in a pile of puppies and kittens), Laura's face never changes from her usual neutral expression.
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  • Plastic Man. Hard as it may be to believe these days, in his Golden Age Jack Cole comics he was the straight man surrounded by lunatics. Back then Plastic Man was a former criminal and was guilty of some rather serious crimes.
  • Out of the lot of the villainous Secret Six, the role of comically serious goes to Bane. It says something when you try to act fatherly to a grown woman by treating her like a ten year old.
  • Moon Knight: The title character is something of a Captain Ersatz of Batman, and usually takes this role when played against Spider-Man. Moon Knight is also insane, Depending on the Writer (and universe). For example, during a super-hero rooftop meeting in Ultimate Spider-Man #107:
    Spider-Man: Don't mind me, I'm just here for the chicken wings.
    Moon Knight: [confused] There... There are no chicken wings.
  • Cable to Deadpool's antics.
  • Similarly, The Punisher to... anyone he teams up with, really (you don't get much more serious than a man who shoots crime in the face). Deadpool is a common target, mostly because he can recover from Frank putting a bullet in his brain just to shut him up.
  • Previously, Cyclops would fulfill this role. As pointed out before by a few fans, personality wise, he's not unlike Batman, meaning that any situation from his perspective could become funnier, or more awesome. He once had a oneshot story a while back, that involved him fighting evil circus folk while stealing a man's bike and leaving an apologetic note afterwards. A lot of humour was derived from the situation he was in, his reaction, and the ending which turned a small number of bits into a Brick Joke. Sadly, The X-Men are being as serious as they can now, so no more comically serious adventures for Cyke.
  • Dream / Morpheus in The Sandman, either through being the straight man to the likes of Delirium or Immortal Immaturity. When his latest affair ends badly at the beginning of "Brief Lives", he starts brooding on the balcony like a teenager — and causes downpours throughout the Dreaming just to complete the pose.
  • The Transformers: More Than Meets the Eye:
    • The comic takes great glee in turning Ultra Magnus into an Exaggerated version of this trope. Getting him to smile is a literal life-and-death matter in one story. (And said smile is the creepiest thing you ever saw.) In another he literally cannot say the word "fun". He doesn't know the word "relax", either. And it's milked for all it's worth as regards showing how much his anal nature differs from the rest of the crew and placing him in silly situations and/or paired with silly characters. Sometimes he even manages to serve as the Straight Man to other characters who are usually the Straight Men themselves.
    • Megatron is less extreme, but still fills a similar role: apart from a bit of snark every now and then, he's too naturally grim and serious to be a traditional comedic mainstay. It reaches its apex when he and Ultra Magnus, in the same scene, come to the conclusion that they aren't cut out for comedy:
      Ultra Magnus: When I said that, I didn't... I was attempting to make a joke.
      Megatron: Yes, I know — I was running with it. There's a lot of banter on this ship; I thought I was ready to take the plunge.
      Ultra Magnus: I think we've both learned something from this.
  • Gaston Lagaffe: Most of Gaston's fellow employees are serious people who just want to do their jobs. At the far end of the scale, Mr. Boulier is the dapper, persnickety accountant who resents Gaston as a massive source of unplanned expenditures.
  • Ultimate Galactus Trilogy: Carol Danvers and Hawkeye turned into this when they could not stand all the crazy stuff going on. Aliens, space ships, amateur superheroes, space gods... things were so much simpler back in the Cold War, when they just had the mundane risk of an atomic war.


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