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Unwitting Instigator Of Doom / Comic Books

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  • Sabrina accidentally causes a Zombie Apocalypse in Afterlife with Archie when she tries to revive Jughead's dog, Hot-Dog.
  • In the Archie Comics' Sonic the Hedgehog book this applies to Sonic, Sally, Knuckles, and Tails's respective families. Issue 50 revealed that Sonic's dad and uncle found Robotnik and brought him to King Max, who made his infamous decision to make him the new Warlord. During this time up to when they were captured, Knuckles' father and ancestors were aware of Robotnik, but devoted none of their considerable resources to resolve those problems, despite Robotnik once trying to weaponize the Floating Island in the Sonic and Knuckles tine-in comic, trying to drive the island into the sea in the Death Egg saga and Knuckles spin off title revealing his family was still living on the island and would've been aware of this; Locke even commented on the Ultimate Annihilator in the spin off title. And almost immediately after they returned, Tails's parents caused a political reformation that may well have resulted in, in addition to King Naugus, the disaster Silver's trying to prevent.
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  • One for villains everywhere, across nearly all incarnations: Joe Chill, a simple mugger, for unwittingly creating Batman.
  • In the Chick Tract "Fatal Decision", Brutus, an orderly on the brink of being fired for rudeness to patients, makes hints that John shouldn't trust Dr. Bowers, leading to John destroying the vaccine and dying of his disease.
    • The devils often invoke this trope, choosing someone who has an incidental relationship to the person whose soul they want to claim. In "The Assignment" they succeed in convincing Charles Bishop's subordinate's wife to badger him out of witnessing to his boss. They try to distract Cathy with a boy, only for it to fail when he proves to be a Jerkass, and try to have the previously mentioned subordinate call Bishop with a sales proposition, only for the angels to thwart this attempt twice. Charles ultimately dies in his sins, making the first example a successful one.
  • Civil War: The entire mess started due to the New Warriors, a C-list superhero group, storming a house containing a group of fugitive super-villains in the middle of suburbs of Stamford as part of a Reality TV show. This provokes Nitro to blow up, causing extensive property damage and killing 600 civilians including 60 children at the elementary school across the street. As a result, the disapproval of unlicensed, untrained superhumans increased which convinced Congress to pass the Superhuman Registration Act. This divides the superhero community into pro-registration and anti-registration factions culminating in Hydra's assassination of Captain America and the rise of Norman Osborn's Dark Reign.
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  • Deadpool is this in a very large way in Secret Empire: Steve Rogers has been comsic-cube'd into a Hydra agent and Wade started working for him without knowing this. During that time, S.H.I.E.L.D agent Phil Coulson figures out what happened, but before he can warn anyone, he is assassinated by Wade on Cap's orders. With Steve's cover intact, Hydra's plans proceed unchallenged, and they take over America and trap Manhattan under a dark-force dome. Wade mentions in chapter 32, that he didn't know Cap went Lawful Evil until after he joined him. He tells Preston the same in a flashback in chapter 33, admitting he didn't know any of the following would happen -like the dome over Manhattan.
  • In FF #5, Reed and Susan's children Franklin and Valeria viewed a set of holographic wills their family left them. Ben confesses his deepest darkest secret in his: back in college he was pissed off by a certain Jerkass who kept mocking his best friend Reed. So one day Ben snuck into the guy's room and messed around with one of his experiments... This is a doubly appropriate example given the moniker the guy would start using after that day.
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  • In The Flash, the Allens come to a doctor to deliver their twins, the same time as the Thawnes are expecting a delivery as well. The Thawne child died in childbirth, and, out of guilt, the doctor gave one of the Allen twins to the Thawnes while fabricating a lie to his real parents that he died. Malcolm "Thawne" grows up in a dysfunctional, criminal family, and when he learns of his true parentage, comes to resent his twin brother Barry as a result. While Barry successfully heads a mostly-familial legacy of superheroes, Malcolm would become the ancestor to multiple supervillains (the second Reverse Flash, Captain Boomerang II, Inertia, not to mention multiple other descendants that bear Malcolm's "Cobalt Blue" villain moniker), creating one of the largest Feuding Families in the DCU.
  • The race known as the Guardians of the Universe practically has this as its hat.
    • One member of their race, attempting to settle the Origin Question (basically, why is there a universe and why is there life in it and specifically why are there Oans/Malthusians in it), introduced Evil (or at least Entropy) into the universe.
    • To combat evil, they formed a corps of robotic police called the Manhunters. That didn't work out so well when Krona decided to prove they were fallible by engineering their insanity and set them loose to massacre Sector 666.
    • To combat evil and the Manhunters, they decided that another Corps was the way to go, this time the Green Lantern Corps. Noble in principle, but they also decided to seal the Fear Entity inside the artifact giving the Green Lanterns their power. That didn't work out so well either.
    • To combat evil, the Manhunters, and regulate the Green Lantern Corps, they created the Alpha Lanterns, which were supposed to combine the ruthless efficiency of the Manhunters with a Green Lantern's flexibility. To no one's surprise, the Manhunter programming screwed with the Lanterns' thoughts, turning them into Lawful Stupid parodies of the people they were. And to boot, the process rendered them vulnerable to Demonic Possession.
    • Really, anytime something in the DC Universe is going very badly on a cosmic scale, the Justice League could save themselves some detective work by starting with the assumption that it's at least related to something that either Darkseid did on purpose or the Guardians did by accident.
  • Having used a Xanatos Speed Chess style plan to save the world a few times, Kid Loki find out, to his horror, that pretty much everything he's done during Journey into Mystery has come back to bite him in the ass all at once — the main villain of the Everything Burns crossover is Surtur, who was originally released by Loki, he's aided by The Manchester Gods, who gained their power with Loki's help, and Surtur's herald is the alternate version of Leah that Loki had written into the Serpent's backstory. Right after he clears all of that up, he discovers that Mephisto, still angry at Loki for releasing the Disir from their curse, has found out about the Fear Crown that he'd created and is going to use it to create a literal hell on earth. Unlike a lot of examples here, because he's the protagonist, it comes across as being more tragic than annoying — no matter what he does, something's going to come along and ruin his happiness and success.
  • When Magneto first manifested his powers, an angry mob burned his house down and prevented him from saving his daughter Anya from a fire, causing him to use his powers to murder them all and permanently estranging his wife Magda. It's the first time Magneto takes a life, but not the last...
    • While pursuing Magneto-worshipping mutants to Asteroid M, a S.H.I.E.L.D. agent shoots one of them, who nearly dies in Magneto's arms. This triggers another Face–Heel Turn from the formerly-retired Master of Magnetism.
      • At the same time Magneto found out Moira MacTaggert had been tinkering with his genetic code, apparently attempting to force him to reform. To call him "displeased" would be an understatement.
    • In response to Magneto's later return, the governments of Earth surround the planet in a satellite shield that will prevent Magneto from returning to Earth. In response Magneto EMPs the entire planet, causing catastrophic casualties. In response to that the X-Men attack Asteroid M, ultimately leading to Charles Xavier mind-wiping Magneto and creating Onslaught, who nearly destroys the planet and does temporarily kill of most of Marvel's superheroes. All because the Earth governments launched a pre-emptive defense against a man who was, at the time, content with splendid isolation.
    • Magneto is later (publication-wise) targeted by Legion, Xavier's son, who believes killing Magneto before he can get started will bring about the utopia his father always wanted. Legion screws up and kills Xavier instead, resulting in the Age of Apocalypse.
    • Magneto finally catches the short end of the stick when Cassandra Nova convinces Donald Trask III, Bolivar Trask's last living relative, to reactivate a South American Sentinel program and attack Genosha. Trask is a dentist who seems too stupid to understand the full implications of what he's doing, namely murdering 16 million mutants.
  • In The Multiversity, Ultra Comics is exploited by the Gentry as a means to infiltrate the multiverse. While he manages to seal Earth-33 off from them, he's ultimately unsuccessful in defeating the villains.
  • In Volume 5 of Scott Pilgrim, Stephen Stills tells Knives that before Scott broke up with her, he had already started dating Ramona. Knives then tells Ramona, leading her to break up with Scott.
  • Star Wars Legends:
    • Legacy: Obi-Wan once cut off a tusken raider's arm to protect some moisture farmers. That tusken raider was cast out by his tribe, and went on to become a new Sith Emperor who will create the One Sith, and start a new war that was will result in the deaths of billions of life forms.
    • Tales of the Jedi: A pair of hyperspace explorers, Gav and Jori Daragon, stumble upon the homeworld of the Sith race. The Sith Lord Naga Sadow engineered a scheme where he frees the explorers, and lies to his people that the Republic will invade their empire, thus starting the Great Hyperspace War.
  • Inverted in the Tintin story The Secret of the Unicorn with the pickpocket who had been stealing everyone's wallets. He ended up stealing the Bird brothers' wallets which contained their parchments, this lead them to think that Tintin stole their wallets. They ended up kidnapping Tintin, and after a long chain of events, they got captured. Tintin got the last two parchments from the pickpocket and ended up finding Red Rackam's treasure.
  • The Transformers:
    • In the original comic, Octopunch tried to shoot Grimlock during a battle in Cybertron's core. However, the blast harmlessly bounced off the Dinobot leader and instead struck Primus himself, causing him to let out a scream that allowed Unicron to find his way back to Cybertron.
    • In the IDW comics, Whirl is a minor example - while the Senate had pressed him into service, Megatron points to him as the one who taught him to rebel against the Senate with violence, thus starting the Great War.
    Whirl: Did I ever tell you about how I started our war? You'll laugh your head off.
    • Early in the 2nd season of Transformers: More than Meets the Eye Trailcutter and some other Autobots wind up stranded on an unknown world that was the site of a major battle. They find a mysterious Cybertronian who is dying of his wounds and in immediate need of an Energon transfusion. While the others are wary of the stranger, Trailcutter refuses to let someone die through inaction. Midway through the procedure it comes out that the stranger is not just a Decepticon, but Vos, the newest member of the Decepticon Justice Division who promptly murders Trailcutter and flees back to his comrades as soon as he's healed. Vos's return helps pull the Decepticon Justice Division back together after a long period of post-War despondency and they become the primary antagonists of the season finale. Promotional cards for the 2nd season call him "The Catalyst."
  • In an issue of one of the Ultimate Marvel comics, Captain America told Spider-Man that he was not ready to be a hero and that he did not deserve to wear the costume. Spidey's determination to prove Cap wrong is what leads to his untimely death.
  • X-Men villain Mastermind when he turned Phoenix into Dark Phoenix. He thought he was merely brainwashing Jean Grey and capturing the X-Men as part of his bid to join the Hellfire Club's Inner Circle. Neither he nor the rest of the club realized they were messing with a cosmic entity and ended up putting the entire universe at risk.
  • First X-Men has Victor Creed's then girlfriend, Holo die, and he blames Wolverine for convincing her to stay and fight with him. But that shouldn't be a big deal for Victor, who is over one hundred years old, and they only had a short relationship, right? Well, when she was mortally wounded, she used her powers to show Victor an illusion of the two having a family and living a long, fulfilled life, and he thought that was what was happening and experienced it first-hand, and she told him that this is what he should remember... before cutting the illusion and revealing that she was actually still mortally wounded. She tells him that it "doesn't have to mean anything less". Well, he took this to heart, and determined that it logically meant that Logan had taken it all away, and would spend the rest of his life ensuring that Logan would never find anything or anyone worth living for ever again. So it's less "you got my short-term girlfriend killed" and more "you took away my happy ending". On that day, Holo's nice little parting gift and last words created an archnemesis for Wolverine that would go on to menace him and everyone around him for the rest of his life. And they're both immortal.

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