The 10 Most Brutal & Shocking Moments In DC Comics!

The 10 Most Brutal & Shocking Moments In DC Comics!

10. Bane Breaks The Bat

In the Knightfall story arc (1993-1994), spanning several titles of the whole of the Bat-Family, Bane drives Batman to his utter limits and the breaks his back. The whole time I was reading it I assumed Batman would find a way. That he would win. When he didn’t and Bane just left him there broken and beaten I couldn’t believe it. Bane beat Batman! I had never seen Batman so completely beaten by an enemy.


9. Joker Kills Jason Todd

In Batman: A Death In the Family (1988-1989) in Batman #426-429, Jason Todd, a guy just looking to be reunited with his real mother, meets his mom and gets to know her just long enough for her to betray him and hand him over to the maniacal and sadistic Joker – who beat him nigh unto death with a crowbar before blowing him up. I felt bad for Jason and Batman – who was forever changed by this event. It wasn’t until later that I heard that fans actually voted for that to happen. But hey, Red Hood, right?

joker kills jason todd

8. Joker Shoots Barbara Gordon

In the one-shot graphic novel Batman: The Killing Joke (1988) Barbara Gordon aka Batgirl answers her apartment door to find the Joker standing there in a Hawaiian shirt with a gun. Then, BANG!! The Joker shoots Barbara in the stomach, but the bullet hit her spine and paralyzed her from the waist down. I was not ready for this at all. There was just a knock on the door. That was all. Just a knock and she was answering the door. My heart stopped when I saw the Joker standing there. Before I knew what was happening, Barbara was down and the Joker was taking off her clothes. Wow. Just…wow.

7. Blue Beetle Killed By Maxwell Lord

In the 80-page special Countdown to Infinite Crisis, published on March 30, 2005, Blue Beetle discovers a revived Checkmate organization led by Maxwell Lord. He goes to everyone in the JLA telling them about Maxwell Lord and is blown off. So he goes after him himself. Ted Kord finds him headquartered in a Belgian castle fortress, where Beetle is captured. Lord reveals to Blue Beetle that his intent is to use the organization to ensure that metahumans, including superheroes, will be kept under surveillance and controlled by humans. Lord then gives Beetle an ultimatum to join his organization. When Kord refuses with the reply, “Rot in hell, Max,” Lord murders him with a bullet to the head. I can’t describe how much this devastated me. I have never felt sorrier for another character.

6. Superman Is Killed By Doomsday

In, The Death of Superman (Superman #75 – 1993) Superman engages in battles an immensely powerful and seemingly unstoppable creature of unknown origin named Doomsday across the United States. – and this is after Doomsday mops the floor with the JLI. At the fight’s conclusion, both combatants apparently die from their wounds in the streets of Metropolis. Doomsday was chaos and death come alive. After watching him go through the JLI like they were nothing we see him beating the hell out of Superman. It was crazy and felt very final at the time – for a whole year in fact.


5. Batman Killed By Darkseid

In the major crossover event Final Crisis (2008-2009), Batman, being the world’s greatest detective (after Detective Chimp), he figures out how to kill Darkseid with the same bullet that Darkseid used to kill Orion. I was expecting Batman to take down Darkseid with the bullet. That much was certain – even though Batman has a rule against guns. What I wasn’t expecting was Batman to die!! At least that’s what we were led to believe at the time. They even had the dramatic and iconic scene of Superman carrying Batman’s corpse.

4. Joker Has the Dollmaker Cut Off His Face

In Detective Comics #1 (2011) The Joker is easily captured by Batman and is put in Arkham Asylum. After Joker is left alone, the Dollmaker enters the room. As it turns out, the Joker had planned to be caught and taken to Arkham for the sole purpose of an audience with this man. According to their plan, the Dollmaker cuts the skin from the Joker’s face, leaving the madman ecstatic with the pain. The moment when I actually saw his face hanging on the wall I knew that the rules were being thrown out the window. Things just got real. Horror has invaded the Bat-verse.

3. The Faces In the Soup – Joker

After seeing what Joker did to his own face in Detective Comics #1, it wasn’t a far stretch to think Joker would cut someone else’s face off. So when the Bat-Family awoke at the “dinner table” to find their faces floating in the soup and their heads all bandaged up I freaked right the hell out. Joker had finally gone off the deep end. I remember just sitting there looking at the panel, mouth agape and a total look of shock.

batfamily faces in soup

2. Kyle Finds Alex In the Refrigerator

In Green Lantern #54 (1994) Kyle returned home one day and  he discovered that Major Force had strangled Alex, his recent ex, and stuffed her in his refrigerator. I can’t imagine the rage that Kyle felt. But Major Force can. Kyle nearly beat him to death for this horrendous act. But that doesn’t make it any less traumatic. In fact it shows the depth of the impact.


1. The Death of Aquababy

Aquababy was murdered by Black Manta, an event that changed Aquaman. Black Manta kidnapped Aquababy and put him inside a sphere, slowly filling it with air, as Aquababy was unable to breathe outside of water. Black Manta had Aquaman fight Aqualad in exchange for Aquababy’s life. Aquaman and Aqualad fought, an event that would change their relationship. After the fight Aquaman discovered that Aquababy was dead. He went after Black Manta but he could not bring himself kill him. Later, Aquaman and Mera divorced. As a father who lost a child, I can tell you that there is nothing more brutal or shocking to experience. This death really means more now that I am older. I understand the pain. It does destroy everything.

By: Michael Nunneley

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