With the new DC Comics Movie Suicide Squad coming out, I thought I’d explore comic book revenge. It seems like the villain’s sole purpose is to seek revenge upon the hero of the story. The villain comes up with an elaborate scheme that will inevitably fail. Then the hero foils their plan and the hero goes on to fight another day, and another villain is inserted. But every now and then the hero of the story gets revenge.
When you think of pairing up a comic book character with the concept of revenge, the name that comes to my mind first is The Batman. With childhood tragedy that rivals a Disney movie, young Bruce Wayne dedicated his life to revenge. In most stories though it’s always the bad guys who are seeking revenge against Batman. In one of the newer versions of Batman he does get revenge on the man who killed his parents. After the mugger killed his parents he dropped the gun and let young Bruce live. Bruce kept the gun, and years later he finally found career criminal Joe Chill. Batman tormented Joe Chill until he ultimately took his own life with the same gun he used to kill Bruce’s parents.
The Spider Man story has been retold just as many times as the Batman. And in every new rendition of the story the same fate meets Peter Parker’s beloved uncle Ben. A thief that Spider Man could have stopped eventually kills his uncle Ben. In most versions Spider Man gets his revenge. The Spider Man stories sometimes spin off into alternate universes where the back story is never told. In some stories uncle Ben is alive and kicking. But in most of the story lines Spider Man has captured the burglar and sent him to jail. He has watched the burglar die of a heart attack. And in a movie version Spider Man watched the burglar fall out of a window to his death.
I’ll have to admit that I didn’t know much about the Deadpool character until recently. He started off as a super villain, and then morphed into an anti-hero. He’s been in comics since 1991 and had made an appearance in the X-Men Origins Wolverine movie before having a title all to himself in 2016. In the movie version Deadpool seeks revenge on another mutant named Ajax for two reasons. While Ajax helped unlock Wade Wilson’s mutant powers, he also turned his face into a topographical map of Utah. And Ajax also kidnapped Deadpool’s girlfriend. In the end Deadpool got his revenge, and the girl. But his face still looked like a topographical map of Utah.
And yes, that is a 40+ year old pic of Burt Ward playing Robin. Comic Con before somebody coined that phrase.