5 Insane Alternate Versions of Famous Superheroes
5 Insane Alternate Versions of Famous Superheroes
Let's be honest. Comic books are god damned insane.
Don't get me wrong - I absolutely love comics for all their cheesy glory. I suckled the sweet, sweet teat of Batman growing up as a wee lad, and cut my teeth on everything from Green Lantern and Superman to X-Men and the Avengers (and all the obscure little titles in between).
Pictured above, Batman's sweet, sweet teats.
When you've got what basically amounts to a bunch of demi-gods in tight spandex going around flexing their impossibly huge muscles (or bosoms, as the case may be), a certain suspension of disbelief is required. But for all their insanity, when it comes to their big name stories and home universes, comic authors and artists usually know how to draw the line just this side of total lunacy.
No, for the real ball-smacking, mouth frothing, underpants on the head kind of crazy, you need alternate universes. No, I'm not talking about the time that Superman became a commie or Batman got a Green Lantern ring. That shit's tame.
Although statistics indicate that 50% of you orgasmed when you first saw this comic.
Sometimes comic writers really go off the rails, which is how we wind up with stories like...
1) An Entire Universe of Fused Marvel and DC Characters
This one might require a bit of history. In 1996, DC and Marvel both had flagging sales and needed a boost in readership, so they decided to create a franchise wide crossover event called DC vs Marvel. A backstory was thrown together using two comic avatars to represent their respective companies: long time rivalries were pitted against each other -Namor vs Aquaman, Batman vs Captain America, etc- readers were allowed to vote on outcomes for some of the fights, and there was just as much of a dick waving contest as would be expected of an event involving these two companies.
Basically the comic equivalent of e-peening.
It was exactly what everyone expected it would be going in... until DC and Marvel decided to say screw convention and pulled a surprise move, combining their two franchises temporarily into a single universe called "Amalgam" where characters, back stories and arcs were smashed together into a single, delicious mess of a series.
Superman and Captain America combined to become Super Soldier, Thanos and Darkseid became Thanosseid (hey, not all the names can be home runs), Batman and Wolverine became Dark Claw.
Now with twice the brooding!
My absolute favorite, though, has to be Lobo the Duck. Just take a moment for the implications of that to sink in. Lobo, the guy that committed wholesale genocide of his home planet "to win a science fair" and once murdered Santa Claus merged with the cynical, wise cracking Howard the Duck. That is comic book lunacy at it's finest.
(Just don't tell him about his prehensile rape penis)
Speaking of characters that all but annihilated their home planets...
2) Hulk Goes Insane and Kills All the Heroes, Takes Over the World
The whole "apocalyptic alternate future" idea is almost as old as comics. It seems like for every series out there, there's a writer who said, "You know what would be awesome? If everyone died except for a few people fighting off this supervillain".
To which an executive would come in and ask "Are you god damned insane? That would completely tank our sales".
And that my friends, is how the multiverse was born! Where you can kill off or brutally maim the characters of your youth with no consequences because they're not the real characters.
One such story featured a future where apparently all the Marvel characters decided they'd gotten tired of living and nuked the ever-loving hell out of the planet, leaving only a few humans alive. One such survivor was the Hulk of that reality. The impending apocalypse drove him mad, but also gave him increased strength, speed and durability due to absorbing the plentiful radiation from the nuclear fallout because comic book science.
It also caused him to sport a bitchin' beard
You all know how these types of stories work-current Hulk gets pulled from the past, fights the dictator he has become in the future, and has to confront the implications of what will happen to him if he ever truly gives into his dark side. Unable to overpower him, he eventually defeats him by sending him back in time to get blasted by the bomb that creates him...
Because apparently a bomb that gives a squishy human superpowers can kill a guy stronger than the Hulk.
Hulk sad about the inconsistencies of his comic's logic and inability of Hollywood to make a good Hulk movie.
Still, Hulk's always been fueled by rage. It makes sense to explore the idea of him giving in to his dark side. I mean, it's not as though someone goofy and light-hearted like Spider-Man started straight up murdering a ton of people, right?
3) Spiderman Straight Up Murders a Ton of People
Oh #@&% you Marvel! This is Spider-Man, this is the guy that goes around fighting vaguely animal-themed villains while cracking bad jokes and keeping things upbeat despite all the shit he's been through. You're making him a killer now? WELL YOU CAN TAKE YOUR WEB SHOOTERS, BEND OVER AND-
This paragraph has been censored for you protection. Please bear with us while we return this program to its proper moral settings.
Alright, alright. I'm calm. Now, where was I?
Oh, right. Anyways, there's this guy name Kraven the Hunter, whose main purpose seems to be trying to hunt down Spider-Man while wearing gaudy leopard skin outfits. During the Kraven's Last Hunt arc, he put Spidey into a coma and pretend to be him and do his job to prove he's the bigger spider or something. Spiderman wakes up, confronts him, Kraven says he's already won and writes a detailed confession for the press, before going home and promptly... committing suicide.
Jesus, that got dark in a hurry.
Here's a couple of kittens in teacups as consolation
Anyways, fast forward, Kraven gets resurrected by his family (because only Uncle Ben ever stays dead in these comics) and after a confrontation, Spider-Man briefly considers killing him, but doesn't because he's Spider-Man.
But in an alternate "What If" comic, Peter gives in and stabs him, causing him to slowly spiral out of control. Things with MJ fall apart, he begins to descend into madness and he takes on the role of Kraven while keeping the remaining members of his family chained up next to his throne.
Remember the days when Spider Man was just a cheery little tale about a boy with radioactive mutant powers whose parents and main father figure
died before his girlfriend's neck got broken?
Oh well, at least we get to see what would happen if...
4) The Entire Cast of Marvel Existed in the Seventeenth Century
Back in 2001, Marvel wanted to do a limited edition story involving it's characters being placed into a (more) fantastical setting. Riding high on the success of his Sandman series, they approached fantasy author and artist Neil Gaiman to see if he might be interested.
Now, I'm not here to make any unfounded claims, but if you look at some of his work, you'll notice there's a bit of a running theme. Neil appears to have a bit more than a passing interest in older cultures, from his Victorian undertones (and overtones) in Neverwhere and Stardust to his straight up pitting ancient gods from Norse, Greek and African folklore against newer "deities" of technology and commerce in American Gods.
So when asked if he had any ideas regarding Marvel's new side project, I cannot help but picture him laughing while thinking to himself, "Oh I know just what to do".
This face screams of a man that steeples his fingers while chuckling maniacally.
The end result was Marvel 1602. It's all of your favorite Marvel characters if they were transplanted in an alternate universe where they all existed during the colonial period but dinosaurs still exist for some reason, and it's every bit as delightfully insane as it sounds. From the persecution of mutant "witchbreeds" to the steampunkesque Lord Iron, virtually everyone makes an appearance.
And yet somehow with both Spider Man and dinosaurs in that series, we would have to wait another nine years to see him fight one.
Of course, with Marvel hogging the horse's share of the crazy in this article, it only seems fair to finish off by telling you about the time that...
5) Superman Got Turned Into a God Damned Centaur
The image above you is not in fact from the comic intended. It seems all images from this comic I cannot legally reuse, I can only assume because no site wants to be held directly liable for your brains melting and dribbling out your ears due to staring into the abyss of pure madness.
However, I assure you that this is not merely someone's shitty fetish fanfic, but a genuinely licensed and published comic by DC. Superman, the Big Blue Boyscout, Protector of Truth, Justice, and the American Way, once had a horse penis.
That means that at some point, someone had to come in, pitch the idea, "You know what would be awesome? If Superman were just, like, fighting Nazis and he got turned into a freaking centaur, man", and rather than getting thrown out, someone else had to look back at him and respond, "Well what are you waiting for?"
If the above sentence didn't seem even slightly bizarre to you, congratulations! You probably are overdue for an all expenses paid trip to a padded room with complementary restraining jacket! Also, you might be able to land a job as a DC writer!
Sources are unclear as to whether this meeting also involved DC execs doing lines of cocaine off of interns, so we here at TCS are forced to assume it did.
To top it off, this is one of those cases where knowing the full story actually makes it more confusing. In the "Elseworld"'s (basically, DC's alternate universe publication subset) storyline Whom Gods Destroy, Nazi Germany was never defeated, they've teamed up with Greek deities to take over the world, and Superman gets turned into an evil centaur. Lois Lane and Lana Lang become Wonder Woman and some magical oracle... Somehow...
Lois Wonder Woman tames centaur Superman (I feel unclean just having to type that), makes him a woman because his penis made him evil or something, and they team up to go take down Nazi Wonder Woman. Oh yeah, did I forget to mention there's a Nazi Wonder Woman in this too? Cause there totally is.
Hey, someone has to cater to the Nazis and Wonder Woman demographic.
The comic ends with Lois, Lana and Superman living happily ever after a la ménage a trois. Wait a second... animal transformations, Nazis, gender swapping and the main character getting to bone both of the female leads? This is someone's fetish fanfic.
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