MANILA, PHILIPPINES — When done well, comic book storytelling has a way of triggering your deepest fears long after you’ve closed that book. Here are arguably some of the scariest moments found in sequential art.
WARNING: Contains explicit content and major spoilers.
In an issue titled “24 Hours,” seriously disturbed John Dee holes up in a diner, using a magical Dreamstone to mind-control the staff and the patrons. For 24 gruesome hours, Dee makes them do horrific things to one another – forcing them to have sex with one another, making them think they are animals that rip each other throats out and even having some of them stick ice picks into their eyes to “connect with God.” It’s a night of unbearable darkness with no hope for the victims at all.
Miracleman‘s Book III Chapter 4
Johnny Bates has been successful at suppressing his super psycho personality, Kid Miracleman until he encounters bullies who start torturing him. Johnny stays strong but when the bullies start to rape him, he is left with no choice but to let Kid Miracleman out. He turns London into an abattoir – bloody body parts rain all over, people’s skin is hung like wet clothes, and heads are skewered like kebabs on iron spikes. It was violence on a scale previously unseen in a superhero comic.
Y: The Last Man‘s “Whys and Wherefores”
Yorick is finally on his way to be reunited with his girlfriend Beth. However, on a train to Paris, his protector and friend Agent 355 in a scantily-clad S&M outfit tries to seduce him. As Yorick tries to resist her advances towards him it’s completely unexpected when the next page opens to a decaying Beth (her skin melting, nose gone, and one eye socket showing). It may have been a dream but it is the ultimate jump scare in comics.
The Crossed #1
A more malevolent take on the zombie genre, people infected by this virus (through blood, semen, and spit) become cunning, sadistic, and murderous sexual predators and are identified by the strange rash in the shape of a cross that appears on their face. As this horrific pandemic spreads, a husband and wife with their daughter flee to the woods only to be surrounded by the Crossed. What happens next is a double-page spread of defilement, sodomy, and carnage too horrific to show in this article.