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The Most Shocking Comic Book Moments Of The 2010s

Updated January 2, 2020 7.2k votes 1.1k voters 92k views19 items

List RulesVote up the comic book moments that left you too stunned to turn another page.

There’s plenty to be said about the years 2010 through 2019, both good and bad, but it was at the very least a banner decade for pop culture, and in particular, shocking moments in comic books. Whether one is a fan of Marvel, DC Comics, or more independent fare, one is sure to get one's share of twists and turns involving favorite heroes and villains, and at a more rapid rate than ever before.

No character was immune to the bombshell developments of the past decade, not Batman, Spider-Man, Wonder Woman, or any of the endless host of comic book lesser lights. From dramatic demises and blasphemous betrayals to game-changing shakeups and revelations that still don’t quite make sense, this decade had it all when it came to four-color plot twists - and things will never be the same. 

  • 5

    Superman Becomes A Totalitarian Dictator, Punctures The Joker

    Photo: DC Comics

    The backstory of Injustice: Gods Among Us is only hinted at in the video game of the same name, but its 2013 comic book adaptation reveals it all in gory detail. This alternate take on the DC Universe features a Superman driven mad by the execution of Lois Lane, their unborn child, and the whole of Metropolis due to the machinations of the Joker. After taking hot-blooded vengeance on the evil clown, Superman enforces a reign of terror over the planet.

    When the Man of Tomorrow evolves into a dictator, Batman and his allies are forced into the role of underground resistance. The action only gets more grisly from there.

    Were you shocked?
  • 6

    Rick Grimes Becomes The Walking Dead

    The Walking Dead began publication in 2003, and finally ended with The Walking Dead #193 some 16 years later. Though ending the series after such a lengthy run was a twist in and of itself, it pales in comparison to the events of The Walking Dead #192, which features the demise of protagonist Rick Grimes at the hands of one of the book’s most pathetic characters. 

    Though unexpected fatalities are a constant reality of the post-apocalyptic saga, Grimes’s sudden and bloody departure via a heat-of-the-moment shooting still rocked the comic book world as a whole. To make matters worse, his son Carl is the one who has to put down his zombified form. 

    Were you shocked?
  • 7

    Doctor Manhattan Arrives In The DC Universe

    Photo: DC Comics

    After 2011’s complete and total continuity reboot, DC Comics felt the need to readjust again in 2016, and so they released DC Rebirth #1, a one-shot comic that reset a couple of key plot points. By far, the issue’s biggest shakeup came in its very last sequence, in which Batman discovers a mysterious object in the Batcave - the Comedian’s trademark happy face button from the Watchmen universe. 

    This moment sets off a series of storylines that slowly but surely integrate the characters of Watchmen into the mainstream DC Universe. It is eventually revealed that the dimension-hopping Doctor Manhattan is responsible for The Button’s arrival, and that he’s been secretly meddling with DC continuity for a good long while. 

    Were you shocked?
  • 8

    The Hulk Is Slain By Hawkeye, Then Revealed To Be Immortal

    The events of 2016’s Civil War II include a handful of notable developments, including the end of Bruce Banner (AKA the Incredible Hulk) at the hands of Hawkeye. Yes, Hawkeye.

    As it turns out, Banner had requested that Clint Barton put him down if it ever looked like he was going to lose control again. However, this is not the end for the Hulk.

    In 2017's Immortal Hulk series, it is revealed that the Hulk is destined to rise from the grave again and again despite his own best efforts - taking him further from hero territory into something more like a relentless monster.

    Were you shocked?