For decades, we’ve idolized the superheroes that fill our comic books, television screens, and movies. Superheroes are the best of us, who we all believe we should be more like! They are chivalrous, kind, benevolent, genuinely good people that we aspire to be more like. We even dress our kids up as these heroes to encourage them to idolize the fictional characters!
Take Captain America, for example: he’s respectful, inclusive, open-minded, hard-working, loyal, and committed. He dedicates himself entirely to the mission at hand, questions his orders when it endangers his morality or values, follows his heart, stands up for his friends, and believes that everyone he confronts has the capacity to do and be good. Who could be better to aspire to than heroes like Captain America?!
Unfortunately, not all heroes are as golden as our good old starred-and-striped captain. While he embodies many of the characteristics we aspire to emulate, he’s one of the few heroes that does so in such a pure form. Many more of our most popular superheroes aren’t exactly the most super people when they aren’t donning their disguising costumes. It’s as if putting on their masks gives them the power to see humanity in a more empathetic and compassionate light while truthfully, they are just as selfish and hard-hearted as the rest of us. So let’s take off the capes and reveal some of the superheroes who are kind of terrible when they’re not saving the world. Here are fifteen superheroes who are crappy people.
15. Hank Pym
Dr. Pym, the original Ant-Man and later mentor to his successors, a member of the Avengers and protector of the universe, was indeed a terrible jerk. Exhibit A (the only exhibit really needed): he abused his wife, Janet Van Dyne (better known as The Wasp). An argument can be made in his defense, that his exposure to toxic chemicals caused brain damage and his schizophrenic like turns of behavior are what led him to become the villainous Yellowjacket. However, there’s no excuse for his constant verbal abuse towards Janet. And when he actually struck Janet down, it was because she was cautioning him from infiltrating and sabotaging the Avengers when they were mad at him for attacking an enemy that had already surrendered. Need we say more? Hank is a certifiable jerk and, while he definitely has his better moments, you don’t have to work long to find his dark side.
14. Scott Summers
“NOOOO,” the readers screamed in anguish, “not our beloved Scott Summers!”
Yes, dear readers. Your precious Cyclops is, indeed, an asshole. Not just in the movies- for which, we have James Marsden to thank for the portrayal of such a sweet but snarky character- but also in the comic books. Scott is usually the sweetest and most considerate individual to people he cares about, like his child, Cable, and his wife, Jean Grey. However, if you’re not on Cyclops’ list of favorite people, he’s bound to be an ass to you. Take Wolverine, for instance! Their relationship has always been filled with contention, over their mutual love for Jean and over their polar opposite personalities. Their dynamic throughout all of the comics was perfectly summed up in the first X-Men movie, when Cyclops didn’t know if Wolverine was himself for Mystique. To prove Wolverine was himself he called to Scott, “You’re a dick.” Cyclops was satisfied.
13. Bruce Wayne
Argue with this statement all you want, we will eventually prove victorious: Bruce Wayne is a turd.
Batman wants the best for all the citizens of Gotham and, ultimately, the world. He wants strict enforcement of justice for all and for villains to be held accountable for the harm they inflict on those below them. However, when he’s not being nocturnal and beating up bad guys by the light of the moon, he’s kind of a grade A jerk. Part of this is an act, sure, to ensure that no one could ever suspect he was Batman; after all, who would suspect that this entitled brat would deign to look outside of his own petty problems to help others? However, some of this is just the way that Bruce was built. As a born and raised rich boy, he’s use to getting his way. That’s why, when dozens of people are infected with the Scarecrow toxin, he gives the cure to only his two best friends (Rachel and Jim Gordon) and worries about saving everyone else later.
12. Pietro Maximoff
Didn’t see that coming, did you? Unfortunately for fans of the Avengers movie series and lovers of the comic books, we didn’t get to spend much time with Pietro before he was yanked out of the movie series. Pietro, better known as Quicksilver, is well-intentioned and has the safety of his world (and of all others) as one of his top priorities… but that doesn’t mean it’s his top priority. Pietro is all about keeping his interests and his sisters of prime importance at all time. His sister, the Scarlet Witch, is a pretty decent person too- thank goodness, since her powers could literally tear apart our dimension. They almost did when, at Quicksilver’s suggestion and manipulation, Scarlet Witch rewrote history and started the “House of M” storyline wherein many mutants lost their powers (including Maximoff himself). He’s always been more interested in having a good time than saving the world.
11. Hal Jordan
Some of you might get all up in arms about us dissing Hal, the most popular possessor of Earth’s Green Lantern. Before you go writing letters of complaint, hear us out. Hal was partially chosen for possession of the ring because of his profound skills in flying. Yes, he was an amazing pilot- and he knew it. Hal was always such a smug jerk about how much better he was than everyone else. And once he got the ring and the powers to combat evil on Earth with the power of the Lantern Corps, he became even more obnoxious! What’s worse is that Hal wasn’t even that good at his job! He imagined things up like shields and guns to combat bad guys; was that really the extent of his imagination? He was so wrapped up in himself and his own abilities that he was incapable of recognizing that someone named SINESTRO had a disposition for the evil (didn’t see that one coming, really?).
10. Johnny Storm
Unlike Chris Evans‘ more popular comic book superhero character (the all-famous and practically perfect Captain America), Johnny Storm is not so pleasant to deal or work with. Known as the fiery spit-ball of the Fantastic Four, The Human Torch, Johnny is certainly a jerk. Need proof? You don’t need to look any further than the movies. While he’s done a lot of maturing in the duration of the comics, the movies certainly haven’t cared to show it. He’s got the attitude of Justin Bieber, before he was roasted and got the self-awareness to realize he was a jerk. He takes himself completely seriously, even when he’s delivering horribly cheesy pickup lines and offending humans everywhere with his terrible ego. He frequently forgets essential obligations, like finding a replacement while he leaves the planet and that he has a girlfriend. His sister, the Invisible Girl, only advocates for him staying in the group because of their blood bond! Johnny is a pretentious, egotistical dirt bag.
9. Charles Xavier
Yes, an argument can be made that Professor Charles Xavier, leader of the famous X-Men and incredible telepath/telekinetic master, is one of the wisest and best superheroes/mutants of our modern age. However, the argument can also be made that he is one of the greatest psychopaths of our time! Professor Xavier is so powerful that he is able to easily discern most mutants’ greatest strengths and weaknesses in an instance and he reserves that knowledge to know just how to destroy them, if the occasion calls for it. If you need an example, consider how he treats Jean Grey/Phoenix in the comics and in the movie X3: The Last Stand. When Jean Grey gets “out of hand” (which, sure, she goes a little too far when she murders Scott Summers), he attempts to essentially reorganize her brain to make her calmer- essentially a telepath’s version of a nonconsensual lobotomy.
Odin, father of Norse Gods Thor and Loki, is generally considered to be benevolent, compassionate, and kind. Truly, though, he’s kind of a dick. No one’s going to tell Odin he’s a jerk because he’s the ruler of their realm but so much of what he has done has been selfish, short-sighted, and nasty. He is one bad hombre. First of all, he adopted Loki but ONLY after he killed most of Loki’s family. Even then, Loki was essentially a prisoner of war kept to ensure peace with the Frost Giants and Loki was not allowed to know of his parentage until he discovered it accidentally and independently. Even worse, he disowned and banished his own son, Thor, to the realm of Earth without his powers or magical hammer because Thor broke one of his rules. Sure, that rule might have led to all-out war with the Frost Giants but still!
7. Jessica Jones
If you’ve ever seen the Netflix series starring Krysten Ritter, you don’t have to be told twice that Jessica Jones can be a real crappy person sometimes. Some of Jessica’s rude and nasty behavior can be explained and excused by some very real and horrifying things that have happened in her past. Being essentially brainwashed and used like a tool by her nemesis Kilgrave forced her to do things she never would have wanted to, like engage in romantic interactions with a despicable man and even kill an innocent woman. However, part of her personality is just naturally wired to be a jerk! Consider young Jessica Jones that is partially responsible for the deaths of her parents and brother. She always had a dry attitude and rude demeanor that got her into disciplinary trouble all the time in her youth. Once she got her powers, she went from ordinary dramatic teen to super-powered jerk.
6. Wade Wilson
Another Ryan Reynolds character that is a jerk? How surprising! (note sarcasm)
Deadpool, whether we’re referring to the character in the comics, the X-Men movies, or his own movie, has always and will always be a jerk. We forgive him a little, because he’s a totally tough, hilarious, quick witted jerk with a face like a rotten avocado, but that doesn’t mean he’s not a jerk. Deadpool was given his powers of quick healing, speedy reflexes, and general badassery through a procedure that doled out plenty of rewards but cost him his good looks: thus, the full-face mask coverage. However, Wade was a jerk even before he got a reason to be bitter at the world. From day one, Wade Wilson was an asshole. However, he’s also always been one of the most hilarious superheroes (eh, more like an anti-hero) to ever hit the comic book scene- so we’ll forgive him.
5. Tony Stark
Our dear Iron Man may be cool and rock an awesome swagger, but he is a straight up jerk when he’s not flying into black holes to save all of humanity from the space worms invading New York City. We all know that he started his superhero journey as a jerk: before being taken hostage in the Middle East, Tony Stark and his corporation were some of the biggest arms dealers and manufacturers in the world. However, inheriting his super-powered heart didn’t exactly turn him into a big softie. Though he’s adopted a more benevolent attitude towards the denizens of Earth, consider how rude and mean he is to the people around him! He still treats his fans with disdain and loathing; he’s as inconsiderate to the love of his life, Pepper Potts, as he is towards his greatest friends, Jarvis and Happy Hogan; and he treats his superhero team like a gaggle of groupies.
4. Oliver Queen
Oliver, better and more commonly known under his super pseudonym Green Arrow, has to be one of the worst coworkers you could ever come across. While he is undoubtedly one of the most talented marksmen with a bow ever to step on to the comic books scene (that’s right, Hawkeye, get out of town), this minor talent gives him no right to the arrogance and pretension that he regularly flaunts. Oliver Queen has some serious entitlement issues, partially due to the fact that he’s inherited a fortune similar to that of Bruce Wayne’s and also due to the fame that inheritance has attributed to him. Everyone he has to work with has to find a way to put up with his constant arrogance, entitlement, sarcasm, and self-righteous attitude. Truly, the real heroes are the team that has to deal with him every day (and his girlfriend, Black Canary- we applaud you).
3. Reed Richards
Returning to the Fantastic Four, we’ve got another not-so-fantastic superhero to talk about. Reed Richards, best known as Mr. Fantastic himself, the ring leader and man with a plan, is an absolute jerk! Yes, Reed is a genius: one of the world’s smartest scientists, in fact. But he’s so wrapped up in his own head and his thoughts that he can’t see how much of a jerk he is! He’s rude to everyone he talks to, including the love of his life and his shockingly tolerant wife, Sue Storm (better known as The Invisible Girl). Throughout the early Fantastic Four comics, Reed treated Sue like crap: ordering her around, demanding romance on his schedule alone, and condescending to her any time she says anything he didn’t ask her to say. He even took their son into space to irradiate him with powers without merely consulting his wife on the potentially mortal decision! Reed is a total jerk!
2. Damian Wayne
Don’t remember Damian Wayne? Of course you do! He’s the Robin we all know and love! You know, right behind Dick Grayson, Tim Drake, and Jason Todd! He’s one of the most terrifying and dangerous Robins throughout the Batman comics.
Damian Wayne, son of Bruce and his love Talia Al Ghul, was his parents’ pride and joy. He had a normal childhood: playing with assassins, learning from his mother, training to massacre villains in his father’s stead- you know, the usual. Damian was an asshole from the start: when he first arrived in Gotham city, he tried to kill the then-Robin, Tim Drake, to better fight as the true Robin. He fought alongside Dick Grayson, who at this point had assumed Batman’s role. Throughout the course of the comics, Damian has softened a bit- but there was a time when criminals need not fear the name Batman as much as his small sidekick, Robin.
1. Eric O’Grady
Finally we get to the biggest jerk of them all, king of the dirt bags and assholes: Eric O’Grady!
Eric, the Irredeemable Ant-Man himself, is one of the grossest and worst superheroes ever to don the shrinking suit. Eric was third in line to claim the Ant-Man suit, behind Hank Pym and Scott Lang. Actually, he didn’t really earn the suit- he stole it. He also got his best friend’s girlfriend pregnant, mostly out of spite towards that friend. Oh, and his favorite pass-time once he got the suit was to shrink down to the size of an ant and then watch women shower when they couldn’t see him. He was the absolute worst. To make matters worse, he would frequently leave his super hero pals in the wind when he didn’t want to partake in a fight or when he wanted to catch up on some of his recordings queued in the DVR.