The Comics 8 Ball: Top 8 Comic Book Heel Turns
Posted by Anthony Kennedy on 08.25.2014
From Hal Jordan slaughtering the Green Lantern Corps and Ozymandias' master plan to Superboy Prime going crazy, Jason Todd coming back as the Red Hood and more, 411’s Anthony Kennedy breaks down the Top 8 Comic Book Heel Turns!
Welcome back to the Comics 8 Ball in the Movie Zone! Per usual, I'm Anthony Kennedy and I'll be your guide in our intellectual trip through comicdom. As always, we will be tackling a topic and providing you the top 8 selections related to comics. One thing to please understand, these are meant to be my personal takes and not the definitive list on the subject. Although I do consider myself somewhat an expert, feel free to disagree and I'll freely admit you're wrong. (No hard feelings tho?) With that in mind, let's get to this week's topic!
Top 8 Top 8 Heel Turns in Comics
This week I'm going to examine the occasions in comic books "when good guys go bad." I realize there are more example of the situation going in the other direction, but let's be honest, it's a little more delicious when the good guy turns rogue. Rather through mental breakdown, revenge or just good old fashioned greed or power grab!
Just Missing The Cut
• Alex Wilder
• Charles Xavier
• Dark Phoenix
• Winter Soldier
#8 Omni-Man Invincible
Nolan Grayson, family man, husband, father, one of the best superheroes of Earth. Makes sense that it was all a ruse and he was laying low to lead the Viltrumite empire toward enslaving the human race. Shocking yet logical as his original cover was too squeaky clean, just how I like my heel turns. Did It Work?: Not so much. He ended up having a change of heart to protect his new family…wuss! Comparable Wrestling Turn: Kurt Angle's debut. The bad guy who's being the good guy for the greater good, perfect analogy.
#7 Ozymandias Watchmen
Of course the world's smartest man would resort to very extreme measures to save the world. Murder is not beneath him, which includes doing so to cover up his megalomaniacal plot of an alien invasion?!?!?!?! Brilliant. Did It Work?: Yes, it was shocking to learn that Ozymandias was undertaking a drastic measure to prevent mutual assured thermonuclear war. Comparable Wrestling Turn: Vince McMahon's Higher Power turn. We found out he was orchestrating the entire Corporate Ministry to serve his own ends.
#6 Sinestro Green Lantern
We all know the joke: "how could the Guardians not know that a GL named Sinetro was a bad idea?" Yet here he was serving as the a member of the ultimate police force and earning a reputation as one of the best Lanterns in the universe.
Did It Work?: To perfection. Sinestro has been one of the most enduring villains in the DC Universe and, through retcons, the writers have given him a purpose beyond being a mustache twirling baddie. He feels righteous in his cause that continues to make him worth reading. Comparable Wrestling Turn: Bret Hart. Sinestro is about bringing his brand of universal order to the galaxy, similar to Bret's Hart Foundation run where he wanted to show the wrestling world what a "true hero" looked like.
#5 Jason Todd Batman books
If they had to resurrect Jason Todd, I'm glad they went the route of him being bitter and betrayed by Batman for letting him die and worse, not avenging him, by taking out the Joker. If you want something done, guess you have to do it yourself and he did as the Red Hood. Did It Work?: Crappy retcon to bring him back to life aside, Jason Todd's initial return as the Red Hood was a masterpiece. Comparable Wrestling Turn: Paul Orndorff turn on Hulkamania in 1986. It made sense, in the heels eyes, as he felt wronged by the hero and went about undoing all that he had created and doing it his way.
"Judas Contract" New Teen Titans
To be fair, Terra was a traitor from the start. However, her infiltration of the Titans was so well done and the betrayal so shocking that she has to be on the list. While only with the team for a short time, her secret alliance with Deathstroke was so crushing to the team and remains one of comic's most famous betrayals. Did It Work?: Yes! It remains an infamy amongst comic readers. Comparable Wrestling Turn: Woman's turns on the Steiner Bros. Clearly from jump she was setting them up all along.
#3 Hal Jordan
"Emerald Twilight" Green Lantern
The greatest Green Lantern in the universe breaks bad after having a mental breakdown following the destruction of Coast City. That's an awesome story. We saw Hal Jordan go mad, wipe out most of the GL Corps and destroy OA just so DC can introduce the far superior Kyle Rayner, all within three issues. Parallax was a bad ass new villain and his determination to, say it with me, reshape the universe to should have given us many great stories. Did It Work?: Love this story of a heroes fall into descent brought on from a tragic situation. However that damn H.E.A.T. would NEVER let it go. Comparable Wrestling Turn: "Hollywood" Hulk Hogan. No longer the fan favorite due to diminishing adoration from fans, the "Immortal One" went all Parallax on the WCW fans creating a new persona to shape his New World Order in professional wrestling.
#2 The Hulk Future Imperfect
Armed with the brilliant intellect of Bruce Banner and the raw strength and power of the Hulk, we're introduced the Maestro, the new ruler of a post-nuclear apocalyptic Earth! Did It Work?: Amazing storyline that shows what would happen if the Hulk went full evil. Comparable Wrestling Turn: Andre the Giant. Power corrupts. And being the largest wrestler in the word with no World Championship to show for it is the best embodiment of the Maestro in pro wrestling.
#1 Superboy Prime Infinite Crisis
He pushed planets out of orbits, destroyed the Watchtower, "accidentally" killed multiple heroes all because he wanted to return to the Earth he knew and loved. That and he was jealous of the new Superboy, Connor Kent. Did It Work?: Boy did it ever. A psychotic Superboywho is fighting to bring back a world he loves and somehow more powerful than Earth One Superman and Superman Prime combined. Hell yeah! Comparable Wrestling Turn: The Undertaker's Big Evil run. That dude was scary when he showed he gave no f*cks about the well being of his fellow wrestlers.
Join me next week for another edition of the 8-Ball! Have a great week and don't forget to read the many other great columns, news articles and more here at 411mania.com! I still real to me damnit!