10 Scariest Serial Killers in Comics

So I’ve committed to doing a bunch of spooky scarytime Halloween lists for y’all this season, and this is one of those that I had the most fun putting together. I love crime comics and horror comics, and as a result, comics about or featuring serial killers are straight up my alley. Fair warning, the series these guys are from are pretty brutal and violent, and so the descriptions in this list will get kinda graphic. So if you have a weak stomach or heart, this list maybe isn’t for you. Because we are about to delve into the depths of human depravity for a list of madmen and murderers. A list of the people who stalk the streets at night. Stay out of their way, and you can avoid winding up a part of their body count. But be warned, from here on out, things are gonna get a bit bloody.

IMPORTANT NOTE: We’re talking about SERIAL KILLERS, not SUPERVILLAINS. Because if I didn’t disqualify the supervillainous element, this list would be entirely composed of them. So no Joker, obviously. Just clearing that up now. Even though maybe a tenth of you actually read this intro part. Just know that you guys are the ones I love most.

marvel
Source: Marvel.com

10. The Sin-Eater


(Marvel)


Stanley Carter is a story of tragedy.

An up-and-coming SHIELD Agent, Stanley was pulled aside and enrolled in an experimental new program. This program pumped him full of enhancement drugs designed to make him strong and boost his endurance. Unfortunately, it left him with a violent temperament, and he resigned from SHIELD, taking a new job as a detective.

When he lost his partner, it drove him over the edge, turning him into a singularly driven force, thirsting to kill anyone he designated as a sinner, starting with Police Captain and close personal friend of Spider-Man Jean DeWolff. As Stanley went on through his rampage, he drew the attention of Spider-Man and Daredevil, who eventually brought him in for capture.

After receiving treatment, Stanley seemed to have recovered, repressing the Sin-Eater persona for good. But eventually, he was unable to remain strong, and reverted to the Sin-Eater. Stanley managed to commit suicide by cop by threatening police with an empty shotgun, putting a sad end to the life of the Sin-Eater.

hackslash.wikia
Source: hackslash.wikia.com

9. Samhain


(Hack/Slash)


Of course, couldn’t talk about comic book serial killers without a good reference to Hack/Slash.

Hack/Slash followed two individuals, Cassie and Vlad, who traveled the country executing slashers, serial killers arisen from the dead to kill again. And if I’m picking one of the many slashers to make appearances, I’ll go with the antihero Samhain. Sam encountered the hacky slashy duo while he was a reformed killer with no memories of his actions.

He managed to save Cassie, and asked for her help in saving his true love, Ava Park. Unfortunately, by the time he found her, Samhain had been captured and re-programmed by the mysterious Black Lamp Society, turning him back into a remorseless killing machine.

Sam spent some time with Cassie, who broke his brainwashing, but it didn’t last long. On a mission to a mysterious island full of monsters, Sam’s inner monster was awakened. He became Akakios, a dark, vicious killer with nothing of Sam left inside. Cassie was forced to leave Sam behind to die, although with his unique physiology, there’s a very small chance he actually did…

nickyarborough
Source: nickyarborough.com

8. Jack the Ripper


(From Hell)


Yes, Jack the Ripper was a real dude and not just a comic book character, but since the version of Jack presented in Alan Moore’s From Hell was definitely fictional, as it was impossible, I’m counting him as a comic book character first.

William Gull, a doctor slowly descending into insanity, is asked by the freemasons to tidy up a little problem for the crown. He does so by transforming into a vicious and brutal murderer driven by bloodlust and visions of the future.

The Gull depiction of Jack the Ripper is at once horrifying and understandable. Alan Moore’s writing creates a character who feels theatrical in a classic old drama sense of the term. His slowly building insanity is horrific to watch, and as it develops, we watch a killer turn into a legendary madman.

Gull’s last moments legitimately took my breath away as I read them. A beautiful, haunting painting of insanity. That was the life of William Gull.

comicvine.gamespot.com
Source: comicvine.gamespot.com

7. The Corinthian


(Sandman)


God damn, Neil Gaiman is great.

And a great example of why comes during the second volume of his iconic work, Sandman. In this arc, known as the Doll’s House, the main character winds up at a convention for serial killers. And the guest of honor is none other than The Corinthian, a vicious monster masquerading as a human being.

He is truly the stuff of nightmares. And the fact that the arc spends a ton of time hiding him as if he were the shark from Jaws? Makes him much scarier. The Corinthian is perhaps the least human entry on this list (mostly because he isn’t human in the slightest), but he’s also the one that most creeps me out. If the sick monster’s actions weren’t enough, his friggin’ appearance should be. Look at that thing. Look at that literal nightmare made flesh and his terrifying teeth-eyes. TEETH-EYES.

I’m done. I…I can’t even deal with this right now. Be back in a minute.

toptenhq
Source: toptenhq.com

6. The Torso Murderer


(Torso)


Okay…okay…I’m back now. Whooooo. Had to take a break there, step away, eat some candy, and watch some children’s cartoons just to get out of this dark headspace.

But, you know, at least none of these guys is REAL, right?

Well, except this one. This one is real.

After taking down Al Capone, Elliot Ness moved to Cleveland, where he stumbled onto some of America’s most successful serial killers. The Torso Murderer was so named for the fact that he removed his victims' heads and hands, eliminating the police’s ability to check for fingerprints or dental records. And since this was before DNA testing, this means that only two of the killer’s 12 confirmed victims have ever been identified. But he’s on this list because of his depiction in Bendis and Andreyko’s graphic novel Torso, one of my personal favorite crime stories.

Fictionalized based on seriously researched theories of who the real killer was, this version of the Torso Murderer was a close relative of a local Congressman, which left him out of the reach of the law, living out his days in hospital confinement. They say the true stories are the scariest ones, and in this case, they’re right.

sincity.wikia
Source: sincity.wikia.com

5. Kevin


(Sin City)


Look, I’m not the biggest Sin City fan, but even I have to give credit where it’s due: Kevin is freaking TERRIFYING.

Mute, cannibalistic, inhuman, Kevin is a quiet, unassuming young man living on the Roark family farm. Protected by religious leader Cardinal Roark, because the cardinal thinks Kevin is “doing god’s work”, Kevin operates in secret from the safety of the basement.

But when a prostitute (Kevin’s primary source of victims) named Goldie discovers his activity, he is dispatched to remove her from the picture. This pisses off her lover Marv, a big dumb hulk of a man who winds up tracking Kevin down and hacking off all his limbs one by one. Kevin, for his part, never said a word the entire time. Sitting there in silence. Just smiling to himself as he died. If that isn't creepy, than I don’t know what is.

I should also point out Elijah Wood’s bone-chilling portrayal of Kevin in the Sin City movie, which is indeed pretty freaky as well.

horrorhomework
Source: horrorhomework.com

4. Dodge


(Locke & Key)


Lucas Caravaggio would have been a normal, if slightly off, teenage boy if not for an accident in 1988. But that accident did happen and Lucas wound up possessed by a demon, overwriting his soul with that of the demonic entity known as Dodge.

Dodge killed and tormented his friends before he was eventually crushed in the Drowning Cave by Rendell Locke. But Dodge had left a bit of himself hiding in the Well at Keyhouse, where Bode Locke would eventually free him (her at the time).

Dodge took on many more identities during its killing spree, all in service of opening the Black Door for good. Dodge is terrifying in its inhumanity. It will bend appearance and personality to get what it wants. And what it wants is to free its brethren.

Dodge is the perfect villain for a long-form series like Locke and Key, because it’s truly the pinnacle of evil. Lying, snakey, manipulative, and mysterious, Dodge is a killer unlike any other.

comicvine.gamespot2
Source: comicvine.gamespot.com

3. James Gordon, Jr.


(DC Comics)


Sometimes, a character will be created and then forgotten about. A weird hole in continuity. Like, remember Commissioner Gordon’s infant son from Batman: Year One? What ever happened to him? Oh, sweet Jesus, are you going to regret asking that question.

James, Jr.’s young obsession with death drove his family apart and led him to be sent away for some time to get help. When he returned to Gotham many years later, he began to taunt his father before eventually confronting him face to face. He promised that his years away had allowed him to grow and to repress his more violent impulses, but this was anything but true.

Turns out that James, Jr. was now a fully fledged serial killer with a plan to turn all of Gotham’s children into remorseless monsters like himself. Batman was able to stop him, as was his adopted sister Batgirl a couple of times, but it leads to one serious question:

Wouldn’t the world be a better place if Batman had just let that baby fall off that bridge?

tumblr
Source: tumblr.com

2. Madder Red


(Bedlam)


How do you un-make a monster? How do you take someone truly, horrifically evil and bend them back into a mold acceptable by society? Ask Filmore Press.

Filmore used to go by another name, though, and that was Madder Red. As Madder Red, he tormented the city of Bedlam, doing unspeakable things to anyone and everyone who crossed his path. The dude used severed heads as sock puppets. Legit terrifying son of a gun. But after his biggest trick, his death was faked and he was captured and operated on.

After tons of training and surgery, the Madder Red persona was excised from Filmore, which left him with a desire to do good and help people. And so, Filmore partnered up with the Bedlam PD to help them deal with criminal masterminds as an expert correspondent. But what happened when someone in BPD discovered who Filmore used to be? And what if Madder Red started to creep back into Filmore’s head?

Sleep tight, children of Bedlam…

Projectfandom

Source: projectfandom.com

1. The Butcher In Black


(Nailbiter)


So of COURSE there was going to be an entry on this list from Nailbiter, because Nailbiter is literally all about serial killers and Nailbiter is also super awesome.

The town of Buckaroo, Oregon has served as the birthplace for sixteen of the world’s most dangerous serial killers when the series starts. The Butcher is number seventeen. Maybe. Look, the reveal of who the Butcher actually is serves as a long-running mystery throughout the first twenty-five issues of the series, which are also the only existing issues of the series at the present date. So as a result, I won’t give away the Butcher’s true identity.

But I will discuss him quite a bit. The Butcher is the big bad scary threat for the majority of the series’s first five arcs, a quiet, often silent, stalker with his creepy helmet and tendency to appear right the hell out of nowhere. Plus, his role as right-hand man to The Master makes him a cold, calculating murder machine. And a terrifying one at that.

And there we go, a solid list of the best murderous psychopaths in all of comicbookdom. Man, this list put me in a dark, dark place to write. Like, I need a shower and a hug. Not sure which one first. Because the thing is, while these lists will be posted during peak Halloween season, I write them in advance. So I’ve just been spending my early October creeping myself out beyond all reason. So, yeah. Good work, me.

Happy Halloween, I’ll take that hug now.