Published on April 16th, 2015 | by Duke Of Havoc0
Some Of The Most Disturbing Panels In Comics
We at Need To Consume love a bloody good debate. Recently we all got talking about single panels in comics which have affected us in one way or another. Some went for violence, others the tone of the panel. I hope that there is a nice variety on show and that you join in the discussion either in the comments below or via social media. Without further ado, I am proud introduce Need To Consume’s Most Disturbing Panels In Comics
Written by Bill Willingham Art by Lan Medina & Craig Hamilton
Pinocchio is one of my favourite characters from Fables. In the Disney film you never really think about his future once he comes alive, but Fables shines a light on a rather disturbing theory: that he is forever a real boy and never a real man. Can you imagine having the mind of a grown up stuck in a child’s body? Being stuck on the cusp of puberty (arguably the most problematic time of a person’s life), constantly being talked down to like a little kid and not even being able to take the edge off with a stiff drink! It’s the stuff of nightmares! – Mica
Written by Robert Kirkman Art by Charlie Adlard
I got into The Walking Dead rather late. I think it was around volume 11. My best friend was an avid fan and had lent all of them to me. I was off work on paternity leave as my daughter had just been born. In a rare moment of tranquility, I decided to pick up where I left off. This happened to be just around the time that The Governor decides he wants the prison. At any cost. I remember staring at the panel below for quite a while and had tears streaming down my face. The emotion of recently becoming a father combined with the trauma of witnessing the death of a mother and infant just rocked me to my core. I think I put the comic down, went upstairs and checked on my daughter. I might have even picked her up and cuddled her. Fuck you, Kirkman & Adlard. – Duke
Written and penciled by John Byrne Inks by Mike Machlan Colours by Bob Sharen
I don’t know why, but this one has always stayed with me. As well as being a generally creepy image (If a person with twin babies for arms doesn’t creep you out, you’re just wrong), the lead up to it does not prepare you in anyway for this reveal. After stealing the souls of the Scarlet Witches two children, Mr Pandemonium goes on to use them in place of his arms. Boom. Bet you didn’t see that coming. I certainly didn’t. As well as a great final page for the issue, this story goes on to get even more interesting, is a pivotal event in Wanda Maximoff’s story, and arguably even leading to the House of M, a good 16 years later. – Dan Melrose (co-host of When Giant Monsters Attack Beautiful People Die podcast)
Written by John Wagner Art by Colin McNeil
From the classic Dredd story: America, this panel is like a bang over the head with a daystick. This isn’t Dredd, the anti hero. This is Dredd, the fascist standing over the bloody body of the stars and stripes wrapped America Jara, the titular heroine. In the background looms the Statue of Justice dwarfing the ruined Liberty. America fought for democracy. She believed in democracy. She wanted the people to have power. But there was no happy ending in this tale of tragedy. America lies dead. Justice stands above Liberty. And Dredd intones “Justice has a price. The price is freedom.” – Dan McNeil
Written by Marv Wolfman Art by George Perez
Ok, so there are panels within the main panel but for me the most shocking and disturbing panel in comics history is the death of The Flash in ‘Crisis on Infinite Earths.’
Being a young teen at the time I knew how comics worked. Heroes battled against the odds, they struggled sometimes but ultimately they succeeded but this was amazingly shocking. The Flash was one of the Justice league! He’s one of the main stays of the DC universe. The fact that he died saving the infinite universes was of little compensation. I know now that main characters tend to die every year and come back but I, in my teenage years, wept. – Aidan Goatley [No longer with the site due to him being so fucking funny and doing a ton of stand up shows! – Duke]
Written by Neil Gaiman Pencils by Marc Hempel Inks by D’Israeli
To be honest the entire run of The Sandman is full of images of horror or the macabre, moments that are disturbing or sublimely uncomfortable but the following image is probably the most haunting.
For reasons too many to go into, Loki, the God of ‘being a bit of a bastard’, convinces Hippolyta that her son has been murdered so that in her grief she’ll seek revenge with the help of the Furies. How he goes about this is to manipulate some ‘real’ world police detectives into investigating an arson/murder of a child. When the detectives turn up at Hippolyta’s door they have with them a photo of her son. Before she allows them to enter her apartment she asks to see the photo and the following panel containing that proof is utterly grotesque.
The image of the charred remains of a child haunts you long after you’ve moved on. It hits you on many levels, the first is instantaneous; the sad empty eyes and black smudge of a face is shockingly uncomfortable but as the fallout of the incident unfurls around you the true terror of the image settles in. You don’t need to be a parent to know how such an image would break your soul and the events that could lead up to such an image are literally my worst nightmare. Everything that happens in the rest of the story is a direct result of Hippolyta’s reaction to seeing that photo and, not to spoil it for anyone that’s not read it, none of it ends well. – JCDoyle
The bone-chilling conclusion to what was essentially a whole issue’s story set in this small, out-of-the-way diner of little consequence. It starts off innocently enough with some insightful observations about the few inhabitants; a waitress and a number of customers of different means and backgrounds. Just as we start to get to know them, it’s revealed that the escaped Arkham convict John Dee (Doctor Destiny) is among them with a stolen artifact belonging to Dream himself.
From there the reader follows the 24 hours Dee spends in the diner with its inhabitants as his helpless playthings, thanks to the power of the magic macguffin. He goes from mean-spirited but fairly harmless pranks and forced daydreams to the truly repugnant in a matter of hours, or in our case panels. Before long Dee is inciting orgies, violence, rabid murder, and self-mutilation. Just as one of the characters is in the process of putting out her eyes with some very sharp-looking objects, it cuts to hour 22. Dee is silently looming in the dark over the aftermath of his off-page massacre of issue’s entire cast. Brr. Well played, Gaiman. – Tom May
Written by Gary Carlson Art by Frank Fosco & Eric Larsen
Having grown up with the toned down Teenage Mutant Hero Turtles (as British censorship named them) It was a surprise as an adult to discover that the original comic books were a lot darker and more violent. This panel from TMNT Vol 3 #1 of Raphael after he’s been shot point blank in the face gives the reader a much clearer view of turtle facial structures than 6 year old me ever wanted to see. – Vyctoria Hart
Written by Robert Kirkman Art by Charlie Adlard
The Walking Dead is a comic that can often leave you with an uneasy feeling when you have finished reading an issue of it. For years I have been more of a vampire fan (Buffy, Trueblood etc) and had never really been that interested in zombies. However coming off a huge listening binge of the We’re Alive podcast, I was on a zombie high and needed to fill my fix of zombie goodness. Maybe it’s the bleakness, maybe it’s the breaking down of barriers that mean that people have to just be as efficient as possible and learn to work together, but something about zombie stories has captured me.
I had managed to consume a large amount of the volumes before this panel not only disturbed me but actually stayed with me so much that is invaded my dreams. It wasn’t even like Glenn was one of my favourites or I that I was going to miss him, but it was more the horribly random way in which his execution was carried out. His death was decided with a game of eeny meeny miny moe, something that should bring us fond childhood memories. Now, for me, it brings memories of a calm and collected psychopath who is both on the edge and also completely in control. A man who has named his weapon of choice: Lucielle, with which he goes around literally bashing in people’s skulls. This execution was not just brutal but was terrifying, gruesome and continues to disturb me to this day. – Kia
Well there you have it. A selection of panels by the Need To Consume team that has disturbed them. I am sure there are a plethora of panels we could have or should have included but hey, that is where you guys come in. Let us know in the comments or on social media what panels you consider to be the most disturbing. Just search “Need To Consume” on all your favourite platforms and you will find us!