7 most emo superheroes of all time

by 7 years ago  •  40 Comments
Most Emo Superheroes

Pop Culture Geek, Flickr


Even superheroes with a sunny disposition often have profoundly depressing lives. Superman was abandoned as a child and is the last remaining member of his species, and he’s well-adjusted enough to be an ace reporter for a daily newspaper. So you can understand how profoundly emo the superheroes in this list must be to stand out as these, the seven most emo superheroes of all time.

Photo credit: Pop Culture Geek, Flickr

7 Wolverine
The entire premise of Wolverine’s character is that he’s a loner, changed by those who turned him into a weapon. He constantly attempts to hide the pain of his lost memories with alcohol and witty quips. He’s been manipulated by a lot of people over his lifetime, to the point in which he was drugged up enough that he could have adamantium fused into his bones. And he’s Canadian, a country so Emo that there’s a town with that name in Ontario. But what makes Wolverine so undeniably emo is his lust for mutant psychic Jean Grey. His mostly-unrequited pining after her was so pronounced that it was a major plot point for several X-Men TV shows and films, defined his relationship with Cyclops, and presumably led to quite a few sessions of Wolverine cutting himself with his own claws, only to heal immediately as he sobbed uncontrollably in bed.

6 Spider-Man
Out of all the superheroes on this list, Spider-Man certainly looks the part most adeptly. I mean, look at the first image of Andrew Garfield from the new Spider-Man reboot. He could be in a Spider-Man costume or he could just as easily be wearing horn-rimmed glasses and talking about how he doesn’t want to see tomorrow. Spider-Man’s emoness was ingrained from the start when he was famously told that “with great power comes great responsibility.” And never has power seemed quite as heavy. Spider-Man carries the death of one girl (Gwen Stacy) and his uncle/father figure on his head, refuses to be with the love of his life (Mary-Jane Watson) out of fear of what could happen to her…Spidey just can’t let himself be happy.

On the plus side, the depths of his despair have led to these reimagined Spider-Man comics which are nothing short of brilliance.

5 The Incredible Hulk
For a guy with the ability to have rage turn him into an unstoppable green weapon of mass destruction, Bruce Banner sure does seem sad a lot. I mean he has his own musical meme called informally the “Sad Hulk Walking Away Music”. And the real name of the song isn’t much better; it’s called “The Lonely Man”. At least you can sort of empathize. Can you imagine having to go to the store to buy the same pair of his usual outfit over and over again? Buying purple pants once in your life is a shameful enough experience.

4 Daredevil
Admittedly, young Matt Murdock had a rough life. He was blinded as a child by radioactive sludge (granted, the sludge gave him superpowers but..still, sludge and blindness are never a fun combination). Then his father, a boxer, was murdered by the mafia for not throwing a fight. But still, he persevered and became a lawyer. So, problems over, right? Wrong. Daredevil is chronically depressed, even contemplating suicide during one comic. Granted, Daredevil has had more girlfriends die or have other debilitating mental problems than any other superhero, but come on, once you get past the sludge part alive, it’s all gravy.

3 Ant-Man
Honestly, if I dedicated my life to being a superhero and the name I ended up with was Ant-Man, I’d probably be bummed too. But scientist Hank Pym is particularly adept at the common emo themes of loneliness and rejection. Pym was kicked out of the Avengers, only to return, then feel isolated enough that he built a robot designed to kill his teammates that only he can stop. When his wife, the Wasp, finds out of his plan, he slaps her in the face (pictured left) and still unleashes the robot…which he’s then unable to stop. Fortunately, his wife saves him, and the Avengers, from his own stupidity. Then she divorces him, he gets kicked out of the Avengers, and he finds himself broke. But he meets a friend in supervillain Egghead…who ends up getting him thrown in jail.

He eventually redeems himself, only to quit the superheroing business to return to his work as a scientist, blaring Dashboard Confessional all the way.

2 Penance
Ronnie Baldwin was just a regular dude when he was introduced to the Marvel universe. Well, regular dude by Marvel standards. Baldwin was known as Speedball, a Siegfried and Roy-esque superhero who gained his powers through a scientific experiment that accidentally left him with a bubble of kinetic energy surrounding him that could be harnessed for good (i.e. you hit Speedball with a train, he unleashes a Hadouken). Speedball had a serviceable but unspectacular superhero career that seemed to have pretty much maxed out when he got to hang out with Spider-Man. But then, during an attempt to corral some supervillains, Speedball inadvertently leads to the death of 612 people. Baldwin then decides he will be known as Penance. But rather than just take a name without a story attached, Baldwin creates a suit for himself with 612 internal spikes (because he had a hand in the death of 612 people, you see) that will create his kinetic energy powers instead.

Oh, and in a new incarnation of the character, Baldwin cuts himself in secret to create his powers, giving him one thing over 90% of Livejournal’s former users.

1 Batman
Maybe other superheroes have had it worse but no superhero has sulked quite as much over something he probably could have moved on from after a few therapist sessions and a really solid nap. I completely understand that watching your parents get gunned down in an alleyway is a life-shaping experience. But the dude got left with billions of dollars and a company with his name in it. That’s not exactly the same as your white trash father abandoning you for a waitress from the local TGI Fridays. While you can’t begrudge Batman for the good work he does for the people of Gotham City, it’ll never bring him the redemption he so craves. Personally, I’d spend more time finding solace at the bottom of a freshly banged out socialite than getting kneed in the groin by the Joker, but hey, we all cope in our own ways.


TAGSAnt-ManArbitrary RankingsBatmanDaredevilfeaturedListsSpider-ManThe Incredible HulkWolverine

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