Modern comic books aren’t really fun anymore, especially those at Marvel and DC Comics. They’ve become more about cringe.
This turn to cringe is one of the main reasons why the medium is getting absolutely slaughtered by Japanese manga every single month in sales.
Today, we’re going to list the most ultra cringe moments from modern comic books. This list will be an ongoing list as it does not appear that modern comics will be letting their foot off the cringe pedal any time soon.
1. Faith #5
Back in 2016, Valiant Comics published Faith #5, a 48-page election special.
In one of the stories, Faith “Zephyr” Herbert saved failed presidential candidate Hillary Clinton from a superpowered burglar who decided to destroy his own helicopter and send it crashing down on Clinton at a political rally.
The book was written by Jody Houser and Louise Simonson, and Rafer Roberts with art by Meghan Hetrick, Pere Perez, and Colleen Doran. The Clinton story called “Faith In Politics” was specifically written by Simonson with art by Perez.
Also in 2016, Marvel Comics published their Spider-Gwen Annual #1 featuring a story introducing a new villain called M.O.D.A.A.K. written by Jason Latour with art by Chris Visions.
In the book, Latour and Visions basically turned Marvel’s infamous villain M.O.D.O.K. into President Donald Trump and called him M.O.D.A.A.K. or Mental Organism Designed As America’s King.
In the final pages of the story, the book just shows a female version of Sam Wilson as Captain America pummeling M.O.D.A.A.K.
In March of 2016, Marvel Comics turned Bobby Drake a.k.a. Iceman gay in the pages of Uncanny X-Man #600 by Brian Michael Bendis, Sara Pichelli, Mahmud Asrar, Stuart Immonen, Kris Anka, Chris Bachalo, David Marquez, and Frazer Irving.
However, before they turned Bobby Drake gay in Uncanny X-Men #600, they made a younger version of himself gay by Jean Grey reading his mind in All-New X-Men #40 by Brian Michael Bendis and Mahmud Asrar.
Then in the pages of Uncanny X-Men #600, this younger now gay version of Bobby Drake confronts the other version of Bobby Drake and asks him if he is gay. It turns out he is too.
4. New Warriors
While Marvel has yet to publish their New Warriors title from Daniel Kibblesmith and artist Luciano Vecchio, the company heavily promoted the book back in March 2020 with the introduction of new characters named Screentime , B-Negative, Trailblazer, Snowflake, and Safespace.
The book’s writer Daniel Kibblesmith explained why he decided on Screentime, Safespace, and Snowflake saying, “Snowflake and Safespace are the twins and their names are very similar to Screentime; it’s this idea that these are terms that get thrown around on the internet that they don’t see as derogatory. [They] take those words and kind of wear them as badges of honor.”
Not only are the names super cringe, but Marvel explained that Screentime got his superpowers from “experimental internet gas.”
5. Alan Scott
In Infinite Frontier #0 writer James Tynion IV and artist Stephen Byrne made the original Green Lantern, Alan Scott, gay despite him being in multiple relationships with women and having two kids.
Tynion even has Scott say, “Back in an earlier time, I kept a part of myself hidden from my friends and peers. I even let myself get married a few times to women I did love with all my mind, but I did that knowing there was something about myself I was hiding away.”
He then tells his two kids, Jade and Obsidian, that he’s gay.
6. Riri Williams
In Invincible Iron Man #8, writer Brian Michael Bendis, artist Stefano Caselli, and colorist Marte Gracia depict Riri Williams asking her elementary school teacher to oppress her when she declares she wants to be a scientist when she grows up.
Bendis literally has Williams tell her teacher, “You’re supposed to tell me nursing and teaching are noble professions and that people like me don’t get to grow up and be scientists.”
In response to the teacher indicating that she “can do whatever you want,” Williams says, “I was kind of hoping you’d tell me the opposite so I would have something to inspire me to prove you wrong.”
The teacher eventually caves Williams’ demands to be oppressed by telling her, “You’ll never be Tony Stark.” This then inspires Williams to be Tony Stark “except for that weird facial hair.”
In the final issue of Chelsea Cain, Kate Niemczyk, and Rachelle Rosenberg’s Mockingbird series, they put out a cover with Mockingbird drinking a lemonade or some kind of mixed drink in her hand while she wears a shirt that reads, “Ask me about my feminist agenda.”
The shirt wouldn’t just be featured on the cover, but it would also show up in the interiors. After battling with the Phantom Rider, Mockingbird is knocked off a cruise ship and transported to an island by a number of corgi mercreatures. While on the island she wears the shirt and drinks some kind of mixed drink.
In Batgirl #50 by Cecil Castelluci with art by Emanuela Lupacchino, Wade Von Grawbadger, Mick Gray, and Scott Hanna, and colors by Jordie Bellaire, Batgirl aka Barbara Gordon appears to join Gotham’s version of Antifa.
After storming out from a lunch with her father, Gordon is walking down the street, where she passes by a number of masked men pulling down a statue. She then takes in what appears to be rowdy protest as a smoke grenade is fizzles out at her feet.
And then Gordon is shown joining the group of violent protestors that appear all too similar to the actions of Antifa throughout the presidency of Donald Trump.
9. Absorbing Man
In the pages of Thor #5 by Jason Aaron with art by Jorge Molina, Jane Foster Thor is fighting the Carl “Crusher” Creel aka the Absorbing Man.
During the fight, Aaron has Creel say, “Thor? Are you kidding me? I’m supposed to call you Thor? Damn feminists are ruining everything!”
He adds, “You wanna be a chick super hero? Fine, who the hell cares? But get your own identity. Thor’s a dude. One of the last manly dudes still left. What’d you do, send him to sensitivity training so he’d stop calling Earth girls ‘wenches’?”
Jane Foster responds, “I care not what you call me, Absorbing Man. Just be certain to inform your new cellmates that ’twas a woman who returned you to prison.”
Then she punches him in the jaw and thinks to herself, “That’s for saying ‘feminist’ like it’s a four-letter word, creep. And also…you know…for the robbing.”
In the pages of Angela: Queen of Hel #4 writer Marguerite Bennett and artists Kim Jacinto and Israel Silva censor Bor’s words in the dialogue as he battles Angela.
Bennett has Bor say, “What whorespawn slattern is this? Depraved whelp that slithered from the legs of (Nope too gross, sorry).
Bennett then has Bor say, “(A lot of misogynist filth) (Red Pill M.R.A. meninist casual racism) (Unsolicited opinions on Israel???)
Again in the pages of Thor #5 by Jason Aaron and Jorge Molina, after Jane Foster Thor beats up Absorbing Man, Titania arrives on the scene and proceeds to knock out Absorbing Man.
She then tells the Jane Foster Thor, “I ain’t fighting no woman Thor. And neither is he.”
“Not today at least. I’m standing down out of respect for what you’re doing. Can’t have been easy for you. Hasn’t been for me either,” she continued.
Jane Foster Thor interjects, “Do not think this means I will allow you to flee.” To which Titania responds, “I’m not asking you to. A little prison time will actually be good for me and Crusher. When we’ve been out too long, he starts to get a wandering eye.”
“But just so you you know this is a one-time girl power pass. Next time you get in my way… I will rip off your head and toss it in the Hudson.”
Jane Foster Thor responds, “Very well. And just so you know… I am going to hit you now. Rather hard.” She then proceeds to smack Titania with Mjolnir.
That’s right a Marvel supervillain decided to surrender because of girl power. Not only does she surrender she lets herself get whacked real hard.
12. Iron Fist
In the pages of Iron Fist: Heart of the Dragon #6 by Larry Hama, Dave Wachter, and Neeraj Menon, Danny Rand gives up the power of the Iron Fist to Okoye from the Dora Milaje in order to combat the Hierophant.
After Okoye defeats the Hierophant she attempts to return the power of the Iron Fist back to Danny Rand. However, Rand rejects her offer telling her, “That’s not the way it works. It’s yours now. And anyway, I wasn’t all that good at it in the first place.”
In Marvel’s Voices: Pride, in a short titled “Something New Every Day” by Lilah Sturges, Derek Charm, and Brittany Peer, Elektra Natchios has become Daredevil and discovers Charlene McGowan trespassing in an old M.G.H lab.
A group of roller-skaters named the Fast Five arrive seeking M.G.H. and a fight breaks out with Elektra trying to defend McGowan. As Elektra defends McGowan, McGowan lectures her about transgenderism when Elektra quipped, “Welcome to womanhood” after the Fast Five ignored the character.
McGowan tells Elektra, “You know, telling a trans woman ‘welcome to womanhood’ is actually kind of condescending? And it implies that we aren’t ‘real’ women until and unless we transition.’
Elektra then apologizes saying, “I apologize I was not aware of that!”
14. Alysia Yeoh
In the pages of Batgirl #8 by Hope Larson, Chris Wildgoose, Jon Lam, and Mat Lopes, Barbara Gordon goes to a bar in Burnside called Laundromat.
While at the club, transgender character Alysia Yeoh is not having a good time. Barbara asks Yeoh what’s the matter to which Yeoh responds, “We went to the fertility clinic today, to discuss our options and the doctor…He misgendered me. Didn’t even apologize.”
When Barbara says “that sucks,” Yeoh responds, “It doesn’t suck, Babs. It’s a punch in the gut. You lose your breath.”
Yeoh then proceeds to storm out of the bar.
15. Red Skull
In the pages of Captain America #28 by Ta-Nehisi Coates, Leonard Kirk, and Matt Milla, Red Skull is reimagined as a YouTuber that parodies the ideas of Jordan B. Peterson.
Red Skull can be seen on a laptop in a thumbnail for a video titled “Ten Rules For Life,” a clear parody of Peterson’s 12 Rules For Life: An Antidote To Chaos.
Another panel shows videos titled “What Bismarck Knew” and “Barbarians at the Gate.”
As the comic came to a conclusion, Captain America is poisoned by Sin and then savagely beaten by a number of thugs. Red Skull uses the video to castigate Captain America and everything he stands for before offering his followers “the sword of manhood.”
16. Captain America
In Marvel’s attempt at copying WebToons and Arktoons, Marvel Infinity, they released a new series called Captain America Infinity written by Jay Edidin and Nico Leon.
The entire first issue is cringe. It reads as straight up political propaganda rather than any kind of action adventure series featuring Captain America.
First, Captain America is in his civilian clothes at a bar on a date with Sharon Carter when he overhears three men saying “something incredibly racist!!!”
In response to this, Captain America physically assaults a man and threatens him with even more violence. Cap tells him, “Walk away. And if I ever hear language like that in here again–you will have larger problems than a spilled pitcher.”
The date with Sharon Carter is broken up when he’s called in to deal with a group of armed men calling themselves the Sons of Hancock, who have taken over portions of Philadelphia’s Independence Hall.
The Sons of Hancock are described as “country-club white nationalists. A lot of old money, a lot of C-suite bigots who like guns and hate speech with a touch of pseudo-academic class.”
And they are led by a Tucker Carlson stand-in named William Travis who is described as a “former Congressman. Won his first and only term on a wave of reactionary nationalism then lost hard. He’s spent the last six years as a cable TV demagogue.”
Captain America is called in to negotiate with the Sons of Hancock, but when he realizes he’s not going to get to beat them up, he balks.
He says, “You’re out of your damn mind. Send me in, I’ll take ’em down–I’ll even do it with a smile–but I’m not shaking hands with homegrown Nazis on national TV.”
In 2016’s X-Men: Years of Future Past #2 by Marguerite Bennett, Mike Norton, and FCO Plascencia, Colossus gives a lecture to his daughter Christina “Chrissie” Pryde and a young mutant named Cameron “who belongs to Wolverine” who is also the son of Kitty Pryde and Colossus.
The lecture from Colossus begins after Cameron tells Chrissie they are “gonna need a lot more than the moral high ground and a bad joke” to survive.
Colossus interjects saying, “A joke? This all began as a joke, you know, children…”
He then goes into a long-winded lecture about why jokes are bad, “It always begins as a joke. Listen to me, both of you. One sees a father or mother of whom they do not approve–And their brats won’t shut up, and the parents are so exhausted that they just let their children scream, all sticky and crying and hitting and wild.”
“And you say to your friends, ‘you should have to pass a test to breed.’ Do you understand? ‘You should have to get licensed to have kids.’ It starts as a joke. Then perhaps there is tragedy. A postpartum mother who should’ve gotten help, but her insurance did not cover the therapy. A father who erred, because he was raised believing men are pathetic if they are caregivers,” Rasputin continued.
The lecture goes on, “The first tests are drafted. And you think, ‘good.’ You think, ‘Those children will be safe now.’ The test comes out, and yes, there’re some problems, but nothing that cannot be ironed out, yes? But now, anyone with a mental illness, with a criminal record, is barred from becoming a parent, and you think, ‘Well that is sensible, yes?'”
Colossus then states, “Because you’ve never known anyone like that, so who is to tell you they are not like they are portrayed in stories? Sick, dangerous, criminal–these words expand. Suddenly it is anyone with diabetes, anyone with cancer, because they could die and leave their children orphaned so how dare they ever try to have children?”
Colossus continues down his slippery slope, “It is deaf couples, interracial couples, gay couples–because don’t they know how hard they’re making it for their children? Then it is whoever they want. You think you are working for the greater good. You can’t even fathom the life of someone who isn’t exactly like you. Then one day–it is you.
“Some gene, some history, some past behavior–and suddenly, you too are sick, dangerous, criminal. Because the truth is this–human hate can adapt to anything. You think you are safe. But if someone hates you, they will come up with the reason after the fact,” he asserted.
He finally concluded, “Only then do you realize what you put in power. Only then do you realize what you stripped away. There is terrible power in a joke, in a story, in taking the truth and making it ugly. Do you understand children?”
In IDW Publishing and DC Comics’ Love is Love, a 2016 anthology series where all proceeds went to the victims of the Pulse Nightclub shooting, a one page story featuring Deathstroke by writer Taran Killam, Barry Crain, and Giulia Brusco is included.
In this one-page story Deathstroke listens to a news report about about the crime noting the attacker used two firearms.
In response to this report, Deathstroke states, “%@$# it. From now on, I just use karate.”
19. M.O.M.: Mother of Madness
In M.O.M.: Mother of Madness #1 written by Emilia Clarke and Marguerite Bennett with art by Leilea Leiz, the main character of the book, Maya Kuyper, introduces herself on the first page.
She says, “My name is Maya Kuyper. I am 29 years old, a single mom, a high school dropout, chemical engineer, part-time sex worker, Thai food junkie, and biological freak of nature. (Scorpio and Blood Moon Rising. No drama, no water signs.)”
She adds, “I like Ruther Bader Ginsburg speeches and Martha Stewart Living, I enjoy more children’s television shows than is probably healthy, I lie to myself every January about using the elliptical I bought four years ago for anything more than an expensive clothes hanger– I get anxiety from feeling like I don’t listen to enough podcasts about controlling anxiety, and I made a pacifist run on Undertale my first time through — including escaping the bullet hell, thank you very much.”
“I am currently trapped schmoozing at an Upper West Side corporate afterparty as part of my boss’s entourage for a ‘Female Empowerment in the Workplace’ initiative. The last CFO had to step down after getting caught soliciting what turned out to be several thousand Mexican scorpions in a trench coat as part of a viral prank sensation, so here we are,” she concludes.
The second page doesn’t get any better.
The party features an executive saying, “I’m so excited for us to be hosting the first women in the workplace event! It’s so great to give all of you hard-working gals the respect you deserve. Thanks for putting up with all our tomfoolery–no lawsuits allowed. JOKING. Can I get a #MeToo? What time is it? –UP!”
A man at the party says, “Look, I don’t want to ruin the night.” To which a woman responds, “Then quit spouting this binary, gender essentialist, transphobic bilge rot, Jack.” The man answers, “Calm down, don’t be all emotional like that. Just…give me a smile.”
20. America Chavez
In the pages of America #1 by Gabby Rivera, Joe Quinones, Joe Rivera, Paolo Rivera, and Jose Villarrubia the superhero America Chavez attends Sotomayor University where she is challenged to answer a question about Rojelia Amante.
She is unable to answer the question, but Prodigy a.k.a. David Alleyne is able to do so and prevents the class from being frozen.
Upon saving the class, America greets Prodigy saying, “Prodigy?! What the holy menstruation are you doing here?”