<i>by George Marston, Newsarama Contributor</i> <p>The heroes of most comics are, if not shining examples of morality and upstanding citizenry, at their core good people. Some of them, though... Well, some of them are a-holes. <p>You know the type: Selfish, insecure, outwardly hostile even to those who are, ostensibly, their friends. This week saw the addition of another hero to the roster of comic characters who are less than friendly in the <b>Superior Spider-Man</b> better known as Otto Octavius, the notoriously abrasive Dr. Octopus now piloting the body of his archenemy, Peter Parker. Sounds like a recipe for a-holery, not unlike these 10 characters. <p><i>Got a comment? There's lots of conversation on Newsarama's <a href=http://www.facebook.com/Newsarama><b>FACEBOOK</b></a> and <a href=http://twitter.com/newsarama><b>TWITTER</b></a>!</i> <p>
Shane Walsh from Robert Kirkman's <i>The Walking Dead</i> may have been the worst kind of a-hole; the kind that seems like a friend right up until the point where he stabs you directly in the back. <p>Though his character arc lasted a little longer in the show than in the comic, the basic gist is the same: When the zombie apocalypse hits while his friend and partner Rick Grimes is in a coma, Shane rescues Rick's wife and son, ushering them to safety in a community of other survivors, and falling in love with Grimes's wife, Lori in the process. <p>When Rick regains consciousness and is finally reunited with his family, Shane's love for Lori quickly comes between the former friends, resulting in a series of outbursts from Shane, and culminating in Shane's decision to remove Rick from the picture. Of course, things didn't go exactly to plan, and Rick's son, Carl, saved his father's life from the man who tried to take his place.
Superman may be widely considered one of the most inspirational, friendly, and all around good-natured characters in comics, but in his early days, he was quite the opposite. You might even say he was kind of an a-hole... <p>While his early adventures revolved around busting up crime rings and taking on gangsters, he had a much more no-nonsense approach to fighting crime, which occasionally involved outright leveling less savory neighborhoods, no matter who lived there, threatening to kill children just to steer them away from a life of crime, and running amok in the lives of innocent people while attempting roundabout, often bizarre schemes to deal with the criminals he opposed. <p>Superman's a-hole attitude didn't end there, either. In later years, he was often shown outright torturing his "pal" Jimmy Olsen, and his girlfriend, Lois Lane. While many of these instances were cover gags designed to shock readers into buying an issue, Superman did often make poor Jimmy's life miserable by putting him through grueling "lessons," or wrapping him up in more of his elaborate crime fighting schemes, such as adopting him, only to then treat him like garbage in an attempt to outwit a destructive prophecy put forth by a machine that predicts the future. What a jerk.
Talk about a deadbeat dad... Magneto didn't just abandon his children. When he finally reconnected with them, he drove his twin son and daughter first into a life of crime, and then, when they finally rehabilitated and joined the Avengers, the long term effects of his abuse caused his daughter, the Scarlet Witch, to play havoc with reality, destroying the Avengers, and nearly eliminating the entire mutant population from the Earth. <p>Magneto's a-holery was often even more extreme when it extended to his lackeys, most notably his longsuffering sidekick Toad, whom he treated like his personal court jester and whipping boy. In fact, in the alternate future story <i>Earth X</i>, when Magneto's powers faded, roles were reversed, and Toad forced Magneto to wear a jester's outfit, making clear the pair's traditional role. <p>Things haven't gotten better since Magneto's recent tenure with the X-Men began. He's nearly as arrogant and abrasive as ever, taking his status as Cyclops's right hand man to heart and constantly lording over his fellow mutants.
Bucky Barnes may have cut his teeth as Captain America's trusty sidekick, but he was never the bright-eyed, youthful mascot that he was portrayed as. In fact, he grew up fighting hard, mouthing off, and generally just being kind of a jerk. <p>When the military channeled Bucky's anger into a job doing Captain America's dirty work, it seemed like he'd finally found a role that suited his less than warm persona. But just as it seemed he was finally finding his place, he was seemingly killed saving Cap's life, and the rest of the world, as well. However, he survived, and was rescued by agents of the Soviet Union, where he was brainwashed and trained as a deadly assassin. <p>Oddly, this didn't improve his demeanor. When he finally resurfaced decades later, having aged only a little thanks to the Soviets storing him in suspended animation, he was even colder and more aloof than before, trading what little sense of camaraderie he had for the grim attitude of a trained killer. His icy facade has dulled since Captain America and others broke his brainwashing, but he still remains one of modern comics most prominent a-holes.
Reed Richards may not have quite the abusive a-hole pedigree of some of the d-bags on this list, he does have the dubious distinction of the worst husband in all of Marvel Comics. It's no coincidence that Sue Storm's only weakness is men who hate Reed Richards, considering he spends nearly all of his time telling her how smart he is. <p>The problem is, Reed Richards is the kind who is so much smarter than everyone else that he's already imagined every conversation before it happens, already run through every possible interaction, and decided that they aren't nearly as important as the big plans he's forgetting to explain to everyone. <p>In the long run, Reed may not be the biggest jerk on this list, but he's certainly had the most to lose from his oblivious social d-baggery. He even once came so close to alienating his wife that they found themselves fighting on opposite sides of Marvel's <i>Civil War</i>. They've since reconciled, but if history tells us anything, it's that Reed will soon use his social "charm" to drive his loving wife into the arms of one of his archenemies.
Omni-Man's badness may have quickly evolved way past simply being an a-hole into straight up monstrosity, but when he first turned, revealing his true colors as an alien invader, he abandoned his wife and child, the nascent super-hero Invincible, in what some would describe as the ultimate dick move. <p>Sent as an advance scout to an alien invasion by his people, the Viltrumites, Omni-Man spent years on Earth cultivating a life with a human woman, and raising a son who inherited his natural strength and abilities. But all of that changed when the Viltrumites announced their invasion, and, defying heroic convention, Omni-Man chose to return to his original mission, nearly killing his own son and betraying years of trust earned as the world's greatest hero. <p>Though he's since seemingly turned his back on the Viltrumites, it's a stretch to claim that Omni-Man is yet anything but a straight up a-hole, or probably even worse.
Guy Gardner is best described as the classic douchebag. Arrogant, insecure, and abrasive to the utmost, Gardner may have the qualities necessary to be a Green Lantern, but he somehow manages to turn even those into negative attributes. <p>Guy Gardner's attitude was only improved after he managed to badger the usually stoic Batman into felling him with a single punch, after which he was downright saccharine. But that didn't last long, and after a while he was back to insisting that he was the greatest Green Lantern, the leader of the Justice League, and other things that would, and probably could never be true. <p>Everybody knows an a-hole like Guy Gardner; the kind of guy who, at his core, isn't really a bad guy, but whose constant boasting and posturing make him absolutely unbearable.
Like father, like son. Quicksilver was raised by another legendary a-hole, his estranged father Magneto. Quicksilver's a-holery goes above and beyond even his father's notable bad attitude. <p>For years, Quicksilver was the Avengers' resident jackass, his level of abrasive competitiveness even eclipsing that of teammate Hawkeye. Quicksilver spent his time chasing his teammates and other men away from his twin sister Scarlet Witch and boldly pronouncing his superiority, until finally somehow managing to woo, marry, and scare off Crystal of the Inhumans. <p>It hasn't stopped there, either. Quicksilver managed to take his braggadocious d-baggery a new level as an instructor in the Avengers Academy, where he nearly terrorized his students, even comingly dangerously close to inspiring Finesse, one of the Academy's at risk students to follow in his early footsteps as a villain.
Imperius Rex, indeed. Namor, king of Atlantis, is one of Marvel's most prominent A-Holes. There are few people, fictional or otherwise, who can match Namor's superior air of regal pomposity. Namor is downright legendary in his level of arrogance and anger. <p>Namor is one of the few people who can handle being a d-bag to Captain America in earnest. He's spent nearly a hundred years prancing around in his underwear, making sure that surface dwellers know exactly how inferior he thinks they are. <p>Though he's been more or less MIA since his tenure as one of the Phoenix Five, during which he as much as leveled the nation of Wakanda, his time with the X-Men was no different. He spent most of his time trying not to have to speak to his fellow mutants, and trying to hook up with his boss's girlfriend. Classic a-hole.
Sure, all villains are sort of a-holes, but Lex Luthor seems to make it a personal mission, beyond even the usual villainous plotting and scheming, Few people could find fault with someone like Superman who, aside from the aforementioned time he spent early on in his own phase as a noted jerk, spends all of his time selflessly helping others and saving the world. <p>But Lex Luthor doesn't just think he's superior, he knows it. He knows his massive intellect and even bigger sense of entitlement should make him the unquestioned master of the world. He may claim he opposes Superman's strength because he believes in the potential of humanity over outside influence, but the truth is, he just can't handle the idea that anyone even might be better or more powerful than him. <p>With the greatest intellect the world has ever seen, an ego to match, and the attitude of a petulant child, Lex Luthor does worse than take his super-scientific toys and go home, he wastes them on selfish pursuits that hurt humanity more than it advances it. There's no bigger a-hole than comics.