Our favourite superheroes don't have an easy lot in life. Even before they strap on the brightly-coloured spandex, there's usually an awful tragedy to spark off their vigilantism, from dead parents named Martha (why did you say that name?!) to families murdered in the park and massive exposure to gamma radiation.
This is no country for old men either: taking on a job which guarantees nightly beatings and even more murdered relatives and loved ones, there's very little rest for these under-appreciated do-gooders. And a peaceful, happy retirement is almost certainly out of the question.
Even though the very nature of comic books ensures that our heroes will always stay young and fit, that doesn't stop their writers from dreaming up equally agonising futures for them. There's always another vengeful supervillain, one last scheme or simple boredom to draw them out of retirement. The Dark Knight Returns again and again, Days Of Future Past are bound to keep repeating themselves and even an ancient mutant with an infamous healing factor can't catch a break.
While a number of these dystopian nightmares are but Elseworld daydreams, and others may be avoidable through time travel and other such classic comic book tropes, they all bear one thing in common: there are no happy endings.
Horror and Batman fanatic, Haribo fiend and Nicolas Cage scholar. I write a lot, drink even more and can usually be found listening to the work of Queen while styling my hair in an increasingly ridiculous quiff.