It is a truth universally acknowledged that a superhero in possession of almighty powers and steadfast morals must do something indescribably evil once every few years or so. Just to keep things interesting!
In fairness to comic writers, it must be pretty frustrating to be restricted to heroes only using their powers for truth, justice, and the American way. With all the strength and magic they have at their fingertips, it must be tempting to explore what they would do if they turned to the dark side.
There's only one problem with this: casual readers like to pick up a comic and understand what's going on. If you only know Superman from the Christopher Reeve films, you're going to be pretty confused when you open up an issue of Action Comics to find that he's stealing candy from babies while on a serial killing spree.
As such, writers need to push their heroes to the limit if they want them to dip their toes into villainy. If Spider-Man is going to rob a bank and slap the mayor, he needs to be put in a situation so dire that any of us would have done the same thing. Oh, and he needs to come out the other side of the ordeal a better person for it, of course! Superheroes are allowed to do a little bit of evil, as a treat, as long as they promise to turn back into their friendly neighbourhood selves afterwards.
Let's see this in action!
10. The Justice League Try To Kill Batman - Batman: Endgame
As we've discussed before, Batman is almost always thinking about killing his friends in the Justice League. But what if the tables were turned, and the Justice League were filled with the unstoppable urge to murder the Caped Crusader? Thanks to Joker and his nasty Joker toxin, this is exactly what goes down in Batman: Endgame.
Batman may be a tactical genius and the world's greatest detective, but even he is physically outmatched against a team made of Superman, Wonder Woman, the Flash, and Aquaman, all hopped up on murder gas. Thankfully, Bruce Wayne has learned a thing or two from his Frank Miller years, and made sure to join the fight in a big bulky mecha-suit.
Although he manages to subdue the other three, Superman proves to be more of a challenge. You never want to be at the mercy of the Man of Steel, especially not a Man of Steel who has completely lost the plot and won't rest until you have been utterly demolished.
So how does Batman save himself this time? With one of the most old-school deus ex machinas of all time: he spits chewing gum in Superman's eye. Chewing gum laced with Kryptonite, of course. Because that's something Batman just happens to have in his mouth. Because Batman.