A guy who dresses like a bat and swoops around terrorizing the weak and cowardly; a radioactive-blooded man with the proportionate strength and sixth sense of a spider; an insane serial killer with a gun fetish and a skull wardrobe. Our favourite comic book superheroes can be pretty scary people - just so long as you stop to think about it.
And what happens when those men and women lose control of their faculties, or sight of their humanity? For many, they're but one bad day away from becoming something truly terrifying - one mutation from going the full Jekyll and Hyde. Born from tragedy or genetic manipulation, these are hardly the most well-adjusted people.
Enter the alternate universes, dystopian futures and worst-case scenarios, re-imagining beloved superheroes as horrifying slasher villains, bloodthirsty zombies, cannibals and.... uh, whatever we're to make of that one time Spider-Man turned into a literal spider, man. This is what happens when our comic book heroes turn into all-out horror villains.
10. Batman - The Batman Who Laughs
What if Batman was the Joker? What if Batman was Judge Death might be more accurate, in this case.
Infected by the Joker at the point of the Clown Prince of Crime's death, this alternate-universe Batman became a hybrid of both, combining the Bat's tactical nouse with the Joker's bloodlust sadism.
Traversing from universe to universe, this Batman who Laughs would stop at nothing until every other version of himself was either infected or killed.
Never underestimate 'our' continuity's Batman though, who valiantly powered on through his own poisoning to defeat the Batman who Laughs, cure himself and save both Gotham and the Commissioner from his vile machinations. As anyone who has ever sat through a Friday the 13th sequel knows, however, the end is never really the end, and the Batman who Laughs 'lives' on, to further poison the DC Universe with his insanity.
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.