10 Shockingly Dark Origins Of Comic Book Heroes

Sometimes the brightest heroes rise from the absolute darkest circumstances to ever befall a person.

Rocket Raccoon
Marvel Comics

Some heroes choose the path of righteousness on their own. Others have the path to herodom determined for them by birth or destiny. And there are others who choose to become heroes despite - or even because of - the tragic and often life-altering circumstances that befall them. These heroes have been through hell, sometimes literally, and still choose to fight the good fight.

The origins of these heroes are rarely similar. They can be as far-flung as being the sole survivor of a doomed planet billions of light years away, or as common as being the sole survivor of metropolitan street violence. They can even be found in a teenager who learns that he now possessed great power and has a great responsibility to use it for the betterment of his fellow man. That is the spark of the hero.

That spark is so bright that even death could not dim its light in some heroes. The need to do good for its own sake, the need to protect the weak and defeat evil in all its forms burns brightly and has forged many heroes, even ones with the darkest of beginnings. They have triumphed through tragedy and adversity and become heroes despite it all.

10. Jason Blood/Etrigan

Rocket Raccoon
DC Comics

Jason was a simple farmer with a wife and children when Merlin bound him to his half-brother, the demon Etrigan, at the fall of Camelot. The blending of two souls and minds in one body created temporary insanity in Jason’s mind. The resulting two-day massacre earned the host his new last name, Blood.

An insane mind was of no use to Etrigan, so he tweaked his host's mind to be more in line with his plans. Through the centuries, The Demon cut a path of destruction while making Blood rich and powerful. They fought through the Crusades, wiped out Native Americans in the New World, and played both sides of the Civil War. In WWII, Jason called forth the beast to wipe out German forces but the depth of the carnage would have driven the man mad had Etrigan not blocked his memory. However, The Demon botched the spell and wiped all his memories.

Having settled in Gotham and become a demonologist, Jason Blood discovered a spell that released the Demon again. Jason had some control over Etrigan this time and was able to at least “point” the Demon where his specific type of rhyming destruction could do the best. Etrigan, and by association, Blood has worked with a number of mystical and magic-based heroes in the current century.


John Wilson has been a comic book and pop culture fan his entire life. He has written for a number of websites on the subject over the years and is especially pleased to be at WhatCulture. John has written two comic books for Last Ember Press Studio and has recently self-published a children's book called "Blue." When not spending far too much time on the internet, John spends time with his lovely wife, Kim, their goofy dog, Tesla, and two very spoiled cats.