9 Marvel Comics Moments That Made Our Skin Crawl

Kingpin Squeezing A Man’s Eyes Out Of His Head

Given that most superhero comic books are packed to the brim with action scenes, it should come as no great shock that writers and artists often feature some genuinely gruesome scenes to delight and disgust readers. This is undoubtedly true of Marvel Comics in the post-Comics Code Authority era, and if we’re being honest, plenty of these moments feel designed to trigger our greatest fears.

As such, the following list features Marvel Comics at its disgusting and uncomfortable best. Popular heroes like Spider-Man, Hawkeye, and Deadpool are featured in our collection, which is sure to make your skin crawl.

1. Magneto Sending A Paper Clip Up Through A Woman’s Arteries

Magneto Sending A Paper Clip Up Through A Woman’s Arteries

Found In: Magneto #3

In his role of protector of Mutantkind, Magneto stumbles upon a place hosting experiments turning humans into human/Sentinel hybrids. This displeases the Master of Magnetism, so he raids the facility and tears through anything and everything he finds inside. After killing three hybrids, he confronts Dr. Elizabeth Alain, the project leader, who tells him he can’t make her do anything.

He shows her a couple of paperclips, assuring her he can make her do anything he wants, and forces the paperclip into one of her arteries, which slowly courses its way through her circulatory system, causing intense pain. He torments her with this method until he gets what he wants and drives it into her brain, finally killing her.

2. Red Skull Throwing A Baby Out A Window

Red Skull Throwing A Baby Out A Window

Found In: Ultimate Avengers #5

The Red Skull is absolutely evil whether he’s in the Earth-616 main timeline of the Marvel Universe or if he’s in the Ultimate universe of Earth-1610. The man is a Third Reich acolyte, so it shouldn’t come as much of a surprise that the Red Skull is a bit callous and cavalier about the lives of innocents.

Ultimate Avengers #5 opens with the Red Skull holding a gun to an infant’s head to force his mother to fell her husband with scissors. The torture continues for an hour until she finally agrees to slay her husband and “put him out of his misery.” Once that’s done, the Red Skull keeps his word and puts the baby down, but he does so by throwing the child out the window without hesitation or a second thought, and it’s chilling. Once he leaves the building, there’s a noticeable red splash of blood on the pavement below.

3. Kingpin Squeezing A Man’s Eyes Out Of His Head

Kingpin Squeezing A Man’s Eyes Out Of His Head

Found In: Punisher MAX #1

Back when the Comics Code of Authority was still a thing, Marvel Comics launched the MAX Comics imprint to sidestep the restrictions. What followed was a series of adult-themed books filled with bloody ruthlessness, so you know the publisher was going to tell some Punisher stories. Punisher MAX #1 is the first in a series of one-shots dealing with shorter stories about everyone’s favorite killer vigilante.

In the book, Mr. Wilson Fisk, aka the Kingpin, is introduced as a bodyguard to a cocky man named Joe D’Amico. Joey doesn’t take Fisk seriously, cracking wise about his weight before taking a swing at him. He misses and Fisk slams his face into a picture before grabbing him by the skull and squeezing. He squeezes so hard the man’s eyes literally pop out of his face, dropping and bloody as he screams, which is something you couldn’t have gotten past the CCA, to be sure.

4. Hawkeye Tearing Off His Own Fingernails

Hawkeye Tearing Off His Own Fingernails

Found In: The Ultimates 2 #10

Hawkeye is one of those superheroes who can make anything deadly. If you’ve seen the Hawkeye TV show, he effortlessly flicks a small item to hit a target several meters away, and this is just a small sampling of his skills. While he’s a master archer, he’s also a master of every type of weapon in the book – and he’s deadly with anything he can project.

In the “Axis of Evil” story in The Ultimates 2 #10, Hawkeye is held captive by the revenge-seeking Captain Dragomir Branislav, who intends to torment him before he’s executed. His plan is cut short when Hawkeye begins flinging his fingernails, killing all but one man he forces to set him free. To be clear, Hawkeye didn’t use a fingernail clipping; he pulled out his own fingernails to use them as weapons, and that’s not only gross, it’s horrifically painful.

5. Jessica Jones Being Forced Into Servitude By The Purple Man

Jessica Jones Being Forced Into Servitude By The Purple Man

Found In: Alias #25

Throughout Alias, Jessica Jones is shown to be an alcoholic, superpowered being who doesn’t exactly play by the rules. There are hints of her former life as a superhero, but it’s not really shown how she succumbed to the Purple Man and how much his influence changed her personality until the 25th issue.

Jessica Jones was once Jewel, a happy, bubbly superhero who wore a costume, had purple hair and fought the good fight. Then, she met the Purple Man, and everything changed. On this page, she is shown to be under his influence and begins disrobing for him. He interrupts her on the next page, telling her to take care of the cops outside, which she does. It’s disturbing, to say the least, and Jones perfectly captures how it affected her, saying this:

In my mind, I can’t tell the difference between what he made me do or say and what I do or say on my own. The only reason I know I wasn’t in love with him is that I say to myself: How could I be? I hate him.

6. Moira MacTaggert Being Burned Alive

Moira MacTaggert Being Burned Alive

Found In: House of X #2

In a story aptly titled “The Uncanny Life of Moira X,” Moira MacTaggert is shown to live a normal life, grow old, and pass on at the age of 74. That’s when her mutation kicks in, and she’s reborn to live her life over again, but she retains her memories. She sets about in her second life to learn more about her mutation but dies in a plane accident on her way to see Charles Xavier after he comes out as a Mutant.

In her third life, Moira works to overcome her mutation and studies genetics to try and “cure” a way out of her condition. Destiny, the leader of the Brotherhood of Evil Mutants, warns her that she’s not immortal and must leave Mutants alone. To make her point stick, she has Pyro burn her alive, which is a horrific way to perish (even if it just sets the reset button).

7. Morlun Getting Jabbed In The Eye With A Needle

Morlun Getting Jabbed In The Eye With A Needle

Found In: Peter Parker: The Spectacular Spider-Man #313

Morlun is easily one of Spider-Man’s greatest enemies, and he’s proven this time and time again. He is incredibly powerful and goes about the Spider-Verse eating Spider-Totems, which is what Spider-Man happens to be. In the final issue of Peter Parker: The Spectacular Spider-Man, Spider-Man faces Morlun and shoots him from afar with sedatives, which isn’t his usual MO.

Spidey is forced to get close when some civilians happen on the scene, but he keeps up his tactic. Instead of shooting the tranquilizer darts at Morlun from afar, he pulls one out and jabs him in the eye with it. Unfortunately, despite being fairly grotesque and right at the top of the list of things you don’t want to have happen to you, it doesn’t do much damage, and Morlun gives chase almost immediately.

8. Morlun Eats Spider-Man’s Eye

Morlun Eats Spider-Man's Eye

Found In: The Amazing Spider-Man #526

Morlun is one of Spider-Man’s most dangerous enemies, and there’s very little our Friendly Neighborhood Spider-Man can do to stop him. He fights him throughout the city in The Amazing Spider-Man #526, but while Spider-Man is bloodied and beaten to a pulp, in the end, Morlun isn’t even phased – he’s that powerful.

In a move designed to prove just how unbeatable Morlun is, he beats the snot out of Spider-Man, plucks his eye from his head, and pops it in his mouth. He wipes his lips and says, “Delicious.” This is a big moment for Spider-Man because he realizes just how much danger he’s in, and while the eye grows back later, it’s a grotesque moment you don’t often see in Spidey books.

9. Kitty Pryde Drowning Alive

Kitty Pryde Drowning Alive

Found In: Marauders #6

The Marauders find themselves between the forces of the Black King and Madripoor, but Captain Kate “Kitty” Pryde has a couple of aces up her sleeve in the form of two Omega-level mutants! This proves to be a mere speed bump in the Black King’s plans as he makes his way through Kitty’s crew to finally shoot her from the deck of her ship and force her below the surface!

As he spells out exactly how he managed to get the best of her, she’s dragged down into the depths, swearing she’ll be resurrected and will get her revenge. The reader is then treated to Kitty’s last breath of air as she drowns. Of course, this isn’t Kitty’s actual demise – she’s a superhero, after all, but it’s disturbing to see.