10 Scary Superheroes We Can't Believe Are Good Guys | ScreenRant

When one thinks of the term "superhero," images of capes, masks, bright colors, and figures that stand for truth, justice, and the American way are likely the first things that come to mind. Some of the most treasured characters in fiction have features that fit that description, but colorful capes and cowls don't always come with the superhero vocation.

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Masks and capes might come with the territory, but so do bullets, blades, sledgehammers, chains, and communion with the undead. While some heroes choose to be beacons of optimism and hope, others become beings of vigilante justice who want to strike fear in the hearts of criminals everywhere.

10 The Punisher

Next to the likes of Gotham's Batman, the Punisher is the living example of vigilante justice. With his skull motif and a wide array of dangerous firearms, he certainly looks more like a villain than a hero—and it doesn't just end there. Where some superheroes might apply their powers to fight crime, Frank Castle does it by using murder, torture, and other violent acts.

In the simplest of terms, the Punisher is a mercenary who just so happens to work for the good guys. While his methods are absolutely brutal and gruesome, he still manages to accumulate quite the vocal fanbase, making his skull emblem as recognizable as Captain America's shield.

9 Slapstick

Slapstick is a special case in that he's terrifying in terms of application rather than appearance. This cartoon-themed superhero is what would happen if Freakazoid, The Mask, and Roger Rabbit were all combined into one. Slapstick possesses the cartoon abilities of a typical Looney Tunes character, and that's coupled with a notorious mean streak.

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He might be impervious to most forms of pain, but, as the blood splatters on his giant mallet will tell, his enemies are not. As a toon made out of unstable molecules, he's able to bounce back from most things, but few mortals can walk away from Slapstick's Acme-powered arsenal.

8 Deadpool

Deadpool might be a contender for Marvel's funniest character, but let's not forget that the Merc With a Mouth has a seriously high body count, as well as a sadistic side. There are several comics in his career that have had many readers questioning if he really is one of the good guys, especially with some of the creatively brutal ways he dispatches his enemies.

There's also that one incident of Deadpool literally "un-aliving" the entirety of the Marvel universe. A masked maniac with a sharp set of blades who enjoys hacking people to bits certainly sounds more like a slasher movie than anything out of a comic book hero.

7 Deadman

Although he might look incredibly unsettling, Deadman really is one of the good guys. A former circus performer who was murdered during his trapeze act, Boston Brand roams in between the mortal realm and the hereafter as a ghost who can possess mortal bodies to carry out his superhero agenda.

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He might be one of the Justice League, and he might have only the noblest of intentions, but Deadman can have no ties to the living world unless he possesses a human body. That's not exactly the type of superpower the forces of Justice go advertising, but he does use his otherworldly abilities for good at the end of the day.

6 The Crow

If there's one motivator that makes just as many superheroes as it does villains, it's vengeance. For Eric (Eric Draven in the film), vengeance comes in the form of a mysterious crow which brings him back from the dead on a mission to solve his girlfriend's murder and seek out brutal retribution. A gothic icon in both movies and comics, but his powers and story are certainly chilling.

Eric might be invincible, but he doesn't just walk away from all his violent encounters. He carries all the scars inflicted by everything that tries to hurt him, even his own self-made wounds—he's a living cadaver minus the rot.

5 Man-Thing

Marvel's answer to DC's Swamp Thing, Man-Thing is two tons of terror from the Florida everglades. A former biologist turned behemoth by a mix of chemicals and magical energies, Man-Thing is a protector on the side of good, but his origins are practically the makings of a Lovecraftian horror masterpiece.

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Man-Thing has been described as a being of pure emotion. The man that was Dr. Theodore Sallis is no more, and in his place stands a hulking monster of moss and tendrils. He seeks to purge the wicked and protect the innocent, but he does have a history of crushing anyone who just gets in his way.

4 Hellboy

Being summoned by Nazi sorcerers from the depths of Hell doesn't exactly sound like the origins for a superhero, but it's how fans got Dark Horse's Hellboy. The big red half-demon might look as devilish as they come, but he more than willingly fights for the opposite side of his home realm, sometimes being the strongest force that stands between the mortal world and things that wish its destruction.

Hellboy is the one who can tackle threats infernal, immortal, and magical alike, from steampunk-cyborg-Nazis to a variety of spirits and demons. Armed with his demonic strength and supernatural abilities like necromancy and quick-healing, Hellboy's evil aspects are only skin-deep.

3 The Specter

The Specter is essentially the last antihero anyone would ever want to anger. Since he is quite literally a personification of divine vengeance, there are few heroes or villains in DC's lineup that can stand toe-to-toe with him. A being of celestial energy of the astral plane, the character has only one main mission: smite the wicked.

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Along with powers like possession and eldritch blast, the Specter comes equipped with an arsenal of destruction on both a mortal and spiritual level. What makes the Specter such a frightening force is the fact that he is the divine judgment of God personified, making him one of the most powerful entities on the list.

2 Ghost Rider

The Specter isn't the only spirit of vengeance in the comic book world, nor is he the most well-known. That distinction arguably goes to the many Marvel characters whose souls have played host to the Ghost Rider. A flaming skeletal figure seeking out the souls of the damned sounds like the basis for a horror movie, but there's hardly a better way to make evildoers afraid. A Penance Stare here and there wouldn't hurt, either.

Many have assumed the mantle of the Rider, including a few Avengers, but the ones fans immediately think of are Johnny Blaze and Robbie Reyes. Along with a firey persona, the powers of the Ghost Rider include such feats as fire conjuring, soul burning, and the manipulation of sin itself. Pair those with a unique and personal method of hellish transport, and it's an image nobody soon forgets.

1 Spawn

After selling his soul to the demon Malebolgia, Albert Simmons sheds his mortal form to become the demonic antihero, Spawn. If it wasn't for his own personal allegiance and motives, he would be a ringer for a deadly and devilish supervillain with little competition.

Despite his moral alignment, his superpowers sound more like something out of Hellraiser than a comic book. He can manipulate necroplasm and demonic energy into hooks, chains, blades, and the infamous Agony Axe. Needless to say, Spawn is a creature that should give any evil-doer nightmares.

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