The Top 6 Skeletons in Comics
Happy Halloween, everybody! Through the magic of calendars and the slow, unending passage of time, Halloween is on a Wednesday this week, the day I release my List of Six! And what better way to celebrate Halloween and this geeky comic blog than a spooky listicle! How about skeletons?
Halloween is my favorite holiday. I love the pageantry, and I love the premise of kids getting dressed up in costumes and going door-to-door for candy, and the idea of adults getting dressed up and going to parties. It’s insane and I love it. And I like celebrating Halloween on my blog with a look at spooky things in comics. I’ve done ghosts, witches, Cerberus and classic movie monsters. Now it’s time for skelingtons! Or skeletons, whichever pronunciation you prefer.
Join me after the jump for the best, boniest skeletons in comic books!
Honorable Mention: Skeleton Man
Skeleton Man only gets an ‘honorable mention’ because he’s more man than skeleton, but I couldn’t pass up the fact that I’m writing a list about comic book skeletons there’s a character out there named ‘Skeleton Man’. It fits both my list and classic superhero naming tropes! And I think he’s been transformed into a skeleton before as part of a storyline? Either way, Skeleton Man is a supernatural graveyard keeper named Jon. He looks like a pretty normal guy, but he’s all mixed up with Tarot, Witch of the Black Rose, a pretty pervy comic that I’ve definitely never seen an issue of, no sir. He can talk to ghosts.
6. Lord Death Man
Lord Death Man is also, I think, more man than skeleton, but I’m going to allow it. Lord Death Man is a Japanese crime lord who attempted to kill all the Japanese superheroes to better control his criminal empire. Once upon a time, he had the ability to place himself in a death-like trance. But now he’s just straight up unkillable, and he uses that to do crazy stunts and death-defying activities in order to be a better bad guy, because he knows he’ll survive. He’s nuts. And a Batman villain, which I forgot to mention.
5. Fever Pitch
Fever Pitch is one of those insane minor X-Men villains who pops up in the background from time to time, because he’s just so nuts. He’s a mutant whose powers exploded him into a constantly burning, flying skeleton man. He doesn’t have much backstory, and his appearances in comics really are just a sporadic number of appearances, when writers and artists just needed a weird-looking mutant for a scene or two. But man oh man, Fever Pitch is nuts.
4. Atomic Skull
There are two Atomic Skulls at DC Comics. The first was a scientist who wore a skull mask and costume — possibly the most ridiculous costume of all time — and worked for the evil organization S.K.U.L.L. A little on the nose. But we’re here to talk about the Atomic Skull who actually had a skull for a head. Or, the science explosion that gave him his powers turned his skin invisible. I dunno. It’s weird. But Atomic Skull has all the basic energy blasting powers that you’d expect from someone with ‘atomic’ in their name. He’s just got a skull-looking head to go along with them. Fights Superman a bunch.
3. Director Bones
This is a weird one, even by this list’s standards. So Director Bones was originally just Mr. Bones, and he was part of some sick scientist’s experiment to breed superhumans. The kids grew up, turned on their ‘father’ and adopted codenames as the team Helix, including Mr. Bones, who looked like a skeleton and had cyanide powers (and another of the possibly most ridiculous superhero costumes of all time). Helix went up against Infinity Inc., was defeated, and a judge ruled that Mr. Bones was a bad influence on his ‘siblings’, so they were separated. Bones went on to join Infinity Inc., eventually having an even bigger falling out with his ‘father’ and ‘siblings’ down the line. All of this then led Bones to become a bureaucrat with the Department of Extranormal Affairs, in which he rose through the ranks all the way up to director. It’s madness!
2. Red Skull
Back in the beginning, the Red Skull simply wore a skull mask. He had a normal human head. Then he died and his consciousness was brought back to life in the body of a clone of Captain America. Wild. Then he got a government job and started making life hell for Cap, leading to Skull trying to poison Cap with his infamous poison dust…but Cap turned it back on the Red Skull and that caused his head to shrivel up into a legit-looking red skull, which was pretty fortuitous, given his name. Reading his Wikipedia page, it turns out Red Skull often gets into fights with his fellow super-villains, who have no interest in working with a Nazi. He’s been defeated by both Magneto and the Kingpin, which is pretty funny. And there was that time the freakin’ Joker turned on him after finding out Skull was a Nazi. I just find that all really funny.
1. Ghost Rider
The best! The brightest! The ghost with the most! Ghost Rider is the coolest damn skeleton character in comics. Granted, he’s not the first character on this list with a flaming skull for a head, but he rocks it the hardest, that’s for damn sure. Ghost Rider is a deal with the devil that turns the person into a flaming skull badass who drives whatever vehicle is handy. Most often, Ghost Rider rides a badass motorcycle. But Ghost Rider has been known to ride a hot rod, and there’s even talk of an ancient Ghost Rider piloting a flaming wooly mammoth, which is nuts. But motorcycle Ghost Rider is best Ghost Rider. Nicolas Cage wouldn’t lie to us.