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Stephen King Villains and Their Comic Book Counterparts

Stephen King Villains and Their Comic Book Counterparts

By Robert Runyon

Stephen King is the undisputed American master of horror. He's also a maven of pop culture and continually fills his books with knowing references from the golden age of comic books. King grew up on comic books, and now a generation of comic book writers and artists has grown up on King. There have even been comic book adaptations of some of his best known novels like The Stand and the Gunslinger series. Now Chloë Moretz, Hit Girl herself, is taking the title role in a remake of Carrie. These two violent young ladies match up surprisingly well, which leads us to think: what other Stephen King characters have comic book counterparts?

The Dark Tower’s Blaine the Mono and Batman’s The Riddler

Blaine was one of the most unexpectedly menacing villains ever in a Stephen King novel. Blaine is a thousand-year-old derelict monorail train. Over the intervening years of solitude, he’s become more and more insane. When Roland’s ka-tet meets him, he forces them to answer riddles in exchange for safe passage. Even though the Riddler in the comics has since gone on the straight and narrow, we can still expect him to eventually get back to his favorite trade: quizzing Batman in life or death situations.

Christine’s Christine and the Avengers’ Ultron

This is as easy as it gets. Christine is the self-aware, self-repairing car owned by a huge nerd. Ultron is the self-aware, self-repairing robot built by a huge nerd, Henry Pym. In the book, Christine constantly tries to get its owner’s attention. Ultron always tries to take over the world. And isn’t that the biggest cry for attention there is?

The Stand’s Randall Flagg and the Fantastic Four’s Doctor Doom

Randall Flagg is the Stephen King multiverse’s top villain, popping up again and again. He’s in King’s greatest work, The Stand, he’s in the fantasy novel, The Eyes of the Dragon, and he’s a main character in King’s decades-spanning epic, The Dark Tower. Flagg has set up his own governments to take over the world, he’s lived through the middle ages, and he’s even died and returned countless times. The only man that can compare is Marvel’s signature head-of-state/magician Victor von Doom. Doom similarly has world domination dreams, and is the greatest magician in the Marvel universe.

The Dark Half’s Greg Stillson and Spider-Man’s Norman Osborn

In the comics, it’s been a long time since Ol’ Cornrows was actually the Green Goblin. He’s mostly become an international leader of villains that thirsts for political power. Stillson in the book, movie, and TV series is an insane politician that realizes he’s destined for greatness after beating a dog to death. In a dark future, Dark Half protagonist Johnny Smith actually sees Stillson realize his dream, and eventually end the world in nuclear war.

It’s Pennywise the Clown and the Joker

Pennywise is the reason that coulrophobia exists. This psychotic supernatural clown terrorized the poor kids in It, and later came back for round two to terrorize them as adults. Who else can he be but the Clown Prince of Crime himself, the Joker? The Joker exists only to create chaos and torment. If these two ever met, they would probably find some common ground before trying to kill each other.

Did we miss any?

Tags: horror, dc, stephen king, books-and-comics, marvel

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