8 Marvel Characters That Have Been Accused of Murder
As Daredevil becomes the latest Super Hero falsely accused, look back at the history of the injustice at the House of Ideas!
Long has Matt Murdock danced on the line between legal and illegal. He's even gone to prison for his costumed activities. And yet, he's never been in as much legal trouble as he is now, facing down a murder charge.
He may be innocent, but will a jury of his peers feel the same? The brand-new DAREDEVIL #5 takes Hornhead down a dark path...and there's no telling where it'll lead.
But Daredevil is hardly the only Marvel character to find himself in this predicament; here are eight others who have faced false accusations throughout the years!
This first one should be near the forefront of Murdock’s mind, considering Hyde would not have beat the wrap without both sides of Murdock’s life. Sure, Hyde had done a great many things wrong, but to paraphrase the Man Without Fear himself, the law does not get to punish you for what you did by finding you guilty for what you didn’t. So, when Hyde was accused of murdering a teen but Daredevil sensed that the criminal was innocent, the hero felt he had no choice.
Thus, Murdock took to represent Hyde as his attorney while DD beat the streets looking for more clues, and Hornhead made sure that Hyde did not see time for a crime he did not commit. In the end, the hero unearthed the true culprit, the Eel, and earned Hyde his freedom.
The Scarlet Swashbuckler’s closest ally in the Super Hero business has traveled this difficult road before too. Long the victim of bad press, Spidey really gave The Daily Bugle something to rail against when he seemed the only clear suspect in the murder of a small-time crook by asphyxiation via web fluid. (In reality, it was all a Norman Osborn plot.)
In order to prove his innocence, Parker went to ground and adopted not one, not two, but four different identities: Dusk, Prodigy, Ricochet, and Hornet. In the end, the gambit worked with one identity getting the Trapster to reveal the frame and the other managing to cast reasonable doubt on Spider-Man’s guilt.
This one seemed much more clear-cut. Scores of people, including the mayor of New York City himself J. Jonah Jameson, witness Spider-Man pick up a gun and shoot the villain named Massacre. Not in self-defense, but in cold calculated indifference.
Strangely, Spidey never even had to beat the rap. Jameson applauded it and no public outcry followed...
However, Peter Parker actually had nothing to do with it. Yes, Spider-Man pulled the trigger. And yes, the body under the costume was Parker’s. However, the choice to pull the trigger came from the mind of Otto Octavius, who committed the brazen act during his first time as the Superior Spider-Man when he was utterly in control of Parker’s body!
As long as we are talking arachnids already, let’s talk about Gwen Stacy. The alternate universe hero found herself the object of intense attention when it seemed she killed Peter Parker—that universe’s Lizard. While she herself felt responsible, too, the reality was that Parker simply succumbed to the unstable serum in his veins, an inevitability accelerated by his choice to attack his best friend Gwen rather than let her help him.
Stacy’s father attempted to clear her name but quickly found Gwen too wracked by guilt and self-blame to help him or herself, and the wider police force was perfectly content to paint Ghost-Spider as the scapegoat while not making much effort to bring her to justice.
So while Gwen remains a suspect at-large, it seems unlikely she will ever be arrested or charged for it...
It happened so fast. A crack of thunder, a bolt of lightning. The smell of fire and blood in the air. Goliath crumbled in heap, a hole burst in his chest. On the other side of the battlefield stood his murderer, imperious. The Mighty Thor? In that moment, CIVIL WAR stopped being about philosophical and political differences and became a struggle for survival.
Of course, thankfully, the man with the hammer was not the true Thor. The Thunder God still slumbered, awaiting resurrection back then. Who or what the killer was, however, somehow seemed even worse: a kind of cyborg clone of the Odinson made from a mix of godly DNA and advanced robotic parts, made by a trio of heroes—Tony Stark, Reed Richards, and Hank Pym—who should have known so much better.
We already knew the Runaways’ parents—the Pride, collectively—were bad news. We, and their children, had witnessed them kill an innocent teen as some sort of unholy ritual in the group's first ever appearance.
However, it turned out they had even lower to sink. With their kids on the run and seemingly uninterested in keeping the family secrets silent, the Pride decided to frame their kids for the murder of that teen and the kidnapping of their youngest member, Molly. In response, the team did not so much clear their names as outlast their villainous matriarchs and patriarchs; when the dust settled, the Pride were dead and the Runaways achieved their freedom.
Magneto appeared to have gone straight. However, the time of reconciliation with the X-Men was short-lived as the Master of Magnetism found himself accused of the murder of several anti-mutant protestors. Magneto denied it, but there it was, all on video, from start to gory finish.
Unwilling to go down for the one group of anti-mutant protestors he actually did not kill, Magneto escaped the X-Men and set about to clear his name. In the end, it turned out Magneto’s DNA was very much to blame for the crime. However, we all knew that Magneto had a clone or two floating about…
To close, we revisit another case that Murdock should remember well as he, once again, represented the Defense. This time, his client was Clint Barton, AKA Hawkeye. Barton was facing charges of murder for putting an arrow into Bruce Banner. But, this time...the hero did do it. No clone. No alternate universe version. Not faked crime. No frame job. Barton nocked the arrow, pulled the string, and let fly.
So how did Matt manage to get Hawkeye exonerated?
The answer was found with intent. In what has to be the most convoluted case of assisted suicide in any universe, Banner asked Hawkeye to end him if there were any chance he might lose control of his raging alter-ego again. When Ulysses saw a vision of just that, Barton stepped up and honored his friend’s request. While DD himself was opposed to using Ulysses abilities to stop crimes before they occurred, he nonetheless dutifully used Hawkeye’s stated defense and achieved victory as a result.