Marvel Mentally Unstable Superheroes:
Superheroes are supposed to be the zenith of humanity. They represent the best of us. They never falter. They never stumble. They do not have any flaws. But that conception is far from the actual truth. The reality is that Superheroes are also sometimes deeply troubled individuals. They also go through problems that normal people go through like breakups, mid-life crises, as well as mental illnesses. There are several superheroes in the Marvel Universe that have mental issues and they have battled these conditions ever since they have donned the mask. In a way, it humanizes a superhero by giving them problems that real people face in their lives. It is time you get to know about them. Presenting – 10 Marvel Superheroes you never knew are mentally unstable!!
1. Speedball – Self Injury Disorder
Speedball was part of the Initiative, a program that featured government sponsored superheroes, during the Civil War saga. Speedball was part of a team called the New Warriors. The New Warriors allowed a motley crew of cameramen to follow them around while they apprehended criminals like a superhuman version of “Keeping Up with the Kardashians”. While they were on their way to capture Nitro, an explosion led to the death of the whole team of New Warriors barring Speedball. Overcome with guilt for not being able to save his own teammates, Speedball designed a new suit that had 612 internal spikes one for each person killed in the explosion and started calling himself penance. Speedball engaged in extensive self-harm and thought it was the only way to redeem himself.
2. Deadpool – Sever Psychosis
People suffering from psychosis are termed to be individuals detached from the real world and living in a reality made of their own, where they could do whatever they want. Their actions are deemed to be crazy by others but the people suffering from it consider them to be perfectly justifiable. When Deadpool’s mutant powers activated, his regenerative healing factor made him an unstoppable force. It also greatly amplified his mental illness. While others would just term Deadpool as a crazed maniac, he is just a guy who is good at heart but needs help and intervention immediately.
3. Polaris – Bipolar Disorder
Polaris was only a child when she was diagnosed with Bipolar Disorder. That did not stop her mother and her husband from regularly fighting in front of their daughter, feeding her illness with traumatic experiences. The water went over the hill when Polaris could not take her parents fighting mid-air. She unleashed a powerful magnetic pulse that crashed the plane and killed everyone in it. Magneto found her and erased her memories. She would be duped into thinking that she is his daughter. Polaris would eventually become a mutant leader and fight his mental condition, becoming a role model for everyone around her.
4. Legion – Dissociative Identity Disorder
Legion is an Omega Level Mutant. He has a plethora of abilities. Many believe that Legion has unlimited amounts of powers and he can access them at any point of time, whenever and wherever he wants to. But the son of Charles Xavier has one major problem – he has extreme DID. There are multiple personalities hidden deep within Legion’s psyche. Each personality has access to one of legion’s many superpowers. Legion gains access to each ability based on which personality is allowed to take over. Some of his personalities are benevolent while others only exist to inflict pain. Legion is a total basket case, even though his powers make him a God.
5. Sentry – Borderline Schizophrenia
Robert Reynolds is the Marvel Comic Book Universe’s greatest ever superhero. He is also the strongest ever Marvel Superhero to ever exist. As the Sentry, Robert holds the power of a million exploding suns in his veins and no force in the universe can actually stop this guy. But his powers have a side effect. The Sentry ‘believes’ him-self to be broken. He lives within the cocoon of imagination that the more he uses his powers, the more “The Void”, a seemingly demonic alternate personality deep within him, will take control over him and wreak havoc. His belief is so strong that his powers have actually given rise to a Void entity within him. It is all psycho-somatic but the Sentry’s amazing powers lead to the creation of an entire alternate identity a thousand times stronger than him. Power corrupts and absolute power corrupts absolutely!!
6. Storm – Claustrophobia
Superman has Kryptonite as a weakness. Martian Manhunter’s weakness is fire. Storm’s weakness is closed spaces. After being trapped under a ton of rubble for several hours, Ororo Munroe developed an intense level of fear for tight spaces. Her claustrophobia is very severe. Many of us are somewhat claustrophobic but Storm’s claustrophobia is on a whole different league. If she is trapped in a tight space, her body will go into shock and become comatose. If not freed, she will even become brain-dead in a matter of minutes.
7. Moon Knight – Dissociative Identity Disorder
Moon Knight draws his power from the moon. There is a reason why another word for a crazy person is a “lunatic”. There have been several folklores that claim that the moon has the power to drive a person insane. When the Moon God Khonshu gave Marc Spector the power of the Moon Knight, never in his wildest dreams Spector imagined that his mind will become home to so many different volatile personality traits in one go. Several fan theories suggest that the Moon Knight’s whims and fancies are related to the change in lunar cycles, which only feeds his mental condition more and makes it stronger. In one issue, Moon Knight finally confronted all versions of his psyche and embraced them whole-heartedly, finally deciding to move forward as he is.
8. Daredevil – Clinical Depression
As long as Daredevil has been in Marvel Comics, the writers have ensured the readers knew how troubled a hero he has always been. Right from his childhood, Matt Murdock’s sadness has only grown exponentially. He lost his eyesight at a very tender age. He lost his father at the same time. He lost the love of his life to Bullseye. Many of his friends died as he watched helplessly. It only makes sense when we say that the Man without Fear has been a victim of clinical depression. Born Again and Guardian Devil is two comic book issues that reveal the state of his depression in depth. Over time, Daredevil’s depression has increased. It is getting harder for him to continue fighting the depression all the while protecting Hell’s Kitchen from unsuspecting foes.
9. Captain Marvel – Post Traumatic Stress Disorder
Captain Marvel had been a soldier for years before she became a superhero. All soldiers go through severe trauma while serving their country. These experiences are enough to drive some into PTSD territory or worse. Captain Marvel also had unresolved childhood trauma that she only addressed decades later after she visited her New England home. Such inhibitions deep down in her psyche forced her into having a mental condition she herself was never ready to accept for a long while. In the comic book issue, The Life of Captain Marvel by Margaret Stohl, we realize just how broken a woman Captain Marvel is, someone everyone believes to be one of the strongest superheroes on planet Earth.
10. Anthony Stark – Hypochondriasis
Hypochondriasis is a condition that makes a person over-exert him-self or her-self into taking unnecessary precautions to ensure measures against a particular health illness. The condition is also known as Health Phobia and it is a borderline schizophrenic ailment. Anthony Stark is the Iron Man of Earth – 9997, an alternate reality Earth where the Terrigen Mists took over the entire atmosphere and turned all humans into mutated Inhumans. Anthony Stark, scared of what the Teerigen mists might do to his body, developed the Red Ronin suit and became the new Iron Man. He would vow never to breathe the natural air of Earth and would only inhale processed air from his machines. The Terrigen Mists have long subsided but Stark is still too wary.