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7 R-Rated Superhero Movies We’d Kill to See

7 R-Rated Superhero Movies We’d Kill to See

Between Netflix’s Marvel shows and the new direction of Fox’s X-movies, there’s definitely an appetite for edgier cape fiction these days. So much so, Sony is even talking about making the Venom solo movie R-rated. Comics fans have wished for this forever. There’s a wicked wealth of material. And here are just some of the most delicious options at Marvel and DC that we’d die to watch.



Much as Deadpool started off as Deathstoke parody and quickly took off with an audience who preferred the joke (even if they weren’t always in on it), Lobo is a goof on Wolverine who’s come to embody and embrace all the excess of grim machismo. His signature story, of course, is the Lobo Paramilitay X-Mas Special, wherein the “Main Man” is hired by the Easter Bunny to whack Santa Claus.



This guy’s brief and ill-advised Justice League audition sums everything up rather succinctly. Long before the Boys, Garth Ennis took the piss out of capes with a series about a hard-living Irish contract killer who specializes in superhuman targets. Taking the meta-misanthropy of Kick-Ass even further, it was delightfully black-hearted take-down of white hats. It also featured the unforgettable icon, “Dog Welder.”

Swamp Thing


Neither the movies, nor the TV show, have been quite able to capture this gothic chiller. The best stories happen after this elemental realizes he isn’t a man who’s been turned into a plant, but actually a plant who believes itself to be a man. Alan Moore, Steve Bissette and John Totleben’s seminal run is epic horror, with trips to Hell, undersea vampires, and unarguably the trippiest sex scene ever rendered in comics. Yes, you read that right.

Supreme Power


The Avengers have battled the Squadron Sinister–coy, villainous analogs for the Justice League–since the 60s. In the 80s, around the publication of Watchmen, they were reworked into the Squadron Supreme and used to explore stories that’d be too extreme for the Leaguers. Later, Supreme Power grounded the characters even further in the 2000s, using the analogs to show exactly how scary enormously powerful beings would be in real life.

Doom Patrol


Grant Morrison and Richard Case’s seminal run with this storied team absolutely lived up to the book’s boast of featuring “the strangest super heroes ever.” It reads like a lucid nightmare, taking great inspiration from Dadaism and Lewis Carroll, and pitting truly broken creatures against the scariest and most incomprehensible threats imaginable. And some even beyond imagination. The freakiest foes include the Scissormen, “fictional” monsters who literally cut people out of reality, and the Brotherhood of Dada, who wage war on reason itself.



This series has gone through many iterations, but the era that’s perhaps easiest to adapt involves Spider-Man’s arch nemesis, Norman “the Green Goblin” Osborn, leading a black ops team of conscripted super-villains for the government. It’s a bit like Suicide Squad, albeit with even more intense heavies who are even harder to control. Master marksman Bullseye has to be stopped from just randomly killing bystanders during missions, Penace’s self-flagelation makes him hard for Osborn to even deal with, and Venom has to be wrangled away from eating people. Role models all around.


Sony is actually on to something with an R-rated take on this anti-hero. Even books approved by the Comics Code Authority got away with stylized violence that’d be a lot tougher to stomach in live-action. And, well… Venom eats bad guys’ brains. You want to be faithful to a character who gained his powers at the lowest moment a person can sink to? You’ll really have to go whole hog.

What other Big Two characters ought to go “adults only?” Drop your recs in the comments!

Image Credits: Marvel, DC Comics

Featured Image Credits: DC Comics

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