Origin stories are one of the most vital things to a superhero tale. They help us understand who they are and why they don a costume to defend those who can’t defend themselves. In some cases, they are the moment that creates a villain, or provides an outside reason for their heroic status. One of the most iconic introductions to a superhero, is the radioactive spider biting Peter Parker before Uncle Ben dies in a mugging. Even though it’s the spider that gives him the powers, it’s Uncle Ben’s death that spurs him on to wear that iconic red and blue costume (or pyjamas, as Tony Stark calls them).
Although we’ve seen plenty of live action origins, Hollywood is learning how to change them up — Deadpool did a great job of a grittier start. Some origin accidents are gross, horrific and sometimes tragic before a hero emerge. Peter’s transformation isn’t the most disgusting of origin stories, a simple spider bite and a long sleep gives him those powers. Some heroes have been blown to smithereens, burnt alive, murdered and even sent to hell before gaining the ability to fight evil. In our list, we’ve examined 15 of the most gruesome accidents that have led to super powers.
15. IRON MAN
One of the world’s most popular superheroes, Iron Man has been immortalized onscreen thanks to Robert Downey Jr. In the comics, his origin is only slightly different to the MCU’s version. In Tales of Suspense #39 A terrorist called Wong-Chu keeps Stark captive after he activates a booby trap. The trap exploded, flinging shrapnel into Tony’s chest. In captivity, Stark would’ve been killed slowly and painfully as the shrapnel travelled closer and closer to his heart.
He built a suit of armor under the guise of creating weapons for the terrorists. The magnetic plate in the armor kept the shrapnel away from Tony’s heart and would help him escape. His escape still cost the life of his friend and fellow inventor, Ho Yinsen. So whilst both the shrapnel and the terrorists nearly killed him, an idea was sparked that turned Tony Stark into Iron Man.