In She-Hulk: Attorney At Law, New York attorney Jennifer Walters, aka She-Hulk, kicks off events by breaking the fourth wall and narrating to viewers the events that led her to acquire her powers. It’s something she often does in Marvel Comics too.
The ability of a character to be aware of the fact that they are fictional is indeed impressive but isn’t something that’s exclusive to Jennifer Walters. Several other Marvel and DC superheroes and supervillains communicate with readers and viewers or acknowledge their existence.SCREENRANT VIDEO OF THE DAY
Buddy Baker (Animal Man)
Animal Man is currently one of the DC characters stuck in Limbo (a fictional place where underused DC characters live and lament about their state) but decades ago, he was widely popular. In Animal Man #26, Buddy breaks the fourth wall and begs comic writer Grant Morrison to reunite him with his family.
The conversation between the two is a touching one as for the first time, a comic writer gets to explain to a comic character why he gives him specific arcs. Grant is able to provide a commentary in general, revealing his own frustrations regarding the violent nature of comic books. After both of them rope each other into their beliefs, Grant agrees to reunite Buddy with his family.
Wade Wilson (Deadpool)
One of the most powerful Marvel mutants, Wade Wilson has been a key character on the pages and on screen. In Deadpool’s Secret Wars #4, Wilson becomes aware that he is a comic book character after he is taken to the Foundation of Reality by the Beyonder.
One of the reasons Deadpool has become widely popular is because of the comic relief he offers. And all that wouldn’t have happened if the fourth wall storyline hadn’t been introduced. Initially, Deadpool was a stern and vicious killer, similar to Deathstroke, the DC character he is allegedly modeled after. In the comics, his awareness of the fourth wall tends to help him tolerate hardships much easier since he always consoles himself that none of it is real.
The Imp, who appears severally in the comics, idolizes Batman though he always finds it fun to bother him. However, the comic version of the character doesn’t break the fourth wall. It’s the one that appears Batman: The Brave & the Bold that does.
Even though he is a nuisance, Bat-Mite’s presence in the series benefits Batman greatly. This is because he is able to predict his future to him. This is something he knows from reading the Batman comic books yet the Caped Crusader isn’t aware that comic books exist. Bat-Mite is a source of humor too since he always makes fun of viewers.
Gwendolyn Poole (Gwenpool)
Initially, a Deadpool fan keen on cosplaying the antihero, Gwendolyn decides to become a vigilante. In Gwenpool Special #1, she becomes aware that she is a comic book character like her idol.
The most interesting thing about Gwenpool’s fourth wall awareness is that she is able to come out of panels and read her own stories. Whenever she senses her story is about to come to an end, she puts on an act to make her storyline run longer so that she can stay relevant.
One of the greatest Batman villains ends up breaking the fourth wall while dealing with Superman. In Superman (Vol 2) #16, which is part of the Emperor Joker storyline, the villain reaches out to turn the pages as he explains his mega plans.
It’s smart of the writers to make the Joker seem so enthusiastic about the mayhem he is going to cause that he is willing to turn the pages so that readers can know about the next phase. And it doesn’t end there. In one of his most bizarre moments, he gets to argue with the readers as he constantly insists that they are the ones who are fictional.
Superboy-Boy prime is best known for setting the Crisis on Infinite Earths events in motion. After trying to establish himself as DC’s only Superman in DC Comics Presents #87, he is sent to Earth-Prime, where superheroes only exist in comic books.
Being the only superhero in a world where such characters only exist in the comic books paves way for the villainous Superboy-Prime to perform all kinds of ridiculous acts He insults readers and even attacks DC headquarters, halting the production of comic books. Moreover, the arguments with writers never cease.
Irwin Schwab (Ambush Bug)
Irwin appears in many Silver Age DC comics as a supporting character. In Countdown to Final Crisis #32, he starts talking to readers and writers.
Like Animal Man, Ambush Bug always helps the readers understand the writers’ motivations since he is always questioning them about plot directions. And it’s always fun watching him get frustrated whenever the writers ignore him.
Howard The Duck
Howard is a resident of Earth-791021, also known as Duckworld. Known for his high cosmic awareness, he starts breaking the fourth wall in Fear #19.
Howard’s wall-breaking abilities make sense since he has an adventurous character who enjoys moving from one dimension to another. And the best part is that he is never too keen about bumping into readers since he believes his kind isn’t treated too well on Earth-616.
Together with She-Hulk, Wyatt forms one of the fan-favorite Marvel comic couples. He breaks the fourth wall once in Sensational She-Hulk #60 where he expresses his desire to stop accompanying her on missions and build a life for himself, only for him to learn that her comic series has been canceled.
It’s a surprise when Wyatt breaks the fourth wall but it all makes sense since it happens when he’s with someone that does that quite regularly. It’s heartwarming to see him play his caring partner role and urge writers to reconsider ending his lover’s comic run.
One of the best Superman villains, Mr. Mxyzptlk, mostly appears in the Golden and Silver ages of comic books. He is seen interacting with the fourth wall, right from his debut in Superman #30.
Like Bat-Mite, Mr. Mxyzptlk thrives on goofiness. He, therefore, torments Superman in the same way Bat-Mite does. And he does even better by retconning storylines whenever Superman is having the time of his life, just to frustrate him.