Saturday Morning Underrated Comics– Sin Eater

There were several incarnations of him, but to me the best is the first: Stanley Carter, a SHIELD agent-turned-NYPD detective (in and of itself pretty cool).

After a series of psychochemical experiments performed on him during his espionage days, he has a psychotic break (which eventually becomes a dissociative split) and goes on a murder spree, technically becoming what the FBI might term a mission-oriented serial killer, ridding the streets of “sinners” like corrupt judges and reporters.

The sin eater was so wicked that even the happy-go-lucky Spider Man eventually lost his shit and crippled Carter. I remember reading that scene when I was in middle school, and just lost it: I was, to use the overused term, shocked.

The sin eater fascinated and scared me, and I didn’t even know at the time that his name came from an actual custom. He’s probably part of the reason I have the career I do.

The greatest aspect of the sin eater to me is his potential: against super heroes, he’s pretty much eclipsed by them– he’s a “perfect human specimen” (after the SHIELD experiments) with a mask and a sawed-off shotgun. Not really that super, in comparison.

But in a more realistic context, like say Frank Miller’s worlds, or Brian Azzarello’s 100 Bullets, a man who can lift 800 pounds, heals quickly, carries a shotgun and is bug-fuck nuts would be goddamned terrifying.

UPDATE, 3/16/12: Check out Topless Robot’s take on this story line. (It’s number 6.)

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