Top 10 Worst Moments in DC Comics

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This list is in response to my Top Ten Worst Moments in Marvel Comics that I published a few months ago.  In due fairness, here is a list of the Top Ten Worst Moments in DC Comics.  Originally founded in 1934 as National Allied Publications, DC Comics has grown into one of the two biggest comic book companies in America.  They are the home of such flagship characters as Superman, Batman, Wonder Woman, and the Justice League.  Despite their enormous success, they have had their fair share of horrible moments.  This list examines ten of the very worst things to ever happen in DC Comics.  This list is arranged in chronological order of when each event was originally released.

10. Superman Makes a Adult Film with Big Barda

Action Comics #592 – 593 (September 1987 – October 1987)

action-comics-593

Yes, you read that right.  Superman once starred in an adult film.  To kick off this list, we feature one of the most notorious stories to ever star DC’s most famous character, Superman.  The story also involves characters from legendary comic book artist Jack Kirby’s 4th World Saga. Chief among them is Big Barda, a New God from the planet Apokolips.  She was trained from a young age to be a fierce warrior for Darkseid, the evil despot ruler of the planet.  However, she escaped after falling in love with another New God, Mister Miracle, a master escape artist.  Big Barda was a rough and tough heroine who wore the proverbial pants in her relationship with Mister Miracle.  She was fiercely loyal and protective of her husband.

superman-porn

However, in John Byrne’s otherwise stellar run on Action Comics, she was hypnotized and forced into doing a adult film by a villain appropriately known as Sleez.  Her partner?  None other than the Man of Steel himself.  Of course, the story goes that Superman woke up from his hypnosis before he could do the deed.  But the damage was done.  Superman, the paradigm of everything good and decent, and Big Barda, one of the toughest and most competent female characters in comics, were adult film stars.  Jack Kirby, the creator of Big Barda, particularly hated the story.  That might have something to do with the fact that he modeled her personality after his own wife.  Keep it classy, John Byrne.

9. Emerald Twilight

Green Lantern vol. 3, #48-50 (January 1994 – March 1994)

emerald twilight

By the mid 90s, Hal Jordan, the second Green Lantern (and by far the most well-known), had fallen out of favor with DC’s brass.  They decided that it was time to retire Hal in order for another new character, Kyle Rayner, to take his place.  So how did DC decide to end the career of one of their most beloved heroes?  By turning him into a genocidal villain.  As part of the “Reign of the Superman” storyline which occurred after the highly publicized death of Superman, Hal’s home of Coast City was completely destroyed by the villains Mongul and Cyborg Superman.  As a result, the city was demolished and its seven million inhabitants killed.  This turn of events made Hal go completely insane.  He believed that if he could steal all of the Main Power Battery’s energy, the source of the Green Lantern rings, he could permanently rebuild Coast City.  To do so, he killed all of the remainder of the Green Lantern Corps and the villain Sinestro.  Afterwards, he became the villain Parallax.  To DC’s credit, they later redeemed Hal by having him sacrifice his life to restart the Sun during The Final Night storyline and revealing that his madness had been caused by being possessed by an entity made of fear.  Hal would later go on to reform the Green Lantern Corps thanks to the expert guidance of writer Geoff Johns.  But Emerald Twilight, the three issues where Hal went insane and killed the old Corps, remains a black spot on DC’s legacy.

8. Superman: At Earth’s End

Superman: At Earth’s End Original Graphic Novel (1995)

superman at earths end

Superman: At Earth’s End is a one-shot Elseworlds story that takes place outside of established DC Comics canon.  It is a sequel to a miniseries which was in and of itself a spin off of the DC Comics series Kamandi, a story about a young hero in a post-apocalyptic future ruled by hyper-evolved animals.  Even better, originally Kamandi was created after DC Comics was unable to secure the rights to the Planet of the Apes franchise.  So, Superman: At Earth’s End is a sequel to a spinoff based on a rip-off.  Trust me, the story is even stupider than it sounds.

To keep things simple, Superman is stranded in a post-apocalyptic future where an evil organization called the DNA Diktators, led by the twin clones of Adolf Hitler, have stolen Bruce Wayne’s body in an attempt to create a mutated Batman-creature.  To stop them, Superman shoots the Hitlers with a quadruple chaingun called the “Expunger,” one of the most ridiculous and implausible weapons ever created.  It’s a poorly written, terribly executed piece of drivel that has Superman acting completely out of character.  Even worse, it makes almost no sense.  Even though it isn’t official DC Comics canon, it is still one of the worst stories to ever feature Superman.

7. The Dark Knight Strikes Again

The Dark Knight Strikes Again #1-3 (November 2001 – July 2002)

The Dark Knight Strikes Again

Frank Miller’s Batman: The Dark Knight Returns helped revive the flagging comic book industry of the late 80s with its gripping storytelling and innovative take on the character.  In it, an aged and retired Bruce Wayne is forced to take up the cowl again against a series of evils plaguing Gotham City.  To this day, it is considered one of the greatest graphic novels in history.  So, it was inevitable that a sequel would be written.  What nobody could predict was how indescribably bad it would be.  First off, the art is atrocious.  Frank Miller is usually a very competent artist.  But here, his art just looks ugly.  But even bad art can be forgiven for a good story.  Too bad The Dark Knight Strikes Again is also incredibly poorly written.  In the first book, Batman was a grizzled and cynical loner.  In The Dark Knight Strikes Again he comes off like a hate-filled madman.  Not to mention that the comic barely features him.  Miller takes more time focusing on Superman, Wonder Woman, and the other members of the Justice League than he does on the book’s signature character!  The first book was revolutionary.  This book comes off as immature, sexist, and blatantly disrespectful towards all of its characters and their legacies.

6. Identity Crisis

Identity Crisis #1-7 (June 2004 – December 2004)

Identity Crisis

During the mid 2000s, DC hit quite a few bumps in the road in terms of major events and crossovers.  By that I mean that they were almost exclusively terrible and insulting.  One of the best examples was Identity Crisis.  It was a disaster of an event.  To truly understand the travesty that is Identity Crisis, you need to know who the Dibneys were.  Ralph Dibny was a superhero called The Elongated Man who could stretch and shape his body however he wanted.  However, he was best known for his great detective work.  He was married to Sue Dibny.  Even though she didn’t have any powers, she was a beloved member of the superhero community.  The two were a breath of fresh air in comics: a happy, devoted married couple who were always cheerful even when things got tough.  They were both cheerleaders and proud members of the Justice League as well as perennial fan favorites.  So what does Identity Crisis do?

It starts with Sue being brutally murdered and and her corpse burnt to a crisp.  If that wasn’t bad enough, it is revealed that Doctor Light, a cheesy villain who regularly fought the Teen Titans, had once raped her on the JLA satellite.  To make matters even worse, the sorceress Zatanna mind-wiped Doctor Light and changed his personality, basically the equivalent of a full frontal lobotomy.  Then, she turned around and mind-wiped Batman to prevent him from protesting her actions.  But it still gets worse.  The series thought it alright to randomly kill off the superhero Firestorm and Tim Drake’s (Robin’s) father.  It was a mean, ugly, unpleasant series that didn’t accomplish anything more than needlessly killing off several beloved characters and having all of the others act grossly out of character.

5. All-Star Batman and Robin the Boy Wonder

All-Star Batman and Robin the Boy Wonder #1-10 (September 2005 – August 2008)

All-Star Batman and Robin the Boy Wonder

Frank Miller has become something of a joke in the comic community.  He was once one of the most original and talented members of the comic book community.  As previously mentioned, his graphic novel The Dark Knight Returns is considered to be one of the definitive Batman stories.  But in the last 10-15 years, there has been a noticeable and shocking decline in the quality of his work.  In many ways, his more recent work has become a parody of his earlier work.  This can be seen The Dark Knight Strikes Again and in a more recent Batman series: All-Star Batman and Robin the Boy Wonder.  Part of DC’s All Star imprint, a series of comic books meant to pair off some of the best comic creators with iconic characters in order to produce new interpretations that can both appeal to old fans and new readers, the story is a retelling of the origin of Batman’s sidekick, Robin (Dick Grayson).  The problem is that Batman is depicted as a criminally violent sociopath.  He kills criminals, assaults Dick Grayson, and forces him to hunt for cave vermin for food.

In the comic’s most infamous moment, Batman introduces himself to Robin by saying, “What are you dense?  Are you retarded or something?  Who the hell do you think I am?  I’m the goddamn Batman.”  The entire series has been decried for terrible characterization, sub-par writing, and an inconsistent release schedule to boot.

4. Amazons Attack!

Amazons Attack! #1-6 (March 2007 – August 2007)

Amazons Attack

Even though she is both a feminist icon and one of DC’s flagship heroes, few superheroes have endured more bad writing, editorial decisions, and mishandling than Wonder Woman.  The principle problem is DC can never seem to figure out what to do with her character.  Sometimes she’s a warrior, sometimes a Greek God, sometimes an ambassador, and sometimes *shiver* a sexy secret agent.  Almost every new writer assigned to Wonder Woman has the bad habit of wiping away her entire past and supporting casts in order to “revamp” the character.  Sometimes it works.  George Pérez, Greg Rucka, and Gail Simone have all done magnificent runs on the character that are worth reading by anyone interested in comics.  However, there contributions to the character have been largely ignored or thrown away by subsequent writers and editors.  The worst crime against Wonder Woman is the 2007 event Amazons Attack!  The plot behind this series is complex, convoluted, and incredibly stupid.  But to summarize, the Amazons, the race of women-warriors that Wonder Woman belongs to, attack Washington D.C. in response for her illegal detention on the part of the US government.  The story was a complete debacle.  It was overly violent (in one scene the Amazons kill unarmed children) and nonsensical.  The Amazons are able to take down fighter jets with regular bows and arrows!  But one of the worst parts is that Wonder Woman barely appears in the entire event!  The whole thing was being advertised as a massive Wonder Woman event…but she only appears for a few pages!  This entire mess of an event is seen as the low point of Wonder Woman’s career.  It was so bad that many fans literally mailed their copies to DC Comics editors.  These six comics almost literally destroyed one of the most famous comic book characters in history.

3. Countdown to Final Crisis

Countdown #1 – 51, DC Universe #0 (May 2007 – April 2008)

countdown

Countdown to Final Crisis in many ways represents everything wrong with the comic book industry these days: editors acting as writers, convoluted and non-self contained stories, and, of course, bad writing.  Countdown to Final Crisis was a 51 part series that was released one issue per week for an entire year.  During that year, it crossed over with many other DC titles and set the stage for Final Crisis, the next large DC event.  The problem was that it was a travesty.  Essentially, the multiple writers of Countdown to Final Crisis had their hands tied and were forced to make changes to the story at the whims of DC Editor-in-Chief Dan Didio.  Characters were killed off at random, the story made no sense unless you read EVERY SINGLE tie-in (of which there were many), and it was generally inaccessible for people who did not have an encyclopedic knowledge of the DC universe and their characters.  I couldn’t explain everything wrong with this series if I wanted to.

For a more detailed breakdown, check out Linkara’s three part video review of Countdown to Final Crisis.  The link to the first video is given below:

 2. Final Crisis

Final Crisis #1-7 (July 2008 – March 2009)

Final Crisis

Now, I’ll be fair: Final Crisis is an incredibly controversial event that splits DC’s fanbase in two.  Some people hate it.  Others think that it’s one of the greatest comics ever written.  The reason is that Final Crisis is one of the most confusing and opaque events ever written.  It involves the evil New God Darkseid’s attempt to conquer reality.  But to those who aren’t an expert on DC Comics, reading it is like trying to read a foreign language for the first time.  It is incredibly complex and occasionally frustrating even to experienced readers.  As I mentioned, to those who know the history, know the characters, and can parse writer Grant Morrison’s unusual storytelling, Final Crisis is highly lauded.  However, because of its complexity, Final Crisis alienated many DC fans and casual comic readers to the point that many see it as one of the worst things DC Comics has ever published.

1. Justice League: Cry for Justice

Justice League: Cry for Justice #1-7 (September 2009 – April 2010)

cry for justice

One of the biggest criticisms of the comic industry is the frequency with which characters are killed off and brought back to life.  It happens so often that nowadays killing off comic book characters seems like an exploitative and cheap way to attract readers and boost sales.   One of the worst offenders of this trope is the recent limited series Justice League: Cry for Justice.  The series depicts the Justice League, still suffering from the deaths of Batman and Martian Manhunter as a result of Final Crisis, fighting against a plot that would lead to the destruction of several cities.  They are able to stop most of the bombs, except for one.  The resulting explosion destroys Star City, the home base of Green Arrow.  The explosion killed millions, including, to the shock, horror, and disgust of fans, Lian Harper, the Red Arrow’s daughter.  It was a cruel, unnecessary turn of events that was played for shock value.  Red Arrow would become so distraught that he would go insane.  This was documented in the equally terrible Justice League: The Rise of Arsenal.  But as it stands, Justice League: Cry for Justice was a mean-spirited event that killed off many beloved characters as a ploy to sell more comics.

Bonus

DCnU Reboot

Editor’s Note: This list was submitted before the reboot, which has now taken place.

Recently, DC Comics has announced in the wake of their Flashpoint crossover event that they are going to completely revamp and reboot their universe and continuity.  As part of the reboot, they are going to be releasing 52 brand new number #1s in an attempt to gain new readers and give the waning comic book industry a much needed boost.  Many readers are outraged at DC’s reboot, as it is erasing many key events, characters, and series that were fan favorites.  I have included the DCnU reboot as a bonus on this list due to their complaints.  However, I hesitate from adding them to the official list.  This isn’t the first time that DC Comics has rebooted their universe.  They did the exact same thing in 1985 with their series Crisis on Infinite Earths.  The results were astonishing.  It effectively ended the Silver Age of comics and started the Modern Age as well as bringing in troves of new readers.  The universe reboot from Crisis on Infinity Earths was a success, so there is a distinct possibility that DC may catch lightning in a bottle a second time with the DCnU reboot.  It is too early to see if it will work or be a failure.  However, comic book retailers are reporting record sales after the very first week of the reboot.  Only time will tell if DC’s gamble will fall flat or pay off.


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42 Comments

    • God.
      No kidding.

      IDENITITY CRISIS is one of the best books I’ve ever read, precisely because it kills off “beloved characters.” The worst thing about comics fans is their fear of change. The truth is, nothing is ever really at stake in comics so long as someone out there likes a property, which gives the whole enterprise a certain blandness.

      IDENTITY CRISIS brought a paperback novelists vicious service of pure story to comics, where it was really needed.

      • Identity Crisis was a complete failure on several levels. The absolute most glaring was Batman, the worlds greatest detective, doesn’t check phone records to see who called Sue? Laughable.

    • That’s funny that Identity Crisis was taken so poorly by the fans. It’s the only story from the DC universe that I didn’t absolutely loathe. I remember reading all the way to the end and just feeling this rush that DC might actually have compelling and interesting story telling and then after reading a few more books I gave up on that hope. Identity Crisis will always remain one of my favorite super hero books.

    • I respectfully disagree. The Death of Superman saga created Steel and Superboy so some serious good came of it. And it was handled in a truly epic manner, a story that lasted at least a year. In an era where Event comics do not have a lasting impact The Death of Superman did produce some lasting changes in the franchise by including the two aforementioned characters.

  1. Utter tripe from someone who obviously doesn’t realize the importance of story arcs or of comics in general. If you haven’t read the Marvel list, don’t waste your time. Just more impotent nerd rage.

    • Which ones did you disagree with? are you a fan of Frank Miller? Because the two stories mentioned are among his worst work (and joy, we get to add Holy Terror to that list now). These are some excellent examples of DC at it’s worst. Hal Jordan becoming a mass murderer? There had to be better ways to retire the character and bring in Kyle, like maybe Hal going out a hero rather than being made into one of the lamest villains in DC history.

      I especially agree with the Final Crisis entry. People can say all they want about Grant Morrison being the god king of comicdom, but the guy sometimes has his duds and I found the series lackluster, especially after years of being inundated with event comics that were supposed to change the landscape of the DCU “forever”.

      • Your opinion is highly biased, DK2 was a good Book, Parallax worked for Zero Hour (though that dont redeem Emerald Twilight as a book) and wasnt lamest, he was the “anti-monitor” of Zero Hour.

        Final Crisis you love It or Hate It, and that is not something anyone can achive, so to dismiss It you have to dismiss everyone who actually loved It, and that is too many and different people.

        And Im sure Identity Crisis could have been great if It had original characters instead of DC’s, readers cant go beyond the whole “oh no! They killed Sue Dbny!”

        • I think Linkara at Atop the 4th Wall summed up things nicely where DK2 is concerned so I will not rehash the issues. And I fail to see how you can call me biased when I did not say I hated Frank Miller. I simply said these works were among his worst. If someone made a list of some of the best DC had to offer I would say DK and Batman, Year One are some of the best stories, period. Miller was a good writer at one time but the man lost the touch at least a decade ago and is now a joke.

          Final Crisis. I choose to hate it, that does not mean I am dismissive of the people who loved it. It is a matter of personal taste.

      • I have to say that I thnk Hal Jordan’s actions that lead to him becoming a mass murderer were one of the most interesting things I’ve read. I’ll be honest and say I don’t remember the full comic, I only had the chance to read it once. But I loved it. I’ll admit the fact that I wasn’t enamored with Hal Jordan when I read it probably allowed me to look at it in a light that his fans didn’t But from my perspective, Jordan’s actions made sense. It wasn’t that he wasn’t able to rebuild his home. It was that he was. For just a brief moment, able to bring back the ones he loved. Only to have them snatched away because the battery failed. His ring failed him. So lets look at this

        He loses the people he loves, twice, he’s unable to protect them, he can save millions of lifes, but the ones closest to him are forefeit, his ring failed him, twice. And if I remember the book correctly, he didn’t go straight to mass murder. He actually tried to get the guardians to give him more power and was refused, rightfully so I imagine. So after everything he’s done for the world, his ring fails him, the people who gave him his power fails him, and he’s alone and broken. How do you not get pushed to the edge by that? How do you not break. In fact, finding out “Oh that wasn’t really Jordan” kind of annoys me.

        I’ll state that I don’t know if I caught all of that saga. It’s been awhile since I read it, as I mentioned

  2. I think it was a great list
    more of marvel fan
    but it’s fun to read the bad of both.
    ^Also the guy who was complaining about “Story Arcs” probably thought Civil War and Every Crisis ever are the most important comics to date.
    We all know the best stuff involved less wonky arcs and tighter plots with less rapid fire character derailment

  3. I have to disagree with your summary of identity Crisis. You left out numerous plot facts in your summary and made the story seem like it was merely about senseless murder.

    The entire point of the story is about touching on the idea of superheros protecting their loved ones and the sort of things that villains would do to obtain revenge. You see a side of the JLA that has never been exposed previously, a dark menacing anger and a sudden fear that those they love may be next.

    • But as Morrison said once, killing a character just ends his/her story. The Dibny end in a story arc that isnt even about them, there was a Eisner story about a young freshman who brought him a plot for Spirit in wich every character dies, at the end Eisner asked “what about next week? What should I do for next week? You killed everyone!” the Freshman was angry saying “what matters?!”

      Thing is the greatest flaw of superhero comics is that they doesnt have an ending (I think It was Alan Moore who said that) so you cant kill off a character.

      Tge deaths of Barry Allen and the original Supergirl were well recibed cause they were featured in a story that was about them. The Dibny died as secondary characters, that was the tragedy.

      Identity Crisis was very good but too rushed in the deaths of characters, It could have been a Classic if featured original characters ala Watchmen. It messed with a very reactionary fandom as It is the superhero world, that was a huge mistake. Alan Moore was lucky that DC didnt allow him to use dcu characyers for Watchmen.

  4. Its hard to know when someone is making sense or just doing a fanboy ranting.

    I think the thing with hal jordan is people start to like him when he was gone, but as Parallax he was far more important that as a hero, besides Kyle Rayner was and is a huge popular character, Emeral Twilight as a story is pretty forgetable. Anyway I am a Fan of Zero Hour and that story needed a Parallax.

    DK2 is there mainly for political reasons, the story is imcredibly funny but wasnt what the fans wanted, is not as good as the first part and has splash pages that are a waste but is a good book. And Final Crisis doesnt have to be there, is not the worst moment of DC, if divided the fans then you cant just side with the ones who hated It, It doesnt belong in the list.

  5. I also hate killing off charachters only to bring them back. I do see the cross over series as useful sometimes because they allow the reader to have a glimpse of other comic books in the universe.

  6. #1- Final Crisis ultimately accomplishes nothing in the DC line. It’s a big complicated story that tentpoled all sorts of event hoopla, but doesn’t change the landscape. I can see why people hated it,but it wouldn’t personally be on my list of DC crud.

    #2- Identity Crisis was just a mean spirited hate book with bad motivation . Deathstroke is faster than the flash? Jean Loring brought a flamethrower with her ‘to scare’ her longtime friend? Don’t forget the ‘stay classy’ date tips of Dr Light and Black hand being pushed to the limelight as a result of this mini. Oh yeah, Firestorm suddenly had an ‘energy body’ that could be ruptured..magically!

    #3- Honorable mention- The Black Adam bloodbaths. Teth Adam is a great and complicated character. He was showcased in an amazing way in the Black Adam mini series that followed 52. Unfortunately by that time, many people I know got tired of seeing Black Adam in other books, where he was ripping hearts out of teen titans and poking his fingers through the eye sockets of other characters.

    #4- the Prometheus one shot. Apparently, in order to “ramp up’ prometheus as a threat for that horrible cry for justice mini, they explained that all previous loses were actually an imposter(doombot!) prometheus. Real deal shows everyone he means business by killing off a bunch of bloodlines characters. Gunfire is left without hands and anima is ripped in half. Nothing says “big threat” like snuff film style treatment on third stringers.

    I didn’t think Knightfall or the Superman events were bad, I did dislike the ‘death of green arrow’ though. Infinite crisis had a bunch of stinker moments, most of which I blame on Superboy Prime.

    • The Firestorm one made me mad more than anything else on the list. The character had been in limbo for far too long, then the Obsidian Age storyline happens, and the character is brought back and is actually being written well. A new book is scheduled to be published with a very good writer (Mike Carey). And then Identity Crisis happens and as usual, the writer does no research on the characters and we get one of the lamest deaths of one of the most powerful heroes in the DC universe!

      *rant over* 🙂

  7. I thought Cry for Justice was pretty bad until the last two pages. Seeing Green Arrow shoot a guy straight in the head was pretty badass. The whole doppelgänger Prometheus was pretty dumb, but it’s a comic book. They all do that.

    Also, Infinite Crisis and everything having to do with Superboy Prime after that point should top this list. That character, concept, and multiple story arcs concerning Superboy Prime are a wart on the face of DC comics that I would just as soon forget.

  8. I’ll agree on the majority of your reviews, DK2 and Batman and Robin were particularly abysmal (oh, Frank, Frank, Frank) and mos of the ‘Crisis’ books were big ‘event book/cash-grabs that accomplished nothing but upsetting the status quo for no reason then to upset the status quo… BUT…. Identity Crisis was beautiful. The whole point of the book was to interject a touch of ‘reality’. Someone had to die, why? because its not all kiddi-kiddie, *pow* the hero hits the badguy. (live with it, the world of comics is ‘growing up’) The Dibney’s? Beloved 80’s ‘icons’ (Icons is a HUGE stretch, no pun intended) but, again, lets be realistic, they had fallen far to the backburner as unimportant, c- or d- level characters. Rather then have them in obscurity, they are now associated in memory with a moving and provacative story. Drake’s death?… continuing the darkness and shadowy legacy of anyone associated with the Bat. (his story, and all his supporting casts story is CENTERED around tragedy, Bruce’s parents, Dick’s parents, Todd’s death, Barbara’s paralysis, etc. etc. etc.)So… someone dies… why? its called ‘TRAGEDY’. How would villians REALLY act? For years we call them villians. Depraved psychopaths. Somebody is crossing the line to rape and murder. And the heroes reaction when someone finally does… with all their power, how do they excercise it? The personal characterization and dialogue of both heroes and villians made it feel so much more about real people with real vulnerabilites. I highly reccomend you read the book again and look for the moments of character that come about due to the events.
    (SO many of the best little details and line… Ollie always referring to everyone by their NAME not codenames..Batman’s line about choosing to do what he does and when he’ll quit… Drakes desperate whisper, not as a hero in his own right but as a scared child ..’save him Bruce’…Superman’s moment with his parents… IC was an INCREDIBLY well written story in my opinion)

  9. Identity Crisis is probably my Favorite thing dc ever done period…i definitely think people need to give it another read if they really think it should be in the 10 worst moment s in dc.

  10. DK2 was so bad on so many levels. I remember it being announced and being very excited about it – I mean, who wasn’t right? And then the first issue came out and I thought “This is pretty awful really…but it’s Frank Miller, he knows what he’s doing.” the second issue then appeared and it was no better. And to make things worse, the third issue was delayed (in the Uk it was anyway) and we were left waiting on tenterhooks for what turned out to be the biggest pile of garbage in living memory.

    Well until Frank Miller’s Holy Terror. But don’t get me started on that.

    Oh, and Identity Crisis and The Elongated Man? Slayed me. Horrible horrible series.

  11. Have to agree with pretty much everything on the list except for the bonus entry because the New 52 isn’t really a single story and the books have ranged from horrible, to bad, to goood to great.

    Identity Crisis might be the worst on the list. Just poorly executed all around. Not just all the reasons you mentioned but it was clear Meltzer didn’t understand some of the characters he was writing. He clearly disliked Kyle Rayner and did everything to make the character look foolish and he presented a bronze age version of Black Canary and Zatanna ignoring the evolution of the characters in the past 20 years.

    And then there is Batman. Here is a character that has been presented as one of the smartest men on the planet and a master strategist. One of the key elements of his character is he knows how to take down his fellow heroes if they should fall under mind control or go rogue. Yet he is barely puts up a fight when then go after him. It contradicts the character’s presentation up to that point.

    There are also story elements that never pay off in the story (the Luthor armour). I know Meltzer said he wanted to leave threads for other writers to pick up, but sorry, the story should be self contained.

    Plus I know Jean Loring is “crazy” but even still, the motivation and her actions are a stretch.

  12. I don’t agree with a lot of this list. But what makes this list void is you saying Batman “kills criminals” during All Star Batman and Robin. DId you even read it or just say its bad? He never kills anyone the entire novel, he just cripples them. So just based on that, I can assume you didn’t actually read these books and your opinion is null and void.

  13. #1. Geoff Johns is given carte blanche to shape the entire DCU with his ego-driven hack fanfic. The DCU never recovered and died 9/2011

  14. >expert guidance of writer Geoff Johns

    What?, seriously, what?
    I’m no GJ hater or anything, i find him as a fairly decent writter, though extremely overrated and basically Didio’s little minion, but i enjoy some of his work, but not what he did to Hal Jordan. The whole Parallax era of Hal was WAY better than what John did to the character.

  15. It’s awesome how you think that because some people agree with you on certain points, your opinion is FACT. THIS IS GOOD, THIS IS BAD! THIS IS DIFFERENT! THIS IS TOO DARK! THIS IS INCREDIBLY STUPID!

    Your opinion on tough-to-follow storylines shines through brilliantly, but have you ever stopped to think that maybe you are just a little too simpleminded for those stories? And if so, who are you to lash out at those who enjoy them?

    Terrible, terrible review.

  16. I think the Armagedon series should be on here as well with the followups (including Zero Hour). The book managed to ruin not 1, not 2, not even 3, but 4 (at least that many) characters! Hawk and Dove was hitting its stride, Captain Atom was starting to improve as a character and a leader, Hal Jordan goes without saying. While I’ll admit there were some nice “what if” type stories (I particularly liked the Superman one where Lois died and he ended up with Maxima). Even if the story was “leaked” making the changes they did was in very poor judgement. They should’ve stuck to what they had planned and let it go from there.

  17. loved the parallax thing/ hal goes mad
    the only thing wrong is they retconned a alien possession
    element to get hal off scott free when he returns.

    there’s an awful lot of my favourite comics ever here.
    i wonder i ll be as bitter about the new 52 in a few years

  18. You forgot the most important one.
    ALL OF NEW 52
    ESPECIALLY Joker cutting off his face then strapping it back on!
    Are you kidding me?! And to put salt in the wound, he doesn’t talk in that ‘playful’ manner with batman.
    He sounds like he literally wants to do him.
    God…Idiots ruin another good story/series.

  19. Identity Crisis was a good read. All-Star Batman & Robin was a fun take on the characters. I agree with The Dark Knight Strikes Back not being good. There’s worse stories than any of these though.

  20. Wonder Woman, Aquaman, and Hawkman movies now! Cast Ryan Reynolds again in all three of them if you have to, just make them already!

  21. I have to respectfully disagree on Final Crisis. I know that it’s an incredibly difficult read, but that doesn’t make it a bad comic. In other media, we allow for difficult reads, like James Joyce’s “Ulysses”. Sure, it’s not as good as “Ulysses”, but it’s good for similar reasons. It’s hard to get, but once you get it, it’s awesome. Most people claim that Final Crisis is bad because they don’t get it. However, I’ve read almost no one who says that they get it and it’s bad.

    I think the idea that comics are bad comics because they are inaccessible buys into the idea that comics can’t really be works of art, because they are a popular medium. If we want comics to develop as an art form (and most of your examples are cases where comics pander), we need to accept the possibility that not everything written is going to be written for a popular audience.

    Lovers of Final Crisis aren’t universally a group of elitists or something, who have arcane knowledge. You don’t need arcane knowledge to read it, because two fans have done the work to annotate it (just like one would annotate any work of literature), David Uzmeri and Douglas Wolk:

    Wolk: http://finalcrisisannotations.blogspot.ca/2008/05/final-crisis-1.html
    (Since this blog won’t let me post two links, you’ll need to get to Uzmeri’s blog from Wolk’s, or just Google “funnybook Babylon final crisis”).

    Let’ s let comics become the kind of art form that can be complex. Only then can we ourselves get past the snobbery that comics can never be real art.

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