41 Responses

  1. Bill
    Bill at |

    Nerdbaiting at its finest.

    1. TopTenz Master
      TopTenz Master at |

      Hey, we aren’t nerds. We are geeks!

    2. Brady Dale
      Brady Dale at |

      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.

      1. Batfan
        Batfan at |

        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.

    3. JunkFX
      JunkFX at |

      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.

  2. Little_Sam
    Little_Sam at |

    What, no “Death of Superman”?!?! The “Death of Superman” should be on this list somewhere!! Enough said.

    1. Tom
      Tom at |

      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. Lucas L
        Lucas L at |


        1. Tom
          Tom at |

          Pshaw! Details…

          In all seriousness, though, since I posted that Max Landis, director of Chronicle, did an outstanding review of The Death of Superman which has caused me to re-think my stance on the whole issue:


          It is a fantastically funny and insightful review of not only the series but also on the long term impact the event had on the comic industry as a whole.

        2. Lucas L
          Lucas L at |

          Max Landis is the writer not the director. Josh Trank directed.

  3. Golden Arms
    Golden Arms at |

    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.

    1. Nathanael Hood
      Nathanael Hood at |

      Oh, why thank you very much. Always appreciate compliments concerning my work!

      1. TopTenz Master
        TopTenz Master at |

        Don’t let the critics get you down!

        On a side note: I also enjoyed your review of Dogma. Insightful as always – http://www.forgottenclassicsofyesteryear.blogspot.com/2011/11/dogma.html

        1. Nathanael Hood
          Nathanael Hood at |

          Oh, wow, you read my blog? I’m flattered! Thank you! And trust me, I’ve put up with much worse criticism in the past.

    2. Tom
      Tom at |

      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”.

      1. Gerardo
        Gerardo at |

        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!”

        1. Tom
          Tom at |

          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.

      2. Lyson Smith
        Lyson Smith at |

        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

  4. jake
    jake at |

    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

  5. Brandon
    Brandon at |

    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.

    1. Gerardo
      Gerardo at |

      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.

  6. Gerardo
    Gerardo at |

    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.

  7. devis
    devis at |

    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.

  8. Dhaise
    Dhaise at |

    #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.

    1. John
      John at |

      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* 🙂

  9. Arnon
    Arnon at |

    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.

  10. Athos
    Athos at |

    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)

  11. nathan
    nathan at |

    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.

  12. Stuart
    Stuart at |

    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.

  13. DJM
    DJM at |

    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.

  14. Mike
    Mike at |

    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.

  15. Rob
    Rob at |

    Nice list. If you’d replace Emerald Twilight for Rise Of Arsenal, it would probably be a list Linkara himself would make.

  16. NYJ
    NYJ at |

    #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

  17. ST
    ST at |

    >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.

  18. JJ
    JJ at |

    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.

  19. John
    John at |

    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.

  20. dregj
    dregj at |

    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

  21. Ashmic
    Ashmic at |

    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.

  22. me
    me at |

    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.

  23. Fred Dourif
    Fred Dourif at |

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

  24. Daniel Bader
    Daniel Bader at |

    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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