6 of the Worst Comic Book Events of the Modern Age

The Clone Saga
The Spider-man story arc known as The Clone Saga is partly responsible for Spideys drop in popularity in 90s. The reason for this is that it’s almost to confusing to sort out. So let me try: In the 70s, Peter Parker was cloned by one of his professors who was the supervillain, the Jackal. Spidey fought the clone and won, leaving the clone seemingly dead under a pile of bricks. Twenty years later, the clone returns under the name Ben Reilly. Initially he fights crime alongside Peter as the Scarlet Spider. It is later revealed that Ben is the original and Peter decides to give up crime fighting to focus on his family life. I gave up on Marvel at this point and so did so many others. I’ve heard that the Brand New Day storyline is worse, but I still haven’t forgiven Marvel for The Clone Saga so if you have a copy of Brand New Day lying around, I’d read it, but I refuse to pay for it. Fool me once…

Image Comics
Image Comics started as a pretty good idea. Seven of the best creators broke off from Marvel to strike out on their own to be their own men and publish what they wanted, how they wanted. The idea worked out pretty good to, on paper. What comic book readers got was infuriating and terrible to say the least. The Image Seven let their egos get in the way and dropped insignificant things like writers and editors from their equation. Due to these missing factors every book was late for months on end, riddled with typos and nearly broke the back of the comic book industry. Marvel and DC were forced to follow suit and some of the worst comics of any era were produced during this period due to Image Comics.

Image Comics also gave us the comic genius of superhero humorist Rob Liefeld, who will be remembered as one of the greatest satirists of this age of comic books. At least I’m pretty sure that his body of work is a joke, comics as bad as his can’t be unintentional.

Image has cleaned up their act for the most part and are putting out some decent material on a reasonable timetable these days, even though The Walking Dead is exactly that these days.

The Dark Knight Strikes Again
Frank Miller’s neurosis began to show when he wrote this one. Homophobic, poorly drawn and just as poorly thought out, it was Kingdom Come as told by a drunken hillbilly. To quote Forest Gump, “That’s all I have to say about that.”

Just Imagine Stan Lee Creating the DC Universe
I’d like to imagine that this series of one shots didn’t happen. It has been said that much of the magic cast by Stan the Man back in the early days of the Silver Age was due, in part, to his association with Jack “King” Kirby. Reading these comics lends credence to that theory. I only have one trade, but he manages to ruin Superman, Batman, Wonder Woman and Green Lantern in it with absolutely none of the Marvel Magic. They were somehow connected from what I understand, but I couldn’t bring myself to finish any of the stories. I gave the trade to a friend of mine who is a big Marvel fan. He gave it back to a week later.

Or maybe Stan trolled DC…

The series was part of a bet by the higher ups at Marvel. I read it, I didn’t understand it, it’s that much of a mess. I’m pretty sure it’s a jab at DC. If you can explain it, please let me know.

Final Crisis
Remember the good old days when an event was self contained? Grant Morrison and Dan Didio don’t. Seven issues to tell a story that doesn’t make sense, twenty more issues in minis and one shots, two thirds of them had no had no right being part of the narrative and guess what? It’s still going on, even after the main title ended. You see there are still two issues of Legion of Three World that haven’t been published yet. This event was supposed to end in seven months. Those seven months started twelve months ago.

Remember when an event made a nominal amount of sense? Grant Morrison and Dan Didio don’t. Final Crisis doesn’t make that much sense even after multiple read throughs. I’ve read interpretations of it that it’s a musing on the nature of the story, and I can see where some of that fits in, but it doesn’t work because the story itself is bad. Supposedly this is the series where Batman died, but didn’t. It’s also one of DC’s non-events in that none of the books are acknowledging it outside of the Bat books, and they’re only doing it is because Morrison painted them into a corner.

Seems like DCs crises are following a pattern similar to the Star Trek movies, albeit in reverse. Crisis on Infinite Earths worked, Zero Hour didn’t, Infinite Crisis worked, Final Crisis didn’t. Expect the next Crisis to stick to the wall.

If you have a better list of bad comic book events, or a bone to pick then tell us! The comment box is down below. Feel free to tell us how wrong or how right we are.
[tags]Comic Books, Marvel, DC, Stan Lee, Dark Knight Strikes again, Spider-man, Final Crisis, Batman, Image Comics, Marville[/tags]

2 thoughts on “6 of the Worst Comic Book Events of the Modern Age

Add yours

  1. Clone Wars was TERRIBLE. Brand New Day, however, has completely re-kindled my love of Spidey. They’ve gotten back to wisecracks and beatdowns and Parker’s ongoing soap opera, which is what we all want.

    I was skeptical they “reset” the continuity, but now it’s looking like they have had a resolution for that up their sleeve toos, for instance in a recent issue the FF4 suddenly realized they HAD seen Spidey with his mask off before and I’m anxious to see where that goes…


  2. We’ll really have to agree to disagree about DK2. I can see how many might find it difficult, messy, and hard to follow, but I found it to be brilliant and inspired and I would be hard pressed to decide which of the two DKs were my favorite. The story in the first one was clear and straightforward and redefined what the genere could become, but the art and the compexity of the second one was really stunning as well.

    I felt Frank Miller’s graphic style of DK2 was very intentionally raw, sketchy and almost graffiti-esque to match the rawness of the story. At times it was more impressionistic than representational. Lynn Varley’s color work really stood out as well with vibrancy and a clear counterpoint to the messy, sketchy penwork. The characters were old, ugly, beaten down in various ways by the story, by their lives and the graphics reflected that quite well.

    The story was very complex and challenging, but some of the moments were among the most memorable in all of comics for me. The flash being imprisoned and forced to run in a hamster wheel to power the east coast, Superman and WonderWoman and their Superchild Laura who rescues the remaining Kryptonians in Kandor, Lex Luthor opting to control the superheroes (instead of killing them) through the use of brilliant psychological levers, the CG digital President of the United States, the raw insanity of Plastic Man, the death of Captain Marvel, the final battle and beheading of Dick Grayson by Batman and the resulting total destruction of the Bat Cave and all of Batman’s mementos, so many memorable moments…

    Was it simple and straightforward? No. The story was considerably different from DK1 and quite a bit more complex and thought provoking. There were many interesting story aspects and compexity is something I highly value. It was definitely an ending; a finale of sorts for Frank Miller.

    I don’t recall anything that stood out as particularly homophobic and a quick rescan didn’t bring anything new to light. There was a mention of a pundit being from San Francisco, but I interpreted the character to be an intellectual, rather than any kind of gay stereotype. There was certainly a lot of raw sexuality projected into the society and media in general and most (if not all) of that seemed to be of the hetero persuasion. I don’t doubt that such a tone may have been expressed by one or more of the characters though. There were a lot of viewpoints presented in the media pundit segments.

    All in all, definitely in my top 5 comic stories of all time, but I certainly can understand why people might have differing opinions on it.


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