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DC Comics, Inc. is an American comic book publisher. It is the publishing unit of DC Entertainment, a subsidiary of the Warner Bros. Global Brands and Experiences division of Warner Bros., a subsidiary of AT&T's WarnerMedia. DC Comics is one of the largest and oldest American comic book companies. The majority of its publications take place within the fictional DC Universe and feature numerous culturally iconic heroic characters, such as Batman, Superman, Wonder Woman, and The Flash. The universe also features well-known supervillains who oppose the superheroes such as The Joker and Lex Luthor. The company has published non-DC Universe-related material, including Watchmen, V for Vendetta, Fables, and many titles under their alternative imprint Vertigo.

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.

NATHANAEL ranked The Top 10 Worst Moments in DC Comics for the Blog TOP TENZ:

10. Superman Makes an Adult Film with Big Barda 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.

9. 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. Afterward, 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 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, has 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 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 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?

5. 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.

4. 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 is worth reading by anyone interested in comics. However, their 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 to 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 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.

2. 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 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.


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