With Thor: Ragnarok, Wonder Woman, Spider-Man: Home Coming and the long awaited Justice League movie all set to hit our screens this year, 2017 looks set to be another big year for the comic book movie genre. With both the MCU and the DCEU firmly planting their universes onto the big screen and the small, it’s also a big year for the comic books that inspired these franchises.
With reboots and reimaginings of each of their universes and characters, comic books now find themselves in a position where they have to compete against themselves. Because of this, the comic books have to take risks and push their comics in new ways in order to keep up with the movies. This doesn’t always go well and can often produces storylines and characters that we all desperately want to forget. DC has certainly made some really questionable choses over the years. Here are 15 times comic book giants DC have done things that they want their fans to forget.
15. Wonder Woman The Private Eye
Our first entry on this list is a trait that comic book companies go through every decade or so and DC have probably done it more than most. In order to inject some new life into their characters (particularly Batman, Superman, the Flash, and Wonder Woman), DC constantly reinvent and reimagine these characters in different settings and situations.
Sometimes these work and the fans love them, and other times the writers quickly want you to forget their mistake. This was the case when DC tried to reinvent Wonder Woman as a private investigator. After losing a contest to Artemis to determine who was the true Wonder Woman, Diana lost this mantle and decided to move into the city and live a regular human life. She opened up a P.I. agency and the feminist icon began a short career following sleezeballs and weirdos.
14. Baby Batman
Considering that comic books, and in particular DC, have been going for many years now, we can forgive them a little for having the odd misfire when it comes to storylines. After all, when you’ve been writing stories for so many years, you’ve pretty much come up with every scenario. However, when DC came out with a story about Batman being a baby, we can’t forgive that and neither can DC as they quickly swept this one under the carpet.
This story sees The Dark Knight hit by a special ray and it turns him into a 4-year-old boy. Not only is there a string of unfunny jokes at Bat Baby’s expense, but he continues his life of crime fighting. That’s right, 4-year-old Batman keeps his costume on and beats up the criminals of Gotham City.
13. Some Of Superman’s Powers
Over the years, Superman has been held up as the pinnacle of what a superhero can be and the powers they should have. Since his first creation back in the 1930s, Superman, and in particular his powers, has been leading the way for DC comic books. However, having such a strong, powerful, and pretty much indestructible character from the beginning has caused a few problems for DC – mainly because they either have to create characters and situations that are more powerful than Superman or they mess with Superman’s powers.
Unfortunately, a lot of the times, DC are guilty of the latter. Over the years Superman’s powers have changed dramatically. He’s been normal, or at least normal by superhero standards. His powers have become so great that he’s been a god, he’s had his powers tapped, and most notably, and forgettably, he’s acquired new powers over the years. The one’s DC want you to forget and feel most embarrassed about are the times Superman could shoot rainbows from his hands and also could fire mini versions of himself from his hands as well.
12. Pregnant Power Girl
Within the universe and multiverse of DC, a few characters have had a bit of a bad time and have gone through rewrite after rewrite in order to make their characters better and fit in with the other characters more. Power Girl is one such character. She started off as an alternate version of Supergirl. She’s also been an Atlantean Princess from another reality and also neither of these and someone completely different.
Whichever version of Power Girl sits true to fans, or whatever they do to her next, the story which saw Power Girl become pregnant ranks up there as one of the most ridiculous stories DC have done. Pretty much overnight Power Girl becomes pregnant and has a baby, although she doesn’t know how or who by. Then the child is born, it grows up ridiculously fast, becomes the powerful Equinox and then is never heard of ever again. All these events are never referenced or mentioned again, not even by Power Girl who supposedly has a son out there somewhere. The whole thing was a joke to the character of Power Girl and we’re truly glad this debacle has never been mentioned again.
Speaking of characters that DC mess with and don’t know what to do with, sometimes they take existing and popular characters and mess with them, seemingly for fun. One such character was Deathwing. During the 1990s, DC tried to pump some much needed life into their failing characters and comic books so they came out with a series of overly complicated, and often silly, storylines. One such storyline saw the Teen Titans being pulled apart by future heroes.
The story is complicated and ridiculous but through a series of events, which saw both the present day and future Dick Grayson being tricked by Mirage, a shapeshifting hero who was the future version Grayson’s girlfriend, but wanted all the Graysons! The future Nightwing went a bit crazy and reinvented himself with a new costume and weapons to become Deathwing. Deathwing and Nightwing fought, Deathwing was beaten down and was never seen or heard of again.
10. Cry For Justice
Following the events of Final Crisis, which saw the apparent deaths of Batman and The Martian Manhunter, DC wanted to reignite their Justice League franchise so they came up the mini series Justice League: Cry For Justice. With Green Arrow and Green Lantern taking center stage, they try to form a new Justice League, only this time they wouldn’t save the world from danger, they would actually be more proactive and seek out justice.
The idea may have been an interesting one but the way it was done was just bad. There’s the overblown emphasis on what justice is (they actually use the word justice so many times in this comic book that the word loses all meaning!) and then there’s the ridiculous action, the failed attempt at comedy and lightheartedness, and even worse, their use of lesser superheroes such as Congorilla, Starman, and Freddie Freeman. The entire mini series had such a bad reaction with fans that the story has been wiped clean from its history. Which we are very happy about!
9. Kyle Rayner
Over the years, DC have struggled with one element of their superhero universe and that’s the Green Lantern Corp. Whether it’s in the comic books or on the movie screen, The Green Lantern is often seen as the weak link in the DC universe. We’re honestly not sure why but DC have gone out of their way over the years to inject something special into these characters. The most famous, and the best, was when Hal Jordan, following the destruction of his home town of Coast City, became possess by the evil Parallax and went on a murderous rampage through the universe.
Following the Hal Jordan/ Parallax storyline, the only surviving member of The Green Lantern Corp was Kyle Rayner. His time as a hero was short lived and all but forgotten. Well except for one thing: the time his girlfriend was killed and shoved into a fridge for Rayner to find. Because of this moment, which was just played out in order to shock fans and give The Green Lantern some grit, Rayner has become synonymous with low points within DC and a lot of them would like you to forget him completely.
8. Superman Red and Blue
As we’ve already mentioned on this list, Superman has been through a lot of redesigns and reinventions over the years. As well as his look, powers, and sometimes even origin story, Superman has changed a lot. However, most of the time DC realize their mistakes and go out of their way to make you forget what they’ve done and put The Man of Steel back to how he should be.
Another occasion in which the writers of DC tried to mess with Superman is in Superman: Red and Blue. Obviously the writers didn’t know how else they could mess with Superman so they decided to give us two, each with their own powers and personalities. Due to a cosmic accident Superman was split in two; one donned a red costume and the other a blue one and the two Supermen tried adding something new to the Superman mythos. However, fans dropped the comic book faster than anything and the writers very quickly realized their mistake and managed to find a way in which Superman returned to normal.
7. Superman The Adult Star
Speaking of The Man of Steel, we all know him as the ultimate superhero, the eternal boy scout who always does the right thing no matter what is going on around him. He has the power to pretty much kill everyone around him but he never loses his cool, even when the bad guys do terrible things, Superman makes sure they pay for what they’ve done with the law rather than with his fists. Because Superman is the beacon of what is good and true, you may well be surprised to know that he has done some very questionable things over the years.
One such occasion is when Superman became hypnotized by a villain named Sleez; yes, his name was really Sleez so you can see where this one is headed! What Sleez wants is for The Man of Steel and Big Barda, Mister Miracle’s wife at the time, to shoot an adult movie. When Mister Miracle finds out, he rushes over to save his wife. Both Superman and Big Barda, now free of Sleez’s spell, claim to have no memory of what has happened. Luckily for us, DC have decided to take the same stance and this was quickly forgotten.
6. Inappropriate Relationships
When you have such an array of characters who all work closely together for so many years, there is bound to be a few times in which these characters get a little too close. There have been lots of relationships, marriages, and even one night stands between our favorite heroes over the years, but sometimes there has also been some situations that make us all cringe and shout at the comic books “What are you doing?!”
Throughout all these relationships, two big ones come to mind, and two of them DC have desperately tried to disown. Firstly, there’s Hal Jordan’s underage girlfriend, who was a 13-year-old alien that became obsessed with Jordan. He spurned her advance at first but eventually gave in. Then there’s been the times that Superman and Supergirl have become a little too close. The most notable example is when Superman gave Supergirl a speech about how she’s the perfect woman for him and although they’re cousins, that’s not always seen as a bad thing in some countries and planets. Yuck!
5. Supergirl And Her Love For Her Horse
Speaking of love stories that should never even be imagined let alone put into the pages of comic books, we come to Supergirl and her magical horse Comet. Over the years, Krypton has been the source of all sorts of magical beings coming to Earth as heroes. Not just Superman and Supergirl but a dog, Krypto, and of course the horse Comet.
During the silver age of comic books, some seriously twisted ideas came out and one of them was that Supergirl’s telepathic horse comet was in love with her. Not only that, but the story involved the horse turning human, falling in love and confessing that love to Supergirl, and then turning back into a horse again and becoming her faithful companion, all the while still yearning for Supergirl. Much of the Silver age comic book stories and ideas have largely been forgotten about over the years as DC have tried their hardest to rewrite all those ridiculous ideas.
4. Final Crisis Countdown
Over the years, DC have had some big success with epic crossover stories that redefine their universes. With such big stories as Crisis on Infinite Earths and the New 52, they have set the standards of what DC really should be and what they are capable of. However, not all their big crossovers are successful and sometimes even the promise of something more epic, can be a total let down and a waste of everyone’s time.
What we’re talking about here is Countdown. After the huge success of 52, DC decided to try their luck again and set up another massive event and began this with Crossover. This weekly publication would last for a year and would tell the setup story for something bigger, but DC got it so wrong. Jimmy Olsen suddenly had superpowers, popular heroes turned into villains, Harley Quinn trained with The Amazons, and, oh yeah, Kyle Rayner was back, a sign that things were going downhill fast. Needless to say that fans felt completely let down by this and found it overly complicated and unnecessary.
3. Batman And Superman Watch Alien’s Being Intimate
Batman and Superman have been through a lot together over the years. They’ve been friends, enemies, superhero teammates, and strangest of all, they’ve watched aliens getting it on together and then had a little cry about it afterwards! This is one of those moments that DC have done over the years that you know as soon as they’ve drawn it, they’ve regretted it instantly and then do everything they can to forget it ever existed.
Superman invites Batman over to his fortress of solitude for a bonding session with his best friend. Suddenly a spaceship lands in front of them and some tentacled aliens step out from it. Instead of declaring war or trying to destroy the heroes, which is what most aliens do, these aliens decide to put on a show for the heroes and have an orgy. Batman and Superman watch this intently and then when it’s done, they hug each other and have a cry at what they’ve just seen. Surely DC couldn’t do anything more to diminish the reputation of these two big characters? Or could they…
2. Batman’s Scared
As well as The Dark Knight being reduced to tears at the sight of alien lovemaking, DC have also tried to make out that Batman gets scared. Not only does he get scared but the sight of criminals actually makes him wet himself! The mythos of Batman has become so great over the years that DC have tried to undermine that and make him more “human,” which hasn’t gone down well at all.
After the excellent and hugely popular Batman: Year One, DC revisited this story in later comic books. Year One set up Batman nicely and added an extra layer to his creation and the story from a young Bruce Wayne into the Dark Knight. However, DC undermined all of this as he later confided in a friend that the early stages of his Batman antics scarred him so much that he wet himself. Batman doesn’t get scared and he certainly doesn’t do that! Needless to say, this moment was quickly swept away before anyone really noticed.
1. When Lois Lane Turned Black And Then Becomes The Fattest Woman In Town
We know that over the years comic books have struggled to portray certain human aspects within its pages. Whether it’s gender equality, race and ethnicity, or sexuality, comic books haven’t always gotten this right. However, the biggest mistake and faux pas that DC has made, and one in which they have spent years trying to disown, is the time that Lois Lane turned black and then became the fattest women in town.
The ever intrepid reporter that she is, Lois Lane finds herself in Africa but no one will talk to her. She assumes it’s because she’s white and therefore decides to change her skin color with the help of a molecular transmogrifier, so Lois becomes a black woman. If that wasn’t bad enough, and we think that it is, Lois would later get hit by a “growth ray” and she becomes fat. What follows is a series of cringe-worthy fat jokes and Lois telling Superman that they can’t be together because no one could love a fat girl. There is a very good reason why comic books have a reputation for being offensive and very un-PC, it’s because of storylines like these.