For many years and even many generations, comic books have been entertaining the world with their tales of superpowered superheroes saving the world on a weekly basis. Capturing the wonder in us all from childhood, many of us grow into adulthood still holding on to that wonder that we once had as we pick up the latest comic book stories with the same excitement and anticipation.
One of the biggest comic book giants is DC and over the years DC has brought us some truly great storylines with some awe-inspiring artwork. However, when you have a company that has been going for so long, churning out story after story, they are bound to have the odd misfire. So with that in mind we look at 15 times DC got it all wrong and produced some serious WTF moments in their comic books.
15. Bat Baby
The poster boys for DC and probably the two most famous superheroes in any comic book have always been Batman and Superman. Together they have given the world some truly great moments. However, as you will see from our list The Dark Knight and The Man of Steel have also had some truly terrible moments that have almost erased everything that’s great about them.
We start our list with one of the silliest moments and storylines to grace the pages of Batman. Back in the golden age of comic books, DC tried to be a bit more wholesome and family friendly so they came up with this little gem: a mad scientist uses a special ray on Batman and turns the Dark Knight into a 4-year old-boy. But does this stop Batman? No! The bouncing baby dons the Batsuit and continues to fight crime on the streets of Gotham.
14. Superman’s Power To Shoot Mini Superman’s From His Hands
Speaking of silly story lines, Superman has had a few of his own. Most notably when he gained the power to shoot mini versions of himself from his hands. Over the years Superman has found himself in a constant struggle with writers as they flick between Superman being greatly overpowered and drastically weaker and more realistic. Because of this, Superman has found his powers and power limits change over the years and not only that, but he has developed new powers in his ever changing guise.
But shooting mini versions of himself is going a step too far! When Superman is blown up by a mysterious spaceship all his “normal” powers are gone and he now finds himself being able to shoot rainbows from his hands as well as being able to create a mini version of himself. If that wasn’t silly enough, it turns out the mysterious alien gets hold of some Kryptonite. So The Man of Steel fires his mini self at the Kryptonite which then sacrifices itself and Superman is restored back to normal. WTF!
13. Superman And Wonder Woman Almost Destroy The World
Superman has always been the straight-laced boy scout who always puts the world’s needs in front of his own. Because of this, Superman’s love life has always been a bit tepid. Although he has had some interest, Lana Lang and Lois Lane obviously! However, in recent years with many rewrites, reboots, and reinventions of DC’s favorite characters, Superman has had a bit of a hormone injection. Most notably with the Amazon goddess Wonder Woman.
After the huge success of The Dark Knight Returns, DC had another go with The Dark Knight Strikes Again. Unfortunately, the follow-up wasn’t as well received as it couldn’t possibly live up to the hype of its predecessor. For all its crazy moments, The Dark Knight Strikes Again has one truly WTF moment and that’s when Superman and Wonder Woman get it on. Not only do they engage in some serious love making but the two overpowered beings go at it so strongly that it actually causes the Earth to shake, volcanoes to erupt, and all the people of the world think it’s the apocalypse. No doubt this little romp not only caused panic around the world but probably ended up killing a few thousand people in the process!
12. Lois Lane Turns Black…
Not only is this entry a big WTF moment but it’s also a big “what were they thinking?” moment! In the Superman’s Girlfriend: Lois Lane series of comic books, the writers did some truly terrible things with Lois and with each cringing and offensive storyline they came up with, they seemed to go out of their way to beat it with the next issue.
First, we turn to the uncomfortable subject of race. Particularly in the early days of comic books, many fans wanted more diversity and ethnic variety within the pages of the comic books, and quite rightly so! So how did DC deal with this hot topic? By turning fan favorite Lois Lane black. In a truly shocking storyline, Lois finds herself in “little Africa” and realizes that no one will talk to her because she is white. So being the intrepid reporter that she is, she decides the only way to get around this is to become a black woman. With the aid of Superman’s molecular transmogrifier, she does just that. In one single storyline, DC manage to offend both genders and all races. But wait there’s more…
11. …And Then She Becomes The Fattest Woman In Town
Not content with offending people of all nations, cultures, and ethnic background, DC decided to make Lois Lane the fattest woman in town and have a lot of fun at the expense of overweight people. Keeping in the pages of the ridiculous Superman’s Girlfriend: Lois Lane series, Lois soon gets hit by a “growth ray'” which instantly makes Lois grow fatter and fatter. And what was Lois’s first though when this happened? Of course, she must run and hide from Superman because he couldn’t possibly love her any more as she is so fat!
Then comes a series of offensive fat jokes, like Lois now shopping for clothes at a store called “Fat Girls Shoppe.” Not only that but it’s clearly visible that Superman struggles to carry the now overweight Lois. This is a man that can throw beings into the sun and lift entire cities, but a fat Lois is just too much. We know that these story lines were from a different generation in which the world was viewed differently, but even so, how these story lines got the go ahead is beyond us.
10. Green Lantern’s Girlfriend Gets Stuffed In A Fridge
The Green Lantern has had a bit of a troubled history. Not just on the big screen, as The Green Lantern has struggled with any kind of success. But within the pages of his own comic book, The Green Lantern has often fallen out of favor with fans. During the 90s, DC writers tried to inject some much needed drama within the character so they decided to make Hal Jordan go crazy and kill everyone, which worked like an absolute treat and Green Lantern was back in a big way. However, what followed was a truly bad WTF moment.
After Hal Jordan killed the Green Lantern Corp, it’s sole survivor, Kyle Rayner, was at a bit of a loose end. So what did the writers do with him? Decided to kill his girlfriend just to develop the character’s plot. Not only that but they killed her in a truly shocking way. When Rayner returns home he finds a little note on his table saying there is a nice surprise for him in the fridge. So he opens the fridge and finds his girlfriend has been killed and stuffed inside it!
9. Nightwing Gets Taken Advantage Of
The subject of rape has been tentatively touched upon in the pages of comic books a few times, and each time it is, it is never a good idea as the only reason the writers seem to use this is for shock value. With this entry the writers may have thought they were tackling the subject in a different way, however they were wrong!
When Dick Grayson, who was the first Robin and now the superhero Nightwing, starts to train a new vigilante hero named Tarantula, things go wrong for Nightwing. After showing her how to interrogate and torment the criminals of Gotham City, Tarantula gets turned on big time. Particularly after Nightwing’s battle with the villain Blockbuster, which ends with Tarantula putting a bullet inside him. Now Nightwing is exhausted after his battle but Tarantula has other ideas. After Nightwing collapses on a rooftop, Tarantula sees her opportunity and jumps him. Nightwing’s protests mean nothing to her as she holds him down and has her way with him.
8. Superman Lusts After Supergirl
That’s right. The two superpowered cousins and last children of Krypton almost hook up. This Action Comic storyline starts out with Supergirl playing cupid for Superman. Fearing that The Man of Steel will end up alone, Supergirl takes it upon herself to find Superman’s perfect mate. So using time travel, Supergirl gets Superman to follow her through time as she tries to find someone for him in history. With some near misses with Helen of Troy, Supergirl gives up as Superman confides in her that he’ll never be happy in love because being a superhero comes first.
However, this isn’t the real reason as it is revealed that Superman has developed a thing for his 16-year-old cousin. But being the boy scout that he is, Superman can’t bring himself to break the incest laws. But then Supergirl has a brilliant idea and finds someone who is exactly the same as her only older and not related to Superman. This works out great for The Man of Steel, that is until he finds out the duplicate Supergirl can’t survive on Earth.
7. Superman Shoots An Adult Film
Speaking of Superman and his sometimes sordid sexual needs, it goes one further in this storyline as Superman films a porno movie with someone else’s wife.
It can be understandable that the idea of anything sexy and superheroes would be a big seller but Superman shooting a porno? Really? The story of this little gem is that Superman has been hypnotized by a man named Sleez and Sleez wants The Man of Steel to film a porno with Big Barda, Mister Miracle’s wife, in order to make some extra cash. Of course this is a Superman comic book so we know that Superman wouldn’t do it in the end. Not only does Mister Miracle rush off to save his wife from being humiliated but Superman’s moral fiber just won’t let him go through with it as he starts to resist Sleez’s hypnosis. We must say that not only was this story a WTF moment but also a sad day in comic book writing as they were really scraping the barrel with this one!
6. Batman Gets Batgirl Pregnant
Bruce Wayne, and therefore Batman, is no stranger to the opposite sex as he has had many encounters with some of DC’s best known female characters. However, dipping his toe into the Bat family is a step too far for this famous bachelor.
Although the Bat family isn’t, strictly speaking, a family, it still has the same impact as if it was and the way Batman did the deed with Batgirl makes it even more shocking. At the time of this storyline, Batgirl, aka Barbara Gordon, was not only under the guidance of her mentor Batman but she was also in a relationship with Dick Grayson. When Grayson is away Bruce gets friendly with Batgirl and she soon becomes pregnant. When she tells Bruce what has happened, he basically tells her he wants nothing to do with it but he’ll let her tell Grayson. Not only does he back away from his responsibility but he then goes ahead and tells Grayson himself. Through all of this Batgirl ends up having a miscarriage.
5. Hal Jordan’s Underage Girlfriend
Another entry for the Green Lantern here and another attempt to inject something new into his storyline. Something the writers once again get very wrong. Throughout this list there have been attempts by the writers to increase sales by having sex, rape, incest, and gruesome murders and now it’s time for some underage love in the form of Hal Jordan and his 13-year-old girlfriend.
Being a superhero who has the use of a powerful ring and is in charge of protecting a whole section of the universe can be a pretty impressive thing to a young girl, which is what happened to 13-year old-Arisia. Being besotted by Hal Jordan wasn’t enough for the young alien girl as she started to make her feelings known to him. At first the heroic Jordan squashed her advances but then with a bit of trickery, Arisia managed to transform her body into a full grown woman’s, although she was still only a 13 on the inside. This seemed to do it for Jordan as the two got it on, much to the anger and disapproval of everyone else. Jordan didn’t seem to care about that as he openly started dating the young girl. This is a true scumbag moment for the Green Lantern!
4. Batman and Superman Watch Aliens Get Busy
The two big shots from the DC universe have shared many moments together over the years; whether Batman and Superman have been enemies, best friends, or leaders of the Justice League, everything they’ve done they have done together. However, the weirdest and biggest WTF moment they have shared together is the time they watched aliens have sex and then had a little cry about it afterwards.
Superman invites his BFF over to the fortress of solitude for some brooding about how sad they are when a spaceship suddenly lands in front of them. Out come some tentacled aliens who are here to drain the Earth of their emotions, but instead they decide to have a big tentacled orgy while Batman and Superman watch. After all the fun, the aliens decide they don’t want to destroy the Earth, instead they would rather sacrifice themselves, which they do. After all the sex and emotion, our favorite heroes have a big cry and then hug it out. Really?!
3. Batman Wets Himself
The Dark Knight is a mysterious vigilante who spends his time in the shadows, cleaning up the streets of Gotham City by striking fear into the hearts of criminals. He is a symbol of hope and a fist for justice and is the ultimate hero. That is until we realize that on Bat’s first vigilante outing, he wet his pants!
In Batman: Year One, a younger Bruce Wayne is finding his way in the hero game and getting used to his Batman persona. His first big moment is when he crashes a dinner party that has all the big criminals in attendance. Batman promptly tells them that their days of crime is up as there is a new form of justice in town. The scene is cool and sets up the legend that would become Batman. However, years later Batman would confide to his protege that he was so scared at that moment that he actually wet himself. WTF! This is Batman. Batman doesn’t get scared like that, and if he did he would never admit it to anyone. Well done writers for almost destroying the legend that is Batman.
2. The Joker Skins A Man Alive
The number two entry on our list may be a bit controversial with some fans, as many may argue that this falls in with The Joker’s character and therefore not a WTF moment for him. However, given the nature of the incident we feel that this was done for pure shock value and nothing else.
After many years of being Batman’s foe, The Joker finally got his chance in the spotlight and became the centre of his own graphic novel in 2008. The Clown Prince of Crime comes out of Arkham, which is how most of his stories start! He then finds out that a past henchman of his, known as Monty, has forced The Joker’s ex Harley Quinn to strip at his club. The Joker is a bit annoyed by this so he catches up with Monty and skins him alive.
We know that The Joker is unstable and capable of doing anything to anyone and therefore nothing much is too far out of his character, but to show The Joker skinning a man alive is a bit much from a character that is still much loved and enjoyed by children. The Joker could have just killed him or even skinned him off panel. This is why we feel this is a big WTF moment for him.
1.Elongated Man’s Wife Get’s Abused and Then Killed
Throughout this list there have been many low points from the world of DC and most of them have been used in order to get more sales and attention rather than telling a great story. Number one on our list is what we feel to be the worst possible example of this and the biggest WTF moment from the DC universe.
It’s a sad but true fact that sex and violence does sell, which is fine if the context works within a story, but when you do it just for the “shock value,” then it holds no merit and no place within the DC comic books. That is what happened to Elongated Man’s wife. Not only was she pointlessly murdered just to give the average superhero Elongated Man something to do, but it was then later revealed that she was raped and abused beforehand. So the “who done it?” mystery starts and threatens to destroy the Justice League. But who did do it you might ask? It turns out that the murderer was in fact the girlfriend of Atom who desperately wanted more attention from him, so rather than talk to him, she killed a woman. Oh yeah, it was also revealed that she had been raped too. WTF!