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  • 'Countdown' Is An Expensive Year-Long Story That Doesn't Matter  on Random Most Hated DC Comic Arcs

    (#14) 'Countdown' Is An Expensive Year-Long Story That Doesn't Matter 

    For 51 straight weeks - beginning with issue #51 and counting backwards down to issue #1 - Countdown (renamed Countdown to Final Crisis as the series neared its conclusion) trotted out just about every DC character of note to tell a rambling, overlapping story that ended up being completely inconsequential to DC continuity as a whole. Following on the heels of another weekly series, 52, but keeping the story within the context of the greater DC timeline instead of a "lost" year, Countdown was designed to restructure the world of the New Gods and set up Darkseid as the ultimate villain in anticipation of his (next) attempt to rewrite reality in the Final Crisis miniseries that immediately followed its conclusion in DC Universe #0 (June 2008).

    The series revolves around Darkseid's plot to control the multiverse in a cosmic game of chess in which he uses heroes and villains from various Earths as pawns. To clear his path to victory, Darkseid attempts to pit the Monitors tasked with safeguarding the multiverse against Monarch and the Crime Society. Unbeknownst to all, however, Darkseid's opponent is the rogue Monitor Solomon, who wishes to control the multiverse himself. Various interconnecting plot lines reveal that New Gods are being slain, Superboy-Prime is back - now as Superman-Prime - and looking for a "perfect" Earth, and a virus is running rampant across parallel Earths, turning people into OMACs for assimilation by Brother Eye.

    There are some fun scenes and interesting iterations of characters, but too many scenes are repeated in multiple issues without added context and the art varies wildly from issue to issue. Countless characters perish throughout the series - including Darkseid himself - but in the end, any victories were hollow and any deaths meaningless as DC promptly resurrected Darkseid and launched into its next "event," Final Crisis.

  • 'Red Hood and the Outlaws' Reduced Starfire To Fanboy Eye Candy on Random Most Hated DC Comic Arcs

    (#8) 'Red Hood and the Outlaws' Reduced Starfire To Fanboy Eye Candy

    Princess "Kori" Koriand'r, AKA Starfire, had already been a popular character for decades before her outstanding characterization on the Teen Titans cartoon endeared her to a whole new generation of DC fans. As a cartoon character aimed at elementary school-aged children, sexuality was never really a part of her personality, though Robin clearly crushed on her and definitely had an issue with her kissing strangers to learn their language. In contrast, the comic book version of Starfire was always more vivacious and curious about human romantic customs, even in her early appearances as a teenage character.

    But when Starfire was reintroduced in Red Hood and the Outlaws #1 (November 2011) as part of the company-wide continuity reboot known as The New 52, her sexuality became her primary asset. Writer Scott Lobdell has a young child posting "voyeur" photos of her on the internet and her own teammates, Red Hood and Robin, ogling her and questioning her morals, while artist Kenneth Rocafort draws one "cheesecake" pose after another. 

    The series was greeted almost immediately with negativity from fans, including at least one devastated 7-year-old girl, and DC apparently knew the controversy was coming, but did little to alter course. After the 7-year-old girl's disappointment caught fire on the internet, DC tweeted terse statements about appreciating "dialogue" on the topic, while almost chastising the girl (or her parent) for buying a book intended for slightly older children. The characterization didn't sit well with some DC staffers, either, feeling Lobdell equated "being a strong woman with being, frankly, a sl*t," and an unnamed source stated it was suggested to Lobdell that he "accentuate" Kori's "past as a sex slave" as a way to justify the new Starfire.

  • 'The Dark Knight Strikes Again' Is A 'Ridiculous' Sequel With 'Weird' Art on Random Most Hated DC Comic Arcs

    (#3) 'The Dark Knight Strikes Again' Is A 'Ridiculous' Sequel With 'Weird' Art

    Batman: The Dark Knight Returns took the comic book world by storm when it debuted in February 1986. The first issue sold over a million copies and the four-issue series is now widely considered one of the most important and influential comic books of all time. Frank Miller's tale of an aging Batman coming out of retirement to stop the rising tide of violence in Gotham City perpetrated by Two-Face, the Joker, and a violent gang called the Mutants has been called a "masterpiece of storytelling," and in 2005 made Time's list of the 10 best English-language graphic novels of all time.

    So when Miller returned to tell another tale of a seething, aged Batman in the dark, twisted future world he created, anticipation was high - as were expectations that Miller's sequel, Batman: The Dark Knight Strikes Again, or DK2 (2001-2002), could live up to the original. 

    DK2 contained more heroes and a continuation of the sort of political satire found in the original, with Batman training his former enemies to rebel against Lex Luthor's corrupt government. But absent was anything even remotely revolutionary about his take on Batman or superheroes, in general. The story - which doesn't even really begin until the second of the three issues - is incoherent or just plain "ridiculous" at times. Worst of all, Miller's artwork is clunky, simplistic, and just plain "weird" throughout. Anatomy appears irrelevant and the features of some characters are so distorted they are almost unrecognizable from panel to panel. Splash and double-page splash pages, usually reserved for epic-scale, poster-worthy scenes are used more to meet page requirements than anything else, as they are simplistic and, like the series itself, fail to make any sort of "splash" at all.

  • Justice League: Cry for Justice on Random Most Hated DC Comic Arcs

    (#9) Justice League: Cry for Justice

    • Comic Book Series

    After the slaying of Martian Manhunter and the apparent demise of Batman during Darkseid's bid to recreate reality in Final Crisis, Green Lantern Hal Jordan decides that the Justice League needs to be more proactive. With a cobbled-together team of B- and C-list heroes that includes Green Arrow, Atom (Ray Palmer), Starman (Mikaal Tomas), Congorilla, Freddy Freeman, and Supergirl, the new, "extreme" Justice League team abandons "justice" in favor of "revenge," and ditches some of their morals along the way. But even the team's more aggressive approach to crime-fighting - including using torture to extract information - can't stop millions of casualties, including the demise of cute, little grade-school-age Lian Harper, daughter of Roy Harper, AKA Speedy (later Arsenal and Red Arrow).

    Though writer James Robinson previously wrote such acclaimed works as The Golden Age and the series Starman, and was even nominated for an Eisner Award for his work on Justice League: Cry for Justice, the series was simply too dark and too wordy. Rather than rely on the beautiful art of Mauro Cascioli - also nominated for an Eisner for his work on the series - Robinson attempted to drive the plot with pithy dialogue, stale speeches about "justice," and countless yawn-inducing "thought" captions.

  • Before Watchmen on Random Most Hated DC Comic Arcs

    (#11) Before Watchmen

    Alan Moore and Dave Gibbons changed comic books forever with their now-classic 12-issue miniseries Watchmen (1986-1987). The series, set in an alternate universe, presents a world changed by the presence of superheroes - the US won the Vietnam War and Nixon never resigned - and focuses on the investigation of the slaying of a retired superhero and a conspiracy with global implications. Moore and Gibbons deconstructed bright and shiny superheroes and built them back up as flawed characters with serious neuroses, pathologies, and deviant sexual appetites in a world filled with scandal and political intrigue. The series thrilled, shocked, and inspired a whole new generation of comic book fans and creators. It became the only graphic novel to make Time's 100 Best Novels list and has been hailed as "the greatest comic book ever written."

    Had DC left well enough alone, Watchmen would have remained a title spoken of with reverence by fans and respect by the greater pop culture community. Instead, executives who saw Watchmen as an under-utilized intellectual property and creatives who dared think they could somehow add to or improve upon an already perfect story disgorged eight limited series and a one-shot (a total of 37 issues) that did nothing but water down the title's legacy. Despite top-notch talent like J. Michael Straczynski, Darwyn Cooke, Adam Hughes, and original Watchmen contributor Len Wein, the set of series - released in 2012 when fans had already seen decades of gritty deconstructions - lacks originality and makes no effort to integrate history, culture, philosophy, or psychology into its narratives the way that Moore and Gibbons did in the original. As the LA Times puts it, there's nothing transformational about Before Watchmen - it's just "a bunch of stories about a bunch of superheroes."

  • Jason Todd Becomes A Monster And Dick Grayson A 'Sleazy' Model In 'Brothers in Blood' on Random Most Hated DC Comic Arcs

    (#7) Jason Todd Becomes A Monster And Dick Grayson A 'Sleazy' Model In 'Brothers in Blood'

    Bruce Jones is an Inkpot Award-winning writer (2004) who has penned many memorable storylines in his decades-long career, including a fantastic run on Marvel's The Incredible Hulk. But when Jones jumped ship from Marvel to DC in 2005, he went from revitalizing the Hulk creatively and financially to nearly destroying two classic DC characters in what is considered by many to be one of the worst story arcs of all time.

    In Nightwing #118-124 (2006), later collected as Nightwing: Brothers in Blood, Jones propels former Robins Dick Grayson and Jason Todd into the future as part of the "One Year Later" company-wide event that followed Infinite Crisis. Dick, needing a change of pace, moves to New York City to continue to fight crime as Nightwing. Jason has the same idea and also moves to NYC to fight crime as Nightwing, but as a darker, more violent version of his Bat-brother's alter ego. Naturally, the two come to blows...

    If that were the extent of the storyline, Brothers in Blood would likely not have been "almost unanimously panned" and an arc so notorious that it made this list. Unfortunately, Jones wrote in a bizarre subplot where Jason turns into a mutant tentacle-monster and painted Dick as a depressed, "somewhat sleazy" character who gives up police work to become a male model, have promiscuous relations, and make culturally inappropriate jokes about Native Americans. 

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About This Tool

DC Comics created great and popular characters such as Superman, Batman, and Wonder Woman, who worked hard to fight for justice and defend the innocent. On the other hand, some little-known and embarrassing DC comic arcs characters have also sparked discussion. Over time, it is easy to tell who is popular, acceptable, and who is ignored. 

A large number of DC movies were released to show their most popular characters and stories, and the distributors are doing everything they can to make sure that fans forget some annoying DC comic arcs. The random tool lists 14 of the most hated DC comic arcs for fans. 

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