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  • Batman Gets The 'Extreme' '90s Treatment In 'Knightquest' on Random Most Hated DC Comic Arcs

    (#13) Batman Gets The 'Extreme' '90s Treatment In 'Knightquest'

    The wildly popular Knightfall storyline that kicked off in Batman (Vol. 1) #492 (May 1993) would grow to become one of the biggest and most elaborate event storylines in the Dark Knight's publishing history up until that point. The three-act story - Knightfall, Knightquest, and KnightsEnd - was told over 38 issues of seven different titles and completely altered the status quo in Gotham City, with lasting ramifications for Batman and DC continuity for years to follow. Elements of the story, including Bane and "the breaking of the Bat" have even seeped into wider popular culture, including celebrated filmmaker Christopher Nolan's Dark Knight Saga of films.

    The series is only marred by its terrible second act: Knightquest. After Batman is worn down and crippled by Bane in Knightfall, Bruce Wayne decides in Knightquest to appoint a replacement to protect Gotham City. Rather than choose Dick Grayson, his longtime ward and the original Robin who has become the badass adult hero Nightwing, Bruce chooses... Jean-Paul Valley, who had only debuted as the flame-wielding holy warrior Azrael a year prior.

    Valley decides Bruce's Batman has been too warm and fuzzy and outfits his Bat-suit with armor, razor-sharp Batarangs, lasers, and a flamethrower, among other weapons. The increasingly unstable new Batman dispenses "justice" with extreme prejudice, often injuring, crippling, or, in the case of the serial slayer Abattoir, ending them, while simultaneously tarnishing Batman's reputation and straining his relationship with law enforcement. Meanwhile, Bruce falls in love with his metahuman physiotherapist Shondra Kinsolving and attempts to rescue her from her adoptive brother Benjamin Asplin, AKA Asp. In the end, Asp is slain and Bruce's back is healed, but poor Shondra ends up with the mind of a child and has to be institutionalized.

    Knightquest and Valley's "extreme" Batman were so disliked by fans that DC basically attempted to ignore it by omission. The publisher waited 18 years to collect the first part, "The Search," and another five before collecting the second part, "The Crusade," while the rest of the series had been available as reprints or in trade paperback collections for years.

  • 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.

  • The Man of Steel Gets Weird Powers And Two Terrible Costumes In 'Superman Red/Superman Blue' on Random Most Hated DC Comic Arcs

    (#10) The Man of Steel Gets Weird Powers And Two Terrible Costumes In 'Superman Red/Superman Blue'

    After years of declining sales, DC decided to wake up comic book fans - and wider popular culture - to the importance of Superman by offing him in the much-publicized "The Death of Superman" storyline that ran from December 1992 to October 1993. The gimmick worked and Superman #75 (January 1993), in which the Last Son of Krypton succumbs to his injuries after finally defeating Doomsday, raked in $30 million in its first day of sales. After a three-month hiatus, the Superman books returned with four Superman pretenders to the throne - Eradicator, Superboy, Steel, and Cyborg Superman - and fans ate them up, making them the best-selling comics of 1993.

    Of course, the real Superman was never really "dead" and eventually returned, albeit with a mullet and a red-and-blue suit of a darker tint. After a few years, Superman settled back into his old role as the stodgy "Big Blue Boy Scout" of comics and sales began to flag again. Rather than making more compelling stories for their flagship character, DC decided to continue the gimmick of messing with Superman's classic formula and took away his iconic costume, his powers, and even his skin tone in "Superman...Reborn!" in Superman #123 (May 1997). The "reborn" Superman had blue skin and painful electricity-based powers that required a blue-and-white "containment suit" that apparently didn't need to cover his face or the top of his head.

    A year later, DC doubled down on the terrible new Superman by borrowing an idea from a weird 1960s story in Superman Red/Superman Blue #1 (February 1998). Though initially of the same mind, the two Supermen eventually grow independent of one another, with Superman Blue being cooler and more intellectual (because he's, you know, blue), and Superman Red being more hot-tempered and impulsive (because he's red, obviously). Neither of them appealed to Lois Lane, or to fans, and Superman's "electric boogaloo" phase has been a running joke ever since. Time has apparently given DC some perspective, because even the publisher pokes fun at the storyline now. In Superman #154 (March 2000), Brainiac slays a copy of Superman Blue and muses, "He's not Superman... and never will be," while in Dark Knights: Metal #4 (February 2018) Superman Blue is explained away as one of Clark Kent's "nightmares."

  • '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.

  • 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. 

  • '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.

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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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