Worst Moments in Comic Books

Discussion in 'Marvel Comics' started by Zev, Sep 29, 2004.

  1. Zev

    Zev Registered

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    It begins... again.

    You know the rules. Just report those moments in comic books that really bug you. I'll chime in once and a while with an update. And for courtesy's sake, for events up to a year ago, put them in SPOILER tags and give the name of the mag you're reporting. So, if something in Ultimate Spider-Man 62 pissed you off, do this.

    Ultimate Spider-Man 62

    Something that pisses you off

    "We have to save Galactus!", Fantastic Four 243 (1982)

    John Bryne. No other name inspires quite as much debate as his. We can all acknowledge that at some point he Had It. It let him create one of the most memorable runs on the Fantastic Four since the days of Lee/Kirby, one that was not eclipsed until Mark Waid, with his 'Imaginauts', came along. However, projects like Chapter One and his work with Spider-Man 'luminaries' such as Howard Mackie, Bob Harras, and Ralph Macchio have led us to believe he's Lost It, whatever It may be. Perhaps one day he shall find It again. A good start would be to go back to his early stories and see what worked there, what made him such a beloved icon. However, one story he should definitely skip in searching for the key to his popularity would be this one, FF 243.

    Everyone knows about Galactus. Big guy, wears a really cool helmet, gets along by eating planets. He first appeared in Fantastic Four 48. His herald (more like scout) Silver Surfer appeared and basically told the Earthlings to get out, this was about to become a buffet. Upon learning the planet was inhabited, Galactus basically said he was going to eat it anyway because he was so much better then us (don't you hate when superior beings do that? As Marge Simpson said, "Do they really have to rub it in like that?"). Well, he was beaten back despite overwhelming odds and returned to menace the planet several times, although as of yet, he hasn't succeeded (although with the sheer number of homicides occuring throughout the Avengers titles, you'd be hardpressed to tell the difference. Ooh, I made a funny!)

    Well, Terrax, one of Galactus' meaner Heralds, got fed up of working for the Big G and basically abandoned him far from any worlds appropriate for him to feast on. He then led the enraged Galactus on a merry chase, further exhausting Conehead's energy, until Terrax decided to make his last stand on the planet whose inhabitants (i.e., the FF) had caused his enslavement to Galactus. Surrounding Manhattan in a force bubble, he lifted the whole thing up into outer space (one of his powers being a mastery over earth and stone).

    He then gave the order for Reed, Ben, and Johnny to murderize Galactus, the alternative being the use of the primo New York real estate in his position to... well, the words 'ramming speed!' come to mind.

    Things started going south. Onboard Galactus' ship, Thing observed "...if you ask me [Galactus is] a much nicer guy than Terrax! Seems like we're on the wrong side in this one."

    UH-OH! Frankly, I don't care if Galactus is Gandhi, Mother Theresa, and Tom Hanks all rolled into one. HE EATS PLANETS! He's been the sole cause of genocide after genocide after genocide. His very existence precipitates the deaths of billions time and time again.

    Well, Galactus and Terrax threw down, ending with Terrax being reduced back to mortal status... to the left of the top of the World Trade Center (ouch). Galactus, however, still needed to binge and so started the whole "I'm going to build a doomsday machine to eat your world" process (and no, said doomsday machine did not look like a fork, knife, and spoon).

    With a little help from the Thor, Iron Man, Captain America, the Wasp, and Dr. Strange (his contribution being, ironically enough, a spell that forced Galactus to face his trillions of victims), the FF bested Galactus. Reed observed that Galactus "is only moments from death." Johnny, demonstrating wisdom (or maybe just common sense) beyond his years, observed "I hate to sound hard-hearted (cold-hearted being a physical impossibility for the youth), but that WILL solve everything, won't it?"

    Reed, from his metaphorical ivory tower, said "No, Johnny, it won't. And if you'll think for a moment you'll realize our problems have only begun!"

    "I know what you're going to say, Reed, and I concur," said the Sentinel of Liberty, who had fought Hitler. Adolf, by the way, compared to Galactus is like a firecracker compared to a Gamma Bomb. "Galactus may be the greatest menace we've ever faced, but he is also a living being."

    "We have no choice," Reed continued to moralize. "We have to save Galactus!"

    That thud you heard was my jaw hitting the floor. I admit, they lost me somewhere around the "Galactus is a living being = we must save Galactus" equation. Perhaps Bryne was trying to say something about the sanctity of life, but GALACTUS! He is not going to repent, change his ways, and Sin No More. He's a virus, a parasite upon the galaxy!

    What's worse is that Daredevil and Spider-Man were watching from the wings. You're telling me none of these guys were going to go down there and inject some simple common sense into the equation? Picture Elektra or Gwen Stacy dying a million, no, a billion times over. It doesn't matter if Galactus FEELS SORRY about what he does. The only, ONLY, logical conclusion is to do for the old dog what the old dog cannot do for himself and put him out of his misery (and I do mean MISERY. "If Galactus had but the tears to cry for those whose lives he had wrought, the stars would drown..." and so on and so on).

    But no. They fixed Galactus up, changed his oil, even gave him a new Herald (in this case, Johnny's girlfriend, Frankie Raye. Who, when told her job involved selecting planets and their inhabitants for possible extinction, remarked that she's 'only' be killing "bug-eyed monsters". You sure know how to pick 'em, Johnny!). And so Galactus walked into the sunset, ready to devour some other world. But hey, as long as Reed doesn't have to hear from them, he can sleep at night. This is one of those moments where the only response can be to bang your head against something and say "Stupid stupid STUPID!" like a mantra against evil. And that, more then anything else, makes it a fitting kick-off for Worst Moments in Comic Books.
     
  2. Darthphere

    Darthphere Kneel before 'Drox!

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    Clone Saga.
     
  3. Zev

    Zev Registered

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    Could you be more specific? This is Worst Moments not Worst Years.
     
  4. CobraCommander

    CobraCommander Registered

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    Magneto showing up in Excaliber in general. But specifically in issue #2 when he says "Does it even matter how I survived?"

    Ugh... I threw the book down and haven't read it Excaliber since. Only X-books I touch now are Astronishing, District X, and Madrox. Maybe the worst moment was when Marvel editorial decided to piss on Grant Morrison's entire run that had topped the sales charts and re-invigorated the franchise.
     
  5. The Hero

    The Hero Registered

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    Isn't Galactus' soul tied to the universe or something?I always thought that was why they never killed him.:confused:
     
  6. DBM

    DBM Mad Scientist

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    One of the worst moments for me, was ASM 512.

    I just read it today and it ****ing sucked. I don't know what the hell JMS is thinking but I just plain don't like it.
     
  7. Zev

    Zev Registered

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    Well, if that's the case, they didn't mention it during the story, thus it's inadmissible. If I killed a man at random and it later turned out that he was, say, a bank robber, does that put me in the right?
     
  8. Doc Destruction

    Doc Destruction Geaux Saints!

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    I agree DBM.

    How about John Byrne having a say in the trial of Galactus???

    WHAT THE HELL IS THAT ALL ABOUT?
     
  9. Zev

    Zev Registered

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    Echo, Daredevil 51-55

    Daredevil 54 is a story about a girl named Echo with Wolverine on the cover.

    That's pretty much all you need to know. But since there exist several gluttons for punishment (this is the Internet, after all), I'm going to recap it anyway.

    After Daredevil 50 (I won't spoil what happened, just for you people who are really, really behind), Bendis decided to take a break from the title for five issues. Apparently he didn't learn his lesson and overexposed himself more with Avengers Disassembled, which is a topic for an entirely different time.

    Add to that 'auteur' David Mack planning to do a mini about Echo, previously introduced in the also-bad-but-not-quite-as-bad-as-this arc Pieces of a Hole (ugh! That cutesy crap is almost as bad as Jewel's "A Night Without Armor").

    So, Marvel, in its infinite wisdom, decided to shove Mack's miniseries (a square peg if every there was one and I mean that in a BAD way) into the main Daredevil title (say it with me now. Round hole).

    We got Daredevil: Echo: Vision Quest: Pieces of a Hole 2: Electric Boogaloo: Tomb Raider: The Empire Strikes Back.

    I'd hate to be a subscriber.

    For one thing, Mack brought back Kingpin after he (oh, and Bullseye) were sent off by Bendis as after being the sole Daredevil villains of any note for years if not decades, they really were getting quite stale (as evidenced by Bullseye being brought back and killing DD's girlfriend AGAIN, but that's another Worst Moment for another time). And what's the point of Kingpin being brought back? During the whole conversation, Echo says exactly two words and Kingpin basically says "I still love you." So much for concluding their relationship.

    And for the record, "I am nine years old when my father dies" written with Scrabble leters was cool the first time. But it got real old, real quick. And, for some reason, the same images appear over and over in different panels, sometimes resized or flipped to give the illusion of it being a new piece of work.

    The plot is practically nonexistent. This gave way to a lot of "Oh, you just DON'T GET IT" fan blather of Hulk-level aggraviation. I got It, but It wasn't much of anything at all. But of course, noted defenders of plotless exercises in futility (I'm not naming names, but the foremost rhymes with Quentin Black) jumped to its defense. Say what you will about Bendis' extremely character-based writing, but at least stuff happened and progressed. We don't hear Matt recapping his origin three times in a row and painstakingly making sure we understand his powers.

    Basically each issue was a recap of the previous issue. All it is, beyond recapping Echo's origin (I don't care about how you never heard a goddamn dog bark, you *****!) is "Echo returns to New York, and finds out Matt has a new girl. She goes on a vision quest, where she meets Wolverine."

    Wolverine. That's right. The most overexposed character of all time. If this were the nineties, she would probably have also met Punisher, Venom, Spider-Man, and whoever else was 'hot' at the moment.

    Mack can do great paintings, and he can do bad ones. For one thing, he never picks out a consistent face for Echo. Compare the cover to 51 and the last page of 52 for an example. And if you think Bendis is bad with repeated panels, Mack threw tons of them at us. The same picture of Wolverine posing with his claws was used, what, five times? And then there's the Daredevil appearence, in which Mack not only used the same image twice but he actually used an image from Maleev's run! He just snipped and pasted it!

    If anything ever showed how bankrupt the whole "I'm a collector, so I must get everything with so-and-so's name on it" thing was, then this is it.
     
  10. Dwarf lord

    Dwarf lord Spirit in the Night

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    Avengers Disassembled. I can't get more spesific than that.
     
  11. Guyverjay

    Guyverjay Registered

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    Not everything in comics has to be explained there and then:o

    The whole thing was sorted out in The trial of Galactus:up:
     
  12. Symbiotica

    Symbiotica Registered

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    One word: [or is it two words...?]

    Spider-Mobile.
     
  13. Mr. Edward Hyde

    Mr. Edward Hyde Registered

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    worst moment in comic history?
    bendis
     
  14. Zev

    Zev Registered

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    There is no possible way Reed (let alone the Avengers) could've known beforehand that Galactus had some mystical connection with the welfare of the entire universe. That's a ridiculous excuse. It's like me killing someone, only to find out later that he beat his wife. Does that mean me killing him in the first place, ignorant of his wife-battering, is alright?

    No? Then why is the opposite true?
     
  15. Union Jack

    Union Jack defender of the realm

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    worst moment in comics....thor being beaten by superman.
     
  16. Darthphere

    Darthphere Kneel before 'Drox!

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    The Golden Oldie....



    Even though I enjoyed it.
     
  17. The Victor

    The Victor Registered

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    Worst moment in comic books?
    When writers tried to do different things with characters.
    God, I hated that.
     
  18. Dread

    Dread TMNT 1984-2009

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    I could name a good number of specific sagas, series, and so forth, but I think I'll reach deep into something from a while back, 11 years ago, that as a younger fan, got on my goat as a younger fan at age 11 (and some change).

    NOTE: This is NOT the only "bad moment" or what I feel is THE worse moment, just something I feel will kick off some feelings, like DBM did.

    Spider-Man Unlimited #2 (Aug. 1993)- Maximum Carnage part 14.

    Back in those days, a 14 part crossover that spanned some 3 titles within the course of a year or so was a "new", hyped event. It would only be a few years before X-books, Superman books, and Batman books would milk the crossover to death like any regular fad. Still, this story was one of the grandpappys of "mega-part" crossovers (as in beyond 3-5 parts). This was also before Onslaught, before "noseless Pirate-Mask" Wolverine, before the Clone Saga, even.

    There are plenty of people who dislike this storyline, because it was essentially a collection of baddies facing a collection of heroes in one brawl after another, but to an 11 year old fan, all the fighting and costumes was a fun read. The plot was simple enough and I liked action more then than I do now. I didn't get every part of the crossover but I got enough of it, and tracked down the finale at a back-issue mart about a year later when I missed it, to see how it finally all ended.

    During this time, I might add, I had started to like Venom as an anti-hero. No, he shouldn't have become as heroic as he was, but remained in the gray area, like The Hulk in a way. But he was overdone in bad stories a lot, but I still saw something in the character, due to life experiences. I was, however, a longtime fan of Spider-Man.

    At one point in Maximum Carnage, Spider-Man screams at a mob that has rallied into chaos with the events of Carnage and his crew: "You want to act like animals, then you won't get any mercy from Spider-Man!" My jaw dropped. I hadn't seen Spidey this ticked in a while. I had no idea what would happen. Would Carnage, who was only slaughtering hapless innocents, face his end much like Green Goblin?

    A few issues later, however, Spidey was back to his old self, when Venom was committed to finishing Carnage once and for all. I kind of shrugged my shoulders and went, "oh, well."

    But this finale kind of irked me at the time, and now, for one simple reason; while I understand Spider-Man being committed to preserving life, his overly liberal verbal defense of Carnage's rampages just about made me sick.

    Carnage, recall, was an abused child who started his murder sprees young, killing folks in an orphanage and setting a fire to cover it up. He was jailed for about 10 or so murders and bragged about a dozen more. He was accidentally empowered by Venom and in his first spree, killed quite a few folks " 'cause I can". In this arc, he and his "family" were slaughtering droves of people left and right, and inciting riots that hurt even more. So the fact that Spider-Man felt that Carnage was somehow above certain responsibilities because of his past was a little disheartening.

    Proof? At one point, Spider-Man goes, "He [Carnage] may have been the most innocent of all!" Excuse me? Because he was abused as a child, it's alright that he kills random people? Just because we can explain it, justifies keeping him around? The Amazing Spider-Man is willing to kill Sin-Eater (who was a guy with a shotgun, basically) because he killed Jean DeWolfe, a woman he knew, almost killed Betty, an ex-lover, but feels no such rage to Carnage only because he didn't lose anyone he knew in the chaos? How elitist. I wondered if Spider-Man would have so easily confused Carnage for being "innocent" had, say MJ or May been sliced open by him.

    And while I understand Spider-Man being moral and wanting to preserve life, this other line made me chuckle back then: "There's already been so much killing, one more won't solve anything!" Um, but if that "one more" is the dude doing the killing, then it kind of will solve everything.

    I understood Spider-Man feeling that life is precious. That he wouldn't deliberately kill (yet felt no lasting remourse for Charlie, the girl he accidently killed with a punch, in "Wolverine vs. Spider-Man" #1 beyond the flight trip home) anyone if he could help it. But he isn't made of stone, and can succumb to emotion like the rest of us, which makes him real. So seeing him confuse Carnage as an "innocent" like a couple in a car who Carnage would just rip open as he moved across the city made me feel ill.

    Had Spider-Man said, "This piece of scum doesn't deserve to live, but killing him off would only show we're no better than he is" would have been corny, but that would have swallowed better. NOT using Carnage's abuse-case past as a justification for his rampages, or confusing him with an old lady in the street he likely disemboweled.

    There were worse moments in Marvel history, but this one was one of the first times Marvel disappointed me with something. Take it for what you will. This rant's been a decade coming.
     
  19. Zev

    Zev Registered

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    See? Now that's a good Worst Moment.

    So now we have, in the camp of excuses to kill according to Marvel, being abused as a child and feeling bad about it.
     
  20. Doomed_hero

    Doomed_hero Registered

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    The Return of Aunt May.
     
  21. X

    X Registered

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    Killing Galactus would do a lot more bad then good. Because the universe would be destroyed and all. :up:

    Not to mention someday he's going to sacrifice his life and recreate the universe.

    I personally like the whole Terrax/Manhatten/everyone vs. Galactus thing. Thor just bashing Galactus in the head and almost toppling him, yadda yadda yadda. Good stuff. :up:

    Spider-Man and DD were hanging back because what was going on was beyond their capibility to deal with.
     
  22. Nero_Ordin

    Nero_Ordin Registered

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    the ben reily clone being spiderman.
     
  23. Symbiotica

    Symbiotica Registered

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    Maximum Carnage is a guilty pleasure, no doubt about it. Altho one could remark that perhaps nowadays we need some more good fights and less jaw-flapping on-page, but I digress. And I agree with you that the ending royally sucks... but for different reasons.

    Once again Marvel pulls a "rabbit" out of a hat to vanquish an all-but-unstoppable foe: in this case, "goodness" rays that cause a sea-change in all who feel them toward the bright side of the Force, emitted by Dagger or some such Godforsaken thing. [sarcasm there.... but not too far from the truth.] All the villains fold like a deck of cards, The End. That just sucks. It's frankly stupid.

    Carnage is not the first foe Spidey has wrongheadedly defended [the name "Venom" comes to mind...] but illogical as it may be, it allows his stellar Rogue's Gallery to remain mostly intact, and for this reason it is tolerated. Of course it would make more sense in total lives saved for Spidey to kill just about all of his foes.... but he shouldn't kill, because that would "kill" the Spidey we know & love. He hates to believe anyone, no matter how bad, is totally irredeemable. That's not good sense but it makes him very loveable.

    Just my opinion, o' course..... endings are a huge problem for Marvel quality-wise, they need to work on this area, at least in the Spidey books. A tacky, unbelievable ending just wrecks the whole thing.

    zev: "So now we have, in the camp of excuses to kill according to Marvel, being abused as a child and feeling bad about it."

    Not only in the Marvel U, but people in real life are using this as a defense for everything from not paying their cell-phone bill on Judge Judy, to the Unibomber. [just kidding, I don't know what the Unibomber's main excuse was other than a dislike of technology, but you know what I mean. :gg:]
     
  24. Roughneck

    Roughneck Registered

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    The worst moment im Marvel Comic History is In Secret Wars #8.

    The Hulk (with the mind of Banner) discovers a machine that can create any costume, hence Thors new Cape and hat. But he said it while wearing his torn purple pants. If he is smart wouldn't he have gotten himself a costume?
     
  25. Assassin

    Assassin Detroit's Reckoning

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    U are wrong my young padawan. the name is spelled
    A U S T E N
    :hellboy:
     

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