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Top 10 Comic Book Events Fans Immediately Hated

VO: Adrian Sousa WRITTEN BY: Michael Wynands
You can retcon as much as you like, but you can never make the readers forget. Welcome to WatchMojo.com, and today we’ll be counting down or picks for the Top 10 Comic Book Events that Fans Immediately Hated. For this list, we’ll be looking at comic book events from both Marvel and DC which fans quickly came to dislike. Some were quickly forgotten, others live on in infamy - all that matters here is that they received a less than warm welcome when they hit shelves.
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You can retcon as much as you like, but you can never make the readers forget. Welcome to WatchMojo.com, and today we’ll be counting down or picks for the Top 10 Comic Book Events that Fans Immediately Hated.

For this list, we’ll be looking at comic book events from both Marvel and DC which fans quickly came to dislike. Some were quickly forgotten, others live on in infamy - all that matters here is that they received a less than warm welcome when they hit shelves.

#10: “Identity Crisis” (2004)


2004’s Identity Crisis saw its first issue claim the number one spot in sales. By the second issue, it had dropped to third place. As far as DC is concerned, “Crisis” is a big buzzword, having appeared in a number of their most successful, game-changing crossover events. Here, however, the crisis was much more personal - involving rape, murder and the mind wiping of villains and Batman alike. Elongated Man and Sue Dibny were b-list relics of a bygone era in comics - a simpler, more colorful time. With this event, that legacy was forever tarnished. Sure, “Identity Crisis” had the Justice League acting uncharacteristically, but worse, it used the rape and murder of a woman as nothing more than a plot device.

#9: “Civil War II” (2016)


Say what you will about the original Civil War. Yes, iconic heroes were behaving out of character, but the event has by and large aged well, especially when compared to its wildly unnecessary sequel. Why did people hate Civil War II right out of the starting gates? Because it was basically just a retread of “Minority Report” featuring superheroes. It also felt like a blatant cash grab in the sense that it was timed with the release of “Captain America: Civil War”. Had the story impressed, it could have overcome first impressions, but poor pacing, bad characterization, and an anticlimactic ending cemented it as a dud.

#8: “The Clone Saga” (1994-96)


Ahhhh the infamous Clone Saga - a comic book event so reviled that new generations of readers are still hearing about it and learning to hate it. The Clone Saga began in the 1970s with a throwaway story that saw Peter fight his clone. It wasn’t great, but it was inoffensive. Flash forward to the ‘90s for the real drama. Now to be fair, the clone saga was a big seller when it kicked off in 1994, but those sales numbers resulted in it being extended to the point where readers hated it long before it ended. Twists abounded, only to be reversed by more twists, culminating in a conclusion that made the entire misadventure feel utterly pointless.

#7: “Amazons Attack!” (2007)


Ugh… everything about this event feels misguided. The idea of having the Amazons of Themyscira attack U.S. soil has the makings of a fun story, but the execution is simply piss poor. The 2007 event spanned 6 issues and 4 tie-ins and was predominantly defined by absolutely terrible writing. Seriously… fans actually mailed their issues back to DC. Every single character behaves like they’ve been body snatched, the continuity is non-existent and the Amazons are depicted as bloodthirsty, mindless man-haters who take pleasure in killing children. Morbid curiosity is the only thing that can get you to the conclusion of this event. Spoiler: it’s a really bad ending.

#6: “Ultimatum” (2009)


The Ultimate Universe was not without its mistakes. But as a concept, it was awesome, and we as readers took real pleasure in following the adventures of our favorite characters unencumbered by the decades of continuity. Ultimate Spider-Man, in particular, was phenomenal. Unfortunately, the freedom afforded by this alternate reality clearly went to Jeph Loeb’s head and he proceeded to rip apart everything that fans had loved. Magneto sets out to destroy the planet in the wake of the apparent deaths of his children, and Loeb obliges with his pen. The first issue was met with mixed review, but by issue #2, it became clear that this was a disaster. Shock value had supplanted quality.

#5: “Countdown to Final Crisis” (2007-08)


Another DC Crisis, another crisis in quality. Running from 2007 to 2008 and described by DC Editor-in-Chief Dan DiDio as “52 done right” before its release, Countdown to Final Crisis took everything that was successful about the weekly 52 series and ran it straight into the ground. From its very first issue, confusingly numbered in reverse, starting with #51, Countdown proved itself to be fundamentally different from its critically-acclaimed predecessor, and every change was for the worse. Hilariously, it got so derailed that it didn’t even tie into Final Crisis, despite the title. We’re not going to summarise the plot for you because honestly… we can’t and it’s not worth the effort.

#4: “Onslaught” (1996)


One look at a page from this event, and you know what decade you’re in. This was the mid-90s and so the fashion was terrible, Wolverine always looked feral and the titular villain, Onslaught, was just a collage of weirdly jagged bits and oddly bulging muscles. But that’s a retroactive criticism; Onslaught was already poorly received in its own time. The villain was overpowered - he was a combination of Charles Xavier and Magneto and a manifestation of their darkest aspects. Apparently, his reach was such that his event spread into countless comics, forcing readers to buy tons of issues to keep up. Onslaught’s goal was unclear, and the event’s overall lack of direction and purpose showed from the very outset.

#3: “The New 52” (2011)


The number 52… it was lightning in a bottle for DC Comics once, but it’s failed to serve them well ever since. More than an event, the New 52 was a relaunch of DC’s entire comic book line. The idea was sound - give readers a new, clean point of entry and simplify the storytelling to make the weight of continuity seem less… overwhelming. And attract readers it did! The thing is, the company couldn’t commit, and thus some titles were indebted to the past while others started over from square one, making it all feel for naught. The results were messy and confusing, the quality notably uneven and certain character redesigns wildly unnecessary. Another relaunch arrived in 2016.

#2: “Secret Empire” (2017)


Full disclosure… “Secret Empire” was actually a pretty solid event. The conclusion was kind of disappointing, but up until the last two issues, it was a compelling read - tense and emotional. Unfortunately for Marvel, there are a lot of fans who weren’t willing to read past the first big reveal: Captain America being an Agent of Hydra. There are certain things that you just do not do, and making Captain America behave like a Nazi is one of them. For many, the editorial willingness to do this to Steve Rogers was proof that the industry was out of ideas and desperate to create buzz.

#1: “One More Day” (2007)


Civil War brought with it many ramifications for the Marvel universe - some of them harder to deal with than others. Spider-Man’s identity being made public was definitely a tough one, but rather than really explore this challenging new status quo for the Web-Head, the good folks at Marvel decided to retcon as soon as possible. Intended as a Spidey-specific band-aid in the wake of Civil War’s fallout, “One More Day” ironically hurt Civil War’s reputation as a whole. What can we say, having Peter Parker make a literal deal with the devil, forfeit his marriage and unborn child and alter reality just doesn’t feel right to us fans. Weird right?
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