Controversial Comic Book Moments:
The comic book industry has garnered a lot of controversies over all these years. While they have delivered a lot of twists and turns and wowed the audience with their magnificent storytelling, the superheroes of DC and Marvel are no strangers to bad publicity. A lot of times, the writers working at the world’s two greatest comic book publication houses have had major slip-ups and have thus faced the ire of the fans. The last decade was no different. Presenting – 10 Most Controversial Comic Book Moments of the past decade to disgust you to the core!!
1. Batman: Holy Terror
Probably the most racist and offensive entry on this list, Batman: Holy Terror is the brainchild of one of the greatest comic book writers of all time – Frank Miller. It was in 2011 that Miller decided it was time for the world to witness a Batman storyline that revolved around the elements of the Islamic World. The story was rough and the entire plot had characters that were racist stereotypes. The message that Holy Terror conveyed was simple and brutally racist – Every Muslim is an enemy of humanity and it is okay to hack through hordes of them if it is a white guy holding the blade. We did not expect Frank Miller of all people to be at the helm of this.
2. Superman relinquishes his citizenship
Superman has always been a stalwart of American values and a beacon of the Free World. The Big Blue Boy Scout is more American than many Americans could hope to be. In Action Comics #900, that changes for the better. Superman decides he has had enough of human politics and renounces his citizenship of the United States of America. The reason he cites is that the clash with the Federal Government on a lot of sensitive topics was the reason for his drastic decision. Superman no longer being an All-American superhero proved to be too much to handle for some of our American Readers.
3. Heroes in Crisis
When soldiers return from war, they show signs of mental instabilities like Post Traumatic Stress Disorder and Schizophrenia due to the traumatic experiences of violence they witness on a daily basis on the battlefield. A typical superhero also goes through a similar experience and that too, for most of their lives, when they are forced to fight cruel and ruthless criminals and criminal masterminds. Their minds are also going to be affected by the amount of trauma they go through. In Heroes in Crisis, Tom King uses this basic premise top turn one of the greatest DC Superheroes into an unrelenting and remorseless killer. Wally West is revealed to be a cold-blooded murderer because the stress of being a superhero has proved to be too much for him.
4. Catwoman calls off her wedding with Batman
Tom King has been dissing the front of the fan, right, and center. After Heroes in Crisis, we bring you Batman #50. Batman’s long-time romantic interest, Catwoman, has finally said yes when Batman popped the question. Everybody is excited. The fans are calling it the wedding of the century. The Dark Knight is finally going to be happy and content in life after fighting evil for so long. He will finally be at peace. And that is the reason Catwoman chooses to call off the marriage. She believes that if Bruce Wayne is happy, he will stop being the Batman and the world cannot afford not having a Batman. The fans feel like they have been stabbed in the back by this revelation. Tom King, we are starting to hate you a little bit now.
5. Spiderman’s Strange Death
In Spiderman: Dying Wish, Doctor Octopus realizes he is dying. To save himself from death, he hatches up an elaborate plan to save himself and make Spiderman pay at the same time. He successfully manages to swap bodies with Spiderman. Doctor Octopus now resides within the body of Peter Parker while Peter Parker is cursed to live out the rest of his limited amount of time he has within the dying body of Otto Octavius. Doctor Octopus, now affected by the memories of Peter Parker, decides to become a force for good and assumes the role of the Superior Spiderman. Peter Parker though, is left to fend for himself. The mind of Peter Parker trapped in the body of Doctor Octopus dies an undeserving death that enrages the fans to the core.
6. X-Men: Gold
Comic Books are a powerful medium to influence the masses. Most of the readers are teenagers or people in their early twenties. So the Comic Book Publications need to be very careful of the messages they convey. X-Men: Gold was about a group of mutant rejects coming together to make the world a better place and also make a name for themselves. Colossus, one of the members of X-Men: Gold had a verse from the Quran printed on his shirt which claimed to reject all beliefs and religions. The fact that a Marvel Comic book issue would have such an Islamophobic image is a matter of grave concern. The Quran is all about peace and tolerance. No religion teaches violence. It was wrong of Marvel to send out such a wrong message to the young readers.
7. Batwoman becomes a Vampire
Batwoman is a character DC Comics themselves do not know what to do with. She is a character that has been painted to have a character alignment which is neither here nor there. Without any concrete foundation, Batwoman suffers in character limbo and is thus pushed around by the writers as they wish. After the New 52 re-launch of DC, Batwoman was suddenly turned into a strange vampire hybrid. Her love life also suffered. Maggie Sawyer, her fiancée, was forced to let go of her marriage when Batwoman called off the engagement citing her own personal reasons. The fans were not happy to see Batwoman so miserable.
8. The Golden Child
Dark Knight Returns: The Golden Child is a one-shot issue that follows the events of Dark Knight Returns III: The Master Race. The issue had a good storyline and impressive artwork but garnered huge controversy for one particular image. Carrie Kelly, the new Robin, is seen holding a lit Molotov, which she is about to throw. With the current world scenario being what it is, the image was seen to be in really poor taste. Countries all over the world are being taken over by protests. Dark Knight Returns: The Golden Child was not at all what the world needs right now.
9. Captain America’s Hail Hydra moment
The Secret Empire storyline may not be the best of moments for Captain America. Hydra is revealed to have infiltrated the highest echelons of authorities of the United States and the rest of the world’s international policing organizations. Using the reality-warping effects of the Cosmic Cube, they even changed the history and origin story of Steve Rogers, turning him into a sleeper cell for Hydra. When Hydra unveiled its plans to the world, Captain America revealed his true colors. His Hail Hydra moment is considered to be one of the greatest cringe-worthy moments in the history of comic books. The fact that Captain America became the very thing he was sworn to destroy forces us to recite a quote – you either die a hero or live long enough to see yourself become the villain.
10. Batman: Damned
While DC Comics had already told the fans that the Black Label of the Batman: Damned storyline means it will feature a lot of graphic nudity and violence, many fans were not ready for what was about to come. The very first pages of the first issue of the series show Batman in all his glory, his private parts up for the show to the world to gaze at. Many fans were unhappy with such a sudden change in tone of DC Comics while many fans commended DC for being so bold in taking such a step that no other comic book publication would dare to. DC Comics further complicated matters by censoring Batman’s nether regions in further issues of the story arc.