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Gavok
Oct 10, 2005

Brock! Oh, man, I'm sorry about your...

...tooth?


Based on discussion from the Badass Thread, this is a place for us to discuss the worst creative runs on certain comics. That one year or so (if you were lucky) where everything in your once-favorite comic became utterly unreadable.

I'll start it off.

Luke Cage: Power Man #28-35 by Don McGregor

Funny thing about this run. #29 isn't by McGregor, but Bill Mantlo. It's the infamous Mr. Fish fill-in issue and while it's silly as hell, it's still a gigantic breath of fresh air compared to the rancid bread that's sandwiching it in. Luke Cage's 70's series started out as a fun ride about a blaxploitation superhero fighting the most over-the-top villain designs writers could come up with. It was energetic and goofy and all get out, but that screeched to a halt once McGregor took over.

For six issues that felt like twelve due to the never-ending narration, McGregor decided that Cage should be worthless and everything about his world should be super depressing. To start, Cage fights a guy named Cockroach Hamilton who has zero powers. He's just a guy with a six-barreled shotgun. He's able to take a punch from Cage because of lazy writing. This sets the theme for the six issues as Cage's super strength appears to be all but shoved into the backseat.



Every other panel from this run features narration about how much New York City sucks. There's a story in there about Cage fighting a racist pyromaniac villain who ends up killing a black kid and for all the issues that follow, we see Cage and the family grieve with no actual point to it. At one point they're written out by simply moving away, I believe during one of Cage's fights. Like he's fighting a dude, looks over, sees them getting on a bus and feels bad.

Just as bad, McGregor introduces a character Quentin Chase, a bland FBI agent who is on Cage's case because all of his villains end up dying in some way or another. Chase is blatantly McGregor's attempt to get a spinoff series (he's admitted as much), except he's in no way interesting and does zero of note except nag Cage relentlessly.

McGregor left Power Man during an arc that was finished by Marv Wolfman. After that, there was no mention ever again of Quentin Chase, that dead kid or anything else from this lovely run. The series got enjoyable again for its remaining year before merging with Iron Fist's book, which also ruled.

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bobkatt013
Oct 8, 2006

Ever have one of those day?

Avengers 200 by Jim Shooter. A story so bad that even Chris Claremont was shocked at its misogyny. It did so much damage to Carol Danvers that he had to completely reboot her by having her personality and mind removed by Rogue. Here is an article on this atrocity of a storyline. http://carolastrickland.com/comics/msmarvel/


Also here is an added bonus Nightwing and Tarantula have nonconsensual sex but its not surprise sex.
Devin Grayson
Nightwing #53, 71100, 107116, Annual #1

bobkatt013 fucked around with this message at Jul 30, 2013 around 20:29

Realism
Sep 16, 2008


Larry Hama's run on Wolverine after The Lazarus Project, he was doing quite well up until then, I don't know what happened....everything seems to just go downhill.

And I don't even know how you can write bad stories on a guy like Wolverine, I mean....that's gotta take some skills.



Alan Grant's run on Shadow of the Bat and Batman. The Last Arkham is one of the best Batman stories ever, so it was quite shocking for me to see that his other stories were drastically different from The Last Arkham, they were corny, campy, just plain stupid and nonsensical at times.


Dan Slott's run on Superior Spider-Man has to be one of the worst right now.

Jeph Loeb on Red Hulk was pretty bad too.

Giedroyc
Feb 18, 2001

ouch...

Avengers 200 is toss, but that's because of the last minute re-write, the rest of Shooter's Avengers run is actually quite good I mean it contains the Korvac saga ffs.

In terms of runs I hate then Dan Jurgens Justice League America #61-77 (1992-1993). Happens right after Giffen/DeMatteis JLA comes to a superb climax and manages to completely loving ruin 3 characters and the entire concept within 3 pages, when Superman shows up and Fire/Ice act like generic school girls in love who immediately dump Max Lord. Then it got even worse (EXTREEEEEEME JUSTICE) until they had to dump the lot and hand it over to Grant Morrison.

bobkatt013
Oct 8, 2006

Ever have one of those day?

Giedroyc posted:

Avengers 200 is toss, but that's because of the last minute re-write, the rest of Shooter's Avengers run is actually quite good I mean it contains the Korvac saga ffs.

In terms of runs I hate then Dan Jurgens Justice League America #61-77 (1992-1993). Happens right after Giffen/DeMatteis JLA comes to a superb climax and manages to completely loving ruin 3 characters and the entire concept within 3 pages, when Superman shows up and Fire/Ice act like generic school girls in love who immediately dump Max Lord. Then it got even worse (EXTREEEEEEME JUSTICE) until they had to dump the lot and hand it over to Grant Morrison.

Its just that issue is so bad and it completely ruined Carol's character. It has taken a lot of work and a lot of writers to get completely rid of that stink.

Also lets not forget Uncanny X-men 410 - 442. It is the Chuck Austin reign of Terror. It has such stories as Draco, Holy War, and She Lies with Angels. There is so much to say about this title but here are some highlights. Jubilee on skins misspelled grave talking about how much she wished she slept with him. Everything in the Draco. Mutants not being able to get AIDS. The only good thing I can say about it is the redemption of Juggernaut is pretty good.

delfin
Dec 5, 2003

SNATTER'S ALIVE?!?!


Can't believe I haven't been beaten to the end of Thunderbolts Vol. 1.

Thunderbolts #75 tied up a big pile of loose ends at the end of its storyline -- the split teams were reunited, the world was saved, Atlas got his powers back, Dallas Riordan was healed, some members went to prison, others left of their own accord, and Zemo drops a bombshell at the very end: he intends to save the world by conquering it, after all. Now what?

...Now the book loses its entire creative team, abandons the existing character set and storylines, designs the covers to look like Maxim and its ilk with "FOR REAL MEN" on them, and rambles for six issues about an underground fighting league for D-list supervillains.



Not one of Joe Quesada's better ideas. Sales went splat and the book was mercy-killed six issues later.

bobkatt013
Oct 8, 2006

Ever have one of those day?

delfin posted:

Can't believe I haven't been beaten to the end of Thunderbolts Vol. 1.

Thunderbolts #75 tied up a big pile of loose ends at the end of its storyline -- the split teams were reunited, the world was saved, Atlas got his powers back, Dallas Riordan was healed, some members went to prison, others left of their own accord, and Zemo drops a bombshell at the very end: he intends to save the world by conquering it, after all. Now what?

...Now the book loses its entire creative team, abandons the existing character set and storylines, designs the covers to look like Maxim and its ilk with "FOR REAL MEN" on them, and rambles for six issues about an underground fighting league for D-list supervillains.



Not one of Joe Quesada's better ideas. Sales went splat and the book was mercy-killed six issues later.

I blame that awful run not on the writer, but editorial. It was written by John Arcudi and he later went on to do some amazing stuff in B.P.R.D., which is a title that should not be mentioned in this thread.
However, Witchfinder Lost and Gone Forever by Mike Mignola, John Arcudi, and John Severin is pointless and seemed to be there just for John Severin amazing art. It did not seem to have any connection to the larger universe so its really not worth reading.

Dr. Hurt
Oct 23, 2010

Maybe it's an early Christmas present?


bobkatt013 posted:

However, Witchfinder Lost and Gone Forever by Mike Mignola, John Arcudi, and John Severin is pointless and seemed to be there just for John Severin amazing art. It did not seem to have any connection to the larger universe so its really not worth reading.

That's the one where he's in Texas/the Wild West for no reason whatsoever right? I came onto that miniseries right after reading the first Witchfinder series and that was such a huge disappointment.

Speaking of huge disappointments, I have to second Jeph Loeb's red hulk run. It started right around the time that I was just getting into buying my own comics, and that year for Christmas my parents gave me a subscription to Hulk and Detective Comics because hey Dr. Hurt likes Comic Books right, these look good. So to prepare myself I read Greg Pak's run all the way through World War Hulk. Needless the say the steaming pile of poo poo that was Loeb's hulk clashed completely with everything that came before it and eventually I just stopped reading Hulk when it arrived. Bad plot, horrible characterizations (Sentry, Moon Knight, and Mrs. Marvel acting exactly like Superman, Batman, and Wonder Woman), and just dumb writing all around.

And that's why comic subscriptions can be a terrible idea.

DynamicSloth
Jul 30, 2006

"Man is least himself when he talks in his own person. Give him a mask, and he will tell you the truth."

bobkatt013 posted:

Avengers 200 by Jim Shooter. A story so bad that even Chris Claremont was shocked at its misogamy.
Sure you're not mixing that up with One More Day?

Opopanax
Aug 8, 2007

MISCHARF and Maple Syrup


Does Ultimates 3/Ultimatum count? Because I have to go with those.

Realism
Sep 16, 2008


Steve Englehart's run of Silver Surfer issues 1-35.

He had an issue where Galactus was fist-fighting In-Betweener in space










This has to be one of the worst comic issues I've ever read

Endless Mike
Aug 13, 2003

He's AWESOME!


Opopanax posted:

Does Ultimates 3/Ultimatum count? Because I have to go with those.

No, comics that never existed don't count.

On-topic: X-Men #4-like whenever Grant Morrison took over was a never-ending cavalcade of every awful writer you can imagine. Uncanny wasn't any better. At least the art was occasionally good.

Endless Mike fucked around with this message at Jul 30, 2013 around 21:35

Wachter
Mar 23, 2007

You and whose knees?


DC put out several truly diabolical comics in 2010, and respected Starman scribe James Robinson was inexplicably responsible for a lot of them. But a special mention has to go to Justice League (vol. 2) #40.



Blackest Night was already a lurid, exploitative piece of melodramatic schlock from word one. It was somewhat indicative of the trend in DC comics toward faux-mature themes of nihilistic violence, death, Pyrrhic victories, and the futility of the hero. Pretty much every dead character in DC history was resurrected as a psychopathic and near-invulnerable zombie bent on driving their victims to extremes of anger or fear so that their hearts could be harvested to un-resurrect a cosmic death entity. A few of the books, particularly Tomasi and Gleason's Green Lantern Corps, ran with the enormous silliness of the concept and put out an insane grindhouse space opera in which hideous undead monstrosities were repeatedly gibbed by lasers and the power of love and magic multicoloured wishing rings.

Sadly, the vast majority of tie-ins were mediocre or downright lovely, and followed the same predictable formula:
  • dead character with emotional ties to protagonist respawns as evil zombie
  • zombie tries to make protagonist cry by playing on his/her grief and/or sense of responsibility for zombie's death
  • zombie and protagonist slap each other about a bit
  • deus ex machina destroys/disables/distracts zombie
  • protagonist sombrely reflects upon the loss of his/her friend and the transience of life
James Robinson and Mark Bagley's Justice League of America was one such book, but it was much worse than merely lovely. This was a dark period for the JLA: a period during which the world's most prestigious crime-fighting organisation was apparently giving away free memberships inside cereal packets. Instead of Batman, Superman, Wonder Woman, and all your other favourites, the seats of the Hall of Justice were being kept warm by Zatanna, Vixen, Doctor Light II, Gypsy, Plastic Man (yay! ), and Red Tornado (gently caress ). I get that Robinson was going for a more ethnically diverse line-up, and I love it when lesser-known characters get some time in the spotlight, but sadly none of Robinson's characters have a voice. It's a by-the-numbers, phoned-in, boring book.

Finally, there's a memorable sequence, (for all the wrong reasons). Since the Blackest Night zombies were an excuse for the writers to be as cruel as possible, and really put their protagonists through the emotional mangle, it was with a sense of depressing inevitability that noted rapist Dr. Arthur Light showed up to torment his successor.

Here's DC Wikia's description of Dr. Light's death scene, since it really does set the tone:

DC Wikia posted:

The Spectre judges Dr. Light (who is in the middle of a mock superhero surprise sex orgy with various women dressed as Teen Titans), and burns him to death by turning him into a candle and using his head for the wick.



Soooooo basically, this happens:





There is so much going on here that shouldn't be anywhere loving near a superhero fight comic. It's just so... cavalier in its approach to sexual violence. Panel 1 of page 2 leaves the reader under no illusions whatsover that if Kimiyo's laser powers give out, she's going to be raped by an animated corpse. On that final page, said corpse advances on a tearful, half-naked, and apparently defenceless woman from behind, insinuating that she is a prostitute. And I don't think I'm remiss in inferring from the penultimate panel that he intends to surprise sex and kill both Kimiyo and her children.

Whole loving thing makes my skin crawl.

Wanderer
Nov 5, 2006

our every move is the new tradition


Back around 1990, there was this guy named Michael Higgins who, as far as I can tell, had a picture of someone important at Marvel Comics participating in a donkey show. Even when I was in full twelve-year-old mode, unable to really criticize much of what I was reading, Higgins's work struck me as awful.

He's probably slightly more famous for getting to write an Uncanny X-Men Annual during the Atlantis Attacks crossover, which makes him one of the only writers, if not the only writer, to do a fill-in on Claremont's original UXM run. It features a bodyswap between Dazzler and Diamondback that takes place before the book even starts, Diamondback receiving the dick-seeking missile characterization that people would rake Chuck Austen over the coals for fifteen years later, and Colossus acting like he's fresh off a Russian farm. I've blocked most of it out.

What I'm really here to talk about is Power Pack.

At this point, Power Pack had sort of been limping along for a while. Louise Simonson was long gone, and Jon Bogandove had written it for years as kind of a weird combination of an After-School Special and a fairly typical superhero book. By the end of his run, he appeared to be going slightly insane, such as when he introduced a cosmic figure who was basically Whoopi Goldberg's character from ST:TNG right down to having her face.

Higgins took over the book with #56 and immediately and blatantly started trying to kill it. This became famous in the larger community as the arc where Alex Power slowly began to transform into a horse, due to some kind of Kymellian mindmeld nonsense.

In the end, sales cratered so hard that Higgins didn't even get to finish the arc. Simonson and June Brigman actually came back for a one-shot "Holiday Special" where they fixed things up after Higgins's run, restoring each character's powers to their original holders (which is why Alex just has the gravity powers in current issues of FF), and then left again.

Still, for all-out plain old terrible comics, you can't go too far wrong with Power Pack #56-61. I'm convinced it's why you don't really see Jack or Katie in current comics; the two of them haven't had either the writer push or the characterization revamp you'd need to restore them to a usable state. Katie in particular would be terrifyingly powerful if she wasn't five years old in the original comics.

Nipponophile
Apr 8, 2009

Man of the Rising Sun


Wachter posted:

Here's DC Wikia's description of Dr. Light's death scene, since it really does set the tone:

Ugh, I knew they'd retconned surprise sex into Dr. Light's background, but I had no idea they'd gone whole hog rapey rapist from rapeville with him.

Achernar
Sep 2, 2011


Nipponophile posted:

Ugh, I knew they'd retconned surprise sex into Dr. Light's background, but I had no idea they'd gone whole hog rapey rapist from rapeville with him.

"Remember we can threaten surprise sex all we like, but we can't say the word bitch." I comics.

for my contribution I'd like to bring up War Games/War Crimes, two batman storyarcs so bad they stopped me from buying bat-trades.

The stupid push and then death of Spoiler, followed by the most stupid OOC move by Dr. Thompkins, reminds me of nothing so much as Vince Russo's stunt booking. Sacrificing years of stories past and future for one shock moment NOW.

E the Shaggy
Mar 29, 2010


Howard Mackie's Spiderman run in the 90's-2000's.

You couldn't even blame this all on the Clone Saga, as his run continued after the fact and poo poo up Spiderman was "Chapter One". There was a LOT that Mackie did wrong (to say nothing of the fact that rumors were he was the writer of Brotherhood named "X" because his reputation was so bad at that point), but nothing was worse than this issue:



They had been hinting at the secret identity of the Green Goblin who had been hanging around Norman Osborn, but Mackie had apparently forgotten about it and was getting pissed off that people wouldn't shut up about it, so he revealed the identity: A clone of a clone of no one.

When his mask is taken off, he turns into six different people and then disintegrates, the end.

E the Shaggy
Mar 29, 2010


Wanderer posted:

Power Pack.


I recently bought the "Inferno Crossover" omnibus (It was like 10 bucks on ebay), and they threw in some Power Pack issues that were BANANAS.

Power Pack's parents discover their secret identities and it drives them insane, like not just angry, but literally unable to function, drooling on the floor insane. Then an alien or something shows up and convinces the parents that Power Pack are actually clones of their children and not actually them, instantly reverting them back to normal.

The Pack can never reveal their secret to their parents as it will drive them to madness.

Protocol 5
Sep 23, 2004

God created Fenway to train the faithful.


Achernar posted:

"Remember we can threaten surprise sex all we like, but we can't say the word bitch." I comics.

for my contribution I'd like to bring up War Games/War Crimes, two batman storyarcs so bad they stopped me from buying bat-trades.

The stupid push and then death of Spoiler, followed by the most stupid OOC move by Dr. Thompkins, reminds me of nothing so much as Vince Russo's stunt booking. Sacrificing years of stories past and future for one shock moment NOW.

I kind of assumed he was saying stinkyhole, because you figure the zombie of a serial rapist would go there.

E the Shaggy
Mar 29, 2010


Realism posted:

Steve Englehart's run of Silver Surfer issues 1-35.

He had an issue where Galactus was fist-fighting In-Betweener in space










This has to be one of the worst comic issues I've ever read

I...kind of think this is metal as gently caress.

prefect
Sep 11, 2001

No one, Woodhouse.
No one.


E the Shaggy posted:

I...kind of think this is metal as gently caress.

Ron Lim drew the best shiny space people.

Spiderdrake
May 12, 2001
Those who would dominate others must first dominate themselves

E the Shaggy posted:

I...kind of think this is metal as gently caress.
The best part is Silver surfer being like 'im outta here zoooom' in the bottom of the first page

RandallODim
Dec 30, 2010

He presumably spends
his time traveling the world, annihilating any rapper foolish enough to challenge him


Yeah, I'm pretty okay with Galactus laying an absolute smackdown on The In-Betweener if it looks that great. Also, that first page kinda makes it look like Galactus sucker punched In-Betweener right in the face before he was ready, which makes it even better.

Mr Wind Up Bird
Jan 23, 2004

i'm a goddamn coward
but then again so are you


I was going to dig up my copies of Batman 579-581 but apparently they are so bad I've hid them from myself.



Fortunately, the arc is fairly well trod comic blog fodder and for good reason. The comics are bad, but also bad in the way that's fun to write about. The story is stupid and barely makes any sense with a unlikable villain and Batman being a weirdo. The art is the funny sort of hideous where Batman spends the whole arc thrusting his crotch and dressing up like a GI Joe.

Nipponophile
Apr 8, 2009

Man of the Rising Sun


That's twice now that Larry Hama's name has popped up in this thread. Y'all are trying to make 10 year old me feel bad for loving G.I. Joe, aren't y'all?

404GoonNotFound
Aug 6, 2006

The McRib is back!?!?


Nipponophile posted:

That's twice now that Larry Hama's name has popped up in this thread. Y'all are trying to make 10 year old me feel bad for loving G.I. Joe, aren't y'all?

Hama's good, but has a very narrow area of expertise. The problem is that editors keep recommending him for things outside of it.

See Also: Simon Furman.

Wanderer
Nov 5, 2006

our every move is the new tradition


Nipponophile posted:

That's twice now that Larry Hama's name has popped up in this thread. Y'all are trying to make 10 year old me feel bad for loving G.I. Joe, aren't y'all?

No, Hama's G.I. Joe is not only decent but is about ten thousand times better than it has any right to be for being an '80s comic about toys. It's better early on, the art suffers near the end of its Marvel run, and the characters get sillier as the toys got more over the top, but somehow Hama managed to sneak a lot of talk about Vietnam and honor and being a soldier in with the rest.

E the Shaggy posted:

Power Pack's parents discover their secret identities and it drives them insane, like not just angry, but literally unable to function, drooling on the floor insane. Then an alien or something shows up and convinces the parents that Power Pack are actually clones of their children and not actually them, instantly reverting them back to normal.

The Pack can never reveal their secret to their parents as it will drive them to madness.

Yeah, Jon Bogandove's run as writer/artist has some pretty crazy poo poo thrown in, like a super-powered street gang or the Pack being involved in the god drat Morlock Massacre plot in any way, and "Inferno" in general caused some pretty crazy storylines to happen all over the place.

All of it pales next to the sheer destructive stupidity of Michael Higgins, though.

E the Shaggy
Mar 29, 2010


I know that Devin Grayson's Nightwing run will be mentioned, but that pales in comparison to the awfulness of her Ghost Rider mini series, Hammer Lane.



Yes, he is wearing a Cashmere sweater throughout the entire series. Also take note of the horrible artwork.

I can still remember that I was 13 when this came out and read an interview with her in Wizard about this series. I swear the interviewer asked her,

"So what attracted you to Ghost Rider?"
"Well, I like motorcycles."
"Are you familiar with the character?"
"No."

And holy poo poo does it show. This was the first series where Marvel brought back Johnny Blaze as Ghost Rider, with absolutely no explanation as to what happened to Danny Ketch or how Blaze became Ghost Rider again. The entire series is literally just showing how loving rad motorcyclists are and how strong their community is, and then Ghost Rider forgives a guy for killing a ton of his friends, after having himself killed a poo poo ton of people.

It was bad. It was so bad.

HUNDU THE BEAST GOD
Sep 14, 2007

everything is yours


I was just about to comment that I'd like to read Steve Englehart's loony Galactus stories where he is just bodyslamming noncorporeal entities into planets but I'm glad I'm not the only one.

Dreqqus
Feb 20, 2013


I loved the hell out of Morrison's X-men/New X-men run. It was the run, along with Frank Tieri's Weapon X run, that was responsible for getting me back in to comics. If only every other X-Writer at the time was as good. Or even good at all. These were the years of Chuck Austen's Uncanny X-men(410-443). The book where Nightcrawler's whole reason for existing was invalidated. The blunt force metaphor for the whole franchise, the guy who looked like a demon, but showed us all that we shouldn't be so quick to judge people on appearances, turns out was really a demon the whole time!

Havok literally urinated Iceman a new body.

Angel banged Paige Guthrie in the air while her family watched, at the conclusion of a horrible riff on Romeo and Juliet.

Sammie the Fish Boy.

I want to blame insane sadistic Polaris on him too. making GBS threads up the whole end of Morrison's X-men with the revelation that the Xorn that Magneto was pretending to be was really Xorn pretending to be Magneto pretending to be Xorn. Overall it was just a terrible, terrible run. And Marvel followed that up by giving him Avengers. Then DC gave him Superman, and JLA! I have no idea what was going on in their heads in the 2000's, that they kept giving this guy work.

Dreqqus fucked around with this message at Jul 31, 2013 around 01:00

E the Shaggy
Mar 29, 2010


Man, this entire thread could just stand as a monument to Chuck Austen and his horrific run on Xmen.

Nurse Annie, the worst character, falling in love with Havok when he was in a coma. Husk revealing that mutants can't get aids, which everyone apparently knew all along! Jubilee standing over Skin's grave and talking about how much she wanted to gently caress him.

The cherry on top of this poo poo sundae is that at the time of Xmen 2's dvd release, Austen was the one writing the most Nightcrawler, so they interviewed him about Nightcrawler and what made him special, and he starts off by saying, "Well one of Nightcrawler's lesser known mutant powers is that he has two dicks."

E: I had always wondered what the hell happened to Chuck Austen and never knew that he had been blacklisted from DC after retailers outright refused to buy his books after the X-Men run. Probably one of the only good things Didio ever did.

E the Shaggy fucked around with this message at Jul 31, 2013 around 01:39

Gavok
Oct 10, 2005

Brock! Oh, man, I'm sorry about your...

...tooth?


I don't want to step on Waterhaul's toes, but try to explain your point of view more than just mentioning runs. Lot of good stuff so far, though.

E the Shaggy posted:

Howard Mackie's Spiderman run in the 90's-2000's.

You couldn't even blame this all on the Clone Saga, as his run continued after the fact and poo poo up Spiderman was "Chapter One". There was a LOT that Mackie did wrong (to say nothing of the fact that rumors were he was the writer of Brotherhood named "X" because his reputation was so bad at that point), but nothing was worse than this issue:



They had been hinting at the secret identity of the Green Goblin who had been hanging around Norman Osborn, but Mackie had apparently forgotten about it and was getting pissed off that people wouldn't shut up about it, so he revealed the identity: A clone of a clone of no one.

When his mask is taken off, he turns into six different people and then disintegrates, the end.

Part of me wants to read the entirety of Mackie's Spider-Man run just to see how many times he loses his place. The guy always tends to come up with some truly interesting comic book concepts, but can't write his way past it. You know that scene in the Room when the mother says she has cancer and it's never mentioned ever again? That's Howard Mackie as a writer. The most memorable to me was this awesome storyline concept he had in 2000 of Spider-Man vs. Venom vs. the Sinister Six.

Venom just came back after two years of zero comic book appearances (shocking in its own right) and insisted on joining the Sinister Six. They didn't take kindly to this and betrayed him. Venom decided that he was going to pick them off and kill them one by one. Spider-Man would try to fight them both off and stop anyone from dying. Any capable writer could turn that into a really cool story. Not only did Mackie fumble around on it, such as the issue where Venom "killed" Sandman, but he didn't have a single ending in mind. Venom just kind of stopped with no explanation.

E the Shaggy
Mar 29, 2010


Gavok posted:


Venom just came back after two years of zero comic book appearances (shocking in its own right) and insisted on joining the Sinister Six. They didn't take kindly to this and betrayed him. Venom decided that he was going to pick them off and kill them one by one. Spider-Man would try to fight them both off and stop anyone from dying. Any capable writer could turn that into a really cool story. Not only did Mackie fumble around on it, such as the issue where Venom "killed" Sandman, but he didn't have a single ending in mind. Venom just kind of stopped with no explanation.

Oh man, that reminds me of the horrible "Evil Senator" arc during Mackie's run, since I think the Senator was responsible for Venom loving off.

He kept building this senator for SO long (Had to be at least 30 issues over all the Spider titles, again and again and again. Every single issue seemed to end with "Who is the Senator? Why is he so evil? What is his origin? How will Spiderman defeat him?"

Then it was just dropped completely.

Suben
Jul 1, 2007

In 1985 Dr. Strange makes a rap album.


This is one that's going to be at odds with most peoples' opinions but whatever.

New X-Men #20-#46 by Craig Kyle & Chris Yost (and various artists, mainly Mark Brooks and Skottie Young)



Most people seem to like this run and if its your first exposure to the characters or anything then I can kind of get that. But for me, just as a personal thing, I hate this run and for me it's honestly worse than a thousand Havoks threatening to piss on a thousand Icemen. I've said it a thousand times but I seriously got into comics with New Mutants v2 by Nunzio DeFilipis and Christina Weir. It was super cheesy teen soap opera poo poo and I ate it up. Is it going to go down as one of the best runs ever? Nope, but just personally it's always going to hold a special place for me and I'll always enjoy re-reading it and I like the characters.

So I wasn't too thrilled with the original writers getting booted after House of M in favor of X-23's creators, especially because it was a kind of last minute thing (as the original ones were still working on post-HoM plans) but still I'd give it a chance.

What I got was one of the most miserable comics I've ever read. Wachter talked about how Blackest Night was the embodiment of a lot of DC's worst trends and a lot of that same stuff can be applied to the Kyle/Yost run on New X-Men as well: victories are pyrrhic, characters are tortured and murdered and put through the emotional wringer and never really seem to come out on top. It's two years of the writers seemingly trying to find new ways to poo poo all over a bunch of teenagers as some kind of horror version of a growing up analogy. There's light moments here and there (Rockslide and Anole) but even a lot of that is just done in some kind of eh gallows humor manner of "ho ho, we're all gonna die". If there's a way to try and ruin a character emotionally, physically and both it's probably attempted.

The opening arc is really the worst of it with kids on a bus being blown up, Wallflower (who was my favorite character) getting shot through the head while her boyfriend with Super Healing Powers is standing right there, Quill gets shot in the face, probably others I'm forgetting too. Also Winddancer's written out so the writers can immediately begin doing a bunch of relationship teasing/drama with Hellion and X-23. It never really gets any better though and the whole thing just comes off as nihilistic and mean-spirited and I think it wound up leaving those characters/that generation of kids in a worse state. Not necessarily due to how the characters THEMSELVES were written but a lot of subsequent X-Men writers have just taken the tone and applied it to the characters as a whole basically making them fragile wimps who flip out and/or cry at the first sign of trouble while massively regressing most of them in terms of personality (Hellion and Surge got it the worst).

That's not to say the writers are bad: Yost's become one of my favorites and Scarlet Spider is probably my favorite book either of the Big Two is putting out but that doesn't really change the fact I think that their New X-Men run is a miserable, cynical turd pile. Still not as bad as Avengers Arena or the last few years of pre-Nu 52 Teen Titans (which could be their own posts probably) in terms of horribly written Teenage Misery Comix but still.

muscles like this?
Jan 17, 2005

... I have no idea who this is


Amazing Spider-Man 529-534

Technically they're "The Road to Civil War/Civil War" but really they should be titled "JMS writes Tony Stark as a mustache twirling villain." Now, I know his run as a whole isn't exactly a fan favorite around here but while it certainly had its ups and downs before this was certainly the nadir of his time on the comic. I don't really count Back in Black and One More Day directly at his feet since they were very obviously editorial mandate arcs.

Starting at 529 with the gimmick-y Iron Spider suit the run then moves over to Washington DC where Tony games the Senate by staging a fight between Spider-Man and Titanium Man. It then moves on to Tony pushing Peter to unmask and then declaring (without consulting him first) that Peter would be the pro-Reg attack dog, taking down any unregistered hero they go after. After that its revealed that Tony was using the Iron Spider suit to spy on Peter's abilities.

The whole thing just kind of spirals out of control with Tony declaring that anyone in the Negative Zone prison is there for life and then attacking Peter completely unprovoked by busting through a wall at him.

The entire arc basically runs counter to how Tony was being portrayed in every other book at the time. It also ran against the stated intent of the event where the Civil War wasn't supposed to have one "good" side and one "bad" side. While some other authors didn't get that memo I'd say none were worse about it than JMS.

Gavok
Oct 10, 2005

Brock! Oh, man, I'm sorry about your...

...tooth?


delfin posted:

Can't believe I haven't been beaten to the end of Thunderbolts Vol. 1.

Thunderbolts #75 tied up a big pile of loose ends at the end of its storyline -- the split teams were reunited, the world was saved, Atlas got his powers back, Dallas Riordan was healed, some members went to prison, others left of their own accord, and Zemo drops a bombshell at the very end: he intends to save the world by conquering it, after all. Now what?

...Now the book loses its entire creative team, abandons the existing character set and storylines, designs the covers to look like Maxim and its ilk with "FOR REAL MEN" on them, and rambles for six issues about an underground fighting league for D-list supervillains.



Not one of Joe Quesada's better ideas. Sales went splat and the book was mercy-killed six issues later.

The weird thing about this is that it wasn't even BAD. It was actually a really solid story arc that could have worked as its own miniseries, but it had literally nothing to do with Thunderbolts outside of the main theme of villains turning themselves around and the use of Thunderbolts supporting character Man-Killer. I've always thought of "Fightbolts" as the Halloween 3 of comics, only if Halloween 3 came out four movies later. If anything, the big question was who was supposed to buy this? Thunderbolts fans were turned off and new readers didn't know enough about Thunderbolts to pick it up anyway.

A year ago, the worst run for Thunderbolts would have probably been Andy Diggle's. It wasn't a terrible run so much as it was just a bunch of setup and no payoff. It took Warren Ellis' take on the series and removed all the more interesting characters, cutting the whole thing at the knees. Putting in Mr. X turned out to be a strike against it as although having someone other than Frank Tieri write the guy was nice, he only works in an antagonist role. Making him as a member of the team means having to figure out a new way to counter his powers every single issue. On the upside, Diggle did give us the modern version of Ghost, who I already miss.

As of now, the worst run for Thunderbolts would be the beginning of the new volume, written by Daniel Way (who I will be mentioning a couple more times in this thread). First off, putting Frank Castle on the team, even before Rucka's Punisher run was over, caused Rucka to leave Marvel in a huff. Then there's the fact that I can't tell you a single solid thing about his run. Just vague half-ideas. Red Hulk is trying to make amends for something he was involved in and... Crimson Dynamo's son is involved and Elektra's brother is behind it all. And the Leader is red now. As a guy who loves Thunderbolts, Venom and Deadpool, it hurts to see how below average this run was.

The one redeeming thing about it was Deadpool's threat to Castle: "You may kill me first, but I loving guarantee that I'll kill you last."

Suben
Jul 1, 2007

In 1985 Dr. Strange makes a rap album.


It's minor but the thing that gets me about the JMS Civil War story in ASM is people gushing over the Iron Spider costume. It's hideous, I don't understand it. It's a terrible story and on top of it you've got one of the ugliest Spider-Man costumes ever created.

Dr. Hurt
Oct 23, 2010

Maybe it's an early Christmas present?


Why did Spider-Man even need an Iron Man suit anyway? What's the in comic explanation for why he would put that on aside from it being toyetic?

Gavok
Oct 10, 2005

Brock! Oh, man, I'm sorry about your...

...tooth?


The funniest thing about JMS Spider-Man is the Spidey Sense bit. There's a scene during one of the Civil War tie-in issues where Iron Man asks if Spider-Man senses any danger. Spider-Man gets frazzled because how does he know about Spidey Sense?!

Probably because Peter flat out told him about it earlier on in JMS' run, but his answer is "mustache-twirling Tony Stark" anyway.

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Choco1980
Feb 22, 2013


Wachter posted:


Finally, there's a memorable sequence, (for all the wrong reasons). Since the Blackest Night zombies were an excuse for the writers to be as cruel as possible, and really put their protagonists through the emotional mangle, it was with a sense of depressing inevitability that noted rapist Dr. Arthur Light showed up to torment his successor.

...


Whole loving thing makes my skin crawl.

Hey man, you can't go there and only tell half the terribleness of Dr Rapey McRaperson Light in that encounter. You totally left out the stuff with Firestorm.

For those who didn't read it, at the time the current Firestorm is made up of two teens who, due to their mental link, are awkwardly yet tenderly falling for each other. During this event, one of the people who was part of Firestorm in the past but died, comes back as a Black Lantern and somehow merges with the guy of the pair, kicking the girl out of the Firestorm party. Then he uses his powers to go biblical on her, literally. He changes her body into a pillar of salt, basically a statue of herself, killing her. Later, Zombie Doc Light discovers her, and is then found licking the corpse of a teenage girl. That's probably the squickiest thing I've ever read in a mainstream big two comic. Also keep in mind that outside of Dr. Light, all the other Black Lanterns sole MO is to get their victims into a strong state of emotion, to "ripen" them if you will, before eating them. Not undead Light. He just wants to surprise sex girls.

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