[[quoteright:350:[[Franchise/{{Superman}} http://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/Supesredblue.jpg]]]]
[[caption-width-right:350: Remember this? No? ''Good''.]]

It may be the comic company with the most devoted fandom, but DC is infamous for its negative periods.

* ''Franchise/{{Superman}}'':
** Pictured is Superman Blue. For those who missed this (or who have it nicely repressed): for a thankfully short time in the comics, Franchise/{{Superman}} was given a ''major'' overhaul, and turned into a bright blue {{Energy Being|s}} -- and later split off into ''another'' energy being, ''Superman Red'' -- and comic covers said "he would be different forever." Massive protest resulted in an AuthorsSavingThrow and he was changed back.
*** The whole idea came from a one-shot [[UsefulNotes/TheSilverAgeOfComicBooks Silver Age]] "imaginary" (read, non-canon) story published in 1963. In the story, Superman is accidentally split into two Supermen with a hundred times the intelligence of the original. The twin Supermen successfully enlarge Kandor, recreate Krypton, produce an "anti-evil" ray which cures not only comic book villains, but UsefulNotes/FidelCastro and Nikita Khrushchev as well, and finally, the existence of two of them means that one can marry Lana and one Lois, ending the love triangle. Why they thought it would be a good idea to re-visit this in the freakin' '90s and try to make such an idea a permanent change is anyone's guess.
*** Some consider Superman Blue an ''improvement'' over Superman's [[http://comiccoverage.typepad.com/comic_coverage/2009/07/worst-cover-ever-business-in-front-party-in-the-back.html hairstyle]] that he wore from 1993-1996.
*** Which of course came after [[ComicBook/TheDeathOfSuperman his death and resurrection]], which was based off another 1960s "imaginary" story, "The Death of Superman". It's ironic that in the 'Dark Age' they were so crazy for recycling Silver Age whimsy.
*** Superman Blue was given a TakeThat during the Brainiac 13 storyline. A copy of Superman Blue is created to delay B-13 and fails miserably. The narration text makes the dig clear:
--->He's not Superman. The costume is different, and the powers are all wrong. He's not Superman. And he never will be.
*** In ''ComicBook/JLAAvengers'', even ''[[ComicBook/TheMightyThor Thor]]'' blurts "Who the hell are ''you''?!" when Supes Blue appears. When you consider that the Thor who says this is actually ''Eric Masterson'' (a.k.a. Thunderstrike; him being Thor was during the time he was subbing in for the real Odinson), that's saying something.
** Pretty much every single time Chuck Austen gets his claws on a mainstream comic, one of these results ([[DorkAge/{{Marvel}} go to the Marvel section]] for what he did to ''Uncanny Franchise/XMen''). A particularly JustForFun/{{egregious}} one, though, was probably his run on ''Action Comics'', where he seemed to really want Superman to be a violent asshole somewhat like the Golden Age Batman. And he was loudly adamant that Clark Kent should dump ComicBook/LoisLane because she was a gold-digging, power-hungry whore who was only sleeping with him because he was Superman... ''[[CriticalResearchFailure even though Lois fell in love with and became engaged to Clark long before she ever found out he was Superman]]''. This led to loads of DerailingLoveInterests in favor of ComicBook/LanaLang, who came off as a pathetic sociopathic {{stalker|WithACrush}} and made the elder Kents into {{jerkass}} MeddlingParents. Needless to say, the entire run was hustled into CanonDiscontinuity faster than a speeding bullet when Austen got booted off the title.
** [[http://www.comicsalliance.com/2010/12/30/worst-comics-2010-superman-grounded/ This article]] argues that ''ComicBook/SupermanGrounded'' was a thankfully short-lived DorkAge. It's generally considered to have been salvaged when Chris Roberson took over and shifted the story from Superman WalkingTheEarth and lecturing people to WalkingTheEarth and saving lives.
** The New 52 era had some bright points, such as Morrison's run, but it was overall remembered mostly for the number of writers who [[DependingOnTheWriter interpreted]] "somewhat more hotheaded and passionate" as "TookALevelInJerkass." Not helping this was the incredibly messy editorial causing writers and storylines to rotate out constantly, or the fact that his New 52 redesign was near-universally seen as one of the worst. It probably wasn't a coincidence that ''ComicBook/DCRebirth'' kicked off with the death of the guy and the return of the post-Crisis version (though they did end up doing a FusionDance later).
** ''ComicBook/{{Supergirl}}''
*** A Supergirl writer tried to make her DarkerAndEdgier, but just gave 75% of the readers a giant headache until writers such like Tony Bedard or Sterling Gates did an AuthorsSavingThrow and turned her into a troubled but likeable hero like her Silver Age self. The other 25% of the readers got angry at this because they ''liked'' the DarkerAndEdgier Supergirl, but most of fans pretend that the runs of Jeph Loeb, Joe Kelly... never happened.
*** Supergirl's Post-Crisis life was basically defined by her Dork Ages during two decades, due to DC Comics wanting to leave Superman as the true last son of Krypton... there's been several different versions of the character, with increasingly convoluted designs and backstories (let alone trying to fit in where ''ComicBook/PowerGirl'' went), eventually leading to the reintroduction of the essentially Pre-Crisis "Superman's Cousin" version of the character.
* ''Franchise/{{Batman}}'':
** When Batman's [[ComicBook/{{Knightfall}} back was broken by Bane]], ComicBook/{{Azrael}} [[AntiHeroSubstitute replaced him]], essentially becoming a DarkerAndEdgier version of Batman who ended up using lethal force. ''Very'' few people liked him, although arguably they weren't supposed to, a la John Walker as ComicBook/CaptainAmerica. WordOfGod confirmed that [[FanNickname AzBats]] was a giant TakeThat to readers who were crying for ComicBook/ThePunisher-As-Batman. It needs to be pointed out that [=AzBats=], the DarkerAndEdgier Dark Knight(!!), was ultimately defeated by ''[[WeakenedByTheLight blinding light]]'' -- a surprisingly subtle TakeThat on the part of the writers, that. [=AzBats=] was immediately followed by an even more gritty, but awesome, version of Bruce Wayne (the Kelley Jones/Doug Moench run).
*** [=AzBats=] was introduced in issue #500, too. People will be remembering him for a while as a cautionary tale.
** Batman suffered a massive Dork Age during most of UsefulNotes/TheSilverAgeOfComicBooks. The campy '60s ''Series/{{Batman}}'' TV show starring Creator/AdamWest was actually an AdaptationDistillation of the stories published during this period, and was far superior to its source material because it didn't take itself seriously. This was the only period when Batman wasn't the "dark creature of the night" most know him as. His first appearances in UsefulNotes/TheGoldenAgeOfComicBooks had him as a gothic figure; he was brought back to this in UsefulNotes/TheBronzeAgeOfComicBooks, became really dark in UsefulNotes/TheDarkAgeOfComicBooks, and flip-flopped between "mellowed-out" and "hardly any better than Azrael" during UsefulNotes/TheModernAgeOfComicBooks.
** Robin III Tim Drake and his girlfriend Stephanie Brown suffered this to some degree. Tim was the only Robin who didn't have ''both'' parents dead, and tended to be more well-adjusted with a complex personal life. Of course, this had to be fixed, so Tim's father and best friends were [[ThePlotReaper killed]] to make him DarkerAndEdgier, and so he lost his entire supporting cast. This led to a very boring and angsty run by Bill Willingham, and him becoming a ''huge'' {{wangst}}er in all DC books. In addition, Tim's BadassNormal, fun and lighthearted girlfriend Stephanie Brown (the Spoiler) replaced him as Robin briefly, which looked like it could be interesting; however, it only lasted for three issues and she was then written to [[NiceJobBreakingItHero cause a gang war]], be tortured in sexualized positions by Black Mask, [[StuffedIntoTheFridge get shot, blamed for everything and then die]]... all to [[DisposableWoman make sure Tim got angst]] and Batman remained a loner. Tim promptly [[ForgottenFallenFriend forgot Stephanie ever existed]], but the fans didn't, and raised a big stink about her treatment.
** Original Robin writer and creator of Stephanie, Chuck Dixon, started writing the title thanks to this and revealed Steph had [[NotQuiteDead never really died]] and is now back and kicking ass as her usual lighthearted self. Tim was brought in a less self-destructive direction as well, admitting he'd been in a bad place, apologizing for his behavior, and reconciling with Steph. Dixon also brought back Tim's geeky best friend Ives, albeit with a bit more {{Wangst}} himself than he had originally.
** And then Steph became ComicBook/{{Batgirl|2009}}. There was, um, more rejoicing. Some Cassandra Cain fans weren't happy, but since the two had been depicted as best friends, most readers who were fans of one were also fans of the other. Then ComicBook/{{New 52}} came, [[ComicBook/Batgirl2011 restoring Barbara Gordon to the role]] and leaving Steph and Cass ExiledFromContinuity until they were brought back in ''ComicBook/BatmanEternal'' and ''ComicBook/BatmanAndRobinEternal'' respectively.
** Tim hasn't fared too well in the New 52, either, with most of his backstory and character traits being jettisoned in the reboot. To wit: He's a former athlete instead of a PlayfulHacker, he doesn't have any of his usual supporting cast or family, he acts and sounds a lot dumber, his costume doesn't look remotely similar, he didn't discover Batman's identity (which Tim Drake fans will remember as the defining trait of his character; it'd be like doing a Batman reboot where his parents are still alive), and to cap it all off, Tim Drake apparently isn't even his real name. This last bit has led to particularly bitter fans calling him "the imposter," avidly hoping for the "real" Tim Drake to return at some point. Thankfully, as of ComicBook/DCRebirth, Tim has had his original backstory reinstated.
** Speaking of Cass, due to an [[ExecutiveMeddling editorial mandate]], [[ComicBook/{{Batgirl 2000}} Cassandra Cain]] [[FaceHeelTurn turned evil]] after her series was canceled. During this time, she became significantly more articulate (the character was supposed to be illiterate, dyslexic, and almost mute) and {{wangst}}y. Even worse, DC then went and [[AuthorsSavingThrow handed her miniseries to the same writer]] who turned her evil. He not only failed to fix the problems he created, but added even more. Fans are still skeptical about her future. When the character was reintroduced in the ''New 52'', they basically rewrote her character history to avoid that.
** Devin Grayson's tenure on ''ComicBook/{{Nightwing}}'' counts with her attempt to do a storyline obviously based on the classic ''ComicBook/{{Daredevil}}'' tale "[[ComicBook/DaredevilBornAgain Born Again]]", the problem being that the Daredevil story worked as DD was always a bit of a loner. Dick Grayson, on the other hand, is one of the more popular characters in the DCU and to ask that Batman, Robin, Oracle, the Titans and others could abandon him to the point of him being "adopted" by a mob family is way too much to believe.
* ''Franchise/WonderWoman'' has gone up and down over the years:
** In the 1970s, DC tried having Wonder Woman [[BroughtDownToNormal depowered]] and make her a feminist hero like Emma Peel of ''Series/TheAvengers''. This move backfired completely, considering it angered real feminists like Gloria Steinem, who denounced it as a profoundly sexist move to remove the power of one of the greatest female superheroes.
** A not insignificant amount of people consider everything published between William Moulton Marston's death and George Perez's run, nearly ''40 years'', to be this. Due to the regressive nature of the Comics Code Authority, Wonder Woman had her fairly radical Golden Age mythos almost completely stripped from her, and her continuity being constantly in flux. It became obvious DC had little to no idea of how to work with her, leading to ideas being thrown at the wall and never sticking (for example, Steve Trevor was killed off multiple times). Tellingly, while Post-Crisis altered character continuity to varying degrees, Wonder Woman was the only one who gained a complete and utter reboot, one that proved successful enough that [[MyRealDaddy it has been the basis for the character ever since]].
** The set-up after Infinite Crisis. After the Amazons and Greek Pantheon got PutOnABus, DC tried to do an ill-fated revival of the Mod Era, with Diana as a secret agent in a white jumpsuit, with a suddenly boorish Nemesis as her love interest. This would be bad enough, but, due to writer Alan Heinberg having other work, the run suffered huge ScheduleSlip, to the point that replacement writer Jodi Piccoult had to be brought on before Heinberg's first arc was even finished. Problem there, though, is that not only did Picoult not have any knowledge or interest in the franchise or comics in general (leading to her writing Diana as [[IdiotBall a massive idiot]]), but her run was also a tie-in to ''ComicBook/AmazonsAttack'', considered one of the worst stories in the DC history period due to unnessecery gore, a massive Idiot Plot, the Amazons being turned into {{Straw Feminist}}s and continuity so poor that very basic details changed between issues.
** The ComicBook/New52 era is an especially controversial example. This is mostly because of Creator/BrianAzzarello choosing to rewrite the entire mythos of the character to make it closer to actual Greek mythology, making Diana often hot-headed and violent, the Amazons a militaristic society that repopulated by raping sailors, and dumping pretty much any character not directly from Greek Myth, even long-established ones with roles in other books like Steve Trevor and Cheetah. Many of these changes did not go down well, and Diana's controversial romance with Superman did not help. Even so, Azzarello's run has a devote fandom, especially among non-Wonder Woman fans, casual readers and professional critics...
** ...Which cannot be said for the follow-up run by first-timer Meredith Finch. Azzarello's run had the advantage of being clearly driven and self-contained. Finch's run on the other hand was meant to tie into the larger DCU ''and'' reintroduce characters that Azzarello's run ignored. The result is nothing short of a disaster. Narratives had no direction whatsoever, Diana came off as an ineffectual idiot, a new outfit was introduced that was mockingly described as "The Clown Suit", Donna Troy was reintroduced with a new origin that was instantly reviled by fans and there were stupid, stupid plot decisions (including a FaceHeelTurn for Hera that essentially spat on all the CharacterDevelopment she had recived in Azzarello's run). Add in downright Liefeldian artwork from Finch's husband David that objectified Diana and you have arguably the most hated run in Wonder Woman's entire history.
** James Robinson's run has been reviled by many. Not only was he a largely unwanted addition (especially since, per his own admission, he was made writer as a favor), but his run was picking up a point from the [=N52=] era, which Greg Rucka's second run was largely dedicated to erasing. Even giving it the benefit of the doubt, many soured quickly as it saw Diana and her supporting cast ended up OutOfFocus in favor of her MartyStu LongLostRelative Jason, who was quickly despised by fans for a being a {{Wangst}} filled fratboy who was given constant CharacterShilling. Add in a downright ineffectual portrayal of Darkseid and glacial pacing (to the point that entire issues did nothing but [[{{Padding}} recap background elements we were already told about]]]) and fans were basically counting the days until Robinson left the book.
* ComicBook/TheFlash: Pretty much everything from the aftermath of ''ComicBook/InfiniteCrisis'' to ''ComicBook/DCRebirth'', a roughly ten-year span, falls into this for varying reasons.
** Right after ''Infinite Crisis'', Wally was lost to the Speed Force along with his family and this led to Bart becoming the Flash due to PlotRelevantAgeUp. Due to the character losing his individuality and FunPersonified nature, even his own fans hated it. This series ended as a massive failure, to a point they had to kill Bart to forget it ever happened and everyone involved with Bart's character stated active dislike towards it. The creative team of the book said they had no intention writing for DCU ever again due to terrible experience.
** Wally was brought back from the Speed Force after Bart's death, but this time the book, once again, faced criticism due to his twins turning out to be [[BaseBreakingCharacter Base breaking]] that some accused of being a SpotlightStealingSquad. Mark Waid left DC ''completely'' after an editorial clash and the book had to live on life support for a year with fill-in writers until Barry was brought back. Mark Waid says it's probably one of his works he was severely disappointed about.
** Barry's return was met this reaction from many, particularly those that loved Wally's character, but also ''non''-Flash fans. With Barry's return brought about a sudden demotion of Wally into an extra at best (until being erased completely), while Barry's character was given several controversial rewrites, including giving him a DarkerAndEdgier backstory involving his mother's murder which many felt was unnecessary, to promoting him as the 'most important' of the Flash legacy that was felt as a disservice to the rest of the Flash family, who all in-turn were given a sharp DemotedToExtra status. General comic and DC fans dislike it for missing the point of the DCU and bringing back a character whose death was highly regarded, and whose resurrection was considered altogether unnecessary. Not helping is that Barry's return also brought back Eobard Thawne, which led to the removal of other villainous speedsters like Hunter Zolomon, Inertia, the Black Flash and Lady Savitar. That Thawne came back with retcons to ''his'' history and [[NewPowersASThePlotDemands powers]], as well as the retcon of him basically being responsible for everything bad that's happened to Barry, doesn't help him from being seen as a VillainSue.
** The Brian Buccellato/Francis Manapul run. While the Flash book was considered one of the better titles (at least in the reboot's earlier days), its changes to the Rogues (now metahumans, something that annoyed Geoff Johns enough that he personally undid it with ''ComicBook/ForeverEvil''), as well as the entire Flash family outside of Barry being ''erased completely'' has given it a negative reputation to all but those who the series was a gateway to. The run ''did'' bring in many new fans and inspired the basis of the 2014 TV series and has art that's pretty much universally acclaimed, but many older fans felt like it lost a lot of what made the Flash such a great franchise, from the expansive cast to the nature of the stories themselves.
** The rock bottom ''The Flash'' reached was when Robert Venditti and Van Jensen took over. Neither of the writers had ''any'' Flash knowledge beforehand and unlike Manapul and Buccellato run, they ''were'' given the task of reintroducing important characters like Wally West and Eobard Thawne. They dropped the ball completely, with incredibly divisive changes to Wally West and an extremely inconsistent Professor Zoom, leading to arguably the '''worst''' run of ''The Flash''. Unlike the previous examples, which all had their fans and defenders, this run is quite possibly universally hated by readers. Add on Brett Booth's divisive 90s Image inspired art right after Francis Manapul's acclaimed pencils, and the book had turned into a nightmare that never seemed to end. In the end, the series' sales reached bottom again and Geoff Johns had to do DCRebirth to fix the damage this run had done to the character and his allies.
** During UsefulNotes/TheSilverAgeOfComicBooks, "helpful alien"-type characters were becoming popular with writers, with Superman battling Mr. Mxyzptlk and Batman putting up with Bat-Mite. So the decision was made to {{retcon}} the lightning bolt that gave Barry Allen his powers, revealing that the imp-like "heavenly help-mate" Mopee had been its true source. Cue massive backlash in the "letters to the editor" page. So hated was this development that it [[CanonDisContinuity has never been mentioned since, at least in-continuity]]. However, once enough time passed, it became a curious bit of nostalgia, and has shown up several times in out-of-continuity works like ''ComicBook/AmbushBug''.
* ''Franchise/GreenLantern'':
** In the [[UsefulNotes/TheDarkAgeOfComicBooks '90s]], Guy Gardner had his own solo series. After losing ''two separate rings'' to a Parallax-influenced Hal Jordan, he rechristened himself "Warrior" and somehow became the [[LastOfHisKind last descendant]] of an alien race, which gave him the power to [[ArmCannon turn his arms into guns]]... for some reason. Writers ignore this era at their peril, though: despite the godawful concept (apparently submitted as a joke), and equally bad '90s art, Beau Smith's run on ''Warrior'' is responsible for much of Guy's development from {{Jerkass}} to BoisterousBruiser.
** Robert Vendetti's run. While it was on the steep hill of [[ToughActToFollow continuing after Geoff Johns' legendary run]], it rapidly became despised with it's primary storyline that turned the Emotional Spectrum into a limited reservoir in a failed attempt to turn the franchise into a metaphor for environmentalism. Then, after that and several other stories failed to gain interest, Vendetti jettisoned all the Lantern Corps (which had become one of the cores of the mythos) and had Hal as the sole Green Lantern, wielding an anchient artifact made by the Guardians. Come ''Rebirth'', virtually all the major changes Vendetti made were undone.
* ''ComicBook/JusticeLeague'':
** The 1980s "Justice League Detroit" incarnation. It got rid of almost all of the previous Justice Leaguers and replaced them with [[YoungerAndHipper hip, angsty teenagers]] in an attempt to rip off DC's own ''ComicBook/TeenTitans''. The run ended with the team being destroyed by one of the "real" Justice League's more powerful foes, with two of the three new characters being killed and the third largely not being seen again for about six years. Years later, when it became "safe" to talk about the period again, the team was sometimes cast as "lovable losers". For example, a flashback showed that during ''Comicbook/CrisisOnInfiniteEarths'' (an event that changed the DC Universe on a grand scale and destroyed entire planets of characters), one of the Detroit Leaguers was too [[DistractedByTheSexy busy admiring]] the [[MostCommonSuperpower chest of a superheroine]] to listen when the plot was being explained, and subsequently went through the entire event clueless.
** While the early years of ComicBook/JusticeLeagueInternational are fondly remembered, the later years (''Justice League Spectacular, Justice League Task Force, Extreme Justice,'' the Yazz, ''Total Justice'' -- everything up until Grant Morrison and ''JLA'') are considered either a series of Dork Ages, or forgotten entirely.
** Also, everything after ''JLA''. The ''Justice League of America'' series that followed it is considered a Dork Age. While general consensus is it ''kinda of'' started off strong and had some decent ideas, it eventually was hijacked by editors and became infamous as a big advertisement of everything else going on in the DCU, picking up and finishing story threads from other series; and the editors being able to dictate who could and could not be on the team. The Dork Age lasted until the New 52.
** And continuing that, after the well received Geoff Johns run ([[StarTrekMovieCurse noticing a pattern here?]]), Bryan Hitch's run in ComicBook/DCRebirth is considered a colossal downgrade. Main complaints are that the decision to keep strictly limited to The Seven has lead the roster to feel stale, the nonsensical attempts to ship Barry Allen and Jessica Cruz (despite little interest in the pairing and Barry's own book resuming his relationship with Iris West), the general feeling of disconnection, with virtually nothing happening in the book being reflected in the rest of the DCU and that the run seemed to basically recycle one or two arcs repeatedly. It even got memetic, as whenever the run was brought up when it was still going, people would constantly ask when a new writer would get the title.
* ''ComicBook/TeenTitans'': It's tough to say which run after [[MyRealDaddy the Wolfman/Perez run]] which ''doesn't'' get this reaction from fans:
** General agreement is that the first decline occurred after George Perez left. This sent a number of shockwaves throughout the book, including a huge increase in {{Wangst}}, Deathstroke being EasilyForgiven and the introduction of the much reviled [[TheScrappy Danny Chase]]. Then came the long, difficult to follow "Titans Hunt" arc and the book began self-destructing, with a ton of uninteresting and/or unlikable new characters being introduced, loads of 90s clichés, chaotic storytelling and art and tons of {{Shocking Swerve}}s. After Cyborg got PutOnTheBusToHell, the book was left in shambles, with the team constantly changing and being interrupted by crossovers. By the end, many felt the ending to the run was MercyKill.
** Dan Jurgens' relatively short-lived run, starring a de-aged Ray Palmer leading a bunch of teenagers empowered by aliens, was considered this during its original run. It's since been VindicatedByHistory, being considered a good run held back by the fans' difficulty with accepting a group of entirely new characters carrying the title of such a beloved team.
** Everything in the ''Titans'' book after Devin Grayson left. While her replacement started off relatively strong, a bizarre case of ExecutiveMeddling by editor Andrew Helfer (who wanted to push a team of random runaway orphans as the main characters) caused a huge amount of planned storylines to be tossed away, with the replacements making [[VoodooShark very little sense with the prior set-up]]. This, combined with an infamous story where Jesse Quick [[WhatTheHellHero slept with her mothers fiancé]], left the book in shambles by the time Helfer left, and it was left dragging its feet until it was canceled.
** The 2003 series. Several ''Comicbook/YoungJustice'' characters were derailed for the purpose of "graduating" them to the Titans, which mostly irritated fans of both comics. Though fans enjoyed the return of the book's original title and cast, the novelty wound up wearing off fairly quickly, with the first 25 or so issues by Geoff Johns being divisive at best. The book's quality went even further downhill with the ''One Year Later'' portion, after which Johns left the book. Not helping matters was how ''ComicBook/InfiniteCrisis'' seemingly made the Titans "[[CListFodder the heroes that it's okay to kill]]", further contributing to the team's fluctuating membership. The remainder of the series proved to be a slow decline, with characters being offed for no reason, being pointlessly DarkerAndEdgier (including an infamous story where a demonic Wonder Dog mauled the Wonder Twins leading to backlash from comics sites), characters acting like assholes for no reason, and the few usable plotlines being wasted. The series needed a reboot more than most...
** Then the Teen Titans' ''ComicBook/{{New 52}}'' reboot proceeded to take things FromBadToWorse. Written by the largely reviled Scott Lobdell, the series kicked off with a ridiculous, unfocused arc that tried to cross over with about six other books and starred a VillainSue (literally everything the team did ended up being tied to his plan somehow). Several characters had core personality traits ironed out, almost to InNameOnly levels (see Tim Drake above), the costumes were ridiculous, many plotlines felt like an excuse for more fight scenes, the plotlines that actually ''tried'' were awful, convoluted and inconsistent, and the Titans themselves didn't feel like a team or even like friends. The resulting book didn't make it past thirty issues, and was promptly rebooted...
** Into another Dork Age. This time, Will Pfeifer wrote largely forgettable stories trying [[WereStillRelevantDammit incredibly hard to be "relevant"]], with the social media side of things amped up in embarrassing ways, characters being downright unlikeable, and an ''ungodly'' amount of focus on CreatorsPet VillainSue Manchester Black, who basically existed to pull off stupid gambits while retaining none of what made him a good villain when he debuted in [[Franchise/{{Superman}} "What's So Funny About Truth, Justice and the American Way?"]]. There were also tons of continuity issues with the previous run, which this run for ''some reason'' kept canon. Then Lobdell was brought back for some reason, meaning Pfeifer had to rush whatever he had planned and just ended up dumping most of it. Lobdell proceeded to screw the series once again, and it limped along with some fill-in writers (who wrapped up some lingering plot threats) while it waited for [[spoiler: Tim Drake to die over in ''ComicBook/DetectiveComicsRebirth'']], while the rest of DC's comics had been relaunched under the well-received ComicBook/DCRebirth banner, essentially leaving ''Teen Titans'' as this thing that just ''refused to die''. The series finally came to an end once [[spoiler: Tim apparently died]]. The legacy both series left was being the series that it was seemingly okay to make fun of ''in-universe'', which the subsequent series, ''ComicBook/TeenTitansRebirth'', ''did''.
** Not for ''Teen Titans'', but just ''Titans'': The ''Villains for Hire'' run, which featured the gratuitous murder of Ryan Choi and a character who set people on fire with her vagina, was widely considered the nadir of the franchise.
** Similarly, Dan Abnett's ''ComicBook/TitansRebirth'' run. The series started off strong, with a focus on the friendship between the characters and the return of BreakoutCharacter Wally West. However, ''huge'' mishandling of Wally West and Donna Troy that seemed to fundamentally misunderstand parts of their characters, awful romance plots that went nowhere or were unwanted or poorly executed, ConflictBall elements that existed for no reason (especially when the Justice League show up to basically be huge assholes for no reason a few times) and plots that felt straight out of the 90s all led to a title that nobody but the most diehard fans liked. The handling of Donna Troy is especially despised for, against all odds, ''reigniting'' her ContinuitySnarl by being beholden to her despised New 52 incarnation, in a relaunch where writers seem to be ''encouraged'' to scrap what they dislike from that era. The only positively received aspects were Donna Troy's relationship with Roy Harper and the implication of a past history between Roy and Cheshire (because it leaves the door open for Lian Harper's return). In the end, the series was cancelled, and Abnett even apologised ''in-universe'' for his handling of Wally, although the follow-up ''Titans'' series will still be written by him.
** ''ComicBook/TeenTitansRebirth'' isn't considered much better in this regard. Like its sister book, it started strong, but quickly fell apart afterwards. The main problem ended up being the portrayal of Damian, who ended up being written as a huge JerkSue who treated his team like crap and yet was never really reprimanded for it. Even beyond that, the team, being largely whoever was available from the Wolfman/Perez run, felt extremely stale and unable to develop as a group, with attempts to develop a bond between them being composed of characters quite literally explaining their character and motivations to others and then just becoming friends out of nowhere and never developing beyond that. The stories were pretty much regurgitations of prior runs or incredibly basic concepts, and the book kept getting tied into crossovers that developed the stories of other books, leaving it utterly directionless. Sure enough, the run ended up being canceled, with PromotedFanboy Adam Glass becoming the new writer and everyone besides Damian and Wallace getting dumped.
* The '80s version of the ComicBook/DoomPatrol was another attempt to profit off ''Teen Titans'' and ''Franchise/XMen''-style angst. Probably the only reason people know it exists now is that the surreal and successful Creator/GrantMorrison run is known to have started with issue #19, so there must have been ''something'' in the previous 18 issues.
* ComicBook/BlackCanary's infamous late-80s "Jumpsuit and Headband" costume, complete with bizarre wing epaulets and pirate boots. A cover from a later run of the character in ''Action Comics Weekly'' even featured her back in the original costume, ''burning'' the jumpsuit and grinning wickedly. Another issue of ''ComicBook/BirdsOfPrey'' featured her horror at seeing scores of action figures of herself in this costume... and then emphasized the point by saying the reason the toy shop had so many was that they couldn't get rid of them. She promptly buys all of them so no one else will see how bad it looked.
** Dinah entered a second Dork Age when she married ComicBook/GreenArrow, left the Birds of Prey and was reduced to a FauxActionGirl and DamselInDistress of the Green Arrow books. Ironically, she was the ''leader of the Justice League'' at this time.
* ComicBook/PowerGirl's infamous "alternative" costumes to her classic white uniform with the "keyhole". There are have been various times when DC has tried to change Power Girl's outfit, including the questionable "diso" style outfits with lightning bolts running down the sides to the April O'Neil style white jump suit with an oddly stylized "P" post New-52 which was so bad that fan were lining up outside of comic book stores to protest. Art work quickly appeared showing Power Girl's reaction to the new outfit was the same as her fans, [[https://s-media-cache-ak0.pinimg.com/736x/e5/fb/84/e5fb843ed9309810c20aef628aae0d1d.jpg "No... just no..."]].
* The year-long, weekly book ''Countdown'' was originally promoted as "the spine of the DCU", for its pivotal importance to the DC Universe. About halfway through, it was even renamed ''ComicBook/CountdownToFinalCrisis'', in order to promote the CrisisCrossover that would follow. However, ''Countdown'' became increasingly unpopular with fans thanks to its wide-sweeping character changes. One of the most glaring examples is [[BreakTheCutie the sweet, innocent Mary Marvel]], who inexplicably finds herself abandoned by her usually caring family. She asks for power from [[ArchEnemy constant adversary]] ComicBook/BlackAdam, and he actually gives it to her, [[PaintItBlack the power turning her usual white costume black]]. Then she decides to [[FaceHeelTurn go evil]], partnering with the villainous Eclipso. (Note that [[WordOfGod we've been told]] that it's not Adam's power that makes her go evil. BadPowersBadPeople is averted, but at the price of logic or proper characterization.)
** Having learned the heavy price of her FaceHeelTurn, she eventually [[HeelFaceTurn reverts to good]]... only to almost immediately accept BigBad ComicBook/{{Darkseid}}'s offer of power and thus [[HeelFaceRevolvingDoor go evil again]] (And if you liked that, look into [[MoralDissonance the group of heroes]] who [[ExpendableAlternateUniverse doomed an entire alternate Earth to the ravages of a major disease and merely walked away, among other unlikable things]]...). Besides, she no longer looks like Mary Marvel under Darkseid's control, but like some sort of punk dominatrix. Yeah, the things bad writing does...
** In response to fan outcry, DC has recently downplayed this story's importance, even disconnecting it from ''ComicBook/FinalCrisis'' by making the ''true'' lead-in a comic called ''DC Universe'' #0. Thus "the spine of the DCU" became "the appendix"...
* Then there is also the related mini-series, ''Comicbook/CaptainCarrotAndHisAmazingZooCrew: Final Ark'', where the senior editors order the furry heroes to be exiled from their world and [[PutOnABusToHell horrifically trapped as regular animals on the primary Earth]]. Though this was later undone by Grant Morrison during ''Final Crisis'', though the company didn't do anything with the Zoo Crew by the time of the reboot (it wouldn't be until ''Comicbook/{{Convergence}}'' that DC decided to bring them back). Currently, several new characters with [[ShoutOut more than a passing familiar look to members of the Zoo Crew]] have appeared as alien beings in the ''Threshold'' series.
* The brief period at Creator/DCComics where the Blackhawks became {{superhero}}es. The writer [[LampshadeHanging hung a lampshade on this]] in ''JLA: Year One''; all of the Blackhawks put on their old, proper costumes with a general feeling of relief and an attitude of "What were we thinking?"
* ComicBook/{{Firestorm}}, under the watch of John Ostrander in the late '80s, became DarkerAndEdgier, leading up to the big revelation... that the character was meant to be Earth's fire elemental. Oh, and the power plant sabotage that brought Ronnie Raymond and Martin Stein together in the first place? Not an accident. In an attempt to make Firestorm's origin more deep or something (see also: the first of the JMS/Quesada ''Franchise/SpiderMan'' offenses listed in the Marvel section), it was later explained that Martin Stein was ''always'' meant to be Firestorm/the fire elemental. Ronnie just got in the way (which was "rectified" in ''Firestorm'' (vol. 2) #100, when Stein replaces Ronnie and Mikhail "Pozhar" Arkadin in the Firestorm Matrix).
** This was likely an attempt to tie Firestorm into the ''ComicBook/SwampThing'' mythos, with a similar revelation having happened to that character -- rather than a brilliant scientist turned into a plant-monster by a FreakLabAccident, he was actually a mystical plant elemental, who as a result of said FreakLabAccident, ended up thinking he was said brilliant scientist. DC went on to incorporate a number of characters into similar roles (for example, in addition to Firestorm, ComicBook/RedTornado was revealed to be a mystical air elemental, rather than a robot who could manipulate air via superscience). Sadly, what worked for a horror-based ''Swamp Thing'' written by Creator/AlanMoore led to mass-dorkageness in LighterAndSofter works written by anyone slightly less talented than [[TheAce Moore]].
* ''ComicBook/TheSpectre'' had a storyline about Uncle Sam, starting with the basis that, as he was the AnthropomorphicPersonification of America, he hadn't always been Uncle Sam, instead being [[UsefulNotes/TheAmericanRevolution the Minuteman]], or [[UsefulNotes/AntebellumAmerica Brother Jonathan]], or [[UsefulNotes/TheAmericanCivilWar split in two as Billy Yank and Johnny Reb]], depending on the era. All very reasonable. Somehow, that led to him being reinvented as The Patriot, who wore a white bodysuit with red stripes on one shoulder and a blue patch with stars on the other, and a golden space helmet with an eagle on top. Eventually somebody realized that, by their own rules, he should keep being Uncle Sam until a new "Spirit of America" image took root naturally, and he reverted to his old look.
* [[ComicBook/{{Shazam}} Captain Marvel]] and the rest of the Marvel Family underwent one around 2006. Essentially, most of the attention related to the actual heroes of the Marvel Family was reduced, while letting their villains like Black Adam, Dr. Sivana, Mr. Mind and Captain Nazi prosper. Shazam was killed off, Captain Marvel had to assume the mantle of Wizard (which effectively removed him from the DCU, trapping him in the Rock of Eternity), and every Marvel not named Black Adam was depowered. Then Freddy Freeman, the former Captain Marvel Junior, then undergoes a series of trials that involves him saying that he blames Captain Marvel for ruining his life, taking the name Shazam as a code name, and dedicating himself to fighting only mystical threats, because why would a person with the powers of the gods fight crime and save people from mundane threats?
** Then, poor Mary Marvel gets turned evil, redeems herself, but then willingly chooses evil again. Then Captain Marvel gets de-powered, he gets turned evil along with Mary, the Wizard Shazam comes back and depowers EVERYBODY, turning them good again; however, he then claims that Billy had failed him, turns Black Adam to stone, and leaves in a huff. Meanwhile, Freddy Freeman hasn't done anything even remotely relevant in over a year, suffice to say, and fans of the characters are NOT happy with the situation.
** Even before all that, Captain Marvel had some horribly dark post-Crisis origin stories that were eventually retconned. There was the very first in the '80s, which turned Dr. Sivana into Billy Batson's abusive uncle, and had Cap spouting TotallyRadical speech. Then there was another in the early '90s, where Billy flips out and ''chokes Shazam'' upon first gaining the Marvel powers. Both stories were written to make Billy seem like a badass loner who grew up on the streets.
** Ironically, while the last few years have been horrible for the Marvel Family characters in the comics, they've been doing very well in other media, with the classic Captain Marvel appearing in video games (''VideoGame/MortalKombatVsDCUniverse'') and cartoons (''WesternAnimation/BatmanTheBraveAndTheBold'', ''DC Showcase - Superman/Shazam: The Return of Black Adam'', ''WesternAnimation/YoungJustice'').
** The ComicBook/{{New 52}} reboot is providing some hope, as it's restarting from scratch and includes some well-received {{Canon Immigrant}}s from the ''ComicBook/{{Flashpoint}}'' event. But fans are still wary of some DarkerAndEdgier elements that have come up--including a bratty and sardonic Billy Batson--so we'll see if the Dork Age is truly over yet.
*** In fact, the very issue of a Shazam Family Dork Age in [[ComicBook/{{New 52}} the DCnU]] has become divisive of sorts. Especially with regard to Captain Marvel/Shazam's new origin story in ''Justice League'' #0, which got good reviews, featured some impressive artwork from Gary Franks, and seems to be leading into some sort of [[ComesGreatResponsibility redemption arc]] thanks to Creator/GeoffJohns' solid writing. On the other hand, there's the new Billy Batson, who was originally ''always'' on the extremely idealistic side of the SlidingScaleOfIdealismVersusCynicism (making him even more of a BigGood than Superman himself), who is now a douchey teenager who cynically tells the wizard that ''no one'' is ever truly good, and who nearly ''kills'' a mugger with his newfound super strength and takes a cash reward for doing so. In any case, the new character is certainly ''interesting'' to say the least, but whoever he is, he sure doesn't feel like the Big Red Cheese anymore.
* During the DCU's ''One Year Later'' event, someone on the editing staff decided that the ''ComicBook/{{Catwoman}}'' comic series needed to be YoungerAndHipper -- and the best way to do that, they decided, was to replace the main character entirely. Selina Kyle had a daughter with Sam Bradley Jr. ([[ShipSinking much to the upset of many Selina/Bruce shippers]]), and retired to motherhood before passing on the Catwoman mantle to sidekick Holly. The fans were not pleased, and it wasn't long before DC sent in ComicBook/{{Zatanna}} to [[AWizardDidIt magically]] [[CosmicRetcon retcon]] it all away -- and it wasn't ''fully'' retconned until the {{ComicBook/New 52}}, where it was confirmed that Catwoman's daughter had been wiped from existence.
* Want to annoy a fan of ComicBook/GreenArrow? Ask them what they think of Creator/JuddWinick's run. The opening story arc had Oliver Queen cheating on his girlfriend ComicBook/BlackCanary with the niece of his good friend ComicBook/BlackLightning. Never mind that Winick's idea of Green Arrow being a player was based on his behavior BEFORE he met Black Canary and that he'd always been portrayed as overly possessive of her before. Or that it was never made clear in the previous writer's run that Ollie and Dinah were an official couple again. Or that Jefferson Pierce was an only child and, as such, couldn't have a niece. Or that the niece was killed partway through the storyline and Pierce was suggested to have used his powers to have lightning strike the CorruptCorporateExecutive responsible for her death when Pierce was best known for being so moral that he retired from heroism when he accidentally killed a civilian and concluded he shouldn't use his powers if he couldn't be sure he could use them safely.
** And then Winick - who freely admitted not liking ComicBook/BlackCanary - was forced to write about the two getting married when the two were given a team-up book. Dinah became a complete DamselInDistress and FauxActionGirl at a time when she was the team leader of the Justice League in the main JLA title!
* The 90s ComicBook/MetalMen series. Given that the Metal Men are basically the [[UsefulNotes/TheSilverAgeOfComicBooks Silver Age]] given shape, that a 1990s comic featuring them would be this is to be expected. It did not disappoint. First, it {{retcon}}ned their origins so they were Doc Magnus's old friends in robot bodies rather than robots. It followed up by killing off Gold, TheLeader, and putting Doc's mind in a robot body as well. Doc's new form was [[{{Unobtainium}} Veridium]], a nonexistent mystery metal that gave him generic energy powers. There's a lot of core aspects to the Metal Men: their AI angle, the simple but strong personalities, the good character dynamic, Doc being the NonActionGuy and TeamDad, and the scientific ([[ArtisticLicenseChemistry on paper, at least]]) use of real metallurgical properties as the basis for the team's powers, and the miniseries threw them out right from the starting line, even before getting into the skeeviness of how [[DeathOfTheHypotenuse Doc was now being set up with the fiancee of his dead brother.]] The series was shoved firmly into CanonDiscontinuity by ''52'', which declared that it was [[AllJustADream all just a hallucination brought on by Doc's loneliness and going off his meds]].
** During the Silver Age itself, there was "The New Hunted Metal Men", in which circumstances cause the Metal Men to lose control of the powers, causing unintentional collateral damage and putting Doc Magnus into a coma, not to mention souring public opinion of them. After four issues of being on the run, the Metal Men were ultimately deemed too destructive for society and set for execution, but a sympathizer helps fake their deaths and allows them to continue saving the world under secret human identities (complete with StevenUlyssesPerhero aliases), while Doc Magnus himself becomes BrainwashedAndCrazy (with said brainwashing being claimed to be irreversible). The comic was ultimately cancelled as a result, but the Dork Age was undone by ''ComicBook/TheBraveAndTheBold'', which had the Metal Men abandon their human identities and their reputation get restored, and their comic was relaunched a few years later, with Doc Magnus returning to normal with help from the CIA. Creator/CraigShutt describes the entire era in-depth [[http://captaincomics.ning.com/profiles/blogs/the-metal-humans here]], and Commander Benson details why this direction didn't work [[http://captaincomics.ning.com/profiles/blogs/from-the-archives-deck-log-484 here]].
* ComicBook/SuicideSquad's New 52 era is sometimes seen as this, particularly for adding Harley Quinn, an A-lister who is seemingly only there for WolverinePublicity, but it's really divisive that way. ''New Suicide Squad'' on the other hand, has already gotten this rep. A book traditionally about a team of B-list villains ([[MyFriendsAndZoidberg and]] [[BreakoutCharacter Deadshot]]) wherein characters can die? Well, let's just compose the cast entirely of popular A-list villains Black Manta, Reverse-Flash and the aforementioned Harley Quinn, characters with so much PopularityPower, PlotArmor and importance to their respective heroes [[note]] Black Manta is easily the only contender for Aquaman's ArchNemesis in the New 52 while Reverse-Flash is still important due to not only his very name, but also his connection to the ''Flash'' supporting cast.[[/note]] (or their own ''series'' in the case of Harley Quinn) that it's amazing they can even be injured!
* ''ComicBook/DCYou'', the post-''ComicBook/{{Convergence}}'' status quo, has not been looked favorably upon. The basic idea was to attempt to perform a "Batgirling" of certain characters in the vein of what happened to Barbara Gordon in ''ComicBook/{{Batgirl 2011}}''. Suddenly, you got a Batman who rides PoweredArmor and is a member of the GCPD (It's James Gordon), [[ComicBook/SupermanTruth a Superman with an exposed identity, very little powers and a popularity level so low, you'd think he was Spider-Man]] and a Hal Jordan who is running around as a renegade with a BadassLongcoat and a goofy green energy gauntlet. While some titles proved to be beloved, such as ''ComicBook/SupermanLoisAndClark'', the line as a whole fell flat on its face, leading to the soft reboot of ''ComicBook/DCRebirth''.
* Many consider ''ComicBook/IdentityCrisis'' to be one, due to perceived [[ShockingSwerve Shocking Swerves]] and making things needlessly DarkerAndEdgier, though this isn't universal. What's interesting however, is how ''Identity Crisis'' ended up being more of a lynchpin that accidentally/indirectly caused a bunch of other smaller Dork Ages; Jack Drake being killed off (see ''Robin'' above), Dr. Light being retconned into a rapist (causing horrible VillainDecay, as he devolved into a one-note joke who ranted about rape), Firestorm and Captain Boomerang being killed and [[ReplacementScrappy replaced with new characters]], Jean Loring getting derailed into murderer, Atom going over the DespairEventHorizon, and more. Ironically, some of the best stories came from the book as well, such as Ralph Dibney's storyline in ''ComicBook/FiftyTwo''.
* ''ComicBook/JusticeLeagueCryForJustice'', like ''Identity Crisis'' above, is frequently-but-not-exclusively considered to be one. Also like ''Identity Crisis'', it was the catalyst for a Dork Age in the [[ComicBook/GreenArrow Arrow Family]], and more specifically Roy Harper (Speedy/Red Arrow/Arsenal), who [[AddledAddict fell back into addiction]] and became DarkerAndEdgier to the point he was killing bums in an alley over the dead cat he had hallucinated was his dead daughter.
* The infamously bad 1990s ''Bloodlines'' CrisisCrossover. The plot involves disgusting aliens invading Earth to murder human beings and drain their spinal fluids and somehow this gives the few survivors superpowers in the process. It was meant to profit off the Dark Age phenomenon by creating a new batch of heroes for the era, but just ended up being incredibly [[{{Narm}} Narmy]] and forgettable. The new characters were either stupid-looking NinetiesAntiHeroes or had their potential wasted. It was generally regarded as an embarrassment and mostly ignored afterwards, except for the occasional [[SelfDeprecation insulting remark]] and the vast majority of the ''Bloodlines'' characters getting casually slaughtered during ''Infinite Crisis''. If there's one good thing that resulted from the event, though, it's that one of the aliens' victims was a certain [[ComicBook/{{Hitman}} Tommy Monaghan]], who went on to star a successful comic series.
* Many fans consider ''ComicBook/{{New 52}}'' a huge dork age for DC due to attempting to be a DarkerAndEdgier ContinuityReboot of the ComicBook/DCUniverse with some of the popular titles being almost to InNameOnly levels (see ''Teen Titans'' and Tim Drake above), new origins for some of the superheroes (an example being Wonder Woman's being a demigoddess), DarknessInducedAudienceApathy in several titles and others (see ''The Flash'', ''Suicide Squad'' and ''Shazam'' above). The DC You imprint after ''ComicBook/{{Convergence}}'' tried to win back fans but it turned out to be a failure and then Creator/DanDiDio admitted that "blank slate" of the New 52 was a mistake, since no one knew where to take any of the characters after the ContinuityReboot, which resulted in the LighterAndSofter ''ComicBook/DCRebirth'' imprint replacing the New 52 as an apology to disappointed fans who were angry with it.
* For ''ComicBook/{{Hawkman}}'', the era a little after the beginning of the ''Hawkworld'' ongoing and Hawkman's return over in ''JSA''. Namely for how ''amazingly'' convoluted things became, with the Fel Andar retcon that turned him into a supervillain, as well as just being ''the'' era of ContinuitySnarl that pretty much everyone now ignores, yet still has come to define Hawkman in the public consciousness.
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