Dethroning Moment: Comic Books
When even Orks
are shocked, you know you screwed up.
"And That's Terrible
" doesn't even begin to describe these moments
. Nor does the amount of Ret Conning
, Canon Discontinuity
, or Running the Asylum
it will take to dilute the bad memories
Keep in mind:
- Sign your entries
- One moment per work to a troper, if multiple entries are signed to the same troper the more recent one will be cut.
- Moments only, no "just everything he said," or "This entire comic," or "This entire series" entries.
- No contesting entries. This is subjective, the entry is their opinion.
- No natter. As above, anything contesting an entry will be cut, and anything that's just contributing more can be made its own entry.
- Explain why it's a Dethroning Moment of Suck.
- No Real Life examples, including Executive Meddling. That is just asking for trouble.
- No ALLCAPS, no bold, and no italics unless it's the title of a work. We are not yelling the DMoSs out loud.
Works with their own pages:
- Peridonyx: My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic (IDW)'s Reflections arc, while a Base Breaker for shipping Princess Celestia with Mirror King Sombra, is still deep. Then comes the end: Sombra's Heroic Sacrifice forcibly gives him a Face-Heel Turn (making him just like Main!Sombra), the mirror between their worlds busts (denying them even a goodbye), and the last panels show them both at the Despair Event Horizon over it. Look- each other arc, flaws and all, ends in at least some closure. This? A Shoot the Shaggy Dog, Status Quo Is God, Take That, Audience!, and/or They Just Didn't Care. Not cool, writers.
- Triassicranger: A The Bash Street Kids annual from the late 90s features 'Erbert in a strip on his own getting a conker from his dad (which he mistakes to be a puppet. He is very short sighted, you see). He goes out to play with the conker/puppet until a bully challenges him and smashes 'Erbert's conker. That's not the worst bit however, enraged at this, 'Erbert picks a fight with the bully and the final panel has him covered in rubbish and says "And that teaches you". The bully, who has got away scot-free says "What a weirdo". And that was meant to be funny?
- Daddy Mulk: from the Italian comic book Rat-Man, the moment that showed this series has jumped the shark. Chuck Norris shows up and kills Rat-Man's enemy. No, it's not bad because it's another example of lame Chuck Norris Facts, it's bad because it killed any seriousness and credibility of not only the story, but the entire narrative arc had up to that point. You see, the robot Rat-Man was going to face was presented as a credible threat, and Rat-Man was so terrified of it that, to avoid confrontation (the robot was programmed to kill any superhero he'd meet) he dropped for the first time in the series his costume and decided he no longer was a hero. Sure, it was another example of the Brick Joke (ab)used by author Leo Ortolani (in an earlier story it shows as a gag that, every time Rat-Man picks up a book, he can't read it because Chuck Norris asks him to fight bad guys), but you can't ruin the mood of three issues just for the sake of a lame sight gag. Way to go, Leo.
- SteleResolve: The sixth volume of the Knights of the Old Republic comic series completely derailed the characters and the plot that had been building. Not only did it rush the ending and cobble together a half-assed Big Bad with a lame backstory and even lamer motivation, it outright changed the deaths of some of the masters that had been predicted at the very beginning of the series. But the absolute worst moment, the true Dethroning Moment of Suck, was when Gryph explained to Quanilia that the Crowning Moment of Awesome message that Zayne had sent to the masters at the end of the first story arc was, in fact, a complete fabrication, a feint intended to put them on guard and buy him some breathing room. Well done, writers. You turned the character development that finally gave a level in badass to the Jedi Order's Butt Monkey into a complete sham.
- FoxTrax: Archie Comics' Sonic the Hedgehog and the "House of Cards" arc. The plot? Sonic criticizes Tails' parents, Merlin and Rosemary, for assembling a protest to turn Knothole into a democracy, because, as we all know, Princess Sally's done such a good job! Eventually, Tails' folks gets thrown in jail, and Sonic just decides to let things handle themselves instead of, you know, helping his best friend and adoptive little brother. Oh, wait. This isn't the superior game series. I forgot. Oh, but it goes From Bad to Worse. After Tails tries to break his parents out, Sonic rushes over to stop him. This leads to a padded-out battle where Tails basically speaks for the entire fanbase while whooping on Sonic's ass. Unfortunately, it's revealed that Tails was motivated to lay the smack-down on Sonic because he stole his love interest from him, even though it was revealed that she was a bad guy! Not only was that one heck of a Wall Banger, but it has nothing to do with anything!
- taylorkerekes: Speaking of which, Sonic the Hedgehog issue 172. Not so much for what Fiona did to Tails, but actually for Sonic being a Kick the Dog target. First, Fiona sets Sonic as her prime example of "not counting on anybody" and when Sonic tries to protest, Scourge takes Sonic into another physical spat along with Fiona telling Sonic to simply "shut up already". Second, and even worse: Scourge says that the only thing separating him and Sonic is a bad day. Sonic responds by telling Scourge that "a little bit of selflessness" and "a little bit of decency" were all that separated Sonic from him. Scourge is at a loss for words for a bit, until Fiona abruptly cuts in and kicks Sonic aside claiming that he "had his chance"; she then puts him down by calling him a weakling for "holding back" and that "it's all about survival of the best", and Scourge goes right back to his Jerkassery. What could have been Sonic's chance for giving his enemies a new state of mind abruptly, and epically, ended in a Kick the Dog scenario at its worst for no explainable reason!
- bludemon: Sonic the Hedgehog issue 223&224 bothers me more than anything. The entire Freedom Fighters vs Geoffrey fight in which the good guys can't even hold a candle to Geoffrey. I know he is a highly skilled spy but we seen people like Sally, Tails, and Bunny land several hits on Sonic the Hedgehog and he is the supposed toughest guy on Mobius. The entire fight was like one big Curb-Stomp Battle where one guy can take on five people who have been fighting since they were kids.
- SteleResolve: Pretty much the Spawn universe became a jumbled pile of messy retcons and conflicting canon not far into the series, but the absolute worst, most unforgivable retcon was when Todd Macfarlane tried to change the identity of Al Simmons' killer. Chapel, the original killer, was not Macfarlane's creation, and due to some legal issues or something he was unable to use him in the film adaptation of Spawn; instead, he was replaced by a woman named Jessica Priest. That's no big deal, it's understandable. What isn't is when he decided, for some reason, to retcon it so that Priest was the killer in the comics as well. So in one of the most half-assed retcons of all time, he tried to make it appear that Spawn's memories had been tampered with to make him seek revenge on the wrong person. First off, why? It didn't suit the Malebolgia's purposes to do so, it would have been utterly pointless. Second, and the biggest issue, Chapel admitted to the murder when Spawn confronted him! You can't say that the revenge seeker was mistaken when the killer confesses to his face about the crime!
- biznizz: Garth Ennis' The Pro. Already a horrible book, the absolute moment that made the book irredemable is when the titular character (Read: a single unwed mother who is a hooker with superpowers) blames thinly veiled expies of the Justice League for not helping make life better. As in "Why do I have to suck cocks to feed my son. You should have done something!" In that moment of stupidity (the reader is supposed to side with the stupid hooker here) that says "Personal responsibility? What's that?!", it implies that superheroes are supposed to improve civilization, even if other, more better stories show that that can lead to a slippery slope of power hungry tyranny. I put that book down, walked away and never read anything written by Garth Ennis again. It also has made me dislike Amanda Conner's work... somehow, and ain't that an achievement.
- Largo Quagmire: I heard Kick-Ass 2 is being made into a movie, and it makes me happy to hear Mintz-Plasse won't touch what Mark Millar did to Red Mist with a sterilized lightning rod. Red Mist was kind of off the deep end by the end of the first series anyways, but there is absolutely no reason or way to justify him murdering a host of young children, and then raping Kick-Ass' love interest and murdering her father. It was the moment where Mark Millar basically decided to piss away any chance of salvaging that good nugget of an idea he had in Kick-Ass, all for the sake of stupendously stupid shock value. Millar has absolutely no understanding of Darker and Edgier, how it works, or how it affects an audience, judging from that scene alone.
- 2heartgirl: Oh boy, here's the worst part about the gang rape. It's not Kick-Ass' two panel reaction at the hospital or that no one mentions what happened. No, what truly pisses me off is when Kick-Ass confronted Red Mist over what he did it turns into a petty squabble and is never mentioned again. Even worse after Kick-Ass defeats Red Mist all he mentions is how Red Mist killed his dad. Not how he murdered an entire neighborhood, not how he killed god knows how many children, and especially not how he raped a teenage girl. No, just the You Killed My Father line. No. Mark Millar. No. You cannot have a scene like that happen in your book and disrespect the gravity of the consequences and tragedy of it like that. You could have simply written that they threaten to do it later so that they could make Kick-Ass watch and nothing would have changed. No one should ever write a scene like that in anything without fully understanding the subject matter. I'm done with your work if this is how you think you make a successful Darker and Edgier take on superheroes.
- Animeking1108: The revelation that Big Daddy's tragic backstory was all a lie, and that he was some nutcase who kidnapped his daughter. There was a reason people preferred his characterization in the movie.
- Crazyrabbits: The Walking Dead, issue #100. The extended assault and death of Glenn at the hands of the arc's Big Bad, Negan, is mindlessly over-the-top, even for a series that has made its name on gore and the shockingly brief deaths of several main characters. The majority of the issue is devoted to a single confrontation where Rick and the rest of the survivors are captured by Negan, a villain who reads like an more sadistic version of The Governor. Negan subsequently beats Glenn's head in over the course of several pages, with Glenn calling out for Maggie and Sophia before his jaw gets smashed off. It feels more like an over-the-top snuff film than a legitimate advancement of the story, and unlike the Governor arc (where the character was built up before he started wantonly killing), Glenn's death serves as nothing more than a cheap stunt to immediately validate the Big Bad (who is prone to spouting off quotes about how he'll rape survivors like Carl).
- Potato Potato: Speaking of Carl, issue 137 is a massive Dethroning Moment of Suck for him. Specifically, how he falls for Lydia despite only knowing her for the past few issues and agrees to have sex with her after she licks his eye wound. This one action threw away years upon years of build up in regards to his relationship with Sophia and made him come off as a completely callous asshole. Personally, this troper has always been fine with Carl not getting romantically attached to Sophia, but having him do something like this is just inexcusable as it makes it look like he doesn't care about hurting her feelings in the slightest. The fact that all of this happens right after Carl had saved Sophia's life from a couple of bullies just makes it all the more glaring. It's like Kirkman wanted to get people's hopes up for the sole purpose of dashing them right in front of their faces. I can only guess how poorly Carl/Sophia shippers will react upon seeing this.
- Sam Max: Time for a really horrifying and a really sad moment in an already awful and horrifying Comic Book Adaptation of Mega Man, which is the Brazilian comic, Novas Aventuras De Megaman. In this version, Roll is a homeless girl that gets kidnapped along with a few others. Oh dear, there's some Unfortunate Implications already... but that's not all! Not too long afterward, we see her mutilated body, with her brain exposed and her head cut off. Roll is my favorite character from the franchise, so for this to be witnessed (the fact that she's a robot from the beginning in most versions notwithstanding), I'm almost speechless, and not in a good way! It would have been worse if not for Dr. Light choosing to save her brain and putting it in a new body. I don't care about the precise details, because I want to forget about them, and while I'm all for a Darker and Edgier adaptation of the Classic Series characters, fine folks like Hitoshi Ariga and Ian Flynn have proven that you can do so without resorting to Gorn and such. How this got approved by Capcom, I'll never know, but I'm glad it never left Brazil.
- Mockery: Oh, Jack of Fables. I can't say I ever loved you. Your title character danced back and forth across the Eight Deadly Words, but I lament that your DMoS happened on the last pages of your series. In the midst of a Kill 'em All finale, even Jack dies. Then the devil comes to claim his soul. As does another, and another, and another. And while they argue, Jack's soul slips away unnoticed. This might be an ending befitting a Lovable Rogue, but given that by this point Jack had become a dragon because of his overwhelming greed, among dozens of other acts of sheer dickishness I think that it would be laughable to call him anything resembling a good person. One might even be inclined to give this a pass owing to its Continuity Nod status. I, for one, condemn it for ignoring that each devil figure had bought out Jack's previous contract. Each one—except the last—had had its share of Jack's soul paid for, and thus had no ground to stand on. Only one had a legal claim to him. But this is never brought up at all. Most infuriating of all is the author's willingness to pat himself on the back and consider it clever.
- yunatwilight: Not to mention ... didn't John Constantine do the exact same thing years earlier, except that when John did it there was an actual point and it really was clever?
- NTroper: The Donald Duck Brazilian comic story known as "Na Marca do pênalti", which roughly translates itself to "On penalty's edge", AKA Boys of Bummer taken to the most ridiculous extreme possible. To elaborate, a soccer team sponsored by Scrooge is facing a team sponsored by Rockerduck. Winner earns the respective sponsors the rights to business during the next World Cup in Germany and the transmission rights. Donald is playing for Scrooge's team and has to shoot a penalty as everyone else is injured in one way or another, no matter how ridiculous the injury is (headache and calluses, for one). Donald has to shoot, despite telling he's a terrible shooter. The Drill Sergeant Nasty coach tells Donald to stop wussing out and score, and that if they lose, it's Donald's fault. Then, Donald trips and loses the penalty, and what follows is one of the most disgusting Kick the Dog moments Duckburg could offer. Everyone in the team starts blaming Donald and insulting him, telling he should have let someone else shoot, despite everyone cowardly backing out earlier in the game, not letting Donald ride the Team Bus back home, Scrooge calling Donald ingrate and telling him he'll work to repay all the money he'd have earned in Germany, taxists refusing to let Donald in, passerbys saying they want Donald's head. Then, when Donald tries seeking Daisy for comfort, Daisy cusses him out for having the nerve to visit her after his defeat ruined her party and then ditches him for Gladstone again, and for extra measure, Gladstone tells Donald "You're here too? Why don't you go home?". And finally, when Donald makes it home, the Beagle Boys empty Donald's house as compensation for them losing a bet they made on his team. Not even the reveal it was just Donald's daydream and the following daydream of how nice things would go for him if he scores, ending with Donald not being afraid of anything and just going for the shoot is enough to make up for this utterly ridiculous first act.
- Austin DR: I for one love Chick Tracts but not for the reasons that you're most likely thinking. I love reading them because they're so unbelievably bad. They get their facts wrong, they have a Narm charm, and they're very hard to take seriously. However, the one Chick Tract that I absolutely loath is simply titled "Lisa." "Lisa" is about a married couple that were falling behind in hard times. The father of the titular character, Henry, couldn't find a job anywhere, and he was also an alcoholic. What Henry does next is simply unforgivable. He molests his daughter, who looks about five years old by the way, and then he pimps her out and lets his neighbor have his way with her. Pretty much he's making his daughter into a prostitute so that he could get the money from her customers. Later on, Lisa develops herpes complex, and the doctor tells Henry about it. He says that she told him what her father had done to her, and instead of calling the police to arrest him, he instead tells him that Jesus could forgive him for essentially molesting his daughter if he repents. Henry does so, and his family is back in order. So, let me get this straight. We have a father who raped his own daughter, and shared her with the neighbors getting away with said raping and prostitution by just telling God that he was sorry for it without having to face the consequences. I'm sorry, that's not how real-life works! Sure, you can feel remorse for committing a crime in life, but you still have to pay up for it even if you're remorseful for it. And what are we supposed to learn from this tract? Is it "Hey kids, it's okay for your parents to molest you, as long as they apologize for said sexual abuse." There's also the fact that Lisa still has that STD at the end of the tract, and if she ever marries anyone, she'll just transmit that to her partner, and she may even pass it to her children. Jack Chick, if you want to teach a religious lesson to your audience, please leave pedophilia and sexual abuse out of it! Christ!
- Samadhir: Due to the rather polarizing nature of Garth Ennis' magnum opus Preacher, most readers seem to have at least one moment or issue in it that they consider the dethroning one. For me, its the spin-off story Tall in the Saddle, about Custer and Tulip's early days as carjackers, and their attempt to stop a ring of horse thieves from kidnapping young horses and selling their meat to restaurants in Europe. The story isn't interesting, tells us nothing new or meaningful about the characters, and towards the end simply feels like an excuse for Ennis to indulge in his taste for shock value, with 2 consecutive pages devoted to images of horses being graphically slaughtered and cut up, a guy's eyeball popping out of his head after a kick to the jaw and someone's head bursting apart when being kicked by a horse. It ends with Custer taking the leader of the ring, a ridiculously over-the-top stereotypical Frenchman named Napoleon Vichy, out into the desert and hanging him from a tree, where we get a loving close-up of him pissing and shitting himself after having asphyxiated.
- The Chain Man – Mortadelo y Filemón’s Cross Over special “¡Bajo el bramido del trueno!" is basically this for pretty much the entire fandom. Aside from the usual current issues like the jokes being forced, predictable, and repetitive beyond the Running Gag status, there's the whole "crossover" part, with El Capitán Trueno if the title didn't make it obvious, for two reasons: The first is the Nonstandard Character Design of the Trueno characters caused because, instead of being drawn in Ibañez's own style, they were randomly copy-pasted from Trueno albums. The results are not pretty and often look bizarre, with characters that are dancing being passed as pursuiters and others "wonders" like that. Furthermore, there are instances where Ibañez does keep the original images aside but he draws the hands or the face, which looks somewhere between Off Model and terrifying, depending of the image. The second reason is that, for all this is "passed" as a homage to Trueno for its 50 anniversary, it's not much of an homage as an Humiliation Conga for Trueno himself, as he gets repeatedly hit, transmutated, and put in various ridiculous situations, the worst part perhaps being Mortadelo himself NTRing him by hooking with his girlfriend Sigurd for no reason. All in all, the whole thing goes from merely boring to outright painful to read.
- Animeking1108: The final issue to Y: The Last Man was a good finale, but there was one annoyance that kept it from being perfect. When Yorick went to visit Dr. Mann and Rose, he learns that Dr. Mann died off-page. What? We got to see 355 and Ampersand's deaths, and they were massive Tear Jerker moments. Why? Because they were helping Yorick on his journey since practically the beginning. It's really insulting that Dr. Mann's death scene wasn't even shown because she was one of the main characters too.
- Sam Max: Let it be known that I saw the Guardians of the Galaxy film, and loved it so much, I actually decided to read the comics. They're not bad so far, but there's one scene that convinced me that they probably wouldn't match up to the film. In the 2008 series, as it turns out, most of the team was brought together via Brainwashing for the Greater Good by Mantis. It already didn't sit well with me. The team had every right to break up afterward, but I felt the team breaking up should have at least been saved for a few more issues. I never read many other Marvel Comics, so I suppose it would make more sense if I did, and the scene wasn't bad enough to keep me from being interested in reading more, but there's a reason I prefer the movie's version.