Horrible / Comic Books
aka: Comics

"It's like the absurdity of the '90s fucked the grittiness of the '80s and then they both doubled-teamed decency until...you know, I could go on here but then I'd be getting as graphically vile as this title itself."

Certain comic book storylines get written off as So Bad Its Horrible, especially if the fans complain loud enough. Maybe the writers were having a bad day... or perhaps they failed an Author's Saving Throw. Nevertheless, these things have been condemned by a vocal portion of the fanbase.

In some cases, they're so bad that their creators refuse to acknowledge them, preferring to Retcon their mistakes out of existence. Those are the lucky ones.

For horrible newspaper strips and political cartoons, see Newspaper Comics

Important Note: Merely being offensive in its subject matter is not enough to justify a work as So Bad It's Horrible. Hard as it is to imagine at times, there is a market for all types of deviancy (no matter how small a niche it is). It has to fail to appeal even to that niche to qualify as this.

Second Important Note: It is not a Horrible comic just because Linkara (who has reviewed most the ones listed) or any other Caustic Critic declared it so. There needs to be independent evidence to list it. (Though once it is listed, they can provide the detailed review.)

Third Important Note: This page is not for horrible issues (or even arcs) of otherwise good comics. For those, see DethroningMoment.ComicBooks and DorkAge.ComicBooks.

Examples (more-or-less in alphabetical order):

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    DC Comics 
  • The miniseries Amazons Attack was thrown together last-minute to cover delays in Wonder Woman, and was nothing more than Character Derailment for the entire Amazon people, turning them either into Straw Feminists or complete morons by way of Idiot Plot, with plot holes aplenty. The initial attack is because Wonder Woman was tortured; later, it's stated that they decided to do it because they hate men. The reason Wonder Woman was tortured was to learn the Amazon secret technology; later, the heroes figure out that the Amazons aren't behind a certain attack because it's high-tech. Wonder Woman herself is presented as absolutely helpless throughout; she confronts her clearly-brainwashed mother at least thrice without thinking to use her lasso, which has previously been shown in-canon as able to break brainwashing. The US Army is challenged by spears and bows and arrows — an arrow pierces a cockpit at one point; Air Force One is chased down by women on flying horses. Also, unless you read the tie-ins, the characters who are Amazons (Wonder Woman and Donna Troy) or affiliated with the Amazons (Wonder Girl and Super Girl) barely appear for the first half of the series. Icing on the cake? Those tie-ins, where most of the big plot points happen, got left out of the trade paperback collection. It's obvious that the creators didn't research the characters' past or the history of the DCU Amazons at all. Oh, and the Amazons' secret weapon is bees. My God. To make matters worse, the entire series was a lead-in to Countdown... which is at least as reviled as Amazons Attack.
  • Justice League: Cry for Justice (nicknamed "Gay for Justice" by readers, thanks to some unfortunate lettering styles), a DC miniseries by James Robinson that featured Hal Jordan trying to create a proactive Justice League (because that always ends well). The series features gratuitous gore and violence, characters being dismembered, horrible writing and gross characterization, and everyone constantly shouting "For justice!" Put it this way — when the author directly and explicitly apologizes to the fans over the quality of the work, twice, before the series has finished, then you know you're dealing with something awful. It was laughably "edgy", even killing off Lian Harper (a fan favorite child character) at the eleventh hour, which was just one among many senseless deaths that didn't advance the storyline. Robinson got himself under all manner of fire for its release, despite the fact that he fought tooth-and-nail against the editors, who wanted much, much more in the pointless death and destruction departments. Not two years later, it and both of its follow-ups were retconned in full. Linkara, one of the more calm and level headed Channel Awesome personalities, broke character and growled with visceral rage during the murder of Lian Harper.
    • Rise of Arsenal is a odd example to cover because it may very well be a Poe, but it's hard to tell. The story begins in Final Crisis, after the protagonist loses his aforementioned daughter Lian in the attack on Star City. Green Arrow's former sidekick Roy Harper, who was the subject of an acclaimed drug awareness plotline in the seventies (when he was known as "Speedy"), fell off the wagon after losing his arm. Harper, currently known as Arsenal, began a rampant pill addiction to cope with the phantom pains of his missing limb. All well and good, but Roy decides to take a walk on the wild side by indulging in mild S&M, whipping his late daughter's mother with an extension cord, coping with erectile dysfunction nanite poisoning, hallucinating that his daughter is alive and carrying her around town without realizing it's actually a moldy dead cat, and Batman playing some sweet chin music on Roy (the highlight of the book), but not before Roy brutally tortures and kills a man tangentially responsible for Star City. Anyway, it got cosmic retconned the following year, this time in New 52. Now Roy never lost his arm and his daughter Lian didn't die because who's Lian?
  • DC Comics' weekly series Countdown to Final Crisis, by most accounts. Bad Writing, bad art, bad characterization, three different names (it started as Countdown, then Countdown to Final Crisis, and the final issue was titled DC Universe Zero), three alternate Earths destroyed to prop up villains fans don't like, tie-in mini-series that explain key plot points that are equally horrible, and an ending that completely contradicted the events that it was created to build up. Shortly after 52 was finished, Dan Didio asked Grant Morrison to give some of his (work in progress) scripts of the first several issues of Final Crisis; other than that, it was pretty much controlled by Didio. It also pulled away advertising from the infinitely better Sinestro Corps War story that was going on at the same time. The whole thing was declared Canon Discontinuity the minute it was finished, but it still didn't erase the horrible taste it left in readers' mouths. It was so bad that the intended final issue, DC Universe #0, written by Grant Morrison and Geoff Johns, essentially replaced Countdown as the real lead-up to Final Crisis (the only thing that was acknowledged from Countdown was Darkseid's death, fall, and reincarnation into a human body as seen in Seven Soldiers). It was built up to be the spine of the DCU, but quickly became the appendix.
    • Of all the spinoff miniseries, Countdown: Arena was easily the worst. The plot (Monarch kidnaps a bunch of Elseworlds characters and then makes them fight to the death so he can recruit the winners) is a threadbare mess, but it could have been saved by the coolness inherent in Let's You and Him Fight. This... doesn't happen. Mediocre art, severe pacing issues, Character Derailment all round (especially for poor Captain Atom, whose Face–Heel Turn still makes absolutely no sense), a depressing tone, a near-total irrelevance to Countdown itself, and the fight results being decided by fan vote mean that Arena somehow manages to make three Batmen fighting each other boring and unpleasant. That it features characters from actual good Elseworlds comics getting brutally murdered is just the cherry on this shit sundae. Comics Alliance named it one of the worst comics of the decade.
  • DC Challenge was an interesting concept — a 12-issue miniseries in which teams of people who normally did not work together would take turns doing stories which could not prominently feature characters they normally worked on, each issue setting up a cliffhanger that the next team would have to solve in the next issue. Unfortunately, Round Robin stories are hard enough to manage as fanwork. Doing this professionally would've been difficult, so it wasn't. This quickly degenerated into a confusing mess. By the end, major plot threads had been dropped completely and nobody was quite sure what was going on — not even the editors at DC.
  • Devin Grayson's run on Nightwing, particularly her attempt to re-enact the plot of Born Again on the least suitable character in the entire DCU. The sheer number of characters that would need to be retconned from the DCU (assuming they didn't detach Dick Grayson completely from it) should have kept this from passing the concept phase, but that's just one issue; other gems from this include the rape scene courtesy of Tarantula — which she tried to defend as being "nonconsensual" rather than rape — and Richard's inexplicable Face–Heel Turn and poorly-explained alliance with Deathstroke, the result of a failed attempt to manufacture a "hero from the ashes" storyline (Infinite Crisis got in the way) by pointlessly giving Nightwing hell.
    • Bruce Jones' run of Nightwing, which followed Grayson's, made her run look like Shakespeare. Nightwing became a male model who slept with his boss, and she just happened to have superpowers. Then Jason Todd showed up and started fighting Dick on a model runway; and then Jason Todd was turned into a tentacle monster.
  • Superman at Earth's End is a truly failed attempt to make Superman fit in The Dark Age of Comic Books. From turning the Man of Steel into a gun-toting, incoherent, moronic Santa Claus lookalike, to the overall stupidity of the plot (the main villains are clones of Hitler — such a plot could be effective in a comic that didn't take itself seriously, but here it comes across as lazy).

  • The Avengers #200, the issue that had Ms. Marvel Put on a Bus, is an Idiot Plot filled with Unfortunate Implications concerning its plot. It involves the sudden, inexplicable three day pregnancy of Ms. Marvel, which the other Avengers treat as is if were a regular pregnancy, ignorant of the abnormalities of the situation and the trauma it would bring to the woman. After the birth of the baby, and giving it access to their tools, it is revealed to the Avengers that it is actually an extradimensional being named Marcus that brought Ms. Marvel to Limbo for an instant and forcibly impregnated her so that he may escape the dimension. While this is supposed to portray Marcus as a victim of his environment as all the Avengers except Hawkeye sympathize with him, it doesn't change the fact that he raped someone for his own benefit. To add insult to the character of Ms. Marvel, she also sympathizes with him and decides to leave with him to limbo after his machine was destroyed. She didn't return to comics for a year until Avengers Annual #10, the issue where Ms. Marvel loses her powers and memories to Rogue. Jim Shooter, one of the writers of the issue, regrets having been involved in it. Linkara also took a look at it, and has gone so far to say it is the worst comic he's ever reviewed that was not Holy Terror.
  • The Crossing, an insane Avengers Bat Family Crossover supposedly about Kang trying to take over the world. The plot makes no sense and is so convoluted that it's hard to tell where it begins. It also features the Face–Heel Turn and death of Tony Stark and his replacement by his alternate dimension younger counterpart, "Teen Tony". Eventually, in Avengers Forever, Kurt Busiek said that pretty much everyone involved was a Space Phantom and it was a plot by Immortus, pretending to be Kang (his younger self), to troll the Avengers so that they didn't leave Earth for a while.
  • Marville, written by Bill Jemas, was created on a bet between him and Peter David to see who could write a better selling comic. The problem here is that at the time he worked for Marvel, Jemas was an editor. And boy, does it show. The book is filled with terrible jokes that feel like they were stolen from a rejected Seltzer and Friedberg script, ham-fisted political commentary, characters from the mainline Marvel universe showing up just to act out of character and do unfunny things, heaping piles of Critical Research Failure and countless plotholes, and tons of mean-spirited digs at DC and Peter David while Marvel got off scot-free. Eventually, this fell in favor of what read like a Chick Tract... as adapted à la Shoggoth on the Roof by a schizophrenic primary-schooler. For instance, Wolverine evolved from an otter (it's apparently an oblique, and rather unflattering, reference to a scrapped backstory for the character) and, through some reason or another, either becomes immortal or gets a long line of Identical Grandsons (the comic can't pick one). In the same issue, Jesus Christ is called "the first superhero"note . The last two issues were a recap of the series and a guide on how to submit scripts to a now-defunct comic line. Bonus points: the third issue had no speech bubbles, with the text written script-style along the sides of the panels, often covering up the artwork. Also, the Contemptible Cover art featuring a red-haired woman (who appeared nowhere in the comic) in various states of undress when Jemas was certain he'd lose the bet (he did), with the last issues moving these to variants and using Wolverine-themed covers. Unsurprisingly, Linkara said 'Bring out the Gimp' and trashed all six (technically seven) issues, as did an entertaining blog series titled "The Marville Horror".
    • Possibly the most disturbing part of the entire comic is centered around how Bill Jemas not only thinks, but BELIEVES everything he's written in the comic (Issue 6 flat out says the entire miniseries' purpose was to "explore the origin and meaning of life"), meaning that he genuinely believes that Masonic duckbilled dinosaurs existed, evolution is either a farce or was a blueprint laid out by God (the comic can't seem to decide), environmentalists are pussies, and perhaps most incredulously, Peter David is a worse writer than he is. Not only did this loon major in history, but he was also the vice president of Marvel at the time of the series' making (which was also a time of financial difficulty, mind you), making the resulting product all the more baffling to think about.
  • Jeph Loeb's The Ultimates 3 is accused of having exceptionally-poor writing and Flanderization en masse. Many critics argue that Loeb doesn't seem to have bothered reading any of the other books in the Ultimate Universe or familiarizing himself with their characters, and has merely made the characters caricatures of their counterparts in Earth-616 regardless of whether this is appropriate. For example, Thor speaks in Ye Olde Butcherede Englishe despite speaking normal English before, and Wasp is white instead of Asian. It was loaded with Plot Holes and stupid, stupid writing mistakes.
  • Kirkman's run on Ultimate X-Men ended with him retconning almost every major change he had made. Still, sadly, not enough to wipe the long, dragging "Magician" arc from readers' memories. Kurt Wagner going batshit from his time in the Weapon X program could've been done as Character Development; coupled with his sudden off-the-wall homophobia and super-creepy Annie Wilkes-like behavior towards Dazzler, it just wound up being the final straw.
  • The Spider-Man storyline One More Day is perhaps the most infamous case of Executive Meddling since The Clone Saga.
    • Decades of continuity and characterization were blinked out of existence because Joe Quesada, Marvel's editor-in-chief at the time, hated the more modern aspects of Spidey's character. (Interestingly, the Clone Saga was conceived for a similar reason, proving that Marvel never learns anything from its mistakes.) J. Michael Straczynski, the writer for this storyline, hated every minute of it and tried hard to get himself disassociated with it. It goes like this—Spider Man's aunt May takes a bullet and is about to die. Somehow, nobody in the Marvel Universe can do anything to change that. So, in a move wholly detached from reality and maturity, he makes a Deal with the Devil to save Aunt May's life (against her wishes, by the way)... in exchange for his marriage and much of his relationship with Mary-Jane being erased from history. It was contrived to the point of stupidity, worse in that Quesada claimed that having them just plain divorce would make the audience feel cheated. More likely, Joe no longer recognized the Spider-Man from his youth and wanted to return to a simpler time.
    • It acted as a massive Reset Button on the Spider-Books as a whole, retconning not just Peter and MJ's marriage (which might have been tolerable), but Spidey's public unmasking during the Civil War arc (which they expressly stated would not be undone). This is the kind of shameless revisionism Marvel fans (rightly) mock DC Comics for: rebooting the entire universe each time a new film is announced.
    • It should probably be noted that the reason Straczynski objected to the story to the degree that he did was not actually due to the story's quality and more to do with the fact that his original proposal for it (which would have had Peter help Harry Osborn through his drug problems) had been turned down, a proposal that would've jettisoned three and a half decades of continuity (as opposed to the two that that final product did away with). Whether this would've been better or worse than what we got is debatable, and that three and a half decades would've included nearly every infamously-awful Spider-Man story ever told, such as The Clone Saga and Sins Past, which remained in-continuity in no matter how disgusted writers/readers were with the results.

    Other Comics 
  • The artist of Minimum Security (which can be found at Newspaper Comics) collaborated with another author to make As the World Burns, a graphic novel starring the characters from Minimum Security, who rant about how terrible modern society is. The graphic novel ends with a speech about how humans should destroy everything and go back to being hunter-gatherers. Even if you do agree with their views, the artwork is still atrocious — everything is drawn with all the skill of a second-grader, humans look like either grotesque caricatures or creepy baby dolls, and animals look like furry blobs that only vaguely resemble what they're supposed to.
  • Chronos Carnival, a story featuring a travelling carnival in space, is widely considered to be the worst-written strip ever run in Two Thousand AD. Its embittered Handicapped Badass protagonist raised a few Unfortunate Implications that were only gotten away with because the artist who drew it was handicapped himself.
  • The Valiant Comics-Image Comics crossover Deathmate helped destroy Valiant Comics and was one the contributing factors that led to The Great Comics Crash of 1996. The writing was horrible, the art Liefeldian, the concept was flawed, and Image released its contributions years late.
  • The original Family Guy comics from Devil's Due Publishing. Nothing good can happen when you take a show that mostly derives its humor from delivery, timing, and voice acting and adapt it into a medium that can use none of that. There is zero attempt to make this in any way comic-like. The panels are just rows of boxes, composed into a vaguely comic-like simulacrum. A joke or conversation will start in the third-to-last panel on one page and end halfway into the next. Everything looks stiff, like someone just took a screen cap of the show. The comic is almost always at 3/4 view, and the artwork is full of blatant copying and pasting - facial expressions, poses, and even entire panels are copied wholesale. The book only lasted three issues, and all three were collected into a TPB lovingly named "The Family Guy Big Book of Crap." Really says something about what the people who worked on it thought of it.
  • Frank Miller's Holy Terror is an unapologetically racist tract against Islamic terrorism starring a pair of Batman and Catwoman expies. Miller defended it by comparing it to the anti-fascist cartoons printed in World War II; whether Miller is willfully ignorant about the bigoted and quasi-white supremacist overtones of those wartime cartoons, or succeeded too well at matching them is up for debate, but all parties seem to agree the end result is tasteless either way. (The book was actually, in fact, supposed to be a Batman comic at first, but then turned into a standalone comic halfway through.) The writing itself is a mess, there's very little characterization and it takes half the book just to get past the first event. Furthermore, the book treats all Muslims as terrorists-in-making, misrepresents even basic facts about terrorism and seems to treat the brutal treatment and torture of Islamic people as tough love. Linkara reviewed it as the subject of his 300th episode, and the beatdown he gave it was certainly worthy of an anniversary. However, he would later up the ante by calling it the worst comic he's ever read (quite a statement) and morally repugnant. This, along with All-Star Batman & Robin, the Boy Wonder (which is on the opposite end of the spectrum), marked the beginning of the end of Frankie's glorious and grisly career, though ironically ASBAR is more readable than most of the works listed here.
  • Incarnate is a comic written and "drawn" by Gene Simmons' son Nick. "Drawn" is written in quotation marks because he allegedly traced and copied most of the art from various popular manga (including Bleach, Hellsing, Death Note, One Piece, and Deadman Wonderland, as well as various DeviantArt pages). Most of the dialogue is broken and fragmented, and the story is completely incoherent. Once the plagiarism accusations were made known, Simmons' publisher ceased distribution of the comic due to a legal challenge from Shueisha, the publisher of most of Simmons' source material.
  • Malibu Comics' Street Fighter: The art was low-end 90s quality. The writing made the games themselves look deep and nuanced. And both of those pale in comparison to the butchering of most of the heroes' personalities: Ryu is turned into a stoic Straw Misogynist, Chun-Li is his bitter-ex and Ken is an American chunkhead. After Sagat and Balrog murdered Ken in the second issuenote , Capcom themselves stepped in and pulled the plug on the series. It thus ended with just three issues published. The comic is considered the nadir of Street Fighter adaptations (Yes, that includes the American cartoon, the Van Damme/Raul Julia movie and The Legend Of Chun Li.)
  • The My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic comics... from Germany note . An absolute no-effort trainwreck—sanctioned by Hasbro itself. The artwork was copy/pasted from merchandise boxes, with minimal photoshop to make the characters' actions fit the scene. The stories are some of the most inane the entire franchise has seen. Characterization is uniform, stock, and unlikable.
  • Antarctic Press' Robotech Sentinels: Rubicon was an effort by AP at continuing the long-running Sentinels comic that was cancelled when they acquired the Robotech license (and this was after Ben Dunn had said that AP would not continue the Sentinels comic, a Take That aimed at both the fans and the former creative team). The result had nothing to do with anything that had come before (or after); it instead consisted of a largely incoherent story filled with unidentifiable characters and a plot that was largely incomprehensible (the most coherent part consisted of a White Light in space destroying random ships accompanied by an "EEEE" sound effect). The artwork was terrible; the half-arsed computer toning effects vanished after the first issue, and two pages of the second issue consisted of raw pencils. The series was canned after two issues of a planned seven without resolving anything; many fans considered it a mercy killing.
  • The sleazy French spy-action series SAS is already bad; it's like James Bond without the humor. But the Comic Book Adaptation tops itself, with Osama bin Laden being presented as a Worthy Opponent. Sure, the author probably wanted a Take That against France-bashing post 9/11, but surely there were less stupid ways of doing it.
  • Transformers fans disagree on just about everything, often violently. But nobody has managed to find a fan who would dispute listing these works:
    • The Beast Within is poorly drawn, incoherent, badly written, and completely independent of any known canon. Not even Hasbro acknowledges it. Special mention goes to the Beast, a Dinobots combiner. Fans had been pondering what one would look like for years—the fact that this was its canon appearance came off as a slap in the face.
    • Continuum, a typo-riddled, poorly-organized "definitive chronology" of IDW's Transformers stories up to the present, is jam-packed with erroneous facts, skipped-over plotlines, and events out of chronological order... and it gets even more sickening when you realize it was written by one of IDW's two Transformers editors. It was meant to let people know their official stand on TF continuity, but it was absolutely useless as a resource. Its writer, Andy Schmidt, while he regrets the book, was never allowed to forget it.
    • The Beast Wars Sourcebook is also pretty infamous. Terrible layout and ordering, wildly varying art quality (with Frank Milkovich's take on Silverbolt being especially infamous), boring writing that reads more like a plot summary of the Beast Wars cartoon than a description of the character and purges any non-Waspinator related humor, strange and arbitrary changes to the personality of the Japanese characters, and a whole lot of typos and other editing errors. Even more disappointing, considering that the Generation 1 and Armada sourcebooks from the otherwise reviled Dreamwave era are generally considered to be excellent.
    • "Heart of Darkness", which takes place during The Transformers IDW's run. The writing ended up being pretty bad with forced dialogue and a rather vague Random Events Plot (with a bunch of continuity errors to boot), which was pretty stunning given that acclaimed Warhammer 40,000 writer Dan Abnett was a cowriter for it. Normally it would've just been So Okay, It's Average, but the art proved to absolutely abysmal and dragged the comic down further into this. To this day it's regarded as the single worst entry in the IDW G1 continuity and fans try as hard as possible to ignore it, aside from some minor World Building elements that James Roberts and John Barber later built off of.
  • The Unfunnies by Mark Millar. The comic tries for Refuge in Audacity but fails to be funny and thus misses the refuge, becoming little more than a social experiment in depravity (like most of Millar's works, come to think of it). The main villain is a child-murdering Karma Houdini who ironically has more depth than any of the cartoon characters. In addition to injecting pedophilia and bloodshed into Hanna-Barbera, the comic attempts to mix real life photography and a cartoony style to get a Roger Rabbit Effect, thereby ruining that film for everyone also. Just in case you need any more convincing, Mark Millar's wife herself read about six pages and tossed the book at his head.
  • Behind the already bad but copied-enough-that-no-one-cares-anymore Rob Liefeld-esque art of the Warrior mini-series lies unheard-of levels of walls and Walls of Text that contain bad grammar and made-up words used to explain "destrucity", a philosophy of former WWE wrestler Ultimate Warrior, which makes no sense to anyone in the world except him. Oh, and then there was the Christmas special consisting entirely of pinups, several of which have violent and disturbing imagery. Spoony and Linkara teamed up to review the series.
  • TMNT Presents April O'Neil: The May East Saga is an easy contender by many Turtles fans to be the worst Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles comic ever made. The story is an absolute trainwreck involving an evil, superpowered ancestor of April's causing havoc with all three issues filled with several plot points that make no sense and go nowhere (a drink that turns people into giant robots), multiple plot holes and continuity errors (at one point, May East puts April under a spell that only she can break, only for Splinter to almost casually wake her up two pages later) and some of the absolute worst artwork in any TMNT book with April barely even looking human over half the time and tons of art and coloring errors (April's ninja outfit suddenly turns from white to blue between issues for no reason), equaling a gigantic, steaming mess. The staff at Archie almost immediately considered it an Old Shame and several future issues of the main TMNT Adventures comic and even some of its spinoffs made venomous Take Thats about the miniseries, even rendering it Canon Discontinuity. If you want an idea of how bad the series is for yourself, a blog called TMNT Entity reviewed all three issues.
  • There were some pretty poor comics published during the indie comic boom of the '80s, but The Quadro Gang is amateurish even by those standards. The main characters all have the exact same bullying Bratty Half-Pint personality, to the point that the comic would hardly change if there was only one girl instead of quadruplets. They might work as Unsympathetic Comedy Protagonists were it not for the utterly unfunny jokes, predictable stories...and, of course, the art. There are doodles in the margins of a high-schooler's notebook that look nicer than this! And despite all of this, creator Joyce Lorraine not only saw fit to publish this and expect people to pay money for it, but has threatened to sue people who criticized it online on multiple occasions. Mister Kitty features it here.

    Artists, Writers, Editors, etc 
  • Just about any writer for Marvel or DC has some fans, but you'll have a very hard time finding any for Chuck Austen during his runs on Uncanny X-Men and The Avengers. He was responsible for the infamous "fake Rapture via disintegrating communion wafers" plot. He also wrote a "tribute to Romeo & Juliet" that ended with "Juliet" dying but "Romeo" living, included rednecks in robot suits, and included a midair public sex scene. You might, however, be able to get away with saying he made Polaris more interesting, so at least that's something.
    • Upon being inexplicably hired by DC immediately thereafter (presumably dodging villagers armed with Torches and Pitchforks on the way across Manhattan), Austen gave an interview where he made very unflattering comments about Lois Lane. These basically amounted to how Lois was just a selfish woman in love with Superman and "settled" on Clark and Lana Lang was the true love of Clark's life and they should be together. His opinions of her influenced the Superman books he wrote, too. This didn't win him any fans; he didn't last long, and the changes he made were ignored or retconned.
    • His work in Avengers depicted Wasp having an affair with Hawkeye due to the time Hank Pym slapped his wife. This actually contradicted a few decades worth of stories involving the mental trauma causing Hank to lash out, the implication that Hank was always abusive (something other writers have been guilty of as well), the fact that Hawkeye has always been good friends with Hank and even refused to date Wasp while they were divorced, and that Hank and Wasp have reconciled in recent years and were happily remarried.
    • An often forgotten portion of Austen's Marvel work is his time on Captain America. Brought in as a fill-in for John Ney Rieber, Austen had to finish scripts for Rieber's last two partially completed arcs, "The Extremists" and "Ice". In the former, Cap learns via fever dream that his time in suspended animation was because the U.S. Government with the approval of President Truman, implanted false memories of the famous Zemo incident in Cap's mind, stuck him in ice, and presumably murdered Bucky so the duo wouldn't interfere with the Hiroshima and Nagasaki bombings. The latter is an All Just a Dream test by a character called the Interrogator who has been tasked to see if he can get Cap to break his Thou Shall Not Kill rule. Cap succeeds in beating the test but then kills the Interrogator because he kind of attacked him. In his dying moments, the Interrogator reveals his employer is the US Secretary of Defense. The story then abruptly ends then and there with no resolution. A little while later, Geoff Johns revealed in his Avengers run that the Secretary was in fact the Red Skull the whole time, giving the storyline at least a little closure. Soon after, Cap's book was rebooted by Ed Brubaker who completely ignored any of Austen's plot points (Cap kills when necessary, the US did not in fact freeze Cap, and Bucky is alive and certainly not murdered by his own government) to the relief of anyone that remembered.
    • While Austen's Marvel MAX series U.S. War Machine was not particularly awful, the sequel, U.S. War Machine 2.0, is infamous for both its hilariously terrible and occasionally disconcerting artwork that consists of extremely primitive CGI (plus a few blown up and blurred photograph) and for being a maxiseries that, presumably due to tanking sales, was cancelled after only three issues, resulting in the final installment being an awkward and rushed cram fest containing things like Big Bad Doctor Doom being killed by being shot in the head with a bow and arrow while fully armored.
  • Greg Land's recent "art", which mainly consists of tracing off porn, magazine covers, and even his own artwork. Note that we're talking about his mainstream work for Marvel here, not anything advertised as porn. The worst part of it is that some people have looked up his pre-trace art and found that it was fairly good. Land was a legitimate up-and-coming artist at DC Comics with good runs on both Birds of Prey and Nightwing, but it all went to hell when he got to Marvel. In one of the Wizard drawing books, he explains the use of reference in drawing comics. Thing is, he showed reasonable ways to do it (using a picture of an ice skater for a drawing of a girl flying), and the comic drawings were different enough from the references for it to be considered his drawing. Now, he simply traces his reference pictures, and in later drawing books, he flat-out traces. You can see some of this here. And yet, the man still gets work to this day.

Alternative Title(s): Comics