What An Idiot: Comic Books
Comic book storylines can get outlandish at times, but there's usually a sensible explanation for characters' behavior, based on the universe they're in
. Not so with these entries, though.
- X-Factor: The problem is evident from the outset. Jean Grey comes back from the dead without her telepathy and finds that not only are her old teammates at loose ends and Charles Xavier missing; but Big Bad Magneto was running the latter's school, the X-Men were wanted outlaws, and Mutants had a worse rep than ever. When she gets the old gang together they decide to gather young mutants themselves to train them in safety and away from dangerous influences, but they do not have a Cerebro unit or a telepath to use it.
You'd expect: Beast and Angel (who, incidentally, have been outed for years in comic book time) would use the former's Avengers contacts and the latter's massive fortune to start up a massive public relations blitz of PSAs along the lines of "Are you Different? Are your children? Call us, we can help." while opening up a nice day-camp/compound well away from New York if security is an issue.
Instead: They go undercover as a commercial mutant hunting crew that could be summoned to capture and 'cure' dangerous mutants with menacing powers, complete with an HQ in the Big Applesauce. Sure you might beat the real lynch mobs to them, but how many will go underground rather than come to you? Please note that Worthington was backing this with his own money, and the world knows he is a Mutie, so this is a P.R. disaster waiting to happen, considering how many will be digging from every angle.
- And, in the same book: Cyclops, having retired from superheroing, is having difficulties with his marriage. Then he gets a phone call telling him the girl he used to be in love with has just come back from the dead.
You'd expect: That he'd sit down with his wife and explain what's just happened, reassure her that he's determined to make the marriage work, then ask her to come with him to meet the woman he used to date who is also one of his oldest friends. Sure, it would be tense and awkward and might fuel further arguments, but it would still be better than...
Instead: He makes vague excuses about how he has to go, then runs out in the middle of an argument and doesn't call for two weeks. By which time his wife and baby son have been kidnapped by supervillains. Whoops. And by the time she reappears, she's turned evil and is trying to destroy Manhattan by using their son as a human sacrifice. Double whoops.
- In the early days of the Claremont/Byrne run on X-Men, our heroes find themselves stranded in Antarctica. They decide to cross the Drake Passage to South America and work their way home.
You'd Think: They would send Storm, who can fly, control the weather, and is a superb thief, on ahead to negotiate for or steal transportation for them.
Instead: They try to cross the Drake Passage... ON A RAFT.
Also: They end up in Japan. Yeah. (No, the raft doesn't make it all the way across the Pacific, they get picked up by a Japanese ship on a never-elaborated-on "secret mission" that won't drop them off anywhere else or allow them to communicate with the outside world until they reach Japan.)
- Also during this exact same time. Cyclops and the X-Men get seperated from Beast and Jean Grey after a battle with Magneto in Antartic and each side presumes the other is dead. Jean returns to New York, and breaks the news to Professor X.
You'd expect The Professor to immediately get on Cerebro. The powerfull device that allows him to telepathically locate mutants from all over the planet, and double check just to make sure.
Instead He automatically believes Jean even though she never even saw a body. Makes no on-panel attempt or even mention of using Cerbro to search for them, and then leaves the planet entirely with Lilandra.
The Result The X-Men spend the next several issues on a months long misadventure to get back to New York. During which time, Banshee burns out his powers saving Japan from an Earthquake. And Jean ends up brainwashed by Mastermind into joining the Hellfire Club, resulting in the Dark Phoenix saga, the extermination of an entire alien world, and Jean Grey supposedly dying. All because Chuck couldn't take five minutes to use a freaking computer. Nice Job Breaking It, Professor.
- In New X-Men (the one written by Craig Kyle and Christopher Yost), the X-Men have decided to form a new team of trainees to fight alongside them. However, one of the possible recruits is emotionless Tykebomb X-23, who can be forced to enter an uncontrollable berserker rage if exposed to a particular scent. Emma Frost, one of the new team's teachers, is understandably worried by this and considers X-23 a danger to the other students.
You'd Expect: Emma to talk to the other teachers and try to persuade them to get X-23 away from the school. Even though the other X-Men dislike Emma, they'd almost certainly listen to her, being Reasonable Authority Figures who don't want to see their students slaughtered. (And it's not like they don't have the resources to set X-23 up somewhere else, somewhere she wouldn't threaten mutantkind simply by existing.)
Instead: Emma goes psychotic and decides to invade X-23's mind with her telepathy, mentally scream at the girl that she's a monster, tormenting X-23 with images of her dead mother, and tries to intimidate her into submission, by, oh yes, directly attacking her mental health and violating her most basic freedoms. There is no way that could have ended well. And it didn't- X-23 became even more closed off and violent because of this, and her self-esteem (as well as the tenuous trust she had in the X-Men) was shattered. And no, she does not leave the school.
- In the same series, Prodigy is brutally tortured during a mission. For various reasons, he and the other students decide to keep this secret from Surge, his girlfriend.
You'd Expect: That they'd get together and agree on a cover story to use when Surge asks about the mission.
Instead: They don't, and Surge quickly realizes that they're lying. Then she goes to X-23, who describes the incident to her very graphically (not knowing that her teammates wanted to keep it secret).
- X-23 (the limited series): Julian's friend (and not-girlfriend) has left with no warning to go travel the world. After waiting for a bit, he goes to find Laura and confess his feelings to her; the two meet up in New York and have adventures. However, Laura seems reluctant to talk to him, and changes the subject whenever romance comes up.
You'd Expect: Julian to treat her respectfully and openly ask her whether or not she reciprocates his feelings. Laura isn't the sort of person who'd laugh at him or try to string him along, and he knows that she dislikes being treated as if she has no thoughts or free will.
Instead: Julian gets frustrated and insults Laura, calling her heartless and scornfully implying that she's in a relationship with Gambit. This prompts Laura to turn and walk off once the mission is completed, so Julian grabs her and forcefully kisses her. This effectively ruins any affection Laura had for him, as well as making her even more opposed to dating Julian than she already was.
- Uncanny X-Men: Hijack, a newly awakened mutant, is recruited into Cyclops' team of rebellious X-Men. He is told that nobody is allowed to have phones, since if he uses it, SHIELD can use it to track the team down.
You'd Expect: Hijack to leave the phone behind. Even if he was caught off guard when rescued by the X-Men, Magik is a teleporter who could easily ditch the phone for him.
Instead: Hijack brings it with him because he can't break his contract (that's literally the only reason he gives)... Later, Magik teleports the students to an unknown location (without telling them why), and the rest of the students immediately figure out that the teachers are testing/training them. Hijack decides to use Google Maps to find out where they are even after the rest of the students repeat the rule to him and why it exists. His reply? SHIELD can use it to track them down and get them out of there. SHIELD, of course, tracks the team down, and brings some Avengers with them.
Worse Still: During the stand-off with the Secret Avengers, Magik teleports the team back. Cyclops says Hijack completely failed the test. He tries to defend himself by saying his powers helped them against SHIELD. Of course, Cyke calls him out on the stupid logic.
- Adjectiveless X-Men has the final fight with Arkea, a badass villain who has been built up as so dangerous that even John Sublime is scared of her. Arkea is able to escape into electrical grids, among other things.
You'd Expect: Arkea to build her base around or on top of a power grid.
Instead: Her home is nowhere near a power grid, and she's quickly taken out by the X-Women.
- Ultimate Fantastic Four: It's the dramatic conclusion of the arc, and Reed Richards is squaring off against Nihil on the Vegas Strip! The tyrant opens his mouth to devour the hero, who stops him by picking up a nearby plasma rifle and wedging it in between his jaws!
You'd expect: Nihil to do literally anything except what he actually does. Literally anything else.
Instead: He tries to pull the gun out...by the trigger. It's... not pretty.
- A two-part Darkwing Duck comic story in Disney Adventures: Gizmoduck is about to go pay a visit to fellow Super Power Union member Mr. Wonderful, but just as he's opening the door, he discovers that Mr. Wonderful is in fact working for F.O.W.L. when he sees him speaking with Steelbeak via videophone.
You'd expect: Gizmoduck to get out of there without being noticed and go alert Darkwing to tell him he was right.
Instead: Gizmoduck rushes into the room, preparing to pulverize Mr. Wonderful, who responds to his threat by calling the other members of the Union to come take care of Gizmoduck.
- Y: The Last Man is another tale that starts out with a screwup. Two months after everything on the planet with a Y chromosome drops dead out of the blue, the son of one of the surviving congress critters shows up at the White House.
You'd expect: The U.S. government would promptly haul Mr. Brown to the most secure place they can reach and gather whatever security/military/police people to track down the following in this order of priority: A) a competent and functioning shrink; B) whatever salvageable sperm-bank equipment that can be found, along with a reliable power source; C) any medical/biotech experts that are remotely qualified to figure out why this boy is still alive and how to duplicate it/him; and D) the guy's girlfriend, last seen in the Australian Outback.
Instead: The send the guy, escorted by one secret agent sort, to a cloning expert that was last seen in Boston before everything went to heck. Supposedly they were convinced by his arguments concerning being too easy to locate if he were in one spot, even the mother who was probably aware he was pretty hung up on this Beth person.
- Spider-Man tends to be framed for various stories. Sometimes it's an average story, others it's for a storyline, but it's occured quite a bit in his career.
You'd expect: The citizens of the city would recall "Hey, Spider-Man's been framed before. For all we know, those crimes could have been committed by Mysterio or The Chameleon."
Instead: Civilians alike go straight to the accusation.
- The much-maligned One More Day arc of Spider-Man involved Aunt May in a coma, after being shot by a gunman following Peter Parker revealing himself to be Spider-Man. Spidey has asked practically every magical/technological superhero he can find to save his aunt's life, many claiming that they either can't or it would be wrong to do so. In a seance, Aunt May revealed that she accepts her death.
You'd expect: Peter to realize that maybe the entire elite cadre of the Marvel universe (including, by the way, a character who was quite obviously intended to be a representation of the Judeo-Christian God) is right, and let his elderly aunt pass on, surrounded by friends and loved ones. Peter would be hurt, but he has faced personal tragedy in the past and survived.
Instead: He keeps grasping at straws in attempts to save his aunt's life. Eventually, the demonic villain Mephisto shows up and offers Pete a deal; he'll save Aunt May's life, if Peter and MJ agree to let reality be warped so that they would never be married.
You'd expect: that after being told by a guy who's pretty much a Comics Code-friendly stand-in for Satan that destroying Peter and MJ's marriage would make him very, very happy and potentially lead to him being able to take Peter's soul in a future deal, Peter would realize the danger of making a Deal with the Devil, and refuse.
Instead: Spidey accepts.
What's Worse: The deal involves sacrificing Peter and MJ's unborn child. Aunt May would never have sacrificed a baby to save herself.
- In the Dragon Slayer volume of Bone, Phoney Bone, sets up a scam to exploit the townspeople's paranoia of dragons by claiming to be a Dragon Slayer as the title implies.
You'd Expect: That the after cow race incident, the townsfolk would actually start thinking and realize that Phoney is full of crap.
Instead: They take him up on his "offer" and pay him riches. Not one of them, save for Lucius, bothers to question him despite the fact that he doesn't bother even looking for a dragon. Not to mention that just the way he introduced his dragon slaying business should have been enough to alert at least one person. Perhaps it was because everyone in the room was drunk.
The Result: Phoney leads the town people off to hunt the completely non-malevolent dragon, (not actually even planning to slay the dragon, only to slip away and return to Boneville.) and the quite malevolent Rat Creatures attack the unguarded village.
- One Superman / Batman team-up featured Doctor Light trying to take down Superman with a magic wand, explaining that apparently Zatanna's magic has... something to do with light, nobody's really sure what.
You'd expect: he'd place the wand in his hand, point it at Superman, and kill him with it, since Superman isn't strong against magic. Having done this, he'd nuke Batman, thereby removing two of the most dangerous Justice League members.
Instead: he somehow gives Superman a secondary personality who believes that Superman is trying to kill him. This second personality duly hires a group of backstreet assassins to take out Superman with the Satanstaff, which has somehow found itself at the North Pole. When it looks like it's going to work, Light comments that he used this kind of tactic because he personally is incredibly inept and if he tried the "sensible" way of doing it, he'd lose. For additional idiocy, he expected the crooks' Split-Personality hired to hand over the Satanstaff to him, despite having used it to take down both Superman and Batman.
- Mongul has just defeated Arkillo in a fistfight and now has a good portion of the Sinestro Corps under his command.
You'd expect: that he would take those members under his control, plus the Manhunters present, and stage a coup via numbers.
Instead: He goes at Sinestro solo and tries to kill him. Sinestro states that he has always been prepared for potential coups and has devised failsafes, namely emergency ring control overrides, and takes control of Mongul's ring. After impaling him from virtually every angle, Sinestro imprisons him within the central power battery.
- Stupidity runs in the family. In Underworld Unleashed, the demon Neron has gathered villains from all over and offering them their heart's desire in exchange for their souls. One of them is Mongul Sr., who had his ass handed to him by pre-Face-Heel Turn Green Lantern Hal Jordan and Rookie Green Lantern Kyle Rayner.
You'd expect: Mongul to take the offer and use it to get back at Kyle and attempt at his dream of rebuilding Warworld. Or, if he doesn't want to sell his soul, just reject the offer and leave it at that. Neron allowed several super villains who refused to deal with him to go without harming them.
Instead: He proudly boasts that he'd do no such thing and attacks Neron. Neron promptly kills him for his stupidity.
- During Infinite Crisis, a superhero named Risk was one of the many fighting Superboy-Prime. In the process, he got his right arm torn off.
You'd expect: Risk to stay far, far away from the guy.
Instead: The next time Prime is on Earth, he jumps out at him again with the apparent intent of punching. He promptly has his other arm torn off.
- The Life and Times of Scrooge McDuck, Chapter 5 "The Laird of Castle McDuck:" Scrooge is called home to help his family protect their ancestral castle from their rivals, the Whiskervilles. He arrives just as his Fiery Redhead sister Hortense is singlehandedly sending the would-be intruders running for their lives.
You'd Expect: ...well, anything except unfolds here.
Which is: Scrooge's father instructing his uncle to take "the women" — including Hortense! — home while he and Scrooge handle things. The Whiskervilles even make sure upon their return (when they nearly kill Scrooge) that the coast is clear because she's gone! Stupid stupid chivalry!
- In a later appearance by Superboy-Prime, he's fighting the Legion of Super-Heroes in the distant future, only to find that the Legion's greatest enemy, Time Trapper, is himself, aged centuries and now sporting a cool beard. Upon meeting, the Time Trapper insists that they need to team up to win the fight against the heroes.
You'd Expect: Superboy-Prime to listen and obey, knowing that he had to work alongside his future self and he'd be a good source of advice and knowledge with his enhanced powers and time-altering abilities.
Instead: Superboy-Prime angrily insists that Time Trapper isn't him and that he "looks stupid." Filled with rage, Prime punches his future self which tears a hole in time-space and sends him flying back to Earth-Prime, powerless and trapped. Brainiac 5 even quips "What an idiot" after seeing it happen.
Also: Superboy-Prime's older self should probably have remembered that his younger self was unstable, easily antagonized, and prone to destructive rages. So, barging in there and barking orders makes the older Prime just as much of an idiot.
At Least: Superboy-Prime's consistent.
- In the "Absolute Power" arc of Superman/Batman, time-travelling villains manage to replace the origins of Batman and Superman with new ones that turn them into tyrants. Eventually their memories are restored and they set out to correct the timeline. However, this involves traveling to the point where Batman's parents were murdered, and letting it happen.
You'd expect: Superman to do this in secret, as quick as possible without Batman's knowledge.
Instead: He goes with Batman, and fully expects him to just stand there and watch as the worst trauma of his life replays in front of him. Naturally, Batman snaps, kills Joe Chill, and saves his parents. This erases Batman from existence entirely and screws up the timeline even worse. Good judgment call there, Clark.
- In the "Iron Dominion" arc of Sonic the Hedgehog, Eggman has gone insane, growing increasingly distant and regressing farther back in his mental history each second, to the point where he completely forgets the events of the past couple of years, and believes things to be how they were, before the Great War happened.
You'd expect: If not kill him, than either the Freedom Fighters and the Iron Dominion would keep this delusion going; it would do neither of them any good to snap him out of it (as it means having to fight him again, and the Iron Dominion having to give up their claim to his empire), and the Freedom Fighters could use this mental regression to "re-educate" him into a possible good guy and ally.
Instead: They let him live and continue to refer to him by his current persona and even mock him with the events that drove him to madness, in the first place, which invariably breaks him out of his insanity and returns him to his old self.
- Similarly, the Freedom Fighters have had their asses handed to them twice by the Iron Dominion, both a result of one of their cyborg allies getting controlled by the Iron Queen's Magitek. Both times, they only survive by using a Power Ring to break the spell. They also know the Iron Dominion is hell-bent on besieging New Mobotropolis - a nanite city in control of NICOLE, a sentient computer program.
You'd expect: The Freedom Fighters to realize a pattern to this, and equip not just their cybernetic allies but NICOLE as well with Power Rings, as a safety precaution against the Iron Queen's powers.
Instead: They do nothing, assuming everything will be fine with NICOLE. Predictably, she gets Magiteked, and the only solution they can think of to avoid the same thing happen to the people they've already encountered this with is to evacuate them at the last moment. Even more idiotic, when you consider that NICOLE's been hinted in-comic to be able to control the rate at which Power Rings emerge, leaving no excuse for them not to have any Rings available for such a contingency.
Also: The Iron Queen should've clearly been able to tell she could manipulate NICOLE and the nanites in New Mobotropolis during her first successful breach into the city, as her Magitek was clearly shown affecting both in an adverse way — even if she was too busy to see the effect her powers had, she surely should've sensed it through those same powers.
Instead: She completely ignored this and acted blithely ignorant about the mere prospect, requiring Snively to come up and tell her that.
- There are a number of powerful masters of mystic arts in the comic, from the villainous Mammoth Mogul to the more noble Merlin Prower (Tails' uncle) to the neutral Brotherhood Of Guardians (Knuckles' dad and other relatives). They are all aware that Dr. Robotnik/Eggman is a major threat, who doesn't mind causing genocide in order to rule the planet.
You'd expect: One of them would kill him. For Merlin and the Guardians, their homes and families (Tails and Knuckles) have been endangered by the guy multiple times before issue 50. At least Mogul could use the act to gain the heroes trust to further his own plans. Merlin actually has a spell that allowed Tails to use his Super Mode, so he could just sic Super Sonic on Eggman and win in two seconds.
Instead: They don't do a damn thing to stop him. By this point in the book, Eggman has rewritten reality twice and played an indirect part of the near genocide of the echidna race. It's like Sonic's status as the embodiment of chaos is just someone getting a counter for Eggman's insane luck.
- Geoffrey St. John, who pulled off a years long game of Xanatos Speed Chess to get his master Ixis Naugus installed as king of the Republic of Acorn, learns without a doubt that Naugus is in fact evil. He also knows that Naugus was becoming increasingly ill as a result of Dr. Eggman's Genesis Wave, but he can't just tell anyone because the fallout of his trickery has destroyed any trust people had for him.
You'd think: He'd use that cunning to play lackey while getting proof of Naugus' illness to convince the council to get Naugus to step down as king. Even if Naugus is still too strong to force out of power, Geoffrey could still convince Naugus to play along to keep the council on his side.
Instead: He tries to convince Naugus to ask the council for help. Naugus realizes that Geoffrey is still under contract with him and possesses Geoffrey's body to escape his failing one.
- The SHIELD/HAMMER kerfuffle in the Marvel Universe.
You'd Think: That when it comes to the head of an organization like SHIELD, you'd not appoint someone who is openly psychotic even when on his medication, and that if for any reason this became necessary, you would at least ensure that there were reliable, sane people under him to keep things under control.
Instead: SHIELD has been disbanded, and the staff for its replacement, HAMMER, have been chosen by Norman Osborn, the Green Fucking Goblin. Who bombed his own arraignment hearing on live TV, for Thor's sake. It's not even as if they don't know he's a psychopath!
- More on the Goblin front is Phil Urich's discovery of a cache of Green Goblin gear.
You'd Think: That on finding a bunch of superweapons belonging to a dead insane criminal, he would have left it alone, handed it in to the appropriate body, or sold it.
Instead: He decided to become a superhero, despite having zero experience.
Also: Instead of altering it in any way, even by just painting it a different color, he dressed up as the Green Goblin, and went around calling himself the Green Goblin. Now you might think that's a good way to get mistaken for a villain, making his work massively more difficult as superheroes attacked him and civilians fled him. And you'd be right. Even after hanging up the costume and gear, the chemicals in his system have recently driven him insane.
- World War Hulk: Doctor Strange brags at length about how easily he could beat Hulk.
You'd expect: He'd smash Hulk into the ground. It's obvious that Hulk is never going to stop, and Strange has every right to defend himself with lethal force. Strange has routinely taken out enemies that make Hulk look like a ten year old girl.
Instead: He makes himself vulnerable to Hulk and gets his hands crushed for his trouble. Then he invokes a demon weapon too powerful for him to handle, loses the battle, and eventually steps down from the title of Sorcerer Supreme.
- In New Avengers #2, a breakout at the supervillain prison known as The Raft has occurred. Spider-Man and Captain America arrive on the scene. The Captain notes that a large platoon of S.H.I.E.L.D. agents is on their way.
You'd expect: Spidey to wait for the backup to arrive. They're S.H.I.E.L.D. agents trained and equipped to take down superhuman criminals and it's just he and Steve on the scene at the moment.
Instead: Spidey takes this as his cue and rushes into The Raft alone, spouting some half-assed justification that he'd feel guilty about putting other people in harm's way by allowing them to do their jobs. What happens next can be described as Christmas come early for Spidey's rogues gallery as Count Nefaria knocks him for a loop and dumps him into a riled-up mob full of his worst enemies who proceed to unmask him, snap his arm like a twig, and take turns pounding on him until his face is a bloody half-purple mess.
- Ultimate X-Men. In the first arc the US government finds the Savage Land (Magneto's mutant hideout) and decided to destroy it. The government has also just admitted that not all mutants are bad and the X-Men in particular are the good guys.
You'd expect:—which means they've got a well-trained group of mutants to send in to battle Magneto.
Instead: They sent Sentinels, Humongous Mechas, MADE OF METAL!!! To combat freakin' Magneto. Not the Sentinels of Earth-616, which were Magneto-proofed ages ago, but regular Sentinels. Magneto even Lampshades their stupidity, noting that any species dumb enough to send chromium machines against the "Master of Magnetism" deserves to be replaced. He reprograms the Sentinel fleet to fly back to D.C. and kill every non-mutant human they can find. This leads to a battle that nearly destroys D.C. If not for the X-Men and Quicksilver's betrayal they would have been toast.
- Doctor Strange: The Oath. Strange's manservant Wong is near death and Strange has retrieved an elixir which can cure any disease. That potion is currently in the hands of a Corrupt Corporate Executive who is Withholding the Cure to protect his profits. He has just challenged Strange to a fistfight on the roof of a skyscraper. Neither of them can use magic for the next three minutes, and Doc is suffering from a near-lethal gunshot wound inflicted earlier that night.
You'd expect: Strange, knowing every second counted, would quickly beat the man down, take the elixir, and run to help Wong.
Instead: Strange allows the other man to pummel him for at least a minute before he starts fighting back. He still wins, but in the confusion and pouring rain, the other man misjudges the edge of the roof and plummets to his death. Strange is able to recover only a single drop of the elixir, forcing him to choose between saving Wong or reproducing it to save the world.
- Justice Society of America:
- During his time in the JSA, Captain Marvel dates Stargirl. Captain Marvel looks like he's in his late twenties, but he's actually a sixteen-year-old named Billy Batson; "Captain Marvel" is just a magically induced Older Alter Ego. Stargirl, who is also sixteen, obviously knows about Cap's secret identity, but the rest of the JSA doesn't. Jay Garrick eventually confronts Cap about it.
You'd expects: Captain Marvel to say his magic word and reveal his true identity to Jay. Because they're teammates, you know? No harm, no foul. Plus, this is the Justice Society, they're some of the most trustworthy people in the DCU, and serve as Morality Pets to two generations of heroes.
Instead: Captain Marvel says something vague about appearances being deceiving, then flies away when Jay begs for Cap's confidence. Cap then quits the JSA and breaks up with Stargirl (much to the consternation of the shippers).
What's worse: You just know that the JSA probably now thinks that Captain Marvel is a perv. So much for the Wisdom of Solomon, eh?
- JSA: Axis of Evil: Kid Karnevil keeps bragging about how he's going to break out in mere minutes. The only thing keeping him locked up is a jail cell powered by Alan Scott's green magic, which only works as long as Alan is alive. Alan finds a strange wooden crate in a hallway of the temporary JSA headquarters.
You'd expect: Alan to heed Karnevil's warnings, since the kid has already proven to be a resourceful and methodical sociopath with friends on the outside. Alan should find Mr. Terrific or someone else who could analyze the crate (just to be safe), since Alan's green magic doesn't work on wood. Alan could later be of enormous help when/if Karnevil's associates attack the JSA.
Instead: Alan assumes Karnevil is delusional and ignores his warnings. A bomb inside the crate senses Alan's power ring. Alan gets blown up when he steps too close. He succumbs to his injuries, and surprise! Karnevil escapes.
- Later, Shadow of War starts up the Darkness Engine, powered by Obsidian (who is trapped in egg form). The machine de-powers all meta-humans within its broadcasting radius, but doesn't affect technology. Shadow of War threatens to amp up the power to lethal levels if Mr. Terrific doesn't call off his T-spheres.
You'd expect: Mr. Terrific to break his lethal force rule (due to extraordinary circumstances) and accelerate one of his T-spheres into Shadow—or at the very least, the engine's computer—at 14 miles per second, before she can react. He had bragged about doing so in the previous story, when he battled one of Mordru's illusions. Either way, it would solve the problem, and they might even have a chance to hatch Obsidian from the egg.
Instead: Mr. Terrific does nothing. The JSA surrenders. The Darkness Engine de-powers ALL the supers on Earth. The Fourth Reich takes over the planet. Nearly everyone dies.
- The Green Lantern Corps sees what happens to Earth. They notice that Hal Jordan died after his ring was de-powered and he fell out of flight. Naturally, the Corps quickly puts a Quul-level quarantine on the planet. Secretly, they plan an invasion to stop Those Wacky Nazis and the Darkness Engine on a day when the subtraction field is dialed back and doesn't cover the whole planet.
You'd expect: The Corps to quietly sneak some GL's (and other resistance) onto unaffected portions of the planet, and start working to destabilize the regime from within. At the very least, they could easily sneak some tech or something onto the planet to help stop the Engine. And further, they should NOT use their rings to fly, just in case the Nazis detect them, because of what happened to Hal Jordan.
Instead: The entire Green Lantern Corps Zerg Rushes the planet from space. The Fourth Reich naturally detects this and amps up the Darkness Engine. All the GL's are depowered and drop out of the sky like rocks, and all die upon impact.
- JLA/JSA: Virtue and Vice. Captain Marvel is turned back into Billy Batson, freeing him from possession. This happens in front of a lot of people, who are all very experienced superheroes.
You'd expect: Everyone to put two and two together.
Instead: Green Arrow says "Who are you? And where's Captain Marvel?" Really, Ollie? Just... really?
What's Worse: In Superman/Batman: Public Enemies, when Marvel is changed back in mid-fight, Batman's thought box says "He's just a kid. No older than Robin." I wish I could tell you I was kidding, but no. The goddamn Batman couldn't even figure it out.
- Secret Six. Yasemin, the woman who filled Deadshot's marksman position on the Suicide Squad, is pissed about being told that Deadshot did her job better than her and decides to engage him in a gunfight to prove that she's the better marksman.
You'd expect her to be familiar enough with Deadshot's "don't fuck around" approach to combat and lack of patience for trivial matters and plug him the minute she gets the chance.
Instead: Yasemin decides to challenge him to a duel; before she can even finish laying out the terms for the duel, Deadshot shoots her dead and coldly reminds her that she should have taken the first shot she had.
- Not long after, Dwarfstar has Deathstroke ice Ryan Choi. Of course, he didn't realize that Giganta was his girlfriend; when she finds out, he's savagely beaten and tortured by her and ends up just barely clinging to life in a Louisiana hospital. Then Ray Palmer shows up.
You'd expect that Dwarfstar would have been humbled enough by the experience to keep his mouth shut and not say anything. Not just because his teammate beat him to within an inch of his life, but also because Deathstroke doesn't take kindly to people who blab about hiring him.
Instead: Dwarfstar not only flaps his lips about ordering the hit on Choi, but he's also stupid enough to tell Palmer that he hired Deathstroke to carry it out. Palmer even lampshades this by telling him that when Wilson finds out, he's going to be pissed.
- In the comic book backstory of Injustice: Gods Among Us the U. S. government has noted that Superman is growing somewhat unstable, developing Knight Templar tendencies, and most importantly interfering in political matters after the trauma of being manipulated into killing his wife and getting Metropolis blown up. He has also revealed his secret ID.
You'd expect: IF they involve Jonathan and Martha Kent in any way at all, the Feds would visit them and politely ask (not insist, let alone threaten, ask) if they could help talk their boy into toning it down a bit.
Instead: They send commandos and supervillians (in particular the Mirror Master) to the Kent farm to kidnap them, and leave a message threatening to send pieces of them to Superman if he does not behave. Knowing full well that Superman and Thou Shalt Not Kill are no longer one and the same.
- Later, Batman merges with Etrigan, defeats Superman, and puts him to sleep by using some kind of dust (likely magical).
You'd expect: Batman captures Superman and makes a proper prison for him, also possibly taking away his powers.
Instead: Batman just goes away. And judging that it was a backstory, Superman gets out of the sleep, continuing his reign.
- Sonic the Hedgehog/Mega Man: Worlds Collide: The day is saved as Super Sonic and Super Mega Man defeat the Egg Wily Machine X and set to prepare to restore Earth and Mobius via Chaos Control. Wily mopes in defeat as Eggman decides he's not through and refuses to surrender.
You'd expect: Wily to get through to Eggman and just wait it out.
Instead: Eggman rams Super Sonic, then blasts his Chaos Control shot, completely futzing up Mobius. On the plus side, the Freedom Fighters will be back to full force.
Alternatively: Sonic could've remembered he's in Super Mode and just fly around Eggman's ship, or wreck what's left of it, so he's not distracted,
- Banner is a normal guy on the run who tries to stay away from populated areas and stress because when he gets angry, he turns into a giant monster that destroys everything in his way while screaming "Leave Hulk alone!"
You'd Expect: SHIELD to provide Banner with a map of and free transport to the most deserted locations on earth, and the Army to issue warnings to anyone in Banner's vicinity not to antagonize him and keep their distance.
Instead: The government tries to capture Banner at every available opportunity.
- Connected to the above, General "Thunderbolt" Ross continually exhorts the government to give him men and equipment to wage his private war against the Hulk.
You'd Expect: The government would realize that Ross's crusade is costing them a steady fortune and pull the plug.
Instead: They keep pouring money into his vendetta.
- The Punisher is a vigilante who occasionally spends time in prison. He is one of the most lethal people on Earth, feared and hated by every criminal.
You'd Expect: The other inmates to either avoid him or gang up in the dozens and kill him.
Instead: A lone prisoner will try to kill him for revenge or to make his reputation, usually with no plan or weapon and ignoring the literally hundreds of other people Castle has killed in similar circumstances.
- Dave Lizewski wants to become a real-life superhero. After a few weeks spent walking on walls and wearing his costume under his clothes, he decides he wants to start fighting crime for real. His first attempt to do so ends as well as you might expect with him getting beaten up by a trio of vandals, stabbed, and finally getting hit by a car. Ultimately he manages to survive and recover from all of this, and although he tries to give up the superhero lifestyle, he soon gets drawn back into it.
You'd Expect: That if Dave was insistent about being a superhero, he'd try and take some martial arts/self-defense classes, or do something to give himself more chance in a fight, as soon as reasonably possible.
Instead: He does absolutely nothing of the sort until the next series.
- The Motherfucker wants revenge on Dave because of the latter's role in the death of his father. He decides to go after the people Dave cares about.
You'd Expect: The Motherfucker to try and limit his victims to those connected to Dave, and not cause unnecessary bloodshed.
Instead: While going to attack Dave's crush, he and his supervillain friends massacre an entire suburb, respectively killing and injuring about 30 and 100 innocent people, including children. This results in the Motherfucker's friend Vic Gigante withdrawing police protection from The Motherfucker. And then, he decides to start another massacre in Times Square, seemingly for no other reason than it sounding cool. Ultimately, this course of action leads to his downfall, and his actions turn him, and his secret identity, into figures of public hate.
- Pointed out by Kick-Ass in Volume 2, after he & Hit-Girl find out that the Mother Fucker's plan is to burn New York to the ground - Chris is asthmatic, so what's he going to do when he blows up all of the pharmacys & hospitals, and he needs his medication?
- Superman has sometimes had encounters with Xenomorphs.
You'd Expect: Superman would realize that xenomorphs sit somewhere between a highly destructive invasive species and an intergalactic plague of incurably lethal proportions and would use his Nigh-Invulnerability, Super Strength and Eye Beams to destroy them wherever he finds them
Instead:' He averts What Measure Is a Non-Human? and tries to let them live, fighting non-lethally if he can and even attempting to prevent others from killing them. Admittedly, the first time he meets a xenomorph is canonically soon after his traumatic execution of three criminal Kryptonians from the Phantom Zone, but he never stops trying to find a way to "live and let live" with xenomorphs.
- The Transformers Megaseries During a spotlight tie-in Ramjet attempts a coup on Megatron, and spends his time building resources and making plans to overthrow him. Being both a threat to his authority and ultra-secret infiltration plans (which make the Decepticons almost invisible to the humans), Megatron kills him and ends the rebellion easily.
- You'd Expect: Megatron to just recycle or destroy the body, take it back to base like what he did when he crushed Starscream's insurrection.
- Instead: He dismembers Ramjet and dumps his remains in the different areas of earth that Ramjet was manipulating. Giant robot parts are now in very public places exposing the Decepticon activity to the public. Years later the government reverse engineered Ramjet and mass produced drones based on his design.
- At one point in Watchmen, Rorschach gets framed for murder, and ends up trapped in a building surrounded by the NYPD. Before storming in, the cops demand that he send out any hostages he's taken.
You'd Expect: Rorschach to discard his mask, trenchcoat and hat, either hide them or burn them, and leave the building while posing as a released hostage. You wouldn't think he'd have a problem with dropping his disguise, given that he's been masquerading as a doomsday sign carrier throughout the story.
Instead: He tries and fails to fight his way out, gets himself arrested, and is shut up with several criminals he's put in jail, all of whom want to kill him.
- In the first storyline of Superman/Batman, Lex Luthor announces there is a massive planetoid made of Kryptonite headed towards Earth, and in typical Luthor fashion, he blames Superman.
You'd Expect: The heroes of Earth double-check this, maybe ask Superman, who by this point has spent several years as a selfless hero and member of the Justice League, if any of this is even remotely true, maybe get Wonder Woman to use her Lasso of Truth on him to make sure.
Instead: They instantly believe Luthor, and try to hunt Superman down.
* In the last arc of Runaways an accident apparently kills Old Lace and causes Klara to have a panic attack, which drives her to seal the other Runaways inside their house within a forest of thorny vines.
You'd Expect: The other Runaways would try and make Klara feel safe and calm, since her powers only work if she's thinking clearly.
Instead: Nico allows Chase to verbally threaten to abuse Klara until she's so frightened that Nico decides that she absolutely has to use magic to tranquilize her, lest Klara's plants attack Chase in defense.