Follow TV Tropes


Authors Saving Throw / Comic Books

Go To

  • Power Girl: When Power Girl's Atlantean origin was revealed, fan reaction was mostly negative. Therefore, issues of JSA: Classified and Infinite Crisis subverted the reveal, and restored her origins as a Kryptonian and survivor of Earth-Two.
  • She-Hulk:
    • While Dan Slott was in charge, he made a saving throw for another comic title, The Punisher. A lot of controversy grew out of an issue where Frank poisoned and blew up a bar filled with two dozen C-List villains. Because of this, Dan used one She Hulk issue to reveal they survived and had their stomachs pumped.
    • Advertisement:
    • Sometimes saving throws need their own saving throws. After an X-Men comic revealed She-Hulk had slept with the Juggernaut while also serving as his defense attorneynote , fan reaction was heavily negative, with readers considering this to be an out-of-character violation of legal ethics, and also squicky. Throughout the run, Slott had She-Hulk deny it, while everyone accused her of being a whore whenever She-Hulk denied the charge. The pay-off to the whole thing was her pulling out an alternate universe tourist counterpart who claimed she was the one who slept with the Juggernaut.

      Fan reaction to this retcon was even more negative than the original, largely due to how widespread the retcon's effects could potentially be. The alternate She-Hulk was merely one of a large number of alternate heroes and villains who would come to the main Marvel Universe and act out of character, and thus, every character is potentially an imposter. The plotline was so widely reviled, that Peter David (who took over after Slott left the book) immediately rolled his own saving throw denouncing it as lies, and later writers of She-Hulk have had the character herself wondering if maybe she did sleep with Juggernaut after all.
  • Spider-Man
    • During The Clone Saga, it was stated that new character Ben Reilly was the original Spider-Man and the character that had been in comics for the past 20 years was the clone, which wasn't even the original intention of the hook. This didn't sit well with fans and was taken out again; a hook had been added by the writer in case they needed to. The whole thing was really kind of a mess, so the story ultimately ended with Ben being killed off and Peter being revealed to have been the real Spider-Man all along.
    • Dead No More: The Clone Conspiracy got flak for retconning that during the event of The Night Gwen Stacy Died, Gwen had regained consciousness enough to overhear the Green Goblin call Spider-Man "Peter" and spent her last moments hating Peter. Issue 4 sees Peter confront the real Gwen and Gwen says that while she feels betrayed by what happened, she still loves Peter and understands why he's Spider-Man.
    • Advertisement:
    • Nick Spencer's first issue of Amazing Spider-Man effectively fixed up a lot of the moments Dan Slott made during his later years of his run: Peter's caught up in a cheating scandal within Empire State University when a paper Otto Octavius wrote while in Peter's body and when he's laughed at by Mary Jane and shunned by Aunt May, he ultimately realizes that, by keeping the diploma that Otto got in his body as well as using Parker Industries, he was betraying his With Great Power Comes Great Responsibility credo because he never earned it himself. In fact, Peter knew the subject matter in the paper Otto wrote.
  • Green Lantern:
    • Hal went Ax-Crazy after the destruction of his city becoming the villain Parallax. Some fans were not happy, seeing it as a Bridge Drop in favor of the Younger and Hipper Kyle Rayner. Geoff Johns eventually retconned this into Parallax being an ancient alien fear monster who was responsible for the Lanterns' weakness to yellow and who slowly pulled Hal over to Brainwashed and Crazy. Many of the named characters Hal had killed were brought back to life, as well.
    • Arisia was first introduced as a 13-year-old GL who had a sort of little sister/big brother dynamic with Hal. This eventually turned into Arisia harboring an unrequited Precocious Crush on Hal, which later resulted in a story where she used her ring to age herself up so that she could enter a relationship with him. Fans found the whole thing kind of Squicky, so Johns later stated that due to her planet's prolonged orbit around its two suns, 13 years on her world were technically closer to 240 years on Earth.
    • As society marched on, fans began to raise eyebrows at Hal's origin, specifically the fact that the most fearless guy on the planet conveniently turned out to be a straight, white, male American. A story was eventually done that showed there were many Green Lantern candidates all throughout the globe, and Hal was chosen because he just happened to be the one closest to Abin Sur's crash site.
  • Batman:
    • The editorially influenced attempt to recreate Batgirl III/Cassandra Cain (from Batgirl (2000)) as Robin's erudite Dark Action Girl nemesis (explained by her returning to her supposed Assassin roots) provoked rather justifiable complaints that the writer and editor involved hadn't bothered to read Batgirl's solo title. A few months later, we found out that Deathstroke was feeding her mind-control drugs, really.
    • An issue of Robin smoothed the controversial issues of Stephanie Brown's death and Leslie Thompkins' moral downfall in the "War Games"/"War Crimes" arcs:
      • Stephanie Brown's death was faked with Leslie Thompkins's help to keep Black Mask away from her, and Leslie did not, as had previously been claimed, deliberately kill Stephanie by withholding treatment from her in order to discourage Batman from taking on Kid Sidekicks. Batman suspected, but to give Stephanie Brown privacy, he never shared his feelings with Robin.
      • An earlier comic had used her absence from the memorial case used to justify that Stephanie was never an official Robin. Once it was revealed that Batman suspected she was still alive, it became why he never added Stephanie's Robin suit to the memorial (she wasn't dead, so she couldn't be a dead Robin).
    • Probably in an attempt to please fans of all three Batgirls, the final issue of Gail Simone's Batgirl (2011) series was a Futures End tie-in that featured Cass, Steph, and a new Batgirl named Tiffany working together alongside Barbara Gordon as the League of Batgirls. The issue was almost universally well-received.
    • Mr. Freeze's revival during Knightquest was due to this trope - Freeze had been killed by the Joker during Robin II: The Joker's Wild, putting an end to a seemingly lackluster villain. Then Batman: The Animated Series came out and "Heart of Ice" suddenly made Freeze popular. When he came back, it was revealed he had a special device in his suit that put him in suspended animation to save his life.
  • The Toyman, a B-list Superman villain, was traditionally just a funny man in a striped suit who built dangerous giant toys to rob banks and give the Man of Steel a hard time, but in the Dark Age he was re-imagined as a bald child murderer in a black cloak. This didn't go over too well. Fast-forward to 2008, when it's revealed that the bald Toyman was a defective robot decoy created by the real Toyman, who is now once again a funny man in a striped suit, albeit a dangerously insane one, who will do anything (up to and including murder) to protect children. Funny thing - the Darker and Edgier Toyman actually started out as a parody of the trend; he adopted the new persona and modus operandi because he was left out of the latest line of Superman action figures for not being a dangerous enough villain.
  • Black Panther: Jack Kirby's short-lived run ignored pretty much all of T'Challa's characterization and supporting cast from the far better-received Jungle Action series, and had him acting wildly Out of Character to boot. This was eventually resolved in a storyline from Marvel Premiere, where it was revealed that T'Challa had been suffering from severe Laser-Guided Amnesia for most of Kirby's run.
  • An issue of New Avengers drew some Internet Backdraft over a scene where Hawkeye had sex with an amnesiac Scarlet Witch, which some fans argued constituted rape. The Children's Crusade retconned this out by revealing the Scarlet Witch Hawkeye slept with was Actually a Doombot. Ironically, Hawkeye is now the one who had been raped.
  • Monica Rambeau: A number of fans criticized Greg Land's redesign of Monica for Mighty Avengers (2013), especially black fans who disliked Monica suddenly having straight, European-style hair. Al Ewing then wrote a scene where Monica was shown horrified after a young black girl said she wanted to straighten her hair to look like hers, and by the end of his run, he brought back Monica's dreads and Badass Long Coat.
  • Supergirl:
    • In 1986 DC killed off Kara Zor-El despite her being a popular character due to an editorial mandate determining that Superman should be the last Kryptonian survivor. Fans didn't like and DC tried and failed to replace Kara with other non-Kryptonian Supergirls with increasingly convoluted origins and backstories until DC caved and reintroduced the character in 2004.
    • Continuing in that vein, Kara was given an "updated" -read: angrier and brattier- personality and a new origin: her father Zor-El was evil and sent Kara to Earth to kill baby Kal-El. Fans hated it. Next writers mellowed her character down and retconned her backstory several times. Superman: Brainiac and Supergirl #35 hand waved off all of the previous origins as dementia caused by Kryptonite poisoning and gave her back the classic Silver Age Origin Story.
  • The Punisher: After many fans hated The Punisher: Purgatory turning Frank into a supernatural force with divine powers, Welcome Back, Frank changed it back to Frank being a human, criminal-hunting anti-hero.
  • The Atom:
    • The one-shot, Titans: Villains For Hire, managed to spark racial controversy when Ryan Choi, the second Atom, was killed (and his body carried around in a shoebox), and a new Atom series starring Ray Palmer (Choi's white predecessor) was launched. When DC announced its intent to reboot with the New 52, the Ryan Choi Atom was announced as joining the Justice League, to much fan rejoicing.
    • Fan reaction slowly started to sour, though, when the promised Ryan Choi, though name-dropped as alive, never appeared, while Ray was demoted to a supporting character in the short-lived Frankenstein: Agents of SHADE. An Atom did join the League eventually, but she was a completely new character and secretly an evil spy from another dimension. Fans grumbled about the lack of an heroic Atom, so when DC's next reboot rolled around with DC Rebirth, Ryan Choi appeared in DC Rebirth #1 heading out to rescue Ray Palmer. Fans rejoiced again. In addition, Convergence revealed the pre-Flashpoint Ryan to be Only Mostly Dead, and saw him restored and reunited with the pre-Flashpoint Ray, even getting to punish his Karma Houdini killer, Deathstroke.
  • The controversial mini-series Justice League: Cry for Justice saw Roy Harper having his arm ripped off and his daughter Lian being violently crushed to death. This lead to an unpopular period where Roy relapsed and became addicted to heroin (which he had kicked in the 70s) and even became a member of Deathstroke's decidedly less-than-heroic Titans team. This whole series of events was retconned out by the 2011 DC relaunch, with Roy having both arms intact, no dead daughter tragedy, and his original heroin addiction replaced by alcoholism; however, when that proved unsatisfactory, the Crisis Crossover event Convergence resurrected Lian and had pre-Flashpoint Roy reunited with her and abandoning his dark days for good.
  • Justice League of America: There was an outcry over the death of Tasmanian Devil, one of the few openly-gay superheroes DC has, with fans calling writer James Robinson anti-gay (this is in the same storyline where Robinson killed off Lian). He later wrote a JLA story that ended in Tasmanian Devil's resurrection.
  • In Thor issue 301, Thor is visiting the various pantheons of Earth to gather energy to revive the Asgardians. All's well and good, until he gets to the Hindu gods, and Shiva demands a fight in exchange for the energy, and thanks to some rules-screwing, Thor manages to defeat him. This did not sit very well with Hindu fans, as Shiva is the Big Good to more than a few Hindus and his power is said to be limitless, and besides that, it just didn't make much sense from a storytelling perspective, as Shiva was stated to be equal to Vishnu, who is stated to be equal to Odin; would changing the setting of the battle really make up for the power gap? Anyway, next time the Hindu gods showed up, it was revealed that Shiva was out that day and Indra, a far less powerful god, was filling in for him, as well as publishing the Encyclopedia Mythologica, which states that the limits of power possessed by Brahma, Vishnu, and Shiva are completely unknown.
  • A Spider-Man oneshot featured the apparent death of Sabra, an Israeli superheroine, by being ignominiously shot In the Back by Crossbones. Fans were upset at the fact that Sabra is a Nigh Invulnerable powerhouse capable of trading punches with the Hulk, claiming a normal sniper round shouldn't have even hurt. The result was the writer having to go on Twitter and confirm he'd just grazed her. Whether this was intended the entire time or an example of I Meant to Do That is debatable, but she's since reappeared without a scratch on her.
  • Journey into Mystery: To appease fans of Norse Mythology, Kieron Gillen rewrote the character of Loki, reborn following his death in Siege. The new Loki is a well meaning-if-occasionally-trouble-making Guile Hero, much closer to the traditional mythology.
  • Following Avengers vs. X-Men, fans pointed out plot holes and Fridge Logic aspects of the story. Kieron Gillen wrote Consequences, which explored many of the same issues fans had discussing, such as noting Wolverine being ultimately at fault for the whole incident and points out how he nearly destroyed the Earth by attempting to kill Hope Summers.
  • The New 52:
    • Harley Quinn: DC announced an art contest based around drawing a page for the #0 issue that ended with a panel described in the script as a naked Harley about to commit an Electrified Bathtub Bath Suicide. This sparked Internet Backdraft over an apparent misogynistic eroticization of a woman's suicide, made worse by the fact that the script didn't include any of the dialogue, or indicate that it was meant to be contextualized as a fantasy sequence. When the issue was published, the final panel of the page showed a fully-clothed (well, as much as she ever is in the New 52) Harley Riding the Bomb instead.
    • DC attempted to give a number of female characters that had their own comics more modest, practical costumes as part of the reboot, annoying a number of fans in the process. Power Girl, Zatanna, and Black Canary characters all ditched their new suits in favor of costumes much closer to their classic designs.
    • For the Huntress series, DC brought back the original, 70's-era Huntress, Helena Wayne, but in the process Dropped A Bridge On Helena Bertinelli, her successor. The fans divided in a Broken Base over the incident. Then, following the events of Forever Evil, DC revealed that Helena Bertinelli was in fact alive, and that she'd be a major character in the Grayson series.
    • The first issue of Red Hood and the Outlaws showed Starfire as amnesiac and unable to remember individual humans' faces, which made the fact that she then slept with Roy Harper pretty iffy. Her personality and characterization were pretty much entirely erased, leaving her someone who just wanted to have sex with whoever. Pretty much nobody but the writer was even a little bit amused with a character who was reduced to a blow-up doll in barely any clothing — yes, even compared to her old costume. Writers tried showing that this was an act before it was further clarified that Roy believed that if he left, then she'd forget him. Fans reacted with Squick and it seemed DC really couldn't win with this one, so she has left the team entirely to get a Lighter and Softer solo series, as well as a more modest costume (more or less the same as Teen Titans with hotpants instead of a skirt). Her familiar characterization returns, and nothing of her Outlaws days is mentioned.
    • After the complaints about the Teen Titans relaunch disrespecting the vast history of the franchise by establishing Tim Drake's team as the first ever group of Titans, the Titans Hunt mini-series established that a prior team resembling the original Silver Age Teen Titans did indeed predate the modern group.
    • DC Rebirth was a Saving Throw for the New 52 era as a whole. The New 52 had alienated some longtime fans by embracing being Darker and Edgier and by wiping away beloved Legacy Characters and relationships in the interest of starting from scratch. Rebirth began to reintroduce several missing elements starting with Wally West, the third Flash, and openly stated that it intended to move toward the brighter side of the Sliding Scale of Idealism vs. Cynicism. The New 52 changes were even blamed on a Reality Warper, Dr. Manhattan from Watchmen, metatextually saying that the problem was writers trying to mimic his comic of origin too much, as many others had in The Dark Age of Comic Books.
  • The Avengers issue #200 became infamous for having Ms. Marvel character Carol Danvers suddenly pregnant, giving birth to a boy who grows up to adulthood within a day. The Avengers' reaction to her pregnancy is to throw her a baby shower. Identifying himself as Marcus, he explains how he controlled her and impregnated her with himself as a method of crossing dimensions. At the end of the issue, Marcus must return home and Carol decides to follow him. Her teammates see nothing wrong with this. Chris Claremont later wrote Carol's return, whereupon she gives a What the Hell, Hero? speech to the Avengers for letting her go with Marcus when he was controlling her mind.
  • Way back in the '70s, The Falcon, Sam Wilson, had a controversial retcon to his origin, where he was actually a pimp who went by the name "Snap" Wilson and that his down-to-earth family origin was something the Red Skull had tossed in while using the Cosmic Cube. J.M DeMatteis later tried to fix this by explaining that Sam Wilson was truly a good man from a loving family, and that "Snap" Wilson was actually a Split Personality created by the trauma of losing his parents. Rick Remender later took this a step further in All-New Captain America, definitively stating that "Snap" Wilson never existed, and that the whole thing was just the Red Skull using the Cosmic Cube to warp Sam's memories.
  • Captain America: When Bucky Barnes first appeared, he was clearly a child, but Kid Sidekicks gradually fell out of favor in the ensuing decades. Ed Brubaker dealt with this by establishing that Bucky had been a teenager who grew up on an army base, and that prior to meeting Cap, he had undergone an intense military training regimen overseas, meaning that he was already a skilled soldier well before he entered the war. The movie completed the Saving Throw by making Bucky Steve's childhood best friend who's a year older and already in the Army.
  • The 2017 series of Nova restored Richard Rider to life after years of fans asking for his return. Additionally, the series has him mentoring his successor, Sam Alexander, appeasing the fans who had grown to like the new Nova during Rich's absence. The second issue also has a subplot showing that even though many of the heroes of Earth don't appreciate or understand Rich, his heroic exploits have made him a hero to the many aliens residing on Knowhere.
  • A lot of Avengers Forever was damage control for The Crossing as it's revealed that Immortus had only manipulated Iron Man since Operation Galactic Storm to the Crossing and not from Kang's first battle with the Avengers, and that the Mantis who seemed to have made a Face–Heel Turn was really a Space Phantom.
  • The Children's Crusade undid the Scarlet Witch's Face–Heel Turn and even revealed that her actions during Avengers Disassembled and House of M were the result of being possessed by a cosmic entity.
  • Infinity Abyss by Jim Starlin was made as a reaction to Mark Waid's run on Ka-Zar, Dan Jurgens' run on Thor and Steve Englehart's Avengers Celestial Quest, as those stories ignored Thanos' Character Development into a philosophical Anti-Hero he had at the end of Infinity Gauntlet, and regressed him back into the Omnicidal Maniac obsessed with mystical Macguffins he was in the seventies and early nineties. Starlin fixed this by revealing that the overly destructive Thanos in those stories was actually a group of rebellious clones called Thanosi.
  • After the third arc of Rat Queens suffered Darkness-Induced Audience Apathy that threatened the future of the series, creator Kurtis Wiebe came back with a fourth arc that ignored the most-hated elements and restored some fan goodwill. His Saving Throw came when the fifth arc revealed it was all an Alternate Timeline. Oh, and the hideously unpopular murder of Orc Dave was actually a doppelganger given away by Violet's knowledge of Dave's genitals.
  • Gravity Falls: Lost Legends: One chapter was devoted to addressing fan criticism of Mabel's behavior in the show. While by no means hated, several of the show's fans were disappointed how Mabel's more selfish and insensitive moments were never addressed. The chapter "Don't Dimension It", which serves as an epilogue to "Weirdmageddon", has her finally acknowledging how detrimental her self-centered attitude is after witnessing similar behavior from all her alternate selves. The story even ends with Mabel properly apologizing to Dipper for the problems she's caused and even gifting him a new Pine Tree book.
  • Red Hood and the Outlaws is a very divisive book at best, leaning on negative with comic readers as a whole. A lot of the disdain comes from how Jason Todd was turned into a generic edgy anti-hero, as opposed to the somewhat sympathetic villain role he had before the New 52. After years, Scott Lobdell finally moved him closer with his previous characterisation — he's more willing to kill again, his moral stance on killing is very clearly the result of his own Daddy Issues, he's on the outs with the Batfamily and Batman in particular once again and he no longer is teamed up with random superpowered teammates.
  • Adventure Time: Season 11 was expected by fans to address some loose threads left by the animated series after it ended, but the comic started with a four part Alternate Timeline arc (which was a recurring plot point in the original comic book series) that didn't have an impact on the main plot. Thankfully this was addressed with the second arc, which focus on the humans returning at the Land of Ooo and Finn's internal struggle to find out where he belongs: with the humans or with his friends. While the second arc wrapped up nicely, the comic was unfortunately cancelled, ending the arc with only two issues and the comic with only six issues (out of the planned twelve), leaving many plot points still unsolved.
    • While the comic was cancelled, the second arc managed to address something that left fans disappointed after the finale: the lack of a hint or closure to Finn's love life. The final issue of the comic not only brings Huntress Wizard back to help Finn with his problems, but it also throws some Ship Tease between the two.


Example of: