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Epic Fail / Comic Books

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  • The final chapter of Batman: A Death in the Family has The Joker appointed ambassador to the United Nations by the Iranian government; the Iranians, who are Always Chaotic Evil in this story, plot to have the Clown Prince of Crime kill the U.N. General Assembly by gassing them right after making a speech. But Superman thwarts Joker's plan, causing the villain to flee the chamber with Batman in hot pursuit. The Joker hitches a ride on a helicopter with his gun-toting Iranian cronies, but Batman grabs hold of the aircraft just as it takes off and fights his way in to confront the cowering Joker. One of the Iranian gunmen panics and opens fire with his assault rifle. The result? It's bad enough that the gunman succeeds only in "harmlessly" nicking Batman's arm, but he also "manages" to deal a fatal wound to every person on board but Batman - including the pilot himself, whom he shoots in the back of the head! We are told that "the gunman immediately realizes his mistake," but he doesn't have long to regret it: Batman punches him out, knocking him unconscious and then diving into New York Harbor, leaving everyone in the chopper to die when it crashes into a nearby dock. (Well, except The Joker.)
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  • Non-comedic example: In Secret Six, Black Alice admits that she tried to use Raven's powers to remove her father's asthma. She gave him cancer instead.
  • In one issue of X-Men Storm had one of these when it comes to dealing with her claustrophobia. The thing that set her off wasn't being trapped in rubble, having to fight in a small room, or anything like that. The villain was making threats against them, and used the word "tomb." Storm proceeded to flip. out., and spent multiple issues of the fight cowering in a corner. He wasn't even trying to prey on her phobia, he was just talking to them and accidentally incapacitated her.
    • When Storm finally managed to pull herself together and fight, her first attack sends a lightning bolt at The Juggernaut, which bounces off of him and strikes her, knocking her unconscious and back out of the fight. Despite the fact that Storm is immune to the effects of lightning. Needless to say, she's come far since then.
    • Also from the X-Men, Juggernaut once became even more unstoppable with the power of another evil god during the Fear Itself event. The X-Men try to stop him, trying ever grander plans that all fail epically. (One of them is getting a guy who can ignite a person's blood to try it on him. The result? The unstoppable Juggernaut is now unstoppable and able to set anything he touches on fire.)
  • Happens to members of Spider-Man's rogues gallery whenever their Villain Decay is played for laughs but Lightmaster takes the cake: in one appearance, he announces his appearance in front of the Wall-crawler, then immediately gets knocked out with a falling duffel bag full of money.
    • How did One Moment in Time explain Spider-Man missing his own wedding? A fat man fell on him and he couldn't get him off. No, really. It becomes a lot worse once you remember that Spidey has Super Strength and should logically be capable of pushing off the man with ease— he's seen at one point throwing a car at somebody. One of his most iconic moments has him lifting a multi-ton piece of machinery off of him in order to save his Aunt May.
  • Italian comic Sturmtruppen. A firing squad tries to execute a prisoner. Repeatedly. They miss him and hit the wall behind him while he was holding their rifles pressed directly against his chest.
  • W.I.T.C.H. gives us Orube's attempt at learning how to cook: she somehow set the water of the pasta on fire!
  • The Terrifics: When a portal into the Dark Multiverse threatened to swallow Linnya's parents ship her parents tried to shoot her to safety in an escape pod, but a miscalculation on her father's part caused the ejection to push the ship away from the rift while firing Linnya directly into the Dark Multiverse.
  • Transformers: More than Meets the Eye: The rogue Decepticon team are being attacked by the Decepticon Justice Division, 5 Cons, who kill failures cowards and deserters. Krok is grabbed by two of them, Vos and Kaon, and Misfire comes to his aid... by accidentally shooting him 3 times in the chest. In addition, Vos and Kaon are taller, and Vos was standing between him and Krok.
    • One better. So Fort Max has snapped, locked himself, Rung, and Whirl in Rung's office and is threatening to kill them both. It comes down to an attempt to take out Fort Max from across the way by Swerve. He shoots... and blows Rung's head up.
    • Swerve gets a lot of these—in another instance, he is at point blank range with Star Saber and could practically touch him with the barrel fo his gun. Star Saber is also about four times Swerve's size. Swerve misses every single shot he takes at Star Saber from this range. That's almost to the point of impossible levels of inaccuracy; Swerve apparently has the targeting skills of a potato. In universe, it's explained that it's a combination of Swerve's small size making it difficult for him to hold and aim weapons built for larger Transformers combined with Swerve's natural lack of concentration.
  • In My Little Pony Micro Series Issue #3, once Rarity learns about the hippies' predicament, she does her best to get sure the production of "Goops for Stuff" is maximised to its limit, to get sure the product remains 100% natural, is made in a way that nobody gets their hooves dirty anymore and most important, not even a drop of it is wasted. She also gives the product a complete makeover to make it more attractive, and finally instructs the hippies about how to sell their products in a more efficient (and profitable) way so they could save their farm. After all of that hard work, the hippies and Rarity proceed to accidentally scare off their only potential customer.
  • In an early Lucky Luke comic, the Dalton brothers (the historical ones, not their horribly incompetent cousins) show off their ignorance by attempting to divide 10000 by 4 when sharing their loot and turning the simple operation into a complex mathematical formula with square roots and integrals.
  • In the very first issue of Loki: Agent of Asgard, we see Clint playing a video game intensely. Natasha commentates thusly:
    Natasha: Clint.
    Clint: I know—
    Natasha: You have the army after you and no health and you're falling out of a crashing airplane.
    Clint: I know, Nat—
    Natasha: It's a bass fishing simulator, Clint.
    Clint: I know! It just— It just happens!
  • Throughout The Adventures of Tintin, Captain Haddock getting drunk is certain to lead to this. His defining moment, in his debut The Crab with the Golden Claws, is when he, Tintin and Snowy are stranded on a lifeboat in the sea. Having just downed an entire bottle, the Captain's idea of keeping them all warm... is to light a bonfire. In a wooden boat. With the oars as kindling! It's the trope image for Alcohol-Induced Idiocy for a reason. The 2011 film's version of the scene tops this when the Captain realizes what he's done and, in his panic, tries to put out the fire with whiskey. It creates a fireball visible from a distance.
  • In the second issue of the Archie Comics reboot, we see Archie so bad at jobs, he sets fire to ice cream. All of the ice cream. Just the ice cream. The owner is naturally incredulous. See it here.
    • Following the incident that temporarily crippled Betty, Archie tried to help out Jughead by helping get Internet access to an old folks home. He somehow causes the entire complex to lose power. Jughead is equally incredulous.
  • In a comic book adaptation of Beetle Bailey, Beetle gets a job typing up orders at Camp Swampy by telling Captain Scabbard he can type and read at the same time. Unfortunately, his attempts to do so lead to some orders being bungled via spelling errors. Sarge orders a shipment of shirts, and gets a truck full of dirt. Fuzz orders new guns, but gets a herd of gnus. Ms. Halftrack advertises for a cook, and crooks start applying. Eventually, Sarge catches onto the problem after a 50-mile hike (that was supposed to be 5-miles) leaves him exhausted. (But not enough that he can't beat Beetle up for it all.)
  • In a crossover between All-New Wolverine and Spider-Gwen, the two heroines have swapped bodies. X-23-as-Spider-Gwen handles it fine. Gwen-as-Wolverine? She stabs herself in the face. With her own claws.
  • Cancrelune from Mélusine is this reincarnate. Once, she fell off her flying broom and Mélusine saved her by changing her into a bird. Except, even in bird form she fails to fly and end up crashing on the ground.
    • Another time Cancrelune climbed a tree and didn't realized she was climbing it upside down.
  • Exiles: During their involuntary visit to Mojoworld, the team try to find Longshot so he can help. So they grab a guy off the street and demand he tell them where Longshot's being imprisoned. He points across the street to a prison with a giant neon sign proclaiming "LONGSHOT'S PRISON".
    Sasquatch: Wow. Mulder and Scully, we ain't.
  • During Absolute Carnage, Spider-Man, Wolverine and the Thing are dealing with the symbiote Hybrid, who has Captain America in their clutches. Thing grabs Spidey for a Fastball Special, but Spidey panics as he is not ready at all for the throw and that Wolverine is right beside him. This leads to Ben throwing Spidey, who flies screaming and flailing until he slams into Cap, whom Hybrid casually tosses at him, leading to the other two heroes to wince in pain.
  • Heroes in Crisis may in fact be the biggest screw-up Batman, Superman, and Wonder Woman have ever committed. Their intentions to create a place for heroes to receive therapy might've been noble, but their execution of the idea was a complete disaster.
    • There are no actual therapists or licensed medical professionals working at Sanctuary. All the work's done by a computer programmed with the supposed best traits of Batman, Superman, and Wonder Woman.
    • All the patients are allowed to do when they're not in video confessionals or kept isolated from each other is relive their respective traumatic experiences in virtual reality chambers.
    • The Trinity are barely monitoring Sanctuary and just about anyone, even Harley Quinn, can waltz inside.
    • It's quickly shown the various patients staying at Sanctuary are not improving in any way, as the repeat performances of their trauma only wears them down. Lagoon Boy went through recreations of the Titans East Massacre over 300 times, while Wally West's spirit was gradually broken down over a few weeks. The Sanctuary AI does almost nothing to really help them, even though Wally's blatantly getting worse and Lagoon Boy's going through the massacre in what's clearly an attempt at self harm. Sanctuary was SO sketchy, that all the abuse Wally suffered through made him suspect this was all a scheme orchestrated by a bunch of supervillains. His hacking the computer made him experience everyone's respective traumas at once until he had a nervous breakdown and accidentally unleashed a burst of energy killing everyone around him. So yeah, Sanctuary was so poorly thought out its patients end up suffering more trauma than before they arrived and one patient honestly believed it was being run by villains to torment superheroes.
  • ''The Sanctuary Tree': At the beginning of the story, Donald Duck ends up being late on a date with Daisy because he was running away from a fat female guard, for fishing in a prohibited place. Daisy broke up with Donald and he buys a love potion to try to get her back. Donald is following Daisy when she decides to take a boat trip on the lake. He swims behind her... and somehow, swims in circles, and consequently ends up in the same female guard's boat instead of Daisy's, and it is the guard who ends up drinking the love potion and falling in love with Donald. And then Daisy catches the two hugging and kissing, and furious, ends the dating once and for all, leaving the unlucky Donald alone with the guard.


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