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Horrible / Comic Books

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"It's like the absurdity of the '90s fucked the grittiness of the '80s and then they both doubled-teamed decency 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, It's Horrible, especially if the fans complain loud enough. Maybe the writers were having one 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 Comic Strips.

Important Notes:

  1. 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.
  2. It is not a Horrible comic just because Linkara 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.)

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

    open/close all folders 

    DC Comics 
  • The miniseries Amazons Attack! was thrown together last-minute to cover delays in Wonder Woman, and did nothing more than derail the Amazons into Straw Feminists and/or complete morons for the sake of making the ridiculous plot work. The characters' motives, logic, and basic sense of ethics change mid-plot with great frequency—not least of all Wonder Woman herself, a Faux Action Girl of an increasingly high order throughout. Rock Beats Laser is employed to an implausible extreme, culminating in the dead-serious reveal that the secret Amazon weapon much of the plot revolves around is live bees. ("Bees. My God.") To somehow make matters worse, unless you read the tie-ins, the Amazons and their in-continuity affiliates barely appear for the first half of the series. Tie-ins which, mind you, were left out of the trade paperback collection in favor of text recaps. The creators didn't research the characters' past or the history of the DCU Amazons at all. And adding insult to injury, the entire series was a lead-in to Countdown to Final Crisis, which is at least as reviled as Amazons Attack.
  • Batman: Fortunate Son is a 1999 graphic novel that ranks as one of the worst, most baffling Batman stories ever committed to print. The plot of the story revolves around Batman and Robin trying to take down an insane, terroristic rock star, with Batman especially determined to stop him because he believes all rock n' roll musicians (and their fans) are insane criminals. Batman backs this up by claiming that rock music played a part in the death of his parents, sharing anecdotes and research of rock stars turning into crazed murderers, and showing that most of his rogues' gallery imprisoned in Arkham Asylum are rock n' roll fans. You would hardly believe the writers are rock n' roll fans, who meant it as a tribute to classic rock. Even with that in mind, the writing comes off as pretentious and bizarre. Haters of rock can't get behind the well-intentioned writers, lovers of rock can't get behind the violent portrayal of rock stars, and fans of Batman and/or comic books in general can't get behind the poor artwork, atrocious out-of-character writing, and insulting retcons to Batman's history. Linkara covered it here and to this day, loves to reference Batman's hatred of rock and roll.
  • The weekly series Countdown to Final Crisis was intended to be a follow-up to the largely acclaimed 52, as well as a lead-in to Final Crisis—like 52, the plan was for it to be focused on lesser-known characters having a number of different subplots. Unfortunately, things went off the rails badly. The weekly schedule resulted in the book effectively becoming a Round Robin, with countless continuity mistakes, rushed artwork, and out-of-character moments resulting. Executive Meddling held a lot of sway, forcing tie-ins and miniseries that turned the whole thing into a Random Events Plot. The individual storylines were full of baffling moments, from an inexplicable Face–Heel Turn on the part of Mary Marvel to many characters dying for practically no reason, and that's not counting the storylines that just stop. The series ran for 52 issues on top of all the spinoffs, so that's a lot of time for its various mistakes to start adding up, and adds a glacial pace to the whole endeavor. On top of it all, between the already confused storytelling and the inexplicable decision to not consult Grant Morrison on the plot of Final Crisis beyond some early scripts, the story in no way jibes with the event it was supposed to lead into.note  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've been saved by the coolness inherent in Let's You and Him Fight. This doesn't happen. Mediocre art, severe pacing issues, rampant character defilement running roughshod over the plot (especially with poor Captain Atom, whose Face–Heel Turn required behind-the-scenes knowledge to understand), 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 top. Comics Alliance named it one of the worst comics of the decade.
  • Heroes in Crisis, possibly the most hated DC story since Cry for Justice. When it was announced, it was advertised as an exploration of how superheroes deal with mental trauma. Fans and critics responded positively at first, thinking it would explore how years of adventure and saving the world had taken their toll on the heroes of the DC universe and possibly provide some worthwhile commentary on mental health through a fantastic lens. Unfortunately, the end result was ultimately regarded to be absolute garbage, thanks to the advertised premise being bungled beyond belief along with the story itself being completely nonsensical. Advocates for mental health and trauma awareness were openly disgusted for how it treated mental health as just wallpaper for a mediocre Murder Mystery, loaded with horrible implications and bad retcons to either invent traumatic experiences where none existed or misrepresent the traumas of characters with existing mental issues due to improper research. The story ultimately makes little to no sense, with the last few issues having to bend back to justify the identity of the killer (who turns out to be Wally West; it was later confirmed that Wally being the (alleged) killer was Executive Meddling from Dan DiDio using the event to smear a character he hated). While the art was initially praised, it was soon soiled by the bizarrely over-sexual nature that included pornographic invasive injuries and dead bodies. With the book having completely killed the goodwill built by DC Rebirth, the story was so bad that the reputations of DiDio and writer Tom King were tainted, and pretty much every fan wanted to retcon it out of existence. The story was, in fact, retconned just two years later. Linkara would review it as the finale for his Event Comics Month III, which starts here.
  • Although Doug Moench's history in comic books is far from immune to criticism, not even his most diehard defenders have anything nice to say about JLA: Act of God. A 2000 Elseworld story that sees all of the characters in the DC Universe lose their superpowers for no reason, with the lazy handwave that God did it to "punish the heroes for being arrogant". (Said arrogance is never actually shown to us.) Almost all of them grab the Idiot Ball and give up being heroes, while spouting incredibly whiny, navel-gazing, out-of-character dialogue the whole time. The story quickly becomes an excuse to get Superman and Wonder Woman together, with Lois Lane leaving Clark because the only reason she loved him was his powers (no, that is not a joke). Diana also becomes Catholic, which would require her to forget her entire backstory. It also serves to gush over just how super-awesome Batman is, since he's the only hero who "never needed superpowers", which is a massive insult to so many characters. Linkara tore apart all three issues and couldn't contain his rage while doing so.
  • Justice League: Cry for Justice (nicknamed "Gay for Justice" by readers, thanks to some unfortunate lettering styles), a 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 found himself under all manner of fire for its release, even though 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.

    Marvel Comics 
  • The Avengers #200 had Ms. Marvel Put on a Bus, via an Idiot Plot that raised countless troubling questions. Carol Danvers suddenly becomes pregnant and has a baby three days later, which is treated as nothing out of the ordinary by the other Avengers. Carol's concerns about the whole ordeal are either ignored or outright dismissed. The rapidly-aging kid then reveals he is actually an extradimensional being named Marcus, who brought Ms. Marvel to Limbo and forcibly impregnated her with himself so that he could escape. That's not Fridge Logic either — Marcus explicitly states that he used Mind Control to make Carol fall in love with him. Hawkeye is the only Avenger who doesn't sympathize with Marcus, and is treated as being in the wrong. Even Ms. Marvel, who was consistently disturbed by all of this, suddenly falls in love with Marcus as he reaches adulthood and decides to leave with him to Limbo, reinforcing the idea that Carol was "being unreasonable". Her return in Avengers Annual #10 revealed that she was still under mind control when she left and had her chew out the Avengers for not doing anything to save her, in an attempt to try and salvage some of this disaster. Jim Shooter regrets having been involved in it, and none of the writers want to take credit for the plot. Linkara also took a look at it, and has gone so far as to say it is the second worst comic he's ever reviewed, after 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; even the staff behind the Official Marvel Handbook struggled to come up with a coherent reading order. 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 everyone involved was a Space Phantom and it was a plot by Immortus, who was pretending to be Kang (his younger self) and messing with the Avengers in a gambit to control the timestream.
  • Zeb Wells's run on The Amazing Spider-Man (2022), specifically Dead Language (Issues 21-26), ends the years-long arc with shock deaths and anticlimaxes. The threadbare plot features Peter Parker suffering untold torture at the hands of a flat, one-note original villain who worships a nonexistent Aztec death god. The artwork is also well below the standards of other Spider-Man books, especially the main villain, who is made to be as muddy as possible. The arc was hyped as featuring a major death on the anniversary of Gwen Stacy's passing, and left a litany of hints that Mary Jane was the target, from breaking up with Peter again to hooking up with the villain's son. All of this leads up to Issue 26, where — out of nowhereKamala Khan is suddenly Stuffed in the Fridge despite barely appearing in the entire run up to that point and having nothing to do with the arc. The villain was defeated almost immediately afterwards, leaving Peter with nothing to do but angst over Kamala's death. Fans suspected that her death was just a cheap and easy way to enforce synergy with the MCU (where she was confirmed to be half-mutant in her series), and their suspicions were proven correct when she was resurrected as a mutant in Ms. Marvel: The New Mutant, barely a month after her initial fridging. Changing an aspect of a character just to tie in to a movie/show is one thing, but it's another to do it in such a haphazard and tasteless manner. Critics and fans alike lambasted the book, having absolutely nothing positive to say about its artwork, plot, pacing, or conclusion; to get an idea of just how hated the book is, some have compared it unfavorably to One More Day (see below).
  • 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 it shows. The first two issues are 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 countless plot holes, and tons of mean-spirited digs at DC Comics and Peter David. After two issues of this, the story devolved into utterly bizarre theological psychobabble about Jemas's home-grown branch of young-Earth creationism (including Wolverine evolving from an otter and the idea that Jesus is "the first superhero"). 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 and only two thought clouds (which come from a fish), with the text being written script-style along the sides of the panels, often covering up the artwork. Also, the cover art featuring a red-haired woman (who appeared nowhere in the comic) in various states of undress when Jemas was certain that 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".
  • While opinions are divided on The Clone Saga as a whole, and the actual quality of the stories varies very wildly, few will defend Maximum Clonage, the story meant to conclude the saga which is universally considered to be its lowest point. The "story", to one's best understanding, is The Jackal (reduced to an uncharismatic and uninteresting Card-Carrying Villain) and a deranged Peter Parker clone named Spidercide are attempting to decimate humanity with a virus and replace it with clones. The problems are numerous. Terrible writing, poor pacing, bad artwork, Peter acting badly OOC, plot points that serve no purpose in the narrative, terrible continuity due to the issues having different creative teams and tight schedules (Kaine's motives and actions change constantly, and the artists can never agree on what MJ is wearing) and plot holes big enough to drive a truck through. Combined with a horrendous Troubled Production that saw nine artists taking on the final issue alone and it's no surprise that the saga continued for over a year before being actually finished. Linkara eviscerated the story for his first anniversary, and years later it earned a spot on his Top 15 Worst Comics that he had reviewed.
  • The Spider-Man storyline One More Day is perhaps the most infamous case of Executive Meddling in comics 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.) 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 - 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, Spider-Man makes a Deal with the Devil to save Aunt May's life (against her wishes, by the way) 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). In addition to being a Berserk Button for Linkara (eventually being a special 200th episode), Huggbees also looked into how ridiculous the comic is here.
  • The Punisher: Purgatory is widely considered to be the absolute worst moment in the Punisher franchise for how profoundly stupid its plot is and how it misguidedly tried to make the Punisher Lighter and Softer. It starts with Frank Castle committing suicide, before being brought back to life by the angel Gadriel as an immortal being with silly-looking angelic weapons. It also retcons his entire backstory (something former Punisher writer Chuck Dixon was not happy about). Instead of Frank's family getting caught in the crossfire of a random mob hit, they were intentionally murdered by Frank Costa (retconned to being a demon) as part of some ritual for an overly complicated Xanatos Gambit which involves Frank killing all of Costa's soldiers to send them to hell to make him more powerful or something. The story misses the entire point of the Punisher by trying to make him more altruistic (most likely to try and distance the character from the discredited '90s Anti-Hero trope), which only serves to ruin everything that made the character interesting in the first place. This series alienated so many readers that after one more mini-series, the Punisher was returned to a normal human in "Welcome Back Frank". 4th Letter, Robot's Voice, Comics Alliance, and Linkara all gave the book negative reviews. It also wound up on Cracked's 6 Most Unintentionally Hilarious Superhero Reinventions, which commented that the storyline "completely undermined the intent of the character who had the simplest goal of any superhero ever".
  • Marvel MAX's Supreme Power: Nighthawk was part of Marvel's efforts to "modernize" the Squadron Supreme via the Ultimate Marvel treatment. (Rather than taking the originals and modernizing them, they simply created "more realistic" alternate universe versions.) This particular spinoff is mocked for being more about the poison-obsessed antagonist, Whiteface (who comes across as more Jason Voorhees than the Joker expy he was supposed to be), than the titular Batman Expy. It actually managed to remove much of Nighthawk's characterization from the main series, reducing him to a generic violent vigilante in scary paramilitary gear. And the writers used "blood, gore and an impossible body count" as a substitute for actual story and motivation. Even those who enjoyed Supreme Power (and the other solo spinoffs) look down on this one.
  • 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, Valkyrie is now a superpowered love interest for Thor rather than a non-powered Loony Fan, and the Wasp is white instead of Asian. It is loaded with Plot Holes, horrible pacing, and stupid, stupid writing mistakes. The plot is a convoluted mess where a robot falls in love with Scarlet Witch, then decides to kill her because she's in an incestuous relationship with Quicksilver (no, it doesn't make sense in context either). This causes Magneto's faction to attack the Ultimates at the same time as a robot uprising begins. A long Flashback where Wolverine has sex with Scarlet Witch's mother that exists for gratuitous Fanservice and doesn't make sense with established continuity is even thrown in to waste time that could've been used making sense of this. Linkara reviews the series here, here and here.
  • Ultimatum, the follow-up to The Ultimates 3, is considered the absolute worst book in the Ultimate Universe and one of the worst comics Marvel's ever released; fans often consider it Marvel's counterpart to Countdown to Final Crisis in all the worst ways possible. The plot goes more-or-less as thus: Following the deaths of Scarlet Witch and Quicksilver, Magneto decides to destroy the world by either shifting the Earth's magnetic poles (which wouldn't cause the disasters depicted) or knocking the Earth off its axis (which isn't something Magneto can do). Also, this whole thing is revealed to be a ridiculously convoluted plan by Doctor Doom where he'd make Magneto incite a human-mutant war and somehow Doom would rule the Earth after. It is a sickening capstone to a once-promising line of comics and an incoherent clusterfuck that confirms every negative stereotype about crossovers. It's bursting with meaningless and cruel deathsnote  for no apparent purpose other than to "wipe the slate clean"note , leaden dialogue, and bad artwork. It did so much long-term damage to the Ultimate Universe that the line never really recovered, and is cited as a major reason for its eventual discontinuation. Linkara did a review of the series in three parts (here, here and here) and concluded that while it was not quite as bad as Countdown, it certainly deserved the comparison. Comic Tropes also took a look at it and called it the worst comic of the 2000s.
  • Most mainstream writers have some fans, but you'll have a very hard time finding any for Chuck Austen during his tenure at Marvel. He's infamous for introducing massive retcons to beloved characters, particularly those aimed at undoing the work of previous writers. Austen's writing also suffered from poor characterization and a leery focus on sex and relationships, often taking center-stage from the superhero plots (this makes some sense — prior to being contracted by Marvel, he had mostly worked on porn comics). Shortly after his stint at Marvel, Austen was essentially blacklisted from the mainstream comics industry for the negative attention his work received.
    • For Uncanny X-Men, he was responsible for the nonsensical Holy War arc, which involved the mutant-hating Church of Mankind brainwashing Nightcrawler and making him the Pope while planning to make his holographic disguise fail, and also handing out communion wafers that make people explode in order to fake the Rapture. The same run also retconned Nightcrawler from being a demon-like mutant to actually being the son of a demon, ruining the point of this charming guy who's shunned for looking different. Other story beats included an out-of-place Whole-Plot Reference to Romeo and Juliet, and Archangel and Husk having a midair public sex scene. This run was so poorly received that even DC dropped Austen to avoid any residual backlash and had his last two issues of Action Comics ghostwritten. Comic Tropes looks at the run in more detail here.
    • His work in The 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 refused to date Wasp while they were divorced, and that Hank and Wasp later reconciled and were happily remarried for a time.
    • 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 photographs) and for being a maxiseries that Marvel would cancel 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 with a bow and arrow to the head while fully armored.
    • Though the Marvel Mangaverse has fairly low regard, Austen's take on Ghost Rider deserves special mention. The plot is borderline incomprehensible and characters that barely resemble their mainstream versions, which might be forgivable were it not, like War Machine, featuring the same primitive CGI and even worse paneling. Fortunately, the human characters are drawn traditionally; in fact, so traditionally that they were found to have been traced from a "How To Draw Manga" book.

  • The Beast Wars Sourcebook is 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.
  • The Transformers comic The Beast Within, both of its issues released as pack-in bonuses for Metrodome's UK DVD release of The Transformers, is poorly drawn, incoherent, badly written, and completely independent of any known canon. Special mention goes to the Beast, a Dinobot combiner. Fans had been pondering what one would look like for years - the fact that its canon appearance was a ridiculous mishmash of techno junk (most of which isn't recognizable as any one Dinobot, defeating the point of making it a combiner in the first place) with a bizarrely pointy chin came off as a slap in the face. Given its release method, it fortunately never left the rainy shores of England, but scans quickly hit the Internet for all to mock. It's unclear whether Hasbro's story team was aware of this story's existence, but for many years they insisted that there was no Dinobot combiner, leading many to wonder if they were subtly trying to retcon it out of existence. Eventually, a new, more traditional Dinobot combiner, Volcanicus, came along, finally letting fans ignore the story once and for all. When Hasbro acknowledged this story's canon on the Ask Vector Prime Facebook page, it was left vulnerable by Unicron and eaten by the Hytherion. Good riddance, too.
  • Continuum, a typo-riddled, poorly-organized "definitive chronology" of IDW's Transformers stories up to the then-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 Transformers continuity, but it was absolutely useless as a resource. Its writer, Andy Schmidt, regrets the book. Thankfully, IDW would learn from Continuum's mistakes with the later chronology Historia, with significantly improved writing by Fandom VIP Chris McFeely and almost no errors, allowing Continuum to be consigned to the dustbin of history.
  • 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 especially disappointing given that acclaimed Warhammer 40,000 writer Dan Abnett was a co-writer for it. Normally it would've just been So Okay, It's Average, but the art proved to be 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 Worldbuilding elements that James Roberts and John Barber later built off of.

    Other Comics 
  • Bimbos in Time was created with the express purpose of writing the worst comic ever made—and although it's debatable if the author succeeded, you can tell he certainly gave his best effort. The comic is a black and white "humor" piece primarily about women running through time fighting some witch for reasons that are never explained because doing so would distract from the terrible attempts at comedy. It's not even just that the comic is stupid, that would be one thing, it's more accurate to say that this comic is trying to be stupid but failing to do so convincingly. Linkara reviewed it here and later declared it the third worst comic he's ever reviewed. Bizarrely, it may have a film adaptation...
  • Civilian Justice was proposed by Chris Piers as a potential candidate for the worst comic ever published, even after grading it on a curve because it was a self-published book. It was written as a direct response to the 9/11 attack but published over a year too late for it to really matter, and the book itself is laden with both visual flaws, such as bad anatomy, wonky perspective, strange rendering of cloth that makes it almost look like colored liquid, confusing compositions, excessively heavy inking, overuse of cheesy photoshop coloring effects, and hard-to-read-lettering, as well as writing flaws, including a cast of bland characters headed by an invincible Marty-Stu protagonist, bizarre dialogue, villains with no clear motivation or plan beyond "being terrorists," entire pages of nearly indecipherable storytelling, and a pretty exploitative case of a female character being Stuffed into the Fridge via the 9/11 attack. Also, despite a brief scene included illustrating that Islam isn't an inherently violent religion and not all Muslims are terrorists, the depictions of the terrorists themselves often veer straight into racial caricature, giving the whole thing an additional ugly edge.
  • The Valiant Comics-Image Comics crossover Deathmate. The plot goes that Solar, Man of the Atom and Void of Wild C.A.T.s (WildStorm) make love, resulting in the creation of an alternate universe where Valiant and Image characters co-exist. The writing was horrible, the art as Liefeldian as it has ever been for an Image publication, and the concept flawed - the crossover was designed to be read in theoretically any order alongside the bookend prologue and epilogue issues, resulting in the comic being a disjointed mess in practice. To put it in perspective, a coherent reading order wasn't discovered until 2017, 24 years after it was published. Deathmate helped destroy Valiant Comics and the '90s Anti-Hero archetype and was one of the contributing factors that led to The Great Comics Crash of 1996; Valiant's commitment to a real-time continuity made sure they were serious about schedules and deadlines, while Image was infamous for their Schedule Slip. The Valiant-published prologue only came out because Valiant editor Bob Layton came to Liefeld's house and would not leave until Liefeld was done with his contribution to the issue, and then inked it in his hotel room. Image's contributions were released years after interest had dried up, leaving shop owners who had back-ordered massive amounts of copies with an unsellable product, which led to lots of small comics shops going out of business. "Their love will end worlds", indeed.
  • Diesel by Joe Weltjens and published by Antarctic Press in 1997. The comic is an infamous rip-off of the popular JoJo's Bizarre Adventure, specifically Stardust Crusaders, part 3 of the series. The story centers around a group of super-powered individuals and their dog who can summon Fighting Spirits called "Stands", the protagonist's Stand, Meta Hammer, looks like a mesh of the Incredible Hulk and Star Platinum, and the Big Bad looks like Dio Brando as a Corrupt Corporate Executive. If the similarities had ended there, it would have been fine, but the comic's conflict is almost a beat-for-beat rehash of the battle with N'Doul. note  When Weltjens was confronted about the similarities, he claimed that it was a Batman Gambit to give JJBA more exposure in the West since it was virtually unknown at the time, but that proves to be Blatant Lies when the disclaimer at the end claims that all similarities to other works are unintentional. When the story isn't being plagiarized, the characters are completely interchangeable. The art isn't much better. The characters look like Rob Liefeld's sloppy seconds, the Stands look like generic 90s superheroes, and there are some inconsistencies. note  If you are curious, you can read it here, and if you want to see someone tear this comic a new one, watch Webcomic Relief's review or Linkara's review.
  • 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 are zero attempts to make this in any way comic-like. The panels are just rows of boxes, composed of 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 screencap 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 entire panels are copied wholesale. The book only lasted three issues, and all three were collected into a TPB lovingly named "Family Guy: A Big Book o' Crap." Really says something about what the people who worked on it thought of it.
  • Future Five is a PSA comic that would be So Bad, It's Good thanks to the premise (a supervillain tries to Take Over the World by having kids not go to college) had it not been for the terrible message it gives. It portrays anyone who doesn't go to college as an idiot, demonizes professions like fast-food services, and claims that you have to have your life planned by the age of 25, all with complete sincerity. Linkara reviews it here.
  • The awful Russian film Guardians (2017) spawned multiple comic books set in the same universe which are as bad if not worse than the film itself. The artwork ranges from mediocre to bad, awful, stolen, and flat-out unfinished. Every plot could be described as a Random Events Plot - one of the issues starts with the Guardians going to the North Pole to talk with a Superman Expy, then they fight an evil necromancer, who looks like a hobo and talks in Gratuitous German, then the necromancer runs out of zombies and just goes away. The End. There are multiple attempts at humor, all either confusing or cringe-inducing. These comics are also filled with moments of utter stupidity, like people talking about E-Mail in 1962 or a character refusing to fight zombies, because they were Russians. BadComedian takes a brief look at these in his review of the movie.
  • Frank Miller's Holy Terror is an unapologetically racist tract against Islam starring Captain Ersatzes of Batman and Catwomannote . Miller defended it by comparing it to the anti-fascist cartoons printed in World War II; never mind those were made decades prior and had aged very poorly in some key respects. 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 Muslims 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 as he declared it the worst comic he had ever reviewed, and certainly the one he hates the most. This, along with All-Star Batman & Robin, the Boy Wonder, 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. Miller admitted in 2018 that he came to regret writing the book, saying that he "wasn't thinking clearly" and was "blinded by hatred" and that in retrospect he could see that it was terrible from both a political and storytelling standpoint.
  • 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.
  • The German My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic comics note . An absolute no-effort trainwreck, with artwork copy/pasted from promotional artwork and/or merchandise, with minimal photoshop to make the characters' actions fit the scene, stories that are some of the most inane the entire franchise has seen, and characterization that is uniform, stock, and unlikable in any way.
  • There were some pretty poor comics published during the indie comics boom of the '80s, but The Quadro Gang is amateurish even by those standards. The main characters all have the 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-school 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.
  • Antarctic Press' Robotech Sentinels: Rubicon was an effort by AP at continuing the long-running Sentinels comic that they would cancel 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 largely incomprehensible plot (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.
  • While the notoriously litigious Ken Penders run on Sonic the Hedgehog (Archie Comics) is widely considered an Audience-Alienating Era, the stories themselves range from just plain goofy to So Bad, It's Good in their audacity. However, even the most forgiving of the franchise's fans wouldn't wish these stories on Eggman himself.
    • Sonic Live! is considered to be not just one of Penders' worst works but one of the worst things to come out of Archie's 24 years with the license. The main story of the issue involves Sonic being ostensibly killed by Robotnik, but in actuality is transported to the inside of a TV set (supposedly an "in-between zone" between the gap of Mobius and Earth), and meeting two kids who are Sonic fans, both initially depicted with (poorly made, both in composition and quality - one of them is playing Sonic on a TV remote in front of a blank TV set) photographs of Penders' son and niece. Sonic drags them into their TV screen so he can get back to Mobius, only to find soon find themselves in another world where Robotnik schemes to take over the universe. The plot is a contrived ripoff of Last Action Hero, right down the issue's alternate title of "The Last Game Cartridge Hero", everyone is out of characternote , numerous arcs are left unexplained and others wouldn't have made a difference if they were left out entirely, a lot of the art falls head-first into Uncanny Valleynote , the excuse for why Sonic and co are known in the real world needs to be seen to be believedExplanation , and the story isn't even 48 pages long, as the cover deceptively advertises (but that might be a saving grace depending on who you ask). Beyond a very brief mention in the gallery of Sonic Mega Collection, it's one of the very few Archie stories from the 90s never to have been reprinted, and for good reason. It was the subject of Atop the Fourth Wall's 100th episode, and later on, Sonic Youtuber "Game Apologist" would tear it a new one from his perspective as a lifelong Sonic fan.
    • Naugus Games from Super Sonic Specialnote  #15 is just as reviled. The writing is mediocre, but the real groin kick from this issue is the art. The drawings are sloppy and amateurish, but the worst part isn't what's drawn, but what isn't, as it features more than eight pages of either pitch-black darkness or blank snowfall (that is to say, empty, white panels except for some copy-pasted snowflakes for decor) on two occasions with only speech bubbles serving as any clue as to what's going on, rendering the plot incomprehensible. The artist is simply credited as "Many Hands", indicating it was cobbled together by multiple artists and none of them wanted to take credit for it. The backup story, a Sin City pastiche, was charming but was too short to redeem the issue in any capacity. Small wonder then that this issue was the last Super Sonic Special to be published. Years later, Ian Flynn essentially retconned the story for the 2011 Free Comic Book Day issue by having Sonic look back to it, with much improved art courtesy of Steven Butler and a coherent plot.
  • Street Fighter (Malibu Comics): The art was low-end 90s quality. The writing made the games themselves look deep and nuanced. However, both of those pale in comparison to the butchering of most of the heroes' personalities: Ryu is turned into a Straw Misogynist Jerkass, Chun-Li is his bitter-ex and Ken is an American chunk head. After Sagat and Balrog murdered Ken in the second issue note , 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.) Cracked put this at number two of the 5 Most Hilariously Misguided Comic Book Adaptations.
  • 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 disowned it and several future issues of the main TMNT Adventures comic and some of its spinoffs made venomous take thats about the miniseries, even rendering it Canon Discontinuity. The blog called TMNT Entity reviewed all three issues, calling it "terrible on every front".
  • The Unfunnies by Mark Millar is a comic that can't decide if it wants to be a horror story or a gross-out black comedy, and the resulting mess fails to do either. The premise is simple enough: a happy Hanna-Barbera-style cartoon world is corrupted when its disgraced creator switches his soul with one of the main characters to escape death row and starts using godlike powers to warp it into a horrible nightmare world. What might be an interesting premise is bogged down by terrible attempts at moments that try for Refuge in Audacity but are too disgusting to be funny and too ridiculously stupid to be scary. Bad attempts at mixing real photos and art make the "reveal" of the villain embarrassing rather than shocking. To make matters worse, Millar was trying to write commentary on a genre he didn't understand, a problem which is inherently toxic to satire and had two fatal negative effects on the comic. First, the entire point of the comic is a meta commentary on how cartoons have been "corrupted" by real world cynicism, but it doesn't work because some of the oldest cartoons in history have had sex and violence. (This is also stunningly hypocritical coming from someone who had no problem writing stuff like Wanted) Second, it resulted in terrible art, as Millar thought "cartoony" art meant "shitty," and he would actively tell his artist to draw worse. The end result isn't a good black comedy, and it isn't a scary metaphysical horror story. It's a juvenile, low-brow and downright stupid farce desperately trying and failing at everything it attempts. Millar's own (then) wife hated it so much she 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, including, much to the abject horror and disgust of RoG, one appears to be unflatteringly showing viewers the immediate aftermath of the Warrior's rape of Santa Claus.note  Spoony and Linkara teamed up to review the series.

Alternative Title(s): Comics