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So Bad Its Good / Comic Books

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"And really, is there anything more awesome than seeing Bruce Campbell taking out zombie superheroes? Well, okay, yes, but it's hard to top Robo-Bear versus Cyber-Gorilla."
"This comic sucks... but it's SO much fun in its stupidity!"
Linkara, on Marvel Zombies vs Army of Darkness and the Game Boy comics

Comic book series and storylines that border on the ridiculous, but can be strangely compelling in spite of themselves.


  • The "Adventures of Kool-Aid Man" comic from the early 80's. Featuring the Kool-Aid Man as a super hero on call 24/7 who battles villains like the sun-shaped Thirsties and Scorch IN SPACE and frequently bursts through walls exclaiming '''OH YEAAHH!!!'''
  • Frank Miller's All-Star Batman & Robin (a.k.a. "ASBAR"). ASBAR is an attempt at retelling Batman's earliest adventures with Robin... except Miller writes Batman as a complete and total lunatic who calls himself "the goddamn Batman" and whose actions make no sense. Meanwhile, the Joker is humorless, Robin eats rats, Superman is a bumbling idiot, and Wonder Woman is a Straw Feminist extremist who calls men sperm banks and advocates castrating all men. The first chapter has three pages of gratuitous close-ups of Vicki Vale wearing pink lingerie while gushing over how hot Bruce Wayne is. Green Lantern gets to deliver the immortal line "Damn you AND your lemonade!" Also, Frankie would like to remind you that Dick Grayson, age 12, is in fact 12 years old. He reminds you of this every time Dick's name appears in print. Vicariously witness it in all its glory. It also doesn't have a timeline as much as a time-mess. Because, if the time given is to be believed, Batman apparently drives around for days considering that Superman is shown seeing Dick's Face on a Milk Carton (yes, apparently they still have milk cartons and people put faces on them in Metropolis) while Batman was still driving around with Dick in the car.
  • The Avengers:
    • There's a story with a villain called Immortus, whose power is that he can summon up mythical and real historical figures to fight for him, like Merlin, Atilla the Hun, Goliath and... Paul Bunyan. Yes, the Executioner vs Paul Bunyan. Unfortunately (or fortunately?), Immortus was more toned down in later appearances, being known strictly as a time travelling villain.
    • All the early Avengers stories are a lot like the Immortus story to one extent or another. It's when the team lineup changes for the first time that things start to actually be good. It really doesn't help that the earliest stories have the team treating it like some kind of secret club, with regularly scheduled meetings and having hissy fits when a member doesn't show up (in one very early issue, Iron Man was even banned from the team for a week because he missed a meeting).
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  • Jhonen Vasquez's "Bad Art Collection", compiled of things he drew specifically to deter his friends from asking for art from him. It's Exactly What It Says on the Tin.
  • Batman Odyssey, a 12-issue miniseries drawn by Neal Adams. Unfortunately, it's also written by Neal Adams, leading to OOC dialogue (Alfred offers to murder somebody, because he "doesn't give a hydroelectric dam about all this flap"), a nonsensical plot (it eventually involves dinosaurs), and general zanyness all around, leading to it becoming an incredibly impressive-looking trainwreck.
  • Battle Pope. It's the post-rapture apocalypse, demons are everywhere. The righteous are taken to Heaven and surprise, the Pope's not among them. After being visited by God and Jesus, the Pope becomes a badass demon hunter. "When He's not giving Mass, He's kicking ass!"
  • Although Valiant Comics produced a number of series that were good enough to stand up on their own merits, Bloodshot certainly counts as this. A basic '90s Anti-Hero Cliché Storm, where the creative staff couldn't decide which direction they wanted to go in, so they went in all of them at once. "He's like Batman! Now he's like The Punisher! Now he's Wolverine!" The result being an experimental super solder created by a Japanese corporation, out of the body of a betrayed Mafia hitman, who wanders the streets of New York in a trench coat. The plots are completely illogical; he gets on a plane, battles assassins and terrorists, falls out, and lands in the jungles of South East Asia, where he goes all Rambo on some random guerrillas. Also random crossovers. A lot of them.
  • Brute Force, a four-issue mini series from Marvel in which a hippie scientist has his cyborg gorilla stolen by a group of mercenary clowns. He then makes a team of cyborg animals consisting of a kangaroo, an eagle, a bear, a dolphin, and a lion to fight the evil corporation behind the kidnapping and the destruction of the rainforest. Yes, seriously. Even Linkara addressed that it's a So Bad, It's Good comic and that you should try to pick it up, if only for the Robo-Bear Vs. Cyber-Gorilla fight (Which he set to Nightwish's "Ghost Love Score"), which he considered to be nearly as awesome as Neutro riding on top of a whale. Linkara cited this comic as why he loves comics: no other medium he's seen has moments as bizarrely awesome as clowns taking down a cyborg gorilla.
  • The old 70s Marvel book Champions. The roster was more or less cobbled together, resulting in The Incredible Hercules, Black Widow, Angel, Iceman, and Ghost Rider sharing a book (it was meant to be just the X-Men characters, but the development got messy). The team basically just wandered around LA getting into fights with either D-list antagonists from other rogues galleries, or the craziest things Tony Isabella and Bill Mantlo could come up with, including super-strong hobos, Amazons, and power-armored recession victims. Yet in spite of all that, it's kind of charming in how confused and messy it is, as a relic of the days when They Fight Crime! was enough to sell a book, the action and artwork is surprisingly decent, there's no small amount of Ho Yay, and it features the debut of Swarm, the Nazi made out of bees. The characters involved have referred to it with some frequency since then, usually ruefully.
  • Count Duckula #6 (Marvel) featured a story with a drawn-for-comic rendition of Geraldo Rivera, with the storyline of Duckula appearing on Rivera's trashy talk show of the time. The cover has the cartoon Duckula conversing with a live Rivera.
  • The Doom comic. It has the same Excuse Plot and Gorn as the game while adding a ridiculously dumb and repetitive monologue by the hero. Yet the camp violence, inane one-liners and gun fetishism are just too charming in their simplicity to be disliked.
    • It doesn't hurt that the protagonist looks and talks like Bruce Campbell on several illicit mind-altering substances (and he's definitely on at least one), making it easy to turn an otherwise mindless death-fest into B-movie comedy gold.
    • "Now I'm radioactive! That can't be good!"
    • Someone has made a dramatic reading of it! ... And someone else edited it.
  • What about that issue of Doom Patrol where the super villain with the robotic penis is beaten by the transsexual hooker in a frog mask who gained powers by servicing a radioactive Hermaphrodite? Proof.
  • Fantomah, Mystery Woman of the Jungle by Fletcher Hanks aka Henry Fletcher (here working as "Barclay Flagg"), a series that appeared in Jungle Comics #2 to 51 (February 1940 to March 1944), a cross between jungle and superhero comics written with incredibly stilted dialogue with artwork to match. The same man also created Stardust the Super-Wizard, described further down this list. In the words of Ron Goulart:
    Another frightening aspect of the feature was the artwork of Henry Fletcher. A true primitive, he drew like a sort of deranged Grandma Moses. There's been been no one like him since. Those who have never seen Fletcher's depiction of a pack of giant hypnotized phosphorescent reptiles eating a jungle city or his rendering of Fantomah's causing "thousands of gigantic royal panthers" to go flying through the air haven't experienced all that fantasy art has to offer.
  • Godzilla vs. Charles Barkley. This picture sums it up nicely.
    • A hilarious little touch? Look closely in the picture and you'll see that Godzilla is wearing sneakers.
  • In-universe this was the reaction to the "Harley & Ivy" motion picture in the spin-off miniseries about the two. Initially enraged about how they were going to be portrayed in the film, Harley and Ivy set out to stop production with use of a mind-control serum they made. Upon learning about how much money was being used to make the film, Ivy decided that by taking over production they could skim off millions. Harley was chosen as the new director and loaded the film with Batman being blown up. When the real Batman showed up to stop the two, the executives in charge of the movie studio had no choice but to release Harley's film after all the money that was sunk into it nearly bankrupts the studio. The movie is universally praised as a brilliant parody of action movies and Harley's made into an award-winning celebrity.
  • Hulk vs Venom, a 90s one shot where writer Peter David just decided to inject as many Saturday Night Live quotes as he could. The plot features Venom and the Hulk teaming up to stop "Dr. Badvibes" (they even lampshade how stupid the name is) a crazy guy who claims he can cause earthquakes (he can't - the earthquakes are just a coincidence). The crowning moment of... something... is when Hulk and Venom go on TV and call out Dr. Badvibes with the line "we're going to beat *clap* you up!"
  • Johnny Turbo. It's cheesy video game propaganda at its finest, and very silly and over the top because of how seriously it takes itself.
  • Liberality for All, advertised as "the first conservative comic book", is basically one long, bizarre Author Tract full of strawmen where Sean Hannity and G. Gordon Liddy fight against a future totalitarian liberal United States where Al Gore won the 2000 election, led by Chelsea Clinton and Micheal Moore, part of a UN-led One World Government. Osama bin Laden is a UN ambassador, Sean Hannity fights against the system with a cyborg arm, and Oliver North shows up to help stop a nuclear suitcase from blowing up New York City. It's a premise so ridiculous, so insane you would think it was a liberal parody, but it isn't.
  • Lobo's entire reason for existing is that he's so ridiculously over the top that it's hilarious.
  • The Magog solo series is this. An Affectionate Parody of the classic '90s Anti-Hero, and a rogues gallery consisting of a silver haired woman who talks like a 1980s valley girl, a crazy homeless dude, and his mother.
  • Back in 1959, there was a Martian Manhunter story in which J'onn J'onzz goes up against a foe called the Human Flame... who was a schlub named Mike who built a "crime suit" that shot electric bolts and fire out of little spouts on the chest. That's right: Flaming Shock-Nipples of Crime! He dropped off the face of the earth for 50 years and was eventually brought back as an Ineffectual Sympathetic Villain in Final Crisis.
  • Marvel Team Up #74 featuring Spider-Man teaming up with the old cast of Saturday Night Live to defeat Silver Samurai. The cover is hilarious; it has John Belushi, in character as Samurai Fatuba, having a samurai swordfight with Silver Samurai.
    • There was a similar comic with Jay Leno. The plot being Spider-Man and Leno team up to film a General Motors commercial, then get attacked by ninjas, with a 52-year-old Jay Leno practicing kung-fu on a ninja-defeating level. It also has a promising Brokeback Mountain-style subtext.
    • Similarly, Marvel Team-Up #137. May Parker is given a portion of world-devourer Galactus' powers, and becomes his herald, "The Golden Oldie". Thank god it was a What-If story and a case of Stylistic Suck.
  • The original Mighty Crusaders series of the mid-1960s is this: Hokey stories, bland attempts by Superman co-creator Jerry Siegel to ape the Stan Lee style, and silly over-exaggeration of the very Marvel-style story concepts that they were aiming for. No wonder that they are continued to be mocked on the web!
  • Also likewise, Now Comics' Mister T and the T-Force, with immortal lines like, "It's a crack baby, foo'!"
  • The half-assed European My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic comics. Intentionally ludicrous translation aside, the plotlines tend to read like they were written by a six-year-old (Or the writers of these comics didn't get the memo to not dumb down the content) and the art seems to have been created by someone who had never seen anything of the show but the basic stock art character models and somehow manages to land squarely in the Uncanny Valley despite being a cartoon. The result is an almost absurdist take on the setting involving things like the ponies playing soccer, Spike having the exact same expression all the time, and Pinkie Pie making "enchanted" cookies.
  • The DCU series The New Guardians, which only lasted for 12 issues. Six superheroes (all of whom are captain ethnics) are "chosen" to be the next level of human evolution, and are sent on the "glorious mission" to spread their genes by banging as many people as possible. (The problem with this is that the male half is almost completely exempt from this. One of them is Camp Gay, another is a cyborg with computer powers that probably can't be passed down genetically, and this just leaves the half man/half plant.) The only thing in the way of their glorious mission is the fact that a South African Neo-Nazi sends a vampire with AIDS to infect them. They also fight Snowflame, a supervillain who gets super powers from sniffing cocaine and runs a cocaine cult in Colombia. Ironically enough, he has since developed another kind of cult following.
    • There's plenty of Crypto-fascist subtext in their mission of eugenics, and they out and out call themselves "superior beings". Also, their personalities combine the campiness of Silver Age Heroes with the egotism of Nineties Anti Heroes.
    • Plus, not only is sex their mission, it seems to be all they ever think about. In an attempt at giving the comic a "mature" feel, the characters drop sex into nearly EVERY conversation. On several occasions, they'll be discussing something unrelated, and someone will say "you know that reminds me: I have sex all the time!" and no one will find that weird.
  • When not being slammed for it's blatant Creator's Pet issues and poor writing, as well as causing several lawsuits later on, Ken Penders' infamous run on Archie Comics' Sonic the Hedgehog had some patently ridiculous storylines and plot elements, with such brilliancy as Knuckles' complicated (and samey) family tree, Tails transforming into a buff giant and firing lasers, and a story where real-life children (modeled after Penders' own kin) get sucked into Mobius a la (and named after) Last Action Hero, the latter of which wound up being reviewed in the 100th episode of Atop the Fourth Wall.
  • To dust off a really old example, there's the World War II-era comic feature Stardust the Super Wizard. The title character is a textbook Invincible Hero, pulling new powers out of his ass in nearly every scene he's in, and since the villains of the strip all have no powers at all, there is literally no conflict whatsoever in the narrative. If that weren't enough, it's also a politically-minded strip, with the aforementioned villains being hilariously over-the-top liberal strawmen who scheme to sell the United States out to hostile foreign powers because that's apparently just what liberals do. And despite the fact that his foes are so much weaker than him, Stardust has no code against killing whatsoever, and indeed half the fun is seeing what ironic and inventive death he'll dish out next. The same writer also created a Distaff Counterpart, Fantomah (see above), who's just as amusingly-wretched, but who also actually has the historical significance of likely being the first superpowered female in the comic medium!
  • The various Star Trek/X-Men crossovers. Yes, there's more than one.
    • It's quite possibly the only crossover saved by a pun—namely, the confusion over "Dr. McCoy".
  • Steampunk Palin. Sarah Palin. As a cyborg. Powered by Steam. Also, Robot Obama (Robama). The Russians have taken over Alaska with the aid of Al Gore. Al Gore is apparently Cobra Commander.
  • Superman: At Earth's End is a perfect example of an attempt to make a character Darker and Edgier that fails. Completely. It combines bizarre homages to the Adam West Batman TV show (Thousand year atomic batteries? A gun on display labeled "the gun that killed my parents"?) with strange attempts to be every cliché of the The Dark Age of Comic Books (Motorcycle riding child gangs? Superman growing a ridiculously huge beard? Story taking place after not one, but two apocalypses?). And the villains: TWIN CLONES OF HITLER (made by WAYNE LABORATORIES)! Why?... It's not explained.
  • Speaking of Superman, the comic Superman's Pal Jimmy Olsen was always a goldmine of "so bad it's good." But the comic was responsible for The New Gods, so it wasn't all bad.
    • So was Superman's Girlfriend Lois Lane, except without the New Gods.
  • Superman vs. Muhammed Ali. 'Nuff said. Art's nice though.
  • According to the Invincible Super-Blog, the one glimmer of awesomeness in Tarot: Witch of the Black Rose #53 (or the entire series) is: "You have to get out of here. Your vagina is haunted."
    • Tarot #74 surpasses that a hundredfold with the secret duty of the Presidents of the United States: dressing in powered armor (shown on-page: Obama's current Iron Man suit and George Washington's wooden battle suit).
  • While he is commonly considered the best Transformers comic writer, Simon Furman is known for his purple prose and frequently-recycled dialogue ("IT NEVER ENDS!", "Never did want to live forever", "... like some vast, predatory bird!", and "... the worst case of indigestion it's ever had!" are some frequently-repeated offenders). A decent-sized chunk of the fandom and Furman himself actually embrace these flaws, as they give his work a distinctive charm.
  • Likewise, fellow Marvel book U.S.-1, a series in which a young trucker named Ulysses Solomon Archer, after surviving a crash, has most of his skull replaced by a metal alloy skull that can pick up CB-radio waves. One of his villains is a demonic trucker called the Highwayman, who tries to kill our hero. There is also a love triangle involving U.S., the blonde truck-stop waitress named "Mary McGrill," and a red-haired female trucker named Taryn, complete with catfight-worthy taunts from the girls!
  • A lot of the Silver Age, especially the comics of the "Superman inexplicably forces Jimmy Olsen to marry a gorilla" variety.
  • A tie-in for the The Avengers made for Wyndham Resort hotels features the Avengers fighting Ultron, then splitting up to go on vacation. The writing is lackluster and cliché, reading like a bad '60s comic book but with modern artwork. This makes it unbelievably funny. Also worth mentioning is Tony, in Iron Man armor, eating at a buffet and what can only be called Bored Hulk.
  • Promotional comics, when done right but still featuring obvious product placement, are like this in general.
    • The Marvel/Office Max/Teacher Appreciation one where Dr. Doom is defeated thanks to the power of a rubber band ball is a spectacular example. Read about it here.
    • NASA's Aero and Space comic is exactly what you would expect a comic book produced by NASA to be. Long, kinda-boring scenes about administration and getting funding for stuff... and then supercool action. The villain gets some pretty stupid lines, but c'mon, superheroes in battlesuits jumping out of an SR-71 and then launching into orbit!
  • Though Mark Millar's The Ultimates and its first sequel are generally seen as good (if somewhat poorly-aging), his eventual followup Ultimate Comics: Avengers falls pretty squarely into this. The heroes, meant to be a skilled covert team, are completely incompetent and utterly amoral, the dialogue is often bizarrely laughable, Darker and Edgier runs amock, and the tone shoots wildly back and forth between po-faced plotting and high-concept insanity, including such things as power-armored vampires, a black genius Hulk drug dealer, Nick Fury cheating on his wife with every woman in her phonebook, and Tony Stark's secret twin brother who's better in every way. A fair number of readers have pondered if it was a Stealth Parody, perhaps best described by a quote by Hawkeye after watching the team level multiple city blocks in broad daylight.
    "My god. We're supposed to be black ops."


Example of: