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They Changed It Now It Sucks / Comic Books

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Note: This article lists examples which take place within fandoms, mostly involving over-reaction about minor changes. It's not about the opinion of TV Tropes as to whether a change is for the worse. TVTropes doesn't have opinions.

  • The New 52 relaunch got "They changed it now it sucks" backlash before release.
    • As noted by coverage at the San Diego Comic Con, this was mostly due to bad advertising where the main blurbs are "see, we're going back to how it used to be" (aggravating contemporary fans, who weren't reading when it was how it used to be) and not giving out details people actually wanted that weren't very spoiler-oriented (Was Tim Drake still Robin in his past? What happens to Stephanie Brown? Did you really just say Ma and Pa Kent are both dead? Does Wally West exist at all? Why does this feel all Elseworlds-ish?? Etc.)
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    • Changes to Batgirl get a lot of this. Barbara Gordon being miraculously uncrippled and deaged while wiping the other Batgirls from history was this. Of course her being crippled in the first place got much the same reaction years prior.
    • There was some controversy surrounding the decision to retcon Cyborg into being a founding member of the Justice League, with some fans angered by what they saw as mucking around with two teams' history for the sake of diversity in the League.
    • A small change, but getting rid of Mister Terrific's "Fair Play" jacket was universally despised for getting rid of something that made Mister Terrific unique.
    • The alterations to Tim Drake are heavily criticized by fans. Pre-boot, he was an intelligent, nice guy Audience Surrogate who figured out Batman's identity at an early age and became Robin to save Bruce from himself in the wake of Jason's death. The new Tim is an arrogant, friendless gymnast who became Batman's sidekick because he wanted a challenge and endangered his family in his failed attempt to prove himself without ever having figured out Batman's identity.
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  • Supergirl: Back in 2009 DC took steps to correct several issues which had plagued her Post-Crisis title, such like excessive, disturbing fanservice. Artist Jamal Igle started to drawing bike shorts under Supergirl's skirt, which led to fans complaining loudly, to the point that Newsrama and other comic sites echoed the "controversy".
  • Wonder Woman's New 52 revamp initially to be got this reaction, the general consensus being that the coolest thing about it would be watching the fan's reactions. The first two issues were met with massive acclaim and were extremely strong sellers though. It's been said that it successfully got readers not normally interested in Wonder Woman to check it out. One change in particular that upset many fans was the fact that Diana is apparently Zeus's daughter when before it was key that she had no father and Zeus had no part in her creation. It doesn't help that her mother is Ares' daughter meaning Zeus is now Diana's great-grandfather and her dad.
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  • The announcement of slimming up the full-figured Amanda Waller resulted in a lot of fans crying foul as they consider her figure to be an integral part of her charm ("Her nickname's 'The Wall'. That's not a wall, that's a fencepost."). Like other characters post-New 52, Waller also found herself significantly de-aged, which also earned criticisms as the original Amanda Waller was a middle-aged widow with grown children.
  • James Robinson's run on Justice League of America got this reaction, mainly because of his decision to focus on seven second-stringers: Batman (Dick Grayson), Wonder Girl Donna Troy, Jesse Quick, Jade, Supergirl, Starman, and Congorilla, rather than on the "real" Justice League (defined by those who complain as either all A-Listers or as whichever team they grew up reading about). Robinson himself is aware of it, and has made it known that he considers this league as "real" as any other, yet this did little to stop the sheer amount of complaining on DC's official boards.
  • Some fans of the Ultimate Marvel line of comics are pretty clear about their opinion of the Ultimate Comics line: because it takes place after Ultimatum and as a result of it, all the stories in it are complete garbage and the people who likes it are bribed/tasteless/morons.
    • Averted however, with Ultimate Reed Richards' Face–Heel Turn and reemergence as supervillain "The Maker". The Ultimate Comics storyline depicting this was met with praise from critics and fans alike, and The Maker is widely considered to be one of the best things to come out of the Ultimate Universe.
    • Also averted with Ultimate Spider-Man, which remained popular and well received, even after Peter Parker was killed and Miles Morales became the new Spider-Man. Like the Maker, he's considered one of the best things to come out of the Ultimate Universe, to the point that he was officially brought into the main Marvel Universe after the Ultimate Universe was destroyed. He's made appearances in cartoons and other merchandise, and even has his own movie. Breakout Character doesn't even begin to describe it.
  • The initial reaction to Brian Michael Bendis' controversial revamp of the The Avengers franchise, where he killed off longtime members Hawkeye, Ant-Man, and The Vision, and had Scarlet Witch go insane. The subsequent decision to add characters like Spider-Man, Wolverine, Echo, Spider-Woman, Jessica Jones, Luke Cage and Iron Fist to the team was also controversial amongst many old-school purists. However, Bendis' revamp of the franchise proved massively successful, at least from a financial standpoint.
    • To put it into perspective, before Bendis took over, the Avengers were barely selling well enough to maintain one title. By the time his run ended, the franchise was popular enough to support no less than three different titles (Avengers, New Avengers, and Secret Avengers).
  • While Brazilian comic Monica's Gang is frequently accused of making unnecessary changes as any other long-running comic, complete with a Spinoff Teenagers manga, there was once a good in-universe example: Penadinho (in English, Bug-a-Boo) stars various stock monsters. One comic had the title character, a Bedsheet Ghost, coming by his Frankenstein's Monster friend, Frank, who is lamenting how the creature of Mary Shelley's Frankenstein looked. Then Frank reminds Bug-a-Boo of Ghost. Later two other characters, a vampire and a werewolf, complain about Wolf.
  • A general strong reaction by readers of American Flagg! after Howard Chaykin left the book. Neither Steven Grant nor J.M. DeMatteis could meet fan expectations for the title, and even an (admittedly gonzo) storyline written by Alan Moore was poorly received.
  • One More Day: A very large proportion of the Spider-Man fandom declared the storyline as its collective Berserk Button, after Joe Quesada considered dealing with Marvel's answer to Satan (who has since tacitly confirmed that he is Satan) a more realistic way to break up the much loved Spider Marriage than oh, divorce, or something like that. Due to this, the large amount of Executive Meddling and the Mary Sue new love interest for Peter in the form of Carlie Cooper, it went down like a lead balloon.
  • Dan Slott's M.O. is making dramatic changes to Spider-Man, which usually goes over poorly with longtime readers.
    • The ending to Amazing Spider-Man #700, which has Peter Parker dying in Dr. Octopus' body and Dr. Octopus taking over as the new Superior Spider-Man in Peter's body , was met with this reaction after it was leaked two weeks before the issue hit the stands. Many who were interested in it before either decided to abandon it or tried to send death threats to Dan Slott. Numbers dropped even further with the apparent end of the Hope Spot in Superior Spider-Man #9, criticisms including the plot mandated Idiot Ball handling of the Avengers and X-Men, and not noticing a full blown psychic possession in a universe chock full of powerful telepaths.
    • The Spider-verse event went over poorly with a lot of readers due to the long-lasting effects it had on several universes, specifically characters getting killed off.
    • Slott's decision to make Peter the CEO of a successful company where he gets to actually use his scientific know-how is disliked by those who think Peter should be broke and desperate, or at least not as well off as he is in this story. Likewise, having Peter travel the world with "his bodyguard" Spider-Man is a hated move amongst fans who feel that Spidey should stick to New York. The fact that Peter left New York in the hands of the new Spider-Man, Miles Morales, rarely gets acknowledged by those complaining. It mainly comes down to those who feel Peter Parker, the guy who pioneered the relatable superhero, is now incredibly unrelatable and is an Expy of Iron Man.
    • It doesn't help that Slott is one of the champions of "One More Day", and one of the main points of supporters for "One More Day" is that is made Peter relatable again.
  • The main issue with Malibu's attempt at a Street Fighter comic. They took so many liberties with the franchise's canon (including killing Ken - who, keep in mind, is one of the main characters of the franchise - in the second issue) that Capcom literally stepped in and asked them to stop publishing it.
  • A lot of what was changed in Max Ride: First Flight caused uproar among the Maximum Ride fandom, including the flocks' wings being mechanical. One of the major ones was Max being given red hair, when in the novels, her hatred for redheads is made VERY clear.
  • The Stinger of the first issue of Captain America: Steve Rogers is that not only is Steve now a member of HYDRA, but has been so since the beginning. Fans have taken this as a slap in the face and have taken to Twitter and Tumblr to express their dislike and some have vowed to boycott the series or Marvel in general until this is retconned. Some fans believe it's a cheap comic gimmick to be retconned after all the hate, while others see it as a disgrace to the original works of Jack Kirby and Joe Simon and to Veterans and America as a whole.
  • Spider-Man supporting character, Black Cat, has a few changes that were reacted to negatively by many fans:
    • During the events of Superior Spider-Man Felicia was attacked by Spider-Ock, and she wound up swearing to get revenge. After Peter's return she became an outright Ax-Crazy psycho who wants to destroy everything about him and doesn't care that he was under someone else's control, attempting to harm anyone and everything else in the process and even joining forces with several past Spider-Man villains to do so, even several that she used to be enemies with. Fans of Felicia in her Anti-Hero days have not been happy. The not so subtle implication that this was all done primarily to further solidify Silk as Peter's love interest didn't help.
    • The revelation on the post-Secret Wars (2015) that she somehow managed to convince Silk to be part of her criminal enterprise and she absolutely loathes the latter trying to be the Token Good Teammate (and all of her appearances before that having her being a sociopathic harridan that sees killing Silk's only means to find her parents as "a favor" and seriously wants to recruit people by convincing them that No Good Deed Goes Unpunished and Evil Pays Betternote ).... yeah, people are hating the new her very much.
    • Kevin Smith retconning Rape as Backstory for Black Cat's origin was received negatively by many fans, who saw it as the unnecessary darkening of what'd been a rather light-hearted character.
  • The Disney Ducks Comic Universe has several cases of Characterization Marches On where fans preferred the original version of a character and disliked the changes:
    • Recurring villain Flintheart Glomgold is generally used as Scrooge McDuck's Evil Twin — as rich and tricky as him, but with none of his redeeming qualities such as work ethics or a genuine love for his family. However, his first two appearances under the pen of Carl Barksnote  were very different: he was not an Evil Twin but a complete twin, whose fights with Scrooge were all the wackier because Scrooge was basically being pitted against himself. A small but significant portion of the fan base resents that other authors changed Barks' "richer" original vision.
    • Another, even more widely accepted change with Glomgold is his nationality. He was originally South African. However, foreign comics (and DuckTales) had him living in Duckburg and never refer to his origins (or, when he did, he was said to be Scottish like Scrooge). The one thing Barks used consistently whenever he used Glomgold was the fact that the character was South African. A few Ascended Fanboys, such as Don Rosa, have since restored him to his original roots from the 1990's onwards.
    • Paperinik (who became Phantom Duck or the Duck Avenger in the USA, depending on the translations), Donald Duck's secret superheroic identity, was originally a self-righteous vigilante who mainly used his secret identity to punish Scrooge or Gladstone for what they put the normal Donald through. Due to Moral Guardians intervening, Paperinik quickly became a crime-figthing hero, but many an Italian fan thinks back with foodness to the first "evil" Paperinik storyline.
    • Eega Beeva was initially a time-travelling Earth man from the year 3000. When editors decided it just wasn't plausible that humanity would evolve that much in only one thousand years, he was retconned to simply be an alien. Like Glomgold, from the 90's onwards, new authors who had grown up with the original time-travelling version changed it again and emphasized he was a time-traveller. The authors who preferred him as an alien now say he is an alien from the future.
  • With departure of the scenarist, Mélusine changed the format of the series from 1-2 pages gag to album-length stories with story arcs. Made worse that fan favorite Cancrelune is dead. Giving that she was one of the main character for nearly 20 years, it signals that the series has changed forever. Fans were not pleased judging from the scores and comments on Amazon.
  • Brian Michael Bendis' Superman was met with intense backlash when he revealed that he'd be aging Jon up to 17. Not only did it skip over interesting Character Development for DC's newest and most popular Kid-Appeal Character, it aged him ahead of his best friend Damian, and the circumstances for it are incredibly contrived (it involves Jon trusting his grandfather Jor-El, who had tried to plunge all of Earth into chaos a scant few months ago). Worse still, the notion of having a teenage Superboy again is entirely redundant, as Bendis brought back Conner Kent in Young Justice, which Bendis is also penning.


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