Comic Vine News


Most Disappointing Story Lines: DC Comics

Not every comic story line can be pure gold. In fact, there are some story lines that are just down right stinkers.

We all have our favorite on going series, and there's nothing better than curling up on the couch with your favorite book and reading an amazing adventure featuring characters you love. That being said, there's nothing worse than curling up on that same couch and reading your favorite comic which happens to have a horrible, HORRIBLE storyline. It happens to all of us. It can be a new creative team, an editor's decision, a cross-over event invading your book, or the writer could be on their way out of the book and just phones it in. We all deal with the occasion bad storyline.


What are some of my least favorite storylines from any comic series? Well, if you go back through any long running comic book series, you're bound to find a stinker in there now and then, and I found quite a few. I set some ground rules for picking out my least favorite. The book has to be post-One Year Later, it has to be from a series I was reading and truly enjoying, and it has to be from a series that hit at least 50 issues. It didn't take me long to narrow it down to three storylines I hated.

Superman: Grounded

What Was Going on Before this Storyline?


For the first time, in a long time, I was really enjoying SUPERMAN. New Krypton appeared on the other side of the sun, and Superman was off planet. New Krypton was a pretty cool and grand idea, so what was happening in SUPERMAN? Mon-El was released from the Phantom Zone, and he became the protector Metropolis. It was a really cool storyline and a nice way to finish off the New Krypton epic. It was nice to see another character take the reigns of SUPERMAN. However, after the destruction of New Krypton, Superman comes back... Cue the next storyline: Grounded.

What Was Grounded?

Superman goes for a walk. During this walk, he helps out random people, but that's pretty much all that happens. Superman has gone through a lot, in the past few years, and it all comes crashing down on him to a point where he decides he just needs to go for a walk: no flying, no super-speed, just walking.

Why Was it so Disappointing?

He's just walking. It's like someone watched the scene in Forrest Gump where he just "feels like runnin'," and they made into a whole storyline, which never really finished. Superman has a ridiculous amount of powers and some really cool villains, but we got none of that. The whole idea of Superman reconnecting with the common man, in theory, is a decent idea, but it really didn't work on paper. Simply put, the story was boring.

Worst Moment:

That overwhelming feeling like I'm watching an after-school special in comic book form.

This was the first time I read a book where I want to preform the title of the story line on a creative team... I wanted to ground them... to their room... without supper.

Nightwing: One Year Later

What Was Going on Before this Storyline?


Prior to One Year Later, Nightwing began working with Ravager under the name "Renegade," in a red costume, much like his costume in the New 52. Dick Grayson is forced into this predicament by Deathstroke and has to walk the thing line between hero and villain. Dick's job is to train Ravager and teach her everything he knows, since Deathstroke considers Nightwing to be a formidable villain. Although it's not a breakthrough storyline, it's one of my favorite from this Nightwing volume, which was incredibly enjoyable during it's run, prior to One Year Later.

What Was One Year Later?

It started off with a bang as two Nightwings invade New York City, and one of them happened to be Jason Todd masquerading as Bludhaven's hero. The only difference between the two is that Jason Todd is fine with killing those who break the law, something Nightwing would never do. They both end up investigating the same crime, only to find out the culprits can transform into monsters.

Why Was it so Disappointing?

There was a third, female Nightwing, for starters, and the weird monsters that can encase you in green goo which can turn into a solid addition to the story was not helping. They also changed Jason Todd (a character who writers constantly change around, and by change I mean "screw with") by saying that he, too, can change into one of these goo-spitting monster. For me, this is the most memorable case of good ideas (Jason Todd and Dick Grayson fighting to be Nightwing) gone horribly, horribly wrong.

Worst Moment?

When Jason Todd turns into the giant goo monster and eats a guy... only to vomit him up right afterwords. Seeing is believing...


Some things you just can't unsee...

Aquaman: Sword of Atlantis

What Was Going on Before this Storyline?


Prior to this bizarre, almost reboot of Aquaman, San Diego had fallen into the sea and become "Sub-Diego." Anton Geist gave its inhabitants the ability to breathe underwater, and Aquaman, with his water-hand, because the city's savior. It was, up until the New 52 reboot, my favorite Aquaman story of all time, until One Year Later, when Aquaman was, well... not himself.

What Was Sword of Atlantis?

AQUAMAN: SWORD OF ATLANTIS was the vision of Kurt Busiek and then, in issue 50, fantasy writer Tad Williams. Arthur Joseph Curry becomes Aquaman. No, it's not THAT Arthur Curry. Basically, it's Aquaman with a sword who has a squid-like friend who calls himself Dweller of the Depths. Later on, Dweller dies, and it is revealed to the reader that Dweller was the true Aquaman who got changed into that weird sea creature during the missing year in DC.

Why Was it so Disappointing?

Other than the fact they turned the original Aquaman into a squid, then killed him, Sword of Atlantis was incredibly dull and lifeless. It took a book that was a ton of fun, and tried to add a fantasy element to it. I jokingly called it a poor man's Conan, but drowning. Giving an underwater super-hero a sword and song hair just doesn't work. Aquaman tried that a few years prior except replace the sword with a hook. And once again, they killed off the original Aquaman...

Worst Moment:

Have I mentioned they made Aquaman a squid, then killed him off?


Even seeing this now angers me... And it's not just because the dialogue is awful.

There you have it. Some of the most diappointing, post One Year Later story lines from some of my favorite books over the years. From Superman taking a walk, to Jason Todd puking up people, to Aquaman dying as he lived: an old squid-man. These are just a few of my least favorite DC story lines. What do you guys think? Are their any story lines from DC that you think are terribly disappointing?

Mat "Inferiorego" Elfring is a writer, comedian, and a whole bunch of other things. Check out his twitter page where he yells about comics and yells about football.