This has been a good year for mainstream comic books. All-New, All-Different Marvel has brought about unique powerhouse comics based on great characters, some of which are new and haven’t had their own book before and others that haven’t had their own comic in ages. DC’s Rebirth has brought the company back to its basics, providing comics that are better than anything the publisher has put out in years.
That being said, when the comics have been bad, they’ve been really bad. They have made amateur mistakes that are frankly baffling from a reader standpoint. The degree to which these comics have been poorly made is astonishing. We are going to talk about those comics now…with the WORST 5 COMICS OF 2016.
- Nova #1
Sometimes, badness can come from sources outside the comic itself, and, when you are bringing back a fan-favorite that has been gone for over five years, you’d best put out something to wow the readers who have been waiting for this character’s return. Richard Rider was killed at the height of his popularity, and, while there is an argument that bringing him back at all cheapens the story (we’ll talk about that in an upcoming editorial), his return was highly anticipated by many people when Marvel announced that it definitely would happen, myself included.
But what we got was…this. An oddly understated story which focused more on an unlikable depiction of a different Nova using humor so juvenile that people in Sam Alexander’s age group would be too old for it. The art was underwhelming punctuated by a baffling Skottie Young-esque dream sequence that added nothing and only seemed to serve to pad out the comic. The issue was far more content in trying to be intentionally perplexing than actually telling a story.
Visually unappealing and stalling out narratively, this is not the first note on which you should start the saga of a fan-favorite’s return that has been five years in the making.
- Blue Beetle #1
Speaking of character’s returns, Ted Kord has been away even longer than Richard Rider, and Jaime Reyes has been MIA for some time too. DC’s tactic seems to be to convince us that we should never have liked these characters by making them petty and obnoxious.
The vicious snipes and bickering just never stops in this comic. Everyone seems to hate each other, and it grates on the nerves. You just want to strangle everyone who shows up in a panel in this comic. They’re all so damn annoying.
That’s without going in that it’s only the second issue in this series (the first of which being the Rebirth issue), and the story is already going nowhere. This comic only consists of Jaime Reyes being hit on by an unhinged villainess because…haha bitches be crazy? Seriously, that is what you want your plot to be about?
This comic could have easily been the number one worst in a different year. The characters are awful and the story is vapid. Lucky for it, there were some truly putrid offerings put out in 2016.
- All-New, All-Different Avengers Annual #1
Remember when Annual issues were epic adventures pushing the title character to the absolute limit of their physical and mental capabilities? Well here is a comic about Ms. Marvel, the Ultimate Spider-Man, and Phil Coulson reading fan fiction on the internet. For Jack Kirby’s sake…
I genuinely loved the All-New, All-Different Avengers, and their comic was pretty high-quality with the exception of this one issue. Most of the short stories in this comic were just plain idiotic, but, when they did try to make a point, the issue fumbles the ball which explodes into garbage upon impact with the ground (tortured metaphor). This is regardless of whether or not the point they were trying to make was actually a good one, and some of them were good points. The Captain Mar-vell making his return and being a sexist pig to Kamala Khan could have been an entertaining parody of the inherent misogyny in internet culture. You know, if the writing wasn’t too over-the-top in driving the point home. Maybe using a genuinely likable character who showed no signs of sexism and has been dead for 30 years might not have been the best choice either.
I remember being a little kinder to this comic when I first reviewed it, but, as time wore one, I realized how truly insulting and imbecilic this comic was. All this, and it was also five-dollars.
- Doom Patrol #1
Alright, I gave this comic its deserved lashing when I first reviewed it, and I don’t plan on rehashing every detail of where it went wrong again. Pretentious, too pleased with itself, time-wasting, and promising characters that haven’t been around in some time only to focus on completely different individuals, Doom Patrol was an actively angering reading experience. It tried to be cute, and the only thing it accomplished was making me hate a comic about the Doom Patrol. The art was, admittedly, pretty good. However, that is still akin to putting lipstick on Mojo, and the resulting comic was just…awful.
This was a comic made for reviewers who want to appear tuned into the cultural zeitgeist to gush all over. By all accounts, that was a success. However, that shit doesn’t fly with me. Sure, be unique and alternative, but tell a good story and make a point while doing so. Doom Patrol just felt vapid, and it went nowhere remarkably fast.
#1. Civil War II: Kingpin #1
I honestly expected Doom Patrol #1 to be at the top of this list. Then I remembered Civil War II: Kingpin #1. Then I became simultaneously angry and sad, because I remembered Civil War II: Kingpin #1. I had a cry and a shower after that to try remove the filth of Civil War II: Kingpin #1 from my mind, body, and soul once again.
Just…what the hell was this? What the hell was this? Awful art, confusing storytelling, no interesting character interactions, and banking on making its protagonist likable by making the heroes look like gestapo douchebags, this comic came and went like a garbage dump inferno that spreads throughout the entire town.
It does everything wrong. The story makes time jumps without signaling to the readers that it’s doing so resulting in a confusing reading experience. It takes Wilson Fisk, one of the most interesting villains of Marvel Comics, and turns him into the shallowest representation of a mobster with nothing going on beyond “he’s the bad guy.” Instead of Kingpin finding an interesting and creative way to avoid Ulysses’ prophetic capabilities, the comic takes the easy way out by having Fisk find an Inhuman whose power is to specifically blot out Ulysses’ powers for everyone in the general vicinity.
This screws up at every turn. Doom Patrol at least had ambition, even if it was a bit diseased. This comic wants and accomplishes nothing.
And that’s it. Now that we’ve gotten the bile out of our system, check back in Friday for the Best 5 Comics of 2016. There, things will be a bit kinder and more uplifting. Also, check out my full reviews for these comics below if you want.
As always, keep reading comics!