Comic book characters get stale after a while. It's true, it happens. Peter Parker can't be an awkward high school student forever, right? We get that. We understand that, occasionally, the powers that be need to shake things up a little bit and change some stuff around to keep their characters fresh. Sometimes, like with the new gun-toting Captain America reboot, it's fucking awesome.
But other times, it's... well, this list.
5Wonder Dog Goes on a Rampage (Teen Titans )
Equal parts Astro and Scooby Doo, Wonder Dog is the loyal, harmless sidekick to the Super Friends circa 1970.
"Let's slide Wonder Dog into a modern setting in Teen Titans. But let's make him edgy and tough, for teenagers! Scooby Doo is for babies!"
In case you're not immediately familiar with 1970s superheroes, we'll give you a crash course. The Super Friends were a conglomeration of superheroes and Wonder Dog was a dog. The poor man's Wonder Twins to Wonder Dog's poor man's Gleek came in the form of two kids named Marvin and Wendy, whose super powers included "taking care of Wonder Dog" and "not having any superpowers."
If the dog you're "taking care of" has superpowers, your only responsibility is cleaning up his shit.
Recently, the writers of Teen Titans decided to reintroduce Marvin and Wendy as the caretakers of the Titan's secret hideout: a giant building shaped like a T, (for "Titan." Or "Teen." Or "ReTarded."). Because no one wants to watch two irritating, non-fucking teenagers in a cartoon about superheroes, Wonder Dog was re-introduced as Marvin and Wendy's adorable pet.
Little known fact: "Muh muh" is the only sound one can make when faced with pants-shitting terror.
Now, if you compare this photo to the one above, clearly there are a few differences right off the bat. First, you can tell that Wendy's doing her nails differently, and that Marvin got rid of that awful haircut. Also, Wonder Dog turned into the Hound of the Fucking Baskervilles and ripped out Marvin's sternum, murdering him in the process. Apparently in this version, Wonder Dog was invented by an evil mastermind to use his adorable lovability to win his way into the hearts of the Teen Titans immediately before tearing them out.
This character reboot is a rare case that seems like it was brought on for absolutely no one. Who would want this? Nostalgia-loving fans of the original dog will be heartbroken to see a piece of their childhood distorted so profoundly, and the kids who actually read Teen Titans will be traumatized beyond pissing their pants. They'll have transcended straight on through to a new level of fear wherein they piss their own souls.
Why would anyone want that?
4Santaman! (Superman: At Earths End)
Superman, arguably the most famous comic book character of all time, is an orphaned alien who stands for Truth, Justice and the American Way. He embodies an ideal man in his morals, dependability and convictions--the kind of person every American should strive to be like.
"It's the 90s and Superman's morals, dependability and convictions are starting to look dated. Let's sacrifice all of that for a badass and tough Superman that doesn't take any shit!"
The Bonus Plan:
"Also, let's give him a crazy beard so he looks like Santa!"
Oh, gosh, where to begin? Probably with the general creation of this story. As stated, it was the 90s when this comic was written. Alan Moore and Frank Miller's darker, grittier comics were already huge in America. Everyone was more inclined to damn The Man and less inclined to salute him, and so Superman's principles of justice and truth and whatnot were looking more and more old fashioned every day. Instead of stepping up to defend, you know, the law, the creators decided to toughen/crazy Superman up by moving him into the future. In a post-apocalyptic Gotham, where children are hunted by robots, Superman shows up angry and beardy and ready to fight. The robots were created by "The DNA Diktators," designed to wipe out the human race so we can start over. These Diktators have also taken to cloning the late Batman's DNA so, in addition to child-murdering robots, there are a bunch of evil Batman-clones flying around, and none of this is sitting too well with the newly re-vamped version of homeless Superman.
"A Superman," we wish he'd said.
So, Superman heads underground to track down the DNA Diktators and stop them, as the Man of Steel is wont to do. Spoiler alert: The DNA Diktators are twin clones of Hitler.
Not only did this comic decide to clone Hitler (twice), but they also decided to retcon American History by saying that these clones had been alive for hundreds of years and, as a result, WWII never officially ended.
It's actually sort of a powerful moment. Superman has a fairly strict no-killing policy, as that would interfere with his ironclad moral code, it's sort of what makes him who he is. On the other hand, it is the future and he's faced with two clones of arguably the most evil man on the planet, and also he has a beard. This is, we can say, the toughest and beardiest test of Superman's willpower. Will he stick to his code and turn the Hitlers over to the authorities to make sure that justice is done?
No. He finds the biggest most impractical gun in the world and shoots the piss out of them. Like, right out of them. And the shit frosting that tops off this abortion cake? He celebrates his victory against the Hitlers by retrieving Batman's corpse...
...and cremating himself.
Yep. No more Truth, Justice and the American way. The creators felt that Superman's moral, by-the-books boyscout routine was getting a little hokey, so they went ahead and violated everything that Superman stood for by having him grow a wicked beard, go shithouse-crazy on a couple of Hitlers and burn himself alive, and it was still one of the worst comics of all time.