Comics have their established and normal continuity, but that's not enough for many writers. So, "multiverses" for every superhero universe were created. This resulted in writers being able to create all kinds of cool stuff. These were not cool.
Even though, I'm more of an American comics kinda guy, there are some manga that I genuinely enjoy like Astro Boy, Pluto, and a few others. But one thing that annoys the hell outta me is when white people draw in the anime style and it's advertised as manga. It's not, it can't be unless it's Japanese. That's just common sense.
Anyway, for some reason the trend of making "AmeriManga" was quite popular in the early 2000's, and Marvel decided to jump on the bandwagon with Marvel MangaVerse:
Let's just put it this way: Spider-Man is a ninja, the X Men are wizards, the Fantastic 4 don't have powers, the Avengers are the power rangers, Hulk is Godzilla, Punisher is a dominatrix, half the characters die per issue, and Iron Man is a girl.
Why?! Why make every character look like the artist has seen one picture of a manga character in his life?! Why have random characters fall in love randomly? WHY EVEN MAKE THIS!?!? Marvel MangaVerse made me drop the company altogether for YEARS. I still haven't completely forgiven them (though Iron Man 2 did help).
If there's one thing you should know about comics, it's that the 90's were the Dark Ages. Not only because most of the comics published in the decade sucked, but because 99% of them tried to be "dark" and "edgy," resulting in horrific images such as the following:
That's the work of the infamous Robert Liefeld, creator of Deadpool (only his look, nothing else), and Cable (again, only his look) among others. One day, Rob and some other people who considered human anatomy a myth decided do "rework" Marvel heroes, presumably to make them more "extreme."
And lo, Heroes Reborn was, well, born:
The point being, the stories, art, and sense of human beings in the comics industry during heroes reborn just plummeted down to neanderthal levels. I don't even wanna talk about this anymore, next topic.
Frank Miller created Sin City and 300, revolutionized DareDevil, and brought us the Spirit movie. Yay. What I'm trying to say here is that for whatever reason, Frank's mind has been falling into madness for some time now. But before that happened, Miller created The Dark Knight Returns:
This comic is not only the best Batman story of the 80's, but it's one of the best ever. It just rocks. In 2003, Frank Miller excited the world with a sequel: The Dark Knight Strikes Again.
What came out of this was a collection of a story that made NO sense, art that looked like Miller was drawing with his ass, and a feeling of pure nausea. It was definitely a sign of things to come:
The All Star universe was created so that writers could write stories with DC characters that changed some important part of their history. For example, in the brilliant All Star Superman, Superman finds himself with one year to live.
But before All Star Superman, the All Star imprint released it's first title: All Star Batman and Robin.
This series, while beautifully drawn by Jim Lee, was written by, who else, Frank Miller. And while the book has an incredible amount of stupid events, it's most famous for this:
Yes, BATMAN just said that. Batman, who has gone out of his way to save a CAT in other work, and values the lives of others beyond all things. THAT Batman. All Star Batman and Robin also proved that Frank Miller can't write female characters who are NOT whores since Sin City.
Overall, this title is just a stain on the name of Batman, and of comics as a whole.
Once upon a time, Jack Kirby, co creator of Captain America, the Fantastic Four, the Hulk, and many others created:
Kamandi was a tale similar to Planet of the Apes, where humans were hunted and enslaved by anthropomorphic animals in a post-apocalyptic world. But for Tom Veitch, that just wasn't enough.
"You know what would be great? If we took the creation of a deceased and beloved artist and gave him a leather jacket and huge guns!"
For some reason only explainable by the theory that they were on meth, the DC editorial department decided to let Tom Veitch do a sequel:
Where do I start....?
First of all, Superman is apparently now SuperSanta with a Superman shirt. Second of all, Superman uses a gun. A gatling gun. Called the expunger. That he found in the BatCave.
Third of all, he gets people to agree with him by doing this:
Now do you agree that Empire Strikes Back is the best Star Wars movie?!
Finally, the whole point of this comic is that Superman wants to prevent the creation of an army of evil Batman clones created by twin clones of Hitler. Sigh. How do mess up Superman fighting clones of Hitler in the future?? I don't know, and I don't care, because Superman: At Earth's End is the last place I wanna think about.