Superheroes often invite a suspension of disbelief. It’s how everyone pretends they can’t figure out Clark Kent is Superman, among other superhero-related tropes. However, just because some ideas within the superhero genre are weird doesn’t mean they can’t work within the context of their universe.
Sometimes, however, creators get so caught up in the fun of superhero comics that their stories develop obvious flaws. That doesn’t stop them from being good, or even iconic, but it does mean certain elements can become confusing or difficult to believe. While many DC comics stand the test of time, fans sometimes need to overlook certain elements to make the story work.
10 Identity Crisis Contained An Illogical Mystery
Although beloved by some, it’s hard to say Identity Crisis isn’t a flawed comic book. Destroying the purity of the Silver Age for the sake of adding some edge to the DC Universe was bad enough. However, the entire mystery proved to be a mess from the beginning.
Somehow, Jean Loring was skilled enough to commit a crime that went unnoticed by Justice League and New God technology. It should’ve taken them two issues to figure out and capture her, yet Jean was able to sneak around without being caught until she’d taken out several more victims.
9 Justice League: Origin Depicted The Justice League Defeating Darkseid
The Justice League are some of the most powerful superheroes who have ever lived. However, even they have learning curves to overcome. That’s why their first enemies were villains like Starro the Conqueror and the Appellaxians. For whatever reason, the New 52 decided to change the Justice League’s origin.
In that storyline, the Justice League’s first mission was battling Darkseid and the forces of Apokolips. That’s a threat that should’ve been too much for an inexperienced team, but DC doubtlessly chose Darkseid because he’s a more recognizable villain. In the end, the story made Darkseid look weak, while the Justice League got away with a lucky victory.
8 Whatever Happened To the Man Of Tomorrow Has Superman Surrender His Powers
Whatever Happened To The Man Of Tomorrow is meant to be the last story of Silver Age Superman. Within the story, Superman is forced to battle against all of his most deadly opponents, who chose to strike at him simultaneously. In the end, Superman learns the entire scheme comes from Mr. Mxyzptlk, and their battle results in Mxyzptlk’s death.
Unable to deal with having taken a life, Superman exposes himself to Gold Kryptonite and fakes his death. This turn of events works as a “goodbye,” but makes no sense in-storyline. Millions of people relied on Superman to protect him. Clark getting rid of his powers because he had a guilty conscience almost feels selfish, considering his attempts to feel better deprive innocents of the protection they rely on.
7 JLA: Tower of Babel Resulted In No Consequences For Batman
“Tower of Babel” is one of the most beloved JLA stories… at least, by Batman fans. The series portrays Batman villain Ra’s al Ghul taking down the Justice League using plans Batman himself created and stored in the Batcave. The Cave is one of the most protected secret bases in the DC Universe, making it unbelievable that Ra’s Al Ghul and the League could simply sneak inside.
Even worse is the idea that any of the Justice League members would ever trust Batman again. Making things more bizarre, they simply invited Batman to rejoin the team not long afterwards. Batman suffers basically no consequences outside of a temporary break from the JLA.
6 Death And Rebirth Of Superman Raises Serious Questions About Kryptonian Physiology
While some fans may criticize Superman’s battle against Doomsday, the comic itself wasn’t bad. The story of Doomsday coming to Earth, carving a swath of destruction across the country and completely trashing the Justice League is a great blockbuster event comic. Having Superman stop Doomsday, even if it means his own life, feels perfectly in line with Superman’s beliefs.
The real issue is the Return of Superman. In that part of the storyline, fans learn Superman was never dead in the first place. He was just “recovering” from his loss. Not only does this cheapen the original storyline, but it suggests that no one was able to tell that Superman had never died to begin with.
5 Countdown to Infinite Crisis Revealed The Wrong Character As The Major Villain
Countdown to Infinite Crisis is a well-told story. It sets up the events of Infinite Crisis well, with Blue Beetle diving into a conspiracy that will eventually cost him his life. There’s just one problem: revealing Maxwell Lord as the main villain makes no sense. Throughout the Justice League International days, the League would’ve had multiple opportunities to see what sort of person Max really was.
On none of those occasions did Maxwell Lord out himself as a monster. This lines up with the rumor that the person behind the Checkmate oversight organization was originally meant to be former Teen Titans benefactor Loren Jupiter. While it wouldn’t have had the same punch, at least the story would’ve made more sense.
4 JLA: New World Order Involves Batman Taking Down An Entire Superteam
For fans wondering where Batman’s “Batgod” reputation came from, they need look no further than JLA: New World Order. In this storyline, the Justice League deals with a super-group known as the Hyperclan. They seem like great heroes at first until the truth comes out: they’re planning to dominate Earth.
Batman also “discovers” they’re White Martians, which is something Superman should’ve been able to figure out in time for it to help the team. Worse, the fact the White Martians didn’t use their superior strength and speed to take Batman out makes them look like some of the worst villains ever.
3 A Death In The Family Broke The Batman Mythology
There are few stories in DC history as important as A Death in the Family. The storyline features Jason Todd being betrayed by his mom and captured by the Joker, but there’s one major problem with it. The story breaks the Batman mythology., making it obvious that Batman never should’ve been working with a Robin to begin with.
This brutal reality also makes A Lonely Place Of Dying even more ridiculous, since Batman should’ve never recruited another Robin. Worse, it made it impossible to look at Batman the same after he let the Joker live. Lastly, A Death in the Family was vote-based, meaning there was a version of the comic where Jason somehow survived an explosion.
2 Flash: Rebirth Completely Rewrote The Rules Of Speed Force
The Speed Force was a nifty idea Mark Waid came up with to explain some of the Flash’s powers. Flash: Rebirth tried to over-explain the idea, similar to how someone introduced “midi-chlorians” to explain The Force.
While there’s nothing wrong with Flash: Rebirth, the Speed Force explanation suggests that the entire Speed Force comes from Barry Allen running.
If Barry Allen doesn’t run, the Speed Force will be overcome by the Negative Speed Force. Nevermind that other speedsters have mastered it far better than he ever could. The Speed Force is meant to affect the entire multiverse, yet Flash: Rebirth makes one man responsible for it all.
1 Green Lantern: Emerald Twilight Had One Man Beat An Entire Corps
Emerald Twilight is a creatively bold story, but it’s not exactly the most popular. It’s always a mistake to portray a beloved hero as a supervillain, and Emerald Twilight took it to the extreme. However, the comic also gives Hal Jordan a bit more credit than he deserves.
Somehow, after the Guardians shut off his connection to the Green Lantern power, Hal Jordan had enough energy to get to space and beat a Green Lantern just from absorbing a single construct. Emerald Twilight depicts Hal as skilled enough to defeat dozens of Green Lanterns. They declared him the “greatest Green Lantern ever,” but almost no one in their field is ever that good.
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