Popularity is Pricey
Though comics have been around for centuries, the first modern comic book was published in America in 1933. Since then, comics have given rise to many iconic superheroes and villains that have either succeeded or, sadly, failed. Currently, comics boast hundreds of thousands of readers, but that much exposure comes with a price. Comic book characters are constantly evaluated and scrutinized by fans, earning them either positive or negative reputations. With Marvel and DC being the most popular publishers to date, their characters receive more feedback than those found in indie comics. Below is a compilation of the most hated comic book characters found in Marvel and DC comics currently in publication. Though there is no single character that is unanimously hated, these are the top figures suffering the wrath of readers.
10) Hal Jordan
Hal Jordan emerged as Earth’s Green Lantern back in the 1950s, but he didn’t gain any real momentum until writer Geoff Johns reanimated him in the early 2000s in Green Lantern: Rebirth. Since then, Green Lantern has been featured in several strings of comics and television shows, and even has his own live-action film. Although the Green Lantern comics have its own dedicated fan base, there are many DC fans who particularly despise Hal Jordan. The argument is that Hal is too cocky and rude for the general reader, and that his character lacks emotional depth. Strangely enough, many of those who don’t care for Hal Jordan are Batman fans. Though Hal and Bruce don’t always see eye-to-eye, the connection is not quite clear.
9) Damian Wayne
Damian Wayne entered the scene as a baby in the 1987 story, Batman: Son of the Demon. In 2006, Grant Morrison reinterpreted the character as Damian Wayne, the son of Batman and Talia al Ghul, and thus the grandson of Batman villain Ra’s al Ghul. At the age of ten, Damian takes on the Robin persona, first working with Dick Grayson before taking his place beside his father. In 2013, Damian placed 25th on IGN’s Top 25 Heroes of DC Comics and though many consider him to be their favorite Robin, others plainly can’t stand him. Often described as insufferable and cocky, Damian’s abrasiveness and entitled perspective are the primary complaints against him.
8) Mister Fantastic
Mister Fantastic, also known as Reed Richards, emerged as the founding member of Marvel’s Fantastic Four in 1961. A master of engineering and physical science, Richards has been named one of the top ten most intelligent characters in American comics. Though he acts as the leader and father figure of the Fantastic Four, Richards has steadily developed into a cold, distant, and methodical character. The primary complaint against Reed is that he considers himself to be the most intelligent and capable person around, thus he tends to excuse his questionable actions with the idea that he “knows better.” This often prompts him to ignore his team members’ advice and diverge from his role as the helm of the Fantastic Four.
Aquaman, or Arthur Curry, debuted in DC’s More Fun Comics #73 in 1941, making him one of the oldest comic characters on this list. Initially a backup feature, Aquaman moved on to more serious roles and even has some solo titles. Unfortunately, his portrayal in the Super Friends cartoons of the 1970s gave him a bad reputation. His wholesome nature and weaker powers made him a running joke that is still running today. His Modern Age comic book depictions have attempted to heal his public perception, but many still consider Aquaman to be one of the lamest and lacking superheroes in the DC universe.
Superboy-Prime made his first appearance in DC Comics Presents #87 in 1985. This alternate version of Clark Kent is from a parallel Earth that was erased during Crisis on Infinite Earths. Prime, however, survives the catastrophe. Unable to let go of the life he once had, Prime believes it is his destiny to become the one and only Superman. Unfortunately, he is delusional and psychotic, and effectively becomes one of the most dangerous foes in the DC universe. Though some seem to like the alternate version of our Earth’s Superman, many claim the character is unoriginal and too “whiny.” His emotional outbreaks and outcries, many say, are overdone and poorly written.