Linkara: Hello and welcome to Atop the Fourth Wall: Where Bad Comics Burn. Aaah, 2014 is coming to a close, my friends. AND THANK FRICKIN' GOD IT IS! THIS YEAR SUCKED BALLS AND I'M GLAD WE CAN WIPE OUR HANDS CLEAN OF IT! I DON'T CARE IF I'VE SUNG THIS SONG BEFORE, I'M DOING IT AGAIN!
(sings) Maybe this year will be better than the last!
Linkara (v/o): And what has happened in this glorious year of ours? Well, I concluded several series I've been looking at for years including Marville, Sci-Spy, Kommandi: At Earth's End, and The Thing From Another World.
Linkara: Surprise! They were all terrible!
Linkara (v/o): I've failed to find Lord Vice, but I did find the King of Worms, or rather he found me and replaced half of my staff with robots.
Linkara: The other half were already robots.
Linkara (v/o): I finally reviewed Red Hood and the Outlaws, I learned the best ways to survive a zombie apocalypse from the Center of Disease Control, I covered movie adaptations from Xanadu to the Mighty Morphin' Power Rangers Movie.
Linkara: Both of which featured a rainbow color scheme, awesome music choices, and roller skating. Separated at birth? You make the call!
Linkara (v/o): I went on an adventure that broke the rules of time and space, broke my sanity with Jello-themed adventures, and broke my rule about reviewing Sonic comics. I celebrated my 300th Episode of the show before any of my fellow Channel Awesome producers.
Linkara: But maybe if you guys became comic-book-reading shut-ins without social lives or prospects like me, you'd have gotten there by now, too.... Why do I suddenly feel really sad?
Linkara (v/o): I put out two DVD's, I fought my mirror duplicate, and I said farewell to a friend that I kind of screwed over originally. I finally started my own website, Channelawesome.com finally launched, hell, I've started my own Patreon and got called a scammer for it. I'm a scammer because... um, I did what I said I would do.
Linkara: Yeah, I'm such a scammer that I took that quote saying I was a scammer and put it on the back of the DVD that I promised I'd make. 2014 is the year where words have lost all meaning and we just make up what they mean to suit our purposes. Indigo Laffy Taffy.
Linkara (v/o): Although, I think we can all agree that the most important thing that I did this year was that I contributed to Twitch Plays Pokemon! PRAISE DOME! STRENGTH AND UNITY!! UNITY AND DOME-OCRACY!! ALL HAIL FLAREON!!
(Static; cut to technical difficulties sign, a cartoon of Linkara in the restraint room wearing a straight jacket; static)
Linkara: Uh, clearly I went a little insane there. You can all just ignore that.
Linkara (v/o): Anyhow, it's been a long year and an even longer 6 years. That's a lot of bad comics. And as such, I decided to look back at the crap and pick out the 15 worst of them.
Linkara: SPOILERS! Holy Terror is the worst comic I've ever reviewed! Sorry, but I think it's pretty obvious in that regard. And, as such, because it is so obvious, I'm taking it off the table. I want to have SOME surprise in this list.
Linkara (v/o): However, "Top 15 Worst Comics I've Reviewed (Aside from Holy Terror)" is not that spiffy a title, so pardon me if this episode's description is misleading in that regard. We're also laying down a few more rules for this list. I mean, let's face it, if I didn't, every issue of Marville would be in the Top 10. Basically that means any multiple issues of a series only gets one horrible issue to be its representative and I'll justify why that one over others. Some of these are probably going to confuse people, since my rage during the episode doesn't reflect how I feel about them now. I should note that I'm judging these not only by how much anger they inspired in me, but also just from a narrative standpoint and how utterly confusing and baffling they are, how nobody would be able to understand it just picking it up and reading it. It's not just worse because they're infuriating, they're worse because I don't understand anyone else figuring them out either.
Linkara: And if you're upset about this essentially being a clip show. (chuckling while taking off his glasses) Last week I had two Christmases with my family, a regular episode, the Channel Awesome holiday video, a live stream, and three History of Power Rangers videos. You'll forgive me if I don't feel like hunting down a crappy New Years comic.
Linkara (v/o): There may also be concerns that, with as many episodes as I've done and how busy I've been this year and even more busy next year, I may just lose the flame of doing this or exhaust myself to death. Rest assured, none of you need worry about me burning out, because I don't burn out. I set more things on fire.
Linkara: So, let's check out the cream of the crap, put the putrid on a pedestal. These are my Top 15 Worst Comics I've Ever Reviewed.
(Titles w/ music set to Michael Jackson's Bad and Intro )
Number 15: Santa the Barbarian Edit
Linkara: Yeah, it might seem a little odd that I'm still talking about this after last week, but that's the reason why it's number 15. I cannot begin to tell you how awful this thing is!
Linkara (v/o): Santa the Barbarian is one of the most incomprehensible stories ever made, ostensibly inspired by what was barely a joke from a Rob Liefeld trading card for Wizard Magazine. And as a joke, it's only funny in that its existence is so laughably terrible. The plot makes no sense, even as a dark comedy or in a surreal kind of way. Santa is pissed that so many are naughty and goes off and kills some people whose crimes are unknown to us, well, except for maybe this guy, whom many suspect is supposed to be Hitler.
Linkara: And their suspicions would be right from the looks of it. So, there's a plus we can give to Santa the Barbarian, kills Hitler... and a bunch of other people.
Linkara (v/o): And then there's the second part, where the elves are protesting their unfair treatment and sweat shop conditions, despite the fact that the previous story indicated that there were only enough kids on the nice list to fit on a 3x5 card. How many toys could they be making? Is there a quota so each of these kids gets like 300 toys? Or do all the elves work in a coal mine? How much coal is there in the North Pole anyway? No robot fights so we don't know what happened there, or why the elves are delivering presents now instead of Santa, or what the exact complaints were. It's just violent, confusing, and stupid, full of references to Conan the Barbarian and half-hearted holiday jokes. That's not getting into the tongue thing. The first story is full of people sticking out their tongues for no reason. Why? You'd think Jim Balent drew this thing with as many tongues they're sticking out. Was this the unofficial sequel to Catwoman: Guardian of Gotham or was this just that comic's reinterpretation of Mr. Freeze?
Linkara: Santa the Barbarian: ruining Christmas in every panel and God help us everyone.
Number 14: Superman at World's End Edit
Linkara (v/o): Some of you may be confused why this, one of the most often referenced on this show, would not be on the Top 10, but the answer is simple. As an Elseworld story, it has no connection to the actual continuity. Don't get me wrong, it's still terrible. It's just that instead of making any real difference for Superman's character, it's just a really awful story that doesn't know what it's doing and is throwing everything at the wall, while Superman punches chicken robots and proclaims how he's a man; because that is how you solve arguments. It's especially laughable when it's placed alongside what is essentially the moral of the story: Guns are bad. Guns don't solve anything, so just punch people; that resolves the issue, except for the fact that guns totally resolve the situation. So, your anti-gun message is drowned in the spent shell casings of guns that totally fixed everything when they killed the twin clones of Hitler.
Linkara: First two on the list and both involve Hitler and guys with big beards. Coincidence?
Linkara (v/o): Add on to that ridiculous stilted dialogue, bizarre proportions for human beings that make them indistinguishable from the mutations in it, the aforementioned twin clones of Hitler, and that this story is a sequel that nobody asked for to another horrible post-apocalyptic story, and you have recipe for a comic that I was more than happy to set on fire ... eventually.
Number 13: Future Five No. 1: Edit
Linkara (v/o): YOUR LIFE WILL NOT END IF YOU DON'T GO TO COLLEGE, PERIOD. Nor is college some kind of massive guarantee of a successful career, nor will you necessarily figure out what the hell you want to do with your life if you go to college.
Linkara: Or, you could always ask five lame superheroes about it, who will insist that if you don't go to college, you're an idiot being brain-washed by some asshole and you have no future.
Linkara (v/o): And thus, we have the craptacular PSA comic Future Five. Go to college and become a chef, or else you will work in fast food and only losers work there.
Linkara: Yes, let us shame those who just want to make a living for themselves. Thanks for insulting 3.6 million people.
Linkara (v/o): I especially love the bit that implies you have to have your life figured out by the age of 25, what you want your future to be like, and how your going to get there.
Linkara: Because I totally planned to be spending the rest of my life complaining about Sultry Teenage Super Foxes when I entered college.
Linkara (v/o): Wanna know what I was doing when I started college? Selling patio furniture and Christmas trees. The only reason I stopped after three years was because the store was closed down, after that Barnes and Noble.
Linkara: And I'm one of those bizarre abominations who liked working retail. Clearly, I was just under the control of a rich guy trying to take over the world.
Linkara (v/o): Oh, did I forget that part? Yeah, apparently, in the comic, this rich entrepreneur's ingenious plan to conquer Earth is to make people not go to college, become idiots, and therefore he will rule. Also, video games are a tool of evil too, according to this panel, which apparently "contains all the necessary tools to carry out his plans for complete and utter domination of the world."
(Cut to Linkara playing on his DSL. He looks up at the camera.)
Linkara: Hmm? We're still doing this? Sorry, I was in the middle of breeding Bulbasaurs in different Pokeballs to wonder trade them. That is the sole purpose of my existence now.
Linkara (v/o): Future Five: assuring that you will never afford the college that it wants you to go to, because it shames you out of trying to earn money.
Number 12: Youngblood No. 5 Edit
Linkara (v/o): Youngblood is the story of Rob Liefeld's attempt to convince us he has an original idea in his head and failing miserably at it. Ostensibly created as "a next generation of heroes," Youngblood's team members featured drab costumes, black hole crotches, impractical and stupid-looking guns, and lots of people opening their mouths wide enough to swallow their own fists. The idea was that they were superheroes who were also celebrities, which is demonstrated to us in one issue where they're talking briefly about toy-licensing for, like, a single page. The rest of it is shooting, killing things, poorly-rendered fight scenes, and never focusing on the actual main characters of the book because they're too busy introducing other derivative characters in the mix. But it's Issue No. 5 that deserves the most scorn out of this dreaded series. Okay, it's the big finale to your five-part, possibly six since I never read Issue 0, opening storyline. It's huge, homaging, Jack Kirbian with the concept of the new gods that he made for DC, which are totally not rip-offs. It's an homage. So how do you conclude it? Well, how about sticking that finale as the flip book of an entirely different comic, cutting down the length to about fifteen pages, make half of them splash pages and the other half no more than two or three panels? Don't have any backgrounds, just have Shaft narrating most of it without actually showing us most of the battle and then having your big villain be defeated by simply staring at him. Oh, and don't actually draw or write it, Rob. That's hard work. You gotta get to work on Blood Gun and Gun Blood and Gun Gun, your new group of characters.
Linkara: 'A' for effort. (beat) Or 'A' for ass which is where they pulled this thing from.
Number 11: The Culling: Part 4: Teen Titans No. 9 Edit
Number 10: Raver No. 1 Edit
Linkara: Yeah, bit of a lesser known episode to be on this list. It's not like I bring it up or reference it or joke about it very often. But it's mostly because I have no idea what the hell happened in it.
Linkara (v/o): Best guess? Some dude called Norman has a superpower that only comes about when someone yells at him causing reality to warp around him.
Linkara: Norman soon learned to never discuss politics on the internet.
Linkara (v/o): During that warp, he becomes Raver, who has a different superpower in every warped reality. In this case, it happens because of a bullying kid breaking a cat statue so that the entire world has become a totalitarian dictatorship under the police control. Mind you, I only figured that out because I searched on the internet. The book itself never gives any backstory or explanation. And even then, there are random bits of dialogue sprinkled throughout the book that lack content or setup, implying that huge swats of the comic are missing. Also, we never learn why his name is Raver.
Linkara: I imagine his usual tactic for fighting supervillains is to go up to them with Glo Sticks and jump up and down in front of them.
Linkara (v/o): Raver, a comic so confusing you'd think Walter Koenig wrote it as Chekhov in Russian then used Google Translate to have it in English.
Number 9: Future Shock No. 1 Edit
Number 8: Spiderman: One More Day Edit
Number 7: Maximum Clonage Edit
Linkara: Now, if you want a Spiderman story that isn't so hot on comprehensibility and is just utter crap from start to finish, look to the Clone Saga.
Linkara (v/o): Of all the anniversary Clone Saga reviews I've done, Maximum Clonage remains the worst of them. Everybody is stupid and annoying, with Kane's loyalty shifting between issues because of different writers, the artwork at times just straining your eyes, and the story itself utterly ludicrous and dumb. The Punisher is in it for a bit and then forgotten. Gwen Stacy's clone is brought in to wrap up her storyline and is forgotten by the end. The cliche of saving Gwen from a fall is used again, even though it had been done before during the Clone Saga already. The Jackal has become psychotic and wanting to mutate people or clone them, or something, with some kind of gene bomb, I have no idea at this point and I don't want to look at it again. And somehow a high school teacher, or possibly a college professor, it's kind of vague in that respect, has enough money and resources to have literally dozens of Spiderman clones just standing in a room for absolutely no reason, but all melt into each other because clones are made of ice cream or something. The best part is that this was supposed to end the Clone Saga and instead it was so badly botched that it just extended things again. Can you imagine if this was the end of the Clone Saga? Behold, Peter Parker's final hoorah before Ben Riley took over. He spends half the book working for The Jackal, acting like an idiot, and then leaves because he's just too embarrassed over this whole mess.
Linkara: Maximum Clonage: so stupid they had to make up a word to fully express their idiocy.
Number 6: All-Star Batman and Robin No. 3 Edit
Linkara (v/o): Ahh yes. You all knew this one was coming, just not which issue. And it's certainly hard to pick which one goes on the list. You go with the one where Batman calls a traumatized child retarded? How about the one where he tries to force said child to eat rats? Or perhaps the one that features some kind of temporal distortion warping reality so we don't know what time it is?
Linkara: No, no. I went with the one that barely involves the title characters: Issue 3.
Linkara (v/o): All Star Batman and Robin is the story of Crazy Steve and Dick Grayson at age twelve. Or maybe it's about Black Canary, who isn't even a Bat family member, getting the spotlight in Issue 3 as an Irish ninja who works as a waitress at a Hooters. Except not really, since I'm pretty sure Hooters has more class and respect for its workers than this place, which is a bar where guys can reach over the countertop to pinch someone's ass and there aren't any bouncers. Black Canary here has training because, and isn't even inspired to take action because of the rampant sexism and abuse she has to endure on a daily basis in an outfit more akin to Playboy Bunnies than anything conducive to bartending. No, no, she only takes action because of the example of Batman, the murderer who has been awake for several days straight and, again, insults children in the same predicament as he once was. Because this version of Batman is not a Dark Knight, but a teenager acting out his revenge fix.
Linkara: (as Batman) Leave me alone, Alfred. People are feeling happy about the ending of Legend of Korra. I have to call them gay, now. It's the only way I can get an erection. Umm, Did I just say that?..... I AM THE KNIGHT!!
Linkara (v/o): But yes. Issue 3 is the true sign of how badly botched the book is; that Miller apparently thinks that the two main characters aren't interesting enough to focus on, so instead he switches it over to Black Canary just so she can come in three or four issues later and have sex with him in the rain. All Star Batman and Robin Number 3, a comic that makes Barb Wire look subdued and nuanced.
Number 5: Justice League: Cry for Justice No. 1 or No. 7 Edit
Linkara (v/o): Yes, here we have a legitimate tie because I could not decide which of these issues is worse. One is awful from start to finish, while the other is awful but more of a personal awful than anything else. What's so wrong with Issue 1? Well, mostly because the dialogue goes something like this:
Linkara: JUSTICE!! JUSTICE JUSTICE JUSTICE!! JUSTICE! JUSTICE JUSTICE JUSTICE!!
Linkara: JUSTICE!!! JUSTICE, JUSTICE!!!
Linkara: I am a talking gorilla.
Linkara: BUT JUSTICE!!
Linkara (v/o): Whereas Issue 7 can be summed up like this...
Linkara: I am so smart, look at how smart I am.
Linkara: Damn! He is smart!
Linkara: I am so smart that even my pants are smart. That is how smart and evil I am. Oh, whoops, it turns out my super-smart devices are actually not that smart. But I am totally still smart.
Linkara: Damn! If only we were smart!
Linkara: Child death of character never featured in comic before!
Linkara: Well, we better let the villain go. He's just too smart.
Linkara: Ha-ha-ha! Back to being smart in my lair of smartness.
Linkara: Boy! This is going to result in a hilarious spinoff mini-series.
Linkara (v/o): Both are mind-rotting in how they ever gotten past even the first draft with the quality of writing on display. Issue 7 would've been bad enough, but killing off Lian, a character from a book that got me to read comics to begin with, was so bad that it is still one of the books I hated out all the others that I reviewed, even One More Day; and I ranted over an hour about One More Day's crapitude. Cry for Justice Number 1 and Number 7: smart villains, smart heroes and even smarter writers, as long as we're keeping up our trend of making up words or having them mean whatever we want to anyway.
Number 4: Silent Hill: Paint it Black Edit
Number 3: Bimbos in Time Edit
Number 2: Marville No. 3 Edit
Linkara (v/o): The thing I brought up in almost all of Marville reviews is that every issue of Marville is worse than the one before it. So, why isn't Issues 6 or 7 the worst here? Well, for starters, Issue 7 isn't really an issue of the book. It's just guidelines for an out-dead imprint and is easily forgotten. Issue 6 is a recap of everything that happened, but it condenses all the stupid from those into a single comic, so you don't even have to read the other five issues to get the general idea. Plus, it's basically just a long essay in the form of a comic book about Bill Jemas's thoughts on superhero comics and the world at large. It's stupid, but ultimately the worst it really did was insult its competition. The first two issues are just unfunny parody comics, so they're out of the running. That leaves us with Issues 3, 4 and 5, the comics that proved the former vice president of Marvel does not know anything about science, history, or religion.
Linkara: So why Number 3? Simple. If for some unfathomable reason you liked Marville, you could at least read Issues 4 and 5. Not so with Issue 3.
Linkara (v/o): For reasons known only to the creative team in this thing, there are no word balloons or narrative captions in the book. Instead, all the dialogue is printed along the side, covering up many panels and making it a complete and utter pain in the ass to read; not that the panels were all that great to begin with seeing at sometimes the sequential art was flimsy in its execution, but most of the time it was fine. In addition, above all else, comics should not be boring, which this one most certainly is, thanks to it's focus on talking philosophically about genetic structure, cells, and atoms. It's also the comic that told us that "we should feel sad about dead molecules." Worrying about the fate of molecules is truly the definition of "too much free time on your hands."
Linkara: Marville Number 3: the comic that teaches us that we should protest our own existence because of all the molecules in history that died in order for the molecules in our bodies to be around.
Dishonorable Mentions Edit
Linkara (v/o): Before we get to Number 1, here are some dishonorable mentions that came close to making the list but for one reason or another didn't.
Almost made the list and probably would have been on it if not for Santa the Barbarian. The only advantage it had, with its bizarre use of fumetti style, is given that style it's pretty much automatic that it will look stilted and awkward.
The problem with Countdown is that really the entirety of it is bad, so it's difficult to single out one issue that's worse than all the others. Maybe Number 24, where Superboy Prime kills an entire world.
Linkara: Countdown, the comic where joy itself is tortured by Superboy Prime "because it was better on his Earth."
Linkara (v/o): Like Superman: At Earth's End, it's an Elseworld story, so its effect on the grand scheme of things is negligible. But, the characters are stupid or evil for evil sake and all the women are too busy bending over for Jim Balent's amusement and his tongue fetish to be interesting.
Warrior No. 1 Edit
If I counted it, this one would be closer to the number 1 spot, but I'm not counting crossovers here. That being said, if anyone has figured out what the Samuel Langhorne hell happened in the Warrior comics, well, don't tell me. I just need to get foked to understand it.
One of the dreariest and worst drawn I've ever had the unfortunate pleasure of reading. Even for the Liefeldian standards of the day, this and its second part stand as some of the worst examples of over-muscled superheroes ever. Mix that in with the pedestrian, uninteresting story, and it's a disaster. However, dull as it is, at least you know what's going on during all of it.
AKA, the one where Superman and Big Barda are mind-controlled into making a porno. Oh, this one probably should have been on the list... But, I'm only letting it pass because most of it is implied. We never see them actually naked and screwing without their consent. The same cannot be said for this; the Number 1 WORST comic I've ever reviewed that isn't Holy Terror.
Number 1: The Avengers No. 200 Edit