Like any form of entertainment, comics have times when things aren’t exactly the best. Whether it’s the art, the writing, weird subject matter, gratuitous violence, or a combination of the above, a lot of things can make a comic bad. However, that doesn’t mean these stories aren’t fun to read. Like any other form of entertainment, comics have stories that have become guilty pleasures for fans – they know they’re not exactly great, but they’re fun to read.
Guilty pleasure comics come in all shapes and sizes. Marvel, DC, Image, and more have released some weirdly enjoyable comics, providing years of enjoyment for fans.
ten All the chaos! Comics Line was like heavy metal album covers coming to life
The 90s were a boom and bust period for the comic book industry. Publishers would appear, grow, and die in a cycle predictable to most industry observers. One of these companies was Chaos! Comics, founded by writer Brian Pulido. Anchored by Bad Ernie, Lady Death, and Purgatory, the line was Bad Girls steeped in an apocalyptic horror extravaganza.
The line quality varies wildly and the stories aren’t the most complex, but they’re a lot of fun to read. Pulido had a vision for the line and created something that hasn’t been seen since, comics for heavy metal and slasher fans that were entertaining even when bad.
9 Wolverine: Evolution Is A Joy To Watch But The Story Gets Weird
Wolverine: Evolution, by writer Jeph Loeb and artist Simone Bianchi, is a story that sounds incredible. Wolverine and Sabretooth clash as new secrets are revealed about the origin of Wolverine and other similar mutants is a tried and true Wolverine storytelling trope. Loeb knocks it off the rails, tying it all together by introducing the Lupine, a group of canine-descended mutants.
It’s such an odd choice in an otherwise boilerplate Wolverine story. The art is fantastic and there are some cool moments; it’s just not a good comic. It’s always a pleasure to read, because Bianchi is a talented artist and the book is full of epic fight scenes.
8 The Authority: Under New Management is the comic equivalent of trash cinema
The Authority: Under new management, by writer Mark Millar and artist Frank Quitely, was the book that gave Millar his big break. Take control Authority after the departure of writer Warren Ellis and artist Bryan Hitch, Millar and Quitely infuse the title with manic energy as the team opposes the status quo and is forced to battle analogue-created superheroes by Jack Kirby.
The book combines radical anarchist politics with ultra-violent superhero spectacle as The Authority tears apart the Marvel-inspired heroes sent against them by the Powers That Be. It’s all trashy edgelord fun that goes to the throat and never lets go.
7 Chuck Austen’s Strange X-Men / X-Men Race Is Full Of Fun Ideas Spoiled By Hilariously Bad Execution
The era of writer Chuck Austen Weird X-Men and x-men is widely considered the worst race in either book’s history. Austen has always worked with good artists, namely Ron Garney, Kia Asamiya, and Salvador Larocca, but the stories never went well. Austen had good ideas, but his execution was poor, often ridiculous.
Austen Weird X-Men / X-Men running is like Bedroom for comics. The stories are often so bad they’re good, with moments that elicit as many laughs as they do groans. It’s a delightful castaway, and everyone should read at least one of his stories, preferably “She Lies With Angels” or “The Draco.”
6 Wanted is Peak Edgelord Millar
Mark Millar was one of Marvel’s most influential writers of the 2000s, and his edgelord sensibilities were on display but neutralized by the editor. This is not the case with his freelance work at the time, and Wanted to, with the art of JG Jones, was Millar at his sharpest. Set in a world secretly ruled by the Brotherhood, a group of Super Villains, Wesley is brought in after the assassination of his killer father, living his best worst life while more deaths rock the world of Super Villains.
Wanted to allowed Millar to go as far as he wanted, and it shows on every page. Extreme violence, profanity, and sex adorn the story, and it often feels like the book is trying to shock just because it can. There are some great ideas in the book, and the art is fantastic, making it a wonderful guilty pleasure to read.
5 Chris Claremont’s 2000 Return To Uncanny X-Men And The X-Men Was Full Of Big Ideas That Went Going Nowhere
Chris Claremont spent seventeen years writing the X-Men, making him Marvel’s longest-serving writer on a title. He will return to the country of X in the year 2000, taking over as author of Weird X-Men and X Men, moving everything six months into the future and introducing new villains, the Neo, the mutants have evolved even further than those readers were familiar with.
Joined by artists Leinil Yu, Adam Kubert and Tom Raney, there are some great one-issue stories in Claremont’s short comeback, but it all never quite seems to come together. It’s still entertaining and well worth reading, as even the bad Claremont is still quite good and an interesting anomaly in X-Men history.
4 The Dark Knight Strikes Again is a far cry from its predecessor, but it has a weird charm
Return of the Dark Knight is a classic and one of the comics that really made Frank Miller a massive creative force in the comics industry. Eventually, DC brought it back for a sequel, and The dark knight strikes again was born. Miller expanded the story beyond Gotham, showing how much the rest of the DCU has changed and pitting the heroes against Lex Luthor.
DK2, as also known, contains a lot of cool stuff, but that’s also where the cracks started to show in Miller’s facade. Its art style was a far cry from what it was before, and the story has a lot of issues, but it can still be a fun read.
3 WildC.ATs #1-4 is the ultimate style over substance comic
WildC.AT #1-4, by writers Jim Lee and Brandon Choi and Lee on Art, was the superstar artist’s first picture book. There’s crazy creative energy to the story, and the characters are all pretty interesting. The WildC.ATs have become the centerpiece of Lee’s Wildstorm universe, with this story exposing their status quo.
Like other picture books of the time, the writing wasn’t the greatest, so the book lived and died by its art. Luckily the art is fantastic, Lee’s best work at the time. The story is a fun but tasteless battle between ancient alien races – the Kherubim and the Daemonites – trapped on Earth for millennia.
2 Youngblood #1-4 is raw uncut Liefeld
Young Blood #1-4, by writers Hank Kanalz and Rob Liefeld with art by Liefeld, is hugely important to the 90s image and has an interesting reputation. Liefeld is a controversial figure in the comics industry. one can argue about the quality of his work, but not about his raw creative energy, which is fully expressed in these four issues.
Split between the Youngblood Home and Away teams, the books introduce a slew of new heroes and villains. These are undeniably creative comics and are the equivalent of junk food – they taste good, but don’t give it too much thought.
1 All-Star Batman and Robin The Boy Wonder is the greatest Batman parody of all time
All-Star Batman and Robin The Boy Wonder, by writer Frank Miller and artist Jim Lee, is infamous among Batman fans. Lee’s art is amazing, and Miller’s tough style is on full display, but it often feels like he’s pushing it as far as he can, creating a comic that feels like a parody of the Batman that he had created in previous stories.
Batman and Robin All-Star is either the worst Batman story or the best Batman parody. Miller doesn’t feel like the sort of writer who would poke fun at himself, but the story works best as an over-the-top Batman parody. It’s full of hilarious, over-the-top moments.
NEXT: 10 Ways Picture Comics Changed The Industry
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