2018 proved to be the year that Marvel and DC didn’t pull any punches. Though the style of storytelling unique to comics lends itself to moments that have fans either crying out in anguish or joy (or both), this year had moments so controversial that they shook their fan-bases down to their cores. Many storylines that had been set up in 2017 had big payoffs, and many storylines were set up this year that won’t come to their epic conclusions until 2019. Some of the biggest character names in comics were dragged through the trenches: Batman was left at the altar, the much anticipated wedding of Colossus and Kitty Pryde was a disaster, and Star-lord got impaled by his former love. Even the Big Blue Boy Scout himself wasn’t spared from tragedy, having to witness the senseless elimination of dozens of his fellow supers. And while it might seem like a bleak turn of events, there were some positive instances, too: Daredevil became the mayor of NYC, and Gambit and Rogue finally found true happiness.
In a form of storytelling where everything has all been done before, from world-ending apocalypses, family betrayals, and surprise endings, it’s difficult for the medium to keep finding new and inventive ways to excite its readership. But, fans weren’t disappointed when the most controversial moments of 2018 brought its wave of change. The best part about all of the moments that made fans question the events is that they create a slew of possibilities that didn’t exist before. It’s the one thing you can count on comics for; nothing stays the same for long! Here are The 20 Most Controversial Revelations Of 2018.
20 THE END OF MARKO
Since it’s beginning, Saga has been hailed as one of the greatest comic books to be published in the United States. Its themes of conflict, war, poverty, and politics have earned it a place among the best the comic genre has to offer. It is the epic story of political refugees Marko and Alana as they navigate their war-torn galaxy and protect their baby Hazel.
Saga #54 plunged fans of the series into chaos by showing Marko being ended at the hands of The Will, a bounty hunter contracted to eliminate him and Alana and bring Hazel back alive to conceal any trace of their coupling.
19 THE IDENTITY OF REQUIEM
Ever since Requiem was introduced, one page at a time, at the start of every Infinity Countdown, fans have been clamoring to know who the mysterious entity is. Finally, in Infinity Wars #1, fans got to see who was beneath the helmet: Gamora, who has part of her soul trapped in the Soul Gem and has a serious bone to pick with The Mad Titan, Thanos. And as exciting as the revelation proved to be, it was tainted with the surprise of her impaling Star-lord.
18 BATMAN AND CATWOMAN’S CATASTROPHIC WEDDING
Comic book fans and Batman fans rejoiced to learn that after decades of playing cat and mouse, Bruce Wayne and Selina Kyle, a.k.a Batman and Catwoman, were finally going to tie the knot in Batman #50.
But, those hoping that Bruce Wayne would finally get some happiness in his life were going to have their hearts put through the wringer once they saw Catwoman leave Batman at the altar. According to her, Batman was no good to anyone if he was happy, so she had to make the difficult choice of adding to his crippling emotional pain. In other words, Batman’s only good as Batman if he’s miserable.
17 VENOM COMMITS THE ULTIMATE SACRIFICE
Though Venom is normally considered a villain, he’s also been an anti-hero, and the Venom film features him as the Protector of San Francisco. Recent Venom comics have seen him and host Eddie Brock have an amiable, almost fraternal, relationship.
That’s why it was so surprising in Venom #7 when fans said goodbye to the Venom symbiote for perhaps the last time. In order to keep the Elder God Knull from escaping a fiery end, Venom nobly sacrificed himself to save Eddie’s life. The final exchange they share is both poignant and a little heart-wrenching.
16 DICK GRAYSON MEETS HIS END
Though many have held the “Robin” title and stood alongside The Dark Knight as his trusted partner and stalwart sidekick, Dick Grayson will always be remembered as one of the best. It’s he who consoles Batman after his wedding is ruined in Batman #50 and even assumes his identity when necessary.
However, a routine meeting with Commissioner Gordon in Batman #55 changes all that. No sooner has Batman just begun to trudge from the depths of despondency that he has to witness Nightwing's demise at the hands of a sniper. The unceremonious and callous nature of it is what stings the most, almost like Batman re-watching the passing of his parents.
15 BATMAN ELIMINATES KGBEAST
There have been few times when The Dark Knight has broken his own vow to never end anyone. He usually does so under the most extreme circumstances, or when experiencing the most emotional turmoil. The events of Batman #55, in which marks the passing of Nightwing, results in one of those times.
Batman tracks the sniper, his old nemesis KGBeast, to a remote, snowy tundra in Russia and while there, he engages him in a knock-down brawl where the Caped Crusader shows no mercy. He ends KGBeast with his grappling gun and leaves him in the frozen wastelands, surprising fans with his brutality.
14 WONDER WOMAN GETS POSSESSED
Wonder Woman is known for her strong, indefatigable nature and her leveled demeanor in even the most hostile situations. That’s why it was a surprise to see her possessed by Hecate, the mother of all magic, in the latest Justice League Dark #4.
Wonder Woman suddenly had the ability to warp the universe if she so chose, but she couldn’t control it, resulting in her varied attempts to rewrite the laws of magic itself. After a wave of turmoil, which included the desecration of the pantheon of the Greek gods, her allies were finally able to release her from Hecate’s control.
13 DOCTOR MANHATTAN’S GREAT REVEAL
The entire Doomsday Clock series has focused on Doctor Manhattan reorganizing space and time in the DC Universe, messing up continuity for the sake of change, and ultimately, making quantum guinea pigs out of famous heroes simply to see what happens. He also admitted to having no idea what the future will hold.
In Doomsday Clock #8, Dr. Manhattan openly attacked U.S.'s Superman and Russia's Firestorm, ending the issue with them being consumed by a ball of blue energy. The cover for Doomsday Clock #9, due out in January of 2019, shows Dr. Manhattan reducing DC’s heroes to red ash, so war may be inevitable.
12 SINESTRO’S CHANGED BACKSTORY
Recently, there’s been new emotions and new colors added to the Lantern Corps, which makes for a variety of new characters and narratives. In Justice League #2, Sinestro, the once great foe of Hal Jordan, has command of the ultraviolet spectrum and is recruiting the latest Green Lantern to his Sinestro Corps with its mind controlling powers.
This is of particular note because Sinestro has returned to his original black and purple villain ensemble, and he isn’t the unsuccessful former leader of the Sinestro Corps: he’s a true supervillain again in pursuit of the Invisible Light, and nothing will stand in his way.
11 ORCA AND KILLER CROC GET MARRIED
If the latest batch of comic book weddings for 2018 was to be believed, no superhero of the Marvel or DC Universe is getting a happily ever after. But, for aquatic supervillains Killer Croc and Orca, it would appear otherwise. They get hitched deep in the bowels of Gorilla City, surrounded by their closest scummy friends.
The only small detail is that Ra's al-Ghul has planted a device in their heads that if activated, will end them instantly; a problem magnified by the fact that Orca is carrying a mutant child. However, Ra’s gives them the device deactivation as a wedding present and for once, a comic book marriage begins without incident.
10 THE RETURN OF LOGAN AND X-23’S DEMOTION
Just when everyone was getting used to Laura Kinney, a.k.a X-23, being Wolverine’s worthy successor, the bulk of her starring run in the All-New Wolverine’s importance was diminished when Logan‘s lost body reappeared and she was demoted.
The inevitable return of Logan to the mantle of Wolverine wasn’t surprising to many fans, but those that had enjoyed Laura’s run in X-Men Red and were just getting used to her character weren’t happy with her going back to being just X-23, especially after she’d proven herself so capable of being Wolverine. That being said, Logan has a few new abilities to show off since he’s returned from the other side, so there’s some small consolation.
9 CABLE'S DEMISE
When you end another version of yourself, is it suicide or homicide? The conundrum is presented in Extermination #1, when a mysterious stranger eliminates an aging Cable, who is then revealed as a younger version of Cable who felt his older self had gone soft.
But, where did he come from? In true X-Men time-warping fashion, this Cable is independent of the Extermination timeline. He travels to the future to when a version of himself also traveled there and was raised by Cyclops and Jean Grey. Not only does he create his own demise, it’s a time-traveling Cable eliminating a time-traveling Cable.
8 THE JUSTICE LEAGUE IS WORSHIPPED AS GODS
The events of Justice League Odyssey #1 and #2 are filled with time-travel, parallel dimensions, and mistaken identities, resulting in some real head-scratching situations. Worlds full of inhabitants that had never before had contact with one another are set adrift as Brainiac’s imprisoned planets are released into the Ghost Sector.
Certain Justice League members of these worlds are being worshipped as gods, much to the confusion of current Justice League members who find themselves called to the sector. They’ve been summoned by a reincarnated Darkseid, who thinks they’re the Old Gods that he and his New Gods have been sent to replace.
7 JESSICA JONE’S DAUGHTER IS PURPLE
Whenever anything begins to go slightly right in Jessica Jone’s life, it’s a sure sign that everything is about to go really, really wrong. Happily raising her daughter with fellow superhero and husband, Luke Cage, she is trying to put the events of her mistreatment at the hands of the Purple Man behind her. However, this doesn’t mean they’re done with her.
Inexplicably, during the events of Jessica Jones: Purple Daughter, little Danielle Cage comes home with purple skin. This causes her mother to question not only the foundation of her marriage, but the true extent of the Purple Man’s mind-altering influence.
6 DAREDEVIL MADE MAYOR OF NYC
Wilson Fisk, former Mayor of NYC (yes, you read that right) was attacked by the sinister criminal organization known as the Hand, causing the Deputy Mayor, none other than Matt Murdock, a.k.a Daredevil, to take his place.
While this proved to be a way better scenario than a supervillain being the mayor, it’s become increasingly harder for Matt Murdock to conceal his superhero identity as he climbs the political ladder, as well as steal away to fight crime unnoticed. On the other hand, he can fight quite a bit of crime legally right from the mayor’s office, with Foggy as his new chief of staff.
5 CAPTAIN MARVEL’S BONKERS NEW BACKSTORY
In the recent Life of Captain Marvel, Carol Danvers returns to her childhood home and catches up with her family. It seems idyllic enough, until she stumbles across a box of her father’s mementos and paraphernalia lying around the house.
First, fans learn that Carol’s father was involved with someone through some love letters. Then, it turns out that it wasn’t another woman, but Carol’s mother in her true Kree form. Ultimately, Carol Danvers is half-Kree and wasn’t granted her powers, but instead, had them activated within her. It remains to be seen which origin story the Captain Marvel film in 2019 goes with!
4 THE SANCTUARY AFTERMATH
Like something out of the Red Wedding in Game of Thrones, the Sanctuary Massacre in the Heroes In Crisis storyline left readers wondering if so much aftermath and tragedy was called for, given that there were aspects about it that had explored so much healing.
It’s Superman who first discovers his defeated peers; superheroes who had come to Sanctuary to get psychological help for the tribulations of being a costumed hero in an often unforgiving world. Mowed down in a massive battle, even The Flash and Arsenal are among the fallen. He, along with Batman and Wonder Woman, can barely contain their emotional states as they take count of the situation.
3 THE ENDING OF MISTER MIRACLE
Tom King has flexed his dramatic storytelling muscles most recently in both Batman and Heroes in Crisis, making him responsible for some of the most savage storylines to come out of recent comic narratives; but he wasn’t done.
In Miracle Man #12, as the series comes to an end, escape artist superhero Scott Free explores psychologically despondent questions and ruminates on the meaning of life in such a way as to echo the moral dilemmas of any Frank Miller classic. Is he gone? If so, is he in Heaven or Hell? There are no answers in the finale, but his story looks far from over, and what a compelling story it is.
2 KITTY PRYDE LEAVES COLOSSUS AT THE ALTAR
Batman and Catwoman weren’t the only hot superhero couple about to become man and wife; Kitty Pryde and Colossus were also going to tie the knot this year in X-Men Gold #30. It was a highly anticipated situation, especially since the road to matrimony didn’t seem like it was going to end in wedded bliss for the pair that always seemed to never time their union right.
And in traditional fashion, there would be no happily ever after; Kitty Pryde got cold feet and left Colossus at the altar. Unfortunately, the stunt only served to cheapen the connection between a pair that truly deserved to finally be together.
1 GAMBIT AND ROGUE TIE THE KNOT ON A WHIM
When the much-anticipated wedding between Kitty Pryde and Colossus didn’t go through in X-Men Gold, there was another couple waiting in the wings that saw no reason why good cake should go to waste. Another pair of star-crossed lovers for whom timing never seemed to align, Gambit and Rogue, decided to take their fellow X-Men’s places.
Gambit and Rogue deserved their own nuptial build up, and fans didn’t take kindly to the haphazard afterthought the reveal of a Gambit and Rogue wedding seemed to be. They had waited just as long to get married as Kitty and Colossus, so their wedding deserved to be special when the time came instead of gimmicky.