Fans can easily make or break the comic book industry. Not only do they help their favorite series go on by purchasing each new issue, but there have also been times where they got major publishers to change their story before it hit the printers.
10 The Death of Jason Todd (DC)
In one of the most infamous examples of comic books catering to fans, they actually asked for their opinions first. When Jason Todd replaced Dick Grayson as Robin in the 1980s, the change wasn't exactly popular with fans. Eventually, it was decided to put it to a vote, with fans being asked to call up a 900 number to decide whether Todd would survive a recent story in which he was kidnapped and tortured by the Joker.
The story unfolded in the four-part Batman: A Death in the Family, in which fans ultimately decided to put the new Robin out to pasture. In an interview with The 13th Dimension, comic book editor Dennis O'Neil suspected fans might have voted to kill Todd just to see if the whole thing was a publicity stunt. Eventually, however, Todd would be brought back to life by DC in a storyline where reality gets warped, often taking on the mantle of the Red Hood, among other mantles. Do you honestly expect people to stay dead in comics?
9 The Return of Captain America (Marvel)
Steve Rogers, better known as his alias "Captain America," was literally created to be a hero for the United States during World War II. Because of that, Marvel was kind of concerned if he was a little too time-sensitive to appeal to contemporary readers.
In Strange Tales #114, it was decided to put the fans to the test. In the story, Captain America returned...as a villain! Towards the end of the story, it turned out to be the recurring villain, the Acrobat, in disguise, but the last panel pulled one twist: the whole thing was a test to see if fans would actually want to see Captain America return, ultimately asking for letters to help make the decision. Now that the Captain's part of the Avengers, you can probably guess what happened.
8 Power Girl's Changing Origins (DC)
Originally, Power Girl was basically Supergirl from an alternate universe. This became a problem when the Crisis on Infinite Earths retconned the existence of a second Earth. It was initially resolved by giving her a new origin: she's descended from the people of Atlantis and was kept in suspended animation. According to TV Tropes, however, the idea proved unpopular with fans, leading to her original origin being brought back.
As we've previously reported, DC was unwilling to get rid of the character, so another explanation had to be given for the conflicting stories. Power Girl eventually meets Arion, her supposed Atlantean ancestor, who explains the whole thing was a lie meant to protect her.
7 She-Hulk and Juggernaut's One Night Stand (Marvel)
When dealing with universes filled with characters, it can be a little too tempting to play matchmaker. Let's just say this doesn't always go over well with fans. One interesting pairing that proved unpopular was Jennifer Walters hooking up with Cain Marko in Uncanny X-Men. The fact that She-Hulk was Marko's defense attorney especially got fans wondering about the legal ethics of the whole affair.
According to What Culture, the whole thing proved so controversial it was eventually retconned so that it was a She-Hulk from another universe who hooked up with Juggernaut. Funnily enough, the retcon also proved controversial with fans. It's gotten to the point that the characters involved are no longer sure just what happened.
6 Hal Jordan Becoming Parallax (DC)
For Green Lantern fans, the Emerald Twilight storyline is a bit of a sore spot. Introducing a new Green Lantern, Kyle Rayner, the story needed to find a way to get rid of the current Lantern, Hal Jordan. Jordan's home city of Coast City is destroyed and he seemingly goes insane from the horror, eventually becoming the new villain, Parallax.
The change allowed Jordan to become a recurring villain in the DC Universe, but the idea was unpopular with fans. In time, it was decided to divide Parallax and Jordan into two different characters, explaining that Parallax was essentially the personification of fear who had taken control of Jordan's body.
5 Peter Parker Being His Own Clone (Marvel)
Much like in a soap opera, giving a character a lookalike allows a lot of possibilities. In the Clone Saga, Marvel writers decided to introduce a clone of Peter Parker, who later dubbed himself Ben Reilly. Eventually, the writers decided to have some fun with the idea and reveal that Ben was the real Spider-Man and that Peter was a clone.
As Comicbook.com explains, however, fans found the change too bizarre. It also didn't help that Peter was being written out of the spotlight in favor of Ben. Addressing this, the writers retconned the story again and again, at one point having both Peter and Ben be clones, until it was finally revealed that Peter was the real Spider-Man all along.
4 Cassandra Cain's Time as a Villain (DC)
Fans can get behind an anti-hero, but turning a hero into a villain sometimes backfires. When DC decided to reinvent Batgirl/Cassandra Cain as a villain, fans were so upset with the change they developed a letter-writing campaign.
Changes to absolve Cain of any wrongdoing took time. As the WTF, DC? blog explains, giving her a Freudian excuse wasn't even enough, so it was ultimately revealed that Deathstroke had been warping her mind with a serum all along...and Robin was able to develop an antidote to restore her sanity.
3 Hawkeye Having Sex with a Doombot (Marvel)
Noticing a trend here? Be very careful when writing sex scenes! As we've previously reported, In Transia, Hawkeye meets up with a seemingly amnesiac Scarlet Witch. Needless to say, fans kind of thought the whole deal to be inappropriate.
It's later revealed that while Scarlet Witch did lose her memory, Doctor Doom had kidnapped her all along and left a Doombot in her place to keep up appearances. So, yeah, Hawkeye had sex with a Doombot.
2 The Return of Oliver Queen's Sleeves (DC)
Look, Marvel and DC ain't confined to just comics...there have been plenty of media where fans managed to leave their mark. In the Arrow series, Oliver Queen's costume gets an update nearly every season, but fans were not necessarily supportive of his Season 4 look, particularly how he lost his sleeves.
As Cinema Blend pointed out, fans thought that getting rid of the sleeves was just impractical, ruined camouflage, and even made Oliver look too bulky. By Season 5, however, they returned. One of the season's later episodes even had a flashback with Oliver outright asking for Kevlar sleeves after getting cut on his arms...it's just practical!
1 Reversing the "Mandarian" Twist (Marvel)
As Business Insider pointed out, fans were not too happy about a twist towards the end of Iron Man 3: Guy Pearce's Aldrich Killian was revealed to be a terrorist known as the "Mandarin;" to strengthen the twist, Ben Kingsley was also essentially cast as a red herring.
The short film, All Hail the King, decided to throw fans a bone by revealing that Killian stole the identity of the original Mandarin. According to Voices From Krypton, writer/director Drew Pearce said the idea for another twist came out before the film was even released, but fans wanting to see more of Kingsley certainly helped.