Popped Culture: The 20 Most Controversial Moments Of 2018 (So Far)

It's safe to say that 2018 has already been a big year in the world of movies, video games, comic books, and TV shows. With massive releases like Avengers: Infinity War and Red Dead Redemption 2 being released to the public, there has been (and will be) a lot to digest. Unfortunately, the news for this year hasn't been all good. With every great new film or comic book, there is another that brings a different reaction. There have been a large amount of controversial topics this year alone. Whether it be the release of a movie that many thought was immoral or a development in a comic book that many thought was undeserved, there was plenty to dislike for a lot of fans. These negative opinions sparked a lot of discussion across the board. There were plenty of people that loved a lot of the big things that happened this year, and plenty that hated them. It's only a matter of time before those people find each other on the internet and incite a passionate discussion.

We're not here to debate which viewpoint is the best. Instead, we're just focusing on what happened and why it was controversial. Wherever you stand on these issues, you're not wrong for thinking that way -- many people are bound to think differently on most topics. With that out of the way, we can discuss the 20 most controversial moments in 2018 so far. For this list, we are including moments involving movies, video games, comics, and TV shows that all happened this year alone.

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After Bruce Wayne proposed to Selina Kyle, there was a lot of anticipation for the upcoming wedding. It was built up as an event that would potentially bring the Dark Knight happiness for once in his life. Then came Batman #50, which teased the wedding fans had been waiting to see for a long time. The issue's ending was leaked ahead of time, which caused a lot of people to turn on the result.

Selina leaves Bruce waiting at the altar, stating that he wouldn't be Batman if he were happy, and that she would be doing a disservice to the world. Regardless of how good the rest of the issue was, most people were hung up on the ending.


james gunn

One of the more recent controversial moments this year came not too long ago. James Gunn, director of the Guardians of the Galaxy movies, was fired for a series of tweets he made years ago that many people dug up and found offensive. After a large enough outcry from people on social media, Disney fired him from Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3.

There are some who agreed with this decision, and others who felt that it was a poor one. Most of the actors in the franchise have stated their support for Gunn, begging Disney to bring him back. The House of Mouse doesn't want to budge, though.



After the faithful and respectful Battlefield 1, many fans were wondering where DICE would take the franchise next. Instead of confusing everyone and continuing the "1" series, they instead announced Battlefield V, which is a continuation of the previous game (not to make things more complicated).

This time, the game focuses around World War II. However, the game will also allow players to be women in the game, which many have pointed out is historically inaccurate. When asked about this deliberate change, EA stated that they just wanted to release a game that was the most fun it could be, regardless of its accuracy.


Super Smash Bros Ultimate is marketed with the tagline: everyone is here. The game is bringing in every fighter that ever appeared in a Super Smash Bros game as well as many newcomers that had been requested for years. We have standouts like Ridley, King K. Rool, and Simon Belmont. However, the one character who remains absent as a playable fighter is Waluigi.

In the first official presentation for the game, Luigi's rival was confirmed to remain an Assist Trophy, as he was in the previous games. The internet collectively lost its mind and begged for Sakurai to throw Waluigi in the game and some still think he could get in.



Years after Slender: The Eight Pages got popularity for the mysterious character, Sony Pictures decided to make the Slender Man movie. It wasn't long before the families involved in the tragic "Slender Man attack" openly stated that the movie was Sony "capitalizing on tragedy," which they thought was immoral.

A lot of other people on the internet voiced their opinions, feeling the same way. Others thought the movie was going to be a harmless and poorly-made movie that everyone would forget a few weeks after its release. After all, Slender Man isn't relevant in pop culture anymore, being long replaced by other horror games.


Diversity & Comics is a YouTube channel with quite a big following, who specializes in criticizing comic books. He decided that he would give comic creation a go with the announcement that his own series, Jawbreakers, would be an IndieGoGo project. He got the funding he needed and Antarctic Press agreed to publish the book.

However, many people began expressing their displeasure with Antarctic for distributing the book, even going as far as some retailers refusing to order the book. Many felt that the views expressed by the creator of Diversity & Comics were controversial and Antarctic soon reneged on the release of the book.


A lot of people watch the Oscars to see what new and exciting movies will take home the awards. The whole time, there are plenty of people that feel other movies that should be candidates for awards are never put on. After all, Star Wars: The Force Awakens didn't win Best Picture, and neither did Logan. Because of this, the Oscars recently announced a new category titled, "Most Popular Movie."

A lot of people have expressed their displeasure for this new category, stating that is an arbitrary award that won't mean much in the long run and that a good movie is a good movie no matter how much money it brings in. Thankfully, this idea has been iced for now.


It's no secret that Cartoon Network hasn't treated Adventure Time well following its sixth season. After poorly promoting it on their network and removing it in favor of showing more episodes of Teen Titans GO!, they called for the cancellation of the series, making its 10th season its last.

While the finale was well-received and well-done, there are some that felt Adventure Time should've been treated better and allowed the time it needed to build to a more climactic ending. After all, it wasn't until the last few seasons that characters were introduced that would be important to the end of the show.


The DC Universe streaming service will launch a few original shows, the first of which being Titans, which is a gritty, live-action adaptation of The New Teen Titans comic. DC released a trailer for the series, causing a lot of people to respond negatively.

On top of some of the costumes (like Raven's and Beast Boy's) looking awful in their eyes, they criticized the overly gritty tone. Robin seems to take out people and even has some harsh words about Batman. Many have stated that it just seems to be dark and edgy for the sake of being dark and edgy. Even now, there is a lot of skepticism that the show will have any sort of quality.



The next '80s cartoon character that's on the reboot train is She-Ra. Being the sister of He-Man, she was just as powerful and impressive, with an iconic design. For this rebooted show on Netflix, though, her design has been drastically altered. She-Ra looks much younger and more like a space cadet.

While some have expressed their pleasure with the design, there are others that have outwardly spoken against it. Whether it be because it changed the original version too much or is "teaching girls the wrong lessons," there are some heated arguments regarding this new vision for the popular character.


Despite not having Spider-Man, Sony insists on beginning their own Spider-Man movie universe. This move will start with the Venom movie this October, which has already come out with a few trailers. The latest one showed more of the symbiote in action, but with some lines of dialogue that rubbed people the wrong way.

He tells a man he's about to eat that he will be this, "...armless, legless thing, going down the street like a turd in the wind." While the lines were ripped straight out of the comics, there are some that have pointed out that they don't translate well onto the big screen.



In the asymmetrical games genre, there are two that lead the charge: Dead By Daylight and Friday the 13th. While players were quick to compare the two, Dead By Daylight automatically has a leg-up over Friday the 13th. After some legal issues plagued the development team, it was announced that the game would receive no future content and wouldn't be further supported.

While the servers will remain up and the game will still be available for purchase, that's all there is to it anymore. Fans of the game were crushed, broken-hearted that no more new skins for Jason would come out.


Konami knocked it out of the park with Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain. Unfortunately, it was only a matter of time before they made a decision that made everyone scratch their heads in confusion. After the popularity of PUBG and Fortnite, Konami decided they wanted a piece of the action with Metal Gear Survive. 

This Battle Royale game with zombies added for good measure was released unfinished. It had numerous bugs and bad gameplay decisions that caused it to before it even had a chance to take off. Konami quickly pretended that the game didn't exist, and everyone sold their copies.


Joaquin Phoenix

When it comes to movies, DC and Warner Bros have been spotty with their direction at best. After the DCEU wasn't doing as well as they had hoped, they still moved forward with announcing other projects not connected to that universe. One announcement that caught everyone off guard was that they were planning a Joker movie starring Joaquin Phoenix instead of Jared Leto.

The movie is going to tell the origin story of the Clown Prince of Crime. Many people are skeptical a movie like that could ever work, and the rest are just doubtful that a Joker origin movie even needs to be made.


After the release of NBA Playgrounds on Nintendo Switch, it was also announced that the maligned Shaq-Fu game was coming back in the form of Shaq-Fu: A Legend Reborn (owners of the former game would get the latter for free). This game was a corny, self-aware, beat-em-up that had all sorts of wacky cutscenes and characters.

There were some who ended up liking the game, stating that it was a proper revival. There were others who thought the game was downright miserable, criticizing its sense of humor as well as its repetitive gameplay. Regardless of the reviews, the developers continued supporting the game after launch.


After Steven Universe had spent a lot of its time teasing the antagonists of the series and what Homeworld was like, fans got their first look at White Diamond. After Steven revealed himself to be Pink Diamond, Blue and Yellow decided to travel with him to Homeworld to speak with White Diamond.

While there were some people who lost their minds at the reveal of this new character, there were some who were less than impressed. Many people felt that the arc leading up to the Gems going to Homeworld with Steven was rushed and left out a lot of character moments that needed to happen in a situation like that.


Secret of Mana was one of Square Enix's most beloved RPGs back in the day. Featuring a more dynamic combat system and characters just as lovable as one would find in the Final Fantasy series, it would stand the test of time. That's why the announcement of an HD remake on PS4 and PS Vita excited a lot of the fans.

Unfortunately, the resulting Secret of Mana game was lackluster in just about every way. It was the rare example of a remake being a step down from the original. It lacked the heart, charm, and love that was placed into the original. Fans and critics quickly noticed it too.


Rick Grimes Walking Dead

With The Walking Dead going on for so long, and many characters getting written off, fans have wondered when the main character, Rick Grimes, would see his departure from the show. Actor Andrew Lincoln announced this year, at Comic-Con, that he would be leaving the show.

While it will give a sense of finality to his character (hopefully), a lot of people believe that the show wouldn't work without the main character. The Walking Dead is set to keep going without Grimes, and a lot of people are worried that it will make a drastic decline in quality as a result.


At E3 2017, EA gave the world a look at their upcoming open-world game, Anthem. The game seems to be a variant of other popular titles like Mass Effect and Destiny, complete with a visually astounding world to explore and plenty of futuristic tech to use along the way. While the initial trailer had a lot of people excited, the more revealed about the game, the more concerned fans are.

The game was rushed to a release in February 2019, and that has many concerned that it will debut unfinished. On top of that, the game seems to have the same issues as the games that inspired it. Knowing EA, there will probably be some sort of monetization and/or DLC isssue.


Avengers: Infinity War ended up Thanos completing the Infinity Gauntlet, snapping his fingers, and half of all life turning into ash. There were a lot of viewers that felt the sting of this move, as each loss was one gut punch after the other (particularly Spider-Man's).

There were others, though, that felt that the endings were a cheap trick used by Marvel to get the emotion without having any of the impact, considering that most, if not all, of these characters will be returning for Avengers 4 as well as their own solo movies in Phase Four. There's no denying it was a big moment, but it has fans split down the middle.

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