Comics where the writer doesn't care about the characterThe first really bad comic I remember reading was the black and white Rampaging Hulk number 8.
However, it wasn't the Hulk story that I disliked, but rather the dismal treatment of main character in the back up story in that magazine - a character by the name of Ulysses Bloodstone.
For those of you not familiar with the man with the ruby studded chest, Bloodstone was a immortal monster hunter - sort of a mix between Doc Savage and Vandal Savage. While the character first appeared in the pages of Marvel Presents 1, I only knew him from Rampaging Hulk. With his arcane origin and mythic history this shotgun weilding monster slayer seemed new and exciting to me.
The b/w series was written by John Warner, who along with Len Wein and Marv Wolfman helped create the character. As one of the creators, Warner had a vested interest in the series, but somewhere around issue 6 of Rampaging Hulk, Warner left Marvel to write Flash Gordon for Gold Key.
This left the Bloodstone storyline dangling, so for two issues of Rampaging Hulk, Bloodstone didn't appear. When he finally did return in issue 8 in a story penned by Steve Gerber, the results were...ahem...not to my liking.
For whatever reason, by the end of Gerber's first Bloodstone story, the character in a left in a rather unusable state:
I remember reading that ending and being devastated to the very core of my being. I can only think that Gerber was brought in to wrap up the story in some fashion and given his affection for morbid themes, he choose to kill Bloodstone in the finale. That the last line of dialogue is a groaner didn't help sell it either.
Sadly, we've seen a lot of characters revived over the years in comics, but alas, the savage Bloodstone has not been one of them.
Another classic example of this type of story is the ending of Warren Ellis' Dr. Druid series from the 90's.
Apparently this was supposed to be a series which would help Marvel build their version of Vertigo. Yet, from what I can gather, Marvel was a bit afraid of what Ellis was putting into the series and on that, all I can say is if this is the guy you've hired to write your D-list superhero story...
...then you sort of get what you deserve, don't you?
Unfortunately, sales were so low that Marvel downgraded the run to a 4 issue mini-series. This prompted the ever classy Ellis to take out his ire on the character. In the final issue (with the subtle title of Sick Of It All) Dr. Druid is beaten, depowered, shot, killed, burned and finally shoved into a garbage can.
If you were a fan of Dr. Druid (and I'm sure they exist) it's hard to imagine that comic not ending up on one of your All Time Worst list. ;)
I'll pick this up next week with the next category, but until then, can you think of a time when a series went bad because writer stopped caring?