10 Biggest Comic Book Scandals

Poor business decisions, sexual harassment, censorship...and Shia LaBeouf.

Comic books are no more squeaky clean than the colourful superheroes that appear within their pages. Watchmen and The Dark Knight Returns inspired a whole sub-genre of titles that explore the dark underbelly of comic characters, the psychosis of Batman and the sexual perversity of Spider-Man. It looks like kids stuff, but there's a lot of darkness going on under the surface. The same is true of the industry as a whole, which is almost as scandal-ridden as Hollywood €“ it's just that, until very recently, the mainstream media haven't really been paying attention. That doesn't mean that it didn't happen. If a rights issue falls in the woods, and nobody's around to hear it, does it make a sound? Well, yes. Obviously. That's a silly question. Comics are rife with scandal and controversy as any other industry. It's just that outside of trade publications and zines, there wasn't anybody reporting on them until very recently. Even now the majority of online outlets try to shy away from the muck raking side of things, preferring to stay in the major publisher's good favour. Again: that doesn't mean things don't happen. There are less infidelities than you get amongst TV stars, less accusing higher-ups of being Hitler than you get on film productions, and...actually, about the same plagiarism accusations as you get with music. Then there are the poor business decisions, the endemic bigotry, sexual harassment, censorship and €“ perhaps worst of all €“ Shia LaBeouf. Here, then, are the ten biggest scandals to have hit comic books. So far, at least.
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Tom Baker is the Comics Editor at WhatCulture! He's heard all the Doctor Who jokes, but not many about Randall and Hopkirk. He also blogs at http://communibearsilostate.wordpress.com/