Comics have always had a tough time shedding their images as "kid's stuff". We'll never understand it, but some people find it very easy to dismiss them as disposable, little books to shove in front of your child's face when you're looking for fifteen minutes of peace and quiet. In an effort to appeal to more mature readers and be taken seriously as a storytelling medium, comics began to include more adult themes and complex ideas. In fact, most mainstream comics today are aimed at adults and older teens, with safer spin-offs written specifically for children.
However, even when they're working for adults, writers and artists can sometimes take things too far. Although everyone always enjoys seeing their favourite heroes and villains get involved in all new, all different adventures and storylines, there are some things that nobody wants to see anyone doing. Inside or outside comic books, there are certain areas where even the most morbidly curious fans draw the line.
Whether it's sexual misconduct, outdated values, or just good ol' fashioned racism, the following storylines are not just inappropriate for children, they're inappropriate for reading in general.
10. Cinder Kills Sex Offenders With More Sex - Titans: Villains For Hire
There was a short period of time when the Teen Titans comic shifted focus from its line-up of famous sidekicks, to follow the story of Deathstroke and a team of niche villains. These villains didn't get much more niche than Carla Moretti, a.k.a. Cinder, an Italian woman with the power to turn her body into molten lava. Sounds like a fun character, right?
Wrong! Very, very wrong.
In a misguided attempt to address an important issue, Titans: Villains For Hire revealed that Cinder's origin story began when, as a child, she was molested by her uncle. She now spends her days getting revenge by hunting down sex offenders and, um... having sex with them. Thankfully, she doesn't leave it there: while having sex, she turns a certain part of her body into lava, burning the offenders to death. Why she needs to have sex with them to do this is never really addressed.
Although the series was trying to explore the trauma of victims of sexual assault, the whole thing was too underdeveloped and clumsily handled to be anything worth reading.