The appeal of DC's heroes is exactly the opposite of Marvel's. While Marvel had heroes you could look out the window and see swinging through the New York skyline, DC created heroes that were meant to be ideals to strive toward. We could never be Superman, but that doesn't mean we shouldn't try anyway.
Sure would be nice if the writers and higher ups at DC remembered this from time to time!
Because dark and gritty comics are all the rage (or so they keep telling us), DC keeps feeling the need to push the boundaries of what they can get away with in these stories and with these characters, both of which (by the way), were originally intended for children.
The reason for this is obvious. Comic book companies, even the big two, are in a constant battle to keep their books in the black, so they need to ensure that you come back for the next issue. A tale as old as the industry itself.
But there are just some lines that you don't cross if you want to stay respectable or considered basically decent people. These are the times DC thought it could straddle those lines, and ended up accidentally pole vaulting right over them - much to the disappointment of their readers.
10. The Death Of Jason Todd - A Death In The Family
Despite its fame, this one sits at the bottom because DC is not the only one at fault here. Fans famously despised the post-crisis version of Jason Todd, so when A Death In The Family was announced, DC provided a call in poll about what fans felt should be done about Jason Todd. The voting was unanimous: kill em'.
And so DC proceeded to do exactly that, and the death pretty much overshadows everything else about the story. I mean, in this same story, Joker gets appointed in a position within the Iranian government. Remember that? Of course you don't, because just a few issues later he's taking a crowbar to Jason Todd until the kid is reduced to putty.
What makes the scene so utterly haunting is that you see every second of it. Each swing of that crowbar is given two panels, one to show the wind-up, the other to show the impact. And while you never see the actual damage, you really don't need to because of that.
It was the first time DC had killed someone in such a visceral fashion. But it was far from the last.