8 Real-Life Events That Forced Comics To Change

Watergate caused major problems for Captain America.

Superman Lex Luthor Atomic Bomb
DC Comics

Even though comic books are meant to be a source of entertainment, they have caused a stir from time to time. Occasionally, the writers will produce a story that irks long-time readers, creates a storm on social media, or gets mentioned on the news.

But every once in a while, there is a comic that proves so controversial, the creative team behind it are forced to make changes. Altering a plotline may sound drastic but sometimes, it's the right move. If a story has eerie similarities with a recent tragedy or a political incident, it's sensible to remove certain elements. There are other times where a storyline can't be told the way it's intended because it violates the rules of censorship.

But every once in a while, readers have such umbrage with a specific plot or character, they've threatened the publishing company with violence or a lawsuit. In situations like this, the publisher has no choice but to revise or pull the plug on the entire story.

Here are the eight times where real-life events forced comic books to change their stories.

8. The Creation Of The CCA Derailed Mystique & Destiny – X-Men #141 (1981)

Superman Lex Luthor Atomic Bomb
Marvel Comics

In 1978, the X-Men clashed with the shapeshifting mutant, Mystique, who went on to become among their most recurring enemies. The metamorphosing menace became more dangerous when she allied with a precog called Destiny. But because Mystique spoke to her telepathic ally in an affectionate manner, some readers were under the impression the pair weren't just partners-in-crime - they were lovers.

According to Mystique's co-creator, Chris Claremont, that was always the intent. Not only that, Mystique and Destiny were supposed to be the biological parents of the X-Men's Nightcrawler. Mystique was meant to use her shapeshifting powers to turn into a man and impregnate Destiny, who would then bare their child.

Sadly, this idea was abandoned because of the Comics Code Authority. Since this association's inception, it's cracked down on any material in comics that was regarded as inappropriate. The CCA was so unfairly stringent, it banned words like 'weird' and 'werewolf' from comics! Since the company was against comics depicting same-sex relationships, portraying Mystique and Destiny as a couple was out of the question.

Although the two supervillainesses' relationship was acknowledged after the CCA became defunct decades later, the idea that Mystique was Nightcrawler's 'father' was scrapped.


James Egan has written 80 books including 1000 Facts about Superheroes Vol. 1-3 1000 Facts about Horror Movies Vol. 1-3 1000 Facts about The Greatest Films Ever Made Vol. 1-3 1000 Facts about Video Games Vol. 1-3 1000 Facts about TV Shows Vol. 1-3 Twitter - @jameswzegan85