8 Times Good Comic Book Creators Went Bad!

Even the best creators in comics have black marks against their otherwise spotless careers!

Stan Lee Batman
DC Comics

"You were so preoccupied with whether or not you could, you didn't stop to think if you should," to paraphrase the great Ian Malcolm is one of life's great truisms.

In comics, fans long for the day when Artists X will work on Book Y or Writer Z announces some "bold new project" - only to be left feeling underwhelmed by the final product.

The blame in such situations is usually 50/50, with fans putting impossible expectations on those creators and, in turn, those creators overpromising and underdelivering.

However, there are talents with a proven track record of turning everything they touch into gold; names and faces that are unquestionably in contention for comics' Mount Rushmore. The announcement of these visionaries working on a title or project that seems tailormade for them has readers the world over salivating; only, in some scarce instances, for those readers to end up crushed when the final product is not just disappointing, it's downright awful.

Whether the cause is delusions of grandeur, too much or too little editorial interference, biting off more than they could chew or just failing to understand what made that property work, even the greatest comic book writers and artists stumble and fall.

8. Joe Casey - Uncanny X-Men

Stan Lee Batman
Marvel Comics

The X-Men was Marvel's flagship title during the late '80s and into the '90s. A constantly rotating creative team, increasingly ludicrous soap opera-like stories and never-ending plot threads had seen readers all but abandon it by the turn of the century. When he took over at Marvel, one of Joe Quesada's top priorities was to fix the X-line, and to that end, he hired Grant Morrison and Joe Casey.

Casey was coming fresh from a critically acclaimed run on Wildcats; a title where he had taken the X-Men clones and turned them into an examination of the superhero as a corporate entity. Instead of battling mutants, aliens or killer robots, these heroes would turn their attention to solving real-world problems like the energy crisis or child labour exploitations in the Far East.

Unfortunately, Casey's X-Men book was in trouble almost as soon as it hit the stands, from the editorially mandated "Gypsy switch" cover featuring the long-awaited Wolverine and Jean Grey kiss, to Iain Churchill walking off the book after four issues. The title would limp along for over a year with Casey's "dangerous" new direction floundering under editorial infantilization and having to live in the shadow of Morrison's era-defining run.

Alternative Recommendation: Wildcats V3.0


Kevin McHugh is a code-monkey by day and a purveyor of the unpleasant by night. Having had several comics published by Future Quake Press he is now moving into prose. An avid fan of punk rock, cheap horror movies and even cheaper fast-food Kevin can be found pontificating either on Twitter or over at WhatCulture Comics where he is a regular contributor. He lives in Edinburgh with his wife and two daughters.