The Other Half Of The Internet’s Worst Nerd Comment

A picture is worth a thousand words, but this one is worth every hateful internet comment ever written. Which adds up to less than a thousand real words, obviously, but is still an impressive feat of online image compression.


An idiot posted that a while ago, and was immediately obliterated by the entire comics internet. But they only exposed half of his idiocy. The obvious imbecility is that the brilliant Dayna Scodras there isn’t a gender-swapped steampunk Joker with a Willy Wonka hat. She’s Duela Dent, established DC character and printed proof that this asshole is trying to keep a woman out of comics that she knows better than him.


And honestly, the picture looks like a copy of the costume rather than the other way round.

The second half of the problem is that even if that hadn’t been Duela Dent, he’d still be wrong. There’s no such thing as “trying too hard” at the act of creation. That’s an insult used by the lazy to defend doing nothing.

Gender-swapping a steampunk Joker and giving her a Willy Wonka hat would be brilliant! I’d be happier if they gender-swapped half the DC universe. Not just the guys, because they do have a lot of ladies, but just randomly swapping 50% of the characters and they’re not allowed to alter the resulting costumes, only altering them to fit. You’re going to have a lot of guys wondering where their pants went, a lot of girls in extremely cool costumes, and if there’s any justice in the world Batman would be rocking the Black Canary fishnets. (He’s already best at everything, those leathers and legs would have him utterly dominating the underworld in every way you’d like it.)

In fact, gender-swapping someone and giving her a Willy Wonka would be better than most comics, because it would mean turning someone into a girl and then giving her more clothes. Which never happens.

Steampunk Joker? Kick-ass! That’s what alternate universes are meant to be for! Imagining adventures, excusing single-premise scenes, and generally escaping the absolute continuity of a blockbuster title to have some fun! Instead they’ve become an impossibly tangled web of continuity bullshit. It got so bad DC reset their entire universe, again, and the first crossover event was still an incestuous tangle between triplicates of the same characters having the worst threesome ever. When the super secret villain of your first big story is the evil alternate of Batman’s butler, you suck.

In fairness, he does have a British accent.

In fairness, he does have a British accent.

And when you dress that evil Alfred up as the Joker anyway, you’re so allergic to new ideas that even your clones need to rip off multiple characters simultaneously.

"Rarr, I'm a credible threat!"

“I’m a credible threat, rarr!”

Which brings us back to the poster’s imagined complaint: he thinks designing and crafting an excellent costume and applying perfect makeup is too much effort, but meming some ascii all over someone else’s picture is just right. Memes are guns: there are a few extraordinary circumstances where they’ve been used admirably, but they’re generally horrible things enabling anyone to ruin things with a ridiculous minimum of effort.

This poster enforces a standard where any exceptional effort is punished, where any untoward ability or excitement beyond the normal must be isolated and mocked. Which means he’s not even a stereotypical asshole nerd: he’s the stereotypical asshole jock.

Enjoy more comic costumery with The 5 Most Ridiculously Sexist Superhero Costumes,and the resulting evisceration of assholes in The 8 Stupidest Defenses Against Accusations Of Sexism.

DC VS Lobo, And How To Save The Main Man

DC have announced that the new Lobo will be seriously grimslim, a logical infiltrator of high-society. Which is like announcing that the new Darth Vader will be a sympathetic flower arranger, famed for his tender fingers and honeyed voice.

Logically infiltrating high society

Logically infiltrating high society

Lobo was loved as a brutal overparody of the super-tough-mega-badasses. The new version looks he’s modeling GQ’s Interstellar Assassin accessory range.


Here’s the thing: that’s great. There’s nothing wrong with creating an attractive athlete  to round out a cast of heroes who usually look like they’re smuggling steaks under their latex. The only problem is that after seventy years of making Super-money DC are psychotically centophobic. If you marry into a DC editor’s family, you’re invisible until your spouse introduces you as a reboot of a recently deceased existing relative.

“Wow, Uncle Vanya! Good to see you again! I see your legs have grown back, you’ve forgotten Russian, and you’re a woman now – excellent, we need more representation in the female market! I don’t suppose you could turn black? No worries. Well, wait there while I get the scissors to cut holes in your clothes.”

You want a well-groomed killer with a moral code? Fantastic! Create one! Adapt one! Do anything except humorlessly gut a one-joke character who’s the exact opposite of that, removing the one joke so that’s all that’s left is a hyphen, which becomes a minus, because you’ve done even less than create zero, you’ve actively destroyed something someone else created.

You want some reasons for a coiffed killer? Come up with one! At the bare minimum all you need is two new words: their name and their planet and that’s it, you’re done, you’ve brought in a new character without revealing your inability to even conceive of things which don’t already have copyright. Here, take some:

  • The prince of a planet which has known peace and perfect hair care for millennia becomes bored, and enters an interplanetary gladiator tournament. His adapted hairstyling blades are undefeatable. His victory spurs him to tackle more challenging prey throughout the galaxy.
  • P’heh-ritty Bhoy from the Twilight-sure-is-popular-these-days nebula.
  • Outcast-effete from a world of savage high technology, where the progress of technology has not displaced the tribal dominance of the alpha, Silven Jemme finds that his hideously smooth skin, deficiently unprotruding abs and weakly straight hair is attractive in the outside universe. He embarks on an odyssey of overcompensation.
  • John Smith from planet M3-blueseas. Note how this is still more original than what they did.
  • Get the Final Fantasy license. It certainly wouldn’t be the worst storyline you or they have ever done, and you could chop the entire internet in half by pitting Superman against Sephiroth.
  • Reveal the new Lobo to be a blatant parody of the urge to re-reinvent established characters for the latest fads, in the same way Lobo was reinventetd as a parody of overmuscled super-toughs.


For more rebooted rage, read The Worst Supermen Ever and The Most Amazing(ly Stupid) Spider-Man Reboots.

An Infinity Of Alternate Bat-men

In the parallel universe of Earth-53, the Wayne family take a shortcut through Crime Alley to return to their car after a screening of Zorro. A mugger tries to steal Martha’s pearl necklace and ends up shooting both parents, traumatizing their son, Bruce. He swears this will never happen again, dedicating his life and his family’s billions to improving up the Gotham police force.

Earth-64: Bruce replaces the Park Row municipal street sign with a vast flashing neon sign reading “They call this called CRIME ALLEY, you idiots, DON’T GO DOWN THERE.” Ironically, the intense illumination and epileptic strobing of the sign render the alley utterly crime free.

Earth-232: The Wayne Foundation revolutionizes the world by perfecting bio-mimetic nanotech materials, but goes bankrupt after flooding the market with synthetic pearls. Pearls become so common they’re used as a cheap building material. Crime Alley is forever cobblestoned and lustrous.

Earth-441: Demented filmmaker Bruce Wayne purchases and destroys all extant copies of every version of Zorro. He spends his fortune constantly re-filming and re-releasing reboots of the pulp swordsman, as praised for their repeated mastery of revolutionary new cinema techniques as they are criticized for always ruining the third act by having Zorro time-travel to the present to stab a gun-wielding mugger.

Earth-722: A traumatized Bruce Wayne realizes that there can be no street crime without streets. He excavates and floods all roadways to create a network of canals, renaming Gotham as “New Venice”. Most desperate and starving criminals cannot afford rebreathers, and the remaining thugs becoming much easier to spot on their motorized gondolas. These are swiftly defeated by the city’s new champion of justice, Aquaman.

Earth-2289: Master psychologist Bruce Wayne spots the key flaw in the Gotham criminal population. He becomes a Broadway producer, hiring every thug in the city to act as costumed chorus lines for the greatest musical stage show ever made. Without minions the Gotham criminal scene collapses. The show goes on tour, hiring all those drawn to strict-yet-ridiculous direction and uniformed clothing. Spin-off shows start in Metropolis and Central City, spreading to every country of the world. Every criminal organization loses its membership. The Joker dies when he can’t resist the urge to honk the horn while assembling his own dynamite-laced bumper cars.

Earth-15743: Bruce Wayne realizes that, holy shit, his parents were shot. He convinces Superman to take, like, five minutes to fly around the city destroying all illegal guns. Wayne Industries funds a global campaign to repeal the Second Amendment. The Joker becomes spokesman for the NRA. This is considered a step towards moderation and sanity by the organization, since it means replacing Wayne LaPierre.

For more Bat-madness, behold:

The Worst Superman Ever

If you’re worried by early reports on Man of Steel, lower your expectations with the Worst Supermen Ever. A Super-squad so terrible, Nazi Superman didn’t even make the list!



In fact Overman is almost adorable. An alternate world where Adolf Hitler won the second world war, pursued his eugenic agenda, and then the ultimate physical specimen literally descends from the heavens to join in. He’s head of the JLAXis, and that is exactly the kind of glorious insanity alternate universes are for. They’re arenas for the stupid and spectacular. They’re not meant to be entire realities filled with piddling minutiae, spacetimes stuck in a morass of utterly irrelevant editing and retcon. Speaking of which:


Superman should NEVER look like he's about to go "heh."

Superman should NEVER look like he’s about to go “heh.”

When your alternate of a spin-off Superboy-Prime changes to Superman-Prime not because he matured (which doesn’t happen in comics), but because of real world legal disputes with its creator, seventy years later, you might actually be allergic to new ideas.

Much more Superboy-mocking in The Worst Supermen Ever.

EXTRA READING: Behold Superman kicking an embarrassing amount of ass in The 7 Most Hilariously Mismatched Superhero Battles.