10 Controversial Comic Book Stories That Shocked Readers

Although comic books don’t share the same type of success as other forms of entertainment such as movies and television, they can still prove to be incredibly influential and immensely popular. In fact, characters from comic books have inspired some of the best films of recent times, such as The Dark Knight and The Avengers. However, the fact that they have a less mainstream profile means that their creators can experiment with more wacky storylines or contentious elements that can have the ability to both shock and offend readers – just like the ones on this list.

The Incident

Superman has largely been seen as an American hero throughout his publication, with the superhero regularly claiming to be standing up for justice in the United States. A standalone story entitled The Incident changed all of this though when it saw Superman renounce his US citizenship in a protest against the government’s foreign policy. Many saw this as a direct attack on the country by DC Comics, with some political news outlets becoming outraged by the move.


Marvel’s Ultimatum was always likely to be controversial and shocking to long-time fans when it emerged that it was going to feature the deaths of several main characters. What tipped it over the edge for readers though was the sheer violence that littered the pages, with many heroes having limbs torn from their bodies or even decapitated. As well as these ferocious deaths though, the story was also critically panned and many consider it one of the worst of recent times.