When a comic book becomes incredibly popular, the only logical thing a publisher can do is create a spin-off exploring other characters. Sometimes you get a series that can carry its own weight, like the Batman spinoff Robin, but more often than not you’re left with duds like these five titles.
Superman’s Girlfriend Lois Lane
Between 1958 and 1979, any character of moderate significance warranted a spin-off, and for evidence of this you need look no further than Superman’s Girlfriend Lois Lane. As the title would suggest, the book was a means to explore Superman’s other half in greater detail because Supe’s own book was dedicated to action, adventure, justice and other things the average adolescent male certainly didn’t really give a damn about.
The problem with giving Lois Lane her own book is right there in the title: even when the sister is doing it for herself, she’s still playing second fiddle to the Man of Steel. To be fair, it wasn’t terribly likely that anyone would buy one of these things to follow the exploits of a middle-aged white woman who couldn’t deflect bullets with her chest. To be unfair, most issues broke down to Lois somehow getting into a wacky situation that her sugar-daddy would have to get her out of.
Also, monkey feet.
The title itself was also a bit of a misnomer, since Superman spent half of Lois’ book sticking his penis into other women. Despite representing truth, justice, and the American way, Superman just couldn’t commit to one woman and Lois spent an absurd amount of time trying to trick a man with heat vision into marrying her. The only time Lois ever acted like she might be an independent woman was when she was battling Superman’s other love interests, which included Lana Lang, Wonder Woman and a mermaid he met in college.
Not at all making this up.
Superman’s Pal Jimmy Olsen
In an effort to prove that the Superman franchise was ripe with interesting characters that could carry their own weight, publisher DC comics gave Jimmy Olsen, ace photographer and b-list sidekick, his own book. Much like Lois Lane, Jimmy wasn’t profitable enough to venture out on his own without Superman’s name slapped across the top. Grandmothers everywhere brought home Jimmy’s adventures to grandchildren who learned what true disappointment was as a result.
Now that he was a headlining act Jimmy did anything but be Superman’s friend. Seriously, look through a gallery of Jimmy Olsen comics where he isn’t trying to kill Superman:
Thrive off of Superman’s tears:
Or move in on his alleged girlfriend?
When not trying to bring the world’s greatest hero to his knees, Jimmy also spends his time trying to learn Superman’s identity for the purposes of exploitation. And how does he do it? Classic death hoax.
Forget Lex Luthor. Jimmy Olsen is the greatest villain of all.
Spider-Man’s many series are known for their liberal use of retcon, or making significant changes to the plot or characters by altering past events. Retcons are usually the result of a character’s death, lingering plot holes, or writers feeling that a story won’t be able to continue in the same direction. Spider-Man has suffered from all three in his history because he’s simply that amazing.
See? Right there in the title.
Apparently, one of the lingering plot holes was about who actually gave birth to Peter Parker. “Trouble” tries to answer this by tackling the age-old conundrum of teenage pregnancy. In this instance, the teen in question is May, otherwise known as Aunt May. Back in the seventies she was a bit of a problem child and had wild, unprotected sex with both Ben and his brother Richie.
Just want to make sure you understand which May we’re talking about here.
May’s reasoning for doing the deed with two different men was because a palm reader told her no one would ever call her “mom.” Once she realizes that she’s pregnant, that dear Ben is sterile and that palm readers aren’t an effective form of birth control, she runs away from home. She then gives birth to Peter, gives Peter to his father Richie and goes about her life, rapidly aging as though nothing had happened.
Just so we’re on the same page, the above woman was having sex all the time.
The story was intended to become accepted as regular continuity but fans were quick to point out how that was a terrible idea. “Trouble” was removed from cannon and Uncle Ben once again was the owner of mighty sperm.