ELEKTRA #3 (2001)
Elektra is one of Marvel’s most boring characters. She’s died and been resurrected and she’s still boring, and she continues to make any comic in which she appears a medically prescribable sedative. Artist Chuck Austen attempted to make Elektra a little more interesting by drawing her nude in a few panels of her own miniseries, since the comic was published under Marvel’s mature Marvel Knights imprint. Even though all of her marginally-interesting nudity was obscured by shadows and word bubbles, the issue was recalled and destroyed. To sanitize the issue’s provocative panels, Marvel went back in and had a few tiny lines of underpants drawn on, and all was right with the dull world of Elektra.
WOLVERINE #131 (1998)
ACTION COMICS #869 (2008)
DC Comics is cool with showing bloody violence, cigar smoking, and women being dismembered and shoved into fridges… but the company draws the line with beer. Action Comics #869 was originally released with an uncharacteristically subdued cover depicting Clark Kent and Pa Kent hanging out by a fence on the family farm and talking about life, holding bottles of something that looks like it says “Crow Root Beer.” That’s as charmingly Americana as an image can get, right? Unfortunately, DC thought that Superman drinking something that might be seen as beer was too much. They recalled the issue and republished it with bottles that clumsily say “Soda Pop” instead.
ALL-STAR BATMAN & ROBIN, THE BOY WONDER #10 (2008)
UNIVERSE X SPIDEY #1 (2001)
When you’re a professional artist with a grudge, you have a lot of places to hide your secret revenge messages. Artist Al Milgrom had it in for Marvel’s Bob Harras, an editor who had recently left his post at the publisher, so Milgrom decided to celebrate the departure by hiding a secret, scrawly message about Harras on the spines of some books in the background of a scene, spelling out “Harras, Ha Ha He’s Gone, Good Riddance to Bad Rubbish, He Was A Nasty S.O.B.” The hidden message was discovered, Milgrom was fired (and later re-hired), while the issue was destroyed and republished. Never harass Harras.
SPIDER-MAN: REIGN #1 (2006)
SAVAGE DRAGON #31 (1996)
It’s not just the big two publishers who are subject to comic book recalls. Savage Dragon, a comic known for its many inappropriate moments (including a supervillain with extreme flatulence powers named Backfire), recalled an issue because Image Comics missed censoring an F-bomb. The issue, which featured an epic battle between God and Satan on the cover, was republished with a pronouncement of “God is Good” on the cover, and the offending epithet blocked out. Unfortunately, the villain known as Dung still remains, who does exactly what you think.
THE LEAGUE OF EXTRAORDINARY GENTLEMEN #5 (2000)
SCOOBY-DOO WHERE ARE YOU? #7 (2011)
While the Scooby-Doo recall was also related to Alan Moore, this time it really wasn’t his fault. Probably. Somehow, a full-page advertisement for Moore’s very mature V for Vendetta comic ended up in the seventh issue of Scooby-Doo. Because DC is very careful to market appropriate comics to the right audiences, the company quickly sent out a notice to destroy all issues of the comic with the offending ad. Even more unusual was the fact that the ad was severely of date, as that particular edition of V for Vendetta was released in 2009, two years earlier than the printing error.
ELSEWORLDS 80-PAGE GIANT (1999)
10 COMICS RECALLED FOR SCANDALOUS REASONS