Believe it or not, there was a time when some people believed that rape and murder made superhero comics more enjoyable. The gritty, dark storytelling of the '80s made this type of ultra-violence trendy, but other talent eventually came along and mistook violence for deep storytelling. That’s where writer Brad Meltzer’s Identity Crisis comes into play. It’s not that it’s a bad story—because it’s actually a very enjoyable read—but some of the plot points are tough to stomach.
In the story, the Elongated Man’s wife, Sue Dibny, is brutally murdered by an unknown assailant in the miniseries’ opening pages. The tale then evolves into a Watchmen-esque murder mystery that keeps opening ugly doors from the Justice League’s past. This includes one memorably sleazy scene that reveals that the supervillain Doctor Light once broke into Justice League headquarters and raped Dibny. The poor girl couldn’t catch a break.
It’s an uncomfortable scene to flip through to say the least. When it all comes down to it, the rape itself isn’t controversial, but the fact that Dibny’s murder and sexual assault were used as a shocking plot device is what really makes this story land on this list.