Imagine that with a "GASP!" behind it. For my whole life, I knew a few things, that mama brought you into this world and she could take you out of it. Water was wet and DC Comics characters NEVER changed their uniforms. It just WAS NOT done.*
Ever the game changer, Aquaman, as the first major DC Comics character to do things as an adult would, marry, have children, proved yet again to be one of comics' most adaptive of heroes.
*And, yes, I know Wonder Woman did it in the 70's but she stopped wearing a costume more than anything.
3. I Just Remembered, I've Got Nothing To Prove To You. I'm Batman, Dammit.
That's essentially the ending of Batman: Ten Nights of The Beast, an ending so bad-ass I decided to use this mind**** in real life AND IT ACTUALLY WORKED.*
A Russian assassin, The KGBeast has dispatched to take down America by killing its leaders. He arrives in America with a freshly waxed bikini arena, a leather submissive mask and a bunch of guns and the ability to handle the **** out of an ax. (More on that later.)
After killing a few sorta minor government officials, The World's Greatest Detective finally realizes that it's part of a wider plot to assassinate THE PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES!
So, just when you think this thing is about to end, with a battle on a rooftop, no less, Batman snares the guy in a rope and what does The KGBeast do to get away? He chops off his own frickin' HAND! All I could think was, "He really musta wanted to get away from Batman."
In the end, Batman hunts him down and prevents him from killing POTUS, luring The KGBeast into a long abandoned underground closet.
So what does Batman do after watching a man kill several gov't officials, threaten to kill The President and chop off his own hand to escape.
He says, "F*** it," and locks your ass in said closet to DIE. Case closed.
*Results may vary.
Nearly twenty years of consistency was erased with some simple fight. A depowered African woman vs. a tall, white man with the power to level you with a look. Maybe I read too much into this struggle but damn, but when this black woman walked away with Cyclops' pride and the right to give Wolverine orders, it did more for me than a million episodes of The Cosby Show ever could.
Batman: The Killing Joke was the book that taught me what the term "in-continuity" meant. All I can remember was looking at the above four panels, watching everything I knew about The Batman and his shared universe fade away. I just kept thinking, "This can't be real. They really shot Batgirl. I mean, The Joker hurt Batgirl." Artist Brian Bolland's perfect rendering of Barbara Gordon's surprise and disbelief, is perfect comics storytelling so much that it was only recently that I'd realized this scene had been presented as wordless.