1. Feral Wolverine
I have to admit that stealing the adamantium from Wolverine by having Magneto rip it from his bones was a pretty cool idea. I give them points for being daring as far as that goes. And letting him have bone claws was pretty cool as well because that meant his claws were actually a part of his mutant abilities and it was a shocker to see them pop out.
And then Marvel got greedy.
For some strange reason the Marvel writers decided to take things to the extreme by having him slowly turn into an animal. The decision to make him an actual wolverine that had mutated apparently raised its ugly head again and they brought him down. He eventually went to wearing a bandana and even a ninja mask before it was all said and done.
2. Jackets and Pouches Everywhere
I can appreciate how comics try to stay relevant to the times with some changes. In the 90's, things went crazy. The X-Men were the epitome of crazy as far as costumes went.
I don't know if Xavier kept it freezing in the mansion or of they were just cold-natured, but for some reason jackets were in style. Gambit wore his well and it was cool. Everyone else just ripped him off.
Dazzler (a hero who shouldn't be in any comic) wore a jacket. Rogue wore a jacket. Jubilee wore a coat. Cyclops had more pouches than Batman's utility belt. But let's not leave out the Avengers, who loved their jackets too.
Black Knight wore one over his armor. Sersi wore one (sleeves pushed up, of course) over her costume. Crystal, the Wasp, Wonder Man, Firestar, Jusice and even Black Widow sported jackets during the 90's. I don't know why it became the norm for Marvel heroes, but they definitely weren't afraid to put them out there.
Eventually jackets phased out for a while and spandex made a return, but the damage had been done. At least Spider-Man never wore a jacket...unless you count the Scarlet Spider's hoodie.
And don't get me started on DC's Vibe. That costume just has no explanation.
The 90's gave us a number of weird heroes, but we can't skip Bloodwynd. I'm the first to admit I wasn't a huge Justice League fan, but when I saw him show up in their confrontation with Doomsday (just before he killed Superman) my first thought was "When did Spawn join the JLA?" This character was an unabashed ripoff of Spawn and I have no idea how they avoided a massive lawsuit.
Just as quickly as he appeared, he was gone. I don't know that he's made any major impressions in the DC universe in over a decade. As a matter of fact, I doubt he made it through the recent reboot alive.
I have no idea if you should blame the writers for not knowing what to do with the guy, or the character itself, but Bloodwynd was a ripoff that stumbled out of the gate. But hey, at least he wasn't wearing a jacket.
4. Destroying Major Heroes...Then Bringing Them Back
The purpose of a reboot is to give us something new. Maybe sales are flagging on a title and they need to give the old horse a shot in the arm. Maybe new writers come in with new ideas. Or maybe a hero has just outlived their usefulness. For whatever reason, reboots are a hit-and-miss affair.
The 90's were brutal to the major heroes. Last week I talked about how Marvel tried to replace Spider-Man, but DC went ape-crazy in the 90's with wiping out their crew...though most of those deaths were short-lived.
So what did they do in the 90's? Well, they killed Superman (for a few issues). They broke Batman's back and replaced him with Azrael, who eventually went crazy and had to be put down by a healed-up Bruce Wayne. They turned Green Lantern into a crazed homicidal maniac who killed Sinestro with his bare hands...along with several members of the Green Lantern Corps. Then eventually he became Parallax, died saving the universe, became the Spectre, and then came back as Green Lantern again.
Many publishers would stop there, but they didn't. They had Aquaman lose his hand to piranhas and decide getting a harpoon/hook thing in there was a bright idea. They also gave him a new long hair and beard look that was supposed to make him "edgy". He stayed like this for a while, then they gave him a magic "water hand".
They killed Green Arrow with a bomb, until Parallax brought him back just before he died himself. They killed Hawkman and brought him back again thanks to his reincarnation powers. They didn't kill Martian Manhunter, who didn't deserve the pass but they made up for it big time by killing him off in the mid-2000's.
The thing that annoyed me about it in the 90's was how short-lived it all was for the most part. In some cases it lasted for a couple of years, while in others the changes were mere months before you could see things reverting back (Superman was foreshadowed as back in the game almost immediately). On the other hand, it was a good thing those changes were short. Most of them were horrible choices.