The appearance of the Punisher in season 2 of the Netflix Daredevil show reminded me of this. I used to be an avid comic book collector, but I just could not get into Daredevil. My first experience with the character was in a two-issue crossover with The Punisher; the story started in one title and ended in the other (can’t recall which order). I liked DD in that story, so I decided to pick up his title on a regular basis.
I thought it sucked ass. This was somewhere around 1988-89, and the ongoing story at the time involved DD/Matt Murdock’s relationship with the Typhoid Mary character. Issue after issue of, basically, Typhoid Mary fucking with DD/MM’s head. I dropped the title after a few issues because I couldn’t make any sense of what was going on. I didn’t enjoy a superhero story where the main character is constantly getting his ass handed to him because his head was messed up. It was just bleak, bleak, bleak, with no end in sight, and having not read the beginning of the story arc, I had no context for what was happening. John Romita Jr.'s godawful art made it even worse. I gave up on it and never went back to the title.
Some years later (2004-2005?) I decided to try out DCs JSA, because I was a huge Justice League fan and assumed that the Justice Society would be similarly appealing. Unfortunately, it seems that I came in just after some major event, and the members of the JSA were now dealing with the aftereffects, which appeared to be mostly interpersonal relationship problems. And that went on, and on, and on … A full year/12 issues later, I came to the realization that I couldn’t identify most of the characters by their code names (largely because they constantly addressed each other by their “real” names), nor did I have any idea what superpowers most of them had. For example, I saw that Mister Terrific had these floating ball things, but I had no idea what they did. Realizing that, after a whole year, I still didn’t “know” these characters, just dropped the title.
What about you?