Here’s a comic chosen at random from my collection.
Legion of Super-Heroes (1989) #38 by Keith Giffen (plot & breakdowns), Tom and Mary Bierbaum (dialog & story assist), Jason Pearson (pencils & story assist), Karl Story (inks), Tom McCraw (colors), KC Carlson & Michael Eury (editors), Eddie Berganza (assist. editor), and Stuart Immonen, Ray McCarthy, & Tom McCraw (cover)
This was a game changer, and like most change, I wasn’t ready for it, and I didn’t like it, but it was bold. Told in splash pages, two-thirds of which (for most pages) was a single image and the last third of the page was for text–the story of the death of Earth as told by Devlin O’Ryan. It was part political commentary, with the plot involving the destruction of the Legion’s home because of an ecological disaster set in motion centuries before (sound familiar?). When the end of Earth arrives it hits you like a ton of proverbial bricks with a double splash page of white with a debris field edge in front of a backdrop of starry space.
If I recall correctly, this set up New Earth (a collection of floating cities–the remnants of Earth that was) as the stomping grounds of the Batch SW6 Legionnaires in their own title.
I remember thinking that this was a gutsy, if wrong-minded plot point–after all, much of the history of the Legion is so intrinsically tied to that of 31st century Earth. What are they without Earth and Metropolis as their home? I also remember that the title limped along for a bit to me. It might have been the destructive defining moment that changed everything, or it might have been that the adult Legionnaires had to go on the run and change their identities before they were wiped out in the Zero Hour Event–it was all pretty anti-climactic.
Yes! That double page spread definitely made my jaw drop when I read it – even though the potential for it to happen was set up from page one. I think the way it was handled – from the viewpoint of the entire world – made the story resonate. Plus, I’m fairly certain Giffen said that no one was paying attention in editorial – so he blew up the Earth because of all of their interference. lol. Great issue.
I guess I just expected that the Legion (Brainy perhaps) would come up with something to save it. I mean, they just destroyed the moon for crying out loud! Then to destroy Earth?! Sadists!!!