Pretty, Fizzy Paradise

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Friday, February 23, 2007

Audience Participation?

As I'm too lazy to really post anything of substance today, I figured I'd do my usual cheat of "Ask my readers!". Today's question is: "What moment (if any) in comics really got to you and made you all misty-eyed like a little girl?"

I hate to admit this, but my misty-eyed moment came about at the last panel of Identity Crisis. When Ralph reaches across Sue's empty spot in the bed. I always thought, whatever his flaws, Meltzer had a knack for using captions. Also there's simply something so wrenching about the image for me. She'd been a part of his life for so long and now there's nothing but emptiness where she used to be.

Okay, yes, I'm a sap. Shut up.

My runner up moment is probably that panel in Countdown where Ted Kord wishes his successor would do a better job than he did. It's just so... Ted was RIGHT. He was right and no one listened, and the only person who really had confidence in him was the man who was about to kill him, and...

Honestly, I'm so incredibly easy when it comes to things I read. Even when things are so obviously meant to be emotionally manipulative. I buy into it every time. This probably explains a lot about my lack of relative dissatisfaction in comics today. :-) As long as there are little moments that get to me, I can buy the most trite or cliched or heavy-handed crap around and I'll be pretty happy about it.

I never claimed to be any sort of connoisser of good taste. :-)

So anyway. What moments in comics really get to you guys?


  • At February 23, 2007 7:53 AM, Blogger Centurion said…

    Hate to admit it, but that most recent issue of all-star superman brought me pretty close.

  • At February 23, 2007 8:30 AM, Anonymous Thom said…

    Gert York's death in Runaways. Though your two moments were good as well.

  • At February 23, 2007 8:34 AM, Blogger Sleestak said…

    The first time Jean Grey/Phoenix died in the 80s. Powerful stuff.

  • At February 23, 2007 8:46 AM, Blogger GTS said…

    I'm with Centurion here--All-Star Superman #6 definitely did a number on me too.

    The only other moment that comes to mind was in Kingdom Come, when Superman finds a very haunted Magog out in the midwest, wandering around trying to 'fix' things. The exchange between Magog and Supes, and M.'s own personal reckonings really got me; a very well-written scene by Mr. Waid.

  • At February 23, 2007 8:58 AM, Anonymous Loren said…

    I remember the first time was actually in Crisis on Infinite Earths when Supergirl died. This was the first time I remember seeing Superman cry and it hit me in the gut.

    Recent moments include the scene you also mentioned in Identity Crisis with Ralph and, for a purely different reason, the moment in the Superman/Action Comics crossover story "Up, Up, and Away" when Clark gets his powers back. We all knew it was going to happen, but there was something really magical about that scene that took me back to my childhood that reminded me why Superman is so important to me. It made me weep.

  • At February 23, 2007 9:37 AM, Blogger Tom Bondurant said…

    New Teen Titans #38, "Who Is Donna Troy." The whole thing starts off with this battered little cloth doll with a tattered "HELLO MY NAME IS DONNA" note pinned to it. The doll came from a toymaker who used to make them for all the kids in Donna's orphanage. At the end of the story, when Donna is standing over her birth mother's gravesite, telling her how she's going to be married and she's so happy to finally share her life with her real mom, Dick returns the doll to her -- only it's been fully repaired and restored by the dollmaker, and it's the cutest little ugly doll you ever saw. Donna tells Dick "I think I'm going to cry," and I say to myself, "Donna, I'm way ahead of you...."

  • At February 23, 2007 10:15 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    I'm not much for getting all verklempt" over comics, TV, movies, etc. I don't know why...maybe I just have a high threshold for pretend events affecting me on a personal level.


    The one moment that got close was the death of Krypto in Alan Moore's classic "Whatever Happened to the Man of Tomorrow?"....the "Old Yeller" moment of comicdom.

  • At February 23, 2007 10:20 AM, Blogger Denyer said…

    Jenny Sparks #5. Batman/Planetary: Night on Earth. The denouements in both cases. They still do get to me.

    Not particularly easily or graciously manipulated, personally, so it usually takes non-grandstanding and believable character writing. Having just been shown a bit of the latest issue of 52, for instance, that was satisfying rather than misty-eyeing.

  • At February 23, 2007 10:27 AM, Blogger Filby said…

    I -- I haven't got long before I'm too powerless to stop it. Trouble is, I know what's going to happen to me if I'm successful. But I have no choice. More than my life is at stake.

    Everything that's ever mattered to me... Everything that's been important... The lives of everyone on Earth and throughout our universe... in the present, and in the future... That's what I'm fighting for now! But I can't give in to the pain. Have to keep running, faster than I ever have before, running against the flow of anti-matter... forcing its energies back in to the machine...

    Funny how your mind wanders when... when you're so close to death you can
    smell it coming. Mom and Dad... you can't hear me, but I love you so much. Iris... apart for so long... together for so short a time... Remember me, Iris... remember how much I cared. Fiona... Wally... Dexter... Ralph... Sue... Hal... All the people I loved...

    Lord, it hurts... Hurts so much... Forgive me for
    leaving you like I did... Understand why... Please understand why...

    Have to keep running... No matter how much it
    hurts... Time... Feel the time stream all around me... Keep running, Barry, got to keep running...

    My God -- Moving so fast I'm going
    back through time... HELP... Someone -- anyone! Please --

    Th-There's hope... There is
    always hope...

    Time to save the world!

    Time... Back in time...

    Do what you
    have to... We must save the world...

    must save the world...

  • At February 23, 2007 10:31 AM, Blogger SallyP said…

    I go completely teary-eyed over the scene where Guy and Fire are holding Ice in Hell, in ICBINTJL. And then cry all over again, when Fire looks back, and Tora disappears, and Guy and Fire are crying.

    And yeah, Ted's death scene gave me a lump in my throat.

  • At February 23, 2007 10:43 AM, Anonymous green with wheelpower said…

    Top is "Wound on the Heart of Heaven" When Bruce tells Shiva "...he chose the way of the hero." while holding the barely alive New Delhi urchin who had just saved them in a mirror of Jason todds death and then the caption saying the boy had"...healed awound on my heart"

    The other 2 moments are from animation the Batman The Animated series in the episode w/ the jazzman right after Gordon gets shot. Bullock turns, stops in midsentence and whisphers "Oh my God..." and Montoya gasps "mother of God" in spanish.

    Lastly, from Nightcrawlers first appearance on the Fox X-MEN. The final scene where Logan is kneeling in prayer in the church being restored. The line still rings in my head and was my first really deep connection to a superhero character:...though you mock me O Lord..." I have very personal reasons for all of these but this the most.

  • At February 23, 2007 11:21 AM, Blogger Chris said…

    The last one that got me a bit moist in the eyes was (I can't believe I'm saying this) Infinite Crisis #3 (I think) where Batman and Nightwing are about to head out to do battle and Bruce asks Dick, "All those years... they were good for you, weren't they?" and Dick smiles back and says "The best."

    Just a powerful moment for me, particularly since I was convinced one or both of them were going to die.

    I know, I'm killing comics.

  • At February 23, 2007 11:28 AM, Blogger ticknart said…

    One that always gets me is when Ted Knight lifts the building off of Earth going to die. Each time I read it I get sad-squishy.

    The last issue of 52 got me. It was nice seeing Ralph acting competent again, even if it was only for part of the issue.

  • At February 23, 2007 11:46 AM, Blogger Captain Infinity said…

    I'm almost ashamed to admit it, but the one that comes immediately to mind was in Infinite Crisis when Barry Allen makes his brief appearance and tells Bart he's not alone.

  • At February 23, 2007 11:58 AM, Blogger Jason said…

    Yeah, it's easily the last page of the issue of Starman where Ted Knight sacrafices his life for Opal City. Jack standing there, holding his baby son for the first time, watching his father explode, thinking, "Dad, I didn't get to say 'I love you.'" Darn, it's getting dusty in here.

  • At February 23, 2007 12:08 PM, Blogger Tom said…

    The sequence of Identity Crisis where Jack Drake dies. Tim's terror and Bruce's absolute helplessness get me everytime I read it.

  • At February 23, 2007 12:16 PM, Blogger Fortress Keeper said…

    The death of Krypto in Whatever Happened to The Man of Tomorrow.

    The pre-Crisis Superman's final moment in that book is also quite moving.

  • At February 23, 2007 12:36 PM, Anonymous buttler said…

    this is such a dude answer, but the heroic death of skurge the executioner in walt simonson's thor. gets me every time.

    on another note entirely, lois's "go get 'em" moment in busiek's "up, up and away" OYL superman arc got me a little misty for sure.

  • At February 23, 2007 12:49 PM, Blogger The Dane said…

    Crap. You took mine. Thor #362. Walter Simonson.

    The heroic last stand of Skurge at the bridge Gjallerbru. I'm not sure what it was. The set-up, the characterization, the event itself. But this one still makes me grow still whenever I read it.

    I've also grown misty and wistful at various scenes or particular resonance in Chris Ware's Jimmy Corrigan and Lawrence Marvit's Sparks.

  • At February 23, 2007 12:50 PM, Blogger The Dane said…

    Oh yeah, and the Jack Knight scene Jason mentioned.

  • At February 23, 2007 1:03 PM, Blogger Rob S. said…

    Barry Allen's last moments, definitely. An old favorite -- still a favorite -- facing the end.

    But the first time I ever remember tearing up a bit was an issue of Superman Family when I was a kid. Jimmy Olsen's apartment was broken into by some mobstaers, and all of his Superman memorabilia was destroyed. I saw my young, comic-collecting self in that moment.

    Most recently, it was All-Star Superman #6. My dad died a few years ago, and the story hit me dead-center.

  • At February 23, 2007 1:50 PM, Blogger Kitty said…

    The last issue of *The Invisibles*, when the astronaut comes in contact with Barbelith and it breaks up and goes away. For some reason that chokes me up every single time.

  • At February 23, 2007 2:07 PM, Blogger Toriach said…

    There are a few. Probably my all time number one comes from Secret Origins. I don't remember the issue number, but I know that it was one that had three origins in it all of them were deceased members of the Legion of Superheroes (The original). One origin was Ferro Lad, I don't remember who the other origin was, but the one that stuck with me was Chemical King. Not only was his death very moving but Invisible Kid's reaction as he sought to come to grips with his friends death and realizing that it was from Chemical King that he learned to be brave felt very real and honest to me.

    Next is from Mark Waid's run on The Flash. I believe it was issue #75. The storyline was The Return Of Barry Allen, which readers had been clamoring for ever since his death. Barry seemingly was back, but was growing increasingly unstable. He and Wally were trapped and Barry was able to get out but at the last minute he just left Wally. He starts raving about how Wally had made people forget about him. Wally replies, "Everything I am, everything I've done has been for you." Barry unmoved races off. Wally manages to make it out just barely, and is left asking himself, "Everything I am now. Everything I do now. Now who is it for?" Watching Wally work so hard to grow up and do right by Barry's legacy my heart just broke for him.

    In The Killing Joke, when Jim Gordon even after Barbara being shot and he himself being assaulted in every sense of the word, he still insists that Batman bring the Joker in "By the book" to prove that his chaos does not trump the order that Gordon and Batman stand for.

    In more recent times there is the scene in Identity Crisis, where Bruce is comforting Tim. It's one of the few times in recent years that Batman has shown that side of himself. And I felt for Tim who had tried so hard to balance his two worlds. Also the issue of Teen Titans that deals with the aftermath.

    Finally there is an issue from Joe Kelly's run on Action Comics. It's part of the Murder Of Lois Lane storyline (Which to be honest I hate). Superman has realized that the Parasite has taken Lois' identity and he's enlisted who else but Batman to help him find her. In the course of a single issue Kelly makes the reader understand not only why Batman is the way he is, but why he must be that way, as he has Batman explain to to Superman that if he does not reduce the people killed in the cases he works on to abstracts he would be unable to do the work he does. This is why I simply can not agree with those who feel Batman is a psycho or heartless. Rather he is a deeply troubled man who supresses his humanity as he fights a losing battle to spare others the pain he's had to endure.

    Anyway those are some of my choices.



  • At February 23, 2007 2:33 PM, Anonymous kate said…

    Barry Allen dying in COIE. (Gee, thanks, Filby.)

    And the last bit, with E-2 Superman and Lois and Earth Prime Superboy and Alexander Luthor going beyond. *sniff* (In what I assume everyone thought was their DEATHS, which is why Infinite Crisis torked me off so much.)

    I dunno, lots of stuff. The issue of New Mutants where some random kid committed suicide. X-Men 150, where Magneto /didn't/ kill Kitty. (I think that's the issue.) Animal Man #26, where Buddy's family was OK. The issue of Sandman where Element Woman gets to die. (It's not that I actually cried for, well, any of these, just that it made me stop and go, "Aw.")

    I'm a sucker for a good bit of emotional manipulation, and the serial nature of comics dictates that there'll be a LOT of that.

  • At February 23, 2007 2:45 PM, Blogger Your Obedient Serpent said…

    Skurge Holding The Bridge. Without question.

  • At February 23, 2007 2:57 PM, Blogger Rob S. said…

    Oh, and I totally choked up during that moment in Church and State where Jaka brings Cerebus's sword back to him. Man, that was good comics.

  • At February 23, 2007 3:22 PM, Blogger Dr. Flem said…

    Interesting. Everyone else picks Krypto's death from Whatever Happened to the Man of Tommorrow?, but what kills me is Jimmy and Lana heading out to certain death. Gets me every time.

    Moore apparently knows how to push my buttons. There are multiple issues of Promethea I can't get through. That scene when they encounter the crucifixion in Tipareth is really moving, even though I'm an atheist/agnostic. And the second or third to last issue where Promethea is explaining the end of the world just conflates death and the sadness at the ending of any really good book in such a way that I have trouble keeping my eyes dry.

    Morrison gets me at times as well, but his best trait is in hitting that "dying pet" emotion over and over again. The Filth is pretty much entirely centered around that, which is perhaps a little low, but effective. What really gets me is his last issue of Doom Patrol, when Jane is about to kill herself and then Danny shows up with Cliff and Rebis to take her away. It's like Wizard of Oz suddenly having a happy ending.

  • At February 23, 2007 3:40 PM, Anonymous "Starman" Matt Morrison said…

    For me, it's Amazing Spider-Man #230 - To Fight The Unbeatable Foe.

    I defy anyone who knows the song "To Dream The Impossible Dream" from Man of LaMacha to NOT having that song run through your head as you read this story.

    Because even though you read it and you know Peter Parker is not going to die because there's been a lot of stories since then... he is ready to die.

    Peter is the only hero in town when Juggernaut is going on a rampage. You know Peter is outclassed. Dr. Strange's sidekick Wong and Madame Web (the only people who come close to giving Peter any kind of help) know he is outmatched. And Peter knows he is good and truly screwed...

    ... and yet, in the blind hope that by being a distraction, maybe he can minimize the damage and save innocents, Peter puts himself in harms way - trying and trying and trying again to stop Juggernaut, eventually just hopping onto his back and covering the eye-holes of his ridiculous helmet and taking every punch the J-man can hit him with...

    I don't think anything I have ever read has summed up the heroic spirit better than this story. And that gets me more than a bag full of dead kittens.

  • At February 23, 2007 3:48 PM, Blogger Flidget said…

    Parent moments always get me.

    I've got so many from Starman. A fourth vote for Ted Knight's death, of course, but also the later scene Jack receives Sadie's letter and finally lets himself break down and for the earlier one where he gets to spend an hour with his dead mother.

    In Runaways it's the Pryde giving up their lives to save their children and Molly's dream in her solo issue later on. Or Batman in Our Worlds at War, refusing to go and fight until he's made sure Young Justice has returned to Earth safely.

    I only have one romantic one, which is from CoIE. Brainiac 5, reacting to Supergirl's death.

  • At February 23, 2007 5:24 PM, Blogger Severian said…

    The Flash 150 where Wally defeats cobalt blue but "dies" in the process and is replaced by a mystery flash. The caption where Wally is about to die and says "it was a hell of a run" gets me everytime. My last year of high school i would read that story before each of my races (i was on the track team) and it always motivated me to run my best.

  • At February 23, 2007 5:34 PM, Blogger Fortress Keeper said…

    Oops! I forgot one that REALLY got to me.

    The Swamp Thing issue that had "Pog," Alan Moore's tribute to the old Pogo newspaper strip.

    There's a scene where one of the characters is killed by an alligator, and it just highlights how the values of an earlier time were consumed by the brutality of the present.

    It was powerful stuff.

  • At February 23, 2007 5:45 PM, Blogger Derek said…

    I haven't been at his as long as some of you guys, but there is one thing that recently got to me. When Bruce adopted Tim.

    There was just something about the scene. You could tell that it meant so much to both of them. Poor Tim just couldn't keep it together, and truthfully, neither could I.

    Let's see, what else...? Oh yeah, these comments. Filby, you jerk.

  • At February 23, 2007 6:05 PM, Blogger darkestknight said…

    Truth be told, i'm glad that someone mention Jack Drake getting killed as the one moment that almost made me cry. Its funny how legacies work and how much that striked me.

    With everyone of Batman and his proteges' parents getting the wacked and how Tim Drake's father getting killed, it was only ironic that Batman, with all this training, could do nothing.

    The flashback with all the batman family and tim drake just crying his eyes out ate at me.

  • At February 23, 2007 6:44 PM, Blogger Dogma Central said…

    This is going to be very cheesy. I remember 2 moments hitting me hard: The death of Ice and the death of Illyana.

  • At February 23, 2007 7:21 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    Jimmy and Lana going out to fight and die in Whatever Happened to the Man of Tomorrow? gets me every time. Especially the contrast with Lois, who doesn't do jack, just sits back and waits to be saved.

    But what will get me the most is the moment in Kingdom Come #1 right after Superman saves the monorail. It's a classic 'YEAH SUPERMAN' moment. The narrator is hugely relieved.

    And then the bottom falls out of the universe when he realizes Superman's return isn't the solution--it's the beginning of the real problem.

    It totally floored me the first time I read it and it still makes the bottom fall out of the universe for me now.

  • At February 23, 2007 11:51 PM, Blogger Mr. Allison Blaire said…

    I think anything with Gwen Stacy gets me down, from Marvels issue 4 to the last issue of Spider Man Blue.

    I can't remember too many of the sad times I've had reading comics but I know there were a lot. I must have mentally blocked them.

  • At February 24, 2007 6:23 PM, Blogger Ormondroyd's Encyclopedia Esoterica said…

    The death of Pirate in "We3". Living with a house rabbit, they really are that aggressive, reckless and go-for-broke when they have to be. Ours bosses the cats and dogs around.

    When I was 10 years old (O ancient of days) Spidey #33, when he was trapped under that big heavy Doc Ock machinery and the place was filling up with water (I was young enough to think serial heroes might die). In retrospect, that might not have been misty-eyed so much as my first "F-Yeah!" in comics.

    Rorschach's origin speech in "Watchmen":
    "Stood in firelight, sweltering. Bloodstain on chest like map of violent new continent. Felt cleansed. Felt dark planet turn under my feet and knew what cats know that makes them scream like babies in night. Looked at sky through smoke heavy with human fat and God was not there. The cold, suffocating dark goes on forever and we are alone. Live our lives, lacking anything better to do. Devise reason later. Born from oblivion; bear children, hell-bound as ourselves, go into oblivion. There is nothing else. Existence is random. Has no pattern save what we imagine after staring at it for too long. No meaning save what we choose to impose. This rudderless world is not shaped by vague metaphysical forces. It is not God who kills the children. Not fate that butchers them or destiny that feeds them to the dogs. It’s us. Only us."

    "Three Septembers and a January" in Sandman 6/Fables and Reflections, when Death tells the Emperor Norton she always liked him best.

  • At February 27, 2007 12:20 PM, Anonymous Rachel Edidin said…

    Skurge's last stand on the bridge.

    When Jack Knight and Superman talk about their fathers near the end of Starman.

    The end of "Days of Future Yet to Come" from the first Excalibur series, when Rachel Summers finally fixes her future.

    The Hellblazer story "Hold Me."

    And the issue of X-Men when Ilyana summons Colossus's "ghost" to help her fight in Limbo, when she thinks he's dead and he can't tell her that he's alive.

  • At February 28, 2007 10:38 PM, Blogger Green Arrow said…

    Another Meltzer moment: at the end of the Archer's Quest arc in Green Arrow, Ollie reveals to the reader a secret about his relationship to Connor. Not only that, he goes on to keep it a secret from his son. 'Ollie you bastard.'

    Not as good as some of the other suggestions here, but still an effective one-two punch in the guts.


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