ComicMix Six: Ends of the World
Good news, everyone: If you’re reading this, it’s just passed midnight in American Samoa, so it’s no longer May 21st anywhere on the planet– which means that the Rapture didn’t happen (yet), society hasn’t crumbled (yet), and there’s still a readership for comic books (for now).
That said, as far as ends of the world go, the Rapture lacks a certain panache. Comic book readers have been used to the idea of worlds ending in cataclysm for a long time. Over a near-infinite number of crises, comic books have always made sure it ends with all bang, no whimper – even if, sometimes, that bang is more figurative than literal. Here’s a look at six of the best ends-of-the-world that comics has yet come up with.
The birth of superhero comics started with the death of a planet. We’re willing to wager it’s the best-known origin story in all of comics: desperate scientist Jor-El and wife Lara shoot their only son Kal-El away from the doomed planet Krypton towards Earth, where he’s adopted by the kindly Kent family. And in most versions of the Superman story, what took out Krypton? A nuclear chain reaction triggered by a loss of stability Krypton’s radioactive core, which also creates the only element that can kill the most powerful man on Earth.
Krypton: 1, Rapture: 0.