The 10 Saddest Moments in Comics

Though I rarely make it to the theaters these days (I’m a recluse), I did fight the crowds last weekend to catch Toy Story 3. As a forewarning to any families that have not yet seen the new Pixar classic, I want to clearly state that you should not bring any razor blades to this film, as you will surely be tempted to use them. Lots of times. 

Upon exiting the theater and getting back to my comics writing, I found myself haunted by the horribly depressing (but remarkable) Toy Story 3 as I sifted through my weekly offerings. As such, this led to a brainstorm of the saddest moments throughout comicdom. Feast your eyes on the fruits of my horrifying labor. 

By the way, there are potentially spoilers within. You’ve been warned.

10. Catwoman Gives Up Helena for Adoption


9. Terra Trumps the Titans (and Bangs Deathstroke?)   

I’m not sure what’s more depressing: Terra betraying her brother and the rest of the Teen Titans in The Judas Contract and subsequently killing herself in an attempt to find redemption, or that Deathstroke the f*cking Terminator has so little game that he has to sleep with an emotionally damaged 15 year old. Either way, the entire situation with Terra is one for the record books. 

Deathstroke used the poor girl to try and destroy the Titans, and in the process fans were given a whirlwind of a character arc that ended in tragedy. And statutory rape.


8. The Death of Harry Osborn


7. Tony Stark’s Confession

Marvel’s Civil War in and of itself wasn’t that sad. What was horribly, witheringly depressing was Brian Bendis and Alex Maleev’s one-shot follow up to the event, titled Civil War: The Confession. Following the death of Captain America, former friend and turncoat Tony Stark looks back at the situation, reflecting on the events that have unfolded as he sits next to Steve Rogers’ body. Between Bendis’ spot on characterization and Maleev’s gorgeous art, The Confession might be the best single issue from Marvel Comics in the last five years. 


6. Alan Moore Quits Mainstream Comics
5. Clark Says Goodbye in All-Star Superman
4. Kitty Pryde Phases Inside a Giant Bullet to Save the World

In Joss Whedon and John Cassaday’s Astonishing X-Men, Kitty Pryde showed why she’s the most BA of the X-Men when she phased inside of a giant galactic bullet rocketing towards Earth to disrupt it’s circuits. The sad part is that after a glorious reconnection with her former teammates and deceased lover, the bullet held no circuitry and Kitty was trapped inside. She phased the bullet through Earth, but was left to speed through space forever. 

Sure, that’s all moot now, but at the time when Whedon and Cassaday were wrapping up their epic run, seeing Kitty sacrifice herself while making amends with Emma Frost via telepathic link made my bottom lip quiver. 

3. The Mural Gets Repainted in Blankets


2. Ralph Finds Sue’s Body


1. 355 Gets 187ed

This is the event that leads into the most depressing final issue of all time (Ampersand’s death is a very close second in Y), and – aside from enduring an unbelievable journey and being the last man on Earth – is the key moment that really defines the rest of Yorick’s lonely existence. 

Y: The Last Man is the epitome of a high concept comic book, but god damn does it tug the heart strings.



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