With every headline being about THE EARTHQUAKE (!) we just felt in New York City, we thought today was the perfect opportunity to talk about some of our the more memorable superhero foundation-shaking moments. Thankfully everyone’s cleanup is minimal and no one was harmed, but that’s not exactly the case in the world of comics.
“Batman: Cataclysm” and subsequent “No Man’s Land”
As if Gotham City didn’t have enough problems, what with the crime lords, the corrupt politicians and the clown fetishists who would be content watching the world burn, in March of 1998 the city learned a new level of chaos when it was rocked by a 7.6 earthquake (which happened on the heels of a deadly viral outbreak). As usual, it was up to the Dark Knight and his associates to “rise” to the occasion and rebuild Gotham while both the structures and order of society crumbled around them.
Flashpoint: The Sinking of Europe
As DC Comics speeds towards their September reboot of their entire comic book line, their pantheon of heroes are waging war in an alternate universe where Aquaman has sunk the entire continent of Europe (via a weaponized meta-human) in the aftermath of his spontaneously aborted nuptials to Wonder Woman. Maybe the lesson there is that if Superman or Batman can’t win a woman’s heart, it’s probably not going to work out for a guy whose power is to talk to fish. Way to overreact, bro.
Any time the Mole Man Shows Up
Any Manhattan-based business in the Marvel Comics universe should make sure their insurance covers giant monsters erupting from under the streets to herald the Mole Man’s invasion of the surface world. Shunned by society because of his appearance and questionable theories of a hollow Earth inhabited by giant monsters, Harvey Rupert Elder delivers aftershocks to the Big Apple on a regular basis to get revenge on the world that did him wrong. And the know-it-all jerks in the Fantastic Four.
The Incredible Hulk TV Series: Earthquakes Happen
As anyone who’s been to the theater recently knows, our friends in capes and tights have long since escaped the boundaries of the four-color world. Long before he was a major motion film property (and a CGI effect), the Incredible Hulk was the champion of the small screen and lovingly brought to life by the dynamic duo of Bill Bixby and Lou Ferrigno. Capitalizing on the popular disaster movie trend of the 70’s, the TV series put the Jade Giant in a situation where he had to save people from an earth shock (as opposed to causing one). You can check it out here right now.
The Climax of “Superman” The Movie”
Although the Man of Steel owes his origins to the pages of Action Comics, it could be argued that his realization in the 1982 Richard Donner/Mario Puzo film is one of his most memorable depictions. In the climax of the film, his arch-nemesis Lex Luthor launches two missiles that will rupture the San Andreas Fault and cause an earthquake that will separate California from the rest of America. While our hero does manage to save the day, it comes at price of Lois Lane’s life (which leads to one of the most epic, if not scientifically crazy resolutions ever when Superman reverses the earth’s orbit to travel back in time pre-quake.)