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The East Coast earthquake has nothing on these five comic book foundation-shaking storylines

The East Coast earthquake has nothing on these five comic book foundation-shaking storylines (photo)

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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.)

Do you have any of your own earthquake-flavored comic storylines? Let us know in the comments below or on Facebook or Twitter.

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The Best Of The Last

Portlandia Goes Out With A Bang

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The end is near. In mere days Portlandia wraps up its final season, and oh what a season it’s been. Lucky for you, you can watch the entire season right now right here and on the IFC app, including this free episode courtesy of Subaru.

But now, let’s take a moment to look back at some of the new classics Fred and Carrie have so thoughtfully bestowed upon us. (We’ll be looking back through tear-blurred eyes, but you do you.)

Couples Dinner

It’s not that being single sucks, it’s that you suck if you’re single.

Cancel it!

A sketch for anyone who has cancelled more appointments than they’ve kept. Which is everyone.

Forgotten America

This one’s a “Serial” killer…everything both right and wrong about true crime podcasts.

Wedding Planners

The only bad wedding is a boring wedding.

Disaster Hut

It’s only the end of the world if your doomsday kit doesn’t include rosé.

Catch up on Portlandia’s final episodes on demand and at

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Your Portlandia Personality Test

The New Portlandia Webseries Is Going Your Way

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Carrie and Fred understand that although we have so much in common, we’re each so beautifully unique and different. To help us navigate those differences, Portlandia has found an easy and honest way to embrace our special selves in the form of a progressive new traffic system: a specific lane for every kind of driver. It’s all in honor of the show’s 8th and final season, and it’s all presented by Subaru.

Ready to find out who you really are? Match your personality to a lane and hop on the expressway to self-understanding.

Lane 10: Trucks Piled With Junk

Your junk is falling out of your trunk. Shake a tail light, people — this lane is for you.

Lane 33: Twins

You’re like a Gemini, but waaaay more pedestrian. Maybe you and a friend just wear the same outfits a lot. Who cares, it’s just twinning enough to make you feel special.

Lane 27: Broken Windows

Bad luck follows you around and everyone knows it. Your proverbial seat is always damp from proverbial rain. Is this the universe telling you to swallow your pride? Yes.

Lane 69: Filthy Cars

You’re all about convenience. Getting your car washed while you drive is a no-brainer.

Lane 43: Newly Divorced Singles

It’s been a while since you’ve driven alone, and you don’t know the rules of the road anymore. What’s too fast? What’s too slow? Are you sending the right signals? Don’t worry, the breakdown lane is nearby if you need it.

Still can’t find a lane to match your personality? Check out all the videos here. And see the final season of Portlandia this spring on IFC.

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Last-Minute Holiday Gift Guide

Hits from the '80s are on repeat all Christmas Eve and Day on IFC.

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GIFs via Giphy, Photos via The Everett Collection

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