It’s been exactly two years since the unceremonious cancellation of the Legion of Super-Heroes, after more than four decades of continuous publication, and to be honest?  I’m still a bit miffed.  It was bad enough that the creative team was allowed to ignore the many interesting plot hooks set up by the revitalization of the team, then center the story on a sociopathic, murderous xenophobe’s redemption arc, but then DC editorial closed up the Legion’s final issue with the revelation that this wasn’t actually the “real” LSH we’d been reading about at all, but the Earth-2 version.  Notwithstanding the callous disregard for the characters, it was a bit insulting to me as a reader to essentially be told “Don’t worry, these stories don’t count” after having followed them through such a morass of unpleasantness to begin with.  As final installments go, it’s right up there with The Sixth Doctor’s ignominious “fell and bumped his head to death” producer-mandated regeneration and the underwhelming finale of Power Rangers Megaforce (which sliced apart a truly impressive ending to make a blah one), leading us to today’s terminal query…

The MS-QOTD (pronounced, as always, “misquoted”) almost prefers when something DOESN’T have a big finale sendoff, like ‘Gilligan’s Island,’ because you avoid the ennui that comes after, asking: What was the most devastating final issue (or episode/chapter/etc.) in your pop culture history?

The Author

Matthew Peterson

Matthew Peterson

Once upon a time, there was a young nerd from the Midwest, who loved Matter-Eater Lad and the McKenzie Brothers... If pop culture were a maze, Matthew would be the Minotaur at its center. Were it a mall, he'd be the Food Court. Were it a parking lot, he’d be the distant Cart Corral where the weird kids gather to smoke, but that’s not important right now... Matthew enjoys body surfing (so long as the bodies are fresh), writing in the third person, and dark-eyed women. Amongst his weaponry are such diverse elements as: Fear! Surprise! Ruthless efficiency! An almost fanatical devotion to pop culture!

And a nice red uniform.

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  1. August 22, 2015 at 11:47 am — Reply

    I still tear up when I watch the final 10th Doctor episode and he says “I don’t want to go” before exploding into his regeneration.

    I also have difficulty watching the movie that was the final chapter of the first Fullmetal Alchemist series. It seems that it was meant to be a happy ending as the Elric brothers are reunited, but it unsettles me that they simply left Winry behind and will never see her nor will she see them ever again. I know that really wasn’t the point of the story, but it still bothers me just the same.

  2. August 22, 2015 at 11:55 am — Reply

    Last issue of Lone Wolf & Cub. Ronin Ogami Itto and lord Yagyu Retsudo finally meet in decisive battle at the seashore near Edo. After defeating every single one of Yagyu clan assassins, Itto finally falls from numerous wounds and poisoned blades. Several of the Edos high ranking nobility witness this magnificent duel on the nearby hill in silence, tears in their eyes.

    After this, Itto’s 6 year old son Daigoro picks up his fathers broken spear without a word and turns defiantly towards Yagyu Retsudo. Yaguy does not cut the boy down but embraces him and utters the final words of the series: “Grandson of my heart”.

  3. Michael
    August 22, 2015 at 12:05 pm — Reply

    The final episode of sons of anarchy really hit me hard

  4. August 22, 2015 at 12:20 pm — Reply

    The one that still shreds me is the last issue of Sweet Tooth by Jeff Lemire. So sad and also so real.

  5. Royce McWee III
    August 22, 2015 at 12:30 pm — Reply

    Sandman’s “The Kindly Ones”, even though I knew what was coming it still got to me. I have a friend who still hasn’t forgiven me for getting her into Sandman and not warning her about the end.

    • Armaan
      August 22, 2015 at 11:33 pm — Reply

      Seconded, as Most Devastating Ending Ever.

  6. Damien
    August 22, 2015 at 3:02 pm — Reply

    Mass Effect 3. Painful.

  7. Ricco
    August 22, 2015 at 3:13 pm — Reply

    I was really sad when Birds of Prey was permanently cancelled before the whole “New 52”.

  8. bob
    August 22, 2015 at 7:30 pm — Reply

    Zro hour.It left the Lgion I loved decimted and forced a big reboot on us.I stopped reading and quit collectiing comics for good shortly after. I was about to restart when rthe Legion above was re-introduced but thankfully I did not.

  9. Arbor Day
    August 22, 2015 at 7:42 pm — Reply

    Off the top of my head: Farscape before I heard about the Peacekeeper Wars, Watership Down, that single issue of Buffy season 8 about the fake Buffy in Italy, and Hulk the End. There’s something else I’m forgetting…

    • Brenning Dragonbred
      August 23, 2015 at 7:18 am — Reply

      I thought The Peacekeeper Wars was almost as upsetting as the cliffhanger series finale with some of the things that happened, but at least it provides a better sense of wrapping the series up.

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