Ah, Eclipso #13.
I was twelve when I picked this one up. Keen on the idea of seeing my then favorite character, the Creeper, in action. Not realizing that he’d be dead within three pages. Not realizing that he’d be the first of several C-List characters to be wiped out in that issue.
Peacemaker. Wildcat II. Manhunter [Mark Shaw]. Dr. Mid-Nite II. Commander Steel. And Major Victory.
All dead, tortured and butchered and burned alive, in a single issue.
This is the worst kind of story. The type where low-profile heroes, rarely used and so full of potential, are wasted simply to illustrate how powerful and merciless the villain is.
Even if you’ve never read this issue [or heard of -any- of its victims], you’re probably familiar with the concept. Like Superboy-Prime tearing through the ranks of the Teen Titans in Infinite Crisis. Where he punched Pantha’s head clean off her body and then proceeded to kill two more members— Bushido and Wildebeest. This happened only three issues after the deaths of Phantom Lady, The Human Bomb and Black Condor at the hands of the Secret Society of Super-Villains.
There are comic fans who couldn’t care less about these obscure characters and that’s okay. Not every hero is going to be Batman or Iron Man or Wolverine. They won’t get movies, action figures and lunch boxes. Most of them won’t even get their own mini-series. But to some readers [like myself], they matter. It hurts to see them torn apart for the sake of a body count in a Big Event or to show how dangerous a bad guy can be.