In the wild world of comics, it has long been established that we are not alone in the cosmos. Life exists on a multitude of planets in the DC Comics Universe, where aliens fight intergalactic wars and many find their way to Earth as refugees from dying worlds. Some of the publisher’s most famous characters, like Superman, Supergirl and Martian Manhunter, come from other planets. Teams like the Legion of Super-Heroes and the Green Lantern Corps are mostly comprised of aliens from far off worlds.
It’s no surprise then that some conflicts out in space end in tragedy and a massive amount of destruction. On more than one occasion, a cosmic event has destroyed a planet, and even the population of an alien world. Here are 15 times DC Comics blew up a planet.
15. EARTH 2
As part of the New 52, DC Comics relaunched the heroes of the Justice Society of America as a loose group of young “Wonders” on a new Earth 2. That world’s Superman, Batman and Wonder Woman are all killed at the beginning of the “Earth 2” series while fighting off an attack by Darkseid and the forces of Apokolips. Though the invasion is thwarted, a second wave hits a few years later.
During “Earth 2: World’s End,” the armies of Apokolips invade Earth and conquer what is left of the planet while the survivors of the human race escape on spaceships. Green Lantern, the Flash, Hawkgirl, Batman and the other heroes ultimately fail to prevent Darkseid from siphoning off the energies of Earth and destroying it. In the 2015 event series “Convergence,” the inhabitants of Earth 2 are gifted with the planet Telos as a replacement to their lost Earth, which they use to house their world’s refugees.
Everyone knows this story. A child is sent from a dying world so that he might survive in peace on a new one. That child would grow up to be the hero known as Superman, and that alien world would be identified as Krypton. The doomed planet was first mentioned in 1938’s “Action Comics” #1, but details about the people and culture wouldn’t come until “Superman” #1 in 1939. Though the details are often changed depending on the story, the traditional tale is that the planet came to an untimely end due to a nuclear chain reaction in the planet’s unstable core.
At first, the baby Kal-El was depicted as the only survivor; however, other characters were shown to have survived over the years. In Superman’s 75+ years of history, readers have been introduced to other Kryptonians, including Supergirl, Krypto, the Phantom Zone criminals led by General Zod, and many others. The destruction of Krypton has become one of the most iconic origin stories in all of fiction.
Introduced in 1980’s “The New Teen Titans” #1, Tamaran is located in the Vega System and is home to a golden-skinned race known as the Tamaraneans. The planet is noted for being the homeworld of long-time Teen Titan, Starfire. Despite generations of peace, the planet was thrust into conflict time and time again, which eventually spelled doom for the people and their world.
In “The New Titans” #128 from 1995, the Tamaraneans saw their homeworld destroyed in an attack by the Psions. The survivors were able to establish New Tamaran on their moon, but that planet was later engulfed by a Sun-Eater. The Tamaraneans were able to relocate to the planet Karna, which they shared with the Gordanians… until that world was also destroyed by an Imperiex probe during the “Our Worlds at War” crossover in 2001. Finally, they were allowed to relocate to Rann, where they could live in peace.
12. BOLOVAX VIK
Bolovax Vik was one of the most densely populated worlds in the universe, with 16 billion citizens living there. Instead of feeling cramped, Kilowog of the Green Lantern Corps often spoke about how comforting it was to live connected through their communal hive culture. “Crisis on Infinite Earths” brought tragedy everywhere, with many worlds utterly destroyed in the conflict with the Anti-Monitor. While most of them were alternate versions of Earth and their corresponding universes, planets from around DC’s main universe were also devastated.
One of these worlds was Bolovax Vik, which was engulfed by the stray entropic energy unleashed by the Anti-Monitor. Through sheer force of will, Kilowog was able to save the life energy of his people and store them in his ring. He brought them to a new planet and was determined to find a way to restore his friends and family back to life. Unfortunately, right when he was able to relocate them, Sinestro showed up and destroyed them all, all over again.
The planet Almerac first showed up in “Action Comics” #645 in 1989, alongside its ruler Maxima. The “Our Worlds at War” crossover in 2001 introduced Imperiex, the natural force of the universe that destroyed all of reality, only to create a new big bang and start the whole process over again. In the lead-up to the all-out attack on Earth, it was discovered that the villain had destroyed the planet Almerac. Not only was the world annihilated, but the surrounding area of space was completely hollowed out to the point that there were no longer any stars.
When Imperiex made planetfall, Maxima led an attack aimed at preventing Earth from suffering the same fate as Almerac. She didn’t survive the attack, but an alliance of heroes and villains were able to prevent the destruction of the universe. In the aftermath, the survivors of Almerac asked Mongal, daughter of the original Mongul, to take over as ruler of their people.
10. BIZARRO WORLD
Bizarro World, also known as Htrae, met its end on two separate occasions almost at the same time. With “Crisis on Infinite Earths” set to establish a new history for Superman, DC released “Whatever Happened to the Man of Tomorrow” by Alan Moore in 1986 as a way of saying goodbye to the original character. During the course of the story, Mr. Mxyzptlk convinces Bizarro that the only way to become the true opposite of Superman would be to destroy the world he has sworn to protect.
In-continuity, the Pre-Crisis Bizarro World met its end in “DC Comics Presents” #97 when Mr. Mxyzptlk imploded the planet. All inhabitants lost their lives, but the Bizarros made sure of it by rocketing their son into the core of the collapsing planet. It took a few decades before Htrae would reappear in Post-Crisis continuity. Bizarro World now holds a place in the DC Multiverse.
In “Superman” #183 from 1963, Lex Luthor took his first step toward heroism. Superman and Lex travelled to a distant planet with a red sun so that the two could fight as equals. After the fight, Luthor discovered a civilization stuck in the stone age that needed his technological expertise to improve their way of life. For helping them survive, the citizens name him their new ruler and they renamed their planet Lexor, in honor of their savior. Luthor also finds an ancient battle armor that gives him incredible abilities.
He used the planet as a base of operations for some time, marrying and having a son with one of the inhabitants. Luthor saves his adopted homeworld again when he helps prevent Lexor’s core from imploding. For a brief time he gives up crime altogether, until his compulsive need to do evil gets Superman involved. As depicted in 1983’s “Action Comics” #544, during a battle with the Man of Steel, Luthor accidentally destroys the technology keeping the planet stable, and everyone is killed.
“Cosmic Odyssey” by Jim Starlin and Mike Mignola was an event series from 1988-1989 that chronicled an alliance between Apokolips and New Genesis. The peace was established to fight against a living personification of the Anti-Life Equation. Recruiting heroes from Earth like Superman, Batman, Martian Manhunter and Green Lantern, they broke into teams to prevent the destruction of four different planets.
The team of J’onn J’onzz and John Stewart went to Xanshi, where the Green Lantern used his ring to create a cure for a deadly virus. Feeling empowered and arrogant, John headed off to disarm a bomb without the help of his ally. When he arrived, he found that the bomb was yellow — the ring’s one weakness — and he is unable to save the planet from destruction. It is later revealed that there was one survivor of the Xanshi race, and she takes up the name Fatality in a quest for revenge against the Green Lantern Corps, and specifically Lantern John Stewart.
After years of fighting between the people of Rann and Thanagar, things escalate in “Rann/Thanagar: Holy War” by Jim Starlin and Ron Lim. In 2008’s follow-up to the “Rann/Thanagar War,” the two sides are put at odds again when Rann comes under the control of the religion of Lady Styx. Thanagar, influenced by Deacon Dark and the Eternal Light Corporation, convinces the Hawkmen to attack an unsuspecting Rann.
During the conflict, the powerful entity known as Synnar emerges and Adam Strange, Hawkman, Captain Comet and other space-based heroes must come together in order to defeat this new menace. Over the course of the story, Synnar takes control of Rann, and instead of risking the safety of the universe, Adam Strange decides to blow up the planet to stop the threat. The people of Rann are saved and then relocated to Prince Gavyn’s Throneworld, which is then subsequently renamed New Rann.
6. ELPIS (BLUE LANTERN HOMEWORLD)
The Blue Lantern Corps came to an untimely end in the pages of “Green Lantern: New Guardians” #23 by Justin Jordan and Brad Walker. The 2013 story was a lead-up to the “Lights Out” Green Lantern event series. In this issue, the cosmic villain known as Relic comes to Elpis in order to destroy the Lanterns of Hope. Saint Walker and his group try to resist Relic’s awesome power, but they are unable to stop him.
Sensing trouble, White Lantern Kyle Rayner, Star Sapphire (Carol Ferris) and the Templar Guardians show up to try and save the Blue Lantern Corps. Unfortunately, nothing can be done and Saint Walker is injured. Sensing the end of everything, the remaining Blue Lanterns provide Kyle Rayner with the power needed to teleport his companions away to safety. With the energies from their rings depleted, the Blue Lanterns accept their fate and hope for a better tomorrow. Relic then destroys the entire planet.
During the weekly series “Countdown to Final Crisis,” DC Comics set up the pieces for “Final Crisis” by bringing many of Jack Kirby’s concepts together. The title depicts a storyline where the Brother EYE satellite escapes from a government facility and attempts to create the Great Disaster by unleashing a virus that is carried by Karate Kid. At one point, the satellite is able to assimilate with Apokolips tech and uses a Boom Tube to attack Apokolips. After turning many Parademons into OMACs, it is able to assimilate the entire planet.
The combined Brother EYE satellite-Apokolips hybrid looks utterly unstoppable, until Desaad provides the Pied Piper with the means to channel the Anti-Life Equation. The Piper uses his pipe to destroy the planet and send Brother EYE on the run. With the deaths of the New Gods and the destruction of their home planet, many of them are reborn as humans on Earth.
4. NEW KRYPTON
In 2008, DC Comics introduced a storyline where Superman rescues the bottled city of Kandor from Brainiac’s collection of shrunken civilizations. This initially leads to 10,000 Kryptonian survivors living on Earth until conflict with humanity causes them to create their own planet to live on. Supergirl’s mother Alura becomes New Krypton’s leader and Zod commands their military. Superman joins their ranks to live among his people for the first time in his life.
Unfortunately, this storyline proves that Kryptonians can never have nice things. A xenophobic government organization led by General Sam Lane instigates a war between Earth and New Krypton. His collection of operatives successfully turn public opinion against the aliens and soon find a way to destroy their civilization. During the events of “War of the Supermen,” Superman is put between his adoptive world and his own people until a bomb utterly destroys New Krypton and all of the Kryptonians on it.
In the past, Sinestro has done whatever it takes to ensure the safety of his people. As a Green Lantern he uses his power to keep his planet under control. When he created the Sinestro Corps, he ruled over them with an iron fist. Despite the evil deeds he has committed, he has always possessed a soft spot for his people. This is why the “Wrath of the First Lantern” storyline was so devastating for him.
Given a second chance as a Green Lantern, Sinestro helped free his homeworld from Sinestro Corps occupation. He attempted to bring peace to his world, only to have it all snuffed out by the powerful First Lantern. Volthoom’s powers allow him to drain the emotional energy of his victims, which he did to the entire planet of Korugar before utterly destroying it. In “Green Lantern” #19, Sinestro must watch those around him die while he survives shielded by the ring he wears. True devastation, to be sure, but was it also comeuppance for SInestro’s part in the death of Bolovax Vik?
The 2011 event series “War of the Green Lanterns” put Corpsman against Corpsman when the fear entity Parallax is reintroduced into the Green Lantern Power Battery. With the Yellow Impurity restored, most of the Green Lanterns in the universe become violent and crazed under the influence of fear. Hal Jordan, Kyle Rayner, John Stewart and Guy Gardner are among some of the few who are left immune, given their past histories with the entity.
It becomes apparent that the brainwashed Lanterns are a danger to not just the Green Lanterns with free will but also the entire universe at large. The sentient planet Mogo plays an essential role in the recruitment of new Green Lanterns. In order to prevent more brainwashed recruits from harming innocent people, John Stewart is forced to make a tough decision. He absorbs the Black Lantern energy that is still being stored in Mogo’s core and uses it to kill the planet and shatter him into pieces. Thankfully for everyone involved, Mogo is able to reconstitute himself and return to active duty, letting Lantern Stewart off the hook for killing another planet, after Xanshi.
As the headquarters of the Green Lantern Corps and citadel of the guardians of the Universe, the planet Oa has been through a lot. It has been destroyed on two separate occasions. Once was when Hal Jordan became possessed by Parallax and turned evil and blew it up during a battle with his successor, Kyle Rayner. The second time was during the “Lights Out” story arc when Relic, a survivor of the universe before the current one, blows it up.
Relic is determined to eliminate all users of the emotional spectrum before they can use their power to destroy the universe. After defeating the Blue Lanterns, Relic turns his sights on the Green Lantern Corps. Though the Lanterns confront him, they are unable to stop him from draining their Central Power Battery and setting off a chain reaction that destroys the planet. With no central planet to call their own, the Green Lanterns turn to Mogo as their new base of operations.
Can you think of any other planets that DC has wantonly destroyed? Let us know in the comments!