I'm not what you'd call a "crier".
You know, one of those people who can cry at the drop of a hat over fictional grief...like my lovely wife, for example. I don't know what it is...I guess it just takes alot to "flip that switch" inside of me when it comes to grief that's "not real" in the sense of it being acted out or conjured up in a fictional setting.
However, once in a blue moon a story comes along that really does get close to choking me up, one of which was the evergreen classic "Whatever Happened to the Man of Tomorrow?"
As a way to smooth the transition for John Byrne's 1986 "Extreme Makeover" of the Superman titles, DC Comics allowed for an "ending" of sorts for the version of Superman most readers had grown up with. Written by fan favorite Alan Moore and illustrated by Curt Swan (who else?), the two-part story was published in Superman #423 and Action Comics #583, featuring an "imaginary story" that served as a stirring elegy to the Silver Age era of Superman comics.
Though the tale had many extremely touching moments, I think the one that tops them all (at least for me) was Krypto's Last Stand. Our Highlight Reel clip opens after an army of Superman's enemies had invaded the Fortress of Solitude to destroy the Man of Steel and the loved ones under his protection. One of the members of that army was the Kryptonite Man, who clearly wasn't aware of a dog's reaction to a stranger in his master's home. Note the masterful "camera work" (no doubt enhanced by Moore's incredibly rich stage direction) and the effective use of Krypto's thundering "thuddums" (click on the panels for a larger image)...
Without hesitation, Krypto lunges for the Kryptonite Man while already succumbing to his deadly radiation. Despite the many years of Krypto wearing the goofy cape and using thought balloons to think very human thoughts, it's here at the very end that Krypto was never more dog-like..not only for his shocking savagery, but also for his fierce loyalty and laser-focused hatred for someone intent on doing his master harm.
I don't know what's more upsetting, imagining Krypto's "death howl" echoing through the Fortress, or the sight of Krypto's green carcass with the red cape still attached. Heartbreaking.
So, there you have it. Comics' very own Old Yeller moment.
Excuse me. I-I think I've got something in my eye....