Recognise these pictures? Back in X-Force #2-#4 (with a cross-over to Spider-Man, Vol.1 #16) good old Rob Liefeld and Fabian Nicieza (assisted by Todd McFarlane) decided to join Cable's X-Force with Spider-Man, and pit them against Juggernaut and Black Tom Cassidy. The good guys were further assisted by Siryn, while the bad guys were holding a bunch of businessmen (including Gideon and Sunspot) captive on a floor at the World Trade Centre.
Well, of course the building was evacuated, and X-Force rescued the captives - so nobody died. Twenty-odd floors were destroyed, plus some nearby smaller buildings. But that's OK... presumably "Damage Control" had that little mess fixed up in time for next issue.
The story was pretty bad; far too many "hot" characters, overblown dialog, and a plot which carelessly tossed large buildings around without any sort of sense of purpose.
Planes captured by terrorists and crashed into the twin towers. It still seems like a comic book story. But its not, of course. And we now know what an impact such destruction would have. The Liefeld, Nicieza and McFarlane plot was overblown and unconvincing when I read it the first time. Looking back now, it is ten times as meaningless.
And so, it must be with great trepidation that J. Michael Straczynski is approaching the difficult task of destroying the WTC permanently in an upcoming issue of Amazing Spider-Man. It has to be done, of course - and Marvel have tapped JMS as the guy to do it. I don't envy him the job. But I am sure that he will write something a lot more readable than the unfortunate attempt offered in those early X-Force issues.