There is something very scary about not knowing what happens next, that whole ‘fear of the unknown’ idea. While comicbooks are suspenseful, there is always a certain amount of predictability in them. The Amazing Spider-Man will not see Spider-Man die at the hands of Mysterio. Surprises (like the death of Captain America in his own monthly title) often end in the inevitable (like his inevitable return from the dead). However, comicbooks that do not follow ongoing continuity are the true wild cards. These are an outlet for the writer to make some incredible statement, with no regard for what may come next. Standalone stories provide the storyteller with a way to totally disregard responsibility to the character. Loose ends are left hanging, and no one has to pick up the pieces once the story ends. Truly, no subject or character is untouchable.
That being said, I want to look at one of my favorite non-continuity titles from the 90s: Earth X.