I was trying to think of when I started hating it. I think when Team Titans debuted and they did 5 variants of issue #1. Each variant had a different cover (that's another thing I hate, variant covers) and had a "team" story for half the book and a "solo origin" story for the other half. The "team" story was the same in each variant and the "solo" story was different in each one. So you had six half-issues or three issues worth of story spread over five issues.
Just do a double-sized first issue and be done with it. Ridiculous.
I wonder how many times that gimmick has been tried. I know Marvel did it with Slingers #1. That might have been a worse offender since it was 48 page comic to begin with, meaning it was $1 more than a regular issue. To get the whole story, you needed to by 4 copies, so price wise, it was the equivalent of buying 6 regular issues.