You Don’t Know From Crossovers

Whatever else my parents may have done to me– and one day, I will fund a mental health professional's backyard pool getting to the bottom of that little riddle– they instilled in me a healthy appreciation of Right Now. They did not do this with any kind of inspirational ethos or by constantly saying things like, "Your best years are always the ones ahead of you," or "Today is the first day of the rest of your life." I didn't grow up in a Successories. No, my parents taught me to appreciate the era I was growing up in mostly by describing the era they grew up in.

As the unforgiving, soul-wilting Midwestern summers approached each year of my childhood, there would come the day when we would have to beg our father to relent, close the windows, and turn on the God-given air conditioner. Every year, as they gave in, my parents would treat us to the same speech.

"You know, when we were your age, air conditioning wasn't even a thing! I didn't have air conditioning until I got married. When we were kids, in the summer we had to sleep on the fire escape just so a little breeze would blow our way. Your grandfather would bring home a block of ice from the dairy every afternoon, and I would use it as a pillow. I had three jobs when I was twelve, you know. Paper route, grocery bagger, and coal caddy down in the mines. I had to hitchhike to high school every day, you know. Also, polio wasn't cured until I was ten and I almost got drafted into Vietnam. Just a little something to keep in mind next time you want to cry because you only have two Luke Skywalkers. The closest thing we had to Star Wars was Korea."

Not nostalgic people, my parents.

Nostalgia is the trap comic book readers fall into every time; nostalgia is the nerd roach motel. Hell, many of us are still buying the same reading material we did when we were ten years old with the same emotional investment, still trying to recapture that first high. I realized when I was reading Mike Romo's excellent reflection on comics and aging last week that, even though Peter Parker is surely meant to be ten years younger than I am right now, I never think of him that way because every time I pick up a copy of Amazing Spider-Man I essentially become a brainy nine year old. My parents were accidentally right, though. The past ain't where it's at, kiddies.

2010 is probably the best time to be a comic book reader, with the possible exception of 2011. I know it doesn't always seem that way. Believe me, I'm online reading all the same stuff you are. I know that you look at the solicitations and the company news and the crossovers and the godforsaken Deadpool variant covers (soon to be a major motion picture! they say he'll turn to the camera and wink!! just go ahead and kill me now!) and say to no one in particular, "What the hell are these idiots doing with my beloved hobby?" But listen to me: we are stardust; we are golden. Everyone's heart yearns for a simpler time; every now and then, even I pine for the "Nu Marvel" era of nearly a decade ago (!). Believe me, though: this is as good as it gets until it gets even better.

No, nobody published a Watchmen for the 21st century last year. But it took 86 years for that to happen in the last century; we've got time. In the meantime, look at the books that have everyone chattering right now. Look at your Blackest Night and The Siege. The cynics among us saw the tie-in checklists for these "event books" and winced. I may have rolled an eye or two myself, but that's only because I remember checklists from years gone by, and believe me, kid, you don't know how good you've got it. In myyy day….

There was a time when every summer meant Annuals would be coming out, and all the Annuals were tied together in some massive hogwash crossover. Back then, I got bilked out of many a dollar earned sweating over a lawn mower. To eleven-year-old me, Annuals seemed like the special thing you had to buy rather than the obviously irrelevant thing you'd never miss if you skipped it. I mean, come on! Sixty-four pages! Super-sized! Artists you never heard of drawing stories you didn't care about! Spider-Man got married in an annual one year when I was a kid, and we all remember what an awesome story engine that was. Anyway, the policy back then was to put out Annuals for nearly every book and tie them all together in one massive, disjointed twenty-part story. I bought into the Annuals and their crossovers, which meant I got treated to huge, dull-as-toast story arcs about maguffins I couldn't care less about. Watch out! Atlantis Attacks! You remember Atlantis, from that lone Namor appearance you overheard people discussing in the comic shop that one time? Twenty 1989 bucks, please!

Oh no, it's the High Evolutionary!… who was… apparently… a bad guy Thor faced in the sixties. Or something. To be continued in X-Factor! And fifteen other books! Cough up the dough, mac.

Now, we get off easy. As much as people may want to huff and puff about Siege, it is entirely organic. Avengers Disassembled leads to House of M leads to Civil War leads to the Initiative leads to Secret Invasion leads to Dark Reign leads to Siege. This has all been one long story with a handful of forward-looking architects throughout, rather than a room full of people going, "Hey! June's coming. Crossover time. What are we thinking of jamming into every book this year? Atlantis? Thanos? Doctor Bong?" And as for Blackest Night… sheesh, Geoff Johns has been laying the groundwork since he was thirteen writing in to the letter columns. These days, Events progress the stories rather than the other way around.

I'm sure there are people reading this who think I'm out of my mind. I ask those people this: what do you know about the Age of Apocalypse? Here's what I know about it: it encompassed just under sixty (60) books. According to, the reading order looks like this:


Look at that chart, think about every bad thing you ever said about Civil War, and then go write Joe Quesada and Mark Millar an apology. By hand.

The landscape of my adolescence is littered with crossover epics like these. I try to read X-Men and Spider-Man runs now on DVD-ROM, and the nineties are impossible to slog through. "To be continued in a completely different book you don't have, by an entirely different writer who doesn't even want to participate! X-Clones part XXVII, on sale biweekly!" I'll take ten Sieges over this mishegoss.

Remember Brokeback Batman? I tried with all my might to get back into comics during that epic, but there were just too many things to buy. A lot of people these days look at a Civil War or a Blackest Night and say, "It's impossible to appreciate the story unless you buy all the tie-ins. I just bought the main book and had no idea what was going on." Those people, I would humbly submit, lack perspective. I'm going to buy The Siege, and I'm going to buy the books I was already getting monthly anyway, and I promise you I will not miss a thing. I didn't miss a thing during Civil War. Try that strategy with a time machine and X-cutioner's Song, and let me know how far it gets you.

My favorite Event concept from back in the day is still Marvel's Acts of Vengeance from, oh, let's say 1990 (the Year of Milli Vanilli). The crossover premise was that the major villains decided to kill the Marvel heroes by pulling a Strangers on a Train on them. "What if Doctor Octopus fought the Hulk for a change?" was the entire hook. (I've never understood the concept of criminals going steady with superheroes. "Back off! Electro only fights Spidey. I'm a one-hero man.") The main thing I remember about this "Event" was Magneto, years after reforming and taking over Xavier's school for him, turning to the X-Men out of the blue and almost literally saying, "I must abruptly rejoin the shadowy underworld of villainy right now; Editorial demands it. Farewell! WHOOSH!" You almost expected to see Chuck Jones' hand come into the last panel and draw his bad guy helmet onto his head.

Does this sort of thing happen in 2010? I contend that it largely does not.

In summation: I know there are days when comics seem awful. There are days when everything seems awful. There are days when you log on to read the news and the whole world is a Deadpool variant cover. Trust me, though: we live in an age of wonders, when story arcs are logical and Y: The Last Man is available in its entirety. It beats the alternative. Believe me.


Jim Mrockowski remembers a time when there was a Successories in every mall, but apparently now there are only four locations. So… that's how well that stuff works. By the way, Jim Mroczkowski didn't have air conditioning in college, and it turns out it's not that big a deal. Anyway, Twitter.


  1. the UXM chart isn’t showing up for some reason.

    Maybe it was just a matter of the times and me being a GIANT X-Fan at the time but I had no problem with Age of Apocalypse.  People would have definitely complained about it on the internet though. 

    I’m definitely a fan of the mini-series events with tie-ins you don’t have to read though, no one is holding a gun to anyone’s head to read any Blackest Night or Siege tie-ins. 

  2. Looks like I posted while you were fixing the AOA thing.. looks good now

  3. Yes.  Yes to everything in this article.  Particularly "nostalgia is the nerd roach motel"

  4. This is not just a mere article, sir. Its like you have given me an infinite ammo cheat for all the forum wars that are to come. Permanent bookmark!

  5. Well done.  

    I LOVE that Age of Apocalypse diagram.  It helps me understand Ron’s insanity. 

    I’ve never visited a Successories, but I can visualize it in all its glory.

  6. Very true. AOA was cool and all but my god there was lot tgo get through. and i did the same thing with CW. Comics are much better at crossovers now. Remember the Bloodlines annuals? Shudder

  7. Good article, now I’m watching Looney Toons on YouTube

  8. Ah Jimski, continuing to be the best comics writer on iFanboy, or probably every comic book site.

    Great article.  Hilarious, thoughtful, and well written.

    Nostalgia is a HUGE problem with almost every comic critic.  Yes, every one.  Constantly defending the "Classics" to the detriment of the superior modern stories.

  9. That AOA diagram is hilarious and daunting at the same time. I tried reading that series in trade and…..I just couldn’t do it.

    It just goes to show that comic have evolved in a lot of ways over the last 20-30 years. But still probably haven’t changed that much in general.

  10. I’m waiting on the clone saga trades. That is going to be something to see

  11. Thank you Jimski, for articulating exactly what I’ve been thinking over the last year or so. 

    @stuclach – The scary part is, Ron probably has that diagram tattooed somewhere… or just memorized. 

  12. That’s quite the rack on Bane.

  13. Currently attempting to slog my way through AoA. At first I thought that flow chart was showing EVERY SINGLE AoA tie in throughout the years, but no…those are in fact the all the core titles you must read to get the basic grasp of that epic. Kinda depressing, when you think about it.


    Good article, it really puts things into perspective. After all, most of us think that comics coming out recently arent as good as the ones that came out years ago, but the pre-teen comic fans will more than likely remember these days as the golden years, just as we remembered the golden years being when we were that age. I can just imagine a young comic fan growing up in a few years saying "Remember that Red Hulk story? THAT was some good stuff, they sure don’t make them like they used to!"

  14. I remember when I first started reading X-Men (three or four years ago, believe it or not), and some friends (who are lovely people and surely only wanted me to be happy) said, "You need to read ‘Age of Apocalypse’!  It’s our favorite!  I even had four massive trade paperbacks, with a cover price of our 100 dollars, and weighing approximately 70 pounds, dropped next to my feet during what I thought was a completely innocent visit to the movies.

    So those took up space on my shelf for a while, I started reading volume 1 with some trepidation, then finally had to go back to my friends and admit, "I didn’t really get what was happening."  To  which I received the response, "Did you try to read volume 1 *first*?  Well that’s why you’re confused!  The story really starts in the second book, then you need to check out the second half of the fourth, and THEN you can go back and read. . ."

    Truly, my friends are lovely people, and I have still never read the Age of Apocalypse.  Except for that one issue that consists entirely of Havok whining to Cyclops about how his dad didn’t love him.  I’m pretty sure Brian K Vaughan wrote it when he was in intern at Marvel, though I wouldn’t be surprised if he won’t admit it now. 

  15. Totally agree. I had just started getting into X-Men and was only reading Uncanny when X-Cutioners song started up. Holy crap. I remember it was forever before I managed to get every issue and figure out what the hell was going on. AoA wasn’t too long after that and by that time I’d pretty much given up.

    I mostly skip the tie-ins anymore and don’t feel like I’m missing anything.

  16. I think Age of Apocolypse is longer then:

    In Search of Lost Time by Marcel Proust; which is about 4,800 pages.

  17. And Proust is a lot shorter if you skip the tie-ins chapters.  The ones where Swann hangs out with Inspector Clouseau are *so* unnecessary to the plot.

  18. God article Jimski. Very true that we live in a time when events are on the whole better. Though, I have say… Civil War did have some 80 books involved with it (Close to 160 when you count the second printings and trades like Marvel does: ) and I feel like the undercuts your point a bit. Was it just a 5th Week event? Certainly not. But it’s really not so different from Age of Apocalypse except that you have a little more room to cherry pick the good from bad. 

    Having "lived through" Age of Apocalypse at the time, I’m always confused as why its raised up as the start of "confusing too many books crossover." What was going on was very clearly spelled out and at 8-9, I knew exactly what books were changing into what and that it would last for 4 months. As well, it’s less of a crossover and more of a status quo… rendering a reading order almost useless as books will flow events at different speeds. (Hence why the books are shown concurrently in the chart instead of direct.) And not that it lessens the blow but 15 of those 60 books were from the 10th anniversary of AoA in 2004-5. Essentially, if you were reading X-Men and Uncanny (and lets face it, in the 90s you were) you got the main story during AOA. It’s certainly dated and 90s, but it was Marvel’s last big success before its decline in the late 90s. And Onslaught was really the confusing one. With "Phase I and Phase II and the wholly separate Acts 1 & 2"

  19. @ohcaroline: I am going to assume that happens cause I’ve never read it. 🙂

    Crap, now I got the ‘Summarizing Proust’ sketch from Monty Python.

  20. I followed and enjoyed AoA back in the day Opration Zero Tolerance however drove me out of comics

    for the best part of a decade

  21. Like Gobo, I had no trouble with Age of Apocalypse, but that was probably due to the fact that the X-Men were still the hottest thing in my 5th grade year. I think, at the time and at my age, I had the realization that it was another reality, so if something didn’t make sense to me, it was probably okay for me to not know wwhat was going on. For the several crossovers before that, X-Tinction agenda, X-Cutioner’s Song, and so on, I would get random issues, but probably never had more than 8 out of the 12 chapters. I’d imagine this was pretty typical of a kid in 2nd or 3rd grade and I suppose I never expected that I would ever have the funds to buy all of the issues for such a massive crossover (this was back when they were called "crossovers" and not so much "events.").  I really think the recent effort to lay out the Age of Apocalypse chronology is much more conveluted than reading the story as it came out. It was like a big ol’ puzzle trying to figure out what was going on in this chaotic world. Man o man, I thought X-Man was the coolest!!

    On the other hand, Spider-Man was very overwhelming and ultimately not worth the work and frustration, even before the Clone Saga kicked into high gear. "Dr. Octopus is dead! No he isn’t! He’s a girl! No, he’s dead!"   I really recall thinking "This was so much simpler when he just fought some symbiote creature every other month.  At the same time I was reading old Marvel Tales reprints of the Lee/Ditko issues and wondered what in the world happened sinc ethen. Grown up Peter Parker’s world was much harsher and confusing, for sure.

  22. Those Marvel crossovers do sound like dooseys. DC had its fair share of completely insane editorially mandated crossovers. There was MILLENNIUM, which ran for 8 weeks in 1988. In order to follow significant plot threads, you needed to read most (but not all) of the 37 official tie-ins. Like I said, it did only last 8 weeks, so it blew over fairly quickly.

    There was also the ill-fated BLOODLINES annual crossover from 1993 that attempted to create a ton of new characters, the vast majority of which were immediately forgotten. Anyone remember Terrorsmith, that dude who somehow created monsters with his mind? No, I didn’t really think so.

  23. Love the diagram, AOA was one of my favorite stories back in the day.  Like Josh was saying in the podcast, this is one of those instances where I bought the trades and kept my single issue floppies.

  24. @JeffR very true but we did get Hitman out of it and when you think of how few good new charcters

    have been created in the last 20 years I at least am grateful for that

  25. Grass is always greener…..

  26. @RoiVampire the life of Reilly blog actually makes the Clone saga sound interesting. I recommend that people read that instead of buying the eventual trade after trade of horrendous clone comics

  27. Any reference to Dr. Bong makes me giggle.

  28. "I’m going to buy The Siege, and I’m going to buy the books I was already getting monthly anyway, and I promise you I will not miss a thing… Try that strategy with a time machine and X-cutioner’s Song, and let me know how far it gets you"

    — You know, now that I think about it, that may have been the plot of X-Cutioner’s Song. I think Cable and Stryfe were battling through time to collect event books in their proper read order. Of course the task was impossible and it ended with pain, humiliation, and death. At least that is my recollection of it.

    In my most humble opinion AoA was the last great X-crossover (at least until Messiah Complex, for which my personal jury is still out until I see the Second Coming second act). It spent the last bits of energy and creativity that the X-titles had been running on since the early days of Claremont. Onslaught came next and then for five years there was only darkness and abyss and the screaming. Oh, the screaming.


  29. @JimBily4 I agree. The Post-AOA status quo got really weird. 

  30. I absolutely should have used Onslaught instead of AoA! This article is canceled.

    Look at that reading order. LOOK AT IT.

    I wasn’t reading comics at the time, so it may not be my fault that I forgot.

  31. @mikegraham6: You have ruined my brain forever.  That blog is just…soo…can’t….think…away…and…but…with the….spiders…why………………………..

  32. @Jimski Hahahaha. Insanity itself, no?

  33. Okay, if it isn’t obvious, I completely missed the 90s and didn’t ever have the incentive to catch up.

    That said — wasn’t the premise of ‘Age of Apocaylpse’ basically "we’re going to change everybody’s backstory for a while just to see what happens but don’t worry it will eventually change back"?  How do you turn into a great crossover? 

  34. *how do you turn that?

  35. @Jimski/PraxJarvin

    *reads link*

    Oh cock,

  36. @ohcaroline It’s basically an elseworlds/what if story that took over the x-books for 4 months.  I still love it.

    @jimski Oh yeah, Onslaught was WAY WAY worse than AoA. Onslaught is what caused me to stop reading comics the first time.

  37. @OhCaroline Throughout the early 90s, 90-94, the writers began playing with Legion, Xavier’s son who was schizophrenic and each personality had a different power set. (Actually a cool concept.) Throughout those years he kept popping up, and then he was talking to time travelers and such. He thought he could finally win Xavier’s love by going back in time and killing Magneto, thus ending "evil mutants." He goes back and just as he’s about to Kill Magneto, Xavier gets between them and is killed. (This is a story called… Legion Quest, I believe) Xavier’s death obviously changes the course of history for the mutants in the Marvel universe and Age of Apocalypse is premised on looking at the "present" or "not too distant future" of a Marvel universe without Xavier. It hinges on the X-Men not being there to stop Apocalypse’s rise and thus he comes back, conquers America and turns into a post-apocalyptic (See what they did there!?) wasteland. Because he was a time traveler, Bishop has both sets of memories and he becomes the MacGuffin of the story. The enjoyment of the event is seeing how characters have altered, stayed the same or somewhere in between. It was a fun experiment, especially with the gimmick of re-branding every X-Men book. 

    So, all that is to say that Age of Apocalypse is premised on the "What if X had died" trope and looks at the world without that person. It’s a classic in Sci-Fi and most major franchise shows have done a spin on it. Of course it’s the classic "It’s a Wonderful Life." It was done, in condensed form, in the X-Men Animated Series. I believe it was called "One Man’s Worth" thought it replaces Legion with Nimrod and Trevor Fitzroy. Parts of AOA also creep up in "Beyond Good & Evil" from TAS too.

  38. @ohcaroline Oh and they’re right, I’m not sure why Marvel put all the "return to AoA" stuff in volume one (well it did come first in the AoA Chronology), it was all terrible.  I don’t know why they’re saying jump around otherwise though, although I don’t know what books are in vols 2-4.

  39. @ohcaroline Just looked at the books in vols 2-4, looks like you could read those all just fine.

  40. @PraxJarvin  Thank you for the information!  I am sincerely glad this is something you love and am glad I wasn’t reading comics in the 90s so that I didn’t have to stab myself in the eye.   😉

    @gobo  I may have been exaggarating a little about the rest of it.  I just know that after they told me "don’t read volume 1 first" I was done.  It sounds like this does have more to do with the trade policy than the issue continuity. 

  41. @ohcaroline Yeah, all of volume 1 came out years after AoA actually happened. 

    Really a reading order for AoA is something that wouldn’t have mattered as much to people then as it does now.  It wasn’t written for the trade at all.  Comicbookchris summed it up perfectly when he described it like Seven Soldiers of Victory.  You could read Alpha, the X-books you already read and then Omega and be ok.  Each of the series didn’t cross over with each other, they just led to different points in Omega.

  42. @gobo  That’s pretty similar to my experience with ‘Annihilation’, oddly enough.  It was confusing trying to figure out how to read it in trade (I finally just skipped the whole second trade), but I imagine if I’d been reading it as stuff came out it would have been clearer.

  43. @ohcaroline Yeah Annihilation (actually both of them) is one that I’m not sure how they traded since it was formatted very similar to AoA and Seven Soldiers.  It’s usually best to just read every #1, then every #2 and so on than trying to figure out some "reading order".


  44. Well said! Since I’m a “new” comic nerd, my enjoyment of this awesome things we call comics is never hindered by nostalgia or anal retentiveness. My firsts: runaways hardcover and Young Avengers in issues. Love them cuz they were also shared with my daughter.

  45. @anson17 – Ron’s tattoos are taboo. Please never mention them again.

  46. Acts of Vengeance is great!  …or at least I’d like to think it is.  I still have a dozen or so of the back issues to find and only got a dozen or so into the ones I did manage to find.  hmmm, I did manage to buy almost all of Civil War though, that was fun.

  47. There is one really great Acts of Vengeance plotline I’d like to see explored in the modern era. All the major villains get together to hatch this grand scheme when suddenly Magneto realizes that Red Skull is the actual original Hitler employee, kidnaps him, and begins torturing him to death in a basement. That is a character interaction rife with potential.

  48. I actually have like the second and fourth part of x-cutioners song from when I was a kid.  I still havent read the entire story. Great article Jimski, you’ve been on fire lately.

  49. @Jimski- that cover is how my retailer sold the idea of collecting the the back issues

  50. heh, I’d forgotten about Onslaught. I believe the seeds were being laid for that story way back when they first introduced Bishop, a good 40 or 50 issues prior to the actual crossover.

    Also notable was…I think it was called the Phalanx Covenant? That was another one that they started laying the groundwork for really early and eventually culminated in Generation X, years later.

  51. Luc Sante has a great book about New York called Low Life; in the introduction he says something similar:

    ". . .The common word for this kind of distortion is ‘nostalgia’.  This word can be generally defined as a state of inarticulate contempt for the present and a fear of the future, in concert with a yearning for order, constancy, safety, and community–qualities that were last enjoyed in childhood and are retroactively imagined as gracing the whole of the time before one’s birth."

  52. i didn’t have time to read all the comments, but.. did you just quote Crosby, Stills, and Nash?!

  53. bravo!

  54. I like crossovers, because when someone says “remember when Atlantis Attacks happened?” I actually do remember it happening. For 90% of new comics these days, it would be more like “remember that issue where Ultimate Peter Parker had a really long conversation?. No, not that issue, one of the tons of other ones, where nothing happened, they just sat in a room, gave each other looks, and shared their emotions.” I will take Atlantis Attacks or Evolutionary War any day of the week over that crap.

  55. Great article. I had moved away from comics when AOA happened over here (UK and Irish reprints generally followed about 4-5 years later back then) and had a really hard time getting into it when I read the trades. That said I’m gonna give the Clone Saga trades a go – I’ve heard so much and never actually read a single issue. I mean, how bad could it be? 😉

  56. *Sits on his front porch and lights his corn cob pipe*

    I guess my problem with this article is that I in no way look to the 90’s as the good ol’ days.  Now the 80’s when you had things like "Legends" and "Crisis"… those were cross-overs done right (Well okay let’s be honest they were done in a much less confusing manner).  There were lots of tie-ins that gave you the feeling of a big event. BUT, you truly only had to read the main book to follow the story.

    And once they were over, they had an end to them they weren’t a cheap continuation into the next ‘cross-over’.  I don’t see the endless chain of colliding events these days as ‘organic’ story telling or something superior to what was done, say 14 years ago.  (Although Blackest Night is a HUGE exception…). 

     Also lets not fool ourselves… these events today are borne out of the same lets sell a bunch of comics by jamming a story into them this summer as they were back in my day. And not some higher need to raise the art form to new levels like the original poster seems to imply here.

    I mean is Magneto abruptly changing character any different, or worse, than Captain America and Iron Man becoming completely different people then we had read for the last 40 plus years (and in Caps case 60 plus) just to wedge in the whole Civil War story line?  No difference.  Nothing artistic or organic about it.  Also these stories today are specifically geared to lead into the next big thing… it’s not a natural progression but a deliberate sales ploy. But what are you going to do?  It’s a business and I accept that… I may not totally like it but I get it.

    Look, despite how this post reads (which is a mish mash of contradicting opinions..I know, I’m sorry).  I’m not a big fan of the attitude things that are old are WAY better than what these kids are doing today, nor do I cater to the equally limited attitude that anything old sucks, cause, it’s like… OLD!  One isn’t better or worse than the other they are just different.  But in the cases of Comic Books and cross-overs I really don’t think they have changed or evolved as much as the original poster wants to believe.

    *Stops talking and puffs on his pipe before standing up and yelling at some kids to get off my lawn*

  57. 80’s were crossovers done right? Less confusing? Have we forgotten Secret Wars II? Worst crossover ever. There. I said it. And I am one of the few that really liked the original Secret Wars. But the attempted revisit… Awful on just about every possible level. Every tie in book worse than the last. 

    Sorry, I know your point was that both those looking back with nostalgia and those looking back with disdain are wrong. That things are more the same than they are different. And to a point I agree. Crossovers are meant to move floppies. If a story happens to appear, then great. But I think there has been an evolution to the approach which is making better crossovers.  If Blackest Night had happened in 1988 it would have been Secret Wars II. You bemoan one event leading into another, but another way of looking at it is an Universe-wide tale that is being woven at a scale earlier comic book creators were afraid to even attempt. It may fail more than it succeeds, but the magnitude and scope and stakes involved are what draws people in again and again, even many of us with event fatigue.  

  58. Sorry Jimbilly I have to disagree with you on this. Just because Secret Wars II sucked in the 80’s doesn’t mean other comic stories in the 80’s sucked or that if Secret Wars II was done today it wouldn’t still suck.  Okay I just want to write the word ‘suck’ a lot but you get my drift…. A bad story is a bad story no matter where or when it is written.

    Also your last description could be applied to any cross-over event at any time.  What is going on now is not inherently better or worse then what has gone on before… it’s simply just happening now.  Except the catch isn’t to resolve and move on, it’s to end with a lead into something else they can sell. 

     It’s not an artistic choice or an attempt to weave at a scale earlier comic creators were afraid to even attempt (Hello Crisis on Infinite Earths?  That was bigger than anything I’ve seen going today) it’s simply a marketing ploy.  Sure a Marketing ploy, if done well, that is cool and a great read (Geoff Johns please stand up!).  I accept that, and I don’t try and see it for anything other than what it is or was.  

  59. TRUTH!

    (Though X-Cutioner’s Song at least had the reading order on the covers. 😉

    I’ve never read AoA or Onslaught and I probably never will. The former seems to be a waste of time and the latter is probably the worst idea Marvel has ever had. 


  60. I wish crossovers went back to Annuals. That way, they didn’t interrupt the flow of the monthly book.