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Sunday, March 13, 2011 

10 "major events" nobody needs

I think Topless Robot is stumbling with this one, a list where they talk about 10 crossovers that actually matter. It begins by saying:
Like it or not, the prevailing business model for Marvel and DC for the past decade-plus of comics has been to build up to crossover events, publish events and set up crossovers within the events they're publishing. It's a cycle that'll continue as long as people to continue to buy them, which probably isn't going to end any time soon.
And just what is that supposed to mean? That only the sales matter, and not the quality of the story? Apparently. But I think it is going to end soon, and even if it doesn't happen today, that doesn't mean it won't happen tomorrow.

Then, here's what they say about House of M:
You'll recall that this list is of comics crossover events that "mattered," not necessarily those that are good. Avengers Dissasembled, which led into House of M, featured a lot of character deaths and a whole bunch of mutants being demutantized. That's mostly been reversed (still waiting for Jack of Hearts to make his comeback, though), but one thing that has persisted in the years since House of M is Marvel's distinct changes in the character of the Scarlet Witch. She's still an enigma wrapped in a mystery in a crazy lady, and the recent Young Avengers series, The Children's Crusade, is all about the lasting legacy of this crossover.
And about Identity Crisis:
Again, I'm talking about what matters, not necessarily what's good here, so I have to bring up Identity Crisis because of its continuing influence on the DC universe, in its need to be Dark and Adult. It'd be hard to imagine a DC where superheroes could torture people like they did in Cry for Justice or have crazy hallucination sessions with dead cats as in Rise of Arsenal without the prominent rape scene and heroes-being-jerks plot of Identity Crisis.
And then there's One More Day, where they fumble a bit more noticably:
The crossover that ended Peter Parker and Mary Jane Watson's marriage forever with a simple snap of Mephisto's fingers will forever be notable as possibly the event that resulted in the most pissed off fans in history. But you know what else it resulted in? The best Spider-Man comics in like 25 years (though many have argued that those comics could be more or less the same, with the marriage intact). Still, three years after the big change, Marvel shows no signs of restoring the marriage.
They may try to defend their post by saying that this isn't only about "events" that are good, but still succeed in galling nevertheless, and their claim that Spidey's been at its best since OMD is the most noticable error they've made. Isn't this more a case of the companies acting astoundingly stubborn and callous in their vicious grip on these directions that have only succeeded in alienating tons of customers in the long term?

If there's anything here that does matter, it's how these "major events" have only managed to destroy tons of storytelling potential and drive away fans of their universes. And their failure to make this abundantly clear is exactly why these embarrassments will continue. Because the apologists won't do anything to call out the big two on their abysmal offenses.

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Yes, let's remember the days we had heroes who weren't jerks or didn't have to deal with gratitious rape scenes with characters DC thinks we don't care about (but we do) or Spider-Man acted like an adult, instead of a child-man. We're living an extended period of the Dork Age, aren't we? This is what the 2000's have wrought us. I guess we're getting what we deserved. Sighs.

Of course post OMD stories are good. They aren't trying to undo the Spider-Marriage and Peter's run-in with Eventitis has been restricted to the Spidey titles.

I love crossovers. The more issues I'm forced to buy, the better. It's a bargain at $4.00 per. One More Day and Blackest Night were the best comic stories I've ever read.

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