I finally got around to reading both Event Leviathan, Dark Nights Death Metal, and Generation Shattered. They’re entertaining because mainly they write these things for the die hard fans. It is impressive how knowledgeable Scott Snyder is of the DC Universe and the amount of stuff Greg Capullo can draw. But golly, after reading it I have to wonder…what else can you do with this stuff? Do crossover events suck?
Is it really getting to the point where there are no more surprises? In Death Metal Snyder and Capullo basically riff together on all the different crises that have come before and then created their own crisis. It was a crisis book about the past crises creating a new crisis and then resolving itself.
I feel like all these crossovers and events are just really the same story over and over again. And I’m using DC as an example but I have that feeling with Marvel too.
I mean yes, the stakes are high and I suppose there will be consequences.
But will there really be?
Also most of this stuff has that same basic concept. Something evil or important scatters something else all over the place, we need to collect it, and that gives us an excuse to jump from one world to the other, as we come across other characters in the same universe. Rinse, dry , and repeat.
But when I ask the question do crossover events suck, I have to imagine that the reason why these companies do it over and over again is because they did it so well in the first place. When we think of events we do think of the first big two that is Marvel’s Secret Wars and DC’s Crisis on Infinite Earths. Both were quite different. Marvel constructed Secret Wars really to sell toys. But the stakes were simple enough and because the heroes wouldn’t remember what had happened you didn’t need to mess with continuity. Plus it sold well because who wouldn’t want to finally see all these characters face off together on the same page?
Crisis on Infinite Earths on the other hand had more of a function. Yes DC also used it to sell toys but they really utilized it to reign in all the craziness that was the DC Universe at the time.
And everything that has come after that seems to be a retelling of those two concepts.
I mean sure, I love reading crazy matchups with weird, wacky made up scenarios that cause teams to come together in unexpected ways. But as we go down this path and make everything bigger, badder, more epic, with crazy stakes and consequences, at some point you just have to go…who cares? And I really think we have arrived at this point. And look I do admit it, I’m a part of the problem. I keep saying that I’m not an event guy but I keep buying into them. This month’s solicitations will prove that.
But I wouldn’t mind if these things just stopped. There’s really no point to them anymore. Give me a solid, two book crossover with a functioning story that has real stakes to begin with. Leave that epic crossover, let’s have a standalone book to coincide with the crossover stuff behind. And yes, I understand that these things are implemented to sell more books. Collectors will gobble them up out of the hope that a new character is introduced. But aren’t we cheating ourselves? Don’t we want something new?
I’m a few issues into Future State and I think this will be the new way of things. Pause the current titles, create an interesting scenario and introduce new concepts. This to me is what comic books were made for. I suppose you could call this the Secret Wars approach but whatever this will turn out to be, it’s still interesting enough to make me think and talk about it. And it proves that you can do an interesting crossover/event in an anthology format. And I think that’s the best way to go. I don’t mind paying a few extra bucks for more story that is in the same book instead of trying to figure out what books tie into it.
So do crossover events suck? Well they’re at least starting to or maybe they have been for a while. Either way maybe it’s time to stop.
Or at least wait twenty years until we have the next one.