One thing that Iím pissed off about is that the last few issues of Avengers have become a Flashback issue. I really find it self-indulgent and poorly thought out on the writerís part that Mighty Avengers and New Avengers have both become flashback issues in each title. I know that you can argue these flashbacks were necessary to tell us when exactly Spider-Woman and Hank Pym were replaced but seriously this all could have been explained quickly in one issue of their respective Avengers titles and not dragged out.
Pym has gotten the flashback treatment in not only Mighty Avengers but also Avengers: The Imitative. I will give the Initiative props though since they managed to tell it in the course of one issue while maintaining the many on-going storylines and introducing new ones. There was really no need for us to see every waking moment Pym had with the Skrull who replaced him.
I think my main problem with the Secret Invasion as a whole is that as a reader many of us are forced to read chapters of it in books that orbit the main mini-series and have regular storylines put on hold in those series for this Summer Crossover Event.
Once again, donít get me wrong, I like Summer Crossovers but at this point theyíve become beasts that canít be fed. More and more titles are overtaken by these things and when all is said and done they tend not to add much to the series they invaded as a whole. I also think itís insane to plot something this huge and expect people to spend that much money on all of the orbiting titles to get the full storyline of the crossover especially now when prices of comics and barest necessities are at such an all-time high. I, like Iím sure most comic fans reading this, had to ratchet down their comic book intake to put aside money to pay for things that keep us alive and healthy in the real world.
Now, I know Marvel is a business like any other and they need more income by hooking in more readers, and I have absolutely no problem with the concept, Iím just saying they really need to come up with a better way of doing it without wrecking current storyline flow and bogging us down with every single microscopic detail of this summer storyline over and over again in flashbacks.
As far as flashbacks go, Marvel should really take a lesson from their past and go back to doing these crossovers like their first one, the original Secret War. Granted it was a 12 issue limited series so you had to invest a year into getting it, but if you notice, the interruption to the main comics was one or two pages at the end of one issue and the beginning of another. It was enough to whet readerís appetites to pick up the limited series and others that were involved, especially when some of their characters showed up in the next issue of their series wearing different costumes and speaking of an ungodly war they were forced into on another planet for weeks on end.
Secret War II is where it started to get a little scarier but nonetheless manageable. When Secret War II started, one full issue of many regular titles got included in this, but for the most part it was just one-single issue. Not two, three or six. This I would even accept since okay, one issue wonít kill me and itís not going to effect my regular comic budget in that drastic of a manner.
Now, letís fast Forward to Atlantis Attacks. This was a brilliant and reader friendly move because the majority of this Summer Crossover happened in the Marvel Annuals! The Annuals themselves told a chapter or two each of the Atlantis Attacks storyline while cross-promoting the respective series that participated in it. Plus most Annuals had other back-up stories either related to the current crossover or were independent to the crossover event as well as posters or handbook entries on characters. Point is it didnít mess with the current storylines or continuity of the regular series that produced the annual and it included bonus storylines and content for a slightly higher price tag than the regular series and you really didnít have to pick up the Annual if you didnít want to.
And there lies my final point in this matter; Choice. We could choose to participate in the crossover or limited series if we wanted to or leave it alone and pursue our regular comic titles in relative peace. We werenít getting Skrulls or pondering storylines jammed in our faces everywhere we looked. The only titles that handled this in a way I can appreciate are Thor and Fantastic Four. They are part of the crossover, but in separate limited series that you, the reader, can choose to buy or not buy without it affecting your enjoyment of the regular series. You donít have to sit through the Secret Invasion if you donít want to.
I know you can argue that I could just skip the issues dealing with this, but come on, what comic fan worth his salt would skip an issue of a series they love? Being a hardcore continuity junkie myself, itís hard for me to justify skipping issues where something could potentially happen to wrap up or continue a plot that was started pre-Summer Crossover Event.
Agree? Disagree? Indifferent? No matter how you feel, I just needed to get this off my chest. Thanks for reading.
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