>>I'm a pretty big continuity junkie myself, but I disagree with your thoughts about the involvement of crossovers in monthly series<<
I never said it should all be a self-contained limited series and not involve the characters that are essentially major parts of the crossover, Iím suggesting that if they want to include all the titles in a Universe-wide Mega Event they shouldnít do it for more than an issue or two of the selected titles involved in the crossover. It just seems ridiculous to me that so much time on the regular titles are being wasted with what are essentially repetitive filler rather than good even-flowing storytelling.
For instance: The Acts of Vengeance crossover storyline was an Avengers event that never had a limited series, it just took place in current continuity and spanned on average three issues of the Avengers solo and main titles as well as Punisher, Spider-Man and Fantastic Four if I remember correctly. All the levels of storytelling in comics you mentioned were still present in the crossover issues. Plot, sub-plot and so on werenít sacrificed at all. They were weaved into the context of the crossover issues without sacrificing on-going plots of the individual titles for the most part.
Also, if you as a reader didnít want to read the other titles or couldnít afford them, all they had to do was stick with the two main Avengers titles (Avengers and Avengers West Coast) to get the full storyline. Six issues and weíre done! Everything was recapped in the individual issues by narration or the characters themselves. We didnít get stuck in recap hell over and over again watching the goddamn supervillians secret meetings and listen to them plot every little major and minor nuance of their invasion.
I feel like screaming at the Skrulls when I look at those books! All right, we got it! You planned for everything! You infiltrated EVERY super team, cult and government office involved in superhuman affairs! You started Stark down the road to the Fifty State Initiative! You started the freaking Civil War! GET ON WITH IT! STOP PATTING YOURSELVES ON THE BACK AND ESPOSUING HOW CLEVER AND POWERFUL YOU ARE! SHOW ME SOME RESULTS THAT MATTER! My God I feel like Iím reliving the Spider-Man Clone Saga all over again.
>> There are several levels to a comic. There is the current issue story, there is that particular storyline, there is the current story within the series, there is the evolution of the characters, and there is the evolution of the Marvel universe through all the subplots running together to great a greater history of the Marvel universe. It is a beautiful thing when it all runs together. However, it seems that recently writers have been selfish in only wanting to tell "their story", so they dismiss everything else that is happening in the Marvel Universe or inexplicably use characters that are really somewhere else or would never team up. For years, the fabric of the Marvel Universe has been an incredible weaving of storylines and characters, into something beautiful that mostly makes sense at the end of the day. Now, it seems like Marvel is telling us to open our wallets wider, turn our brain off (World War Hulk), and just look at the pretty art, while ignoring concurrent stories and giving us unrealistic interpretations of the characters.<<
I agree totally. Few writers seem to get that these days. The one guy I know I can count on to deliver quality storylines right now is Ed Brubaker. His run on Daredevil and Captain America are great and he really has the same knack Kurt Busiek does for taking previous continuity and working with it, not ignoring it or rewriting it a million times over to suit his whims. Everything runs at a good pace and it keeps you interested. Iím convinced Brubaker could put his writing to stick-figures and Iíd still read it. As far as Marvel goes the other writers I dig are Warren Ellis on Thunderbolts, Matt Fraction on The Immortal Iron Fist, J. Michael Straczynski on The Twelve and Mike Benson on Moon Knight.
I didnít get involved with World War Hulk except where it bled into Punisher War Zone and Heroes for Hire. Punisher survived but H4H was axed. The Heroes for Hire title was a fun read but the WWH plotline killed it. Once again the crossover was dragged out way too long, it bogged the series down to the point of drowning it and the series didnít keep the fans like it could have if it had only been a one or two issue crossover event. The Hulk wasnít even a major character in it! The majority of it focused on the brood queen and the insect aliens that came to Earth with the Hulk and the majority of the plot revolved around Humbug betraying humanity to become a brood select host. Reread that last sentence and let the horror of it sink in. Thankfully Shang-Chi put an end to that nightmare and killed him.
>> I think one of the main problems is that recent crossovers have been heavily hyped, there is a lot of excitement for them, then they hit with a pretty good bang, then there is a huge lull in the middle of the series where very little seems to be happening, so then the cross over ends with a fizzle we are already sick of it. My frustration is that most of the ideas for recent crossovers sound pretty interesting to me, but the execution of the story is very disappointing and unrealistic (World War Hulk). I thought it was unbelievable how readily everyone was convinced that because Elektra was a Skrull, that it must be an invasion, rather than one lone Skrull. I also thought it was pathetic how we are told to believe that these Skrulls were planning this invasion for a while now, but often the reveals are a case of "What is your favorite movie?" Pause... "I don't know." Then the person reveals that they are a Skrull. Lame<<
I totally agree! This is my point as well, they completely suck you in with all the hype and when all is said and done it goes nowhere or the payoff is minimal at best. I also agree with you that one Skrull does not an Invasion make. The thing I find absurd is everyone acting surprised that the Skrulls are still trying to invade us. Theyíve been trying to invade since the 1950s or earlier according to Marvel continuity. That would be like the FF being surprised Doctor Doom still wants them dead. I think the whole concept of superhumans being surprised at this point that the hostile alien races they beat the crap out over and over again still hate their home plant and want to invade it. Itís an insulting concept and makes the heroes look like mental defectives.
>> I agree that the current issues of Mighty Avengers and New Avengers have been wasteful, especially when the comics are titled "Avengers", but it seems more like "Nick Fury's Adventures" or "Behind the Scenes of the Skrull Invasion", rather than having much to do with the Avengers characters involved in the invasion. As an aside, I also think its crap to have a cover that has nothing to do with the story contained inside, especially since the characters inside have next to nothing to do with the tile of the comic. I hate it when covers are use simply to showcase "pretty art."<<
This is what I mean. We saw Nick Fury gather this team and then nothing but flashbacks. I donít give a good goddamn how he gathered them. Fury is a sneaky super spy and WW2 vet. He personally dismantled and then rebuilt SHIELD almost by himself after the Deltite conspiracy destroyed it. I can assume heíll put together a new team and run rampage on the Skrulls and tell us the Howís and Whys later.
As for your cover comment I have to agree as well. Iím an artist myself and I appreciate most comic covers but when they start to just slap on what essentially looks like a throw-away action panel it irritates me. Like when they have a picture of Spidey just web-swinging across a cityscape of New York it just doesnít have any impact. But I will say this, I truly hate when a comic cover blows a plot twist in a book. Like if the bad guy is a surprise reveal, donít show me it on the cover, Iíll read it as it happens in the book itself. Like when Stan Lee finally revealed that Norman Osborne was the Green Goblin, John Romita Sr. didnít slap Normanís crazed face on the cover revealing it to everyone before they could open the damn thing.
>>Over the past year, I've been collecting about 13 different series, but recently I've been thinking about narrowing that to 4, or dropping my collection for the foreseeable future. Nobody at Marvel seems to be keeping track of things, and nobody seems to be able to tell a writer "no, you can't use that character because (1) it is a Skrull, or (2) that character is actually halfway around the world right now."<<
Exactly! The right hand doesnít know what the left hand is doing. Things get effed up and the fans are the ones who pay for it. Very rarely have I been so turned off by a book that I drop it completely. I mean I stuck out the entire Clone Saga on ALL the Spidey titles because I was praying to God (or Stan Lee I forget which to be honest) that there was going to be some kind of pay off and there was. The original Green Goblin Returned, the Spider Clone was killed, Peter and Mary Janeís baby went to comic limbo and the Jackal (or one of his clones) was shot to death by the Punisher.
>>I don't like the idea of having "summer events" or "cross over events" only in a separate series, because honestly, when writers have been given the freedom to not be involved in a cross over, I don't think their stories have been that good, definitely not good enough for them to be given Prima Donna status, so they don't have to "play with all the other kids." If a "summer event" is fluff and not relevant enough to be in the main issues of a series, then it probably should never have been done in the first place (World War Hulk.) I honestly don't see the point of the current issues of the Fantastic Four. I've found the stories unbelievable past the poin
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