Wednesday, June 20, 2012

CONVERSATION: Big Summer Comics Events II

In the first nerds-feather roundtable (albeit with only two participants and without any physical table, let along one that is round), Philippe and the G are going to discuss those big, splashy summer events Marvel and DC love so much, and talk about what works and what doesn't. See the G's opening salvo here. 

I hate crossover events. They're annoying marketing ploys that have suckered many a greasy teen out of hard-earned cash. And I have been one of those teens. More than once. Damn you, Infinity Gems!

My primary gripe is that the narrative structure of a crossover event isn't all that conducive to a good reading experience. I generally find that the limited series at the center of the event tends to be a bit thin: much of it is devoted to tying in the various subplots of individual series. Meanwhile, the general story arcs of these individual books are sewn, often poorly, into the broader plot of the crossover. Magneto will either join forces with the lasted threat to all existence, of bury the hatchet with the X-Men and team-up against this evil. And as often as not, these crossover events tale away from the books that I am reading. They're a diversion from the stories at the heart of specific series.

I want to read every chapter of a story. Since neither the central mini-series nor the chapters of my favorite series in my favorite book suffice, I am forced to buy books I don't read. But the crossover subplots are usually tailored to that particular book's general story -- I am still lost. I end up spending as much time on wikipedia researching books I don't care about as I do reading actual comics. 

I have thus paid good money and wasted precious time reading books I don't like just to get the entire crossover story. I have even bought issues of the Avengers, which is in my view one of the most boring comics ever. This hasn't been an entirely bad development. If it wasn't for The Civil War I would never had decided to read Ed Brubaker's wonderful run on Captain America. But this is a rare event. 

I've got other problems with crossovers. I'll give you a hint for one of them: Black Goliath.