30 Days of Marvel: Day #30 - Your favourite event
Now, my knowledge of Marvel’s big events is unabashedly limited. Spider-Island was, in fact, the first and only big event I’ve ever kept up with at the time, and to be honest I feel like some of those books just weren’t worth my time. I felt because I wanted to keep getting ASM I ought to collect all of the tie-ins and suchlike, and that was a costly decision for titles of varying quality. I loved the Avenger’s one-shot, but on the other hand the Spider-Girl in particular was a let-down (still one of the better ones, but it had been the mini I had most hope for). I think in future I’ll definitely be more wary about collecting everything just because it’s there.
And when it comes to other recent events? Sure, I’ve read some Civil War/Initiative etc. stuff, but only bits and pieces. Fear Itself came up in a few titles I follow recently, but again it didn’t particularly thrill me; the Avengers Academy issues were pretty good, but that’s about it. In fact, I think the older, more limited crossovers largely surpass the current sprawling events. Give me Kraven’s Last Hunt or The Infinity Gauntlet over Secret Invasion or World War Hulks any day.
Honestly, events are one of the things which put me off Marvel and DC titles in the first place. I looked at their continuities and saw a big sprawling mess, with titles crossbreeding all over the place, like a filthy incestuous web of back-patting and forced storylines. I saw huge epics rendering individual issues meaningless, but on the other hand I saw over-dramatisation and expectation of a lot of reader knowledge of a lot of different characters and storylines. It scared me away from standard capes comics for a while, until I read one book. And I didn’t even read it because of Marvel.
Image Comics’ Invincible was the book that first properly introduced me to the world of capes; it was sometimes funny, sometimes more serious, interesting, it evolved in a way that superhero comics sometimes seem to lack and it made me really take another look at the genre. I’d tried bits and pieces, but they’d all seemed obtuse and not really quite clicked until I got into this series. And then in Invincible #33, Invincible fought Angstrom Levy, who sent him into all manner of different dimensions, one of which was, you guessed it, Marvel’s very own 616. This led very neatly into an issue of Marvel Team-Up, which was funny, interesting, and all round great, and is probably one of the key reasons I went from mildly interested reader who downloaded or bought the odd thing to full-time comic book afficionado who spends more money on comics than he does on anything else (including food), because this title was just Spidey and random other characters kicking some arse and having a laugh. This is what gets me interested in new characters, this is what keeps things both respectful of the characters involved and their fandoms and reasonably balanced with the rest of the universe, and this is what I think crossover comics should be.
So yeah, I’m going to kind of cheat, and say screw big events, give me Marvel Team-Up style capers any day.
See Also: Marvel Two-In-One, Avenging Spider-Man