Epic Comic Events

In this issue: Company wide epic events, and why we love them, and hate them…


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  1. I really do buy into that “Every comic is someone’s first” and wish others would do the same. Other companies/editors really need to step up and do their job.

  2. Justin Gerlach on

    Thank you for taking the time to talk about my question in this episode, it seems like anyone who is reading comics, probably has the same issues. My story is maybe similar to others out there right now. I collected and read comics in the 90’s and a little bit of this decade, up to 2003 at the latest. I was big into Vertigo, and Crossgen, and Valiant, and Ultraverse, and Dark Horse. But back then I did read the superhero comics of that time. So Im familiar with the horrible non ending story of Death of Superman/Funeral/Reign story lines. Was involved with Maximum Carnage, and followed the whole ordeal of Batman’s broken back. But my story is hopefully not unique, I decided that I was not going to read any superhero comics anymore, after Crossgen and Valiant failed. I was done with comics. I however did still pay attention to what Dark Horse and Vertigo published but only purchased 10-20 comics a year for the time of 2003-last year. What got me back was Jim Shooter involvement at Dark Horse, and now I find myself staring at numerous TPB offerings from Marvel/DC involving mega events, with no roadmap on where to start from either publisher. I threw up my arms, talked to my comic book shop owner, and he handed me the first TPB of Invincible. I dont even know if I can find a starting point for Marvel/DC, and where to start reading one of their characters. From following the site for the past 6 months, I have picked up Atomic Robo, based on Rodrigo. Went for Booster Gold/Blue Beetle, based on Stephen. Thunder Agents, based on Matthew. Although the way he talks about Legion, has me wondering. True to the letter, I did start Chaos War, but can’t read another issue. I just find Marvel/DC so frustrating, as I enjoy reading comics, but cant figure out why Flash has 12 issues and is restarting. Why did Thor restart, and where does J.I.M. fit in? Did FF really have to restart after the death? How are there so many Batman titles? Nobody is that important. Hellblazer was perfect to me, Cerebus was another one, and Astro City was another one. I am looking for help from the other readers out there. People who have been reading all these years, or like myself are getting back into it. What should I be reading? Is there any point in going back and reading any of the mega events at Marvel/DC? My pull list is very small right now, and yes I did buy Fear Itself and Flashpoint, but who knows if I will read, I bought them cause they were on the rack. Apologize for the length.

    • I wouldn’t suggest any new Legion, Levitz as writer is bad, and I mean real bad. Even a Legion fan like myself had to drop that stinker. I myself like the Silver Age stories, fun, done in one tales, very short, and if you don’t mind black and white, very cheap.

      My LCS pushed hard for me to get Flashpoint, but a Brat Pack knock off Wonder Woman, and a plot that’s similar to Age Of Apocalypse I had to pass. As for Journey Into Mystery, I read the first two issues, and I will say if you love Thor or Loki great. But if you like a cohesive story, look else where, it ties directly into Fear Itself, another thing I am not reading. Those two issues don’t feel like a part one and a part two, but more like a part two and a part four, like you are fully missing out of what is going on.

      I did pick up Age of X, and though I was skeptical I did like it. It was contained to the X books and was a fun read, and very well played out. Not as good as AOA but I liked what it had to say.

      FF needed to happen. Hickman really broke the mold with telling Fantastic Four stories, and they could have just launched the book another way, but it was a non-death. I wanted a on panel death after all that hype. But do we get it? No. Oh well.

      There is no point for you to jump on to any events from Marvel or DC. They are not good, and buying into them, will continue there growth, though I did feed the beast with buying the Age of X arc. What can I say? I like my alternate earth X-Men.

      • Justin Gerlach on

        Thanks for that, I do value Matthew’s opinion on here, and he does have a lot of love for Legion, I think he is with you on that opinion of the latest version of that team. But I think he mentioned that it all came together in a recent issue and it started being good. Didn’t start out good, but got good. I have some of the Hickman run on FF, but I have gaps in the run, so Im waiting to start that. Ive heard its very good, knowing who dies, doesn’t kill the story for me, I just want a good plot leading up to it. I cant bring myself to start any X-Title from Marvel, I read it during the Claremont run in the 90’s and the reboot issue with him and Lee. I read some of the Grant Morrison run, because I read Invisibles, being a huge Vertigo fan. But on that TPB shelf of Xtitles, it was overwhelming with the numbers of trades that I saw, don’t know where to start. I heard that the latest run has their team starting with Vampires, and then Jubilee becomes a vampire out of it. I thought it was a joke, when they told me. I guess TrueBlood/Twilight has forced its genre focus on the Marvel comics fans. I guess we just have to accept Vampire romance in everything we read, not to mention Franken-castle. It wasn’t that bad when I left, but some weird things have happened since I have been gone from superhero comics.

        • I don’t blame you for leaving the superhero comics, I left comics at one point for 2 months then, for 2 years. I came back in with the help of Major Spoilers, and a good LCS. But I now have a better view point of the system.

          I really only read comics that have a ending in mind, Legion has had nothing but non-endings, and bad characterization. Levitz is just butchering these characters left and right, and the story is all over the place. But I really don’t see a good story ending in store for Legion, not when other things muck it up. That is why I like Hellboy/BPRD, Atomic Robo, the Goon, and other comics that are done in one tales.

          I read the first HC of Hickman’s Fantastic Four, and then I read the death issue, and that was it. I was more looking forward to a fresh start, and I have been blown away. Hickman’s take on FF is so good that I can’t believe what I have suffered through on that title. The stuff with Doom, Val, Nathaniel, the other kids, all great, and with it having ties to Hickman’s great SHIELD series, I can’t wait for more.

          I for one have lost faith in Morrison, Johns, Bendis, and as of late, Fraction. In Hickman I still believe. I hope for good comics, from people that build towards the future, instead of uprooting the past, and settling it awkwardly down in the present.

          • Justin Gerlach on

            One of my biggest concerns with a superhero comic mainly those at DC/Marvel was that no one ages, and a death means nothing. No one really dies. I dont know what Batman looks like now in his current run, but I bet he looks the same as he did during the Knightfall run. Same goes for the other heroes of DC/Marvel. Superman was dead, but not really. Ive seen trades of Capt. America dead, but I don’t believe he really died, he was probably hurt badly, but still alive somehow. I know the Torch is gone, but as you said we never saw it, so I see him returning, maybe as the Dark Torch, with new powers. Not really Johnny Storm, but a more upgraded version of him, a new beginning. Blah.

            Atomic Robo is so unique, as well as the stories I have read that involve Hellboy.

            I really hope your wrong about losing faith in those four, there the only ones writing comics for the big 2. I will have nothing to look forward to when I go to the comic shop. Although I am surprised to see that Bendis has risen to such a level, the guy that was writing Jinx, Goldfish, and Sam and Twitch is now the architect of Marvel history.

          • I love Hickmans Fantastic Four, FF and SHIELD. One of the great things that he did to the FF is restart time – which I feel is very important for that paticular book (and Spider-Man). When you go back and read Stan Lee’s take on those two books one of the best aspects is time – the characters and environment develop and grow, Reed and Sue marry, they have a kid, Johnny Storm goes to college and then drops out. Doom goes from being a standard looney tune villain to being the mysterious ruler of a country with a real backstory. Namor grows as he battles the FF, looks for his nation etc. When Stan Lee left the book, time stopped and has jumped backwards and forwards since (Franklin’s age). Hickman has restarted normal time flow for the book. He’s taken the core of Reed’s character (he’s not just a mega-brainiac, he actually has emotions and desires beyond guilt and being a smarty-pants) and pushed it front. I think the Council of Reeds is an awesome and logical idea.
            He’s even managed to clean up some continuity issues (not that I care about extended continuity) with Nathanial Richards. To me it really feels like he’s carrying on the stories of Stan Lee, Jack Kirby and John Byrne by doing things like bringing in Dragon Man which was telegraphed in the Inhumans saga in the 60’s.

    • Some good Marvel/DC books to think about getting in TPB or whatever format is best for you might be (and this depends on what interests you, they’re just some of my favorites): Annihilation and followed by Annihilation: Conquest which those can lead you into reading some of the Guardians of the Galaxy which is some great reading, 52 from DC was wonderful, Runaways is great too and easy to get into, I don’t know about others but I find the TPB’s for Young Avengers to be pretty good too and again they’re pretty easy to pick up a couple of those books inexpensively and you don’t have to really worry about needing lots of backstory. If there are any good trades out for Agents of Atlas, that was a great read until it got cancelled. There are still good stories to grab from the Big Two, you just kind of have to look around their big mega events (which I do sometimes like even despite how much I hate buying a ton of peripheral books just to get the whole story). If you can get the Countdown to Adventure book that was out during Countdown, that was a rather good tale with Adam Strange, Animal Man and Starfire.

      Another book from DC’s imprint Vertigo that’s a bit different but totally worth a look is The Unwritten, and there are already three trades out of that one and the fourth comes out Oct. 25, 2011. Really excellent and bizzare stuff in there.

  3. SpiderLover on

    I loved this episode, as I’ve been meaning to ask the question and glad someone else did. I’ve purchased Fear itself…I think the plotting is a little slow for an event. It just feels like they could have taken the first two issues and put them into one issue. Not into Flash point because I don’t really read much of DC.

    Although if they are reseting things after Flash point, I may pick up more DC books. Not just Vertigo titles.

  4. I haven’t listened yet, but I will write this: It is the “big event” that burns me out from buying a company’s comics.

    With Marvel, it was IIRC “Fall of the Mutants”. With DC it was either “War of the Gods” or Armageddon 2001″. I ended up missing a huge amount of lame “epic events”, some “meh” ones, and only one that I think I would have enjoyed (Infinite Crisis) in real time.

    Right now I’m down to ONLY buying Secret Six and LSH (and Adventure) from DC, and Marvel is only Ultimate Spider-Man. The last two books I dropped (Daredevil and JSA) had to go because they became “cross-over happy”.

  5. While it was once true that ‘every issue is somebody’s first issue’ is seems that these days that every issue is somebody’s last issue. Shared universe superhero universes (Marvel and DC) are in a death spiral of constant ‘events’ with ever diminishing returns. What were once rare events that made you sit up and take notice, are now constant with no story having any kind of ending, but only a beginning for yet another ‘event’.

    I jumped off around the time Hal Jordan came back as the Spectre, in ridiculous fan service that didn’t do either character any good. Not long after, I didn’t find it too difficult to abandon the floppy format for good. I now buy the occasional TPB, OGN, or other type of collection.

    It’s great living in an era with 90 years of comics history, much of which is back into print from IDW, Fantagraphics, Drawn and Quarterly and others. I’ve been really enjoying the available collected Popeye and Walt and Skeezix books. Looking forward to some ‘Lil Abner and hopefully The Complete Pogo if it ever comes out.

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