Over the last few years, the “Annual Summer Crossover” of comic yore (arguably originating with the old-school JLA/JSA crossover stories) has become less a summer event and more an ongoing cycle.  There’s a lot of venom and vitriol about this process, especially since the resulting stories have been inconsistent, and the high-velocity schedule has made a lot of the Capital-E Events seem somewhat repetitive.  Here at Faithful Spoilers Manor, in the secret MS-QOTD Chamber (located in a sharknado-proof bunker 5 miles beneath the earth’s crust), we don’t usually hold with all that negativity and snark, preferring to accentuate the positive, which in turn begs a query…

The MS-QOTD (pronounced, as always, “misquoted”) might have a teensy bit of partiality for the original Crisis, but it was honestly kind of a big deal, asking: Which of the various and sundry comic book Events do you consider to be the greatest*?

(*Please note that, as always, “None Of The Above” is not a valid response.)

The Author

Matthew Peterson

Matthew Peterson

Once upon a time, there was a young nerd from the Midwest, who loved Matter-Eater Lad and the McKenzie Brothers... If pop culture were a maze, Matthew would be the Minotaur at its center. Were it a mall, he'd be the Food Court. Were it a parking lot, he’d be the distant Cart Corral where the weird kids gather to smoke, but that’s not important right now... Matthew enjoys body surfing (so long as the bodies are fresh), writing in the third person, and dark-eyed women. Amongst his weaponry are such diverse elements as: Fear! Surprise! Ruthless efficiency! An almost fanatical devotion to pop culture!

And a nice red uniform.

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29 Comments

  1. September 5, 2013 at 12:03 pm — Reply

    Well now, that’s a tough one, and I really don’t think I can narrow it down to just the one event.
    The original Crisis (On Infinite Earths) is a classic, and a game changer. However, it is incredibly dense, and may not have aged terribly well.
    I love Identity Crisis, but I’m not so sure that actually qualifies as an “Event” book.
    Despite falling short of their potential, I love the Marvel/DC crossovers. Marvel Vs DC, JLA Vs Avengers, even Amalgam. They’re good fun.

  2. September 5, 2013 at 12:05 pm — Reply

    I guess I’ll start this off. So, I haven’t been collecting comics long enough to know a lot of the classic MegaEvents. The first real event series that came out that I read upon release would be Infinite Crisis and all of its tie-in work. (I could have picked up Identity Crisis, but I was only buying two books at the time.) So keep that in mind when dealing with my answer.

    My favorite MegaEvent has actually been Avengers vs. X-Men. Despite not having enjoyed a single Marvel event before or since, that story hooked me from the second it was announced and never let go. I cannot tell you why I got into it so readily, maybe because of the members that were on both teams, but I did enjoy every moment of the series and like where things ended up after the fact.

  3. Landle
    September 5, 2013 at 12:12 pm — Reply

    Secret War to me was one of the best events in Marvel history. There were long lasting ramifications for almost everyone involved in the crossover.

  4. falinor
    September 5, 2013 at 12:22 pm — Reply

    JLA/Avengers, the original Crisis and the Sinestro Wars are three I really enjoyed.

    • September 5, 2013 at 12:53 pm — Reply

      Dammit!! I KNEW I was forgetting something. Sinestro Wars was brilliant.

  5. Nordberg
    September 5, 2013 at 1:13 pm — Reply

    Crisis On Infinite Earths is a classic for obvious reasons.

    I also hold a special place in my heart for the original “Secret Wars.” It came out at a time when I still bought my comics on a spinner rack at the local drug store and had a very limited budget. Twelve issues that stood on their own effectively separated from continuity. You got all of the heroes in one book for one price. Before Secret Wars, I read DC books, but the only Marvel books I was reading was the occasional Spidey. “Secret Wars” hooked me on the Avengers, X-Men, and Fantastic Four and was pretty-much responsible for putty a dent in my wallet right up until college.

  6. September 5, 2013 at 1:22 pm — Reply

    I have to go with Crisis on Infinite Earths. It set the bar high and while a couple of things come close, nothing quite reaches it. As a continuity hound, I appreciated the motivation and the outcomes. They also lasted a LOT longer than the ripples from any of the other events. On the Marvel side, Secret Wars gets my (somewhat reluctant) nod; the premise was a bit iffy, but the story was well told and the ramifications were clear and lasting.

    I presume we’ll get a chance to weigh in on the worst as well, right? That list would be longer…

  7. September 5, 2013 at 1:42 pm — Reply

    Crisis on Infinite Earths was great, but I think Blackest Night was DC’s most successful event and my favorite. DC did a great job of organizing and promoting that event.

  8. Kirby
    September 5, 2013 at 1:47 pm — Reply

    Mine is probably Blackest Night, because while it did petter out towards the end, I felt the ride up to that point was enjoyable. That was the last mega-event I ever read, and I stand by it.

    Bottom Event: Identity Crisis, I know some people love this book, and I don’t begrudge them for it, but I just can’t stand this work on numerous levels.

  9. September 5, 2013 at 3:16 pm — Reply

    Without a doubt it has to be

    ZERO HOUR

    Seriously, like many of the others, I would say that it is the original Crisis on Infinite Earths, followed by the original Secret Wars and 52.

  10. September 5, 2013 at 3:22 pm — Reply

    The crossover that I liked the best was actually the Invasion one that DC did in the late 80s. No one felt like Superman had to be nerfed. Heroes died. New Heroes were born (sometimes reborn). And it didn’t take a year and a half to tell.

    • September 6, 2013 at 4:42 pm — Reply

      That was a nice 3 issue series.

  11. comicfan1974
    September 5, 2013 at 3:36 pm — Reply

    I would have to say Final Crisis. I really like that Grant Morrison used superheroes to tell a larger tale about creativity, imagination and storytelling itself while never condescending to the characters and honoring the wonderful, complicated immensity of the DC Universe. For me, it (rather than Flashpoint), is the “final” story of the “old” DC.

  12. SmarkingOut Adam
    September 5, 2013 at 3:41 pm — Reply

    I really loved X-Men: Schism. Wolverine was right.

  13. September 5, 2013 at 3:42 pm — Reply

    I don’t care how much hate it gets, but I really liked AvX. It was the first ‘event’ I tried to read almost all of, even the bad stuff.

    More than this, it got me excited to read All-New X-Men and Uncanny, as well as Wolverine and the X-Men. So I guess it did its job!

  14. kaptaran
    September 5, 2013 at 4:52 pm — Reply

    Does Kingdom Come count since it spans the whole (alternate) DC universe? If not, then I’m going to go with Dark Reign since most titles were able to show some sort of difference in the way the world worked with Norman Osborn in charge (how we got into and out of the situation are less compelling to me though).

  15. September 5, 2013 at 5:11 pm — Reply

    Crisis on Infinite Earths, because nothing would ever be the same. For all intents and purposes it broke the concept of Shared Universe Superheroes for all time. Every subsequent crossover would mean Nothing Will Ever Be The SAME…Again (TM).

    Continuity would become the one true religion of Marvel and DC and they would spend all their time fixing, ignoring and re-fixing continuity obsessively from that point on…Crisis was pretty well planned and still reads pretty well for what it was. Most subsequent Events aren’t even worth revisiting.

  16. Ian
    September 5, 2013 at 5:41 pm — Reply

    Without question it’s COIE. Nothing else even comes close. It had the scope, the amazing range of characters, outstanding creative execution, and results that truly changed the status quo for years.

  17. September 5, 2013 at 6:43 pm — Reply

    Marvel Civil War. The idea was fascinating to me, and the debates it spurred in my head(I didn’t actually have anyone to discuss it with) are some of the best superhero thinks I’ve ever had. And it’s impact lasted a while – it wasn’t until the end of Dark Reign was everything put back the way it was again. I just wish both sides had been better represented – the anti-registration guys were shown to basically be the only real good guys, in the end.
    Blackest Night would come second for me.
    Also, it may be too early to say, but that first issue of Forever Evil gave me chills few comics do.

  18. SpiderLover
    September 5, 2013 at 7:22 pm — Reply

    Civil War got me back into Comics. I was not prepared to see what was beyond those pages. I had stopped reading comics once I hit my teen years. I played a lot of D&D so I was always in the stores, but this caught my eye.

    So I’ll always be thankful to this series for bringing me back into the medium.

  19. slimeknight
    September 5, 2013 at 8:02 pm — Reply

    I enjoyed Messiah Complex and how most X-men crossovers are handled with them taking over the X titles and a one shot to kick it off. I also really enjoyed Blackest Night it had a good build up and some of the crossovers were pretty good. I enjoyed both Crisis on Infinite Earths and Secret Wars. Secret Wars more cause I’m a bit more of a Marvel fan.
    I feel like an odd man out since I’ve enjoyed most of the events I’ve read even if they petered out at the end.

  20. B.V.K.
    September 5, 2013 at 8:13 pm — Reply

    The original Secret Wars will always hold my spot as best crossover. It was the first trade I ever bought as a kid and the story that really got me interested in comics.

    A close second would be World War Hulk. The Planet Hulk lead in is one of my favorite stories ever and I really wanted to see Hulk knock the illuminati on their collective asses.

  21. Rich P
    September 5, 2013 at 8:40 pm — Reply

    Identity Crisis and if that doesn’t count Secret Wars, both were perfect, self-contained with consequences that meant something but weren’t so big they needed to be rent conned 18 months later.

  22. September 5, 2013 at 9:11 pm — Reply

    Secret Wars. I still think of that series. I loved the scope and the great Perez artwork of Crisis on Infinite Earths.

  23. bilmon
    September 6, 2013 at 1:29 am — Reply

    I started reading comics after Crisis on Infinite Earths and Secret Wars. I read Crisis on Infinite Earths about two years ago. Really well done. I can see that the older fans may have hated the death of “their” DC universe, though.

    I picked up Secret Wars while having to scrap up the money to buy those issues. Whichever one has the debut of black Spider-Man costume was a noticeable sum of my comic budget back in 1990-1992. Reading something like Secret Wars during the early 90’s was so weird looking back at it now.

    Many other the comments mentioned Blackest Night. I remember falling back in love with comics during this event. The promotion surrounding it was just fun. Thematically, I’m not very interested in re-reading it. Too much death.

    No one has (yet) mentioned Unity. I did not read it when it happened but I definitely remember it from long ago. I acquired copies a few years ago. What a good event that did not rely on decades of good will. It launched Archer & Armstrong and Eternal Warrior, and saw the end of Rai. (I can still remember first seeing those Rai promos and thinking it was cool. Except it was too expensive for my budget.) Weird story. Shadowman was helping the big bad villain. The big bad villain was really a basket case due to terrible relationships. Probably would not have been as a good to younger-me.

    I’m not sure events are good for serial storytelling. Once the event is over it acts as, to use John Mayo’s phrase, a “jumping off point.” Also because ongoing character changes are strongly ignored by changing creative teams now, I’m not sure an event change can have an long-term impact. So I tend to not buy events or event tie-ins. Especially from a certain pair of publishers.

  24. September 6, 2013 at 2:08 am — Reply

    The original Crisis on Infinite Earths has already been stated numerous times, so I’ll post my second choice.

    DC vs Marvel (or Marvel vs DC, however you want to label it) is still one of my favorites. Not just for finally seeing more than just a single hero or team from each universe meeting, but also for the delightfully absurd result of the crossover, Amalgam Comics.

  25. Oldcomicfan
    September 6, 2013 at 7:05 am — Reply

    Would Green Lantern/Green Arrow count as a cross-over? Both those heroes had separate continuities, and both had floundering series on the verge of cancellation, and then DC merged the books, and – surprise! The combined book was great and propelled both heros off the third stringer’s bench and into the varsity league!

    Would Frank Miller’s Dark Knight Returns count as an event/crossover? That would also be high on my list. It was certainly the most anticipated and controversial book of its day!

    If those don’t count, then I’d have to go with Crisis on Infinite Earths. It doesn’t really hold up today because it was written in the “assume the reader is an idiot and explain everything era” (i.e.: the crisis goes into stasis while each and every flipping hero monologs his way into action). And DC back-peddaled almost immediately on some of the “universe altering changes” but much of Crisis persisted clear into the New 52.

    Secret Wars (and Secret Wars II) were, on the other hand, and incomprehensible mess. If there was an actual story and plot in those series, it escaped me and most of the other readers, too. I recall a parody comic that came out by a rival publisher where “Secret Wars” was referred to “Secret Was” and the punch line was that all the characters were baffled and kept asking “I wonder what the Secret Was”.

    But the one that had me hooked the longest was the Death of Superman/Return of Superman arc. In the end, it was little more than a cynical ploy to rekindle interest in the flagging Superman titles, and a ploy to introduce a lot of second rate Superman knock-offs in the hopes than some of them might become popular, but it did have me reading, with interest, until the very end.

    It’s interesting that Marvel’s Event of the Month series actually seem to be coming together and going somewhere. Wouldn’t that be a thing if they actually tied it all together into a coherent story? That might be a first for Marvel.

  26. Rome
    September 6, 2013 at 8:32 am — Reply

    Infinity Gauntlet was the best ever. No event has come close to the scale and terror that the original Thanos cross-over event pulled off.

    In more recent years, I did enjoy Messiah Complex. And I loved the original Annihilation, (and even Annihilation: Conquest had its moments) if you count cosmic cross-over events.

  27. September 6, 2013 at 1:32 pm — Reply

    52 is my favorite, and probably always will be. It really lets the B and C lister heroes of the DC universe shine.

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