Turn off the Lights

Can We Please Stop These Events?

I get it. Events that cross comic titles force faithful readers (and collectors) to buy many more comics than they normally would. At the end of the day, it's a marketing strategy that, admittedly, works. So I don't expect it to be ending anytime soon. However, I have to ask: can we just take a break? For a little while at least? I think it'd be best for the readers, the creators, and the business in general. 

Here's why.

Forever Evil

DC just finished their Trinity War event, which has led to their current Forever Evil event, which, in turn, will inevitably lead into whatever event that sees the return of the Justice League. 

Marvel's Age of Ultron was still fresh in everyone's mind when they went into Infinity. In fact, people were all a buzz about Infinity while AoU was still going. Now while Infinity's carrying on there are rumors of an upcoming event that'll be either be the end of Ultimate Marvel, or cross it over with Regular Marvel, or both.

There aren't any breathers anymore. Comics go from event to event until WORLD SHATTERING EVENTS THAT CHANGE EVERYTHING FOR ALL TIME become the status quo. Death of Superman, Crisis on Infinite Earths, Secret Wars all stood out, because they were actual events. Years passed between them and the next big crisis. It made them memorable because they were different from the normal. It felt special. Age of Ultron didn't feel special. Forever Evil doesn't feel special. They feel like a passing gimmick.

Secret Wars

Comic book events don't change things. Not really. Even Death of Superman didn't really kill off Superman (20 year old SPOILER ALERT). But they do leave marks on comic culture. Little benchmarks that place it within comic book history. DoS showed an attempt to make Superman darker (new black costume is short hand for darker direction) and illustrated the difficulty of replacing the character (Cyborg Superman, ear ring Superboy, and not-Shaq Steel, anyone?). 

Marvel's Civil War reflected old school, idealist comic book convention vs. the new, realist school of thought as well as illustrating just how murky the ethics in the Marvel universe can be. Sure, like most events, a lot of the characters acted differently than they do in their own books, but it all worked to illustrate the theme. It also served to kill off Captain America until he got better and came back (not in a darker costume, however).

But Age of Ultron has not really made such a point. It hasn't really made a mark in comic culture. It brought Neil Gaiman's Angela from Image over to Marvel, but, I mean, thaaat's iiiittt? Now that these events are being churned out one after the other, they diminish any point they had to make.

Classic GaimanClassic Gaiman

It's hard to care about an event nowadays. I didn't read a single thing of Age of Ultron. I didn't read anything for Trinity War and I probably wont read Forever Evil. However, I've been reading all of Infinity and most of the X-Men's Battle of the Atom. You know why? Because I care about the characters.

The biggest plus of having a year or two between events is that creators have time to craft stories independent of a grand scheme. This allows readers to get to know the specific character's world. Their struggles, victories, and defeats. Soon you'll find that the readers are invested in the character. They'll want to read the events to see what happens to their favorite character. Hint, hint... more readers = more money (the sacs with the $ symbol on them).


Battle of the Atom

So I didn't read Age of Ultron. Did it change anything in the comics I was reading? No. Do you know what I missed? Nothing. For "events" to hold much weight, they have to have consequences. They should not be able to pass unnoticed by readers.

This is a double edge sword, I know. Those unable to afford to buy everything on the reading list could be left out. Still, at the very least, the effects of these events should be felt across the entire universe, not just whatever limited title it comes from. Otherwise these are just poorly disguised money grabs.

Trinity Warring
This all slipped right on by

It's my one hope that there will come a day where an EARTH SHATTERING, GAME CHANGING EVENT isn't on the horizon. Where we comic titles can get on with their own stories free of trying to fit into a grander narrative. A glorious golden age of comic-dom.

What about you?


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