Infinite Invasions of a World War Crisis

May 5th, 2008 by

On a recent sleepless night, I read the Sinestro Corps War saga that ran through the Green Lantern titles last year. At the end of it, I felt a sense of satisfaction with the story, the epic, the huge event. It felt complete, while hinting at the repercussions from the saga that will occur over the next couple of years in the DC Universe. I felt like I got a full story, which stayed exciting right up until the dramatic conclusion. I realized, at the end, that this was kind of a new experience for me: satisfaction with a “comic event storyline”. I think the closest I’ve come to that sort of satisfaction was with the conclusion of Crisis on Infinite Earths over two decades ago, but to be honest, I felt a little let down at the end of that as well. I think that’s the trend with comic book Events. Big E Events, with Earth-shattering ramifications! They’ve become the comic book equivalent of summer blockbuster season, with one event bleeding into the next event, and sequel after mega-sequel.

We’re getting ramped up into the two latest events from DC and Marvel with the upcoming Final Crisis and Secret Invasion respectively. Both of these are sequels or continuations of previous events. Both of them will cause the very foundations of their respective universes (or multiverse) to quake! And as far both of them go, I’m exhausted already. Over the past several years, we’ve experienced event after event after event. Identity Crisis, Infinite Crisis, One Year Later, 52, World War III, Amazons Attack, Countdown, Disassembled, House of M, Civil War, World War Hulk, and that’s not even counting the ones that are exclusive to the X-Men titles. My god, living the life of an X-Man would be tiring. Not just from the pitched battles with your foes, but from having to take part in all these events! You don’t have time to sit down, take a breath, before you’re flung from one cataclysm to the next crisis. It’s possible now that you may be taking part in simultaneous crossovers. There won’t be room on the cover for any art, just event logos. I fully expected to see a comic with World War Hulk at the top, the Initiative listed underneath that, a quarter page of art and a flashback to the Civil War single color bottom half. Oh, with the title listed somewhere among all that.

I’m prepared for the DC events this summer, having just finished Countdown yesterday, which fizzled like a sparkler at the end of its sparkle. What started out a year ago as skyrockets, in the end was merely a punk. I was really looking forward to this series wrapping up and meaning something, but the last issue, Countdown #1 really seemed like the writers had lost their steam somewhere along the way. There were awesome moments in Countdown, like in 52, but at the end, maybe it was just too much, too quickly. And to be honest, all the action happened in the various other mini-series happening around the DC Universe, like Death of the New Gods, Countdown to Adventure, and the mini-epic going on in Batman and Action, The Resurrection of Ra’s Al Ghul and Superman and the Legion of Super-Heroes, respectively. There were some very fun stories to be found in the DCU this past year, but the “spine”, as described by Dan DiDio, was suffering from a calcium deficiency.

The follow-up to Countdown, and the bridge leading into Final Crisis, is DC Universe #0, written by Grant Morrison and Geoff Johns, and illustrated by everyone and their brother. You get a little taste of everything in this issue, with vignettes featuring Superman, Batman and Wonder Woman, the Trinity of the DC church, plus the second tier of character who will be having major stories happening over the next year, including Green Lantern, the Legion (or at least one of them), the Spectre, and a surprise guest (who is really no surprise if you’ve been paying attention). Countdown was a mess that couldn’t seem to tie itself together without massive Dei ex Machina leaving axle grease all over the place. The stories in DC Universe, by contrast, were gourmet hors d’Ĺ“uvre, served up in a pleasing series of courses, each giving a taste of the multi-course meal coming up. That some of the courses may leave you feeling a bit gassy, bloated or unsatisfied remains to be seen.

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4 Responses to “Infinite Invasions of a World War Crisis”

  1. Rurik Says:

    The mastermind behind the DC crisis is Ma Hunkel, the original Red Tornado. She stumbled on to one of Ra’s Al Ghul’s Lazarus Pits and has been driven mad by it’s healing powers. She manipulated the Monitors from Countdown to destroy their cadre of trust by lasciviously seducing the Anti-Monitor many years ago.

    The Infinite Civil Invasion over at Marvel is courtesy of Starfox, the brother of Thanos, who was recently acquitted of ‘erotic manipulation’ in recent issues of She-Hulk. He’s been getting the entire Marvel Universe all whacked out on androgen, estrogen, and adrenaline, thus making even female Skrulls look hot. Or that might just be Brian Bendis….

  2. Martin Says:

    It is interesting to take a step back and look at all these crisis(es?) from afar. In both cases, we have a comic book title that tells the bigger story, but that by necessity doesn’t tell the whole story (because there are so many tie-ins and auxiliary comics that are also telling the story, or parts of it, usually simultaneously).

    That probably makes for some cool maps and charts in the “war room” (behind closed doors) where these plot lines get discussed at their respective publishing houses. I wonder if we’ll ever get a good look at those.

  3. Chad Says:

    I have to tell you Jason I think you were right on the mark with all the gigantic crossovers that are happening in both Marvel and DC. I think that the Sinestro Wars has been the best event in a while. Not only did it have many instant ramifacations to the Green Lantern titles it will also has a great set up for the next Green Lantern event. The best part of the whole Sinestro Wars was…..You only had to buy the Two Green Lantern title and 4 one Shot comics. Sure, there was a crossover title that was not even needed: Blue Beetle #20. (one issue – not every title in the DC universe) If all you wanted was the war, great your done. But wait, the story of the consequences of the actions of the characters involved is still being played out in the two monthly titles. This event was great because not only did it affect the characters, but it still is, even after the event is done. That is right, nobody is making a deal with the devil to change what they did themselves, no alternate reality that will suddenly get changed back to normal so nobody has to deal with what happened, no fight against one rogue hero that kicks everybodies ass only to find out that the heroes still feel the same about the guy and there is nothing they can do about it. Just a great continuing story that really didn’t need a snazzy title added to it to make it an event. It is what more comics should aspire to do; tell a great story line in the context of the truly related titles that it will affect. Well after gushing about the Sinestro Wars I have to acknowledge other Comic events that I thought were great: Crisis on Infinate Earths (it cleaned up a messy house–sure some of the rooms were still messy but not the whole house): Idenity Crisis (It took the death of a second rate character to scare the hell out of all the big shots and show just how human our super heroes are); Age of Apolips (Although it was a Alternate reality story it took one defining character’s existance out of the mix and showed how it would affect not only the world but the heroes and villians that knew him); Annilation (Great Space story with powerhouse characters and lots of ramifacations for not only those characters but for the whole universe); Civil War (I am a little hesitant to put this down….it started out with a good idea but fizzled. But it did change the outlook of certain characters). Great article Jason, it really made me think about comic events that I have read, enjoyed, and why.

  4. Martin Says:

    Now that it was humorous (and I get some of the references), Rurik’s comment is much more enjoyable. I’d love to see a parody comic that ties all the giant crisises together in some mega-crisis that crosses publisher boundaries and makes fun of the whole thing.