John Ostrander: Never Ending
In the beginning, the Justice League of America on Earth-1 met the Justice Society of America on Earth-2 for an Annual Crisis and it was good. Usually it was really damn good. You waited for each yearly team-up eagerly.
And this begat Crisis on Infinite Earths and that was stupendous. A real game changer for DC. Continuity was never the same again. And this is turn begat Legends, a smaller miniseries that helped re-define the major DC characters and launched several books such as Suicide Squad, Justice League, and an all-new Flash. And it was good. Well, it was very good to me. It helped launch my career at DC and gave me two books, the aforementioned Suicide Squad and I would up taking over Firestorm. And those begat a lot more work for me and that was very, very good so far as I’m concerned.
These also begat a lot of sales and the lesson was not lost on Mighty Marvel and so begat Secret Wars, Secret Wars II, The Infinity Gauntlet, the Infinity Gauntlet Rides Again and so on. And all of these, both at DC and Marvel, begat tie-ins and spin-offs, selling books and making money but also increasingly disgruntling fans. And that’s not so good.
Okay, I’m not going to push the biblical phraseology thing any further because it stops being clever and just gets real annoying real fast. That’s my point – things get old quickly. These days, the “events” happen so much on the heels of one another that its gets hard to tell where one ends and another begins.
I can’t really complain – it’s getting me some work. I’m doing the Cheetah issue for Villains Month that’s part of Forever Evil and I was happy to get it (and – yes – to plug it). I also had some room to play with the character’s background and, I think/hope, the issue has wound up as a pretty good story. I don’t want to be a hypocrite – I can’t decry something in which I’m a participant.
I’d also like to suggest this – the main writer on a lot of DC’s events these days is Geoff Johns, just as Brian Michael Bendis has done on a lot of the Marvel Crossover Events. These are two top talents working at the top of their respective games. They both weave stories, working in plot threads that have appeared in other books leading up to the Event. It does give an epic quality to DC/Marvel’s respective canons.
However, I’m concerned that it could lead to Reader Burn-out. (Hm! The title for the next big crossover event – Burnout!) The books cost money and its not just the central core books of the event. True, most of the spin off books you don’t have to buy (except for the Cheetah one shot connected to Forever Evil; that one you really have to buy) but all the hype connected with any Event starts to numb the reader (IMO). I’m going to sound like a COF (Crusty Old Fart) but I really do think it was better in the old days when the JLA met the JSA just once a year. It was an event to which you could look forward instead of just lurching from one Can’t Miss story to another.
Maybe the point is sales and if the Events sell and garner a big chunk of overall sales that month, maybe that’s all they need to do. I have no objections to that.
Especially if it’s the Cheetah spin-off. Buy lots of copies of that. Buy spare copies to give to friends and family. Pre-order it now.
Hmmm. Maybe I understand Event programming better than I thought.
MONDAY MORNING: Mindy Newell
TUESDAY MORNING: Emily S. Whitten