There's an article (http://www.salon.com/books/feature/2006/05/06/comics/index_np.html) on crossovers at Salon that I discovered thanks to Jay_T's blog (http://jaytomio.wordpress.com/)
May 10th, 2006, 04:59 PM
I'm all for a character making a guest appearance in someone else's book (eg spiderman turning up in Daredevil) for an issue or two. It can be a lot of fun for the readers, as well as providing the opportunity to tell a slightly different type of story. Some crossovers have been interesting (for example a few years back, for 1 month DC's crossover through the bat books was 'This issue Batman dies' - Batman got toasted in so many different ways that month through various dream sequences and 'what ifs' by the regular writers of the bat books).
However, a lot of the 'mass' crossovers that span for months in an attempt to create an epic and controversial storyline to draw in the readers (eg death of superman, knighfall, worlds at war etc) have a number of problems. Often they run far too long, stretching out and diluting a reasonable concept over too many issues (even the reasonable Bruce Wayne Murderer/Fugitve storylines had problems with this).
As many authors and artists are often involved, the end product can end up reading in a disjointed way (especially when it's compiled together in a trade). One must also bear in mind that not all writers/artists are equal in their storytelling prowess so quality from chapter to chapter can be variable. Then there's the cynical marketing ploy - to qualify as a 'crossover' episode, there have been issues with less than half a page aimed at developing the plot, whilst the rest of the story's about something else entirely.
May 10th, 2006, 06:40 PM
It's a good article, I'm not sure on his taste in all things comic but I agree for the main. Whilst I semi-enjoyed House of M, I deplored Infinite Crisis as a waste of time, effort and good characters that would have been far better off in continuing their own adventures. I'm not inclined to believe Civil War is remotely clever either, but what's worse these major crossovers seem to take up more and more of a character's journey, variety has it's benefits and bringing diverse charcters together on a regular basis subverts parts of their identity and many of the reasons fans like them. I like occasional crossovers and a mixing of characters but most of the time it's to sell more comics and not because it works, which then becomes horribly obvious. I picked up the latest Daredevil/Punisher crossover recently and it was good, the ending was sharp, but at times it seemed like the creators felt the two HAD to be in x number of panels together for it to work. But as was mentioned when it works, boy does it work - I've been itching after the next Ultimate Hulk vs Wolverine after every issue, I think it's fantastic and even super teams can resonate - JLA's Tower of Babylon is one of my favourite all time tpb's just because it brings a different perspective and angle on the 'world's most powerful superteam'.
May 20th, 2006, 08:40 AM
Perhaps I was a bit hasty of my judgement of Civil War: http://www.comiccritique.com/st/grevSt401.html