Friday, June 22, 2007
When is it a Crossover Event?
I was recently reading a guy's blog post that my google alerts found (click here to read it) where he discusses how he's not a fan of comic book crossover events. He called DC's new weekly series, "Countdown" a crossover event. I felt that it wasn't really a crossover event. Clearly there are differing opinions about what makes a comic book crossover event.
I said that Coundtown wasn't a crossover because really it isn't essential to the other DC books. Sure, there are things that happen in it that touch upon things that happen in the other DC titles, but I would not say that reading Countdown is essential to understanding the events in those comics, nor would I say that if you read Countdown you have to read any of the other DC books in order to understand that story (although a basic understanding of some of the DCU's past is helpful with the series).
Civil War - I am more inclined to call that a crossover. While the main story was contained in the regular series, the Amazing Spider-Man issues in particular seemed to have an important role to play in the story, and if you didn't read that you definitely felt like you were missing something in the Civil War storyline. And, I think if you weren't reading Civil War then those issues of Amazing Spider-Man that tied in would have seemed to not make as much sense either. But, is it a cross-over or just a tie-in? What's the difference?
Now the X-Men event Endangered Species I would consider a crossover event. Uncanny X-Men, X-Men, New X-Men and X-factor are all a part of this event, that will run from June - October. While each book will have a regular story not completely related to this Endangered Species story, if you DO want to read the Endangered Species story it is going to be an extra 8-pages in all of those X-Men books I listed. Some 17 issues of X-Men comics will cover this added story. But if you don't pick up one of the comics, you miss those 8 pages of this story completely. It's not that you'd miss some little event or character comment that might play a part in the overall story, like Civil War was, you will miss an entire 8 pages of the Endangered Species story if you don't pick up, let's say, Uncanny X-Men #489. This story ties into House of M and the fact that there have not been any NEW mutants since that event, so there is a chance of the race dying out unless Beasts can figure out what's happened and how to fix it.
Wikipedia says that a crossover is an event when any two or more otherwise separated characters interact with each other. The thing that complicates that is that both Marvel and DC are now trying to have more solid continuity, where they all are part of the same land area and time and interact with each other in real time as if they were all parts of a real-time community.
So, what do YOU think? Is Countdown a crossover? What about Civil War or Planet Hulk? Do you agree that this Endangered Species story counts as a crossover?