My five favorite crossovers

26 Jul

For fans of comic books, few times of the year are more anticipated, while at the same time loathed, as the summer crossover season.  Marvel and DC roll out some new storyline that will “change everything forever.”  For five or six months we read some giant storyline and beloved characters are killed in some trite and ignoble way. Then at the end of the crossover, everything is back the way it was (minus the aforementioned newly dead).  DC’s crossover this year is the interesting, and almost over, Flashpoint, a look at an alternate reality, presumably brought about by the machinations of the Reverse Flash.  And it concludes with the introduction of the DCnU next month.  But what previous crossovers are worth you tracking down? 

5) Underworld Unleashed was DC’s attempt to revitalize their villanous characters in the mid 90s.  They had spent the first half of the decade doing major work on their heroes.  Many of the stories succeeded while others fell flat, and they decided they needed a quick and similar job done on their villains.  Enter Neron, who was originally supposed to be DC’s devil, but over time has degraded to a standard demon.  He offered the villains amazing powers for their souls, and being villains most took the deal.  After a while, he even offered heroes similar deals and many took the chance.  Only the “most pure” hero could withstand him. And it wasn’t who we were counting on. 

4) Blackest Night is my favorite crossover from the 2000s.   Nekron, guardian of the realm of death, declared war on the land of the living.  Green Lantern and his friends had to fight a difficult fight against the reanimated bodies of their friends.  Many heroes lost their lives and like previously mentioned some of the deaths were rather disappointing.  But for the most part, this was fun and exciting heroes versus zombie mayhem.  The conclusion was wonderful.  Unfortunately, it led directly into DC’s next big story which ended up being a monumental let down.  But this series in and of itself was a true classic. 

3) Crisis on Infinite Earths is the granddaddy of cross-overs.  It is the ultimate maxi-series.  12 issues of universal mayhem and destruction.  The ultimate villain fought ALL of DC’s heroes from its history.  The multiverse was lost, leading to the first major reboot of DC’s continuity.  Many heroes and villains lost their lives in the story.  This also featured a great team-up of heroes and villains, followed up by the ultimate villain war against the heroes.  And Supergirl and Flash died in two of the best written death scenes from comic book history. 

2) My second favorite crossover of all time dealt with a threat native to the 30th century fighting the modern day DCU.  The Sun-Eater of Legion fame came to the 1990s in Final Night.  Fortunately, several members of the Legion of Superheroes where time lost and able to help out.  The first issue showed what I never thought would happen, as the heroes lost.  The rest of the series followed what happened to Earth with the sun dying slowly.  This is one of the rare crossovers, where each issue was generally pretty good.  And the conclusion, featuring the death of my all time favorite character killed me as a teen.  The funeral in the next issue of Green Lantern was perfect and featured one of the rare special covers I really liked. 

1) Kingdom Come is amazing.  Over the years, my love for this book has grown.  It is now the one comic I make sure I always share with people wanting to know what comics are capable of.  Mark Waid was at the top of his game on this book and Alex Ross is the ultimate comic artist.  Honestly, I would say he is one of the greatest American painters ever in any field.  And getting to see him paint Superman and Captain Marvel is a fan boy dream come true.  The story featuring an apocalyptic view of the near future had been done before but never with such scale and scope in a comic book.  Unfortunately, the sequel was one of the most disappointing books of all time.  Alex Ross soon came out and said Kingdom Come was its own conclusion.  It must be noted he wasn’t a part of the sequel, but I can’t fault his logic.  The book speaks for itself. 




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