My Five Least Favorite Crossovers

23 Aug

The summer crossover season is almost over for comic books.  It comes and goes and nothing is ever the same.  Or so the big two always claim.  Now this year DC hopes to prove this by changing their entire line-up starting at midnight August 31, and perhaps this will be a big year of change in the industry.  Perhaps a few months or years from now though, everything will be back to “normal.” I am a glutton for big, sprawling crossovers, and although I seldom think they live up to the hype, I really have enjoyed the majority of DC’s big crossovers I have read.  Still, there are those particular few that to this day make me ask what I was thinking buying the books, much less what DC editorial was thinking in publishing them.  So here goes, starting with number five, my least favorite crossovers ever. 

5) Millennium is kind of a cheap answer, as it happened before I read comics, but then so did the original Crisis on Infinite Earths, which I still considered one of the all time greats.  The problem with Millennium is I have never been able to track down the entire core mini-series.  The issues I have found and many of the tie-ins were very weak.  A few of the tie-ins though were quite fun and the notion of sleeper agents hounding DC’s best and brightest was a good concept.  So good in fact, that Marvel recently copied the concept with their Invasion! mini. 

4) Genesis was a crossover in the heyday of my collecting, and I had just come off the high of collecting Final Night, the first regular crossover I intentionally bought as published.  To this day, I still consider Final Night one of the most awesome stories I have ever read.  Needless to say, I was really looking forward to this book.  The story revolved around the nigh infinite Source sending out a wave of energy causing people to gain powers, change powers, etc.  In the background, Darkseid and Ares were secretly manipulating the powers that be.  Sadly, though, the pay-offs were few and far between, and within a short while, everything was back to normal.  Yes, Spark’s powers were changed for a while in the Legion, and Superman was all blue and lit up like a nightlight, but other than that, little changed. 

3) The early 90s had one of the truly abysmal crossovers, but it is an odd one in which I really liked many of the tie-ins, while hating the overall story.  Bloodlines was a direct knockoff of the movie series Aliens.  The critters in this series though would inadvertently bite someone and caused various people to gain super-powers.  I really enjoyed many of the characters who came from these one-shot annuals.  Some of the annuals were done very well. But the core mini-series wrap-up was almost unreadable and the art did not help in the least.  I don’t recommend this for much of anything.  Still, it has to beat…..

2) Last Laugh.  I truly think this should have been Chuck Dixon’s last laugh at DC.  The basic (and only most basic) concept could have been a decent Bat crossover.  The Joker learns he is dying and so he infects various Bat villains with a deritive of his Joker gas and caused human villains to go crazy.  For the Bat books this could have worked.  However, some brilliant person decided to make it a crossover for the line.  For the life of me, I have tried to figure out how the Joker influenced the Specter to go insane for an issue.  The Specter is a spirit, for those who don’t know.  And although, yes, he has a host, the host is dead, and at this time there wasn’t even a body to possess or what not, because Hal Jordan was the Specter and his body was smoldering in the sun, since Final Night.  And yes, this had little, to no impact, outside of the Bat-titles. 

1)      But finally, there is Final Crisis.  It’s one of the most debated crossovers in DCU history.  I guess in theory that could be an accomplishment, but it was just painful to read.  I have reread it several times, hoping it will finally click.  Like several of these stories, it had potential.  Darkseid finally conquers Earth and kills all of the new gods of New Genesis.  Barry Allen returns to fight Darkseid, while Batman and the Martian Manhunter die.  Finally, the entire multiverse is in danger and a legion of Supermen is formed to combat the threat.  

Unfortunately, this went off the rails almost immediately.  While the art was very nice for much of the series, the plot skipped and kept missing key beats.  Entire plot points make no sense unless you read certain tie-ins, which I determined not to buy because I wasn’t sold on the basic storyline in the first place.  But worst yet, the entire last issue was a waste.  The original artist vanished, and while replaced by a capable fill-in, the overall look of the entire series suffers for it.  Also, Superman singing to save the day works much less than when Optimus Prime did the same thing in Transformers twenty years ago.  And the sudden surprise appearance of a giant cosmic space vampire, who was going to devour all of space time, before being defeated by a combination of Green Lanterns and Superman’s sweet dreams?  I truly wish I would pass…..

Well, that’s my thoughts on the matter.  For those who followed my posts on religion also, I have started another blog at Hope you will join the discussion there.  Thanks!


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