This series of articles came about because for better than a year I’ve been promising I’d start writing comic stuff for Pornokitsch and in the course of an exchange about Friday Fives, Jared finally pinned me down. It’s true - there are photographs. So this is going to be a guide to comicbook crossover ‘events’, in hopes of making whatever the hell they were about clear enough that even Jared can understand them.
Rest assured though, this isn’t going to be an index of issues, tie-ins and continuity minutiae, because frankly, I’ve got a life. Instead I’ll aim to look at where the crossover came from, which characters were involved, the impact it had both in-universe and among the readership, and give a personal view as a reader.
For reference, I decided I needed a working definition of ‘crossover’ for the purposes of this series, which is:
A comic book story told primarily in a dedicated series and featuring characters from across the fictional universe it lives within. It may or may not (but probably will) have associated tie-in issues in other series which expand the story (or are designed to do so - your mileage may vary).
That shuts out some stuff that could in theory be entertaining, but in the interests of my sanity there needs to be a line. So that means, for example;
- no inter-company crossovers - which tend(ed) to be one-offs and designed to be regarded as outside continuity, even though this means I can’t bang on about the definitive execution of its type, X-Men/Teen Titans
- no intra-character crossovers - that is, where multiple titles starring the same character run a single storyline across more than one of them; ‘The Other’ from the Spider-titles in 2005/06 would be one of many examples of that
- no Fall of the Mutants/Inferno/Rotworld-type crossovers between ongoing series where there’s no central stand-alone series, even if the story has tie-ins in other titles - I’m going to miss talking about some of these, but seriously, where would it end?
Also, it’s inevitable that most of the stuff I’m going to talk about will fall out of Marvel or DC, who have the biggest and longest-established shared universes where these things can happen. So mainstream madness it is.
And speaking of madness, let’s talk about Secret Wars...