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View Full Version : What is an EVENT book?


Ian Ascher
01-16-2010, 09:29 AM
I started to type his into another thread but thought Id start it here and see what happens.

Everyone throws around the term Event Book now and everyone seems shocked that they come one right after the other but it's nothing new if you look at modern comics.

At Marvel we had Contest of Champions. Then came Secret Wars, Secret Wars II, the Mutant Maassacre, Fall of the Mutants, the Evolutionary War, Inferno, Acts of Vengence, Atlantis Attacks, X-tinction Agenda, Infnity Gauntle, Infinity War, Infinity Crusade, Operation Galactic Storm, Rise of he Midnight Sons, Starblast, Age of Apocolypse, Onslaught, Flashback, Heroes Reborn, Avengers Disassembled, House of M, Civil War, World War Hulk, Secret Invasion, and now Seige, Doom War, and Fall of the Hulks and World War Hulks.

DC has been the same way since Crisis. After that we got Legends, Invasion Millenium, Armageddon, War of the Gods, Eclipso Darkness Within, Death of Superman, Return of Supeman, Knightfall, Zero Hour, Final Night, DC One Million, Worlds at War, Infinite Crisis, Final Crisis, Blackest Night, and soon Brightest Day.

That's a LOT of event books in the past 25 years. Almost one a year from each company and sometimes at Marvel we got two a year.

Im sure I might be missing a few too. For example, some could argue Seven Soldiers is an event book on its own. (Its actualy a part of Final Crisis, not that you would realize it the way DC published it)

A lot of people call books like 52, One Year Later and Dark Reign, event books. To me, they're more like Bridges. They carry the reader from one event to the next but aren't really as grand as the major books themselves. 52 bridged he gap from Infinite Crisis to One Year Later. ONL took us Final Crisis. Dark Reign bridges Secret Invasion to Seige.

And after Seige we've aready seen an image for the Return of the Heroic Age featuring Cap, Thor, and Iron Man. Those books will bridge Seige to the next big even, whatever it may be.

The quick of it is: Since 1985 comics have been one big event after another. More fans like it than hate it. It will not change. This is the way modern comic book companies do business.

HaphazardJoy
01-16-2010, 11:29 AM
Wow, there's an amazing number of typos in that post.

Anyway, I think you're missing the point that, while events have always involved characters across the board, they didn't used to consume every major issue coming out in a period. There's always been huge events in my lifetime, but they used to leave some sub-continuities intact. These days, something happens and it interrupts every other book for at least a few issues.

A few of your events listed were X-events, and, sure, they involved other books outside of X-men titles, but they were like passing mentions. These days, every crossover seems to come with four or five issues of EVERY series, or several whole (often poorly done) miniseries tied to that crossover. I LOVED AoA as a young man, and can only imagine being an Avengers fan and having every Avengers book taken over for several months by it and being quite angry. Same thing with the several major Batman events in the past decade. They drew minor crossover books, but they didn't overwhelm everything else.

With sub-continuities like X-men and Batman, we know it's self-contained, as it should be. When one event takes over EVERYTHING, especially with it offends the sensibilities of one or another subgroup, it's just not kosher. When what would be a great X-event has its focus spread with a dozen issues of other books' characters for no reason other than to sell a hundred thousand miniseries issues, and they sacrifice the overall event with poor writing to include everyone else, it's just not good.

Biofungus
01-16-2010, 11:32 AM
But most of DC's span the entire DCU. Most of Marvel's you could ignore and still get on with reading your regular comics. Admittedly that's changed a bit, Marvel is doing more Universe spanning events, but DC is still way ahead of them in that department.

A true "event" book is something that even people who don't normally read those titles, are interested in. What we have had in the past few years, by in large, are gimmick events. "Buy our 83 book mega event! Don't forget about the 85 book event coming out next year! Oh yeah, you have to buy the 97 books in between or else you'll be lost!"

While events *should* have far reaching consequences on other books, they should not be *required* in order to understand those consequences (as much as I'm still iffy about the Hulk series, they recently revealed that the Red Hulk came about in part due to a manipulation of the satellite defenses used to stop Hulk at the end of World War Hulk. Nobody had to actually read WWH to understand the consequence of that event (within the Hulk book). Now look at One Year Later. All the regular books took place (after Infinite Crisis) a year later. The only way to understand why this was, is to have picked up the 52 series (I apologize if I'm mixing up which "bridge" goes with which series, but I hope the idea is understandable)).

To use a playground analogy:

A nice big playground, with sandboxes and rides and things to climb on. Everybody is playing on their on little thing. That's the "normal" status. Everybody is doing their own thing. Now an event, is when everybody (or most of them) decide to come together and play together. Then when the game is over, everybody goes back to their individual games. That's how it should be, how it used to be.

Nowadays, what you have is after the "event", people are going back to different games, and to understand why, you need to pick up the "bridges" that explain why they went to different games rather than back to the one they were playing before. Those bridges are also getting seriously drawn out unnecessarily (DC being the worst culprit).

Those bridges used to play out in the normal books (that's why there are a limited number of editors, to help coordinate what the various book teams are doing and help them build up to the next event). They didn't require extra series going alongside the numerous regular books to bridge the events.

L Jamal
01-16-2010, 01:54 PM
Secret Wars is probably the first Marvel event comic. It affected a lot of titles and had it's own series. Using that criteria, Mutant Massacre, Fall of the Mutants, Inferno, Age of Apocalypse and Acts of Vengence were all crossovers with the narratives of one series crossing over into other series. Atlantis Attacks and Evolutionary War were summer events. They had no effect on anything and if you didn't read the annuals you didn't miss anything. The Infinity Books were mostly limited to within their own mini series.

Ian Ascher
01-16-2010, 03:15 PM
Sorry about all the typos in the first post... the batteries were dying in my keyboard and I rushed through it.

The type of event and how it effects different books has changed and evolved over the past 25 years but they've always been in place and it's always going to be subjective.

- Mutant Massacre had crossovers outside of the X books.
- The Annual events feature some twenty to thirty 64 page issues all with cover prices higher than a standard comic and if you bought one you really couldn't read the main story without missing a piece of the puzzle.
- The three Infinity series had tons and tons of crossover books each and every time.

To me, the DC event books are better crafted and give you more of the story in the book itself without having to go to the additional materials to understand everything. Marvel's main event books just kind of hit the high notes and leave you to fill in the blanks unless you buy a good number of their tie-ins. I could reand and understand Final Crisis without Rogue's Revenge of Legion of Three Worlds but I got a bit lost trying to read Civil War without Punisher for example. He was in the main book, then he wasn't... no explination as to why, no complete arc.

L Jamal
01-16-2010, 04:09 PM
Marvel's events all depend on the main event books (Civil War, Secret Invasion,WWHulk) plus the main titles of the event carry the story. I read Civil War without Punisher without any problems. Reading it without the Avengers titles, Captain America was impossible. Marvel's integration is relatively tight, but mostly because the writers work well with each other and don't actively work against each other.

DC's events just fall apart. Final Crisis was a ill plotted mess that really didn't make much sense especially with Countdown. 52 didn't make sense a lead into WWIII or One Year Later. DC needs tighter editorial control to make these events work better and/or writers that aren't working against each other. How many times (in different ways) did the New Gods?

Biofungus
01-16-2010, 04:37 PM
Did the New Gods what?

C'mon man! Don't leave us hanging!!!

:laugh:

Ian Ascher
01-16-2010, 05:16 PM
There was nothing wrong with Final Crisis the way it was written.

The problem was DC editorial turning it into Seven Soldiers of Victory, Countdown, Batman RIP AND Final Crisis.

HaphazardJoy
01-16-2010, 05:59 PM
I've only read some of Mutant Massacre, but to reiterate some of what I was saying before: how necessary was it to actually read the non X-men crossover issues? That's not a good thing that they're not as meaningful and connected, but then the bigger point of contention is that throwing books from across the board into the crossover is one thing, making EVERY book have three to five issues devoted to each event is another. With each of these major events lately, there's been a few X-books that totally ignore what's going on in the greater world, and that's a blessing.

L Jamal
01-16-2010, 06:40 PM
There was nothing wrong with Final Crisis the way it was written.

The problem was DC editorial turning it into Seven Soldiers of Victory, Countdown, Batman RIP AND Final Crisis.
So it wasn't the story, it was the execution of the story?
Either way in context with the entire DC Universe it was a convoluted mess.

Paul Sanderson
01-16-2010, 06:55 PM
I think the vast majority of the event storylines from DC in recent years have been convoluted messes, let's be honest there. I agree with Jamal there. Editorial control has been lacking at DC for years now, and it's really showing.

Ian Ascher
01-16-2010, 11:37 PM
So it wasn't the story, it was the execution of the story?
Either way in context with the entire DC Universe it was a convoluted mess.

Exactly..... the execution of Final Crisis was what made it a mess.

Grant Morrison has gone on record as saying that DC took his idea and stretched it into several series over two years when he intended it to be one big book/series.

Ian Ascher
01-17-2010, 08:34 AM
I've only read some of Mutant Massacre, but to reiterate some of what I was saying before: how necessary was it to actually read the non X-men crossover issues? That's not a good thing that they're not as meaningful and connected, but then the bigger point of contention is that throwing books from across the board into the crossover is one thing, making EVERY book have three to five issues devoted to each event is another. With each of these major events lately, there's been a few X-books that totally ignore what's going on in the greater world, and that's a blessing.


Using that line of thought, are the following books really Event books?

Siege: Only affects the Avengers related books with a couple of extra mini-series thrown in.

Fall of the Hulks: Only affects hulk and Incredible Hulk with a couple of extra mini-series thrown in.

Doom War: A five issue book that effects Black Panther, X-men, Fantastic Four, and Deadpool.

Second Coming: Only runs through the X books and has an additional special and mini-series.

Marvel has said that their "Event" books will be more self contained this year. Id love to be able to find that interview again because that's exactly what Marvel called these stories... Events. They said it themselves.

Let's say all you do is read X books and something like 'Second Coming' comes along. Now you're forced to buy a new mini-series, and three one-shots on top of your six or seven regular titles. They do one of these every 12 to 18 months. It doesn't effect the Marvel Universe as a whole right away but isnt it still an Event for everyone reading the X books?

Granted its not as bad as Secret Invasion where the main book was one big fight and you needed the Avengers books to figure out how it all happened, the X-Men mini-series to see how they delt with it, Runaways/Young Avengers to see how they delt with it, and so on...



Maybe Im not being as clear on the screen as I am in my own head (wouldn't be the first time) but I guess all Im trying to say with this thread is this...

For the past 25 years we've had event books.
Some have been good and others have been bad.
They've been large and small.
They come in all kinds of formats.
They are not going away.

Believe it or not, I'd actualy like to see books not cross-over for a period of two, three, four, maybe even five years. Just run them as self contained books with small threads of continuity so we still get the feel of a shared universe and then do a 12 issue, year long, mega-sized story where you need ALL the heroes to stop some giant grand cosmic villain once and for all.

But I dont write the books and I sure as hell don't run the company so all I can do is buy what I like, ignore what I don't, and cross my fingers it all works out in the end...

HaphazardJoy
01-17-2010, 09:44 AM
There is some misrepresentation in that, partially because those events all involve characters which aren't strictly in one camp or another, and partially just because you may have insights into the events that I don't. Of the ongoing events, only Siege has my interest. Second Coming should be listed as an interest equally probably, but I don't read any presumptive materials generally. (Thanks for the spoilers).

I'm happy to accept an event which involves the tightly wrapped threads of a handful of books comprising a sub-continuity. I'm even happier to handle a couple dozen threads of complex plot in a fully universal story. I'm angry at a sub-continuity's story taking over other stories for the purpose of selling books alone.

L Jamal
01-17-2010, 12:42 PM
Using that line of thought, are the following books really Event books?
Marvel events are different than DC events because Marvel has divided their universe into segments. These segments may come together for an event, but more than likely you get another event mini series to show the event's effect on the other segments.

WWHulk was a Hulk event which affected the Marvel Heroes (FF,Avengers, Spidey, etc) and to show the affect on the X-Men, they released a mini series rather than interrupting the flow of the X-men series.

DC events seem to invade some titles and is totally ignored in others.

ronin7
01-19-2010, 08:48 PM
Marvel knows how to better orchestrate their events, and they have better teamwork, and are willing to work with one another to make a story work.

DC has no teamwork, they are hampered by heavy handed editorial intereference which interrupts the flow of all of their books, and they are forced into mandated events that are ignored after all of the important issues are released.

Final Crisis? Ignored. Infinite Crisis? Ignored, and so on. None of those events had any lingering, or even lasting impact for more than an issue.

The only thing that has lasted was Batman's death, and he's not been dead that long. Six months if that, and he's already coming back. While Steve Rogers has been dead two and half years, or so. And now he's coming back from the grave due to the release of his movie.

On a side note, it can be argued that Bru wanted to keep Cap on ice for the same amount of time that Morrison planned for Batman. But, it worked better in Bru's favor that Cap stayed dead longer.

ponyrl
01-19-2010, 10:33 PM
I started to type his into another thread but thought Id start it here and see what happens.

Everyone throws around the term Event Book now and everyone seems shocked that they come one right after the other but it's nothing new if you look at modern comics.

At Marvel we had Contest of Champions. Then came Secret Wars, Secret Wars II, the Mutant Maassacre, Fall of the Mutants, the Evolutionary War, Inferno, Acts of Vengence, Atlantis Attacks, X-tinction Agenda, Infnity Gauntle, Infinity War, Infinity Crusade, Operation Galactic Storm, Rise of he Midnight Sons, Starblast, Age of Apocolypse, Onslaught, Flashback, Heroes Reborn, Avengers Disassembled, House of M, Civil War, World War Hulk, Secret Invasion, and now Seige, Doom War, and Fall of the Hulks and World War Hulks.

DC has been the same way since Crisis. After that we got Legends, Invasion Millenium, Armageddon, War of the Gods, Eclipso Darkness Within, Death of Superman, Return of Supeman, Knightfall, Zero Hour, Final Night, DC One Million, Worlds at War, Infinite Crisis, Final Crisis, Blackest Night, and soon Brightest Day.

That's a LOT of event books in the past 25 years. Almost one a year from each company and sometimes at Marvel we got two a year.

Im sure I might be missing a few too. For example, some could argue Seven Soldiers is an event book on its own. (Its actualy a part of Final Crisis, not that you would realize it the way DC published it)

A lot of people call books like 52, One Year Later and Dark Reign, event books. To me, they're more like Bridges. They carry the reader from one event to the next but aren't really as grand as the major books themselves. 52 bridged he gap from Infinite Crisis to One Year Later. ONL took us Final Crisis. Dark Reign bridges Secret Invasion to Seige.

And after Seige we've aready seen an image for the Return of the Heroic Age featuring Cap, Thor, and Iron Man. Those books will bridge Seige to the next big even, whatever it may be.

The quick of it is: Since 1985 comics have been one big event after another. More fans like it than hate it. It will not change. This is the way modern comic book companies do business.
the Evolutionary War

Happened in the annuals.