When I first started reading comics there were very few crossover events and most comics finished the story within the pages in your hands. Big event comic themes were not the norm and most stories did not last very long. Comic editors had more say how stories were formed and story lines concluded. Then in the sixties Marvel Comics with Stan Lee and Jack Kirby with Steve Ditko and many others brought a explosion of unfettered talent and created stories that tied together for many issues and brought the reader back the next month to see what happened to their favorite hero. This gave birth to the big event comics, that is a comic theme or event that spread through many comic titles or a series of comics. It was usually a team effort and required the collaboration of many talented writers and artist.
Marvel’s “Chaos War” and DC “Brightest Day” are examples of modern day big event comics. They involve multiple characters in many titles covering a common theme and direction with smaller stories inside of the main theme. Chaos War is about the Chaos King, the living embodiment of the void before time and space began, has decided he liked things better before everything was,” explains editor Jordan White. “He’s on a mission to wipe out all of existence with an army of alien space gods at his back, and the only ones who can stop him are the gods of Earth’s pantheons, lead by the all-new God Squad! Hercules leads Thor, Sersi, Venus, Galactus, and The Silver Surfer in protecting all of reality against The Chaos King. Writers are Greg Pak (Incredible Hulk) and Fred Van Lente (Marvel Zombies). Artists include Ed McGuinness and Khoi Pham inside art. It is a cataclysmic event on the same level as DC’s Crisis of 2009 but a shorter story. It is very involved in the destruction of many mythical characters in the Marvel universe and will no doubt result in some major changes in hero and immortals of Marvel Comics. It also involves animation of the dead and the concept of life vs death in contrast to nothingness. Very well thought out and straight forth in it’s direction and it will be interesting how it is resolved in the final issue in 2011.
Brightest Day is also involves multiple characters in many titles covering a common theme resulting in major changes in the DC Universe and it’s characters. It is the year-long comic book limited series that premiered in April 2010. This followed the ending of the series Blackest Night. Geoff Johns and Peter Tomasi are part of the creative team for this crossover block buster. It involves the resurrected characters of Blackest Night and the role played out by the White Light Power that made is appearance in Blackest Night. It is the personal stories of each individuals and the struggle to find there place in the DC Universe and the mystery of the White Light Power and Battery. They are 12 Heroes and Villeins both: Aquaman, Captain Boomerang, Hawk, Hawkman, Hawkgirl, Jade, Firestorm matrix (Jason and Ronnie), Martian Manhunter, Maxwell Lord, Osiris, Prof. Zoom, and Boston Brand (Deadman). Each one brought back for a purpose that they must find to preserve life. Much longer in story line because of the story of each persons event of life and how they find new purpose in living. Well thought out and by Geoff Johns words years in the making, beginning in his mind back in Green Lantern: Rebirth 2004.
I still enjoy single issue comics that tell a great story but there is something special in big event series that tell a big story it makes you come back for the next issue if done well and both series are done well. Now I will see you at the comic shop for the conclusion of these good series. Stay tuned comic faithful for more. 🙂 Walt