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Thread: How do you feel about crossovers?

  1. #1
    Trouble Boy Basque's Avatar
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    How do you feel about crossovers?

    NOTE: If you don't want to read the full post, skip to the TL;DR section at the end. Please don't just answer the question in the topic.

    I noticed there were a lot of crossovers in DC's April solicitations: War of the Green Lanterns (including the three GL books), Reign of Doomsday (including Superboy, Superman/Batman Annual and Action Comics), and an unnamed crossover between Red Robin, Gotham City Sirens and Batman.

    I posted about each at length on my blog: http://irrelevantcomics.blogspot.com...-too-many.html

    One of the things I discuss in that post is whether these crossovers actually work in terms of getting people to buy books they don't usually read. Which I'm assuming is the reason crossovers exist.

    Personally, I feel like crossovers do more harm than good. A recent example was the crossover between Action Comics and Secret Six. Every comment or review I read from people who bough Action Comics because of the crossover said they were totally confused and did not enjoy the issue. No wonder, since it doesn't make any sense unless you've read the previous five or six issues of Paul Cornell's run on the book. Readers coming from Secret Six must have been completely lost.

    As a result, there may have been a minor spike in sales for that month due to SS readers picking it up, but I doubt any of them decided to stick around. Action Comics is really great right now and I feel like a lot more people should be reading it. But sucking them into a random issue with a crossover was the worse possible way to try to bring them in. Now all those people probably just feel that the book is an incomprehensible mess and won't bother reading it in trades.

    Another example: the crossover between Red Robin and Batgirl last year was terrible. Because Chris Yost's and Bryan Q. Miller's writing styles are so different, reading one issue of Batgirl in the middle of the Red Robin arc didn't at all make me want to check out this other book. In fact, it convinced me that I should be avoiding it completely in the future. It wasn't until several months later, after seeing so many people praise the book on tumblr and elsewhere, that I decided to give it another chance. I bought the latest issue (a stand-alone story feature Batgirl and Damian Wayne) and ABSOLUTELY LOVED IT! I didn't think it was a good fit with Red Robin, but as its own book with its own distinct voice, it's great.

    TL;DR

    So my question is: Has a crossover event ever succeeded in converting you into a reader of a book you didn't previously follow? In other words, did you ever buy an issue because it was tying into a story in a book you currently read, and then decided to keep reading that other book as well?

    Also: By "crossover" I don't mean huge crossover events, but short story lines that happen to tie into two books or more.

  2. #2
    Trouble Boy kon-el kent's Avatar
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    Re: How do you feel about crossovers?

    If it wasn't for the Onslaught story line I would have never picked up an issue of Fantastic Four. After those Onslaught issues I followed the FF for years.

    I can think of several times that has happened to me. I never read green lantern corps until the Sinestro Corps story. After that I picked it up religiously. Until that pt I could care less about the corps. I was content on reading my stories about Hal.

    During the 90s the various xmen crossovers got me interested in several of the smaller x-men titles. I originally only read x-men and uncanny but after fatal attraction, I started reading X-force and X-factor.

  3. #3
    GODFATHER Cactusakic's Avatar
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    Re: How do you feel about crossovers?

    Not a fan.

    Crossovers/events have been largely responsible for me "quitting" comics twice now.

    I'm posting from my phone right now which makes lengthy posts very awkward to write, so I'll come back and elaborate tomorrow when I'm at my laptop.

  4. #4
    Gunsel Personamanx's Avatar
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    Re: How do you feel about crossovers?

    Only X-Men Crossovers have gotten me to start picking up books involved that I never read before. I don't read all of the X-books, and I never had but it seems that in every X-Over I pick up a book I had not been reading before that.

  5. #5
    Gunsel Chris Jones's Avatar
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    Re: How do you feel about crossovers?

    The only time it's worked was the Deadpool/Thunderbolts crossover a couple years ago. Of course if I knew how strongly I would end up disliking that crossover I wouldn't have bought it :\

    I tried reading this Secret Six issue WITHOUT reading the Action Comics issue-I'm waiting for the trade for Paul Cornell's Luthor run-and I couldn't even get past the third page, I was so lost. It made me a bit miffed, honestly. I felt sort of swindled.


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  6. #6
    Trouble Boy shrike's Avatar
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    Re: How do you feel about crossovers?

    If done well.

    They usually are not done well.
    I dress for the image. Not for myself, not for the public, not for fashion, not for men.
    -Marlene Dietrich

  7. #7
    Trouble Boy Basque's Avatar
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    Re: How do you feel about crossovers?

    Thanks for all your responses, guys.

    Quote Originally Posted by shrike View Post
    If done well.

    They usually are not done well.
    Yeah. I feel like that kinda sums it up. In theory, I wouldn't mind a crossover once in a while. The whole point of having a shared universe is for these heroes and books to interact with each other. It's just that most of the time it seems like an afterthought. Or some editor thinks, "Hey, wouldn't it be a good idea to have these two books intersect?" without ever stopping to think how it's going to affect the readability of the books or the stories the authors are trying to tell.

    Another thing that bothers me is that publishers are often too focused on the short-term. A crossover might seem like a good idea if you're only thinking about temporarily boosting the sales of a title for one month. But often, it creates problems for the collected edition. And considering the collected edition has a much longer shelf-life than monthly issues, it would be nice if some thought was given to what the finish product is going to be like.

    I'm trying to imagine someone who's not familiar with how these things work picking up the the TPB of Secret Six: The Reptile Brain, which includes that random issue of Action Comics. Like a casual reader who picks it up at the store and thinks, "Hey, this looks like a good book." And they go home and read it and then wonder, "What the hell was Lex Luthor doing in that scene? That didn't make any sense!"

  8. #8

    Re: How do you feel about crossovers?

    I think the recent X-Men crossovers were handled well in the books I read. In particular, the X-Factor tie-in to the last big event was largely self contained, but the text piece at the beginning of the comic revealed pretty much everything you needed to know.

  9. #9
    Right Guy Cassandra's Avatar
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    Re: How do you feel about crossovers?

    Quote Originally Posted by shrike View Post
    If done well.

    They usually are not done well.
    Agreed x1000.

    Also I know this isn't really what you guys are talking about but it's still a crossover that totally confused me. Many years ago there was a The Darkness (from Topcow) and Batman cross over. I know this because a few years ago my husband got me The Darkness compendium #1 for Christmas. While reading this collection of comics there is a small page in between them that simply says, 'now read the Darkness / Batman crossover' and then every story after that page references this big life changing decision the main character makes after meeting Bruce Wayne but they never explain what it is. I mean it's a freaking compendium and this one crossover issue is obviously a big pivotal change for the character but they don't include it, they just tell you to read it. You're supposed to track down a comic that went out of print 10 years ago just so you can follow the story.
    Sadly this was a big problem at Top Cow back in the day as well, inter-publisher crossovers. I also have the first two Witchblade compendiums and that thing is all over the place with missing story conclusions where they tell you to go you read another comic, then on the next page start an entirely new story. It feels like you're assembling a puzzle using pieces from two different sets and you're missing some of the pieces.

    *end rant* Yeah that's a pet peeve of mine, needed to vent.

  10. #10
    Gunsel Chris Jones's Avatar
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    Re: How do you feel about crossovers?

    I'm trying to imagine someone who's not familiar with how these things work picking up the the TPB of Secret Six: The Reptile Brain, which includes that random issue of Action Comics. Like a casual reader who picks it up at the store and thinks, "Hey, this looks like a good book." And they go home and read it and then wonder, "What the hell was Lex Luthor doing in that scene? That didn't make any sense!"
    Something EXACTLY like this happened when I lent the first TPB of JMS' run on Thor to my friend. I thought it would be a good, accessible comic for him to get into, and it was for the most part, but then when I asked him how he liked it he replied with "It's good, but...why is Iron Man mad at Thor? Like he just shows up and starts talking about laws and then they fight and it...didn't really make any sense".

    And then that required explaining Avengers Disassembled and Civil War and on and on and on. And Thor is a relatively accessible comic! I can't imagine the confusion the poor schlub who tries to get into something like Avengers or Justice League must feel.


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