Comic Events: Why They Are Awesome and Suck at the Same Time

October 22, 2013

I have been reading comics for almost 10 years now, which means that I have seen my share of comic events. They can range from relatively compact like the Sinestro Corps War to the enormous Civil War. Like most stories, the ones that are more focused and condensed are usually better, which is why the aforementioned Sinestro Corps War was so highly regarded. The importance and scale of the story was big, but it only took about 20 issues to tell. Knowing this, it makes me wonder why the enormous stories seem to do so poorly in quality. The easy answer is that so many creators are involved, the story will fragment and lose quality. I definitely see this in some events. In some cases though, something different seemed to happen.

When I originally read through Blackest Night when it was coming out, I thought it was convoluted and just a scam to hop aboard the zombie train in the DC universe. Then when I came back to it a couple of years later, reading through trades, the story made a lot more sense. The tie-ins actually were important to connect things and I could much easier see what Geoff Johns was trying to do. I ended up enjoying the story much more when reading it all at once and in order.

I imagine it must be tough to balance the overall story of an event of that size with pacing over months at a time. It is interesting that something similar is playing out between the two bigs right now, Infinity for Marvel being a condensed event in the Avengers books and Forever Evil playing out across a bunch of the new 52 in a multi-month event. It will be interesting to see in a couple of years which of these events turned out better.