By Dave Elliott
Coming this summer to a comic store (or digital tablet) near you is Marvel Comic’s big blockbuster publishing event! We’ve been told from their editorial team that it is the crossover event to end all crossover events.
We certainly hope so!
When Robert Oppenheimer famously said “I am become death, the destroyer of worlds” after the atomic bomb was used on Japan bringing World War II to a dramatic close, he was remarking on his part in the creation of the atom bomb. It wasn’t what he had in mind when he created it, but very few of us can control how our ideas are utilized by higher powers-that-be.
In 1984, Jim Shooter, then Marvel Comic’s Editor-In-Chief, created the first company-wide crossover, Secret Wars. This event had the core characters of the Marvel universe transported to another world to face their most deadly foes in mortal combat. This initial crossover would be a huge event that would have long-lasting ramifications for the company’s main characters. It was bold, audacious and it was incredibly successful. Therein lies the rub.
DC Comics has just copied Marvel and begun creating their own “Earth-shattering” events. Changes were made to both company’s lines that brought in more fans but lost some of their older fans. With every event the companies get to make a cash grab using dozens of variant covers.
Over twenty years later the industry has serious event fatigue.
Retailers and fans alike are tired of being milked like cows for cash and have been making themselves heard by dropping titles.
This summer Marvel is going to revive every crossover they have ever done into one last event (hopefully) and while it promises to be a big one, they could just go one step further.
The Marvel Universe was created to be a unique place the characters would inhabit and while Jack Kirby would create many other realities, none of them were in any way a duplicate of the Marvel Universe. But that doesn’t stop someone like Alan Moore.
Alan Moore and Alan Davis created the first true Marvel multiverse on their Captain Britain run.
Captain Britain had been killed along with his universe and the two Alans would bring him back. This would be the first time we heard the reference to the current Marvel universe as being numbered 616. The multiverse was endless allowing for endless variations of the their characters. Someone dies, bring him back by using an alternate universe version of the character.
With that in mind and the fact that Disney recently brought another huge franchise from the director George Lucas, we have to wonder which of these universes holds the Star Wars characters and even more excitingly, which of them would be the one where the characters from both universes can exist in the same place.
Well, most of us in the community realize that if you think of something you can bet that someone else in the community has already thought of it. Tony Stark, the Iron Stormtrooper? Yeah, that’s been done. Nick Fury Agent of the Jedi? Done, too. Darth Doom, Dark Lord of the Sith? Yup!
If this is Marvel finally waking up to the fact that “events” are pushing away more and more fans every year, and this is definitely the last one, then adding a Star Wars/Marvel mash-up universe to the mix might even get this jaded fan to pick it up as part of the sendoff.
- How many of you would like to see a Star Wars/Marvel mash-up or should these universes forever be kept apart? What is your reasoning?
- Do you look forward to these comic crossover events or are they pricing themselves out of your range and making you resentful at being manipulated?
- Anyone up for the challenge of doing your own Marvel/Star Wars mash-up character and posting them in the comments below?
Posted with permission by Dave Elliott
Original can be found here