By Shimmy Comments
Forgive me if this isn't the timeliest of observations, but when did mainstream comics become strictly about preparing for and dealing with the aftermath of major crossover event titles? Once upon a time, major crossovers were few and far between; they happened only once or twice in a decade, and for the most part the comics published between one event and the next dealt with everyday super-heroing, rather than an extended build up or cool down. Remember Secret Wars? That was crazy! And made more so by the fact that nothing like it had ever happened before. Crisis on Infinite Earths, Contest of Champions, The Infinity Gauntlet; we still remember and refer to these comics today because they were these huge, larger than life, epic storylines that changed that status quo of their respective universes. Now it seems like one thing after another; from Civil War to World War Hulk to Secret Invasion to Siege to Chaos War, all in the span of four or five years. The status quo gets changed so often that it hardly seems to matter anymore who’s dead and who's alive and what side anyone is on because it's all likely to change in fairly short order. Don't get me wrong, I greatly enjoyed most of these comics, but I can't help but wonder if the accelerated pace of modern comics has caused us to lose something, something that a slower, more decompressed mode of storytelling might allow us to appreciate.
Granted, this modern comic age has brought us some pretty great storylines. 52 on its own would seem to justify the rapid rate at which DC cranked out the "Crisis Trilogy," and I will be the first person to defend the quality of the post-Civil War New Avengers/Mighty Avengers dichotomy. Nevertheless, part of me misses those halcyon days of event comics being a rare occurrence and business as usual being the order of the day. Maybe we'll get back there someday, but then again maybe we won't. Maybe this is just where we are now.