To fans of comicdom, it’s Event Season – that wonderful time of year when Marvel & DC unleash line-wide, game-changing crossover events aimed at getting as much of your money as they possibly can.
If titles like Blackest Night, Civil War, Final Crisis, Secret Invasion and Infinite Crisis are anywhere on your bookshelf, you know exactly what I mean – and have paid dearly for it.
Already two issues in this year, Marvel’s heroes face Fear Itself
. Sin, the Red Skull’s daughter, gets the Thor treatment by finding a mythical hammer that turns her into Skadi, Goddess of Fear. Heroes and villains alike get hammers of their own and become enthralled in her service while citizens of the Marvel Universe face their greatest fears brought to life. According to this trailer at Marvel.com
, “Iron Breaks. Soldiers Fall. Gods Die.” Want the full story? You’ll have to buy 117 books, including the seven-issue limited series, various tie-ins and the poster book.
Over at DC, there’s Flashpoint. The tagline? “Everything you know will change in a flash.” Barry Allen wakes up in a decidedly different world where he’s not the Flash, Wonder Woman is at war with Aquaman and no one’s heard of Superman. Including the five-issue miniseries, preludes and tie-ins, Flashpoint touches 71 books in total, and mum’s the word on what happens to the DC Universe after Flashpoint #5 hits stores on August 31st.
We’ve heard these “game-changing” promises before, but nothing really changes. DC’s Infinite Crisis in 2005 broke the Superman-Batman-Wonder Woman trinity, saw the death of Superboy and recreated the Multiverse (which was done in by 1986’s Crisis on Infinite Earths). Marvel’s Civil War of 2006-2007 broke apart best buds Iron Man and Captain America over whether heroes should be registered with the government or not, culminating in Cap’s assassination. In both cases (and many others), everything went back to the status quo within a few years. Heroes were resurrected, friends reconciled and everything was back to normal
Because everything that changes gets changed back, here are four ideas DC and Marvel should use to really shake things up:
1) Cold Justice – Someone starts giving the male heroes of the DC Universe the “Women in Refrigerators” treatment, and it’s up to the Amazonian Princess to track down those responsible. Written with glee by Gail Simone;
2) Crisis of Infinite Deadpools – Realizing there are so many Deadpools running around (Deadpool, Kidpool, Dogpool, Headpool, etc.), a multiverse-spanning calamity occurs that only the Deadpools can handle, conveniently thinning the herd down to the one true Merc-with-a-Mouth;
3) Goddamn Batman Begins – Gotham City’s watchful guardian goes the kind of crazy Frank Miller wrote about in his All-Star Batman & Robin run, but in the regular DC Universe. Watch as members of Batman, Inc. deal with a Dark Knight all too eager to outfit them in “bullet-attracting” colours as he delivers justice 140 characters at a time, just like the Twitter account, and;
4) One More Deal – Mephisto comes back to bargain with Spider-Man for his self-respect. Realizing Spidey never had any to begin with, Mephisto is cheated and Spider-Man gets back Mary Jane and Gwen Stacy. Spidey promptly converts to Mormonism and marries both. The Spider-Bigamist is born.
Have thoughts on a real game changer you’d pay good money to read?
JW Ward is a Toronto based writer, media personality and professional cynic. After much harassment he’s finally appeared at Biff Bam Pop! Follow him on Twitter at @jasonwardDOTca and at his own site, cryptically titled www.jasonward.ca.