Ahh, the superhero mega-event. The crossover, as one calls it. It’s been a part of comicdom for what seems like forever, but it’s really only been since the mid-80s, at least in the world of Marvel Comics.
The first real massive crossover I can remember is Secret Wars II, the follow-up to the big Marvel Super Heroes Secret Wars mini-series that introduced the Beyonder, not to mention a certain black costume that would go on to rock the world of Spider-Man for years to come. Amazingly, I didn’t read that original series, but rather got hooked with its sequel which found the Beyonder coming to Earth. His exploits would be be followed not just in a nine issue limited series, but every month in 3-4 individual comic series as well (amazingly, I think I managed to track down and own every Secret Wars II tie-in book). This took a lot of planning for artists and writers, and was not as artistically succesful as the original series.
Crossovers continued though, most notably within the world of X-Men, where multiple larger storylines would play out across various series, most notably Uncanny X-Men, the New Mutants, and X-Factor; however, depending on the event, the themes would also make their way into other Marvel books as well. Inferno, the X-Cutioner’s Song, the Mutant Massacre, just to name a few – all were important storylines that would stretch their tentacles into mutant books and other Marvel titles.
One of my favourites, Fall of the Mutants, has just been compiled into a brand new omnibus from Marvel. This massive 817-page tome features runs from Uncanny X-Men, the New Mutants, and X-Factor that put each team through their paces and found core members dying and status quos changing for all of them. When I was young, I read and reread the X-Men issues contained in this particular book; I love Chris Claremont’s writing, and Marc Silvestri’s artwork in those issues was just phenomenal. While I won’t throw out any spoilers in case you haven’t read anythin Fall of the Mutants -related, I will say that their particular storyline results in a change of location for them that I thought was always a lot of fun. There are other legendary creators found in these pages as well, including Walt and Louis Simonson, Peter David, Ann Nocenti, John Romita Jr., to name just a few.
Marvel always does a great job with their compilations, whether they be Epic Collections or Omnibuses, and Fall of the Mutants is no exception. You get a lot of story for a reasonable price, so if you haven’t ever read this seminal crossover, this new version is a great place to experience a classic piece of Marvel Mutant Lore.