Friday, 4 October 2013


Crossover Time:
Adventures through Time and Space 
with the Marvel Universe

The Marvel Universe can be a perplexing and intimating place for any comic fan, whether a long time reader or shy beginner, and a plethora of  mini-series 'event' comics only complicates an already complex world. When an event occurs it usually signifies great upheaval to the current status quo, with changes for all the characters and their ongoing storylines.  If an event comic crosses over with other ongoing titles, it can be a challenge to understand which one to read, in which order, and how imperative it is to the story to read 
every issue. We here at Dave's Comics are here to help you navigate through these tricky comic shores, so with that in mind here is a quick overview of the crossovers happening right now in the Marvel Universe.
BATTLE FOR THE ATOM is the main event for the X-Men series of comics, covering X-Men,  All New X-Men, Uncanny X-Men, and Wolverine and the X-Men. The impetus for this event comes directly from the time-travelling shenanigans in All New X-Men, but I'm happy to say no prior knowledge of that comic is required for this crossover. I wasn't expecting to enjoy this series, as I'm not fond of one of the main characters (sorry Cyclops, you're just so tedious) but was pleasantly surprised by how immediately engaged I was, and would definitely recommend reading if you're an X-Fan. It helps that so far every issue has been a visual treat, with some of my favourite artists contributing to its pages. With this crossover event it's imperative to read each crossover title, as they're sequentially numbered and refer explicitly back to the previous issue.
The star of the crossover events is the much publicized INFINITY arc, which features most of the Avengers and major players of the MU, with crossover titles Avengers, New Avengers, Captain Marvel, Avengers Assemble, Fearless Defenders, Nova, Guardians of the Galaxy,  the two event-only mini series Infinity: The Hunt and Infinity: The Heist, Secret Avengers and Thunderbolts. (Marvel isn't messing around when they call it the Event of the Year.) The core storyline however is located in it's namesake title, which can be read as a stand alone series. Infinity also introduces the brand new Mighty Avengers team, which should encourage readers to embrace this new title.  Unlike Battle of the Atom, you don't need to read every crossover issue to follow the story, but of course it's useful if you want to understand how the plot develops in reaction to events in each individual issue. Several of the tie-in issues retell the main storyline from a different perspective, such as Spider-Woman's in Avengers Assemble and Captain Marvel in her own title. As always to understand the entire arc it's best to read every issue, but if you have to chose I would definitely pick up Avengers and New Avengers as well as Infinity, which should give you the most well rounded overview of the action in as few issues as possible. 

 And we mustn't forget the recently completed Age of Ultron event, the after effects of which are currently being dealt with in a crossover for the Ultimates titles in Hunger, and the new all-robots, all the time series Avengers A.I. These are not technically event titles in their own right, but Hunger is setting up for some cataclysmic action we expect to see later on in the MU and Avengers A.I certainly feels like an event, with it's epic storyline featuring a battle for supremacy between humans and artificial life forms.
WHEW that's rather a lot to take in, isn't it? It's a little overwhelming to be so inudated with 'must-read events' that will impact the future of the Marvel Universe, but thankfully every storyline is engaging and worth reading.  And of course there's INHUMANITY to look forward to once this season of crossovers ends, and Marvel recently began releasing teaser posters for another new event coming soon, with taglines like SINNERS and WRATH. I guess in the Marvel Universe the action never ends!

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