Up until a couple of years ago I was a marginal comic book buyer (although I was a huge reader going back about 10-15 years. Then came "Avengers: Disassembled"... the event to rock the Marvel Universe (or so we were told). So, I decided for the first time, sure, I'll go ahead and pick up all the crossover titles. If this was going to be THAT big, I wanted to really be up on all the details.
Little did I know that "Disassembled" was just the beginning of a nefarious plan to seperate thousands of folks from the money in their wallets.
Now don't get me wrong, "Disassembled" actually had crossover arcs that made sense and had pretty decent connections to the main storyline.
But then came "House of M".
I haven't been an X-book fan since way back in the glory days of Byrne/Austin but again, here was another "earth shattering" storyline, not to be missed. So I bit and picked up all the related issues. Again.
Ok, not bad, although a number of issues of comics I had never even heard of ended up getting a cursory read and tossed in my comics bin, and some issues (Hulk, for example) had such a tenuous connection to the main plot that it would have been laughable if I hadn't forked out $3.
Then came "Decimation", and this is where I started to wise up. Tons and tons of sideline stories with characters I did not know nor cared about. I finally wised up and even though I had everything on "hold" at the comics store, I started putting some of the issues back on the shelf. I still hung in there with a few of the core X-titles since I was up to issue 5 of 6 on a few of them. Come to pick up the final issues in these minis to find that they pretty much went out with a whimper instead of a bang.
Now comes "Civil War" (the first issue rocked my socks off, BTW), but I added up all the issues of all the titles and it came to something like 70 total.
Sorry, Marvel, but I'm not gonna bite this time.
Sure, I'll still fork out some dough... the main title, the sketchbook, "Front Line" and a handful of the major titles like Cap, FF and Spidey (I already pick up New Avengers). But I'm not going to shell out my hard earned cash for (at the risk of offending those who like these titles, but apply the same logic to the ones you don't read) Punisher, She-Hulk, Heroes for Hire, Thunderbolts, etc.
In the end I'll still get the impact of the story and I'll probably save about $100 (which will go a long ways towards keeping my wife from harping on me about the money I spend on comic books).
Sure, it looks like the Marvel mutant population has been reduced for good and that it's going to stick. Seems like that was similar to cleaning up all the files on your hard drive that have been cluttering things up and not really doing much, since they were populating the Marvel Universe with so many mutants that it was getting to where they were getting so powerful that the "repressed minority" take really just didn't work any more. And although I'm fairly sure something significant will come out of "Civil War", in the end will we really look back and say that from the start of the "Disassembled" storyline to the end of "Civil War" that in order to tell the story it required over 300 individual comic books?
I don't think so.
I understand that business is business, but I'm here to tell you that if Marvel goes for a FIFTH "major" uber-crossover event people are going to start getting jaded and the big M is liable to find itself in another comic book slump of it's own doing.