Years ago when a comic book company wanted to create a big event, they had something called a "crossover". Perhaps the JLA would meet the JSA, or the Avengers would fight the Defenders. Whatever it was, it was a big deal because these folks rarely met each other in their comics.
Marvel brought us Contest of Champions, Secret Wars, Atlantis Attacks, and Acts of Vengeance, while DC came back with Zero Hour (another reboot), Bloodlines, and Invasion among other things, most of which were less-than-stellar events. Then stuff seemed to die down a bit. There were still events, but they weren't as big.
There are many who will say this particular crossover was stupid or the storyline was convoluted, but I enjoyed reading it. I thought Marvel had hit it just about perfectly, though I was never that thrilled with the ending. I thought Cap should have beat Iron Man down and walked away the winner.
Secret Invasion. Unfortunately, Secret Invasion crossed over into the Avengers titles for no reason, filling all of the issues during that period with filler stories that never progressed the main storyline. And the main title seemed to falter in the middle before ending big with the death of the Wasp and the rise of Norman Osborn. And hey, let's not forget World War Hulk that appeared soon after!
Secret Invasion gave way to Dark Reign, another lackluster attempt that briefly gave us titles like Dark Avengers. Dark Reign led to Siege, which gave Marvel an excuse to finally kill off The Sentry for no particular reason other than the fact that they were completely clueless as to the potential of the character.
The heroes barely had time to recover from Siege before they were suddenly thrown into this latest event, Fear Itself. Have I forgotten any? Probably. I didn't even mention Annihilation, The Thanos Imperative, or War of Kings, all of which happen to the "galaxy" heroes.
My point: does anyone even bother to read the Marvel crossovers anymore? Honestly, when was the last time Marvel ever ran two consecutive months without some form of crossover event?
It seems hard to imagine a time when you wouldn't like a thick juicy steak...unless that's all you had for every single meal. After a few weeks, you might even consider a bowl of oatmeal a welcome change for dinner. Marvel has fed us a constant diet of crossovers now, and with Fear Itself just starting to wind down Marvel is already hard at work on the next "big event".
So here's my question to you: do crossovers mean anything to you any more? Do you get excited seeing what Marvel has planned next, or have they gone to the well once too often and need to give it all a rest for a couple of years before trying again and making us believe it really is "something big"?