I’ll allow this story the chance to stand alone seperate from the title, New Avengers, that birthed the idea because it really contained everyone and affected everything.
Skrulls invaded Earth and attempted to take us down by infiltrating each and every super group that they could. It was an enjoyable, if not completely high brow, series that changed the status quo of the Marvel U.
Though I do, far too often, feel like Bendis writes his main titles as mere preludes to the big events. I have no idea what’s really happened in the Avengers books he writes, they just seem to push the latest event forward.
This was one of those stories that had everything about the DCU in it and would have seemed a tad off to include as just another arc in someone else's title. This title I can handle getting it's own mini. It seemed like it was classical, historical, a little more than it could chew but certainly a mouthful to be proud of tackling.
To boil down a comic universe and continuity-chocked history into something so mythical and erudite has to be applauded purely because someone attempted something new with the form. But sometimes you can't win, you deliver the same old story and get called for rehashing and you try something new and suddenly your spitting on the walking and talking childhoods of all and sundry. Poor Grant Morrison, you can't help but feel he's getting some undue backlash at times.
Civil War probably didn’t need to be a stand alone title. Have the events affect other people, but don’t go out of your way to get a comic with a #1 on the title. Things happen in titles that are referenced in other titles and it is allowed. The idea of a Civil War was more than enough, with the specifics of what each character does referenced in their own title.
And add to this the fact there was basically no ending to the miniseries (Cap is tackled by some cops and fire fighters, so everyone quits) and there really wasn't any reason for the miniseries. Just put each storybeat in the character's title.
People always seem to ask for a Doctor Strange on-going title but it then never sells successfully. So this time we have been given a mini and I think that’s a smart way to do it for this character. He works well in other titles and his salad days with Lee and Ditko were superb, but no one really buys him on his own, it would seem.
When you have enough people complaining and calling for a title then eventually you have to give the baby its bottle and see if it feeds. If this doesn't sell well enough then Marvel can at least say they tried.
I actually didn’t mind some of the Dark Reign minis as they gave certain characters a bit of room to breathe that they otherwise would not have gotten. Elektra and Zodiac will rarely/never get their own title.
However, I wish that minis like the Fantastic Four and Hawkeye (Bullseye version) were contained within their own titles. It might take a bit longer to work the entire story through as a subplot or actual story but is that a bad thing?
I’m talking old school Eddie Brock tales after he turned good. He wasn’t going to get his own title but he must have had at least a dozen consecutive minis that I loved.
He was no longer a Spider-family character, at least not enough to be in the Spidey book as a peripheral character, so he branched out. All the way to San Francisco, where all good heroes go to prove their mettle at one stage or another.
I just don't understand why they didn't morph this into an on-going at some stage, the same writer kept pumping out the stories so it seems like it should have been simple enough to just let him runs his numbers in sequence and maybe even try some longer form stories.
Ed Brubaker is doing one hell of a run on Captain America. He’s written over 50 consecutive issues that address a massive story. He killed Cap and put Bucky behind the shield. A very well done and respected run which is why I don’t understand why the main title had to stop so that the return of Steve Rogers could be brought to us in a stand alone mini, Reborn.
Sure, sales for Reborn went through the roof, so I guess it holds merit and I’m just an idiot, but it felt impure. Like eating a big bowl of ice cream but then having to go next door to get the chocolate topping. They also managed to print out a one-shot to cover the aftermath of the rebirthing of Captain Rogers, Who Will Wield The Shield, which could have been the issue to restart the ongoing, but even that had to be an one-shot for no apparent reason.
Green Lantern's Blackest Night
This, to me, and I know I'm completely on the outside, feels like a Green Lantern story. Sure, it is massive and can probably justify line-wide status on scope, but that's what I want from my regular titles, a gigantic storyline that hits for the bleachers, just like Sinestro Corps War was.
I see no need, even if other characters are included, for this storyline to be touted as line-wide when it's really just a big Lantern tale. Keep it in the Lantern, or multiple Lanterns, titles. Pull in other characters or have tie-ins, sure, but still sell it for what it is, a Green Lantern story.
It's like saying Spider-Woman is a line-wide title because Agent Brand, Spider-Man, and the Thunderbolts appeared, that's just not how it works.
Jason Aaron took over the reigns of Ghost Rider at issue #20 from Daniel Way. Aaron then went on to craft a fun and fantastic run for ol’ flamehead that grabbed critics and readers. It was Grindhouse, it was sensational, it was legendary. And it has now ended, any guesses on how they did it?
Batman: Battle For The Cowl
I was actually reading Batman up until the end of R.I.P. And it was good which made me even more confused when the main title decided to do a two-part funeral retrospective, or whatever that was, and a mini was introduced to actually continue the story that was going on.
I didn't see any reason why they couldn't both happen within the one title that people would be reading to continue both veins of narrative. I'd have made Batman $3.99 with Battle For The Cowl headlining each issue and Gaiman's nostalgic whatever as a back up. It would have sold better and made things a lot more cohesive.
I don't want to have to round up a bunch of titles to get my plot, I want it in the one place I started, though I understand this may make me an abhorrence not a constant.
Frank Miller wrote Born Again within the main Daredevil title. A great story of the fall and rise of Matthew Murdock, it sells excellently well in trades, but wasn’t packaged as a stand alone story because it didn’t need to be. It worked within the main title and could be followed on from.
This is exactly how creators should be treating their characters, not as plot farms to weave the next big event from but rather just a character that they want to write and have something to say with. Not everything has to affect all, sometimes a story is just what it is and crossovers aren't necessary, even if the Avengers do come in at the end.
You almost get the feeling this should have been a mini of its own. Instead, Frank Miller got it in the main Batman title and as such this story is much more seriously treated as canon, which I think is a good thing.
You should write your story with the idea that it will count, so why not put it in the main title. If more creators were doing this now, a nice stand alone arc that didn't need to build on so much, then you'd find more buyers finding accessible jumping on points for titles instead of having to wait for the next retcon/renumbering moment.
The storyline of Hulk becoming a gladiator on another planet became a wide-spread darling of critics and buyers and put Hulk back on the map of interesting characters from the Marvel U.
Pretty cool considering it mainly came about because Quesada thought the idea of a gladiator Hulk was was a wicked idea and then Grek Pak went off and found a way to make that happen.
The sad dénouement to this tale is that the follow up, World War Hulk, became its own mini series.
Mark Millar made an interesting story. I would never call it great, but it was fluffy and enjoyable. However, being a piece of speculative fiction, hell, almost fan fiction, I’d say this should have been a self-contained mini instead of in the main title. Especially with its scheduling issues.
This is one time I’d allow something to break off. It's not quite canon, and I don't care if Millar thinks he can pull a Miller and make stories canon just through pure force of will and grit. Millar, though the name is close, is no Miller and he needs to know his limitations. This story won't ever be considered canon and should not have held up the Wolverine title for even a day.