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mygif

I’ve always felt that DC’s best done crossover, outside of Crisis itself, was Invasion. Everything you really needed to know and have happen was in the main book, and for the most part, the heroes in their own books dealt with various threats on an as needed and semi-logical basis (the Doom Patrol’s defense of Atlantis notwithstanding).

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Diego Ibarra said on September 11th, 2011 at 2:27 pm

“He says as he’s climbing back out the window, ‘The Manhunters have placed sleeper agents all over the world,’ and Gordon pistol-whips him across the back of the head, shoves him out the window, and says, ‘I know.’”

And Batman’s been sneaking out on him ever since.

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mygif

I always liked Millennium. Right up until the last issue’s introduction of the New Guardians as a super powered team. Even at twelve years old I knew that they were at best mediocre and at worst incredibly stupid, which was too bad, because I liked most of the characters up until they got their powers and costumed identity. For years now I’ve been wondering if creating a new super-team was what Englehart actually had in mind, or if there was something a little more ambitious there originally, adn editorial fiat stripped out “next evolutionary step” bit.

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mygif

One good thing to come out of Millennium was that it paved the way for Dmitri Pushkin to join the JLI.

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American Hawkman said on September 11th, 2011 at 3:34 pm

I’m actually a big Millenium fan… the outcome of the mini is colossally stupid, but the ride there is awesome. Some great tie-ins as well, especially Suicide Squad and Green Lantern. Still trying to figure out how the Manhunters infiltrated the Olympian Gods though…

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mygif

“I somehow don’t think people will be saying the same thing about “Flashpoint” in 20 years.”

Or 20 minutes, for that matter.

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mygif

agreed.
i remember being really into Millennium when i was a kid

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mygif

Didn’t Snowflame, the God of Cocaine come out of New Guardians?

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mygif

Another advantage was that the Millenium series ran weekly, which reduced the amount of time the regular DC series had to divert and follow it.
But no, Englehart established the Manhunters as the Guardians’ failed first attempt at a space police force back in JLA in the seventies.

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mygif

Knight of Vengeance is to Flashpoint as Suicide Squad is to Millennium.

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mygif

In offense of Millennium…

Back in the mid-90s I was on a kick of going back and reading all these DC crossovers that came out before I got into comics, and I tried reading the eight-issue Millennium miniseries. It might be argued that mistake #1 was not reading it with all the tie-ins, but how was I to know? DC and Marvel have done crossovers both ways, and you never know how critical the tie-ins will be until you start. In fairness, the miniseries proper went out of its way to explain what happened in all the tie-ins, and I’m a big boy and I can fill in the blanks.

The story sucks. There’s a reason John’s summary dwells entirely on the initial premise and all the cosmic ramifications, and that’s because the actual story is “One day the Guardians ask all the super-buddies to help them make a super-team, and the super-buddies just say ‘We’ll help, Meat Loaf, but how?’” Then they fight a bunch of Manhunters and blow up a giant Manhunter and then the story just kind of peters out. I barely remember which heroes were in the story because it didn’t matter–they all talked the same and behaved the same like a Gardner Fox Justice League story.

If I ever read the issue where Commissioner Gordon was revealed as a Manhunter sleeper agent, I apparently forgot it and I’m not surprised, because once you begin the story with “There’s a Manhunter spy in every single hero’s supporting cast,” it kind of gives away all 37 of your shocking revelations. I mean, of course Lana Lang is working for the Manhunters, why would they get anyone else to spy on Superman?

“The actual New Guardians were incredibly stupid” is not merely an incidental problem with an otherwise good story. This is like saying “Other than the Black Lanterns being laughably obvious in their appeals to the heroes’ emotions, Blackest Night was really good!” The whole point was the New Guardians. Millennium is essentially a retread of Englehart’s Celestial Madonna story from Avengers, except with ten Mary Sues instead of one. Except instead of macking on the Vision and ninja-kicking people, the New Guardians just sit around wasting a whole issue learning silly philosophies, and then act surprised that their racist recruit is a jerk.

I suppose there is no arguing the point that this story occurred in the early days of the big summer crossover, and it can’t be properly judged against superior outings like Final Night and DC One Million. However, being among the best tentpole crossovers is sort of like being one of Rob Liefeld’s better outings, so I’m not sure it matters whether Millennium has any sort of advantage over Flashpoint.

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mygif

@Jim Smith: Oh, don’t think I’m under any illusions about the quality of the crossover. The issue where the Guardians use a counting game to teach the New Guardians cosmic enlightenment is one of the most painfully bad comic book experiences you will ever have, and I say that as a man who has read the original Youngblood #1.

But it was an early effort, it tried to do a lot of interesting things, and it’s sincerely better than something utterly incoherent and slapdash like, say, “Genesis” or “Our Worlds At War” (which pretty much managed to single-handedly kill the DC crossover for a few years.) It does not set the standard for bad crossovers, is what I’m saying.

That would be “Extreme Prejudice”. :)

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mygif

@ John: Are you sure the worst one isn’t “Bloodlines”?

It was X-treme nineties hilarity, the creation of Hitman notwithstanding.

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mygif

Sadly I would say that Hitman made Bloodlines worth it.

So rather than comparing it to Flashpoint, maybe it would be fair to compare Millennium to (and if I’m alone on this one, fine) Final Crisis, where there were some interesting ideas in there but they were terribly, terribly executed.

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mygif

On the other hand “Our Worlds At War” (which pretty much managed to single-handedly kill the DC crossover for a few years) did pretty much manage to single-handedly kill the DC crossover for a few years — so that makes it one of the best!

“Last Laugh” was one of the worst. I have no idea about “Flashpoint” since I haven’t read any of it, but I have never read anything worse than “Last Laugh”.

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mygif

I actually really liked the Booster Gold Millennium tie-in. Then again, I read it as Mike using the event as an excuse to work out some of his personal issues* and it seems it wasn’t the writer’s intent. The actual event mini was mostly just entertaining because it was so silly.

*There seemed to be a lot of self-loathing in his “people suck” argument.

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mygif

While Last Laugh had many problems, including bad art and a plot that changed every issue, the worst part was not when Nightwing beat the Joker to death, but when Batman revived him, so Dick wouldn’t be a murderer.

Let’s not forget War of the Gods, which was taking place at the same time as Armageddon 2001, mostly due to George Perez blowing the schedule on the core book, leaving the numbered crossovers to be published out of order.

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mygif

my take on the crossovers I got to read

- CoIE : epic, no honestly the multiverse attacked by the universal eraser of the anti-monitor, the big “fuck yeah moments made it absolutely great even though it was pretty dense

- Millenium ; never read it ,but as Mr Seavy described the premise, it seems to be a nice idea that got overly complicated but on the other hand …. SNOW-FLAME GOD OF COCAINE!

-Bloodlines : Honestly, not that bad. Switch on the loud music pass the popcorn & enjoy the ride & since it can’t be repeated enough Tommy Monhagan & the ravers ( I love these kids!)

-Underworld Unleashed: LOVE EVERY MOMENT of IT!It’s really nice to see a Hell Lord that 1)isn’t pissy about boohooohooo God fired me (First of the fallen , Lucifer) 2) Is a true blood demon (Neron actually looks like a lovecraftian creature & IS NOT a fallen angel!) 3) LOVES HIS FUCKING JOB!No srsly you gotta admire Neron for NOT complaining about being the ruler of the damned!

-1000000; pretty imaginative & kickass concept with many epic reimaginings! Really had fun with this one

-Final night: Hal should have stayed dead after this! really nice story & loved the heroes reactions to the end of the world

-Sins of youth: it’s young justice centric so OF COURSE I LOVED EVERY FUCKING PANEL OF IT!

-OWAW: messy as all hell… some books are good (Wonder Woman & Young justice were kickass) but the plot was a bit all over the place soooo meh….

-Last Laugh:okay look guys I’m gonna save you cash & time: take page 15 àf the fifth part & keep it! Ignore the rest …

-Infinite Crisis ; the more I read it the more I hate it…Superbitch primadonna anyone?

-Final crisis; Guess Darkseid was pissed after reading he was defeated by a karaoke….Dreck

- Blackest night: Ya know, if Owen was written more like Lionel from Braidead (also entitled ” Dead Alive ” in the USA) rather than that bitch from Hell Raiser I would have liked it . But since we know the current result , pfeh …

- Flashpoint: If anyone Sees Hunter Zolomon please contact us at “mistreatedsidelinedvillains-666″, we kinda miss him. Other than that I dont give a damn but for the love of god , the cover with fake Diana & Mera beheaded was just distateful & gut-tearingly mysoginistic in so many levels! & bear in mind , this is coming from a fan of gore movies,Lobo, Carnage & Sabretooth or who isn’t bothered with violence as long as epicness ensues or if it’s funny…but here… WTH Johns srsly…

If I did not mention an event, then I either have not heard of it or not read it yet. thus what would you advice me guys?

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mygif

Final Crisis was the bomb diggity.

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mygif

What I loved about Millennium was the strictly controlled time frame. Eight weeks and it’s done, period; and every crossover issue flows directly out of that week’s issue of Millennium. That’s how it oughta be done. And that super-tight four-part crossover in one week between Detective, Suicide Squad, Capt. Atom and Firestorm … writers who clearly were well co-ordinated and agreed on what the story should be. Once upon a time, they had proper editors.

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mygif

All I can clearly remember about Millennium these days was the clunky writing and horrible art. I realize Englehart did tremendous work on Batman during the seventies, but I found his Fantastic Four, Green Lantern Corps and this crossover to be terrible. I really think by the eighties his best years were behind him.

The only Millennium crossover I really enjoyed was the Suicide Squad entry when Captain Boomerang convinced Slipknot the explosive bracelets were fake and the man made a break for it…only to have his hand blown off. Captain Boomerang’s response, a though balloon:

“Sorry mate, but I had to know.”

Awesome.

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@Garfield

I don’t know. Sometimes a losser framework can work a lot better.

Look at Fear Itself. Most of the tie-ins use the events of the main book as a jumping off point to do their own stories. As a result a lot of the tie-ins have been a lot better than the main series in this case.

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mygif

Scattershot points: I liked the odd pseudo-cabala that was the old Guardians’ lecture to awaken the new.

I’m scared to go back and read Englehart’s run on Green Lantern, but my memory is that it was not merely good but superb, one of DC’s best titles. It declined when it became Green Lantern Corps.

I also cut Englehart some slack on Extrano’s campiness because he *wasn’t allowed to say the character was gay*. So he had to push the swish straight to 11 to make sure we realized the New Guardians weren’t all hetero.

Finally, I am fairly sure there is no writer who has supervised a company-wide crossover and not been permanently diminished by it. The only exception is Morrison, who has done some of his best work since DC 1,000,000.

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mygif

What I remember most about Millennium was that:
1) The writer didn’t realize they had killed Terra before he already plotted out most of the story, and they didn’t have an excuse to bring her back at that moment. So it made for an interesting plot development that the heroes had to question the omniscience of the Guardians. It also brought back Woodrue.
2) The “wisdom” imparted by the Guardian and Zamoran was so vague as to be cliched…
3) How they revealed Blue Beetle’s Manhunter sleeper agent, a villain with Jai Alai armor and weapons… as someone he didn’t even recognize. Not every Manhunter was a close friend…
4) The disappointment that, yes, all they did was create a new superhero team trying to grant the “chosen ones” new power sets that had never been “seen” before.

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mygif

@Saidi: I personally hated the Underworld miniseries that introduced Neron to the DCU, because it went completely against the rules of Hell being created in the Vertigo Sandman/Hellblazer plotlines. To me, Neron was a caped devil with none of the style or true menace of either Lucifer or First Of The Fallen.

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mygif

I’ll never get the Final Crisis hate. Its my favorite recent DC crossover. (And it gave us the highly underrated “Dance” mini)

Invasion wasn’t perfect but there were some great ideas there and I have to love it for the Daily Planet’s “Earth to Invaders: Drop Dead!” headline in response to the demand that they surrender their super-heroes. You’d never see that in a Marvel book.

Sins of Youth is my favorite DC crossover. It’d be perfect if not for the annoying team of old heroes whose name I can’t recall (no, not the JSA).

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mygif

Millennium: Lance Henriksen doesn’t get the respect he deserves for series 1 and 2 of that show. ;-)

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@Beacon: No, according to Chris Claremont you wouldn’t see a headline at all, because aliens invading Australia isn’t important enough to rate front-page coverage. I generally don’t have much love for Claremont’s “funny” stories, but Uncanny X-Men #245 is pure and unmitigated love. :)

@Saidi: Was page 15 of the 5th issue the Joker’s bucket list? Because if so, I’m right there with you. :)

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mygif

Final Crisis’ conclusion is rather hard to follow, and intentionally so, Beacon. And it would have been better if Jim Starlin’s ridiculous New Gods mini hadn’t come before. But I couldn’t help but love Morrison’s Darkseid and his take on Anti-Life Equation, which it turns out essentially makes the whole planet clinically depressed.

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mygif

@ John Seavy : That’s the one!If anything Dixon is still a great Joker writer & the devil’s advocate ranks in mt top 3 best Joker stories

@ Beacon: I think it’s Old Justice…If you liked Final Crisis well good for you. I on the other hand DESPISE it, the JLU final episode is what it should have been with Uxas the man kicking ass , taking names & schooling Supes as the kid he represents for him, Instead we got an ecstasy hallucination & a LAME version of the anti-life equation & of course the great DS got sidelined for a story eating vampire… I did not get that part or the reason they did it…

@ PaulW; In one way , I agree with the fact that they should make their mind about who leads hell, BUT maYbe Hell is made out of hellish countries like Earth or with spheres etc… So who knows?
I disagree with Neron not being cool, If anything I said already he LOVES his job & joyfully accepts his task as it is. & when well written he is smooth & well spoken, You seem also to forget that he IS NOT a fallen angel, he is a true blood demon. The 2 others were angels & while they’re cool on their own right lack the qualities I listed for Neron: Lucifer is a quitter ( can I take his place as a summer job?) & first of the fallen really lacks smoothness, is thuggish & a bit too in your face & … crude, i find that rather disappointing in a hell lord .

PS :Is it me or does first of the fallen look like Sylvester Stallone when drawn by Steve Dillon ?

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Evil Midnight Lurker said on September 15th, 2011 at 1:14 am

The biggest problem with Millennium was Steve Englehart.

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@Saidi

Your list reminds me once again that the mid to late nineties had a long run of crossover events that were very well received indeed and that still retain great affection from fans many years and continuities later. Aside from being written well, I’d like to focus on structure for a bit while discussing WHY they worked so well.

It seems hard to conceive of these days, but Underworld Unleashed and DC1M were confined to a single month. Not a whole year. Not six months. ONE month. You got a new issue every week and that was that. The tie-ins were not necessary, but they were INTERESTING. Aquaman’s DC1M issue has him fighting aliens in Neptunes oceans in the far future. That is a decent hook for twenty-five pages of Aquaman being awesome!

If you loved the crossover, you could buy all the ancillary titles and DC got money and maybe you found another book you liked. If you didn’t, you put up with it for one month in your normal pull list and that was it. If you only read the tentpole issues you got the entire story, and you maybe sought out ancillary issues if you just HAD to know what all those third-tier Flash villains who just got powers from Neron are up to.

I think this structure more than anything else except for the actual writing contributes to their longevity and popularity. Suppose you think Final Crisis is actually super awesome. You couldn’t just point someone at it. The main trade is massively incoherent. You would probably have to research a very long list of comics published over an entire year and assemble them in precise order for it to make sense. Ditto Infinite Crisis. God help you if you want to point someone at the ongoing ‘Green Lanterns in everything’ mess.

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mygif

My only real problem with Final Crisis is marketing and editorial. FC is about – among other things – the deaths of the New Gods but the comics called “Death of the New Gods” and “Countdown to Final Crisis” not only fail to enhance the story but actually hinder it while unrelated Grant Morrison stories from years before (Seven Soldiers of Victory especially) are required reading. FC also made a lot of huge sweeping changes that were largely ignored by others and hand waved away as things that happened to alternate reality versions of the characters.

I thought the actual story was great and the lack of decompression was refreshing though I understand your mileage may vary.

Also I’m baffled by claims that this series neutered Darkseid. He enslaved the Earth, slaughtered the New Gods, and neutralized two of the big three. He only lost because one of the smartest beings who will ever live built a device that allowed Superman (who was amped-up by OTHER Supermen) to channel his pure goodness through song … or something. Okay, I will admit that the ending was hard to follow but it was a fun ride and that’s more than I can say for any of the other recent crossovers with “Crisis” in the title.

Plus Tawky Tawny got to become king of the Tiger Men and I challenge you to find a more awesome homage to old-school comic silliness.

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mygif

No love for Legends? Sure it was a plot staight out of 70s Marvel (the people don’t like superheroes!) but it had a clear conflict, a clear villain, no 4th wall breaking continuity shennanigans, and lots of scenes of heroes being awesome.

Oh and John Byrne art!

My ranking of DC crossovers would be (of the ones I read) would be something like:

THE GREAT
DC One Million
Janis Directive (yeah not line-wide but just plain great, why isn’t it reprinted?)
Legends
Crisis on Infinite Earths (probably I’d call it OK to bad if I reread it now but darn it was impressive)
Invasion
Batman Cataclysm/No Man’s Land

THE OK
Armeggdon 2001 (some cute crossovers in there)
Infinite Crisis (bordering on bad)

THE BAD
Millennium
Genesis
War of the Gods
Zero Hour

My feeling is these things can work if you’re telling a story with a clear conflict. Once you get into naval-gazing continuity stuff they fall apart.

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mygif

The tie-ins [for DC1M] were not necessary, but they were INTERESTING.

I’ve tried reading just the “core” One Million story, and it’s very confusing. Every issue, a bunch of stuff has happened in the tie-ins.

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philippos42 said on September 29th, 2011 at 6:09 am

I don’t think I can forgive Millennium for killing off Helga Jace and Karin Grace.

Though one of those was a series ending, and the other was Ostrander.

Also, that period of Englehart/Staton/Farmer Green Lantern was both creepy & daft in general. I think I had given up on Green Lantern Corps before Millenium started, and was predisposed to hate it, both as yet another retcon-happy crossover and as Englehart continuing from the ill-conceived GLC revamp of the time.

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