So, with the hype behind the trainwreck in motion that is Secret Empire, I figured it was time to look at another event involving a hero gone bad, The Crossing. This is the work so all over the place Linkara won’t go near it. It’s considered an all time debacle. Is it really that bad though? Let me put it this way: Every reviewer should at some point have to review a work they can’t clearly describe at least once a year. This is mine.
Avengers: The Crossing (1995, Avengers 390-395, The Crossing , Timeslide; Iron Man (1968) 319-325; Force Works 16-22; War Machine 20-25; Age of Innocence: The Rebirth of Iron Man)
Plot: Kang the Conqueror, working with Mantis and Iron Man, tries to do something involving time. It’s like he’s trying to alter time for some reason. There are various characters from alternate dimensions. Several minor characters die. Wasp becomes a giant wasp woman. Tony Stark gets replaced with a teenage version. Look I’m trying here!
Background: This one somehow defeats me. The Clone Saga? There’s enough background for a book. The Death and Return of Superman? Of course everybody talks about how that one was crafted because they want credit. This? NOTHING. I can’t find any interviews or looks back. Not one scrap.
Story: Hahahahaha. I actually sat down and really tried to follow this one but to no avail. This is utter nonsense. The basic plot seems to be some variation on a standard Kang story with Kang trying to alter time to reign supreme. But man this is loaded up with things that make no sense. Why is Tony Stark evil? Kang. Why did Hank Pym have breakdowns? Kang. Who died? You’ve never heard of them. Why is Wasp a mutated thing? Because. Wha’s going on with Rhodey? Aliens. What’s the central plot? None. OK, I’ll give it this. I’m a sucker for a good Julia Carpenter thread and this had one.
Art: With a ton of artists, this had to be decent in places, right? Or maybe really awful? Eh. Most of this art is just bland. There’s lots of standard 90s EXTREME going on and it’s bleah. At times it was honestly kind of fun to look at just for novelty.
Does it stand alone? No. Honestly you need to have read all of the titles feeding into this for several years just to vaguely grasp what’s going on. So yeah, go read 70s/80s Avengers instead.
Importance and Impact: This book was scorched almost immediately. Onslaught/Heroes Reborn/Heroes Return took care of most of the book followed by Avengers Forever retconning the event all but out of existence with most characters revealed as impostors and Kang revealed as Immortus. Avengers Forever honestly feels like an attempt at doing the same kind of book as this except it’s one of my favorite books ever.
Final Verdict: Obviously this is a nonevent. It’s essentially unreadable and aside from an omnibus that feels like it was released just to get it out, it’s forgotten. So why look at it then? Well this brings me to Secret Empire. No matter what, it’ll have a plot. It’ll have characters. It will be an event. Marvel will eradicate it but it’ll be better than this. This is an insult of a book. It punishes the reader. I tried to give you a synopsis and I failed. I apologize. Rest assured, it’ll never be this bad again in comics.