The trilogy of Infinity Something crossovers (Gauntlet, War, and Crusade) and the rest of the Events of the 1990's employ "crossover tactics" seen in Marvel events through the present. Say "hello" and at once (in many ways) "good riddance" to the 90's!
- Crossovers Epic Event: Part 5 of 8
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- Cards Against Humanity: all-powerful despots we can only stop if they, ultimately, are the engineers of their own undoing.
Series Episode Checklist
- The Series Thus Far
- Prelude - All-New Secret Age of Infinity Crossover War CrisisPoint Convergence
- 1 - Your World is Going to be Destroyed! (DC pt1)
- 2 - End of the Universe (DC pt2)
- 2.5 - A Game for Children (Non-Canonical Trivia Game tie-in)
- 3 - Heroes Punching Each Other (Marvel pt1)
- 4 - The Experience Has Been Consummated! (Marvel pt2)
- 5 - Chain Mail and a Bomber Jacket (Marvel pt3)
- Yet to Come
- 6 - Doctor Strange Explains It All (Marvel pt4)
- 7 - Beyond Continuity Porn (Marvel pt5)
- 8 - This Hero Must Die! (Marvel pt6)
- Marvel NOW! tie-in: Giant Size ORIGINS 9: Illusion of Beginning/Middle/End
- Marvel NOW! tie-in: Giant Size ORIGINS 10: Heavy Metal Album Cover
- Epilogue - Infinite Aftermath: Consequences
Almost every single issue in this chapter of our Crossovers Crossover is available on Marvel Unlimited. We're working on an affiliate URL so that your signups can support the show directly.
The Thanos Quest (September/October 1990)
The key lead-in to Infinity Gauntlet, where Thanos finally does (and doesn't) do what he feels he has to (in true fedora-wearing, MRA-style), forcing a woman to do and be what he wants.
- out of print, but both parts are on Unlimited, and it's included in the Infinity Gauntlet Omnibus
Infinity Gauntlet (July-December 1991)
A landmark event, where Marvel establishes the modern style of lead-ins, event-concurrent tie-ins, and "epilogue" tie-ins. At the end of the footnotes, we've listed every issue that are part of the event as presented in the Omnibus. Not all carry the "top right corner triangle" just yet, as they do consistently from Infinity War forward, but they're all officially part of the "Complete Event".
- The whole event, including all tie-ins, is on Unlimited; however, the Event listing only includes the core series issues. This is a great example of an instance where I wish they'd allow user-created and up-voted "Reading Order" playlists.
- The main series TPB includes only Infinity Gauntlet #1-6
- The Aftermath TPB covers the post-event epilogue and the first six issues of the Warlock and the Infinity Watch series that led toward Infinity War the next year
- The hardcover Omnibus really includes everything: all the tie-ins from all phases (including the OOP Thanos Quest 2-parter) from the lead-up, to during the core series, to the aftermath. The cost of the core event TPB and the OOP Thanos Quest issues alone make it silly for a collector wanting to physically own more than IG #1-6 to get anything other than this if they have to have it on their shelf.
- Silver Surfer #34-38
The Thanos Quest #1-2
- Silver Surfer #44-45
- Cloak and Dagger #18
- Silver Surfer #46-50
- Quasar #24
- Main Event
- Infinity Gauntlet #1
- Sleepwalker #6
- Quasar #26-27
- Doctor Strange, Sorcerer Supreme (Vol. 3) #31
- The Incredible Hulk #383
- Silver Surfer #51-52
- Infinity Gauntlet #2
- Spider-Man #17
- Doctor Strange, Sorcerer Supreme (Vol. 3) #32
- Silver Surfer #53-54
- Infinity Gauntlet #3
- Doctor Strange, Sorcerer Supreme (Vol. 3) #33
- Silver Surfer #55-56
- Infinity Gauntlet #4
- Doctor Strange, Sorcerer Supreme (Vol. 3) #34
- The Incredible Hulk #384
- Doctor Strange, Sorcerer Supreme (Vol. 3) #35
- Silver Surfer #57-59
- Infinity Gauntlet #5
- Infinity Gauntlet $6
- The Incredible Hulk #385
- Sleepwalker #7
- Silver Surfer #60
- Doctor Strange, Sorcerer Supreme #36
- Warlock and the Infinity Watch #1 (the Aftermath TPB contains the first six issues of this series)
Operation: Galactic Storm (March-May 1992)
The Avengers make the terrible decision to get into the middle of a war between the Kree and Shi'ar, resulting in a super-annoying 19-part crossover event spread across at least 7 separate Avengers family series, cluttering up the Avengers family titles for almost all of the otherwise "time off" between the Infinity Gauntlet and Infinity War events.
- TPB v1 and v2 are both OOP, the whole thing is probably on Unlimited
- named after the First Iraq War operation code-named Desert Storm...wonder why? Avengers getting into the middle of a conflict outside their jurisdiction...no clue
- an "oh yeah! that happened, didn't it?" sort of event, the kind we realize that we'd forgotten about while already two crossovers later in the timeline
Infinity War (June-Novenber 1992)
Adam Warlock decides that the Infinity Gauntlet is too powerful to trust to someone with the capacity to do wrong, and decides to split himself into his Good and Evil sides, resulting in the return of The Magus, or "Evil, Purple-Skinned Future Adam Warlock with an Afro (Evolved Here Into a Prescient Hipster Topknot)". Doppelgängers of all the heroes face off with them, with the intent of replacing them. As a result, this is kind of a "Skrull Event with No Skrulls".
- TPB, no Omnibus
- as a kid, this crossover is how Moisés learned the word "doppelgänger"
- this leads directly into the really lackluster, gold-holofoil-covered...
Infinity Crusade (June-November 1993)
Adam Warlock's "good side", an entity called The Goddess, kidnaps and brainwashes a bunch of heroes, sending them to a planet called Paradise Omega. There, she commits the heinous act of committing a really hamfisted religious allegory to a multi-comic series.
Age of Apocalypse (1995-1996)
Professor X's son David (Legion) tries to change history by going back in time to kill Magneto. He accidentally ends up causing Charles Xavier's death, creating an alternate timeline where everything gets crazy and "X-treme" in true 90's style, with Magneto leading the X-Men and Apocalypse running the world. Welcome to the Age of Apocalypse (hereafter abbreviated "AoA"), where all the X-books are cancelled and replaced by new AoA-universe titles Factor-X, X-Men Alpha, Generation NeXt, and..."X-Calibre", among others. Oh yeah: everyone gets fabulous (and not-so-fabulous) new clothes and eyepatches and ponytails and scars and bandoleers and pouches.
- Collected printed editions of this are kind of crazy-making. The upside is that the whole main event and part of the Lead-In (Legion Quest) are on Unlimited. We're breaking them down for your informational amusement:
- The Omnibus is OOP and stupid expensive. The Omnibus Companion is not, but is kinda...underwhelming without the Omnibus, you know?
- Age of Apocalypse: The Complete Epic TPBs (v1/v2/v3/v4), printed in 2006, completely omit the lead-in Legion Quest that is pretty essential to the thing making sense. They finally reprinted that as Age of Apocalypse: Prelude...five years later in 2011. For whatever reason, volume 3 of this is OOP and stupid-expensive at scalper rates.
- August 2015 sees the publication of X-Men: Age of Apocalypse: Volume 1: Alpha, which collects the Prelude as well as first issues of the "AoA"-ified new series that replaced the X-Men line
- October 2015 sees the publication of X-Men: Age of Apocalypse: Volume 2, whose contents are not yet known.
- In the mid-aughts, Rick Remender-written Uncanny X-Force spun out a new, limited-run AoA series written by David Lapham, collected in two TPBs (v1/v2).
- AoA characters held over after the event ended: Dark Beast, Blink, AoA Nightcrawler, X-Man
- another "toy seller" event, where Toy Biz re-released every single X-Men family character with a "all-new, all-different" look
- Steve Epting's first Marvel work appeared in 1991 issues of Avengers. John hated the look of his Factor-X at the time, but has quite a different opinion of him now.
The Onslaught Saga (May 1996-April 1997)
Due to Professor X psychically "lobotomizing" Magneto a while before, a dark, powerful part of Magneto's psyche got stuck in a back corner of Xavier's mind. That persona takes over Xavier's mind and his "Omega-level" powers to become a massive threat to the entire Marvel universe as a giant, 'roided-out, hulking Super Shredder-looking monster that can only be stopped by the character-rebooting sacrifice of major characters in need of a big overhaul. What's the opposite of "ironic"? "Fitting"? Yes, this is a fitting death knell for much of what the 90's wrought, clad in holofoil and lenticular cards.
- "TPB Breakdown"
- There's an X-Men/Avengers: Onslaught Omnibus due in July 2015, which you'll be able to get for around $100 discounted.
- X-Men: The Complete Onslaught Epic TPBs (v1/v2/v3) will run you around $50 total at this point, and from a cursory look, contain almost everything in the Omnibus with the exception of...
- X-Men: The Road to Onslaught (v1/v2/v3) contains Lead-In issues, and were released much more recently, from early 2014 to early 2015. Onslaught is a mostly-unseen force, but they're part of the actual complete "epic", for the completionists among us. None of their contents are in either the Omnibus nor the 2007-vintage "Complete Epic" TPBs.
- Preceding these reprints, in 2010, came X-Men: Prelude to Onslaught, whose contents are all in the upcoming Omnibus, but which includes only one issue also found in that three-volume Road to Onslaught spread.
- So...technically, you can spend around $70 or so to get everything that's in the July 2015 Omnibus right now spread over four TPBs.
Heroes Reborn (November 1996-November 1997)
Jim Lee and Rob Liefeld are brought back to Marvel save the Fantastic Four + Iron Man (Lee) as well as Captain America + Avengers (Liefeld). All the characters are whisked away off to a pocket universe rather than actually killed in an effort to stop Onslaught.
- TPBs all contain Vol.2 issues #1-12 of all series:
- Captain America by Liefeld/Dixon/Robinson+Liefeld/Phillips/Bennett/Rio
- Avengers by Liefeld/Loeb+Liefeld/Valentino/Simonson/Churchill/Ryan/Winn/Yaep
- Liefeld's contract ended six issues in on each, with their production shifted over to Wildstorm under Jim Lee's direction
- Fantastic Four by Lee/Choi+Lee/Booth/Lim
- Iron Man by Lee/Lobdell/Loeb+Lee/Portacio/Benes/Benjamin/...and fifteen others
- in retrospect, the protruding wing/thruster things on his back make him look like a miniature Pacific Rim Jaeger
- not the 13th issues that crossed all series over with the Wildstorm Universe, which as a group make up "World War Three"
Heroes Reborn: The Return (December 1997)
Often referred to as simply "Heroes Return", this four-issue miniseries set the stage to re-relaunch the quartet of major series.
- As we talk out into discovering, Kurt Busiek deserves more credit than he gets for mid-90's/early-00's writing at Marvel, especially his Marvel's-ass-saving runs on "Re-Relaunched" Iron Man (2 years) and "Re-Relaunched" Avengers (~5 years). Avengers Forever is a great example, too. There was a time when his Thunderbolts (~3 year run) series was more popular than Avengers by a longshot. All of the above are on Unlimited.
- Marvels (1996), written by Busiek, is still a landmark, no-pre-requisite-needed superhero miniseries, too (Moisés is appearing on The Incomparable this weekend to talk about it and Mark Waid/Alex Ross' Kingdom Come). This makes me think we should probably do a "Volume 1" Creator Spotlight on him this year.
- Quote us: Kurt Busiek helped save Marvel's creative soul, period.
- In November of 1998, a similar-in-approach (hand creative direction of four titles..this time not "A"-level characters...to outside editorial) experiment had radically different, company-changing effect with the amazing breakaway success of Marvel Knights, a line that brought Moisés back into reading Marvel comics.
ON THE NEXT EPISODE OF GIANT SIZE
- Contest of Champions II, written by Chris Claremont: Nothing Like the first Contest of Champions!
- Busiek writes a crossover: Maximum Security!
- Avengers get Disassembled!
- More events that use the word War in the title!
- As much of the 2000's as we can cover!
- Will our Crossovers Crossover Epic finally, mercifully end at long last???
- (SPOILER: NOPE!)