“Only two things are infinite, the universe and human stupidity, and I’m not sure about the former.”
If Albert Einstein were alive in today’s world and an avid reader of comicbooks—he may have very well been if it weren’t for the Manhattan Project devouring nearly all of his downtime—there is no doubt in my mind that he would have made an addendum to that statement, being sure to include Marvel’s propensity for releasing a new company-wide crossover event that kicks off in the spring of every new year since 2005.
Back When the waning Bronze Age was close to ushering in the arrival of this generation’s Modern Age of Comics, Marvel had released its first crossover in the form of 1982’s Contest of Champions, only to be followed—albeit sporadically—by the likes of Secret Wars (a promotional vehicle for the titular line of action figures) and The Infinity Gauntlet among others. Due to the infrequency of their respective releases, the concept of an eclectic who’s who of the Marvel Universe uniting against a common foe was novel and a real treat for readers, with the Marvel of today vying to capitalize on this nostalgic sense of fan fervor being a forgone conclusion. Though there are some detracting purists that aren’t coy to say otherwise, House of M and Civil War were momentous as the underlying circumstances behind the crossovers gave them plausible reasons for occurring and weren’t done for the sake of doing so. Additionally, they injected the then languid status quo with a sorely needed redefinition that reverberates even today.