From time to time Outright Geekery brings you a slanted and biased opinion on some trivially specific topic of geekery. We call it Outright Geekery’s Top o’ the Lot.
Nothing changes the status quo of a comic book franchise quicker than a universe-spanning, all-inclusive mega crossover/event. And no one pulls off an event quite like the X-Men! Big-time action, big-time storytelling, and big-time death are always on the menu when the X-Verse gets its event swerve on, and with so much fodder to choose from, OG takes a three-clawed stab at the best of what Marvel’s X-Events/Crossovers have had to offer. So, take a deep breath, get ready for a trip to an alternate universe, and wait for the body count to rise, with Outright Geekery’s Top o’ the Lot: X-Men Crossovers/Events
Honorable Mention: Schism
Schism barely gets a mention, not because of what it was, but because of what it birthed. We got an awesome island Utopia created from Asteroid M, a school run by Wolverine, the Phoenix Five, Xavier’s death, and, finally, the All-New X-Men, New Xavier School, and, OMG, everything else! Just like Spidey’s Brand New Day was a struggle to enjoy, but the payoff was worth it, so we have Schism. There’s no way Cyclops beats Wolverine, anyways! I mean, come on! Samurai with healing versus athletic laser beams? I’ll never be convinced otherwise! Next?
5: Fall of the Mutants
Unlike most crossovers, Fall of the Mutants did not truly tell an intertwining story, rather, it told three different stories, all with an overarching tone of Mutant bigotry. Coming off of the Days of Future Past story arc, and the impending Mutant Registration Act, the entire idea just felt right, made for some very interesting, if not downright weird, storytelling, and saw a few mutants bite the dust in oh so heroic ways. It may not have lived up to the overall hype of the event, but the idea behind the whole thing was pretty interesting, and laid the groundwork for events to follow. And that cover is so very sweet! Nostalgic enough for ya? I can do better!
4: Mutant Massacre
“Get off my lawn!” The granddaddy of them all, 1986’s Mutant Massacre ran through X-Men and X-Factor, and also had tie-ins with Daredevil, New Mutants and Power Pack. The huge success in sales set the trend of Marvel’s running X-Events annually! The Marauders and the Hellfire Club show up, Angel is freaking crucified, and hundreds of Morlocks bite the dust! It was epic! The aftermath wasn’t too shabby either as Colossus was left paralyzed for a period, and Nightcrawler went into a coma for at least five minutes. Being the first always gets you something, and although I may hear arguments against that reasoning, Mutant Massacre makes it into the Lot for being the trendsetter. We wouldn’t have this Lot without you!
3: Messiah CompleX
Spinning out of the events of a different, TBA X-Event, Messiah CompleX was the first of a three-part series of crossovers/events, namely Messiah War and Second Coming, but that was only the beginning of the greatness. The first new mutant in years is discovered in remote Alaska, Cyclops forms X-Force, and Layla Miller and Jamie Madrox are flung to the future. While this may not sound like much, any X-Fan understands how important it truly was. Hope was that new mutant; Remender’s run of X-Force and his current storyline in Uncanny Avengers start here; and Layla and Jaimie! They simply aren’t Layla and Jaimie without this event. It’s what an X-Event is supposed to do: change it all, set it up, then knock it down! Well, not all events. Some just change the game forever.
2: Age of Apocalypse
This was the big one for Marvel in the 1990’s. The Age of Apocalypse crossover actually took over the entire Marvel U for a time after Professor X’s son Legion travels back in time to kill Magneto, screws the whole thing up by traveling to the wrong date AND killing Xavier. What a douche? But, whoa, the events that followed! Magneto forms the X-Men, sure, but the super-mutant tyrant Apocalypse sets his plans of world domination into action a bit sooner, and the entire Marvel Universe is changed forever. Well, not really. Age of Apocalypse was later retconned to be the alternate Earth-259, and not the 616 proper, but it’s that, and that alone, that keeps it from the Top spot o’ the Lot. Epic universe-wide changes, cool twists on characters, surprise deaths, AND making the whole thing stick? You need the Top o’ this Lot for that!
1: House of M
Take one part batshit crazy Scarlet Witch, one part good intentioned Quicksilver, two parts brainwashed Professor X, sprinkle in some Bendis, reshape the entire Marvel Universe a couple of times, serve hot with mashed potatoes. Mutant Decimation follows Mutant Utopia; fallout that resonates to this very day; poor, poor Hawkeye; and, hey look, there’s Layla Miller! There’s way too much goodness in this event to cover here, but worth noting is this event marks Bendis’ Decade of Events, and without House of M the events that follow simply don’t work. And what followed? Event, after event, after event; suggesting that the current event crazy trend begins with the X-Men. This only adds to the importance of X-Events as a whole, and really stresses how significant House of M is to Marvel’s X-Verse. All that, and the fact that I simply adore it (hey, it’s slanted and biased for a reason), puts House of M at the very tippy Top o’ the Lot this week.
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