Events are the bread and butter of the comic book industry, and all of the big publishers and titles get in on the hype and extra monthly books that go with. 2014 had some great events from not only the usual suspects DC and Marvel, but also some smaller presses that pushed the envelope to get some buzz and find some success. We’re running down the very best of comic book 2014 events in our Year in Review series, and the list has just as many surprises as it does sure things. Any way you slice it, it was a great year for comic book events, but I narrowed it down to my top 10.
10. The Walking Dead: All Out War
This extra long story arc may not seem very eventful to some, but readers of TWD knew there was something special happening here, and they were right. Pretty much everything for the last year and a half culminated into this event, and while it may have started in the end of 2013, between January and April of 2014 The Walking Dead dropped twice a month, which is breakneck speed for not only the title but for ANY indy publisher book. And by the end, the status quo was completely different. It’s got all the ingredients that make for an event, so it makes the list.
9. Original Sin
Sure The Watcher died, but that really was only the beginning of a stream of goings-on that have changed the Marvel U forever…or at least until the next event. Nick Fury’s secrets upon secrets, Dum Dum Dugan the LMD, and Thor having both a sister and an unworthiness that brought about one of the biggest changes to the character in decades were all high points, but I found myself wanting more that I just didn’t get.
Sub-line-wide events are nothing new to DC, and just this year alone saw the Superman Doomed event, the Gothtopia Bat-family event, and the best DC sub-line event, Green Lantern Godhead. It’s the Corps meets Jack Kirby’s New Gods and nothing will ever be the same. Spinning through each GL-family book from October to December; including Green Lantern, GL Corps, Infinity Man & The Forever People, GL: New Guardians, Red Lanterns, and Sinestro; for an epic 20 issue, 3 act, mega-event! The GL’s just can’t catch a break.
7. Death of Wolverine
It was bound to happen eventually. The mutant with a healing factor that made him seemingly immortal, Wolverine, died. And he did so in epic fashion with Steve McNiven at his artistic best. There was a huge build up to this event that spanned years, and the aftermath looks like it’s going to go on even longer. It could be well into 2016 before we see this come to an end…and then Wolverine can come back in 2017. That’s where I’m putting my money, anyways.
6. X-Files Conspiracy
From IDW came an early 2014 crossover event that was pretty massive in scope when you really think about it. The publisher took 5 of their biggest licensed properties and brought them all together for X-Files: Conspiracy. The plot was pretty straight-forward: The X-Files team investigates peculiar things across the globe, only the things they look into in this event were ghost-hunters working out of New York, mutant reptiles living in the sewers, alien robots that can change into vehicles, and a supernatural superhero with a strong connection to a black bird. Ghostbusters, TMNT, Transformers, and The Crow. Yes, 5 of the biggest geek franchises of all time crossed over. It was a really fun and creative crossover, but I wish more people would have read it.
While it may have only been a 3-part Detective Comics story arc, Gothtopia was an arc in name only, because issues #27 and #28 of most of the Bat-family of books tied into the event. Gothtopia was one part Elseworlds, one part acid trip, and all kinds of fun. The dark, shit hole that is Gotham City replaced by a Shining City of Sun and Steel wasn’t the only thing turned on its head, and the whole damned Bat-family pulled a switcheroo. The event was fun because as cool as the changes to everything were, figuring out just how the hell it happened was just as big a part of the mystery. It IS Detective Comics after all.
4. The Multiversity
Imagine that you ask 1000+ different people to write 1000+ different stories with no rules or limitations on the sequence of events whatever stories they device entail. Now, imagine a man that takes those 1000+ stories and puts them all into a context that not only makes sense, but is delivered with such mastery and beauty that one could assume that the writer has some sort of psychic prediction or mind-control. The writer is, of course, Grant Morrison, and the event is The Multiversity. Taking 52 Earths and decades worth of backstory and compiling it all in to one limited series can only be called an event. And DC looks to be using this event as a springboard to so much more. Time will tell, but this could go down as the singular defining event in DC’s long and storied history. We’ll see.
3. DC’s Weeklies
Although some people may not consider them events at all, others would consider them the epitome of the exercise. But for me weekly books certainly fit into the event category, and DC threw three weeklies at readers in 2014. While Batman Eternal was certainly the best of the trinity, Futures End has had strong moments, and Worlds End has barely even begun if the crossover rumors are true, each DC weekly this year had something for just about every kind of post-New 52 DC comic book reader.
Every Spider-Man Ever! In order to defeat Morlun, it’s going to take more than a single Spider-Man, it’s going to take every Spider-Man from every universe in the Marvel Multiverse. It’s been an extravaganza of Spidey; a wonderment of Webheads; and it’s not done yet. Multiversal stories like this usually don’t ring my bell, but there’s something about Spider-Man that just makes this event work, and I can’t wait to see what’s what by the end of it all.
1. Time Runs Out
Out of all of the events in 2014, Jonathan Hickman’s Avengers/New Avengers multiversal incursion storyline has been such a riveting and creative tapestry of crazy, weird, and compelling doom layered upon doom layered up doom. Although it looks like things may not even be at their full speed yet, Time Runs Out is a monumental example of the potential of the comic medium to tell stories that simply could not be told in any other format. And that’s what a true comic book event should do.