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The Avengers: The Crossing Omnibus (Review/Retrospective)

“One of the nineties’ most notorious narratives!”

– well, the back cover wasn’t lying

The Crossing has become a watch-word for nineties excesses. Essentially a gigantic crossover between The Avengers and the various Iron Man books (including War Machine and Force Works), it is renowned for its clumsy editorial mandate: the event was designed to replaced Tony Stark with a younger version of himself. Fans have come to reflect on The Crossing as one of the most awful comic book storylines ever concocted, an example of the mess that Marvel had made of their line of books during a decade not exactly renowned for its taste.

I know it’s fashionable to trash The Crossing, and I know that it is every bit as ridiculously nineties and forced as its editorial mandate would suggest, but I can’t help but think there are some nice ideas to be found here, if one wades in deep enough into the crap. Don’t get me wrong, there’s not nearly enough to justify the tangled bloated mess of a plot, and I’m not going to argue the consensus is wrong, but I do think the massive catastrophic failure of The Crossing was one of execution, rather than one of ideas.

Shockingly bad?

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X-Men: Inferno – Avengers (Review/Retrospective)

With our month looking at Avengers comics officially over, we thought it might be fun to dig into that other iconic Marvel property, the X-Men. Join us for a month of X-Men related reviews and discussion.

This weekend, we’re taking a look at one or two of the smaller Inferno crossovers. These issues are collected in the crossovers companion book.

In many ways, Chris Claremont’s Inferno can be read as something of a practice run for John Byrne’s Acts of Vengeance. Both were massive crossovers that spread across a significant portion of Marvel’s publishing line, demanding writers to tie their stories in to these big and over-arching events. While Inferno‘s reach was arguably more modest than that of Acts of Vengeance, it seemed that the demonic invasion of New York could not be contained to the X-Men books, and ended up impacting titles as diverse as The Fantastic Four and Daredevil. Walt Simonson’s Avengers tied into Inferno as well, making an interesting attempt to launch a new team against the backdrop of an X-Men event.

Meet the new team…

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