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Big Crossover #1 Review

Big Crossover #1 came out from Marvel this week, by Brian Michael Bendis and artist Leinil Francis Yu. It was a definite step-up from Bendis’ previous Big Crossover #1, back in 2005, and as far as Big Crossovers go, this was towards the higher end of them, as it was a competently executed comic, although not exactly much there in the realm of thrills and chills, although there were a couple of nice moments here and there.

I think that Mark Millar’s Big Crossover in 2006 really changed the way Big Crossovers are viewed, as that was unusual in the scope and actual magnitude of the changes made. This Big Crossover seems more in keeping with Big Crossovers of the past, like Greg Pak’s recent Big Crossover, and Steve Englehart and Keith Giffen’s Big Crossovers of the late 80s. You know, a lot of “big” things happen, but for the most part, it is a standard superhero yarn – a more expanded version of a story that you would see in the regular title of either a Justice League of America or an Avengers.

In fact, Big Crossover #1 basically reads like an over-sized issue of Avengers, featuring both teams of Avengers. I think that the Secret Avengers should have a yearly softball game with the Mighty Avengers. That’d be pretty awesome, I think.

One thing Millar’s Big Crossover did was that it made it so that readers are now expecting at least One Big Shock in every Big Crossover issue.

Bendis mixed it up a little bit by giving us Two Big Shocks, one of which was intriguing, the other was a bit disappointing.

The first involved the possible return of a number of “missing” heroes from the 1970s, which I am certain will lead to some interesting exchanges in later issues. “Who’s the real ____?”

The Second Big Shock, though, was kinda silly, as Big Crossover is ABOUT shapeshifting aliens (or as Chris Claremont would have a character call them “shapestealers!”) invading Earth, right? So how can it be any much of a shock to have Characters X, Y and Z turn out to be Skrulls?


So it could have been, like, Spider-Man, or whoever, revealed as a Skrull, and it really would not be much of a shock, as that is what the comic is all about. I think Bendis, however, chose the character he did because he felt it WOULD have a much larger effect, and I honestly do appreciate his thinking, as it is fairly clever. Then again, it’s actually the SECOND time that a writer has done precisely what Bendis is doing here – suggesting that perhaps certain past behavior by a character was mitigated/explained by outside circumstances. The same idea was introduced during, of all things, The Crossing.

But while 1/2 of Two Big Shocks involves an intriguing replacement, you really can’t be too shocked by the Two Minor Shocks, which involve characters who could have been replaced at any point, and no one would particularly care (although one of them would explain away an odd Way decision in Wolverine Origins, which is always nice).

The bits with how they took down Central Character #1 was a bit annoying, though, as this is the second time recently that Bendis basically used the same plot from his own comic – Ultron took control of Central Character #1? So do the Skrulls! Heck, in Hercules, Amadeus Cho was just doing the same stuff as the Skrulls do in this issue, and he didn’t need to be undercover for years to do it.

In any event, Big Crossover #1 also set-up a number of interesting Tie-In Books, especially the Fantastic Four one, which should be a lot of fun.

Yu’s art, inked by Mark Morales rather than going inker-less, was impressive. And I did appreciate the mystery of the whole “He loves you” thing.

So this was a decent Big Crossover issue, but not as good as the first issue of either Millar’s Big Crossover OR Pak’s Big Crossover (although I doubt Bendis will let the quality drop as low as Pak’s, or even Millar’s, later issues), so I’m optimistic that this will be a pretty enjoyable Big Crossover, just not one that is about much of anything beyond being, well, a Big Crossover.

Not Recommended.

Don MacPherson and Kevin Church (Kevin’s review is part of Comic Book Resources’ brand new review section! Tim Callahan is there, too!) also reviewed it


While I did enjoy it, I couldn’t help but feel like Bendis took the Cylons from the new Battlestar Galactica and made them Skulls down to the new types of Skulls (can’t be detected), Skulls-that-don’t-know-they-are-Skulls and new religious fanaticism that the Skulls are displaying.

I’m on the fence about this one. It has a lot of potential, but it also has the potential to be the classic “nothing makes any sense until the last issue” approach to events that’s become alarmingly popular.

Between Johns and Bendis, it seems the way to become a highly-paid comic book writer these days is to basically apply your employer’s IP to whatever’s happening in your DVD collection.

I wasn’t too fond of the Big Crossover #1. I’m hoping that the explanation of the first Big Shock involves time travel, as that allows both sets of heroes to be human rather than some weird combination of both being Skrulls and allows for the inevitable meta-commentary on the previous Big Crossovers to be more interesting than it would be from having Skrull versions of heroes. Of course, that would also set the stage for a future Big Crossover. Sigh.

Let me guess. This is how Captain America is going to wind up coming back.

[Caveat: I haven’t read any comics since about the time Captain America was killed, so I have no idea if this has actually happened, yet. It just seems the predictable way to bring him back.]

> (although one of them would explain away an odd Way decision in Wolverine Origins, which is always nice).

Nope – Big Crossover Online Prologue showed when Skrull A replaced Side Character #568, and it wasn’t then.

Thok: well, that’s how the SW6 Legion was ultimately resolved. So it’s a decent odds-on guess for the SW6 Avengers…

“I think that the Secret Avengers should have a yearly softball game with the Mighty Avengers. That’d be pretty awesome, I think.”

An annual baseball game where, at the end, one of the teams always tries to arrest the other?


Bendis has made no secret of the fact that he was inspired by the current incarnation of Battlestar Galactica when he was thinking up this Big Crossover so good spot.

It’s probably not the way Steve Rogers will return as when he died he would have reverted to Skrull form and it was shown in Captain America #26 that this was not the case.

I know waaay too much about this Big Crossover…..

Two things:

Was anyone else’s copy misprinted? I had about a dozen pages repeated, and the writing was so choppy I’m not sure if they were extra pages or if some were missing.

And am I the only one who remembers that DC did almost the exact same thing with their big crossover Millenium 20 years ago?

Andrew Collins

April 3, 2008 at 1:53 pm

Michael said:
“An annual baseball game where, at the end, one of the teams always tries to arrest the other?”

Yeah, but at the end of it all, Ms. Marvel will turn to Luke Cage and with a wink and a nudge say “Ahhh, just kidding, you guys get out of here, ya big lug” and everybody will have a good laugh and it wil lbe a rollicking good time…

But they don’t try to arrest them whenever they meet up, Michael. They grimace as the one teams scuttles away.

I was also severely underwhelmed by this issue. I can’t stand either of Bendis’s Avengers books, so I had planned to give this series a pass. I was convinced to give it a try, though, by Bendis’ recent comments on how the disater that was “House of M” taught him to really start with a bang in these crossover events and to keep the excitement high throughout. “Sounds like it could be a fun ride,” thought I. Unfortunately, I soon discovered that his idea of exctiement was 5 or 6 repetitive scenes culminating in a big reveal that a couple of lame supporting characters are skrulls. I can’t get excited ot interested in that whole 70’s crew either, because I don’t for one moment believe that anything long-lasting will come from it. I miss Civil War…

I just realized that I mentioned long-lasting developments and Civil War in back-to-back sentences. Yes, I do see the irony. :)

Doug Atkinson

April 3, 2008 at 2:42 pm

“And am I the only one who remembers that DC did almost the exact same thing with their big crossover Millenium 20 years ago?”

I keep hearing this, and I’m not convinced that the similarities are more than superficial. If SI’s story beats turn out to be “As part of a larger storyline, a member of the supporting cast in every single title that the writer can dispense with turns out to be a Skrull, is defeated in a single issue by the hero, and without much actual effect on the larger storyline,” then I’ll accept that it’s the same thing.

Random Stranger

April 3, 2008 at 3:20 pm

To avoid the arrest problem they could hold the softball game someplace where the arresting team has no legal authority. Like, say, the Savage Land.

Hey… wait a second…

At the risk of going against the consensus, I liked it. Of course, it carries Big Event Fatigue (the buzzword of ’08) with it, but on its own merits its a good solid comic.

Marvel’s treating it like the events of this book will be the Second Coming of Christ. Obviously, they won’t be.
Don’t believe the hype, and you’ll enjoy this fun book.

This review cracked me up, too.

[…] up is Brian Cronin of Comics Should Be Good, whose review of “Big Crossover #1″ attempts to genericize as many proper names as […]

Can we possibly get a spoiler reveal here? I’m not going to lie, I am very curious about who the skrulls are BUT don’t really want to spend my money on this and even then would rather wait for a completed story.

I too, kept thinking “Battlestar Galactica”, and I don’t even watch that show!
Deadpool does, though, so as soon as it’s over, I’m there.


April 3, 2008 at 11:08 pm

Of course, it carries Big Event Fatigue (the buzzword of ‘08) with it, but on its own merits its a good solid comic.

I like how both companies keep saying ‘we’re expecting event fatigue to hit in, but it hasn’t happened yet’.

They know they themselves are going to cause another death of crossovers, and presumably loss of readers, but they’re going to keep milking it anyway?
Comics, the new oil.

I was all for Big Crossovers back during Big Crossover, but ever since Big Crossover, Big Crossovers put me off. At least until Big Crossover. But that’s not for A Period Of Time now.

He even loves you, Brian Cronin.

An annual baseball game where, at the end, one of the teams always tries to arrest the other?

That reminds of that time when The Good Ol’ Boys played a softball game against The Blues Brothers and the Cops showed up. How they managed to crash-pile so many cars into a baseball diamond is beyond me!

More than Millennium, Secret Invasion is like the final issues of Rom the Spaceknight, where the Dire Wraiths (who are Skrull mutants) started attacking openly. Of course, the Wraiths never replaced anybody major, but they did attack SHIELD and even New York city.

Too bad Marvel can’t use Rom anymore, I’ll bet his Analyzer could reveal even the ‘undetectable’ Skrulls.

So say we all…


The First Big Shock has a bit of potential – if the storyline basically has every non-hero character in the MU saying “oh, so that’s why they’ve all been acting like idiots since Big Crossover Involving Disassembly” and accepting the new ones sight unseen, you can do quite a bit with that. Sort of a take on Return of Barry Allen, just bigger.

Of course, the depressing ending (can’t have a happy one in Marvel these days…) would be that the First Big Shock is a swerve and everything has happened the way it should have happened.

(And given that I don’t think f’n *Mephisto* would be unable to detect a Skrull, I think we’re safe assuming that’s the case. Wait, would that de-Skrull people? I’m so very confused….).

Remember how there was the page in Infinite Crisis where Alex Luthor explains how he was behind everything that went down on a cosmic scale, which leads to Power Girl saying something along the lines of “…so you’re the reason that Batman / Superman / Wonder Woman / the JLA have been acting so strangely?” And how he immediately shoots her down and assures her that the screwups were all their own doing? This is probably going to be just like that.

RE: BSG connections.

You know, it would be pretty sweet if Cylon model 12 turned out to be a Cylon that disguised itself as a shapeshifting Skrull. We’ll find out tonight at nine if this Big Crossover is actually way bigger than any of us could have imagined.

I thought it was all right as Big Crossover #1s go. I think Grant Morrison’s Big Crossover #1 will be cooler though.

$4 for fan-fic? Nope. Not for me.

I was warned a year-and-a-half ago that the 2008 crossover would be lame.

Wow, what a stupid review.

Wow, what a stupid review.

Wow, what an insipid comment.

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