The balancing act of publishing core ongoing series and sales-spiking crossover events in the proper ratio is one most Marvel Comics Editors-in-Chief have had to walk. And with CB Cebulski now firmly in the role, the E-i-C shared with CBR how he sees what is or isn't an event from the recent War of the Realms to the just-launched Absolute Carnage and onto publishing specials like the incoming Amazing Spider-Man: Full Circle.
"Do we have too many events?" is a question that everybody in editorial has to ask themselves at some point, but for Cebulski it's been a matter of only launching one kind of massive event.
"It all boils down to what the definition of an event is," Cebulki told CBR. "For so many people, the term gets thrown around rather liberally when there's certain things that are happening that I don't feel are events. They're kind of like publishing initiatives or 'fifth week events' so to speak, even though the term is use there. [Those are] smaller, self-contained things that might not have a larger effect on the line."
"An event, for me, is a book that crosses over into almost every title with tie-ins or sub-miniseries that touches every character. So War of the Realms WAS the event that is the big event for this year," Cebulski explained, noting Marvel's newest stand alone epic doesn't quite fit that definition.
"Absolute Carnage I see more as a Spider-Man event. It's something very specific to Carnage, to Venom, to Spidey, to a lot of the characters that have gone through those books – from you know, McFarlane to Larson's and Michelinie to everybody – that's going to touch on all those different eras. And it will bring in Captain America and a lot of the other heroes who have been tied into that. But each point that's going to bring those characters in is specifically tied to Carnage or Venom or the symbiote in some way. So in my mind, this isn't so much a line-wide event as more of a Spider-Man initiative."
Speaking of Spider-Man initiatives, Marvel isn't past elevating the status of stand-alone series that have the right pedigree, as they plan the all-star jam book Amazing Spider-Man: Full Circle. "What this is is a round robin book," Cebulski said. "It started with [Jonathan] Hickman where Hickman wrote 10 pages of script, and then left the last page on a cliffhanger and sent the script to Nick Spencer. And he had to write the next 10 pages. He wrote the next 10 pages taking it wherever he wanted to, left it on a cliffhanger and sent it to Kelly Thompson. Kelly Thompson wrote her 10 pages, sent it over to Jason Aaron and so on and so forth. So the eight writers received script from the previous writer not knowing anything of the story, and then had to pick it up and leave it into place making it as easy or as difficult as possible for the writer who's following them up."
Current Amazing Spider-Man writer Nick Spencer will wrap up the proceedings and make them fit into the ongoing Spidey status quo. Or, as Cebulski put it, "He's got to to solve the problem. I read the first four chapters, and they're absolutely great. After the first chapter – because you know how Hickman is, and he doesn't want to make it easy for anybody. Where he takes the characters and leaves them is nuts, but it picks up and reads very nicely."