You know how companywide crossovers are basically really lame, as far as good stories go? While true, an interesting side effect of these lame companywide crossovers is the fact that they often result in some really good SPIN-OFFs. A remarkably high number, which was broguht to my attention when I asked folks at Snark Free Waters to name their favorite spin-off from a companywide crossover I had totally blanked out on all the great series that came from a mostly lackluster selection of titles.
Starting with tbe big daddy, Crisis on Infinite Earths, we got George Perez’s Wonder Woman, which was good stuff.
Batman Year One also came out of Crisis.
Legends, while a fairly lackluster series on its own, resulted in TWO of the best series of the 1980s, Giffen and DeMatteis’ Justice League and John Ostrander’s Suicide Squad.
Ostrander strikes again with his good Manhunter series (co-written by the late, great Kim Yale), spun off from Millenium.
Invasion! was actually pretty good, and it gave us L.E.G.I.O.N., which was even better (Giffen with a scripter, sounds like a winner to me!). Invasion! also SORTA spun Justice League Europe off, which also was good for as long as Giffen was on the book (and also included probably THE best action storyline in the Giffen era).
Bloodlines was dreadful, but it gave us Hitman, which ruled.
Zero Hour was also dreadful, but it gave us Starman, which also ruled.
DC One Million, the standard bearer for companywide crossovers, gave us Hourman, which, so far, is the only book on this list NOT better than the crossover series it spun off from, but Hourman was still a good, underrated series by Tom Peyer.
Odd, isn’t it, that this is all DC, as Marvel really has done a poor job of utilizing its crossovers as spin-off devices (something they have addressed recently with House of M and Civil War). However, one notable example was Infinity Watch, which was a fun book for quite some time after spinning off from Infinity Gauntlet.
And of the recent books, X-Factor has been a good book, spinning off from House of M.
So, when you start to think about how lame companywide crossovers are, try to remember all the cool spin-offs we’ve gotten out of them, and maybe you’ll look a little more kindly upon them.
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