Wicked review, my favorite part was the bit about the
1. A Manufactured Event
Avengers vs. X-Men was the big Marvel Event this year. It has become standard practice to have large, multi-book crossover events every year to drive sales, whether they come together naturally or have to be forced into creation. Many actions and events are shoe-horned into place for the sake of creating the "means to an end" that is predetermined and will lead the next arc of stories, which will lead to the next event. This gives the reader the feeling that the entire comic book line is built around these events, resulting in more editorial mandates and less quality storytelling. The corporate overlords at Marvel don't understand that readers can tell the difference between a writer creating an amazing story that evolves organically into something bigger and a group of suits deciding on an artificially "shocking" which they can tout at comic cons and the Jimmy Kimmel show.
We see this in Hollywood all the time: a gifted director creates something great and studios try to break that creation down into a formula to recreate it. The success of Sin City brought us The Spirit. The success of Nolan's Batman trilogy has pushed the upcoming Superman movie, Man of Steel, toward a darker and more realistic take. It works often enough to make a quick buck and, therefore, is viewed as a viable marketing strategy, but it's not the way to make a great story.
Technically one could say that all stories are "manufactured," and that is semantically true, but I would rather have a writer "manufacture" the story than a group of editors or stockholders. Watchmen came to us because of Moore and Gibbons, not because a group of editors at DC got together and plotted the story out for the purpose of creating some massive hit, and then assigned their employed talent to execute a concept they may not fully believe in. After all, artists have visions, not committees.
This is the root of all evil in corporate sponsored storytelling endeavours. The source of literary inbreeding that Moore talked about recently at his latest Con appearance.