Biggest/Best 90s event - "Knightfall," "Death of Superman," "The Clone Saga" or "Age of Apocalypse"

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Spider-Man

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This conversation came up between me and some co-workers this week and I thought it might make for a fun topic here. The question is pretty basic. Which major 90s event between the big two were the biggest and/or the best?

Would it be Batman: Knightfall, The Death and Return of Superman, Spider-Man: The Clone Saga or X-Men: Age of Apocalypse?

I know these aren't the best reviewed events and some of them do go on way too long or fizzle out but which one do you think had the biggest impact on the characters involved and on the industry? I am sure The Death of Superman will easily take this as it basically inspired the rest, but what if we removed sales and focused on the stories and their impact on the universes instead? We can talk sales and stuff but I think to make this more even we can only compare the four compared to how it affected their respective universes? The Death of Superman will likely still be considered the top but there might be good arguments to be made for the other.

This is supposed to be fun so please don't take any disagreements too seriously. So what does everyone here think was the biggest/best and how does it compare to the other ones? Also is there a big story not included here?
 
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wonderfly

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What, no "Maximum Carnage"? :)

Ah, you're bringing back the memories with this topic. I'm first and foremost a Marvel fan, so that's what most of my comments will reflect, but anyway...

This was the "Golden Age" of event comics. If "Avengers: Disassembled" and "House of M" in 2004/2005 (and Identity Crisis and Infinite Crisis at DC, in 2004/2005) started the modern era of "Event" storylines, then the 90's was the Golden Age. Back then, they didn't publish 20 different tie-in mini-series featuring peripheral characters. You didn't have a main mini-series (like "Civil War"), you just published the event in the comics themselves, bouncing back and forth from one issue to another (like the "Maximum Carnage" story-line, which was in "Spider-Man Unlimited", "Web of Spider-Man", "Amazing Spider-Man" "Spider-Man" and "Spectacular Spider-Man"). It was complicated, yet glorious...

....having read what I just typed above, maybe there wasn't that much difference between mega-events in the 90's versus the 00's...but I seemed to recall enjoying them more in the 90's, compared to the 2000's.

Of the four story-lines you mentioned in the opening post above, I'm going to pick "X-Men: Age of Apocalypse" in 1995/1996, as that's the one I really remember following each week, while it was being published. That was just a few months prior to the "Heroes Reborn" stunt, which is where I stopped reading Marvel for a period

The Clone Saga in the Spider-Man books (which ran from 1994 to 1996) got a little too complicated for me, about half way through (in 1995) so I took a break from those books...Remember, Marvel filed bankruptcy in late 1996, and that kinda changed everything...so "X-Men: Age of Apocalypse" was kind of the last "hurrah" for me, before I stopped reading Marvel for a bit, and before Marvel re-invented itself in the late 90's.

I liked "Knightfall" but I didn't read DC diligently...
 
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AdrenalineRush1996

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No love for "Emerald Twilight", the storyline that turned Hal Jordan from a hero to a villain and mark the debut of his replacement Kyle Rayner or even "Muir Island Saga", the last X-Men storyline before the 1991 relaunch?
 
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AdrenalineRush1996

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"X-tinction Agenda" was better (and wasn't that right before the 1991 relaunch as well)? It's amazing to think how huge the X-Men were from 1990 to 1995...
Correct. Both X-tinction Agenda and Muir Island Saga were the last X-Men storylines before the 1991 relaunch in which it introduced X-Men volume 2 and that issue 3 of said volume concluded the 16-year Claremont run.
 

Spider-Man

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Of these four characters, who I think are considered the top heroes from the big two at the time since things have changed now with the Marvel movies and stuff, I think these four events had the biggest press. I know they all had other crossovers and events during the time but these were the biggest of them. Batman has a lot better crossovers than Knightfall but none even No Man's Land had the same impact. Knightfall isn't my favorite and I'm more partial to Contagion/Legacy and NML. I think we all prefer Maximum Carnage to the Clone Saga even though both weren't very good. Age of Apocalypse still remains the all-time X-Men event I think. And nothing really topped The Death of Superman not even any of the other big events for Batman, X-Men and Spider-Man I think.
 

wonderfly

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Heck, the Clone Saga overstaying its welcome was partly to blame for Marvel's bankruptcy.
Eh, not sure I buy that. I've read that the Clone Saga as an event generated enough sales that it helped hold off bankruptcy for as long as possible. Though it's true that the Clone Saga ended the same month as when Marvel declared bankruptcy (in December of 1996).

The Summer/Fall of 1996 was when Marvel launched the "Heroes Reborn" line of comics. I bought the first issue of each of the relaunched titles but then stopped. I returned to Marvel a year later (in December of 1997) when Marvel relaunched the titles again with "Heroes Return" (the Kurt Busiek/George Perez run on Avengers was awesome, to me). But I had actually stopped reading the Clone Saga in mid-1995, over a year before Marvel filed bankruptcy.

As I said above, the "X-Men: Age of Apocalypse" event in 1995 was kind of the "grand finale" to the old Marvel Comics, for me....though I kept reading the X-Men titles for several months after that (until summer of 1996), so I stuck with those books longer than I did Spider-Man.
 
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AdrenalineRush1996

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Eh, not sure I buy that. I've read that the Clone Saga as an event generated enough sales that it helped hold off bankruptcy for as long as possible. Though it's true that the Clone Saga ended the same month as when Marvel declared bankruptcy (in December of 1996).
Well, it didn't help that their acquisition of Heroes World Distribution was an ill-fated move as it along with other marketplace factors of the time, resulted in the financial failure of many other comics distributors and retailers, thus causing the comic book industry crash of 1996.
 
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