“Flashpoint” and “Fear Itself”: Adding Up the Tie-Ins

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Marvel and DC are already gearing up for this year’s big superhero comics crossover events. The shape of Marvel’s Fear Itself is not yet entirely clear, but it’ll involve a central seven-issue miniseries by Matt Fraction and Stuart Immonen (which launches in April), a seven-issue secondary miniseries called Fear Itself: The Home Front, a Fear Itself Prologue one-shot, and a bunch of tie-ins in ongoing series.

Meanwhile, DC Comics announced on Friday that the five Geoff Johns/Andy Kubert issues of their upcoming crossover Flashpoint, which starts in May, will be accompanied by no fewer than fifteen three-issue tie-in miniseries, as well as a handful of one-shots. It’s also not clear yet whether The Flash or other ongoing series will also tie into Flashpoint, but the story will be unfolding over upwards of fifty individual issues. Is that a lot? Let’s compare the issue counts of other event comics of the recent and not-so-recent past. (Some totals may be approximate.)

(More on TIME.com: Handicapping Marvel Comics’ Fear Teasers)

BLACKEST NIGHT (2009-2010): 9-issue miniseries
29 spinoff issues (half a dozen Blackest Night character-focused series, Blackest Night: Tales of the Corps, and various one-shots)
38 tie-in issues of ongoing series (including ten issues apiece of Green Lantern and Green Lantern Corps)
Total: 76 issues

CIVIL WAR (2006-2007): 7-issue miniseries
Several dozen spinoff issues (Civil War: Front Line, Civil War: X-Men, Civil War: Young Avengers & Runaways, Civil War: Choosing Sides, etc.)
Several dozen tie-in issues of ongoing series (notably Amazing Spider-Man, Fantastic Four and Wolverine)
Total: something like 88 issues; it’s hard in some cases to tell what counts as a tie-in and what doesn’t

FINAL CRISIS (2008-2009): 8-issue monthly-ish miniseries
20 spinoff issues (Superman Beyond, Resist, Submit, Rage of the Red Lanterns, Legion of Three Worlds, Rogues’ Revenge, Revelations, Requiem, Secret Files)
3 tie-in issues of ongoing series (Justice League of America, Batman)
Total: 30 issues

(More on TIME.com: Flash-Forwarding Is This Week’s Comics Trend)

HOUSE OF M (2005-2006): 8-issue monthly miniseries
12 spinoff issues (House of M: Fantastic Four, House of M: Iron Man, House of M: Spider-Man and others)
31 tie-in issues of ongoing series (Uncanny X-Men, Exiles, Incredible Hulk and others)
Total: 51 issues

MILLENNIUM (1988): 8-issue weekly miniseries
37 tie-in issues of ongoing series (virtually every DC superhero title of the time)
Total: 45 issues

SECRET INVASION (2008-2009): 8-issue monthly miniseries
28 spinoff issues (Secret Invasion: Front Line, Secret Invasion: Amazing Spider-Man–notable for the fact that Spider-Man didn’t actually appear in it–Secret Invasion: Inhumans, and others)
66 tie-in issues of ongoing series (including extensive runs of New Avengers and Mighty Avengers)
Total: 102 issues

SIEGE (2009-2010): 4-issue monthly-plus-delays miniseries
10 spinoff issues (Siege: Embedded and a bunch of one-shots)
24 tie-in issues of ongoing series (mostly the various Avengers series)
Total: 38 issues

ZERO HOUR (1994): 5-issue weekly miniseries
30 spinoff issues (virtually every DC Universe title at the time)
Total: 35 issues; followed in the next few years by The Final Night, Genesis and DC One Million, all of which adopted the same “get it over with in one month” pattern

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