No, this does not refer to my somewhat guarded attitude to 'The Devil Goblins From Neptune'. (Yes, I have things up on the Internet other places than here. Don't worry. What you and I have is special.) No, this is more about a problem that happens in comics, something related to my issues with metastory (which I have ranted about in the past.) Specifically, it's the tendency of comics writers...and probably editors too...to want to write the "ultimate" story.
Actually, the Ultimate universe is a good place to start. "Ultimatum" is, by all accounts, an over-the-top, Grand Guignol, Ragnarok-style finale to the Ultimate universe. (I have no direct, first-hand observations of this, because I no longer buy comics that I think I'll really, really hate.) It features dozens of deaths of major characters, a bloody finale to the rivalries between Professor X and Magneto and Doctor Doom and the FF, tidal waves crushing New York, and generally is a sort of be-all-and-end all super-hero epic.
Except that a few months later, they're publishing "Ultimate Comics: Spider-Man" and "Ultimate Comics: Avengers". You see the problem. In an industry that relies upon the income generated from long-term fan loyalty, and specifically on long-running series that have stable, devoted fanbases, you can't do a "be-all-and-end-all" story because you have to follow it up next month.
This problem started all the way back with the original "event", 'Crisis on Infinite Earths'. At the time, Marv Wolfman and the DC editorial team didn't think of this as an "event" comic (although they were pretty quick to capitalize on the sales excitement it generated.) They thought of it as a painful, necessary one-time adjustment to the fifty-year-old DC universe that would set it up for fifty years of new stories. But once fans got to see a thousand universes perishing, a battle between every super-hero and every super-villain ranging over five Earths at once, and a titanic struggle at the dawn of time for the fate of the multiverse, it was hard not to want something more...and more crucially, once writers read 'Crisis', they had a natural instinct to try to top it.
But the nasty part about trying to go out and top the last "event" story every time is twofold. First, it means that you're constantly having to top the last event story. The amount of shocking, not-to-be-missed, amazing once-in-a-lifetime developments you need for each story keeps going up and up and up, and it's easy to lose the thread of an actual story in the need to outdo the last one. (It's like the Spinal Tap joke. "Our crossover goes to eleven.")
And then the next crossover will have to outdo yours. When you title a story, "Final Crisis", you're creating the expectation among the fans that this is the ultimate, the untoppable, the literally final crisis that ever there is. When the actual story turns out to just be, "Darkseid takes over the world, Superman stops him and fixes everything, be sure to pick up next month's comic for more exciting adventures!" ...well, it's anti-climactic. That's the issue in a nutshell with "ultimate" stories. Everything after that is anti-climactic.
In the end, and I do keep hammering on about this but I think it's the core truth of everything that's gone wrong with the comic book industry, the emphasis has to be not on "important" but on "good". At every level, fans, writers, artists, editors, and all the way up to editors-in-chief, there needs to be less of an emphasis on, "You must not miss this shocking change to the status quo!" and more of an emphasis on, "You'll really get your money's worth in terms of enjoyment if you buy this comic!" Because there is a law of diminishing returns to shock and awe, and for many people, comics hit that point over a decade ago. And with every passing year, more and more fans become too jaded to care about the big events. But nobody ever becomes too jaded to care about good stories told well.