Oh, yeah, make more work for yourself if you want. I'm less familiar with the Marvel storylines, especially earlier ones, but I know you lean more towards Marvel, so I put more Marvel stuff on it.
I was re-reading/finishing Gotham Central a while back. Got the elements of a great procedural, very character-driven, all while being set in Gotham -- would recommend very highly (and it's what I was hoping the Gotham TV show would be based on, alas). Aaaand suddenly here's a Red Skies Crossover, because hey Day of Vengeance and Infinite Crisis is on and we gotta do something about that. So now Captain Marvel is fighting the Spectre, and the Rock of Eternity is blowing up over Gotham, and Gothamites are being possessed by the Seven Deadly Sins, and isn't this what you wanted from a series where the previous issue focused on when it's justified to compel a journalist to reveal their sources? No? Well, good news for you, the events of the crossover are never relevant again for the series. Next issue's all about fruit of the poisoned tree, you'll love it.
I remember Starman being especially bad when it came to stuff like this. At the climax of an issue when -- whoops! -- Godwave just hit and everyone's depowered. Don't worry, we'll just deus ex machina things on the next page and forget this ever happened. At the end of an arc when... hey, didn't we deal with you already? Oh, Neron gave you a power-up. Don't know who Neron is? Too bad! Oh, and Blackest Night is happening, so we gotta have someone fight a Black Lantern.
It's possible to do crossovers/references well, provided authors have time to integrate it with their own storylines. Sandman had an arc where a bunch of people throughout time and space had to wait out a "reality storm", and they passed time by telling stories Canterbury Tales-style. It's something that fits with the rest of Sandman, even if you know nothing of Zero Hour. But usually it's... well, read the TV Tropes link.
As for the events themselves... it varies, but usually it's thumbs-down. Events usually come from corporate down, rather than authors up, and that's not a good recipe. And with one author writing scores of characters means you're going to be disappointed with at least one character's portrayal. I find that the "enormous ensemble cast dealing with Big Thing" itch is better scratched by turning to Elseworlds/What If stories (where the goal is telling an actual story) than main universe events (where the goal is usually changing up the lineup).
Could do a event-by-event dissection, but I'll save that for Dintiradan Ranks Slarty Ranks Everything.