A crossover event has been a staple in the comic world for many years, for better or for worse. They allowed creators to explore grand new storylines and interactions that spotlight characters in new ways.
What has remained the “wildcard” in this industry, however, are business-to-business and real estate crossover events. A recent example of this would be the many titles from publisher IDW, which has released multiple stories that cross between different franchises. From opposing genders to similar characters coming together to fight the forces of evil, these events have surprised readers for many years.
ten Spawn/Batman (1994)
This one-shot comic, written by Frank Miller with art by Todd McFarlane, comes across the Dark Knight as he battles a gang with high-powered weapons. After being attacked by a robot containing a severed head, he decides to travel to New York in search of the mysterious arms dealer.
This is where he runs into Spawn who is looking for the same people. The result of the McFarlane and Miller team is a gritty comic book, one that fits right into their respective legacies.
9 Superman/The Amazing Spider-Man (1976)
Created by Gerry Conway and Ross Andru, this was the second project Marvel and DC worked on together. Superman and Spider-Man reunite in this issue to stop Lex Luthor and Doctor Octopus as they begin their plans for world domination.
Due to the success of this issue, a sequel was printed in 1981 where Superman and the crawler team up to fight against Parasite and the leader of Latveria, Doctor Doom.
8 Batman/Hellboy/Starman (1999)
Consisting of just two issues, this miniseries follows Batman and popular Dark Horse Comics hero Hellboy. Together they team up to find the kidnapped Starman, and are still later joined by Starman’s son, Jack Knight.
From a screenplay written by James Robinson, Mike Mignola brings his unique art style to this diabolical tale of rescue. As the creator of Hellboy, Mignola was no stranger to drawing the supernatural hero. But the artist and writer also had previous experience with Batman before this crossover. Mignola produced the illustrations for the famous 1989 graphic novel, Batman: Gotham by Gaslight.
seven The Strange X-Men and the Teen Titans (1982)
Written by the famous x-men writer Chris Claremont, this one-shot crossover was drawn by famed Beta Ray Bill creator Walt Simonson. The X-Men and Teen Titans are brought together because of the powerful Darkseid who is determined to break through the Multiverse Divider, the Source Wall. In doing so, Darkseid attempts to recreate the Dark Phoenix to aid him in his evil plans.
Although the issue was praised, especially for Simonson’s works, unfortunately no sequel was produced.
6 Death’s Companion (1993)
companion of death was a six-part crossover series from Valiant and Image Comics. The series was about two characters from opposite universes, Solar of Valiant and Void of Image, becoming lovers and eventually disrupting their own respective timelines. This in turn creates a world that blends the two universes together. And nearly every character in every universe was unaware of the incident, except for Prophet and Geoff McHenry.
The series was organized and titled by color instead of numbering to allow the issues to be read in any order except for the titled prologue and epilogue issues. The series wasn’t as popular with fans, with one major issue being its timeline issues.
5 Batman/The Maxx: Dreams of Arkham (2018)
In this bizarre Batman tale, a doctor at Arkham Asylum begins experimenting with Sam Kieth’s Image comic hero The Maxx. The result is that the world of Gotham and Maxx, the Outback, begins to merge into one. Batman must ally himself with the strange purple patient to then save their reality.
Sam Kieth does the art and co-writes the series with John Layman. The first issue was published in 2018 by IDW, but due to delays the story didn’t end until 2020.
4 Archie vs. Predator (2015)
Throughout the long history of Archie Comics, the Riverdale group has had great adventures and met interesting people. From the Ramones to the Punisher, the kids seem to have met them all. But one of the weirdest stories was Archie vs Predator.
The story involves the Predator following the friends to Riverdale after first coming to his attention while on a spring break trip. What follows is a violent and bizarre four-issue series that leaves fans thrown from one extreme to the other. And readers loved it. This horror-comedy series was so popular, in fact, that it spawned a series of sequels in 2019.
3 DC Universe Vs. Master of the Universe (2013)
In a bizarre six-issue miniseries, this crossover details the story of Skeletor as he mysteriously escapes defeat by entering the Earth Kingdom where he then plans to steal all of his magic. When He-Man and the Masters of the Universe pursue him, they come into conflict with the heroes of the DC Universe.
The series was written by Keith Giffen with art by Dexter Soy and features all the fan favorites from Superman to Wonder Woman to Man-At-Arms.
2 Devil’s Reign (1997)
A crossover between Marvel and Image Comics imprint Top Cow Comics, the story followed the lord of hell Mephisto as he hatched a plan to break into the Top Cow universe to steal souls and return. in the Marvel Universe as an unstoppable force.
Consisting of eight chapters and spanning twelve issues, each book in the series featured a character from each universe. Examples of this were Ghost Rider and Ballistic from Chapter Three, and Weapon Zero and Silver Surfer from Chapter One.
1 DC Vs. Marvel (1996)
Established in 1996, this epic crossover event between the industry’s “big two” has brought fans many battles that were once confined to fan imaginations. This four-part series written by Ron Marx and Peter David tells the story of two supreme beings, one from each publisher’s universe, who pit characters against each other to decide which universe should be wiped out.
This would eventually lead to the DC and Marvel-owned publishing brand, Amalgam Comics. Unfortunately, only a few titles were released under this banner, with each issue containing a mashup of characters from one publisher or another. An example would be Batman and Wolverine’s creation, Dark Claw.
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