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10 Best Marvel/DC Crossovers You Won’t Believe Exist –

 

It’s rare now that the two companies do a crossover with their big name superheroes – their having come in 2003. While this is understandable – both now have practically infinite comic series to work on as well as mammoth film industries – it’s kind of sad that the era of DC and Marvel making comics together seems to be over.

Although both companies have done crossovers with other franchises and characters, there was something special about seeing the two flagship comic companies come together – largely because they created some genuinely fantastic stuff. It’s the sort of thing you’d imagine day dreaming as a kid – or as a very honest adult – and so seeing it on paper seemed nothing short of a miracle.

Among colossal crossovers, crossovers between the perfect characters, and crossovers that were just too plain crazy to ignore, here is scientific proof the Big Two should start working together again.

10. Iron Lantern

Amalgam Comics

Although perhaps more a combination than a crossover, seeing Tony Stark and Hal Jordan combined into one character is nothing short of fascinating. The comic works by combining equivalent characters together – like both Tony and Hal’s love interests, for example – which is unique in creating characters that we know, but that also are new and exciting.

The whole comic is interesting – firstly in seeing how the Iron Man and Green Lantern mythos has been carefully joined together, and also because the plot itself is an absolute wild ride. Both superheroes have some weird and wonderful aspects, and combining them does make for some incredibly strange reading (although again, it somehow manages to feel more charming than alienating).

There are a whole heap of comics that combine Marvel and DC characters together, but none of them seem to work quite as well as Iron Lantern – likely because none of the others contain a shark being jet-packed off into space.

9. Bullets And Bracelets

Amalgam Comics

Aside from having maybe the most badass name for a comic ever, the Punisher/Wonder Woman comic also has a pretty interesting dynamic for a crossover.

Punisher’s crossovers with other DC heroes tend to follow the same lines – the Punisher likes to kill, other heroes don’t, dramatic monologue, end scene. The writers went a totally different place with this one, however, as Wonder Woman and Punisher are married, and are hunting down their kidnapped child. It’s unusual for sure, but makes for a totally different type of comic instead of the somewhat typecast ones both characters tend to end up in.

There’s also something about heroes looking for their kids that is uniquely compelling to read. It’s sort of like The Taken, only with two superheroes taking the place of Liam Neeson – so maybe even better than The Taken.

8. Batman/Captain America

Amalgam Comics

Given both characters are possibly the most popular of their respective franchises, it’d arguably be quite difficult for this to be anything less than good. The best thing about a Batman/Captain America crossover is that the two are very similar in what they want to achieve and how they lead their respective teams, but then very, very different in just about every other manner possible.

The second best would have to be the fight scenes, because watching Batman and Captain America take out swarms of bad guys together with the casual air you would have when meeting a friend for lunch is maybe one of the best things that could have possibly come out of this comic.

It’s worth remembering for every dark, miserable timeline for these heroes, there’s also one where they meet up for brunch and villain takedowns.

If that wasn’t reason enough to read it, Captain America’s intro involves him taking out a tank so big it is essentially a Nazi Transformer – which fills in any blanks the other two didn’t for a great comic.

7. Superman/The Amazing Spiderman

Marvel/DC/Alex Ross

Other comics can develop on it, but in terms of uniqueness, nothing can ever beat the first ever Marvel/DC crossover. It was technically their second time publishing together – having worked together on a Wizard of Oz comic the year before – but the first time their beloved caped heroes would exist on page side by side.

The folks working on it clearly knew what they were doing too, because Spider-Man isn’t introduced until halfway through the comic. This could be waved away as merely a mistake or DC getting more airtime, but the anticipation it serves to build up is also immense, because you know it has to be setting up for something good. The pair meet as superheroes almost fifty pages in, and the moment is so special it gets its own special page.

When a comic begins with signed monologues from Stan Lee and Carmine Infantino about how cool the story is going to be, you know you’re looking at something special.

6. Darkseid vs Galactus: The Hunger

DC/Marvel

The concept of having one of the most powerful bad guys from each franchise duke it out alone is proof that A: there is a god, and B; crossovers can be cooler than regular comics.

It also sets up an unusual scenario, where – unless you have a particular favourite – you don’t have to support either party, because both are villains. More importantly, these are villains usually set against characters way less powerful than them – whereas here both are insanely (but equally) powerful.

Indeed, this would have been maybe the coolest crossover to date, if the two had actually had a proper battle in a comic about them fighting. There are some epic fights – Silver Surfer versus countless parademons and Galactus versus an entire battalion of spaceships to name a few – but the ultimate showdown between the big two consists of two laser beams, which is kind of weak.

Every silver lining has a cloud, we suppose.

5. Uncanny X-Men/New Teen Titans

Marvel/DC

Any comic that contains Wolverine, Deathstroke, The Phoenix and Gorilla Grodd has to be doing something right – even if it likely was a fresh hell the artist involved.

In fact, it would be pretty much perfect, were it not for the sheer amount that is thrown into the span of 65 pages. There’s two different plots for the X-Men and Teen Titans respectively, a side plot with Robin, a pre-plot sub-plot about the Phoenix, and several different potential romances. They all work together well, but it’s almost too densely packed a comic, as the awesome parts – such as the Darkseid/Phoenix team up – don’t get as much focus as maybe would have been ideal.

That said, there are at least a lot of these badass moments – and when they’re not being badass, the interactions between the two teams are also fun and well written – so it’s not a total cop out.

If you’ve ever wanted to see Colossus and Starfire make out, there’s never been a better comic – but otherwise, be prepared for a pretty intensive read.

4. Superman/Fantastic Four

Marvel/DC

Beautiful comic covers aside, seeing Superman fight both the Fantastic Four and Galactus in one comic is a wild and luxurious treat. It also contains maybe one of the weirdest plot twists a crossover has ever had, as in the Marvel Universe, it’s revealed Superman is real – as a daytime cartoon. It’s never officially been denied as canon, either, so we can dream of a universe where Peter Parker still watches Batman with his cereal every morning.

It succeeds where some crossovers tend to fail, as the cast are incredibly in character, even in small, funny ways. Most noticeably, Reed Richards is basically the only person to not be surprised that a prime-time cartoon is now hanging out in their workshop – which makes sense when you think of the absolute chaos that is the daily life of Mister Fantastic.

Also, seeing Franklin Storm being a little Superman fan boy in unexpectedly heartwarming, which is always a pleasant surprise.

3. JLA/Avengers

DC/Marvel

The two big teams in one comic – what more could you ask for? Seeing all the rosters interacting and fighting together is both entirely strange and incredibly awesome, especially since basically every hero from both sides ends up involved in the fight scenes.

And indeed, these are probably some of the most intense and immense fight scenes around. That’s sort of the blessing of having the most powerful superheroes from DC and Marvel team up – you can throw anything and everything at them and still have a believable fight scene, which seems like basically a Christmas present for any comic writer.

Christmas and Hannukah, really, because when the teams aren’t working together to take down swarms of evil, they’re beating each other up. It’s a little weird seeing them turned against each other, sure, but given the amount of internal superhero conflict there is in both respective universes, it only makes sense that there’s a bit of initial hostility.

2. Just Imagine Series

DC Comics

Seeing DC superheroes reimagined by Stan Lee as they would have been if he had made them is just indescribably cool. Well, alright, it’s pretty describable – because Stan Lee writes in such a recognisably Marvel-like way that you can really see what these characters would have been like if they had been made by the other company.

They’re not simple rehashes, either – clear time and effort has gone into creating figures that are clearly the ones we know and love, while still playing around with the backstories and characters enough to make it also something new and exciting. There’s a very thin line between clever reimagining and cliché overused storylines, and Lee walks this line with such precision that it would not be a surprise if he had been an acrobat in a previous life.

Seeing DC favourites through a classic Marvel lens is not a conventional crossover, for sure, but that only makes it all the more special.

1. DC/Marvel All Access

Marvel/DC

The only thing better than a universe crossover is a universe crossover that has a clever and thought-out plot. Add to that the creation of a character owned by both DC and Marvel, and something genuinely special is made.

It’s a weird thing to praise, but the spacing of the series is close to spectacular. Often, crossovers suffer slightly from having a lot of story crammed into a short space – especially standalone titles. All Access has it easier in that it’s a four issue series, but in those four issues all the main characters get their own solo moments as well as the overarching storyline.

To have a comic that has so much in it not feel too dense takes some very careful planning as well as writing and storyboarding, so it’s clear that not only was All Access a clever idea, it was one carried out by an incredibly skilled team too.

Having two unimaginably large universes do a full-scale crossover sounds an unnervingly vast concept, and yet All Access could easily stand up against most regular comics in terms of story, characters, and generally brilliant execution.

Now, if only the two companies would work together again…

 

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