After living with a fractured film version of the Marvel Universe for years, fans across the Internet got their hopes up when it was announced that May’s “The Amazing Spider-Man 2” and “X-Men: Days of Future Past” would be connected in some way. Could rival film studios Fox and Sony really overcome their differences and give fans the crossover film of their dreams? It turns out the answer to that question is — not exactly.
While Wolverine won’t be saving lives alongside Spider-Man any time soon, “Spider-Man” director Marc Webb’s latest film for the franchise came packaged with a wink to Fox’s Marvel movie-verse. The story goes like this: While Webb still owes Fox Searchlight a feature film, Sony’s pressing Spidey plans conflicted with the director’s original contract with Fox. In order to work around this problem, Fox allowed Webb to spend more time with Sony working on the Amazing Spider-Franchise — if Sony agreed to run a promotion for “Days of Future Past” at the end of the film.
If that paragraph of quasi-legalese deflated your fan balloon, have no fear! There are plenty of Spider-Man and X-Men team-ups already in existence for you can enjoy while you wait for Fox and Sony to commit to a for real crossover. And you might want to enjoy these slowly — because it could be a while before the two studios can make it happen on the big screen.
Spider-Man and His Amazing Friends
This early ’80s Spider-Man cartoon defined the wall-crawler for an entire generation of fans — and the series actually marks the longest running Spidey/X crossover in pop culture history! At Peter Parker’s side for all twenty-four episodes of the fondly-remembered Saturday morning cartoon fare are mutants Iceman and Firestar. And even more X-Men appeared in other episodes, including the rest of the original team, Storm, Wolverine, Colossus, Nightcrawler, Thunderbird and Kitty Pryde! Every episode of the delightfully bonkers series is currently available on Netflix; grab a bowl of suitably sugary cereal, binge-watch them and imagine Andrew Garfield facing off against campy villains like Videoman and Mr. Frump.
The Marvel franchises teamed-up in 1992 for this video game, which allowed players to control Spider-Man, Storm, Wolverine, Gambit and Cyclops as they fought to escape Arcade’s deadly Murder World. Plenty of other bad guys pop up throughout the game in addition to Marvel’s carrot-topped assassin; Shocker, Apocalypse, Rhino, Selene, Carnage and the Sentinels all make appearances in 16-bit form. Considering how notoriously difficult these classic games can be, an actual Spider-Man and X-Men film might hit theaters before you beat this one!
Arms of the Octopus
Both the Spider-Man and X-Men comic franchises underwent pretty drastic makeovers in 2013, and this three-part crossover between special issues of “All-New X-Men,” “Superior Spider-Man Team-Up” and “Indestructible Hulk” showcased the all-new takes on the classic characters. The X-Men involved are time-displaced teenage versions of the original team rather than the characters readers have spent decades getting to know, and Doctor Octopus is actually in control of Spider-Man’s body and life, having ‘destroyed’ Peter Parker’s very identity. The arrogant and slightly evil Spider-Man has to work with the inexperienced X-Kids — and one Hulk — in order to prevent a mad tinkerer from wreaking havoc across the Marvel Universe in a story made all the more interesting by forcing Spidey into the role of mentor to the still-inexperienced heroes.
Astonishing Spider-Man & Wolverine
Andrew Garfield. Hugh Jackman. Dinosaurs. Aliens. Cavemen. Mafia goons. This movie would have it all. This time-hopping and dimension-spanning adventure by Jason Aaron and Adam Kubert would be a lot to pack into one feature film, so it’s a good thing it already exists in the form of a mid-blowing limited series. After the two heroes find themselves exposed to time-altering diamonds, they end up going on an adventure that spans millions (yes, millions) of years, involving cavemen, sci-fi futures, love won, love lost and so much more. And no, despite spending decade after decade in the company of on another, the grumpy Wolverine and the sarcastic Spider-Man never do learn how to tolerate each other.
To Serve and Protect
With the Lizard apparently out of control and kidnapping every social outcast he can find, a small team of X-Men head to New York City to scour Manhattan’s sewers for the villain. Of course, where the Lizard is involved, so, too, is Spider-Man. This four-part story kicking off in 2011’s “X-Men” #7 features more turns than a subway tunnel, from the true motivation behind teenagers’ abductions to the X-Men getting in touch with their reptilian sides. But the biggest one of all being the identity of the villain actually behind the kidnappings!