On film, or in the comic books, there’s a good reason our favorite superheroes combine for big-time event crossovers - to save the world and make a ton of money doing so. In the 21st century, there is usually a tremendous crossover for each company at least once a year. DC had all kinds of Green Lantern crossovers, Flashpoint, 52, and Metal to name a few. Marvel had Secret Invasion, Spider-Verse, and Secret Wars. All of these stories and more came to out to varying degrees of success. But there was one element missing.
All of these crossovers were contained within their own companies. It’s always better when Superman and Captain America are palling around. Every so often comic book companies set aside their (sometimes) very real animosity towards one another and combine their universes for all kinds of stories. Most recently, Batman has teamed up with the Ninja Turtles in both the pages and for an animated movie. Here are some of the best - The 10 Best Comic Company Crossovers.
10 DC Vs. Marvel
It was a fan’s uber dream. The moment that they had spent years playing with their action figures for. In 1996, Peter David and Ron Marz collaborated for DC Vs. Marvel. The two mega titans. Not only was there a four issue mini-series featuring both universes taking each other on with fans voting on some of the outcomes, but we were also treated to the creation of the Amalgam Universe. The Amalgam Universe was a bunch of one-shots dedicated to our favorite heroes (like Wolverine and Batman) merged into new stories for one week of the cross-over.
9 Archie Meets The Punisher
You’re reading that title correctly, and yes Archie Meets The Punisher deserves a spot on this list just for the sheer lunacy of the concept. Marvel’s symbol of unending vengeance and Archie Comics’ namesake and mascot met up in 1994. The Punisher heads to Riverdale looking for a drug dealer that the government has nicknamed “Red.”
Who is the most famous redhead in Riverdale? Right, Archie - but Frank isn’t the only who makes that mistake, mobsters from New York also make that mistake. Now Frank has to save Archie, Veronica, and all of wholesome Riverdale from being corrupted by the kinds of thugs he takes out all the time.
8 JLA Vs. Avengers
It took nearly thirty years to get it done, but Marvel and DC finally were able to put aside those differences long enough to pit their two greatest teams against each other. Thanks to Marvel’s Grandmaster and DC’s Krona, an exile from Oa, the Justice League and the Avengers do battle for the fate of the universe. Captain America sees all of the DC statues and museums and assumes that the JLA are fascists in a fun bit. Naturally, the teams put everything together and deduce who was behind the whole ordeal and turn their attention to stopping Krona.
7 Star Trek / X-Men
Sometimes the best crossovers are ones that you’d never see coming in a million years. But written Scott Lobdell. Star Trek / X-Men was put out by Marvel Comics when they briefly owned Paramount comics, so this isn’t a true inter-company crossover, but their universes are so different that it’s too good to pass up here. The Enterprise encounters an anomaly that the Shi’ar starship also feels. Seven members of the Shi’ar ship happen to be the “near human” (as Spock puts it) X-Men. After a brief encounter, the Enterprise crew and the X-Men turn their attention to stopping Proteus.
6 Joker / Mask
We already got a dose of this strange crossover when Jim Carrey (who played Stanley Ipkiss in The Mask) played the Riddle in Batman Forever. But the 2000 crossover between Dark Horse and DC was the official version. While the Joker is robbing a bank, he comes across the Mask of Loki and mayhem ensues. Joker pretty much does whatever he wants anyway, now he just has the power of the Mask too. But it all ends pretty quick once Batman tells him he’s not that funny to close out what happened to be one of the last Mask stories.
5 Uncanny X-Men And The New Teen Titans
Darkseid, the ruler of Apokolips wants more power. He finds some in the Phoenix Force, he plans to use Phoenix’s memories to harness the Dark Phoenix. That kind of power grab puts him square in the cross-hairs of both the X-Men and the Teen Titans.
In 1982, both teams were hot, a crossover was imminent - Uncanny X-Men And The New Teen Titans. Besides Darkseid to contend with, both teams were defeated by Titan’s mainstay, Deathstroke. In the end, Scott was able to get through to the remnants of Jean’s conscious, locked inside the Phoenix to help them recover and win the day.
4 He-Man / Thundercats
While as comic books, both Masters Of The Universe and Thundercats fall under the DC umbrella, this is still a massive '80s explosion of epic proportions. He-Man / Thundercats starts with a defeated Mumm-Ra believing that Eternia’s Sword Of Power will let him beat Lion-O once and for all. He tricks Adam into giving it to him, and then actually kills He-Man, and that’s just issue one! The entire series is filled with all kinds awesome '80s moments like this that fans would have killed to see on Saturday mornings.
3 Batman / Captain America
What’s better than two of the best men the Marvel and DC universe have teaming up? How about those same guys beating up Nazis in the '40s?! Like a lot of Cap crossover stories, Batman / Captain America gets in the Way-Back Machine to tell their story.
Bucky and Cap are called stateside to investigate something called “The Gotham Project.” With a story and art by John Byrne and over-the-top dialogue from the Joker, what more could any fun-loving comic book fan want?
2 Superman / The Amazing Spider-Man
As one of the first major crossovers, Superman / The Amazing Spider-Man has just about everything you could want from one. Lex Luthor, Doc Ock, competing journalists Peter Parker and Clark Kent, and the two biggest names for each company! There’s even a fun bit where Lois Lane has to convince Mary Jane that she has no interest in Peter. The story pretty much set a template on how to give fans what they want from these kinds of stories for years to come.
1 Darkseid Vs. Galactus: The Hunger
A planet devourer has to eat, right? What can stop a world eater who is hungry? In Darkseid Vs. Galactus: The Hunger, Apokolips suffers the coming of Galactus. Darkseid might be a cruel ruler, but he’s not going to let the cosmic devourer feed. He does his best to stop Galactus and his herald, the Silver Surfer, but ultimately fails. Galactus can’t even enjoy the spoils of war - Apokolips has life energy to give.