Dozens of companies publish comic books every month, so it’s important to get your attention on the shelves. That’s why the right cover is important to make someone reach for it. Usually, a comic cover will show a sort of thumbnail of the story inside with the main characters in the middle of a battle with the villain. There are also covers of things that are symbolic of the story itself. The comic book cover is so iconic that fans or professional artists in their spare time have drawn or illustrated their own fictional covers to books that don’t really exist, and that’s what we’re talking about today.
Many fan-made comic book covers have gone viral because they show something that the real comic books haven’t, and in a few cases would never do. Some of these covers bring together characters from rival companies that would never work together while others show stories that are too goofy or controversial to ever become real comics. CBR decided it was time to showcase some of these fictional covers, which look fantastic but will never really happen. Hey, we can still dream, right?
15. THE CAPTAINS OF MARVEL
In 1940, C. C. Beck and Bill Parker created the first Captain Marvel for Fawcett Comics. Captain Marvel was a phenomenon, outselling all other characters at the time, but the series was shut down in 1953 because DC sued the company for infringing on Superman.
In 1967, Marvel Comics grabbed the Captain Marvel trademark and created its own Captain Marvel. Since then, there have been seven characters calling themselves Captain Marvel in the Marvel universe. Meanwhile, DC licensed and later bought the rights to the original Captain Marvel and made him a part of the DC universe. Marvel responded by suing DC for breach of its trademark. With all that legal wrangling, it’s a long shot that we’ll ever see all the Captain Marvels in one comic, like we see in this cover by John Trumball.
14. SUPERMAN AND FOUR FAMOUS CO-STARS
In the 1980s, Superman was appearing in some weird team-ups, like He-Man and Santa Claus, but this fictional cover would be the weirdest yet. The cover by Paul Cornish shows Superman teaming up with James Bond, the Doctor from Doctor Who, David Bowie from Labyrinth, and Woody Allen.
Let’s start with Labyrinth, which Marvel adapted in 1986 so DC never had the rights. It’s unlikely we’d ever see a team-up with the Doctor, specifically the Fifth Doctor who appeared from 1981 to 1984 since we’re already past the Twelfth Doctor, and Marvel had the rights to Doctor Who. James Bond is also a comic DC never had the rights to. As for Woody Allen, there isn’t much fan support for him as a comic book at all.
13. CALVIN AND HOBBES AND BATMAN
For ten years, the comic strip Calvin and Hobbes took children and adults on a journey through imagination. Even though the series ended in 1995, fans still love the characters, which is why this cover by Super-Team Family: The Lost Issues of Batman and Hobbes smashing through a window to confront Calvin is so much fun. Calvin loved superheroes and often took on the identity of “Stupendous Man” in the strip, so we can easily imagine this team-up.
The reason why this cover will never happen is that Calvin and Hobbes‘ creator Bill Watterson has absolutely refused to merchandise his characters at all, let alone cross over with any other properties. He even refused to allow stuffed toys of Hobbes, so the idea of Batman meeting Calvin is probably something that makes Watterson wake up screaming at night.
12. FANTASTIC FOUR AND THE INCREDIBLES
The Fantastic Four has been around since 1961 when they were created by Stan Lee and Jack Kirby, introducing a group of superheroes who fought each other as much as they fought supervillains. The Incredibles is a movie released in 2004 about a family of superheroes. The two have never crossed paths, but that didn’t stop Super-Team Family: The Lost Issues from creating this fictional cover bringing them together. The idea of the two families coming together is awesome but probably won’t happen.
When The Incredibles was released, many people pointed out that the powers of four of the family are almost identical to the Fantastic Four, so this crossover kind of makes sense. The problem is that the Fantastic Four is owned by Marvel, and the Incredibles are owned by Disney and Pixar. Since Marvel is now a subsidiary of Disney, we’re close but not there yet.
11. THE DARK KNIGHT AND OLD MAN LOGAN
At first blush, these two characters seem to be very different. One can be called the Dark Knight, an elderly and more brutal version of DC’s Batman first introduced by Alan Moore and Klaus Janson in 1986’s The Dark Knight Returns. The other is Old Man Logan, an older version of Wolverine introduced in a 2008’s miniseries by writer Mark Millar and artist Steve McNiven.
The two don’t exist in the same universes or even the same companies, but they both have one thing in common: age. That’s why this cover by Super-Team Family: The Lost Issues is so great. Seeing two old men kicking butt would be a dream come true. It probably won’t happen, though, mainly because Marvel and DC aren’t getting along right now so the odds of them crossing over these two iconic characters is pretty much nil.
10. DC’S GHOST RIDER
The flaming motorcycle-riding Ghost Rider has been a part of the Marvel universe since 1972’s Marvel Spotlight #5 (Gary Friedrich, Roy Thomas, Mike Ploog), and hasn’t changed very much since then. Yet in the 1960s, DC had a reputation for creating eye-grabbing covers with weird scenarios, and that’s what this cover is all about.
In the Silver Age, DC’s comic 80-Page Giant often had a grid cover with wacky scenarios and imaginary stories featured on them. Kerry Callen created this cover, imagining what DC would have done with Ghost Rider at that time, and the crazy line-up is hilarious. Our favorite is Mrs. Ghost Rider. Of course, Marvel wouldn’t subject one of its darkest and most loved antiheroes to these goofy stories. Or would it??
9. JAWS VS. JASON
Jason Voorhees is one of the most iconic characters in horror, a killer first introduced in 1980’s Friday the 13th. He’s hacked and slaughtered his way through 12 movies, been killed twice, and gone from a deformed child to a supernatural force of nature. He’s tangled with camp counselors, police, and Freddy Krueger, but this cover from “ibentmywookiee” imagines him facing his greatest threat: Jaws.
Of course, the shark from the 1975 movie Jaws isn’t the beast’s true name, but you get the idea. The idea of Jason facing a gigantic white shark sounds like a cool match-up but probably won’t happen. That’s because it wouldn’t be much of a fight. A supernatural killer who can cut off Freddy’s head would just turn that shark into sushi.
8. THE QUARRY MEN
How many comic book characters are made of rocks? If it takes you a minute to think about that, then you get the point: a lot of them. This comic by Super-Team Family: The Lost Issues brings together four of the most well-known rock-and-roll heroes, and it’s a tough-looking group. It would be awesome to see this happen, but it never will.
You probably know the Thing from the Fantastic Four, but you may not know the others. In case you don’t recognize them, Blok is from DC’s Legion of Superheroes, Concrete is a superhero who first appeared in 1986 by Paul Chadwick, Igoo is a hero from the 1967 TV show The Herculoids, and Badrock is from Rob Liefeld’s 1996 series, Youngblood. Given the different companies the characters belong to, this team-up won’t happen soon.
7. BATMAN AND LITTLE ANNIE FANNIE
Batman is one of the greatest heroes in comics, let alone the DC universe. He’s been matched up with some of the greatest heroes like Superman and some of the weirdest like Scooby-Doo, but Super-Team Family: The Lost Issues brought us one of the most unlikely team-ups ever: Batman and Little Annie Fanny
Little Annie Fanny is a character created by Harvey Kurtzman and Will Elder in 1962 who was beautiful and often scantily clad, since she appeared in the pages of Playboy. With her explicit sexuality and proclivity for baring it all, there’s no way DC comics would let its hero Batman show up on the same page with Little Annie Fanny, but it’s certainly fun to see. We’re sure a playboy like Batman would be interested in her, uh, “crime-fighting skills.”
6. METRON AND THE WATCHER
We’re going back once again to Super-Team Family: The Lost Issues with a pairing between Metron and the Watcher. Metron is a New God created by Jack Kirby who’s dedicated to the pursuit of knowledge, riding a Mobius Chair that takes him through all of time and space. The Watcher was created by Stan Lee and Jack Kirby as an omnipotent being whose mission is to observe Earth, but occasionally interferes. The two of them are dedicated to watching, so it makes sense that a battle between the two would involve staring.
Of course, the idea of an entire issue of two super-beings staring at each other would probably never happen. It’s also unlikely that Marvel and DC would allow their characters to cross over just to make this staring contest happen. But honestly, who would win? We do wonder.
5. MICRONAUTS AND GODZILLA
You know the saying that “size doesn’t matter?” Well, this cover by Phil Hester tackles that idea head-on by putting the some of the smallest heroes up against one of the biggest. Marvel Two-in-One was a real series that paired up two heroes from the Marvel universe, and both Micronauts and Godzilla were characters licensed by Marvel. In 1979, Micronauts was about a microscopic universe locked in war, and heroes who could shrink smaller than atoms or grow to the size of other Marvel heroes.
Godzilla, of course, if the flame-breathing monster that Marvel licensed in Godzilla: King of Monsters #1 in 1977. Could the two worlds really come together into one comic? It would be awesome to see but unlikely to happen, given how only the most die-hard readers even know the Micronauts, but the tiny heroes would pack a wallop.
4. POWER MAN AND IRON FIST COMBINED
What happens when you combine Luke Cage with Iron Fist? That’s what artist Kerry Callen imagined in his series of fake covers for what would happen if DC had been using the characters with its typically wacky cover ideas. Cage and Danny Rand were crime-busting partners since 1978 when they joined forces in Power Man and Iron Fist, and this cover takes that literally.
While a superhero combining Luke Cage and Iron Fist would be awesome, it’ll probably never happen. Besides the fact that the two characters work great on their own and separately, Marvel has (mostly) moved past goofy gimmicks like these. We’ll just have to imagine what it would be like to see a superhero with bulletproof skin, super-strength and a glowing fist that could punch through anything.
3. THE MIGHTY QUINT
While many would argue that Chief Martin Brody is the hero of Jaws since he’s the one who killed the shark, there’s no doubt that Quint was the real shark hunter of the movie. He was brought in by the locals for his legendary skill at hunting sharks. He organized and executed the plan to catch the beast, and his speech about the sinking of the Indianapolis was one of the best moments in the movie. He was killed, but gave it a good try.
That’s why this cover by PJ McQuade makes sense with the return of Quint as the star of his own comic. He certainly could be a superhero, but the problem is the hero of a 40-year old movie is unlikely to be getting his own comic series anytime soon. But maybe he should, chief.
2. MARVEL’S CAPTAIN MARVEL
When it comes to the superhero Captain Marvel, the character has a tangled history involved three different comic book publishers and over fifty years of history. When C. C. Beck and Bill Parker created Captain Marvel in 1940, the character was just supposed to be a Superman rip-off for Fawcett Comics, and DC sued to stop publication. Yet with a name like Marvel Comics, a superhero named Captain Marvel seemed like a no-brainer.
That may be why Marvel bought the trademark and put a series of characters into rotation under the name while suing DC comics for trying to revive the original Captain Marvel. With all the legal wrestling and multiple Marvel characters under the name, it doesn’t seem like Marvel would make a comic like we see above (by Mark Lewis), even if they did have the rights. Which they don’t.
1. FANTASTIC SWORDS
Swords are always cool, but they were really big in the 1980s. That’s why this cover by RockyDavies makes so much sense. It brings the greatest swordsmen from the ’80s into one place: He-Man from Masters of the Universe, Lion-O from ThunderCats, Leonardo from the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles and Snake Eyes from G.I. Joe, all gathered together to fight evil in a team called Fantastic Swords, a pun on Fantastic Four.
Of course, it’s not a real comic. As awesome as it would be to see this, it would be a nightmare of licensing to bring these characters together. It would probably be a short and bloody fight bringing all this sharp steel together in one place, even if they were facing Skeletor, Shredder and Cobra Commander.
Which comic book would you like to see? Let us know in the comments!
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