We all love a good crossover whether it’s throwing Wolverine into a fray alongside The Avengers or Batman taking on an enemy with his pal Superman. Then there are those crossovers where folks at different publishing houses agree to get together and give the fans something special. We kind of expect these sorts of events, like when The Avengers met up with the Justice League of America, but sometimes, they put a superhero next to a real person… or a cartoon! Whatever their reasons, Marvel and DC have come out with some weird crossovers over the years. Don’t get us wrong, we absolutely loved most of these, but for some… well, you be the judge.
Some of these were highly anticipated by fans who wanted nothing more than for their favorite superheroes from competing universes to clash while others were somewhat less than suspected. We have a few on here that are definitely going to make you wonder, “What were they thinking” before you head out to your local comic book shop to try and grab a copy because these absolutely need to be read! They may be a bit difficult to rate given the odd nature of each, so we have listed them in order of “most normal to most insane.” Enjoy!
15. MARVEL VS DC
The Justice League meeting up with The Avengers is one thing, but why leave it at something that… small? Let’s take the entirety of the DC Universe and throw them at the whole lot over at Marvel and see what happens! The result was DC vs. Marvel, written by Ron Marz and Peter David with pencils by Dan Jurgens and Claudio Castellini. The series was co-published by both houses from April to May 1996.
The premise for the crossover was that two godly brothers who personify each separate universe become aware of one another. They decide to challenge each other to a series of duels involving the superheroes from within themselves, leaving the loser unable to continue existing. Readers voted on who would win each of the 11 major battles, finally answering the question: who would win in a fight. Of course, as is always the case, while there were definite winners of each battle, neither side won nor lost in the end.
14. HE-MAN AND THE THUNDERCATS
Back in the ’80s, you couldn’t go too far into a toy store or Saturday morning cartoon without stumbling into the worlds of He-Man and the Masters of the Universe or Thundercats. The properties were entirely separate from one another, but that didn’t stop DC from finally giving us a crossover series in 2016! The six-part series had the following synopsis from DC, which explains it perfectly:
“He-Man and the Masters of the Universe team up with the ThunderCats — the epic crossover event you’ve waited thirty years to see! In his ever-living desire to destroy the mighty ThunderCats, Mumm-Ra quests for a weapon that can rival the legendary Sword of Omens: He-Man’s Sword of Power! But his dimension-spanning scheme kick-starts a cataclysmic crisis that will embroil heroes and villains—Masters, Mutants and ThunderCats—in a mind-blowing six-part saga!”
13. BATMAN AND THE TEENAGE MUTANT NINJA TURTLES
This one isn’t as far-fetched as you might think. Batman isn’t all that grounded in reality when you really break him down and why wouldn’t some radioactive ooze turn a group of turtles into anthropomorphic teenage ninjas who love pizza? After all, Batman is a ninja too, so they go together like peas and carrots! DC and IDW decided to kick off this six-issue inter-company crossover miniseries back in 2015, written by James Tynion IV and penciled by Freddie Williams II.
In the series, the Turtles and their arch-nemesis, Shredder, have been transported to an alternate universe by Krang. They meet up with Batman in Gotham City where they battle some of the Caped Crusader’s rogues gallery while working to find their way home back to their world. The series did very well and spawned a sequel and a possible animated direct-to-video film.
12. ROBOCOP VS TERMINATOR
One is a police officer-turned cyborg who could pretty much destroy anything that gets in his way; the other is a cyborg murder bot intent on destroying humanity in the name of Skynet. We were treated to a crossover event between the two back in 1992 thanks to Frank Miller’s four-issue miniseries titled RoboCop Versus The Terminator.
The crossover woven by Miller followed RoboCop as he learned that the technology enabling his cybernetic body to work will eventually be used to develop Skynet and the Terminators. This doesn’t sit well with his Prime Directives so RoboCop teams up with a woman from the future (who was sent to kill him) to take on the evil threat to humanity. The series was a lot of fun and allowed for Miller to explore a character he was already familiar with (RoboCop) and merge him into another universe.
11. SUPERMAN VS. ALIENS
Dark Horse Comics and DC teamed up in 1995 and again in 2002 to bring us a crossover between the Man of Steel and the Xenomorphs from the Alien film franchise. We know what you are thinking, but they were actually a threat to Superman given that he was in an environment where he wasn’t exposed to as much yellow solar radiation as he would have liked, which rendered him vulnerable. On Earth, these things wouldn’t register as cockroaches on his scale, but that wasn’t the case here.
We don’t want to spoil the series for you if you haven’t had a chance to read it, but we will say that Superman gets intimate with a facehugger. In the second series, Darkseid gets his grubby hands on some Alien eggs with the intent of using them as weapons against his enemies. In the end, Superman travels to Apokolips to battle an Alien Queen.
10. BATMAN AND SHERLOCK HOLMES
Talk about a match made in heaven! Batman is the world’s greatest detective, but so is Sherlock Holmes! The two had to share an adventure eventually. Fortunately, DC heard the call and made this crossover a reality with the Golden Anniversary issue of Detective Comics #572, written by Mike W. Barr and penciled by Alan Davis, Terry Beatty, Carmine Infantino, E.R. Cruz and Dick Sprang.
The book features a number of stories involving the world’s greatest detectives, but Batman finally meets up with the legendary Holmes when he is 135 years old! To explain his continued existence, Holmes simply refers to “… a proper diet, a certain distillation of royal jelly developed in my beekeeping days, and the rarified atmosphere of Tibet, where I keep my primary residence.”
9. SUPERMAN AND MUHAMMAD ALI
Yes, Superman once fought Muhammad Ali in an oversized one-shot published by DC in 1978. The 72-page issue was written by Dennis O’Neil and adapted from penciler Neil Adams’ story. In the book, Superman discovers that a Scrubb invasion fleet is prepared to destroy the Earth if the planet cannot provide its greatest champion to fight their own.
Ali comes forth as Earth’s champion, as does the Man of Steel, but Ali points out that Superman isn’t of Earth and the leader of the Scrubb invasion, Rat’Lar decides they need to fight it out in a galactically-televised match. Don’t worry, Superman has his powers deactivated at the Fortress of Solitude before the match and the two are somewhat evenly matched, though Ali is, of course, the superior fighter. That’s as much as we will give away here. It’s a fun read and should be among any fan’s collection.
8. SPIDER-MAN AND REN & STIMPY
Since we are talking about a Ren & Stimpy comic, you already know that max levels of silliness will follow. Writer, Dan Slott had previously worked on Spider-Man for Marvel so he may have been tapping into nostalgia when he decided the two worlds needed to have a crossover. In the book, Ren and Stimpy are upset that they are out of powdered toast so they summon their favorite superhero, Powdered Toast Man to help with the problem. Spider-Man appears instead and makes the boy’s breakfast using his web fluid.
Following this, Spider-Man takes off to provide aid to his fellow superhero, Powdered Toast Man, only to find he was being mind-controlled by Dr. Dough-Naught. The two battle in the style of confused crossovers and hilarity ensues. This issue was all about having fun with characters and it works because it doesn’t take itself seriously; it just has fun with the characters.
7. STAR TREK AND THE X-MEN
We are really beginning to cross into the ridiculous when Marvel decided to use its short-lived Paramount Comics imprint to create a one-shot crossover between Professor X’s merry band of Mutants and Captain Kirk’s crew of the Enterprise. The Star Trek crew encounter a rift of psionic energy and a Shi’ar spacecraft containing seven occupants: Cyclops, Wolverine, Jean Grey, Beast, Storm, Gambit and Bishop.
The X-Men are transported to the Enterprise prior to their ship’s destruction, with Spock finding them and battling Wolverine. He even gets the upper hand for a moment before they settle their differences and decide to help one another. It’s a weird crossover to be sure, but it wasn’t the only one. Later, the X-Men would encounter the crew of Captain Picard’s Enterprise in Star Trek: The Next Generation/X-Men, another one-shot crossover.
6. THE PUNISHER AND ARCHIE
Archie Comics have always been about the teenage antics of the Riverdale gang. While there aren’t a lot of vigilante psychopaths running around the streets of Riverdale, someone thought it was about time. Thus, along came Archie Meets The Punisher in 1994. This one-shot inter-company crossover threw together the all-American teenager, Archie Andrews, and the grizzled veteran and vigilante superhero, Frank Castle/Punisher.
Castle is contracted by the government to apprehend (via non-lethal force) a drug kingpin named Red who is hiding somewhere in Riverdale. Of course, Red looks exactly like Archie Andrews so confusion ensues. The characters all act as they normally do throughout the issue (minus the normal lethality of Castle) and the book was surprisingly successful. It was written by Batton Lash and penciled by John Buscema (Marvel characters) with Stan Goldberg (Archie characters).
5. SUPERMAN AND THE MASTERS OF THE UNIVERSE
Superman sure does get around so it shouldn’t have surprised anyone that DC would throw the Man of Steel into the world of Eternia and all of its magical threats back in 1982 with DC Comics Presents #47, written by Paul Kupperberg and penciled by Curt Swan. DC had already published mini-comic books with each action figure, but this was the first time any He-Man characters made the jump to a regular, DC title. This was also the first time we got to see He-Man as Prince Adam since the animated series hadn’t aired when this book went to print.
The story is relatively formulaic: Superman travels to Eternia to help He-Man fight Skeletor who is intent on taking Castle Greyskull. Because Supes is vulnerable to magic, it’s truly a dangerous tale for the Man of Steel who has to fight a magically-controlled He-Man. Still, it’s like spilling all of your action figures on the floor and making them fight, which is great!
4. ARCHIE VS. PREDATOR
Archie taking on the likes of Frank Castle’s Punisher is one thing, but we have to wonder who greenlit this decision to pit Archie Andrews up against the Predator. The four-issue series was written by Alex de Campi and penciled by Fernando Ruiz in 2015. Interestingly, the concept for this book originated in the Archie Comics offices and was pitched to Dark Horse.
In the story, the Predator makes its way to Earth and begins stalking Archie Andrews and his classmates. After several members of the high school are killed, the Riverdale gang realize they are being stalked by a hunter of the alien variety and decide to fight back! The Predator succeeds in killing everyone’s favorite redheaded teenager and reveals he only did it due to his infatuation with Betty Cooper. Though it is certainly ridiculous, the books sold very well and most readers enjoyed the writing and artwork.
3. EMINEM AND THE PUNISHER
Eminem and the Punisher was a one-shot comic that Marvel published in 2009. The book was written by Fred Van Lente and penciled by Salvador Larroca, and featured Marshall Mathers III from Earth-TRN194 alongside Frank Castle from Earth-616. The story was appropriately titled “Kill You” and featured Eminem performing at a concert. Once the concert is over, the Punisher stops Eminem and his crew who the Punisher quickly massacres. Eminem runs away and is pulled into a building by Barracuda, seemingly saving him.
Of course, it turns out Punisher was after Barracuda, who later tied them both up and tried to kill them. Eminem saves the day thanks to a chainsaw and floats off into the sunset with the line, “Do me a favor and tell ’em Shady sent you” closing out the book. This was a strange crossover, but not a bad read for a Punisher book.
2. SPIDER-MAN AND THE CAST OF SATURDAY NIGHT LIVE
Back in Marvel Team-Up #74, written by Chris Claremont and penciled by Bob Hall, Spider-Man joined forces with “The Not-Ready-For-Prime-Time Players” consisting of the cast of Saturday Night Live at the time: Dan Aykroyd, John Belushi, Jane Curtin, Garrett Morris, Bill Murray, Laraine Newman and Gilda Radner.
The universes were joined rather ingeniously with Mary Jane Watson surprising Peter with tickets to a taping of the show. When the couple arrived late, Peter’s Spidey-Sense goes off when a large man shoves past them on the stairway. It turns out he is the Silver Samurai and he brought along a gang of goons to take back a ring currently stuck on Belushi’s finger. This causes Peter to go full Spider-Man and join in with the cast to take on the Silver Samurai. Stan Lee even makes an appearance and Rick Jones is announced as the musical guest, but doesn’t appear.
1. CHARLES BARKLEY VS. GODZILLA
Back in 1992, Nike aired a television commercial, which had a giant-sized version of NBA star Charles Barkley playing basketball with none other than Godzilla in the streets of downtown Tokyo. It didn’t take long, but we have no idea why it was done — Dark Horse Comics adapted it into a one-shot comic book. The comic takes place in California, rather than in Japan, and features Barkley playing ball with the King of the Monsters.
The comic was written by Mike Barron with pencils by Jeff Butler and Keith Aiken. In the book, Barkley is prompted to save California from the rampaging Godzilla by a little boy who gives him a magic silver dollar that allows him to grow to monstrous proportions. Because “it is a little known fact that Godzilla is a sucker for b-ball,” Barkley learns, issuing the challenge and… well, they play basketball. Yup. That sure happened.
Which crossover did you find the most ridiculous? Are some of these in your collection? Let us know in the comments!
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