While the House of Ideas struck first with the “unofficial” crossovers in 2018, DC followed suit just one week later in Action Comics #998, by Dan Jurgens and Will Conrad. Taking place during the tail end of the “Booster Shot” arc, the issue sees Booster Gold jokingly refer to his robotic pal Skeets as Batman’s butler Alfred. However, when Skeets takes exception to this comparison, Booster trades in breaking the timeline for breaking the fourth wall.
“Not like I can call you Jarvis,” he says. “Whole other timeline.”
This, of course, is a nod to Tony Stark/Iron Man’s beloved butler (and AI in the MCU) Edwin Jarvis, who – thanks to Multiversity – could very well exist in a Multiverse adjacent to the DCU proper.
Not all of these so-called crossovers are quite as on the nose, though. Take, for example, May 30’s Infinity Countdown: Captain Marvel #1, by Jim McCann and Diego Olortegui. While it’s hardly a major nod, there’s no denying the green-and-white-clad Captain Marvel who’s wearing the Reality Stone like a ring (a power ring, perhaps?) evokes strong memories of a certain group of lantern-themed space cops from the DCU.
However, while this Green Lantern reference might be a bit of a stretch for some, Marvel struck again that same week in Lockjaw #4, by Daniel Kibblesmith and Carlos Villa. This time, though, it isn’t the Green Lantern Corps that’s teased, but rather two-thirds of DC’s trinity.
While transporting between realities, Lockjaw suddenly finds himself in a universe that’s labeled “[REDACTED].” Once there, the teleporting canine is kindly asked to leave by two characters whose faces aren’t visible, but judging by their lower halves, are clearly intended to be Superman and Wonder Woman.
Finally, we arrive at the most recent “unofficial” Marvel/DC crossover, which takes place in the pages of Robert Venditti and Bryan Hitch’s Hawkman #1 from June 13. Much to Venditti and Hitch’s credit, the pair does wonders in terms of trying to patch up Hawkman’s incredibly convoluted backstory, but one particular panel opens up a whole new can of worms.
As Hawkman’s countless reincarnations across both time and space appear to him in a vision, we see one version of the hero that bears a striking resemblance to the Inhuman king Black Bolt, but with a green-and-yellow costume. Then, further down in the panel, Hitch includes a rendition that seems to imply the character was once host to the Phoenix Force.
Does this recent influx of “unofficial” Marvel/DC crossovers mean that readers could be poised to see another true crossover between the Big Two publishers sometime soon? Well, while many, including Marvel-turned-DC writer Brian Michael Bendis, would love to see it happen, it certainly doesn’t appear to be in the cards… at least not yet.