6 Comic Book Crossovers You Won't Believe Actually Happened
For comic nerds, the sight of two or more superheroes working together has as much attraction as the sight of two or more girls making out. In fact, given a choice, the true comic book fan will probably go for the former.
That doesn't mean comic companies can just take any two popular characters and throw them together, regardless of how mismatched or downright bizarre the pairings turn out to be. Like when ...
Batman Teams Up With Sherlock Holmes
In this special anniversary issue, Batman and Robin travel to England to stop a plot from Professor Moriarty's evil descendant to murder Queen Elizabeth.
"What could we possibly be swinging from?"
After doing some sightseeing, Batman succeeds in taking down Moriarty Jr. thanks to some unexpected help.
"My eyes ... I've rolled them too far back!"
This actually seems like a pretty good match. They're both detectives, they're both rich, they both have sidekicks. We can picture Batman and Holmes sitting together at the country club, sipping champagne and being condescending to the Hispanic waiter. So what's the problem?
Math. Math is the problem. Holmes first showed up in 1887, and he was 33 at the time. This comic came out in the late 1980's and is completely set in the present ... meaning Holmes is roughly impossibly fucking old.
"If I put literally anything into my body my century-old system won't be able to handle it."
But being over 130 doesn't mean Holmes has lost his mad ninja skills:
That criminal looks pretty damn old, too. Where are all the kids? Is crime not cool anymore?
By the way, the whole point of Moriarty's plan to murder the Queen is to honor his ancestor's name ... so why doesn't he just use all those henchmen and weapons (at one point he even gets a hold of atomic missiles) to bomb the shit out of Sherlock? It's not like the old man goes to great lengths to hide his identity -- he hasn't even changed his wardrobe in 100 years.
And, of course, it's a comic, so if the writers wanted a Batman/Holmes team-up, they could have sent Batman back in time, as they've done before, or they could've sent Holmes forward, or they could have just said "To hell with reality, Holmes is in his 30s like Batman because I said 'fuck it' and I'm writing this comic," as comic writers have done for years. Bruce Wayne has been roughly the same age forever. Robin punches robots. They regularly team up with aliens and fight monsters. They could have made up any damn thing they wanted to get healthy, young Holmes and Batman in a room together, but they chose to make him unnaturally old and forced themselves into coming up with all of this Tibetan Beekeeping bullshit to explain away the impossible.
Also, the story itself establishes the special kind of rivalry Professor Moriarty and Holmes had:
"I'm sure douchey, Internet writers of the future won't take this panel out of context
to make me look foolish."- Whoever Wrote This Comic, 1987
... rivaled only by Batman and the Joker.
"Me too." -- Whoever Wrote This One
The Punisher Meets Eminem
Unlike most bizarre celebrity cameos in comics, this one was done with Eminem's full approval and cooperation. The story opens with the Punisher slaughtering Eminem's bodyguards after a concert in Detroit.
Bang-up job, bodyguards.
The downside to having Eminem's approval is that you also get a shit-ton of Eminem's suggestions... which explains why the story tries so hard to make him look like a bad-ass. When Punisher attacks him, he just happens to be carrying a Glock, and we later learn he's wearing a bulletproof vest.
"Is it because I'm famous? Or because I shoot people? Is that a crime?"
The plot reveals that Eminem is good buddies with one of the Punisher's rival hit men, a degenerate, merciless mass murderer called Barracuda.
"Me, I was on Jimmy Kimmel the other night."
Incidentally, the only reason the Punisher was around Eminem in the first place was to protect him from Barracuda ... which he somewhat paradoxically accomplished by murdering Em's bodyguards.
Eminem's story suggestions read like a child's interpretation of "cool toughness," as seen here, where Eminem beats the Punisher with a gun. While rapping.
"Can I be riding a dinosaur in this panel, too? And then fireworks happen?
Once the Punisher is lying on the floor unconscious, Eminem proceeds to shoot him in the chest.
This is when Barracuda reveals that he was the one hired by the Parents Music Council to murder Eminem, and that the Punisher was only there to stop Barracuda. 'Cuda takes Shady and the unconscious Punisher, chains them up together and runs off on a boat, to drown them instead of, say, shooting them directly in their faces. (He is a bad hit man.)
Eminem gets out of his chains, of course, and at this point you can practically hear the writer's head smashing against the keyboard as he tries to figure out how to incorporate Eminem's latest "suggestion" into the plot.
"I should like, get a chainsaw..."
"What? Where would you get a chainsaw?"
"Barracuda throws me off the boat, right? But the water is like ice, so I just land and walk off on it."
"The water that the boat was just traveling through is solid ice?"
"Yeah, and then I walk off and straight up run into some dude with a chainsaw, just chillin' on the ice."
"...and I fuckin' slice the Punisher open, yo."
"Whoa, no, he's a Marvel Comics character, we can't kill-"
"Fine, then I'll slice open Barracuda."
"But he's also a-"
"And then I grow like huge metal wings, and I fly over the X-Men's house and take a dump on Wolverine. And he cries. And I have a giant boner. Four giant boners."
"... OK, let's just kill Barracuda."
And so they did.
The comic ends with the Punisher and Eminem clearing up the misunderstanding and parting on more or less friendly terms. Eminem gets off the boat and continues to walk on the frozen water, while the Punisher sails away on the inexplicably unfrozen water, now on a new mission.
And everyone lived happily ever after. Except Barracuda. And the two dead bodyguards. And every single member of the Parents Music Council, evidently.
...and then he murdered all of them? Jesus.
Jesus vs. Zeus
In 1996, controversial comic book artist Rob Liefeld published a crossover between two of his most brilliant creations: Avengelyne (a fallen angel based on Christian mythology) and Glory (an Amazon based on Greek religious mythology).
Who are they? How do their spines bend like that? Titties? That's not important, and that last one isn't even technically a question. What's important is that Liefeld thought that the religious crossover in this comic was the perfect excuse to give Jesus a much-needed gritty reboot.
The comic starts in a dream sequence when, as one reviewer put it, "the Greek gods stop by Jesus' crucifixion to talk some trash."
"Yo Jesus" jokes predate "Yo Momma" jokes by thousands of years.
When the Greek gods start talking shit on the human race, Jesus is in no mood to put up with their bad jive, so he rips himself down from the cross and kicks their Greek asses.
You, uh, don't mess with the Jesus.
That whole "turning the other cheek" crap? That was the old Jesus. The All-New Jesus has no patience for fools.
"More like a Tri-don't," Jesus would have said if this was CSI: Jerusalem.
After Jesus easily takes down all of the lesser gods, he goes head-to-head with Zeus himself, who offers to spare him if he admits the whole human race is lame and unworthy of Jesus' sacrifice. Calling the human race lame would be an insult to Jesus' mother, and you should NEVER make fun of another man's mom, especially Jesus' mom.
The dream sequence ends before we can see the outcome of the fight, and we learn that Avengelyne's dream was a prophecy. The interpretation of the dream is that there's a war between the forces of Zeus and God's army of badass angels, and it's up to two large-breasted superheroes to stop it before it destroys the universe.
What's their solution? Is it boobs? We hope it's boobs.
Unfortunately, this was the first issue, and a second issue was never printed. We don't know how the women save the day, we don't know if Zeus gets his ass handed to him in either reality or a dream sequence, we don't know if Jesus does the ass-handing, we don't know anything. We believe the outcome will be the subject of intense theological debate in the distant future, when the comic is found and mistaken for a real part of the Bible.
Meanwhile, Avengelyne and Glory did meet again, in a comic with a much deeper plot and captivating story.
The X-Men And Star Trek
A meeting so offensively incongruous, it could only have been conceived by a 10-year-old playing with action figures circa 1993. All that's missing is a Ninja Turtle (one of the late-period, sports-themed ones) and a couple of maimed GoBots.
Sometimes you gotta work with what you have.
Somehow, there have been two separate comics with this premise, each featuring the X-Men and a different Star Trek generation. The stories are almost completely different, although they both involve time travel, alternate dimensions and a scene where Wolverine is singlehandedly taken down by the biggest nerd in the Enterprise.
The old Vulcan instant-orgasm pinch.
Now, Wolverine may be grossly out of character here (you'll notice that Spock is still alive), but not everyone else is. The comics are faithful to the core of the Star Trek concept in that Captain Kirk is shown trying to bone every non-human being with tits that comes his way.
In fact, these things are basically standard Star Trek plots with the X-Men awkwardly shoehorned in to boost sales. It's no coincidence that they were published to coincide with the launch of Marvel's "Paramount Comics" imprint (which sorta pissed off all those Star Trek fans who weren't expecting to find sexy mutants in their comics).
Since two 50-page comics clearly weren't enough to explore this idea with the depth and pathos it deserved, Marvel and Paramount later published a 300-page novel that told yet another Star Trek/X-Men adventure. That's like 100 pages of posts in a fan fiction message board, in more than one sense.
We're not sure what part of the novel inspired more nerd boners: the scenes where Captain Picard falls in love with the X-Men's Storm ...
Wow, what a handy image.
...or the ones where Wolverine has a bromance with a Klingon.
Thankfully, they stopped the franchise before the inappropriate sexual tension could reach a boiling point and the whole thing turned into an all-out orgy. If there's one thing that intrigues us less than the sex lives of the Enterprise crewmembers and the X-Men, it's the sex lives of the Enterprise crew members with the X-Men.
Spider-Man And Iron Man Intersect With A Daytime Soap Opera
In 2006, for reasons beyond any human comprehension, the editors at Marvel Comics met with the people at Procter & Gamble to discuss possible ways for their properties to intersect. Marvel, obviously, had access to a ton of valuable superhero properties, and Proctor & Gamble had Guiding Light, a beloved American soap opera about ... white people doing things (despite this being the longest-running show of all time, we've never seen a single episode). Two properties that clearly belonged together.
The result was an episode of Guiding Light in which one of the characters gains superpowers, after suffering a freak accident with some Halloween decorations.
By the way, that wasn't a dream or a fantasy sequence -- all that stuff actually happened in the reality of the show. The superpowers were reversed by the end of the episode, though, presumably because those fancy special effects were way too expensive to afford on a regular basis.
Marvel fulfilled its side of the deal by producing a special Guiding Light comic in the same character has another freak accident, involving an electric socket and some fingers.
That woman is clearly not qualified to handle this type of technology.
She then proceeds to put on her revealing spandex costume again, because that's the next logical step whenever you get superpowers. The story jumps to Spider-Man capturing some bad guys in New York, when Iron Man suddenly shows up and asks him to drop everything.
"No, not the fun one."
Turns out Iron Man has somehow detected a new superheroine in a small Midwestern town and is gathering all the big guns to come check her out, which is clearly more important than stopping crime. So Spider-Man literally leaves the bad guys sitting in the middle of the street and joins Iron Man and the rest in this important mission.
Spidey's carelessness comes to bite everyone in the ass when the same criminals he left unattended follow the heroes to Springfield and attack it, ("Perfect! No one will stop us if we attack the one town with every superhero.). Guiding Light's superheroine helps defeat the bad guys, once again losing her powers in the process.
"But I wouldn't try to change any light bulbs if I were you."
The crossover was an obvious attempt to boost the ratings of the soap by tapping into the superhero film trend. Did it work? Well, before this happened, Guiding Light had been going on for 70 years (that's right, it predates television) ... and it was canceled shortly afterward.
Superman vs. Pretty Much Anyone
Superman is like the Kevin Bacon of superheroes: Thanks to him, there's only two degrees of separation between The Thundercats and I Love Lucy. Superman has appeared in a comic with literally everyone.
Most of these stories involve punching, because that's what Superman does best. But the problem with having Superman fight another character is that the guy has more powers than God and Wolverine combined, meaning most fights would realistically end in about three seconds. And since the writers can't always use kryptonite (by now they've used enough of it to make up like five planet Kryptons), they have to constantly come up with other reasons why Superman would be even slightly threatened by the other guy. And sometimes those reasons can get pretty ridiculous.
Like that time Skeletor put a magic spell on Superman and forced him to fight He-Man.
"Plus there's this naked dude with a sword. Really not sure what my priority should be right now."
Why is Superman in Eternia, you ask? He accidentally fell into a time vortex and washed up there. Yeah, that sort of thing happens to him entirely too often. Like in Superman vs. Aliens, where he somehow strands himself in an asteroid that happens to have Kryptonian atmosphere, making Superman weak enough for the Alien Queen to force itself on him.
"This is ... unpleasant."
Or in Superman vs. Predator, where he contracts a convenient jungle virus that weakens his powers. Or in Superman and Batman vs. Aliens and Predator, which takes place inside an active volcano where Superman's powers don't work at full capacity.
"How did I end up in a volcano in the first place??"
There's also Superman vs. Freddy vs. Jason (featuring Gumby), where Superman loses his powers after eating a bad plate of chili con carne.
OK, that one didn't happen -- but you know they're getting there.
For more bad comic book ideas, check out 5 Superheroes Rendered Ridiculous by Gritty Reboots and The 6 Creepiest Comic Book Characters of All Time.
And stop by Linkstorm to see what happened when Brockway and DOB teamed up to save the environment. (Not good things.)
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