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What Are the Best Comics Crossovers, Ever?

You've got to love comics that feel like they "shouldn't happen."

 And one of these dudes actually won.

DC finally getting to reprint the SUPERMAN VS. MUHAMMAD ALI hardcover this week (and in a sleek hardcover, no less) got me thinking about crossovers.  I’ve always been endlessly-intrigued by them for much the same reason as I’m always interested in alternate realities stories - - they're a refreshing reminder of the limitless possibilities of comics, even when things can get all-too-often truncated by self-imposed rules.  

I’ve already explicated my picks for my favorite company crossovers, but now we’ll throw a handy prefix into the discussion and talk about inter-company crossovers. That is, the ones that really are a break from business-as-usual. Contracts and rights and such make these a little rarer so, when they do pop, they're usually pretty special to begin with. 

Without further preamble, here are some of my all-time favorites...  == TEASER == 

ROBOCOP VS. TERMINATOR

Doubly-notable as a team-up, this is also only time (to my knowledge)  that comics legends Frank Miller and Walt Simonson have worked together. It coincided with the release of some insanely-hard Genesis/SNES video games and it just happens to feature two of my favorite  movie characters. The creative team knows precisely what tone to give it - - they don't take anything too seriously, but still make this one feverish, frenetic, adrenaline-fueled ride. Very much comics' equivalent of rock song (featuring a guest guitarist!) Sadly, it’s out of print, though. 

 
 
 
 
 
 

ARCHIE MEETS THE PUNISHER 

Full confession. I've only actually skimmed through this, but the idea is far too bizarrely-genius for it not to get mentioned here. What's maybe even more astounding is the fact that it's played more-or-less played straight, with both characters staying true to themselves. Basically, big Frank's trailing an escaped scumbag who's the spitting checker-browed, ginger baby image of Riverdale most famous teen. Anybody who thinks LITTLE ARCHIE/TINY TITANS is strange needs to check out to put things properly into perspective. Frank doesn't' waste anybody, though. 
 
 
 
 
 
 

JLA/WILDC.A.T.S 

This came out when Grant Morrison was on an absolute, unstoppable roll with his JLA run and it's far better than it ever even should've been. It's actually a light parody of crossovers in general with scenes like Grifter backing down from a duel with a clearly-out-of-his-league Batman and Superman shutting an arrogant Mr. Majestic up with a single, fight-ending punch. Considering that Wildstorm's world has subsequently folded into the multiverse, you can think of this as something of a prelude to 52.  
 
 
 
 
 
 
 


JLA/AVENGERS 

A crossover 20 years in the making. A comic with so much detail, it gave George Perez carpal-tunnel problems. A story that even Crossgen realized it shouldn't get in the way of. "Fan service" is a term that gets thrown around a lot in the circles of anime and manga, and this is probably the greatest example of such in comics. It answers long-discussed "battle thread" questions once and for all, and is a feel-good reminder of how fun shared universes superheroics can be at their best.  
 
 
 
 
 
 
 


DC VS. MARVEL & AMALGAM COMICS 

Given how both companies have evolved in the ensuing years, I don't think we're ever going to see another "friendly competition" effort like this. The mini-series itself was notable for letting the battles' outcomes be decided by fans' votes, leading to decisive victories instead of pussyfooting draws. The Amalgam books still capture my imagination as much today as they did in '96. I've read thousands and comics and I can think of few that were as unabashedly enjoyable and creatively exciting as these were. SPIDER-BOY, SUPER-SOLDIER & JLX were stand-outs.

Anyway, this is just a quick list of some of my favorites (with Amalgam being heads-and-tails at the top.) There are dozens and dozens more of these crossovers, so let me hear which ones have earned the favor of you Comic Vine maniacs.   

And I should give a special nod to the wickedly-cynical ending to SPAWN vs. BATMAN. There aren't too many crossovers that end with as much punch as a razor-sharp baterang to the face.

Tom Pinchuk’s the writer of  HYBRID BASTARDS! & UNIMAGINABLE . Order them on Amazon here & here.  Follow him on Twitter: @tompinchuk

77 Comments
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Edited by Mr. Dead Pool

Army of Darkness VS Marvel Zombies is the best as far as I'm concerned. HAIL TO THE KING BABY!!!

Posted by aidanphantom
@Mr. Dead Pool:

I'm in total agreement with you on that one!

I would also say Freddy vs. Jason vs. Ash.

Edited by turoksonofstone

Top Inter-Company Crossovers?    1. JLA/AVENGERS   (Because its CANNON)
                                                                 2. DC VS. MARVEL & AMALGAM COMICS

Posted by Metatron_Da_Don

Spider-Boy! The DC/Marvel crossover was one of the first real comic books I ever read...

Posted by NXH

My personal favourite crossover was Cyberforce/Hunter Killer.

Posted by Duo_forbidden

I personally liked Spawn vs Batman crossover. That was just awesome.

Edited by Bruce Vain

I effing loved Robocop vs Terminator. I'm proud to say I own the single issues. I'm a huuuuge Robocop and Terminator fan.  
 
A favorite crossover of mine was Batman / Deathblow. Now it wasn't a crossover in the sense of where Batman and Deathblow were working together. It was where Batman was finishing taking care of a case that Deathblow was working on before he died that he never completed.  Plus, I loved Lee Bermejo's realistic artwork in this book. 
 

 
Posted by Grimoire

DC Vs Marvel is the only crossover I have read so that one. lol

Posted by Crymsun

X-Men/Teen Titans.  Absolutely amazing.
Posted by JayUK

I don't quite know if it's technically a crossover since they're now very well established has being in the same universe, but the first Aliens vs Predator series totally blew me away.

Posted by firewrkninja
@Mr. Dead Pool said:
" Army of Darkness VS Marvel Zombies is the best as far as I'm concerned. HAIL TO THE KING BABY!!! "
that and Marvel Zombies: Evil Evolution if that counts
Edited by Danial79

Being a big Hulk fan, I was always interested in seeing him and Supes battle it out in their crossover... but I doubt I'll ever get the chance :(

Posted by Mainline
Posted by mbembet

they should make Batman vs Muhammad Ali instead.

Posted by GothamRed

New Teen titans/X-men crossover, and Spider-man/Batman

Posted by IcePrince_X

WildCats vs X-Men # 1 
the art of Travis Charest is phenominal 
 
Gen13 and The Maxx 
Tomm Coker is stylish and notable 

Posted by I'maDC/ImageGuy!

Batman/Hellboy/Starman.

Posted by Darkmount1

These I consider to be my absolute favorite x-overs:

-Superman vs the Amazing Spider-Man (1976)

-Uncanny X-Men/New Teen Titans (1982)

-Batman/Spider-Man (1997), the one with Ra's Al Ghul and the Kingpin

-JLA/Avengers

 

The first three I really like because these are perfect examples of how the DC/Marvel characters could properly interact with one another in a stable, shared universe.  It is these three that are the inspiration for my fanfic-verse, which is primarily a continuation of the DCAU and MAU, along with a few others.

Edited by tensor

spawn an batman
dc/wildstorm - dream war
batman an spiderman
superman an spiderman 
batman vs the incredible hulk 
jla/avengers

Posted by ArtisticNeedham

I have one that should be included perhaps:
Crisis on Infinite Earths, it was a giant crossover of several comics that DC had aquired, and merged them into their universe:

 
 
 
 
 
 
And I would say JLA/Avengers because it was George Perez' dream job for years and years, finally he got his chance to draw it and he went above and beyond:
Posted by The_Martian

My favorite is Spider-Man and Batman.
 

 Simply Epic. Too bad the second one didn't have the same feel too it.
Posted by Grim

i was a huge fan of the Batman/Punisher crossover, but the Amalgam ones were the sweetest. SuperBishop. Spiderboy. and was it WonderStorm? classic.

Posted by The_Martian
@turoksonofstone said:
" Top Inter-Company Crossovers?    1. JLA/AVENGERS   (Because its CANNON)
                                                                 2. DC VS. MARVEL & AMALGAM COMICS

"
I doubt that JLA/Avengers is considered canon still.
Posted by Pizawle

It is a cool occurrence that really cannot happen to this scale in any other medium.
 
That said, being a relatively new comics reader, I have not actually read any of these types of crossovers. But I definitely plan to. Thanks for the recommendations.

Posted by turoksonofstone
@Nobody said:
" @turoksonofstone said:
" Top Inter-Company Crossovers?    1. JLA/AVENGERS   (Because its CANNON)
                                                                 2. DC VS. MARVEL & AMALGAM COMICS

"
I doubt that JLA/Avengers is considered canon still. "
Funny thing to doubt. What fact based information are you basing this assumption on???
Posted by comicbikerscott

i would want to see a freedy and jason v robocop and tremintor archie meets the punsiher very stange jla/ wildcats is cool i also love jla/avengers dc v marvel was great.
Posted by The_Martian
@turoksonofstone said:
" @Nobody said:
" @turoksonofstone said:
" Top Inter-Company Crossovers?    1. JLA/AVENGERS   (Because its CANNON)
                                                                 2. DC VS. MARVEL & AMALGAM COMICS

"
I doubt that JLA/Avengers is considered canon still. "
Funny thing to doubt. What fact based information are you basing this assumption on??? "
Various retcons to the universe. The Crime Syndicate of Amerika was killed during this series and their universe is now back. So that for one makes me think this is no longer canon.
Edited by turoksonofstone
@Nobody: 
Good point. But,how was Krona released from the Cosmic Egg in DC continuity?
Posted by The_Martian
@turoksonofstone:  I don't know how  that has been effected by retcons.
Posted by batmanary
@Nobody said:
" @turoksonofstone said:
" @Nobody said:
" @turoksonofstone said:
" Top Inter-Company Crossovers?    1. JLA/AVENGERS   (Because its CANNON)
                                                                 2. DC VS. MARVEL & AMALGAM COMICS

"
I doubt that JLA/Avengers is considered canon still. "
Funny thing to doubt. What fact based information are you basing this assumption on??? "
Various retcons to the universe. The Crime Syndicate of Amerika was killed during this series and their universe is now back. So that for one makes me think this is no longer canon. "
Actually in the volume of JLA dealing with their return, it had to do directly with the events in JLA/Avengers.
Posted by turoksonofstone
@Nobody said:
" @turoksonofstone:  I don't know how  that has been effected by retcons. "
The Cosmic Egg birthed Galactus and is an object of power (A Kirby created one I'm sure) that is native to the Marvel Universe, with the power of 20 cosmic cubes combined one was used to trap Krona at the end of  JLA/Avengers and ended up back in the DC Universe with Krona inside. This was directly addressed at some point in a Kyle Rayner issue of Green Lantern not sure of the #.So long as DC has a Marvel object of Power floating around with a DC character trapped in it, the story is Cannon. I believe it is also mentioned in the recent Marvel Handbooks in the Avengers entry.
Posted by SuperXAsh

I love crossovers. The punisher/archie crossover was pretty good, and pretty funny. It'd probably NEVER happen again, what with the post-Garth Ennis Punisher. XD
 
Though I'd probably say JLA/Avengers is my all-time favorite.

Edited by The_Martian
@turoksonofstone:  Well we need a squeal crossover to clear things up :)
Posted by turoksonofstone
@Nobody: 
lol, Agreed!
Posted by bob agent of agency x

Has everyone forgotten about PUNISHER/EMINEM  ...  
   
because im still trying to.
Posted by greenenvy

Damn wow ha ha I just cant get over the belief that there is a punisher Archie crossover, I would have never in  my life time think about such a meet up. Who the hell came up with  that idea? 

Edited by kajo

One I thought of was not strictly a comic book.  It was the Star Trek: Next Generation / X-Men crossover book called Planet X by Michael Jan Friedman.  However, since I had forgotten the title, I researched it on-line, where I found what looks to be a 64-page comic:
 


Posted by Deadcool

My face when: ARCHIE & PUNISHER?!

Posted by AMP - Seeker of Lost Knowledge

I will tell you what WOULD be a great CROSSOVER: BATMAN and GREEN HORNET (The KEVIN SMITH Hornet. Check out my blog for further details....with a video clip)
 

Posted by weaponxxx

The Batman/Predator crossover was the first comic book I ever owned. Good stuff.

Posted by Donovan Montgomery

I enjoyed the Batman/Daredevil books, (the DC one more) 

 
Titans/X-Men 
 

Batman/Hulk was pretty cool
 

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
...ok, pretty much all DC/Marvel......JLA/Witchblde.....
 
and Wildcats were fun reads to......    
Posted by NightFang

I like all the crossovers in comics because they give me the chance too see my favorite characters meet either other and fight!

Posted by batman_is_god
@bob agent of agency x:
never heard of that.
Edited by ComicStooge

This was a good one...
 
Edited by Mr_Wayne69

Spawn/Batman was EPIC!!!
 
Also anything having to do with Morrisons JLA and DC vs Marvel/JLA/Avengers... CLASSIC!!!

Edited by etragedy

One of the most interesting comic book crossovers (that no one probably remembers) is the Teen Titans and the DNAgents. Due to rights issues, the creative teams couldn't actually use the characters in each others books, but they (possibly surreptitiously?) created analogous representations - like when the Avengers took on the JLA (AKA 'Squadron Supreme') the DNAgents met 'Project Youngblood' and the Teen Titans met the 'RECOMBatants'.  
 

 
Posted by Dark Cell

 Archie Meets the Punisher...please tell me Frank mowed Archie and the rest of the cast down with a heavy machine gun :D

Posted by Soldier zero
@batmanary said:
" @Nobody said:
" @turoksonofstone said:
" @Nobody said:
" @turoksonofstone said:
" Top Inter-Company Crossovers?    1. JLA/AVENGERS   (Because its CANNON)
                                                                 2. DC VS. MARVEL & AMALGAM COMICS

"
I doubt that JLA/Avengers is considered canon still. "
Funny thing to doubt. What fact based information are you basing this assumption on??? "
Various retcons to the universe. The Crime Syndicate of Amerika was killed during this series and their universe is now back. So that for one makes me think this is no longer canon. "
Actually in the volume of JLA dealing with their return, it had to do directly with the events in JLA/Avengers. "
@turoksonofstone said:
" @Nobody said:
" @turoksonofstone:  I don't know how  that has been effected by retcons. "
The Cosmic Egg birthed Galactus and is an object of power (A Kirby created one I'm sure) that is native to the Marvel Universe, with the power of 20 cosmic cubes combined one was used to trap Krona at the end of  JLA/Avengers and ended up back in the DC Universe with Krona inside. This was directly addressed at some point in a Kyle Rayner issue of Green Lantern not sure of the #.So long as DC has a Marvel object of Power floating around with a DC character trapped in it, the story is Cannon. I believe it is also mentioned in the recent Marvel Handbooks in the Avengers entry. "
Actually the Krona's Cosmic Egg was later used to gave birth to the New Earth in the DC universe. The consequences of the cross over on the Marvel Unverse are less clear, but some people - including me - thinks that Scarlet was able to pull her famous "no more mutants" stunt tnanks to the extra chaos energy accumulated during her time in the DC universe (where the lords of chaos are stronger).
Posted by Zoom
@Crymsun said:
"X-Men/Teen Titans.  Absolutely amazing. "

For real.  Much better than any other marvel/dc crossover, most of which sucked anyways.
Edited by turoksonofstone
@Soldier zero said:

" @batmanary said:

" @Nobody said:
" @turoksonofstone said:
" @Nobody said:
" @turoksonofstone said:
" Top Inter-Company Crossovers?    1. JLA/AVENGERS   (Because its CANNON)
                                                                 2. DC VS. MARVEL & AMALGAM COMICS

"
I doubt that JLA/Avengers is considered canon still. "
Funny thing to doubt. What fact based information are you basing this assumption on??? "
Various retcons to the universe. The Crime Syndicate of Amerika was killed during this series and their universe is now back. So that for one makes me think this is no longer canon. "
Actually in the volume of JLA dealing with their return, it had to do directly with the events in JLA/Avengers. "
@turoksonofstone said:
" @Nobody said:
" @turoksonofstone:  I don't know how  that has been effected by retcons. "
The Cosmic Egg birthed Galactus and is an object of power (A Kirby created one I'm sure) that is native to the Marvel Universe, with the power of 20 cosmic cubes combined one was used to trap Krona at the end of  JLA/Avengers and ended up back in the DC Universe with Krona inside. This was directly addressed at some point in a Kyle Rayner issue of Green Lantern not sure of the #.So long as DC has a Marvel object of Power floating around with a DC character trapped in it, the story is Cannon. I believe it is also mentioned in the recent Marvel Handbooks in the Avengers entry. "
Actually the Krona's Cosmic Egg was later used to gave birth to the New Earth in the DC universe. The consequences of the cross over on the Marvel Unverse are less clear, but some people - including me - thinks that Scarlet was able to pull her famous "no more mutants" stunt tnanks to the extra chaos energy accumulated during her time in the DC universe (where the lords of chaos are stronger). "
Thank You @Soldier zero: Really? Did DC do that? I had no Idea! Really?????? I have new respect for them(DC) if this is true! Fascinating!! Do you know where I can pick up the DC side of this story post JLA/Avengers?
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