Off My Mind: Why We Need More Comic Book Crossovers

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Posted by G-Man (18855 posts) - - Show Bio

Comic book crossovers can be a touchy subject with some. There are different types of crossovers we could look at. Many characters exist in vast comic book universes. When characters cross over, it's usually because of a big threat or story. Characters that might not normally appear in the same comic are often pulled together to deal with a catastrophic problem.

There are good and bad ways for crossovers to come about. The obvious important factor is we get a great story to make the crossover work and worth our time and money. When crossovers are simply done to generate sales, the point of the actual crossover becomes lessened and you get the sense that we're being taken advantage of.

Crossovers within a comic book universe is one thing but the days of the frequent inter-company crossover are almost non-existent. If everyone can get on the same page, in planning and negotiation, we could all benefit from seeing the return of the great comic crossovers.

== TEASER ==

Looking back, the first really big comic crossovers within companies that gained a lot of attention was MARVEL SUPER HEROES SECRET WARS and CRISIS ON INFINITE EARTHS. The first brought together many Marvel heroes and villains. They were at the mercy of the Beyonder and were supposed to fight each other in order to win what they desired most.

The point of the 12-issue series may have been to sell action figures but we ended up with a really cool story. The story was contained in the twelve issues and surprisingly, when issue #2 came out, the characters had already returned home in their respective titles. Comic book life moved on (along with major repercussions) while the main crossover was just beginning. You weren't forced to read a bunch of other series. You could just read your favorite characters' series and SECRET WARS if you wanted.

CRISIS brought the heroes together to witness the end of the multiverse. This was where the DC Universe was changed. Characters were killed off or erased as the entire DC Universe got a reboot. Both of these had a point in bringing the heroes together. It was fun and exciting to see it all happen.

Currently we have AVENGERS VS. X-MEN. There seems to be many that are not thrilled by the story yet the series is selling well and any time we report on the book, people are interested. This isn't the first time the two teams clashed. There was a four-issue miniseries back in 1987, X-MEN VS. AVENGERS. The current crossover is on a bigger scale. Many regular series are tying into the event and we're witnessing hero fight hero.

That's the cool thing about the crossover. Seeing heroes or villains fight others they normally don't. When we had Marvel characters fight DC characters like in 1976's SUPERMAN VS. SPIDER-MAN or UNCANNY X-MEN AND THE NEW TEEN TITANS, it was a blast. How many loved seeing Green Lantern Kyle Rayner team up with the Silver Surfer? The pairing of Batman and Spider-Man was classic. MARVEL VS. DC was the big crossover that put the two universes against each other. Of course we can't forget to mention ARCHIE MEETS THE PUNISHER.

This is where crossovers shine. Even with big events like AVENGERS VS. X-MEN, it's still characters from the same world interacting with each other. There may be some new interactions but many of the characters have met, fought or teamed up before. Seeing Superman fight the Hulk is something you don't get to see often at all. And then there was even all the Amalgam characters.

For different reasons, we don't get these big crossovers anymore. Pairing a Marvel and DC Comics character seems like a no-brainer. People want to see them and they would sell, especially if there was a great writer and artist handling the crossover. The two companions could then split the profits and live happily. They just don't want to play together anymore.

At least the crossovers haven't been completely abandoned. IDW currently has Star Trek crossing over with Doctor Who. In November, Dynamite Entertainment is bringing Green Hornet and Kato, the Spider, the Shadow and Zorro together in MASKS, drawn and painted by Alex Ross. We've even had Danger Girl meet up with members of G.I. Joe.

What you'll notice is these crossovers aren't from Marvel or DC. IDW and Dynamite Entertainment know what readers want. They know mixing characters that have never met could make a great story that would be worth checking out. It might be seen as a cheap marketing ploy but there's nothing wrong with giving readers what they dream about. If readers are buying and enjoying them, it's a win-win situation.

It's unfortunate that we can't see the big crossovers anymore. We still get big comic book events within the Big Two but those aren't quite the same. Imagine if we could see Nightwing team up with Winter Soldier? How would the new Justice League interact with the Avengers? Just the idea of the New 52 and how the characters are a little different could make the crossovers interesting.

We've had them before. We may not be getting them now but perhaps if we're patient, we might see Marvel and DC characters work together once again. Having them all the time wouldn't be a good thing but if we could get the occasional really cool comic crossover, it would be something we'd love to spend our money on.

Tony Guerrero is the Editor-in-Chief of Comic Vine. You can follow him on Twitter @GManFromHeck. He'd even like to see some crossover between Comic Vine and other comic book sites.

#1 Posted by moywar700 (2775 posts) - - Show Bio

No

The last thing we need is from people average people saying ,"Why isn't The Green Laturn in the Avengers." Or,"The Batman is the best Marvel film ever."These statements actually happened.

#2 Posted by Mister_Sensational (196 posts) - - Show Bio

Well said G-Man, I know I've been feeling this way for a very long time. I was just getting into comics when DC versus Marvel was hitting stores. The thought of these two powerhouses coming together had me hooked, even despite the fact that looking back on it some of the outcomes to the battles didn't make a lick of sense (i.e Wolverine vs. Lobo with Wolverine winning) but at the time it was just so cool seeing these former "What if?" type matches finally taking place you just didn't care, and then as you mentioned something amazing happened and we got Amalgam right in the midst of it.

Since then several things have happened that I think would make DC vs. Marvel even more awesome today like...

1. The expansion of the internet. If you'll recall some of the outcomes in DC vs. Marvel were decided by fan voting in which you had to mail in to either of the publishers. If they got together and did something like this again fan voting over the internet via a Facebook page lets say could make the outcomes evern more interesting. (as long as the characters are evenly matched that is)

2. The creation of Ultimate Marvel.

3. The re-establishment of the DC multiverse.

4. The creation of the New 52.

I know many won't agree with me on the last one but I mention it as being a key component to re-establishing the Amalgam universe.

#3 Posted by minigunman123 (3116 posts) - - Show Bio

Deathstroke vs. Captain America.

Batman vs. Tony Stark.

Superman vs. Thor.

X-men vs. Teen Titans.

Make it happen. You have my blessings, DC, Marvel.

#4 Posted by theTimeStreamer (2841 posts) - - Show Bio

@minigunman123: and after they actually do it and it wont be to your liking (and it surely wont) you will nerd rage. nothing good comes from cross overs.

small companies do it for a quick cash grab. most cross overs are crap with a few decent (2-3 at most).

#5 Posted by SoA (5241 posts) - - Show Bio

would love to see ghost rider , spawn , and the darkness fight

#6 Posted by SoA (5241 posts) - - Show Bio

@moywar700: when i was telling co-workers how great the avengers was going to be someone actually told me his favorite was avenger was batman.

#7 Edited by NatX (9 posts) - - Show Bio

I think it would be cool to not only have a anothe cross over with the big two but maybe have a couple transplants. Imagine Zatanna getting caught in portal with Doctor Strange or Batman and Robin having to be stuck in Spidey's world for a bit! The possibilities are endless.

#8 Posted by kapitein_zeppos (338 posts) - - Show Bio

Crossovers were too limited, they have been replaced by semi-regular events that involve 50+ titles that the publishers try to shove down your throat.

It's one of the reasons why I haven't bought Marvel titles in years because their universe is in a perpetual state of event, occasionally interrupted by scheduled stories.

#9 Posted by lorex (958 posts) - - Show Bio

With resspect G-Man part of the reason DC decided to go with the universe reboot, asside from the sales and marketing prespective is that the big DC crossovers like the 'Blackest Infinite Trinity Crisis with Brighter Days' were so convoluted and confusing it was almost impossible for all but the most dedicated DC fans to understand what the heck was going on. Whats worse some writers would try to bring in characters from other realities to further mix things up. I understand part of the reason for the new 52 was to repair many of the plot and continuity holes in the uiverse resulting from the big crossovers.

Of course Marvel does not escape the giant crossover or event as they are now called debacle. Its not that I dislike big events in general the problem I have is that every title remotely connected the the story has to have a tie in which in turn disrupts the ongoing story. Take AvX, first off this has not been a very good series in terms of quality, and it is WAY TOO LONG and I view its approaching end not as a conclusion but a mercy killing that ends our suffering. I can see the idea that lures in the fanboys 'Oh cool Cyclops and Captain America are fighting' which leads to sales. I know Marvels goal was to have a stepping off point in which fans could jump into several titles that are being renumbered starting over at issue zero, (and dont get me started on that scam) but I think they could have achieved their goal with much less disruption to ongoing store lines. 
 
The fact is I think the big events have gotten to be too big. Again I use AvX as an example as I am more familar with the Marvel universe. Was it really necessary for Wolverine and the X-Men, X-Men: Legacy, Avengers Acamedy and Secret Avengers to be included outside of passing references to the AvX story, not really. Wolverine could have easily been missing for a few issues and it would have had minimal effect on the storyline of Wolverine and the X-Men. Instead more bloated storelines are added to the mix which forces people who want to know the entire AvX story to buy more titles.  Also in the past if you happened to see a member of the Fantastic Four in the pages of the X-Men it was unique and interesting. Now the Marvel universe if far more interconnected with characters from multiple sources on the same team which leaves far less opportunities for the small 2-4 issue cross over.
 
I do agree that the smaller crossover seems to have a place with the smaller publishers with Doctor Who-Star Trek and Danger Girl-   GI Joe getting made and this is a good thing. I just do not see DC an Marvel having a crossover anytime soon as they are locked in very stiff competition.

#10 Posted by FanofUltraman (153 posts) - - Show Bio

Did the entire DC Universe forget their crossover with Marvel in JLA/Avengers? Marvel should remember it fine, but DC has been rebooted over and over again.

#11 Posted by guttridgeb (4832 posts) - - Show Bio

I'm still waiting for a Marvel/Star Wars crossover

#12 Posted by moywar700 (2775 posts) - - Show Bio

@SoA said:

@moywar700: when i was telling co-workers how great the avengers was going to be someone actually told me his favorite was avenger was batman.

#13 Posted by drgnx (3566 posts) - - Show Bio

Can't Warner just sell DC like they sold WCW?

#14 Posted by feebadger (1445 posts) - - Show Bio

Can you imagine what would happen if, one day, Disney buy DC too? ~shudder~

#15 Edited by Utandi (217 posts) - - Show Bio

I always try to stay open minded but when it comes to comic book crossovers...I don't know... that's the only thing I don't really like and honestly don't want to happen.

Each of the "Big Two" have their own different kinds of feel and atmosphere and vast universes and possibilities.

In my opinion, it wouldn't fit together and would take all the fun and uniqueness out of it. Would make it to crazy and implausible. It's like Superman suddenly appears in the Walking Dead universe and start killing zombies with his heat vision...

Don't want to see the Marvel characters in my beloved DC universe.

#16 Posted by lifeboy (1675 posts) - - Show Bio

@drgnx: that would be sad. i see bugs bunny and dc as a good pairing. as for crossvers between marvel and dc..... not interested.

#17 Posted by DarthShap (875 posts) - - Show Bio

No, we don't need it. They are just not that good. Most times, they stick to the overused formula : villains unite, heroes meet, fight and realise they are both good guys, heroes beat villains.

#18 Posted by Eyz (3042 posts) - - Show Bio

There's just no place for those anymore...just have a look at how serious comics tend to be these days....

#19 Posted by mickeymayhew (229 posts) - - Show Bio

sick of Avengers vs X-Men - how many issues of the wonderful Wolverine and the X-Men has this farce interrupted now?! and I bet we'll only get a few month's grace before the next mega crossover is unleashed on us, to interrupt the flow of some other fledgling title just starting out.

#20 Posted by Teerack (7413 posts) - - Show Bio

They happen all the time. Hell the current Teen Titans series is almost unreadable without reading parts of superboy, DC universe presents, and legion lost. It really pisses me off and I don't want to spend more money on other books to understand the books i do read.

#21 Posted by Billy Batson (58293 posts) - - Show Bio

Only good ones like the Goon and Hellboy.
BB

Online
#22 Posted by BlueLantern1995 (2448 posts) - - Show Bio

@Eyz said:

There's just no place for those anymore...just have a look at how serious comics tend to be these days....

@DarthShap said:

No, we don't need it. They are just not that good. Most times, they stick to the overused formula : villains unite, heroes meet, fight and realise they are both good guys, heroes beat villains.

#23 Edited by NightFang (10247 posts) - - Show Bio

We don't need more DC vs. Marvel crossovers, we need the big two meets indie titles like....

Justice League/Transformers

#24 Posted by Deadknight (662 posts) - - Show Bio

Apparently there was a Transformers/DC crossover in the works, but it got axed due to the DCnU reboot.

Too bad, since apparently Optimus Prime was going to be made a Green Lantern...

#25 Posted by jwalser3 (5279 posts) - - Show Bio

@moywar700 said:

No

The last thing we need is from people average people saying ,"Why isn't The Green Laturn in the Avengers." Or,"The Batman is the best Marvel film ever."These statements actually happened.

Who cares if non comic readers don't know who belongs to who? I just want to see some epic team ups and battles.

#26 Posted by Ugbug (23 posts) - - Show Bio

@kapitein_zeppos said:

Crossovers were too limited, they have been replaced by semi-regular events that involve 50+ titles that the publishers try to shove down your throat.

It's one of the reasons why I haven't bought Marvel titles in years because their universe is in a perpetual state of event, occasionally interrupted by scheduled stories.

having only got into comics with the new 52, I agree, Marvel seems to be continually in one event or another. I love Ultimate Spider-man, but as I don't read any of the other Ultimate titles, the "Divided we fall" "event" is just confusing. I'm not going to start reading several more comics just for the event, so I find them pointless. However I do love a good crossover done well, like Spider-men.

I don't know if a DC-Marvel crossover would really work unless it was characters teaming up to defeat a new great evil, as neither Marvel nor DC is going to want their character beaten by a character from the other.

#27 Posted by TheMadMonkey (147 posts) - - Show Bio

We recently had Star Trek/Legion. Just sayin'...

I've always enjoyed the Marvel/DC crossovers. Even when they've said that some of the stories are canon (JLA/Avengers), I never really took them as such. I just enjoy them for the stories they are and for fulfilling a fan-nerd's dream. Personally, I would love to see DC and Marvel give a rest to their respective chest-poundings and put out an annual collaborative effort. One issue or four issues...it doesn't matter. "The Big Two" seem to have lost their ways and forgot how to make purely fun comic books (that aren't geared towards younger readers). I think it's about time they got back to doing that.

Axel Alonso is just the man to do it too. He was an editor at DC/Vertigo and is currently the EIC at Marvel. He is highly respected by both companies. While I'm thinking of it, despite what I or others think of him, Bob Harras holds the EIC position at DC and held it at Marvel. I, honestly, can't think of a better situation that two people could be placed in to make this happen.

So, I guess the question is...What's the hold up?

#28 Posted by GothamRed (2553 posts) - - Show Bio

I'd like to see the amalgam universe revisited, because it was a good concept, the issue was that it was made in the early 90s so a lot of the stories weren't told or drawn particularly well. I feel that if it were tackled again with a modern sensibility, it could become more than the novelty people look back at it as today. I just hope if they do it they keep the characters they already amalgamated together instead of making a bunch a new one's that fans have to remember.

#29 Posted by theTimeStreamer (2841 posts) - - Show Bio

@lorex: i despise your reasons for the reboot. these arent the 70s or 80s. you have the internet. you look up something be up to date in 30 min. thats if you really want to. unless you are lazy and want the world to reboot just so you dont have to put effort in. then i have no respect for you as comic book reader.

#30 Posted by NightFang (10247 posts) - - Show Bio

@lorex said:

Crossovers like the 'Blackest Infinite Trinity Crisis with Brighter Days' were so convoluted and confusing it was almost impossible for all but the most dedicated DC fans to understand what the heck was going on.

And yet IDW fond made them work with their Infestations crossovers.

#31 Posted by knighthood (1736 posts) - - Show Bio

What? There are too many crossovers in comics. They could be okay if they were an elseworlds alternate universe type of crossover, but no more blockbuster (OMG they did what to who?) type of crossover. I hate that schnitzel.

#32 Posted by Mbecks14 (2029 posts) - - Show Bio

I was just thinking the same thing last night! I loved JLA/Avengers! I don't think the crossovers should be in-continuity but it'd be cool to see more or something new.

@moywar700 said:

No

The last thing we need is from people average people saying ,"Why isn't The Green Laturn in the Avengers." Or,"The Batman is the best Marvel film ever."These statements actually happened.

Actually this is an extremely valid point. Maybe it isn't a great idea...

#33 Edited by Zeeguy91 (1174 posts) - - Show Bio
@FanofUltraman said:

Did the entire DC Universe forget their crossover with Marvel in JLA/Avengers? Marvel should remember it fine, but DC has been rebooted over and over again.

I wouldn't say "over and over again" when in reality, it was only twice in the entire 75+ year history of the company. 
 
@SoA said:

@moywar700: when i was telling co-workers how great the avengers was going to be someone actually told me his favorite was avenger was batman.

I hope you set him straight on that.
#34 Posted by Zeeguy91 (1174 posts) - - Show Bio
@Mbecks14 said:

I was just thinking the same thing last night! I loved JLA/Avengers! I don't think the crossovers should be in-continuity but it'd be cool to see more or something new.

Agreed they shouldn't be in-continuity because that would just make it convoluted for everyone. i just think it'd be cool to see how DC characters would interact with Marvel characters and vice versa. If they have a story for it, they should do it. But for the love of God, don't let it impact any of the characters' solo titles.
#35 Posted by TheAcidSkull (18673 posts) - - Show Bio

@moywar700 said:

No

The last thing we need is from people average people saying ,"Why isn't The Green Laturn in the Avengers." Or,"The Batman is the best Marvel film ever."These statements actually happened.

LOL

#36 Posted by rico_3088 (486 posts) - - Show Bio

@NightFang said:

We don't need more DC vs. Marvel crossovers, we need the big two meets indie titles like....

Justice League/Transformers

Yes I agree with that, need more of the smaller companies to team with the bigger companies. question has their ever been a 3 company crossover like a DC, Marvel and Image or something like that?

#37 Posted by x_29 (2274 posts) - - Show Bio

No we really do not.

#38 Posted by TheCowman (461 posts) - - Show Bio

I'm all for it.

I don't need or particularly want any "Mega-Event" type deals. Just some fun pairings of characters from different franchises. How funny would it be to see Deadpool and Deathstroke forced to work together for a time? What if Doctor Who showed up to lend Green Lantern a hand? Squirrel Girl vs Ambush Bug?

The majority of modern comics seem to be in such a rush to be serious and poignant that they've forgotten how to have fun with the fantastical worlds they've created. A crazy crossover now and then could be just the thing to inject a little whimsy into the otherwise rather dour proceedings.

#39 Posted by judasnixon (7168 posts) - - Show Bio

Fantastic Four vs the cast of 30 Rock... I'll buy the sh*t out of that comic.

#40 Posted by mikeclark1982 (422 posts) - - Show Bio

When it comes to "The Big Two" it may never really happen again because of MONEY! Warner Brothers/TimeWarner always wanted to try different things like crossovers, and when JLA/Avengers finally happened, Marvel and DC had a cool but complicated deal. The single issues would be published by Marvel and marvel would receive the dough from those issues. When the hardcover/TPB was released, the publishing rights switched over to DC. That is why the trade had such a limited release on shelves. DC knew it was a piece of history and could make money eventually by reprinting it. Marvel will never do this again because Disney does NOT play well with others. Maybe there could be a JLA/Doctor Who crossover? THAT WOULD ROCK! Wonder Woman beating some Daleks? EXTERMINATE!

#41 Posted by Red_Robin212 (91 posts) - - Show Bio

I'd like to see hack slash/ crossover with dc Maybe JLdark or I vampire

#42 Posted by Zaigre (4 posts) - - Show Bio

@mickeymayhew: It's called This Is War and it starts next month.

#43 Posted by InnerVenom123 (29510 posts) - - Show Bio

@moywar700 said:

No

The last thing we need is from people average people saying ,"Why isn't The Green Laturn in the Avengers." Or,"The Batman is the best Marvel film ever."These statements actually happened.

This already happens everyday.

Non-comic readers have no idea there's a difference between DC or Marvel.

#44 Posted by Inverno (13284 posts) - - Show Bio

My friends just found another day the Amalgam Universe and they think its probably the worst comics ever made. Yeah, and before ask, they don't read comics that much...

#45 Posted by rfagen62 (4 posts) - - Show Bio

How about this for a crossover? 'Bugs Bunny Kills the Disney Universe'

#46 Posted by Nightwing23 (29 posts) - - Show Bio

@moywar700: Yeah! I've seen and heard a lot of people say stuff like "Hey! Superman and Batman were so depressed because they weren't part of the Avengers Movie".

Regular people can't grasp the concept of crossovers or alternate universes! They should be educated!

#47 Posted by Nightwing23 (29 posts) - - Show Bio

I'm not sure if this already happened but I've always wanted to see Superman and Gladiator in a universe shattering slugfest!!! The Nightwing and Winter Soldier stuff sounds cool too!!!

They should call it Nightwing/Winter Soldier:The Kid Gloves are off!!!

#48 Posted by McKlayn (1120 posts) - - Show Bio

I hate to be a wet blanket but im not a real big fan of cross overs, and i for sure don't care about Marvel vs DC. Hell Avengers vs X men pissed me off bad enough, the characters were used differnt by differnt writers. They didn't line up properly with the single issue tie ins, and come on how big of a boost did the avengers get cause the event came out right when the movie released? Either way ima respectively disagree and hope they never make up and do one of these cross overs

#49 Posted by crazyflashfan11 (182 posts) - - Show Bio

@moywar700 said:

@SoA said:

@moywar700: when i was telling co-workers how great the avengers was going to be someone actually told me his favorite was avenger was batman.

sad... just sad

#50 Posted by Nightwing23 (29 posts) - - Show Bio

Deadpool Vs Deathstroke:The Terminator!!!

Deadshot Vs Bull's eye!!!

Midnighter Vs Wolverine!!!

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