Comic Crossover Crazy

Posted by David Winnick

Over the last few years DC comics has been putting out its superhero comics under the banner of The New 52. This new take on the DC Universe characters change a considerable amount of continuity. Recently, DC has decided to take its comics in a new direction with a story line titled Rebirth. While this story has yet to be fully solidified in the comics, one thing has become clear, it contains one of the most interesting crossovers ever to be brought into comics. In 1986 Vertigo Comics released Alan Moore’s seminal comic Watchmen which was an indictment of modern superhero comics. Now, thirty years later, characters from Watchmen are being introduced into the continuity of the DC Universe. In celebration of this new direction, here is a list of some of the greatest comic crossovers ever. 


The Sandman and Scarecrow, Constantine and Martian Manhunter

Before Neil Gaiman really had a grasp of what he was doing in his popular comic, The Sandman, the story seemed to be well established in the DC Universe. The first volume of the comic sees a massive influx of DC Comics characters, two of whom help the titular character in his quest for his missing items of power. The best of these moments include John Constantine of Hellblazer fame as he does his usual self-serving behaviors while simultaneously trying to help.


Archie Meets The Punisher

Frank Castle is a killing machine. He will stop at nothing to make sure he has punished those who bring pain and suffering into the world. That is, of course, unless he is in Riverdale. Contracted to hunt down a drug lord named Red, The Punshier confuses his quarry with Archie Andrews. Fortunately for Archie, the contract is to bring Red in alive. Eventually everything gets sorted out and the Castle leaves with the man he came for.


Judge Dredd vs. Aliens

Possibly two of the most influential science fiction properties of all time, the Judge Dredd and Alien crossover was almost a given. When Mega City One is infested by the acid dripping Xenomorphs, there is only one man who can save the world, Joseph Dredd. Dredd battles his way through a series of encounters only to be infected by a chest-burster. Racing against the clock, Dredd must save the city and have the alien entity removed from his body before it is too late.


Spawn and Cerebus

In the tenth issue of Spawn by Todd McFarlane there is an interesting crossover. Image Comics was still fairly new in 1993 when the issue was released, but that didn’t stop the company from getting a hand from one of the biggest names in indie comics. In the late seventies creator Dave Sim released his comic Cerebus upon the world. The acerbic aardvark led Spawn through a strange alternate dimension as the two mused about various aspects of creation. Probably the strangest issue of Spawn, it is also one of the most interesting.


Batman / Hellboy / Starman

This is a bit of an odd story. Starman a.k.a Ted Knight is kidnapped and the new Starman, Jack Knight must team up with Batman and Hellboy in order to rescue the older hero. There is a subplot which involves the Joker and another subplot about an attempted resurrection of some horrible demon, but the end result is that there are two issues in which all of these characters work together to save the world. How can a comic fan go wrong?


Iron Man and X-O Manowar: Heavy Metal

This is possibly the ultimate in synergistic insanity. In 1996 a video game was released for multiple platforms featuring Iron Man and the Valiant Comics Hero X-O Manowar. In order to drive interest in the game, the two companies worked together on a crossover series which would add to the storyline of the game. The game itself met with middling response and eventually the comics fell into obscurity. In recent years, Valiant has made a resurgence in the comic book world. It will be interesting to see if another crossover will ever happen.