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Insane Superhero Crossovers

Insane superhero crossovers allow networks to play on both sides of the universe.

There’s a sacred trend in the media: the holy crossover. It doesn’t happen often but when a crossover does happen you can be sure that everyone and their mothers will be made aware of it. You need only look at Batman V Superman: Dawn Of Justice or The Avengers to demonstrate my point. People go crazy over the crossover. There’s just something inherently fun in seeing two things come together and share the same screen space, whether it’s on the pages of a comic book or on the big screen. Perhaps it’s because we don’t usually imagine different characters interacting with each other, so seeing two of our favorite people come together is a special treat, like a Reese's Peanut Butter Cup bringing together peanut butter and chocolate. With the Marvel cinematic universe turning superhero crossovers and a shared universe into the norm, we figured now would be the best time to go back and look at some of the best and weirdest superhero crossovers. Let's have a look at some of the best comic and TV superhero crossovers ever created.

Image via AV Club

Green Arrow Meets Constantine

I’m personally a big fan of Arrow. The rich mythos which it has built up over the course of four seasons has gripped thousands to such an extent that they’ll sit by the TV every week for the installment of the surprisingly popular CW DC TV Show. So when Constantine showed up, we weren’t sure what to think. Originally Constantine, a British occult investigator and demon hunter, fights supernatural beings in the real world. So you can imagine that the sullen and serious Oliver Queen put beside the chirpy Constantine may have put some fans on edge. They needn’t have worried though, because what we were given was an interesting cross between two disparate lore’s which actually blended together to make a fun one-off episode. Even though the Constantine series was cancelled, we can always hope that John Constantine will continue to be a vibrant presence in the Greg Berlanti DC universe thanks to his appearance in Arrow and maybe the character will find himself popping up for a few more adventures.

Spider-Man Meets the X-Men

Surely you all remember the fantastic 1994 Spider-Man TV show? If you don’t remember it immediately, you’d probably remember it on sight. The point is, the show was absolutely seminal in maintaining the popularity of the superhero genre throughout the 90s, introducing an entirely new generation to the web slinger. So what happens when you cross what many would argue is the greatest cartoon show of the 90s (Spider-Man) with what other people would argue was the greatest superhero cartoon show of the 90s (X-Men). Simply put, you get a fun-filled ride through the world of both of these seminal shows. Due to the large team that the X-Men embodies, Spider-Man has more than enough opportunity to interact with many of some of the most recognizable characters from the Marvel Universe. This episode was especially memorable thanks to Spider-Man seeking help from the X-Men to deal with a new mutation that threatened to turn him into a spider monster. Seeing him seek help from the X-Men was like seeing your action figure collection come to life and dreams come true for any fan of superhero crossovers.

Image via MTV

X-Men Meet the Crew of the Star Trek Enterprise

There are some crossovers that you could never even conceive or even think of being possible, and for me, this was one of them. This one shot comic that was released in 1996 followed the X-Men as they pursued a dimension jumping villain Proteus into the future of Star Trek. It’s here that they meet the crew of the Starship Enterprise with Spock and Kirk and pursue the villain together. In a way, though, it actually makes perfect sense as a concept. Both of these properties are based in high brow sci-fi, and both of these properties feature large diverse teams of people working together for the common good. The more I think about it, the more I think that this crossover was less of a crazy idea from an intern who had had one too many, and more of a mad stroke of genius. The fact that Patrick Stewart would become an icon in both the world of Star Trek and X-Men just goes to show that the universe agrees and we should see more Star Trek and superhero crossovers.

Image via Marvel Wiki

Archie Meets the Punisher

Remember Archie? The All-American teenage of Archie comics? Remember the innocence of those comics? What do you reckon happens when you cross the nostalgia filled pages with Marvel’s most murderous vigilantes? Well, you get the altogether surprisingly crossover of Archie actually meeting The Punisher. The Punisher has made a deal with the government to hunt down a notorious drug dealer named "Red" who is hiding in Riverdale. The deal requires him to forgo his normally lethal methods and apprehend the suspect instead of killing him, since the federals wish to interrogate Red about the drug trafficking on the East Coast. This is fortunate, because Red looks exactly like Archie (save for a prominent set of buck teeth). However, this circumstance also unintentionally causes a lot of trouble for Archie, as various drug mobsters who wish to even the scores on the market decide to do away with Red before he can endanger their business one way or another. Dark? Yep, but it’s certainly a curiosity to be sure in easily one of the strangest superhero crossovers ever to make it into print.

Image via Agents of Guard

The Avengers meet David Letterman

So, remember the 80s talk show legend David Letterman? Did you ever watch him and think, “I know what’ll be a good idea. I’ll put him in a comic book with The Avengers!” In terms of the story, I’m not sure it makes sense, but in terms of selling books, it worked like an absolute charm. Hawkeye arrives at Avengers Mansion with his new bride, Mockingbird. Wonder Man calls to ask if the team will aid his acting career by appearing with him on the David Letterman Show. With the regular members on a mission, the Vision recruits several former members, and soon Wonder Man, Hawkeye, and Mockingbird are joined by the Black Panther, the Beast, and the Black Widow. Fabian Stankowicz, the Avengers' bumbling antagonist, invades the TV studio in disguise and installs his inventions and traps, which attack the heroes on stage, while Stankowicz brazenly takes the guest seat and explains his devices. But it’s ultimately David Letterman who saves the day when he produces a giant doorknob and knocks him out, then deactivates the power source of all the evil contraptions. The Avengers make short work of Fabian's traps. It’s an absolutely bizarre superhero crossover the likes we’ll probably never see again.

Image via Marvel Wiki

Eminem Meets the Punisher

If you thought these crossovers were going to get any more normal, you have another thing coming. We’ve already seen talk show hosts and characters from other dimensions contact each other, but what about a modern hip hop artist teaming up with the murderous vigilante of New York? What may surprise you most is that it is actually a well-regarded comic book, despite its goofy premise. Eminem is at his concert. As he finished up he and his entourage get in a limo on the way home. But they are blocked by The Punisher who stands in their way. His posse try to tell Frank Castle to get out of the way, but he merely opens fire on them all. Eminem gets away and is pulled to safety by Barracuda who tells him that he will save him. The Punisher chases him down and Eminem catches him unawares, knocking him out. However, it turns out that The Punisher was after Barracuda the whole time, and Eminem may have made the worst mistake of his life after accidentally saving the deadly super villain. Not sure what it is about The Punisher that people love crossing over with other people, but he’s definitely one of most hilarious characters to ever be featured in a superhero crossover.

Image via Comic Vine

Batman Meets the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles

It’s kind of strange that a man dressed up as a bat and fighting crime is somewhat of a less absurd idea than giant mutant ninja turtles, but this crossover is one that no one ever saw coming. The foot clan has crossed over into another dimension and have landed straight in Gotham. Batman hunts them down to make sure they are stopped once and for all, but he soon realizes that Leonardo, Raphael, Donatello, and Michelangelo have been dragged through too. The two properties team up in one epic superhero crossover ninja battle that has to be seen to be believed. But despite seeing these martial arts masters join forces, the real joy comes in the Turtles teaching Batman the joy’s of eating pizza. The turtles even manage to put a brief smile on Bruce Wayne’s perpetually scowling mug by getting him to enjoy a slice of pepperoni pizza.

Image via Good Comics

Godzilla Meets Charles Barkley

I promise, this is the most absurd one of the bunch. What do you think of when you think, “Giant Japanese Kaiju?" I know I think of buildings toppling and general mayhem, but one thing that was very far down my list of expected outcomes to be was Godzilla playing basketball against professional basketball player Charles Barkley. The concept was originally an advertisement for Nike in the early 90s. However, it proved to be so popular that it was eventually adapted into a comic book, which any curious fan can read to this very day, where Charles Barkley finds himself enlarged to gargantuan proportions where he beats back Godzilla by defeating him in a game of hoops played against a huge skyscraper. While technically this might not count as a traditional superhero crossover, anyone who can face off against the G-man counts as a superhero in our book.

Photo via TV.COM

Green Arrow Meets the Flash

I started off this list with Arrow, so I figured I better mention one of the more well known cross overs, The Arrow with his friend from Central City meeting and introducing The Flash into getting his own TV show. What’s interesting about this team up is that there are actually several crossover episodes, with both heroes appearing in each other's shows multiple times throughout their tenure with those episodes tending to be the highlights of their respective series. The chirpiness of The Flash makes a perfect compliment to the dour and sometimes melodramatic Oliver Queen, and some of the action scenes with both of them fighting are, I have to admit, an absolute marvel to behold. It’s too bad Warner Brother’s can’t capture the same sense of fun and imagination as seen on the Greg Berlanti TV shows in their movies. If they were smart they’d give Zack Snyder the boot and just let Greg Berlanti run everything.

Image via www.essential.tv

The Flash Meets Supergirl

Maybe it’s because it’s fresh in our heads, but you can’t get very far on the internet without stumbling upon a fan who will gladly share their absolute adoration for this episode. What everyone was initially cautiously optimistic for at best turned out to be one of the most charming and intelligent pieces of programming yet, further expanding the DC TV universe beyond The Flash and The Arrow. It also marks a cross TV network co-operation with the traditionally CW Flash coming to visit Supergirl on CBS. The big episode everyone was initially skeptical over has turned into one of the most beloved episodes of television to come out of the past few years, and will likely go down in history as one of the best superhero team-ups of all time.

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