Comic Book Crossovers: The Good, The Bad, and The Ugly
Comic book crossovers have been a staple of the industry for decades. They allow readers to see their favorite characters team up, fight each other, or explore new worlds. However, not all crossovers are created equal. Some are beloved by fans and become classics, while others are panned and quickly forgotten. Let’s look at some of the best and worst comic book crossovers.
Marvel vs. DC (1996)
Marvel vs. DC was a crossover event that saw Marvel Comics’ greatest heroes facing off against their DC Comics counterparts. It was a massive undertaking that involved both publishers and resulted in some truly epic battles. Fans were treated to matchups like Spider-Man vs. Superboy, Wolverine vs. Lobo, and Batman vs. Captain America.
What made Marvel vs. DC so great was how it managed to please both Marvel and DC fans alike. Each publisher had its own style and tone, but the crossover managed to blend them seamlessly into one cohesive story.
Batman/Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles (2015)
Batman/Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles is a crossover that sounds like it shouldn’t work but somehow manages to be fantastic. The story sees the turtles transported to Gotham City where they team up with Batman to take down Shredder and Ra’s al Ghul.
What makes this crossover work so well is how it plays on the strengths of both franchises while still feeling fresh and exciting. Seeing the turtles interact with Batman’s rogues gallery is a joy for any fan of either series.
Archie Meets Punisher (1994)
Archie Meets Punisher is a crossover that probably should never have happened in the first place. It sees Archie Comics’ wholesome characters meeting Marvel’s violent vigilante in what can only be described as an odd pairing.
The problem with this crossover is that it doesn’t know what it wants to be. It tries to blend Archie’s lighthearted tone with Punisher’s gritty violence, resulting in a confusing mess of a story.
X-Men/Fantastic Four: The 1987 Annuals
The X-Men/Fantastic Four crossover from 1987 has become infamous among comic book fans for all the wrong reasons. The storyline sees the two teams fighting over whether Franklin Richards – son of Reed Richards and Sue Storm – should stay with his parents or join the X-Men.
The problem with this crossover is that it feels forced and contrived from start to finish. There’s no real reason for these two teams to fight each other other than because the writers wanted them to.
Superman/Aliens is a crossover that had potential but ultimately fell flat due to poor execution. It sees Superman facing off against Xenomorphs from the Alien franchise in what could have been an epic battle.
Unfortunately, what we got instead was a muddled mess of a story that failed to live up to its premise. The art was uninspired, the pacing was slow, and overall it just felt like a missed opportunity.
Punisher/Archie Redux (2018)
Punisher/Archie Redux is another attempt at bringing these two vastly different franchises together – this time almost 25 years after their first encounter – but unfortunately fails just as miserably as before.
The writing is clunky, the jokes fall flat, and overall there’s just no reason for these two characters to be interacting with each other again after all these years.