Hello there and welcome to my first Top 5 for Population GO!
Considering the upcoming Animal Man/Swamp Thing crossover that a lot of people are excited about, as well as the numerous other mini crossovers currently happening in comics, I thought that I would do a piece picking out my 5 favorite crossovers.
This is far from a definitive list of the five greatest crossovers ever, but instead, a selection of crossovers which I have particularly enjoyed.
Check out my picks below the cut!
5) Messiah Complex
New X-Men (2004) #44-46, Uncanny X-Men (1963) #492-494, X-Factor (2006) #25-27, X-Men (1991) #205-207, X-Men: Messiah Complex (2007) #1
“Messiah Complex” was a massive story, bringing together multiple threads which had been running through the X-Men titles since 2005’s House of M, whilst laying the foundations for the future direction of the X-Men books. The story revolved around the birth of the first mutant child since M-Day, causing a race between the X-Men, Marauders, Predator X etc, in order to get to the child.
However, divisions within the X-Men soon became apparent, especially with Bishop going rogue, following his own agenda, desperately trying to avoid his terrible future from coming into fruition. Despite moving over four titles, the story flowed well, delivering some great shocks and twists. And who can forget that ending?
4) Black Reign
Hawkman (2002) #23-25, JSA (1999) #56-58
Sometimes crossovers between sister titles work. Sometimes they don’t. But man, it really worked with this storyline. The culmination of Black Adam and Atom-Smasher’s then ongoing storyline within JSA, “Black Reign”, saw Black Adam recruit a team including individuals such as Eclipso and Brainwave to assist him in bringing an age-old system of justice to Kahndaq, with him seeking to right to wrongs of his and Kahndaq’s past. The problem is, Kahndaq’s government didn’t necessary agree with this.
In this tense climate, Hawkman was forced to lead the JSA to war against Black Adam, finally igniting a battle between the two which had been a long time in the making. And not everyone gets out alive.
Written by Geoff Johns, the story is a rewarding experience for anyone who has read the wonderful JSA series, with the developments in the series leading up to the climatic finale. As such, I will always recommend to everyone to check out this volume of JSA - along with the rest of the series.
Batman (1940) #491-510, Batman: Legends Of The Dark Knight (1989) #62-63, Batman: Shadow of the Bat (1992) #16-30, Batman: Vengeance of Bane Special (1993) #1, Catwoman (1993) #6-7, 12-13, Detective Comics (1937) #659-677, Robin (1993) #7-9, Showcase ‘93 (1993) #7-8
The 90’s saw both Marvel and DC launch numerous crossovers between their big selling family of books, with there seemingly always being a Spider-Man, Superman or Batman crossover story being told over their titles. Some of the crossovers were good, others were not so good. And “Knightfall”, despite all its faults, is still a damn good story. The ultimate fall and rise story, “Knightfall” sees Batman push himself to the limits in order to protect Gotham, seemingly triumphing against impossible odds – before Bane steps forward, having observed all the action, to break to fatigued Batman.
Originally collected in three collected editions, volume one will always be my favourite part, showing just how dedicated Bruce is in his duty to fight crime in Gotham. Of course, in this story it is to his disadvantage, with his inability to stop causing his downfall at the hands of Bane. Add to that the tale of Jean-Paul’s stewardship and ultimate descent into madness as Batman to defeat Bane, before Bruce Wayne returns to reclaim the mantle (although Bruce’s rehabilitation during “Knightquest” was left out of my original trades – bah) – and this story is one hell of a ride.
With The Dark Knight Rises being released soon, DC are currently rereleasing “Knightfall” in expanded editions, collecting more accompanying materials, and they are well worth the look. I’ll probably end up nabbing them soon.
2) Sinestro Corps War
Green Lantern (2005) #21-25, Green Lantern Corps (2006) #14-19, Green Lantern Sinestro Corps Special (2007) #1
To date, this is still the best Green Lantern story that Geoff Johns has told. Although with Peter Tomasi, the “Sinestro Corps War” was first Green Lantern ‘epic’ since “Reborn”, with Hal Jordan and Sinestro’s return seeing the renegade Green Lantern recruit and assemble his own corps to challenge the Guardians and the Green Lantern Corps. Based on fear, and complete with their own guardian, the “Sinestro Corps War” was a massive turning point in the reintroduction of the Green Lantern Corps to the DC Universe, with the War seeing the Guardians finally permit Lanterns the use of lethal force if deemed necessary.
Forget being a good crossover story between Green Lantern and Green Lantern Corps, this was just a damn good story, and another event which helped cement the Green Lanterns back to a prominent place in the DC Universe. With fantastic pencils from Ivan Reis and Patrick Gleason on their respective titles, and the story flowing beautifully between the two titles, this is still my favourite Green Lantern story to date. And it will take some something special to replace it.
Avengers/JLA (2003) #2, 4, JLA/Avengers (2003) #1, 3
My favourite crossover story is perhaps the ultimate crossover between Marvel and DC. After some earlier very 90s-ish attempts with the Amalgam Universe and the Marvel Versus DC limited series, this was the crossover that every comic fan of the two companies was waiting for. The machinations of Krona see the mad scientist cross paths with the Grandmaster, who proposes a game in an attempt to thwart Krona’s attempts to discover the origins of the universe by well, replicating the big bang in the Marvel universe. There’s some classic versus action between the Avengers and the JLA as they race to obtain certain artefacts as the ‘game’ dictates, before everything falls apart – or meshes together actually…
Superbly written by Kurt Busiek, and accompanied by fantastic pencils from George Perez, this story wasn’t about which set of characters was better, but instead showing why the JLA are the World’s Greatest Heroes, whilst the Avengers are Earth’s Mightiest Heroes. The two sets of teams are played off each other extremely well, whether in combat or partnership, with certain team-ups finally becoming a reality. Captain America and Batman partners? You got it. Superman wielding Thor’s hammer? Sure thing. Hawkeye criticising these Squadron Supreme wannabes? Of course.
In all respects, this is the ultimate comic crossover. It isn’t just a fancy gimmick, but instead is a wonderfully told story, where we actually learn about our heroes, and watch them interact, whilst developing as heroes due to this meeting. And that is something which makes this my favourite crossover.
So those are my 5 favorite comic crossovers. Below are some of the favorite crossovers in any mediums from some of the staff members.
1) Jay Sherman from The Critic crossing over to The Simpsons; 2) Various Disney characters and Disney worlds crossing over to Square Enix’s Kingdom Hearts; 3) Abed (Danny Pudi) from Community crossing over to Cougar Town and Laurie (Busy Philipps) and Travis (Dan Byrd) from Cougar Town crossing over to Community; 4) Earl McGraw (Michael Parks) crossing over to Tarantino films From Dusk Till Dawn, Kill Bill, and all of Grindhouse, including Rodriguez’s Planet Terror, as well as Tarantino’s Deathproof; 5) The Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles from Ninja Turtles: The Next Mutation crossing over to Power Rangers in Space (the only two episodes I watched from that series, I swear).
1) Ray Nicolette (Michael Keaton) from Jackie Brown in Out of Sight; 2) Bugs Bunny & Mickey Mouse in Who Framed Roger Rabbit; 3) The Dukes (Don Ameche & Ralph Bellamy) from Trading Places in Coming to America; 4) “Trials and Tribble-lations” episode of Deep Space Nine where the crew into the Original Series; 5) Harry Caul (Gene Hackman) playing Brill in Enemy of the State.
1) JLA/Avengers (Kinda self-explanatory); 2) Blackest Night (Green Lantern-centric DC Universe crossover); 3) Infinite Crisis (Entire DC Universe crossover); 4) The Spider-Wars arc of the 90’s Spider-Man cartoon (featured multiple Spider-Men, including my personal favorite, the Scarlet Spider).
1) When it comes to cross-overs, things tend to get either awesome or weird. In the case of this cross-over; both happened. Some time back in the 80’s, when the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles was still just getting started, they happened to team up with a little grey Aardvarak barbarian by the name of Cerberus. Both TMNT and Cerberus were parodies of popular titles (TMNT of, believe it or not, Daredevil, and Cerberus of Conan), both featured anthropomorphic animals, and both were independently published at the time. The combination worked better than expected, and though it only lasted a few issues I enjoyed what would be one of many crossovers the Turtles would be a part of for years to come.
And that’s it. If you have any thoughts, or even want to share your favorite picks, then feel free to leave a comment below!