Nothing can set a fan’s heart aflutter more than a good inter-company crossover, especially if it’s between the two big companies: Marvel and DC. Finally, settling the age-old debates of “who-would-beat-who” is of paramount importance to fans. Writers need to balance a very fine line between staying true to each character, meeting fan expectations, and providing a compelling story.
The History of Crossovers
Marvel vs. DC started off as a single event in 1992, featuring legendary creators in their prime and featuring the creators themselves as guest stars. Some of the iconic artists and writers that worked on this event include John Byrne (The Amazing Spider-Man), Jim Shooter (Fantastic Four), Alan Moore (Watchmen), Neil Gaiman (Sandman), and Brian Michael Bendis (Ultimate Spider-Man), among many others. Several crossovers followed, like the great “DC vs. Marvel” in 1993, which featured Brian Michael Bendis (Ultimate Spider-Man) as editor, and some great artists like Eddie Berganza (Justice League of America), J.G. Jones (JSA), Alan Davis (JSA), Ed McGuinness (Avengers), and John Byrne (Fantastic Four).
The Best Marvel vs. DC Crossovers
It all boils down to one question: Which was better, Superman vs. Batman, or Wonder Woman vs. Catwoman? A group of two-headed buffoons, the Sibsyvers, were in the audience for “Worlds Collide: Superman vs. Batman” — one of three annual one-shot editions of this story. He soon realized his mistake, but his efforts to stand against Superman and Batman failed. Superman ultimately pinned down Superman’s soul inside of Batman and sent him to hell. However, Batman did manage to escape, which seems to imply that, in a universe with a higher power, Batman did in fact manage to defeat Superman. “Doomed” was another crossover that pitted two titans of the DC Universe against each other: Batman and the Joker.
Batman vs. Superman
Avengers vs. X-Men Green Lantern vs. X-Force The Fantastic Four vs. Avengers Superman vs. Shazam! Green Arrow vs. Superman Hulk vs. Green Lantern Batman vs. Superman was always going to be an odd case, as a recent film adaptation of DC’s Man of Steel should have shown the company how they could integrate Superman’s presence into a major blockbuster in a way that keeps him relevant. Instead, the film did the opposite: it made Superman irrelevant. It was also inevitable that Batman vs. Superman, while appealing to comic book fans, would be a total mess, given that Marvel has proven that they can create a better, more coherent plot. The entire affair was embarrassing, and people pointed to it as a prime example of the DC vs. Marvel failure.
X-Men vs. Avengers
The epic ’90s superhero showdown at one time pitted Marvel’s X-Men, an isolationist underground team composed of shape-shifting mutant misfits, against the world-conquering Avengers. All-Star Wars vs. Star Trek Ever wanted a Han Solo vs. Luke Skywalker battle? Well, this 1997 Star Wars vs. Star Trek comic book miniseries met your unreasonable request, with Han stealing the Millennium Falcon to go after Emperor Palpatine (who was also Luke Skywalker in disguise) and only a desperate shot by Captain Kirk into a nebula could stop the Wookiee from blowing up the world. In space, no one can hear you scream. The Amazing Spider-Man vs. X-Men is The best conflict of all time. Can Spidey be beaten by a superpowered mutant with the fate of the world on her shoulders? Well, we’re about to find out.
A Review of the Crossovers
With so many great Marvel vs. DC crossovers, it’s hard to narrow them down to the best, but we decided to compare the two companies’ best crossovers. Here are the factors that we considered: A storyline with a ton of tying in with a wide variety of characters A very interesting setting and/or point of view for the reader Amazing writing Limited crossover content These criteria are subjective, of course, so what we ultimately choose as our top picks will differ from what other fans choose. Note: This article features crossovers that aren’t currently ongoing but were released as graphic novels and single issues, i.e. they wouldn’t fit the criteria we outlined above.
The titles on this list cover the high points of the superhero comics era. The Golden and Silver Ages, with their era-specific ethos and characters. The DC and Marvel Ages were characterized by the rapid growth of both companies in the late ’50s and ’60s, and then the divergence in tone and content into two very distinct aesthetics during the latter half of the ’70s. A rather extensive debate among the editors of this article led to the decision that titles like Silver Surfer, Captain Marvel, and Spider-Man: Children of Tomorrow were not seen as part of the “DC/Marvel era” and so were excluded from consideration. A couple of titles were considered too subjective.