Tuesday, August 11, 2015

Top 10 Crossovers

Crossovers happen when two (or more) characters or properties are joined together in one story or project.  And the best kinds are those you don’t expect to happen because they belong to different fictional universes and/or different companies; hence, when it does happen, it’s pretty mindblowing.

Here are my favorites...


Before we start with the number 10 spot, I want to give an honorable mention to Phil Jimenez’s Justice League/Transformers crossover.  Unfortunately, this comic book project never went further than the two concept artworks above as DC turned down Jimenez’s pitch.  What a bummer.  It would have had Wonder Woman’s invisible jet becoming a Transformer, a Batman-themed Transformer, and – coolest of all – Optimus Prime wielding a Green Lantern ring.  It would have been epic.


The Jimmy Timmy Power Hour is a TV special featuring a crossover between The Adventures of Jimmy Neutron: Boy Genius and The Fairly OddParents.  Both are Nickelodeon shows, but a crossover happening between this two seemed unlikely because the two shows’ respective universes are too different.  One universe deals with science, and the other in magic.  Moreover, the two shows have different animation styles – Jimmy Neutron is computer-generated, and Fairly OddParents is hand-drawn.  But these distinctions wonderfully meshed in bringing about a charming narrative and visuals about Jimmy and Timmy switching places.

This is actually a trilogy now, but I only got to watch the first one.


Phineas and Ferb, one of the best cartoons of the 21st century so far, also had a crossover with Star Wars.  That was cool, too, but I liked the team up of these two boy geniuses with Spider-Man, Thor, Iron Man, and Hulk more.  It’s immensely fun; easily my most favorite two-part episode of the show.

8.) WHO FRAMED ROGER RABBIT?                     

They only made cameos, but it’s only in Who Framed Roger Rabbit? where we get to see Bugs Bunny and Mickey Mouse together on screen.  Various other classic cartoon characters from Disney and Warner Bros. and other companies also made appearances in this movie.  But seeing Bugs and Mickey was what blew me away back when I saw this movie for the first time.


I extremely like this game franchise.  I will not pretend that I enjoy playing this game franchise when I’ve never played any Super Smash Bros. game ever.  But I do enjoy watching Youtube videos of replays of other people playing it, especially in tournaments.  I love the premise of this fighting game, which features different characters and motifs from various video game franchises.  It’s a brilliant crossover concept.     


One of my biggest regrets in life was losing my Marvel vs. DC “tex” (Filipino mini-cards) collection (along with my other “tex” collections).  I loved that crossover back then, and I still have fond memories of it. 

DC vs. Marvel Comics (alternatively known as Marvel Comics vs. DC) was a 90’s limited comic book series that involved duels between Marvel characters and DC characters, of which the winner was to be decided by fan votes.  In the aftermath of this story, a temporary universe was created – the Amalgam Universe – which had characters resulting from mergers between Marvel and DC characters.   My favorite Amalgam characters were Dark Claw (merger of Batman and Wolverine), Spider-Boy (Spider-Man and Superboy), Doctor Strangefate (Doctor Strange and Fate), Iron Lantern (Iron Man and Green Lantern), and Hyena (Sabretooth and the Joker).
Dark Claw vs. Hyena

I don’t think the lineup is perfect – I think Sherlock Holmes should have been part of it – but I think Alan Moore is a genius for thinking of this: a Victorian superhero team made up of classic Victorian literary characters.  That’s why it’s one of my most favorite superhero teams ever.


This crossover came as a delightful surprise to me when I learned about it.  Having anime’s best detective and best thief matching wits seems just a product of fan fantasy.  But more than the inherent charm of being a dream matchup/teamup, the two Lupin the 3rd vs. Detective Conan movies – the first one came out in 2009 and its sequel came out in 2013 – truly give justice, not only to the characters of Lupin and Conan, but to the tones and themes of the two anime properties.


Now, this is a fighting game that I got to play with.  I really loved this franchise as a kid.  I was kind of addicted to it.  It started with X-Men vs. Street Fighter.  Then, other Marvel characters joined the X-Men in Marvel vs. Street Fighter.  Then, other game characters from other Capcom games joined Street Fighter in Marvel vs. Capcom.  And, then, since the source of the pool of characters can’t be expanded anymore, a sequel with additional characters came out instead (Marvel vs. Capcom 2 is the last game of the franchise that I was able to play).  And then another sequel followed.  And then another.  If Super Smash Bros. had never existed, this franchise would have been the ultimate crossover fighting game. 


Batman and Spider-Man are my top two most favorite comic book characters ever.  Thus, I was ecstatic when they crossed-over twice in the 90’s.  First was “Distorted Minds” – which had them teaming up against the Joker and Carnage – and then “New Age Dawning” – which had them teaming up against Ra’s al Ghul and the Kingpin.  Those two comics were really well-written and perfectly depicted how the two characters would have behaved if they existed in the same fictional universe and had to team up.


This is not only one of the greatest comic books I’ve ever read but is also the most epic crossover ever.  Kudos to Kurt Busiek (writer) and George Perez (artist) for rising up to the challenge of delivering a thoughtful and exciting story that is rightful for a crossover of this scale.  Not only is this limited series a perfect crossover story between the premier all-star superhero teams from DC and Marvel, but it has also taken upon itself to effectively analyze and contrast the DC and Marvel universes.  In fact, it’s actually as much of a crossover between the two universes (with plenty of cameos) as much as a mere crossover between the Justice League of America and the Avengers.  The convergence of the two universes – which resulted into awesome reality-bending sequences – is part of the central plot of the story.
This convergence is depicted in the cosmic plane as the living embodiments of the Marvel and DC Universes making love with each other.  This resulted to a conception of an "egg" that could hatch into a new "baby universe" someday.  Insane, but awesomely clever.

No comments: