MTV has saturated popular culture so thoroughly that every song
When a comic has been running long enough (or even just for the hell of it), sometimes a character’s universe might start to feel limited. So what’s a superhero to do when you’ve run out of battles? Crossover! And hey, go big or go home, right. In some cases, though “going big” with a crossover comic actually means creating something completely laughable.
17. Spider-Man Meets Ren & Stimpy
This cartoon world doesn’t have a lot of supervillains running around, so Spidey is forced to settle for a fight with “Powdered Toast Man.” Don’t we think are are better uses of his time?
16. The Avengers on Late Night With David Letterman
This one isn’t so crazy. The Avengers were big enough figures, of course they were eventually going to take a trip to late night TV.
15. Darkman vs. Army of Darkness
I suppose the reasoning behind this miniseries was that Sam Raimi just wanted to take one of his movies and mash it up with another one of his movies that no one saw.
14. Jimmy Olsen Meets Don Rickles
None other than Jack Kirby himself was the one who decided it would be a fun idea for Superman’s news pal Jimmy Olsen to come face-to-face with legendary comedian Don Rickles. But not just Don– this book gives us TWO Rickleses. Jimmy also meets Don’s long-lost alter-ego “Goody” Rickles, who, according to Superman, “causes more trouble than the villains.”
13. Superman Meets Jerry Lewis
Maybe this is why Superman foisted the Rickles twins off on Jimmy– because he was busy with comedian Jerry Lewis, who put on a Superman costume and now has every villain after him. (By the way, Jerry Lewis also had separate run-ins with Batman, Wonder Woman, and The Flash. The guy gets around.)
12. Eminem and The Punisher
When most musicians are promoting an album, they do the usual talk shows, magazine interviews, special event appearances. Eminem was gunning so hard for a comeback in 2009 that he did all of that, PLUS put himself in the pages of a comic book. Marvel reportedly suggested Spider-Man and Wolverine for the rapper’s partners, but Slim Shady insisted on the most bad-ass option possible.
11. Superman vs. Muhammad Ali
This 1978 comic (unfortunately published after a delay, during a brief six-month period after Ali had been dethroned, and before he won the title back) features the two is a battle for the title of Earth’s greatest champion. They must fight each other before the winner can fight the evil Scrubb leader Rat’Lar. Spoiler: they end up learning a valuable lesson in teamwork.
10. A Wonder Woman/Scooby-Doo Team-Up
When vanishing mythological monsters attack Wonder Woman’s homeland, who can she call to help? My first thought would be Superman. If he’s busy, maybe Batman. If literally no one else with any sort of super power is available, sure, call the Scooby gang. Just don’t be surprised when those monsters turn out to be Old Man Jenkins in a mask.
9. Star Trek/X-Men
The X-Men are no strangers to space travel, but running into the Star Trek Enterprise while they’re out there is just bizarre. As terrible as this 1996 cross-over may have been, though, it would be worth recreating today with the Next Generation crew, only to see Patrick Stewart meet himself. Picard vs. Xavier is a comic we need to see.
8. Everyone Meets Everyone
So, no one really meets in the 2011 Infestation series, but a crazy number of parallel, separate story lines bring together the worlds of Star Trek, Transformers, Ghostbusters, and G.I. Joe, all to fight zombies.
7. Archie Meets The Punisher
What happens when one of the most violent anti-heroes known to comics has a run-in with the guy whose biggest problem in life is having to choose between a blonde and a brunette, both of whom are out of his league anyway? I’m guessing it would be a quick fight.
6. Superman and Orson Welles
Another cross-promotional comic book, this one was created to promote Welles’ 1949 film Black Magic. In the comic, Welles himself, dressed as his character from the film (a hypnotist named Cagliostro), is abducted by aliens and imprisoned on Mars, with only Superman to save him.
5. Live From New York, It’s Spider-Man
Spider-Man takes trouble with him wherever he goes, even when he’s just trying to take Mary Jane to a Saturday Night Live taping. Right around the start of the show’s history, this issue sees the SNL cast disguising themselves as Marvel heroes to fight the Silver Samurai, and Stan Lee himself as the episode’s host.
4. Superman and the Nestle Quik Bunny
1987 Batman was really scraping the bottom of the barrel, wasn’t he? This was nothing but a chocolate milk commercial in comic form. When a bargain bin villain named the Weather Wizard traps Superman in a block of ice (really, Superman, really?), the Quik Bunny uses the intelligence-boosting powers of chocolate powder to let him out and they all celebrate (I’m guessing) by drinking a bunch more Quik.
3. KISS vs. Doctor Doom
The premiere issue of Marvel Comics Super Special, a series of one-off comics, featured the band KISS in a sort of sci-fi origin story. Starting off as a bunch of comics-loving kids whose parents just don’t get them, they get some KISS action figures from a wizard in distress and are transformed into their new super-cool face-painted alter egos. And then somehow they wind up in the Marvel Universe where they’re the only heroes able to fight Doctor Doom for some unknown reason. The whole thing reads like fan fiction the band wrote themselves and managed to get the creator of Howard the Duck (Steve Gerber) to put it all together.
2. Batman and The Beatles
In 1970, at the height of the “Paul is dead” rumors, Batman and the Boy Wonder take it upon themselves to crack the case. Yes, the actual plot of this actual book is Batman trying to figure out if Paul id dead or alive. For copyright reasons, the Fab Four were renamed Glennan, Saul, Hal, and Benji (of the hit song “Pink Submarine”).
1. Charles Barkley vs. Godzilla
This match-up began as a 1992 Nike commercial, in which Barkley saves Tokyo by challenging a giant lizard monster to a basketball game. And someone thought that was a good enough idea to adapt into a comic. (The commercial ends, by the way, with an implication that Godzilla will join the Lakers, which I think we can all agree is a story better suited for television. Someone please make that happen.)