If there is one thing that will get comic book fans racing to the store, it's the promise of a crossover. While the seemingly standard crossovers which join heroes and characters in the same universe may get us all buzzing with excitement, it's the promise of a completely unexpected crossover that makes us all gasp in disbelief.
Crossovers, both conventional and strange, are common in the world of TV and movies. Most recently, the superhero genre has taken off on the small screen and seen DC try to fit the likes of The Flash, Green Arrow and Supergirl together, and of course there are countless movies such as Alien Vs Predator and Freddy Vs Jason. Crossovers don't look to be stopping anytime soon.
But where the crossover really gets the chance to explore any idea and universe is in comic books. So with this list we look at the 15 weirdest crossovers to ever hit the selves of our comic book stores.
We start our list with the most famous and popular crossover in the world of comic books. Many will argue that a crossover between the two giants of comic books, Marvel and DC, is not that surprising or shocking, but considering how long it took for the two universes to meet, the surprising thing is that it took so long to happen.
Taking nearly thirty years for them to meet, it finally happened and the wait was worth it. When Krona travels across the multiverse seeking the truth about creation, he finds himself in the Marvel universe and face to face with the Grandmaster. Not wanting his universe to be harmed in any way, Grandmaster suggests a competition in which the best heroes from each universe are pitted against each other. Let every superhero fan's ultimate dream commence!
Just like with the previous entry on our list, at first glance a Spider-Man crossover doesn't seem that strange or even impressive, especially as it's a Spidey crossover with himself. But when you consider the complexity of getting together every alternate Spider-Man from every reality, then you may start to appreciate the scope of the project and just how impressive it is.
When a demon wants to end Spider-Man, he not only sets out to destroy the web slinger but he crosses the dimensions to declare war on all versions of Spider-Man. It's left up to the original Spider-Man to lead a team of his alternate versions to battle the demon. The team includes Miles Morales, Spider-Gwen, Cosmic Spider-Man and even the comical Peter Porker The Amazing Spider-Ham makes an appearance.
13 Archie Meets The Punisher
As you may discover from our list, there are some comic book crossovers that naturally fit together and in fact complement one another and make for better storytelling. There are also some that may at first seem a little strange, but eventually surprise us and leave us wondering why we didn't think of it ourselves. However, sometimes we get comic book crossovers that we never would have put together in a million years and we do have to wonder what was going through the writers' minds when they pitched the idea.
One such comic book story is the meeting of the all American Archie and Marvel's ultra violent vigilante The Punisher. When The Punisher makes a deal with the government to track down a drug dealer who is hiding out in Riverdale, The Punisher is warned to not use his usual method for catching bad guys, and is instead instructed to capture the dealer, not kill. Although The Punisher is at his vengeful best, it's not a serious comic book story and is meant to be silly and fun, which it is.
12 Original Star Trek and The X-Men
The original crew of the Starship Enterprise has seen many forms and many incarnations over the years. Whether that's on the small screen, the movies, novels or comic books, Captain Kirk and his men have seen many adventures with a variety of people. With this crossover, Kirk finds himself with the mutant heroes the X-Men.
This one-shot comic book crossover sees the Enterprise, after finishing a recent mission, encounter a rift in psionic energy and an alien spacecraft coming through. The ship is quickly destroyed but not before the crew is beamed aboard the Enterprise. The crew turns out to be seven members of the X-Men. Once they put aside their initial differences, Kirk's crew and the X-Men work together to complete the X-Men's mission.
The two franchises fit well together and neither one ever feels out of place. It's also science fiction fan's wet dream to see Wolverine and Spock go toe to toe. Even if it's only briefly. Not to spoil it for those who haven't read it, but it's fair to say that the Vulcan death grip works on mutants too.
11 Archie vs Predator
Out of all the crossovers that have graced our comic books over the years, Archie vs Predator has to be one of the most "out there" we've seen. As this is the second entry on our list for the all American teenager, Archie is certainly no stranger to the weird and odd crossover. However, when he is pitted against one of the most deadly killers in the universe, how can the residents of Riverdale survive?
Well, a lot of people don't survive. When Archie and co. go for spring break, a Predator crashes down and takes a liking to Betty, following her home. Once back in Riverdale the Predator kills his way through the teenage population until they come up with a plan to use Jugghead as bait in order to trap Predator. This fails and more teenagers are killed. As everyone starts to fall to the Predator, it's revealed that its anger and killing spree is caused by its affections for Betty. Bless the super powered killing machine!
10 Superman and Batman vs Alien and Predator
Another outing and crossover for the alien killing machine known as Predator. Alien and Predator have crossed over together many times in a variety of mediums; in particular movies, comic books and computer games. The same can be said for DC's Batman and Superman, so we knew that at some point the four of them would come together in some form, and finally they did.
While looking for a lost mountain climbing group in the Andes, Batman and Superman come across a buried ship which turns out to contain Predator. Then the battle between the aliens and the heroes commence, until they all realize that it would benefit everyone involved if Supes and the Dark Knight help the extra-terrestrials leave the planet. With everyone agreed, they work together to achieve this goal.
This isn't the first time Predator or Alien have crossed over into other comic book universes and we're sure it won't be the last.
9 Star Trek: The Next Generation and Doctor Who
In the world of TV there are two great science fiction franchises that are crying out for a crossover, and they are Star Trek and Doctor who. Since the middle of the twentieth century, these two giants of the small screen have been entertaining generations of fans with their adventures through time and space. Although the TV executives have yet to take the leap, luckily comic book writers have made a lot of us happy by putting the eleventh Doctor, along with Amy Pond and Rory, with Captain Jean-Luc Picard and his crew.
When the Cybermen from the Whoverse join forces with Trek's Borg, the Enterprise goes to investigate. Due to some timey wimey stuff, the TARDIS lands on the Enterprise and both The Doctor and Picard join forces to stop the cyber invasion.
As the two franchises share so much in common, the comic book fits together perfectly with none of the characters or plot being out of place in either universe. If only this could happen on the screen!
8 Batman/ TMNT
An interesting crossover here that surprisingly works, if you overlook the silly and sometime childish nature of the heroes in a half shell. As with many comic book greats, Batman is no stranger to the crossover genre and often finds himself either pitted against or working with a number of popular figures.
In this crossover the TMNT are battling the alien conqueror Krang when they, and their arch enemy the Shredder, are transported into a different universe. Finding themselves in Gotham City the Turtles run into Gotham's infamous rogues gallery and find themselves battling against everyone as they search for their way home. However, they soon come into contact with Batman and they work together to stop Shredder, as well as the likes of Killer Croc, and try to find the way home for the Turtles.
On the surface this story arc seems a bit implausible and almost lazy, but once you get into the plot both universes work well together and the ninja styling of the Turtles, and Shredder, fit in well with the Dark Knight's style of crime fighting.
7 Charles Barkley vs Godzilla
With this entry we delve into the truly bizarre nature of the crossover. Now before everyone's minds explode at just how Charles Barkley and Godzilla could ever be brought up in the same conversation together, let alone a comic book crossover, we must explain that this little gem actually started life out as a Nike commercial. Back in the early nineties, a giant sized Barkley challenged Godzilla to a game of basketball.
After the success of the commercial some people had the brilliant idea of turning it into a one-shot comic book and Godzilla vs Charles Barkley was born. Moving to California rather that Tokyo, Barkley must go up against the giant Godzilla in order to save the town and the world.
It's a silly tongue in cheek story line that has a lot of fun with its subject matter and never took itself seriously. It was just meant to be enjoyed for what it is. Having said that, we are all very happy that it didn't produce a series of sports star vs superpowered beings. Although...
6 Superman vs Muhammad Ali
Speaking of sports stars infiltrating our comic books, the first sports star to do so, and the most famous, was boxing legend Muhammad Ali. Back in the late 1970s the king of the ring and DC's poster boy went toe to toe in the ring for the sake of the planet.
When Clark Kent and Lois Lane get the chance to interview Ali, they jump at the opportunity, but before they can ask him any questions, an alien invasion commences. The aliens, known as The Scrubb, want to conquer Earth, but before they do, they give us a chance. The Scrubb ask the Humans to select a champion and if the champion defeats The Scrubb warrior then the Earth will be spared. Naturally both Ali and Superman put themselves forward. However, as Superman isn't human, it's left up to Ali to represent Humanity. But The Scrubb have a change of heart and instead want Ali and Superman to fight each other. Moving the fight to their home planet, which orbits a red star and drains Superman of his powers, the fight gets underway and there's only one winner. Ali wins the fight but after Supes gets his powers back, the two of them work together to take down The Scrubb and save us all.
5 The Punisher and Eminem
When superstar rapper Eminem wanted to promote his comeback album Relapse, he didn't go through the usual interviews and press releases. Instead he put himself, and his music, into the comic book world. Not just any comic but deep into the world of violent vigilante The Punisher. After all, which comic book hero would better cement Eminem's badass image than Marvel's trigger happy anti hero?
The story sees Eminem performing a concert (promoting his new music of course). Once the show is over, Eminem runs into The Punisher. Wanting him to move, Eminem confronts Punisher, much to his friends' dislike, as The Punisher takes an issue with this and unleashes his own style of violence upon Eminem's crew.
Slim Shady takes refuge from the barrage of The Punisher's gunshots and he runs into Barracuda. Thinking that Barracuda has saved him, Eminem plans to jump Punisher and take his vengeance. Unfortunately this doesn't go well as both Eminem and The Punisher find themselves unconscious and bound together. The rest of the story is the two of them working together to take down Barracuda; team work that involves a chainsaw, guns and plenty of tough guy one liners.
4 Spider-Man and Ren and Stimpy
During the '90s every child (and adult) was glued to the screen every Saturday morning to watch the crude and ridiculous adventures of Ren and Stimpy. The show proved such a big hit with its censor defying content that Marvel decided to produce a comic book series using the Ren and Stimpy license. As the show was popular and of course Marvel had an array of characters to boost sales, surprisingly the whole comic book run only had one Marvel guest star. That star was Spider-Man.
When Ren and Stimpy want breakfast, they call upon their favorite hero, Powdered Toastman. To their surprise, Spider-Man shows up instead and makes them a web-fuelled breakfast. After breakfast Spider-Man gets a signal that Powdered Toastman is in trouble and swings off to save him. However, The Powdered Toastman is under mind control by his nemesis Dr. Dough-Naught. So Spidey and Toastman go at it until the mind control is broken and Dr. Dough-Naught is defeated.
Never taking itself seriously at all, this comic book crossover kept all the best bits from the Ren and Stimpy show and just added a touch of spiderweb to poke fun at the superhero genre.
3 Scooby Doo Team-Up
One of the longest running cartoon shows has to be Scooby Doo. For generations Scooby and the Mystery Gang have been foiling ghosts, ghouls and other monsters. The years have also seen many incarnations and updates to the canine detective both on TV and at the movies. However, in comic book form, Scooby Doo Team-Up has Mystery Inc. teaming up with an array of DC, Warner Bros. and other popular characters.
On the TV show Scooby Doo has already teamed up with the likes of Batman, Robin and Superman but Team-Up goes a lot further than that and includes most of the DC hero club, like Wonder Woman, Aquaman, The Flash, Teen Titans and The Justice League, as well as mixing with the dark souls of Gotham City such as Poison Ivy and Harley Quinn. That's just to name a few. Away from the superhero genre, Scooby has also teamed up with The Flintstones, The Jetsons and Johnny Quest.
As you would expect from any Scooby Doo story, the Team-Up comic books are intended to be fun, silly and to entertain children. Which they all do.
2 Batman and The Beatles
Even in today's generation you'll be hard pressed to find anyone that hasn't at least heard of The Beatles. The Fab Four took the music scene and the world by storm creating Beatlemania. There was no escaping them. With their music, movies, TV shows and even their own comic book, The Beatles also infiltrated other universes such as Disney and Batman.
Although to be fair, in this Batman crossover the names have been tweaked slightly. Instead of The Beatles and Paul, John, George and Ringo, we get The Oliver Twists with Saul, Glennan, Hal and Benji. No doubt something to do with copyright laws.
The story of the crossover is probably one of the most famous myths and legends in all of celebrity and pop culture history. When The Beatles were at their height there were rumors that Paul McCartney had died and instead of the studio announcing this, they hired a lookalike to keep the fame and money rolling in. The only clues are left by the other band members in song lyrics and album covers. Of course in real life the rumour is still out there but has never been proved. But can the great detective Batman solve the case and prove once and for all what happened to Paul McCartney? (or Saul!)
Number one on our list is the mother of all mash-ups and crossovers. Spanning space, time and different universes, the Infestation series incorporates the most unlikely franchises and puts them all together. Although strictly speaking Infestation isn't a true crossover, as the characters from the different universes never meet on page, because of the variety and scope of the comic books it deserve to be top of the list.
The first series brought together the likes of Star Trek, Ghostbusters, GI Joe and Transformers, while the second series included Dungeons and Dragons, Teenage Mutant Ninja turtles and Robots vs Zombies. With both series of comic books proving popular, who knows who might be included for a third series. It all depends on licensing laws, but expect the unexpected.
We would just like to make a few honorable mentions to weird comic book crossovers that didn't quite make our list, but are nonetheless worth a shout out. Sonic the Hedgehog and Spawn, The Avengers and David Letterman, Jimmy Olsen meets Don Rickles and Superman and the Nestle Quik Bunny. All brilliantly weird in their own right!