Alternate Cover: Crossovers - Good and Bad
written by James Hunt 10/08/08
What are the best crossovers that Marvel and DC ever unleashed? James has some suggestions...
CRISIS ON INFINITE EARTHS (Trade Paperback)
Despite crossovers getting a fairly bad reputation in comics for “forcing” readers to part with extra money in order to get a story that, by and large, doesn’t service the characters so much as shoehorn them in as an afterthought. With both major comic companies currently in full crossover mode with Marvel’s “Secret Invasion” and DC’s “Final Crisis” it’s hard to remember exactly what we’re all getting so worked up about.
Even so, some Crossovers can be looked back upon fondly, given the test of time. Here I pick the best crossovers Marvel and DC ever did (and mention some of the ones we wish they hadn’t done.)
DC: Crisis on Infinite Earths
As if it was ever going to be anything else. Say what you will about the precedent this series firmly established that would make DC Universe continuity nothing short of incomprehensible over the next few years, but there’s a good reason it’s been used as the basis for about six of DC’s other major events over the past couple of decades – it was simply that good. It virtually established the idea of a line-wide crossover, leading Marvel to follow suit shortly with similar projects.
Even now, there are classic moments in Crisis that, largely due to George Perez’s brilliant art and Marv Wolfman’s masterful handling of the myriad plot threads, have become part of comics’ collective memory - the deaths of Barry Allen (The Flash) and Kara Zor-El (the original Supergirl) spring immediately to mind. While much of the action did stay contained to the parent series, a fair number of crossovers existed, and ultimately it turned out to be very important, spinning out a new “unified” DC Universe continuity that lasted…well, for a fair few years, at least…