The second comic books came into existence, readers started demanding crossovers of their favorite characters. Over the years, fans have gotten to see Marvel and DC have multiple crossovers. We got to watch what would happen if the the Terminator fought RoboCop. We saw the exciting battle between the Predator and Tarzan. Heck, we even discussed the awesome story of Superman coming across Aliens.
Sometimes, though, writers have ideas for a comic book crossover that they can’t get approved. Sometimes, they sneak those crossovers through. Sometimes, the fans don’t even realize it. Here’s we’ll discuss a few of the best, coolest, and weirdest secret crossovers in comics.
Alan Moore and Gene Ha Sneak in Countless Crossovers in One Page
Alan Moore’s TOP 10, with art by Gene Ha and Zander Cannon is a love letter to comics. The series, about a world where everyone has powers and the police who have to protect them was critically acclaimed for it’s amazing art, fantastic story, and abundance of easter eggs for readers. Seriously, I could do an article just on the secret crossover in this book, but where’s the fun in that?
Instead we’ll look at this single page. Look close. Who do you see?
From my own count we have the following characters showing up:
The Mirror Universe Captain Kirk, Mister Spock, and Uhura from STAR TREK
The Earth 3 versions of the Crime Syndicate of America
Age of Apocalypse versions of the X-Men
Bat-Mite and Mister Mxyzptlk
Both Marvel and DC’s versions of Sandman
Flash rogue Mirror Master
Firestorm and Pariah in the CRISIS ON INFINITE EARTHS gag
Moore and Ha filled the series with things like this, and it was loved by all who read it.
Warren Ellis Kills the Justice League in PLANETARY
PLANETARY, by Warren Ellis and John Cassaday was critically acclaimed not just for the phenomenal art and brilliant story, but for the nods to other comics and movies. The concept for the book, a team that is searching for the secret history of the world finds the ultimate mystery – the multiverse, allowed for some great “secret” crossovers. One character, Axel Brass, was clearly a take on Doc Savage. It is through Axel Brass that our team of Archeologists of the Impossible learn about the time there was a “crisis” and all the Earths in the multiverse were being destroyed. A superhero team from another Earth came through a portal looking to destroy this Earth and keep theirs safe. Brass and his team killed them all.
That evil team was the Justice League.
Len Wein, Steve Englehart and Gerry Conway Pull off the Ultimate Secret Crossover
At a Halloween party in Vermont, three comic writers, Len Wein, Steve Englehart and Gerry Conway, came up with a plan to have the first Marvel/DC crossover without telling anyone about it. Here’s how they pulled it off.
It started in Marvel’s AMAZING ADVENTURES #16, when Englehart told a story about the mutant Beast showing up at a costume party in Vermont. As the story takes place, Beast gets a ride to Rutland, Vermont with three guys and a woman (Englehart, Conway, Wein and Wein’s wife Glynis) who are on their way to a Halloween parade. Glynis, by the by, is dressed as Supergirl. At the parade, the gang gets a little split up while Beast fights Juggernaut – Glynis goes missing!
The next part was in DC’s JUSTICE LEAGUE OF AMERICA #103 where our four adventurers have their car stolen by the nemesis of the Justice League, Feliz Faust. Before the JL can take Faust down, he takes over the minds of the costumed participants at the parade, many of them dressed like Marvel heroes! Worst of all, one of the costumed parade participants under the control of Faust is Glynis! Lucily, she is freed when the League takes down Faust.
We next see our hard traveling Halloween partiers in THOR #207, which takes place at some point between AMAZING ADVENTURES and JUSTICE LEAGUE. In the story, the gang stops off for a burger when Glynis goes missing, then the car gets stolen just as Glynis shows back up.
Clark Kent Lives in the Marvel Universe
Since 1976, Clark Kent, better known to the world as Superman, has been showing up in various Marvel comics. What we know of him is that he is a reporter for a “great metropolitan newspaper.”
The introduction of Clark to the Marvel universe was done by Chris Claremont and John Byrne as a gag for readers. More writers and artists got in on the gag, and it became a fun thing to do (as long as no lawyers got their dander up). Here, for example, is Clark hanging out at the Daily Bugle with Robbie Robertson while JJJ yells at Peter Parker
Clark has been spotted in over 20 Marvel comics over the years, sometimes with Lois Lane by his side.
Flash Dies in CRISIS, Shows Up in QUASAR
The death of the second Flash, Barry Allen, in CRISIS ON INFINITE EARTHS was written to leave an opening for the character to come back if DC ever wanted to. Before DC got the chance, Marvel writer Mark Gruenwald took it.
In QUASAR #17, the fastest speedsters in the Marvel Universe are brought together to find out which one is really “the fastest man alive”. As the race begins, a random man appears in a flash of light. He has long blonde hair and a beard, and is nearly nude, save for his tattered red clothing. He instinctively runs and wins the race. When asked who he is, the man has no memory of where he came from, and could not remember his own name, but he was pretty sure it sounded something like ‘Buried Alien’.
Buried Alien, who got himself a costume and took on the superhero name of Fast-Forward, showed up only once more. Maybe he had to get back to the DC Universe.