Saturday, August 26, 2006

Comics’ Wackiest Crossovers: The Marvel Edition

As long as I’ve been reading Marvel Comics, and as many of them I’ve enjoyed, I’m well aware of Marvel's whorish side. In the ongoing quest for publicity, Marvel’s made a lot of crazy deals and picked up some disparate licenses over the years, and that’s led to some pretty strange team-ups for their heroes. Here are some of the weirdest team-ups in Marvel’s history:

Avengers #239 Found Wonder Man with a problem: His agent had booked him on Late Night With David Letterman, but had promised other Avengers as well. The Vision was a mellow disembodied floating head at the time, and happily offered Hawkeye, The Beast, and a handful of others to appear on the program. Writer Roger Stern did a good job of capturing Letterman's voice, and turned out a fun story.

Back in 1996, this kicked off a line of Star Trek comics from Marvel. An ill-advised combination of two great tastes that don’t go so great together, this story teamed the original Star Trek crew with the then current X-men lineup. So if the thought of Kirk, Spock, and McCoy interacting with Gambit, Bishop, and Wolverine really guns your engines, this is the comic for you. I’m reliably informed that there was a follow-up comic book teaming the X-men with Picard’s Enterprise that was concluded in one of the Star Trek prose novels. I’m sure that went over well.

Marv Wolfman must have been paid by the word, in this, the talkiest comic I own. Apparently, Stan Lee was quite impressed with key-bending psychic URI GELLER, because he tasked writer Wolfman with using Geller in Daredevil #133. This was the result. In the story, Geller's abilities were ramped up to the point that he was ensnaring his archenemy, Mind Wave with iron window bars using the power of his mind.

It started as a joke between Archie VP Victor Gorelick and Marvel EIC Tom DeFalco, but writer Batton Lash provided a script that offered a plausible story that actually worked, while staying true to the characters. To everyone’s surprise, it was actually pretty good.

I can only assume that writer/artist Allan Kupperberg had the worst kind of blackmail photos of EIC Jim Shooter. How else to explain this 1983 one-shot that showcased the CRAZY magazine mascot in pitched battle with the X-men?

I’m not sure how this ever came to be, but Marvel Team-Up #74 featured Peter Parker in the audience when Stan Lee hosts an episode of the then-new Saturday Night Live. “Hilarity” ensues when Spidey teams up with John Belushi, Dan Ackroyd, Jane Curtin, and all the rest to thwart the Silver Samurai, there to steal a mystic samurai sword accidentally sent to Belushi.

Tragically, I don’t have this anymore. As I recall, ALF is briefly drawn into Marvel's line-wide Evolutionary War crossover when the High Evolutionary visits to find out what kind of being ALF is.

This is Again With the Comics saying: Don’t get CROSS, just get OVER it.

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