Comic books sure do love their crossovers. And who can blame them? Bringing different characters together and seeing how they’ll interact is a lot of fun. But sometimes when said characters are wildly different, it can get a little…weird. Often times comics will bring together characters that have little to no relation to each other, who seem like they shouldn’t exist in the same universe, much less be meeting. Sometimes even celebrities get thrown into the mix.
So let’s a take a look at some of the most bizarre comic book crossovers out there. Do you have any you’d like to add to the list? Say so in the comments!
Batman meets the Beatles (Batman #222)
Beatlemania even gripped Batman, because in 1970 we had Batman and Robin investigating whether Paul was really dead, as the rumor mill at the time was churning out. Actually, it wasn’t really Paul it was "Saul". The crossover wasn’t approved by the Beatles, so the comic had to do the whole “nudge nudge wink wink but you know who we really mean right” shebang.
Batman meets Tarzan (Batman/Tarzan: Claws of the Cat-Woman)
Batman wasn’t done with his weird crossovers though. He also teamed up with Tarzan in a miniseries called Claws of the Cat-Woman.. It was the 1930’s version of Batman specifically too. In the comic, both Tarzan and Batman are here to help the head of an African cat-cult (sure, why not) protect her people’s treasures from Two-Face. Who is in the jungle now, cuz again, why not.
Zorro and Django Unchained (Django/Zorro)
Not only is there a crossover between Zorro and Django from Quentin Tarantino’s movie, but Tarantino himself co-wrote it with Matt Wagner. And they want to make a movie out of it. The world is a wild place indeed.
The X-Men and Star Trek (Star Trek/X-Men)
X-Men and Star Trek crossed over in 1996, despite the characters not having much relation to each other. And so we got Spock successfully subduing Wolverine with a Vulcan neck pinch.
They also had X-Men cross over with Star Trek: The Next Generation, which COULD have been because we’d have to deal with the fact both Professor X and Picard are played by Patrick Stewart- but not only was the crossover made before the X-men movies, but Professor X wasn't even in the story, Boo.
The Avengers and Attack on Titan (Attack on Avengers)
Attack on Titan is ridiculously popular, but it’s always surprising when companies manage to pull off an international crossover. Manga and comics combine in this eight page special when Titans randomly arrive in New York (including Titans from the comic itself, so it’s not like it’s a different type of Titans- the specific titans from the manga have somehow been transplanted to the Marvel Universe).
The Avengers are much better equipped to fight back than a ragtag army of citizens, so there’s none of the gore and death you generally get from the manga. The Guardians of the Galaxy show up to help and that’s the end. It was actually written by the creator of Attack on Titan himself and done in manga format, which is pretty wild.
Star Trek Meets Transformers Meets Ghostbusters Meets GI Joe (Infestation
There’s such a thing as trying to do too much with a crossover, and the Infestation storyline is probably pushing it in having four whole franchises team up to fight zombies. But hey, I guess it did well enough they were able to publish an epilogue, so what do I know.
DC and Marvel have had a lot of crossovers, but Amalgam Comics is definitely their strangest one. Rather than simply crossing over the characters, they merged them, creating a bizarre fusion of a Marvel character and a DC character. Wolverine and Batman become a character called “Dark Claw”, for instance. Sometimes it was even three characters merged together- for instance, the creatively named “Dr. StrangeFate” was and amalgamation of Dr. Strange, Doctor Fate AND Charles Xavier.
Some of the characters that fused were somewhat related- since they were both newspaper editors J. Jonah Jameson and Perry White got combined, Captain America and Superman have similar temperaments so they got combined. But some of the combos were downright bizarre..For instance, murderous space-faring bounty hunter Lobo was merged with Howard the Duck to become “Lobo the Duck”. He got his own comic and everything. Also the Punisher merged with Wonder Woman’s boyfriend, Steve Trevor, for some reason.
Most of the Amalgam Comics really weren’t that good, but it was certainly a bizarre chapter in Marvel and DC's history.
Jerry Lewis and Batman, Superman, The Flash and Wonder Woman (Jerry Lewis #97, #105, #112 and #117)
Comedian Jerry Lewis had his own comic book and it crossed over with all of DC Comics Big Three. The common thread is Jerry being mistaken for a superhero, somehow, before being rescued by the real one. Except for the Wonder Woman comic, where he stalks and falls in love with her instead.
Superman and Everyone Under The Sun
Superman has been in so many weird crossovers, you guys. It’s not just Jerry Lewis, he’s crossed over with pretty much everyone, including Lucille Ball (though that one was a television crossover- still bears mentioning) Muhammed Ali, Tarzan, The Terminator, the Nestle Quik Bunny, Pat Boone,He-Man and Orson Welles. Everybody want a piece of Superman.
Spider-Man and Ren and Stimpy (The Ren and Stimpy Show #6)
Yep, Spidey teamed up with the protagonists of the beloved 90’s Nickelodean Cartoon. And yes, he fought Powederd Toast Man. And got OWNED HARD.
Guiding Light and the Avengers (Guiding Light #1)
At one point, The Avengers crossed over with Guiding Light, a long-running soap opera. This was reflected in both the show itself and the comics. A character briefly gains superpowers in the show and then she appears in a Marvel comic, where she once again gets superpowers by accident. For some reason, the entire Avengers team decides to come and check this potential superhero out, there a fight, lady loses her powers again, blablabla. As a ratings grab attempt, it definitely didn’t work because the show was canceled shortly afterward.
Archie and The Punisher (Archie Meets the Punisher)
The happy, wholesome world of Riverdale doesn’t seem like it would mix at all with the death and darkness that surrounds the Punisher, a somewhat unhinged, tortured anti-hero who murders criminals indiscriminately. But the crossover in question was actually a lot of fun- the writers knew they were dealing with characters that kind of clashed and had fun with it.
You get moments like The Punisher being slightly baffled by the unspoiled Americana that is Riverdale and Archie attempting to imitate the Punisher’s angsty narration and be “grim and gritty”, which everyone around him is thoroughly unimpressed by. The plot is obviously ridiculous, but that’s part of the charm.
The strangest part of the crossover was definitely the weird flirtation Ms. Grundy and the Punisher had going. Who knew Ms. Grundy’s type were rage-consumed vigilantes who kill people in horrible, vicious ways? And who knew Frank Castle had a thing for elderly schoolteachers? Well, now we know. Get to writing your Ms. Grundy/Punisher fanfic.
Charles Barkley and Godzilla (Godzilla vs Barkley)
In 1992, there was a Nike commercial where Charles Barkley challenged Godzilla to a game of basketball. Dark Horse decided they had to make this incredibly random, brilliant concept into a comic. So we got Godzilla vs Charles Barkley. A little kid comes out of nowhere to tell Barkley that as Earth’s greatest warrior, he must stop the rampaging Godzilla. Conveniently, Barkley has a magical family heirloom- a silver dollar that can make him grow giant size. Then he goes a round with Godzilla because “it is a little-known fact Godzilla is a sucker for B-ball.”
Barkley naturally wins and this defeat convinces Godzilla to allow Barkley to take him to a remote corner of Utah, where he is ordered to work on his game for the next hundred years. A dark terror awaits those citizens a century in the future- with Charles Barkley dead, who will stop Godzilla in his rampage, especially since he is now aided by mad basketball skills?
Archie and Predator (Archie vs Predator)
Again, the wholesome world of Archie meets a far darker character, but Archie meets Predator has FAR more gruesome results than Archie’s outing with the Punisher. The majority of the cast was brutally killed, the title character included. Betty and Veronica managed to survive and defeat Predator, though Betty loses a hand in the process. Oh, and the Predator had a crush on her or something. And Betty just completely loses her mind and tries to reconstruct the wounded creature so it looks like her deceased crush Archie. Weird stuff. And seriously, extremely gory. You see Pop Tate’s head get blown off and the Predator hold up Dilton’s severed head with his spine still attached.
Eminem and The Punisher (Eminem/The Punisher)
Yep, Eminem managed to get him a comic where he teamed up with the Punisher. Not only teamed up with the Punisher, but managed to beat him in a fight. Yeah, sorry Eminem, but no, that wouldn’t happen. The whole idea of the comic is the Parents Music Council has decided to hire an assassin to murder Eminem and the Punisher is here to help. But he didn’t really need help because Eminem finishes off Barracuda, an actual Punisher villain with a chainsaw. The Punisher totally forgives Eminem for shooting him in the chest and waltzes off to murder the Parents Music Council. Yeah, this is self-insert fanfic at its finest, only professionally published.