Top 10 Best DC and Marvel Crossovers
VOICE OVER: Tom Aglio
WRITTEN BY: Jordy McKen
A Marvel and DC team-up? Yes, please! For this list, we'll be looking at some of the best times that characters from DC and Marvel crossed over in the comics. Our countdown includes Batman & Captain America, Galactus Vs. Darkseid, Justice League & The Avengers and more!
Welcome to WatchMojo, and today we’re counting down our picks for the Top 10 Times DC and Marvel Crossed Over.
For this list, we’ll be looking at some of the best times that characters from DC and Marvel crossed over in the comics.
Which characters between the two would you like to see crossover today? Miss Marvel and Shazam? Moon Knight and Batman? Let us know below!
#10: “Superman vs. The Amazing Spider-Man” (1976)
1976 saw the first superhero crossover between the biggest comic publishers with two of their most popular characters! The story goes with the classic misunderstanding that forces the heroes to battle. Thanks to being blasted with red sun radiation from Lex Luthor, Spider-Man can go toe-to-toe with Superman. When they finally use their words and talk to each other, they realize they’ve been tricked. The two then team up to tackle the combined forces of Luthor and Doctor Octopus. But Doc Ock turns on Luthor when he realizes his plan will destroy the Earth. In the end, Lex’s plan is thwarted by Spidey and Supes. The two heroes would team up again in 1981 when they battled Parasite and Doctor Doom.
#9: Quasar Flash (1990)
In DC’s massive 1985 story, “Crisis on Infinite Earths”, the Flash Barry Allen seemingly perished. Well, in 1990’s “Quasar” issue 17, Marvel’s fastest characters took part in a race to see who’s the quickest. But there was a special cameo from someone who looked a lot like Barry. Appearing disheveled with a torn costume and a beautiful blonde beard, he doesn’t remember how he got there. But he has a strong desire to run. Even though he didn’t start the race, Barry dashes through the course easily and beats everyone to the finish line. When he’s asked what his name is, he can’t quite remember. But he goes with “Buried Alien” as that “feels right."
#8: “Batman/Captain America” (1997)
If you’ve ever wondered what a team-up between Batman, Captain America, Bucky Barnes, and Robin would be, then look no further. In 1997, we saw these heroes and sidekicks join forces to take on the Joker and the Red Skull. Set in the 1940s, we still get the classic misunderstanding fight when Steve Rogers and Bruce Wayne are out of their costumes, but it’s sorted quickly. We also have the fun moment of the Joker meeting Red Skull and being disgusted that the costume isn't just a costume. Joker announces his allegiance to America, even if he's a “criminal lunatic." It’s the Clown Prince of Gotham who actually ruins Red Skull’s plan to drop a bomb over Washington. Sometimes, apparently, Joker’s a good egg.
#7: Worthy DC (2019)
In 2019, legendary Thor writer and artist Walt Simonson created “Thor: The Worthy”, which contained various Asgard stories. In the "Rule for Reflection", we have Sif teaming up with Jane Foster Thor. Sif, who didn’t know it was Jane at the time, was distrustful of this new secret Thor. During the tale, we see a panel showing various characters who are worthy to lift Mjolnir. They delightfully squeezed in nods to DC’s Superman and Wonder Woman. But this isn’t the only instance Thor comics have referenced their publishing rivals. In 2020, while introducing the villain, the Black Winter, we see the world being destroyed, which featured the colors of Superman, Flash, and Green Lantern!
#6: Galactus vs. Darkseid (1995)
Imagine two of the strongest cosmic villains in Marvel and DC and witness the two fight it out for superiority. Sounds pretty cool, right? Well, that’s what we got in 1995. Called “Darkseid vs. Galactus: The Hunger”, the Devourer of Worlds stumbles across Apokolips. Weakened after millennia of not feeding, he attempts to consume the planet with the aid of the Silver Surfer, only to come face to face with Darkseid and his horde of parademons. In the end, just as Galactus prevails over Darkseid, it turns out Apokolips doesn’t have the life energy he needs. So, Galactus leaves with Silver Surfer to find another world.
#5: Amalgam Comics (1996)
In 1996, Marvel and DC decided to create a joint publishing imprint where they could share and play with each other’s characters in one big toy box known as Amalgam Comics. But with a twist. In the story, to prevent the destruction of two comic universes, they were squished together to form a new universe. This caused various DC and Marvel heroes to be welded together to create new beings. Many comics sprang out of this initiative featuring these brand-spanking-new characters. There was Dark Claw, a mixture of Wolverine and Batman, Amazon, a mash-up of Wonder Woman and Storm, Super Soldier, a Captain America and Superman combination, Doctor Doomsday, an amalgamation of Doomsday and Doctor Doom, and many, many more.
#4: “The Uncanny X-Men and The New Teen Titans” (1982)
When fans are asked what the best comic crossover issue between Marvel and DC is, often, they’ll pick 1982’s X-Men and Teen Titan story. In this tale, both the Titans and the mutants are seeing flashes of the Phoenix, Jean Grey, who had perished in Marvel’s continuity at this time. As it turns out, Darkseid was looking to use memories they have of Jean to remake her in her Dark Phoenix form, then use the Phoenix power for his own. His plan was simple -- sort of -- he aimed to turn Earth into a new Apokolips. The two teams combine to become the X-Titans and take on the forces of Darkseid, Phoenix, and Deathstroke to save the day.
#3: All Access (1996)
A joint-creation between the publishers and the only character owned by both, Axel Asher became the star of the show during this 1996 crossover event. With the power of Access, he was the "cosmic hall monitor" between the Marvel and DC universes. In this story, his mission is trying to stop the return of the Amalgam Universe. Throughout, we get to see a load of characters battle it out, such as Superman against Venom and the JLA versus the X-Men. Axel would also get a follow-up miniseries with 1997’s “Unlimited Access”. Speaking of ‘97, we also got a fun issue dedicated to Superman and Silver Surfer dealing with the shenanigans of Impossible Man and Mister Mxyzptlk.
#2: “JLA/Avengers” (2003)
In 2003 we got “JLA/Avengers”. The story goes that DC’s Krona was traveling through the multiverse, looking for the truth of creation, when he found the Marvel Universe. The Grandmaster proposes a competition to save Marvel, the JLA versus the Avengers. But, Krona will have the Avengers and the Grandmaster the JLA, to mix it up a bit. The main aim was to gather famous items from their universes. But there were plenty of characters battling it out in between. Superman takes on Thor, Aquaman against Iron Man, Vision fights Batman, and so on, before both super groups teamed up.
#1: Marvel vs DC (1996)
Known as the Brothers, these two entities represented the Marvel and DC universes separately. But, they discovered each other's existence, which was never meant to happen. For this 1996 event, the siblings had a competition to see who had the better realm. Whichever brother lost, their universe would be wiped out. The outcomes of the battles were decided between the creative team of the story and the result of fans' votes. Fights included Storm controversially beating Wonder Woman, Superman defeating Hulk, and Batman scraping by Captain America. In the end, Marvel came out on top. To save everyone from destruction, the Spectre and the Living Tribunal fold the universes together, creating the Amalgam Universe from this event.