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Top 10 Craziest DC Elseworlds Stories

VO: Adrian Sousa WRITTEN BY: Ryan Woods
Written by Ryan Woods When freed from the chains on continuity, creativity reigns supreme. Welcome to WatchMojo.com and today we’ll be counting down our picks for the Top 10 Craziest DC Elseworlds Stories. For this list, we’ll be looking at the most interesting, thought-provoking and downright insane stories from DC Comics’ Elseworlds imprint. Although there are several other classic DC tales that take place outside of established canon, we will only be considering stories that carry the official Elseworlds stamp. Have an idea you want to see made into a WatchMojo video? Check out our suggest page at http://WatchMojo.comsuggest and submit your idea.
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When freed from the chains on continuity, creativity reigns supreme. Welcome to WatchMojo.com and today we’ll be counting down our picks for the Top 10 Craziest DC Elseworlds Stories.

For this list, we’ll be looking at the most interesting, thought-provoking and downright insane stories from DC Comics’ Elseworlds imprint. Although there are several other classic DC tales that take place outside of established canon, we will only be considering stories that carry the official Elseworlds stamp.

#10: “Elseworld’s Finest: Supergirl & Batgirl” (1998)


A feminine twist on DC’s World’s Finest, this story has Supergirl and Batgirl fulfill the roles of their male counterparts as Earth’s greatest heroes. In this version of the DC universe, Kara Zor-El is the sole survivor of Krypton’s destruction and Barbara Gordon is Gotham’s Dark Knight after her father is murdered by Joe Chill. After her benefactor Lex Luthor is kidnapped by the Joker and Emil Hamilton, Supergirl sets out to rescue him within Batgirl’s police state-like Gotham. Despite their vast ideological differences, Supergirl and Batgirl unite for a wonderfully bizarre yet captivating adventure.

#9: “Batman: Holy Terror” (1991)


Batman often gets accused of upholding the status quo a bit too much, so this story has him set out to completely upheave it. In this universe, Bruce Wayne’s parents are murdered not by a mugger but by America’s theocratic government for giving medical aid to “undesirables.” After learning the truth about their deaths, Reverend Bruce Wayne trades in his holy robes for the cape and cowl of Batman to exact his revenge. A refreshing take on Batman where he becomes a champion of the impoverished, “Holy Terror” remains an ambitious addition to the Elseworlds collection.

#8: “Wonder Woman: Amazonia” (1997)


One of DC’s several forays into the Victorian period, “Amazonia” sees Wonder Woman kidnapped from Paradise Island by a cruel Steve Trevor and taken to England to perform in Biblical plays. In addition to a political subplot involving Jack the Ripper vying for the British crown, this story sees Wonder Woman fall in love with Prince Charles and become an inspiration to downtrodden women across the nation. With a misogynistic serial killer sitting on the throne, Wonder Woman leads a battle against the forces of patriarchy and colonialism in an era rife with both.

#7: “JLA: The Nail” (1998)


A classic example of the “what-if” scenario, this story was written by Alan Davis imagines how different the DC universe would be if Kal-El’s ship hadn’t been found by the Kents. A bad omen of things to come, Superman’s absence is felt greatly as Lex Luthor becomes the mayor of Metropolis and spearheads a campaign of hatred against metahumans. Akin to DC’s version of “It’s A Wonderful Life”, “The Nail” is one of the best examples of showing how different familiar worlds can be with a small single change.

#6: “Batman & Dracula Trilogy” (1991-99)


Arguably the darkest Elseworlds saga, the Batman & Dracula trilogy pits the Dark Knight against the legendary King of Vampires and his hordes of the undead. While Dracula himself only appears in the first entry “Red Rain”, the sequels “Bloodstorm” and “Crimson Mist”, follow the adventures of a blood-sucking Batman as he wages war against Gotham’s vampires. Now literally a bat-man, the Caped Crusader becomes Gotham’s resident vampire hunter as he struggles to control his own bloodlust. Featuring the appropriately nightmarish artwork of Kelley Jones, the Batman & Dracula trilogy also features appropriately horrific interpretations of Batman’s rogues' gallery in this superhero-horror epic.

#5: “Superman: Speeding Bullets” (1993)


An intriguing idea that combines the Superman and Batman mythologies, “Speeding Bullets” imagines the two heroes as one unique individual. After the infant Kal-El is discovered by Thomas and Martha Wayne, they name the child Bruce and raise him as their own. After his adoptive parents are killed by Joe Chill, young Bruce annihilates the thief with a blast of heat vision and discovers he has superpowers. After mastering his abilities, Bruce becomes Batman and uses his powers to combat crime in Gotham. Ironically, this Kryptonian Batman eventually finds his nemesis in Lex Luthor when a horrific accident transforms the criminal mastermind into the maniacal Joker.

#4: “Gotham By Gaslight” (1989)


Considered to be DC’s original Elseworlds story, “Gotham by Gaslight” combined the talents of Mike Mignola, Brian Augustyn, and P. Craig Russell to tell a truly special Batman tale. Transplanting the Dark Knight back to the Victorian era, this story sees Batman on the trail of none other than Jack the Ripper. The stakes rise even higher when Bruce Wayne himself is accused of being the Ripper and thus his nocturnal alter-ego must prove his innocence. Suitably gothic in its tone and style, “Gotham by Gaslight” is a prime example of how timeless Batman’s legend has become and continues to be.

#3: “Superman: Red Son” (2003)


What would the world be like if baby Kal-El landed in Soviet-controlled Ukraine instead of Kansas? Mark Millar’s “Red Son” answers that question. A deeply philosophical examination of the Cold War, “Red Son” tells the story of a Superman who fights for Stalin, socialism and the expansion of the Warsaw Pact. Opposing him is Dr. Lex Luthor, America’s champion who spends decades creating machines and monsters to overthrow Superman’s ever-expanding control of Earth. With a supporting cast of darker, Cold War versions of Batman, Wonder Woman and Green Lantern, “Red Son” blurs the lines between heroes and villains in murky shades of gray.

#2: “Kingdom Come” (1996)


Another story which distorts the division between good and evil, Alex Ross and Mark Waid’s “Kingdom Come” offers a grim view of a potential future for the DC universe. After the American public embraces the more violent methods of new heroes like Magog, Superman and many of his contemporaries retire from crime-fighting. But after a Magog-led attack on the Parasite devastates the Midwest, the Man of Steel and his old allies reunite to reign in the young antiheroes. The subsequent conflict creates three factions which engage in a battle of truly Biblical proportions with Earth’s future at stake. A powerful story about the limits and responsibilities of superheroes, “Kingdom Come” is a quintessential Elseworlds tale.

#1: “Superman & Batman: World’s Funnest” (2000)


When we said “craziest” we weren’t kidding. While “Kingdom Come” and “Red Son” are often cited as the best stories to come out of the Elseworld imprint, “World’s Funniest” is, by far, the most bizarre. After a heated argument between Bat-Mite and Mr. Mxyzptlk, Batman and Superman are accidentally killed by their biggest fans. What ensues is an interdimensional battle of disastrous and hilarious proportions as Bat-Mite and Mr. Mxyzptlk destroy entire eras of DC Comics history. As the Fifth Dimensional imps’ conflict rages across the Multiverse, each and every incarnation of DC’s Earths and its heroes are ridiculed in suitably comedic fashion. Bolstered by the contributions of Brian Bolland, Frank Miller, Alex Ross and many more, “World’s Funnest” displays the worst excesses of fandom for all to see.
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