It was recently announced that the Justice League would be starring in a crossover with Godzilla and King Kong. Now that crossover will surely be legendary (we talked about it on the TBU Podcast), but it got me thinking about Batman’s other mega crossovers. No, I am not talking about Batman teaming up in World’s Finest or the Brave and the Bold with other DC characters. I am focusing solely on Batman joining forces with characters outside of the DC Universe.
#1) The Marvel Universe
It makes sense to start here. Batman has many encounters with Stan Lee’s favorite heroes. Batman teaming up with Spider-Man to take on the Joker, Carnage, Wilson Fisk, and Ra’s Al Ghul in two separate one-shots written by J.M. Dematteis are two of my personal favorites (naturally, they are my two favorite characters of all time). The Dark Knight has also teamed up with Daredevil and Captain America.
Perhaps the ultimate crossover is JLA/Avengers written by Kurt Busiek and art by George Perez. The two greatest teams of all time team up to save both of their universes, but my favorite part of the story is when the JLA and Avengers meet for the first time, Of course, a fight breaks out. Superman and Thor are trading blows, but we cut to Batman and Captain America sizing each other up for a fight, realizing that a fight isn’t necessary, and then agreeing to work together with a handshake. Just two all-time tactical minds knowing what they have to do to get the job done.
#2) Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles
If you’re of a certain generation, like me (born in 1987) and grew up during the 90s, your first love was probably the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles. The Heroes in a Half-Shell were a staple of any 90s kid persona. I probably loved the Turtles more than Batman as a little one. When that Turtles/Batman crossover was announced, the kid in me rejoiced.
The sneaky part about a lot of these intercompany crossovers is that they are not really memorable. They are pretty cookie-cutter and an easy cash-grab for comic book publishers. But the best part of Batman and TMNT is that the stories are actually good. Perhaps they benefitted that James Tynion IV was given six issues each for his trilogy of stories, which allowed for character development and more awesome character interactions between the Turtles and the Bat-family.
I have really only read the first Batman/Predator crossover, but it was made into a trilogy with some pretty big creative names behind it. The first one was written by Dave Gibbons, best known as the artist for Watchmen, with art by Andy and Adam Kubert.
The story is pretty basic. Predator comes in and kills some mob crosses, so Batman has to take him down. The finale is amazing. Batman wears a sweet-looking sonar suit (need that McFarlane figure), and the battle wages across Gotham City, ending up near Wayne Manor. This final battle includes Alfred Pennyworth shooting Predator with a blunderbuss (awesome) and Batman finally defeating it with a baseball bat. Again, it’s awesome.
Batman and Spawn have teamed up a few times. Again, when two characters who are this popular get together, superstar creators are sure to follow. Names like Frank Miller, Todd McFarlane, Doug Moench, Alan Grant, Chuck Dixon, and Greg Capullo have all teamed up on the three times Batman and Spawn have crossed paths.
Once again, the stories are pretty basic. Brief fight, reluctant partnership, and mutual respect by the end. Sometimes it can be seen as a cash-grab, but it’s just nice to see Baman play outside of the DC Universe every once in a while.
No Batman crossover list would be complete without Scooby and the gang. This was probably everyone’s first Batman crossover. The Dynamic Duo famously met Scoob and his pals in Scooby’s animated show. I first saw that on Cartoon Network and then watched the VHS a million times. It’s just a fun episode of two great crime-fighting teams joining forces to solve mysteries.
Later on Batman: The Brave and the Bold had a crossover movie with Scoob, and there is also a current comic run going on right now. The beauty of Batman is that he can team up with Spawn in a gritty, Frank Miller-inspired world and then team up with Mystery Inc., and yet it all makes sense.
There are many other Batman crossovers but I want to know which is your favorite and who do you want to see Batman team up? I know my answer: Ghostbusters! I can just picture Alfred being disgusted by Slimer as Slimer trashes the Batcave. Make it happen, DC editorial!