The passionate competition between DCEU and MCU fans is stuff of legend. There can never be one clear winner of this debate and neither side will ever back down. The two opposing views are relentlessly contested on social media, in comic book stores and at Sunday barbecues. Imagine then, the crescendo this excited feud would reach if both universes went toe to toe on a big-screen mashup.
The Merging Of Two Great Superpowers
Back in 1979 (I love saying that) after years of considered discussions, the ultimate superhero Brady Bunch consisting of DC and Marvel began to take shape. Just like their fans, the two companies had tons of vested interest in ensuring their wealth of characters were justly immortalized within the event. Like any complex event of egos and bureaucracy, the slow-moving wheels of indecision over the right script slowed the final version down, all the way to 2003. Postponed but not destroyed, the collaboration took well over a decade for DC and Marvel to come to an agreement. And thankfully they did, because it was worth the wait.
The story was written by Kurt Busiek (then-writer of The Avengers) and illustrated by George Pérez. Both brought a powerhouse of ideas and storytelling techniques that delivered arguably the best crossover ever seen. Pérez was the artist behind DC's Crisis on Infinite Earths and had also worked with Busiek on the #Avengers.
Originally DC's Mark Waid was involved in the project — however, due to other commitments, the editorial edict agreed that Busiek would be the sole writer of the final version. Busiek was well up to the task, having extensive knowledge and love of both universes, including a run with DC's Superman. In other words, the combined forces of Busiek and Pérez turned out to be the right combination to get the job done.
The Story Has Both Sides Covered
Without going into too much detail for those who are keen to read the series, let's just say it has more twists and turns than your mom's front-door handle. Both the #JusticeLeague and Avengers' worlds are drawn together in a devious game between Krona (DC) and the Grandmaster (Marvel). On a quest to save their respective universes, both sides of the superhero coin are pitted as adversaries being forced to search for 12 powerful artifacts spread across the two realities.
The treasure hunt has all characters teaming up and facing off to gain the upper hand. The epic clashes will have your heart racing in fanboy delight. Respectfully (I guess) there are no absolute winners throughout the four 48-page issues, with the storyline balancing the smackdowns in equal measure.
One of the best aspects to the story is seeing how each side reacts to the foreign environments and associated characters. It explores the varied cultural dynamics that empowers their beliefs over an augmented mash of realities. By doing this, the narrative incorporates a clever homage to both parties. It's a revealing story within a story about the alternate universes each company has created that helps fuse it all together.
The most iconic image that says it all is from the final cover. Seeing a battle-worn Superman standing steadfast while holding Thor's hammer and Captain America's shield is ridiculously awesome. It encompasses the power of the story while also personifying the universal pillars of strength DC and Marvel bring to the table.
All The Hero's Are Included
If a DC or Marvel category ever came up on Jeopardy, Busiek and Pérez would smash it. They have thrown every imaginable hero into the mix with this one. To name a few, imagine seeing the following roster within the one story arc:
- Wonder Woman
- The Flash
- Green Lantern
- Martian Manhunter
- Iron Man
- Wonder Man
- Ms. Marvel
- Scarlet Witch
- Blue Beetle
- Black Canary
- Red Tornado
- Black Panther
- The Wasp
- Plastic Man
- Captain Atom
- Green Arrow
- Mr. Fantastic
- The Thing
- Doctor Doom
- The Grandmaster
I know, right? Wow! All these characters have a role in the story as it slowly escalates into the tremendous multiverse finale of superhero mayhem.
To name only a slither of their interactions in a bid to whet your appetite: #WonderWoman goes to Asgard; Superman, Martian Manhunter, Barry Allen as Flash, Wasp, Batman, Goliath and Scarlet Witch save New York; and the Green Lantern, Iron Man, Wonder Woman, #Thor and Captain America save Gotham. It's a who's who of childhood memories all rolled together.
Sign Me Up!
There has been nothing like this superhero mashup since 2003. It ended on a high note, but I don't hear a fat lady singing. Yes, of course the logistics of putting something like this together is huge. No one is denying that, but the first hard step of developing an agreed story is already said and done. This team-up has stood the test of time and is the most well-written, detailed, respected of #crossovers we've seen between DC and Marvel. Let's hope that once again, egos can be put aside and bigwigs can be big kids to see this one through.
What are your thoughts on scaling up the fight a notch? Sound off in the comments below.