Comic books have no bounds in terms of their imagination. One moment, they’ll be depicting an ordinary man turning himself to a superhero, while on a different occasion, they will be explaining the tactics of a war far beyond our galaxy. Such a limitless source of ideas and characters often results in what is known as a crossover. This will create a situation in which two formidable forces compete each other, or in some cases, join together to fight a common enemy. With the creation of cinematic universes, it further increased the acceptability of these ideas. Movies like The Avengers and Dawn of Justice are bringing crossovers to life on the big screen for the first time in history. Yet, some of the most groundbreaking crossovers still remain in comic strips, due to studio royalties and copyright issues. Let’s have a look at five comic book crossovers that are genius, but will not be adapted into a movie for a long time, due to various issues relating to studio conflicts.
Batman/Judge Dredd: Judgment on Gotham (Dec: 1991)
A story that involves dimensional jumps and an overlapping narration between Gotham and Megacity One, this piece of comic brilliance is a fun read. Along with other fan favorite characters including Scarecrow, Judge Anderson and Judge Death, this crossover is a tale about the conflicts between justice and vigilantism.
The reason we won’t be watching this as a movie anytime soon is obvious. Batman is a property of DC while Dredd now belongs to Lionsgate. Even with an entertaining production, the latest Dredd movie was a box-office failure. If we are so lucky, we could see a sequel for that one, but a crossover between these two fan favorite characters is implausible in today’s situations.
Green Lantern / Silver Surfer #1 - Unholy Alliances by DC Comics ( Jan: 1995)
The first DC/Marvel cross over on this list, this one features Green Lantern and Silver Surfer fighting against the eternal threat of Thanos. Surprisingly, Thanos wasn't the only threat, while Parallax also had an eye on destroying the world. As in many cases, Thanos travels through dimensions to reach the DC universe, where he could use the last Green Lantern ring to power his weapon of destruction. Initially, the heroes succumb to their manipulations, but eventually they team up to destroy their common enemy.
Since it is a Marvel/DC crossover and Silver Surfer is owned by Fox, this crossover will also remain a dream for the comic book fans.
Batman/Hulk: DC Special Series Vol 1 27 (Sep: 1981)
Another DC/Marvel crossover, this edition features a number of fan favorite characters including the Joker and the Shaper of worlds. Here, Banner works for Wayne Techs as a scientist, in the hopes of finding a cure for his alternate personality known as The Hulk. Through a mishap involving Joker, Wayne Tech looses a powerful weapon, and Joker uses it to attack the shaper. A different event leads to Banner changing into Hulk and the fight ensues between Hulk, Batman, and the Shaper.
The same studio conflicts occur here and since the MCU is well-established and the DCCU is on its way, we won’t be seeing this union for a long time.
Superman vs The Amazing Spider-Man: The Battle of the Century (1976)
Another battle of the mighty, this story features a fierce battle between Superman and Spiderman. The writers establish that Metropolis and New York City are of the same universe, and Lex Luthor plays an important part in the story. Other characters like Lois Lane, Mary Jane and Dr. Octopus are also featured in this edition along with some gut-wrenching action between the heroes.
Since Marvel has re-acquired Spiderman from Fox, we will likely see other interesting crossovers like Spiderman/Hulk, but for this one, it doesn't look too probable. Besides, DC is busy establishing the long awaited DCCU, so that’s that.
JLA/Avengers #1 (Sep: 2003)
Now the ultimate prize fights! All the characters from both sides meet each other for a showdown. This story deals with how such different leagues of superheroes would see each other when given the chance to witness what the other universe looks like. Here, the JLA travels to the Marvel universe (Oh boy!) and discovers how wretched it has became after an attack by Krona. They blame each other in their dismay and that leads to an epic fight.
This storyline is way ahead of the current movies of both the MCU and DCCU. Even with the hope of having it on big screen, it’s highly unlikely that there will be a crossover between these movie mammoths. There isn’t exactly a rivalry between DC and Marvel, as is suggested by these comics. But, when it comes to movies, it’s million dollar business, and for the sake of that system, these characters won’t be breaching their respective universes. At least for now…