We've seen them fight on the printed page, but will Marvel and DC ever square off on the big screen?
It's a question that fans ask surprisingly often -- it comes up in nearly every Q&A we do at the DC on ComciBook.com Facebook page and I would be surprised if the Marvel moderators told me it didn't come up there as well. So it shouldn't be any shock that somebody put the question to Stan Lee during his MegaCon panel this weekend.
...Becuase, after all, wouldn't that be basically the greatest cameo ever for Stan?
"Well, you know, that would really be terrific," Lee said. "We did a Spider-Man vs. Superman comic book years ago -- a big, giant-sized book which sold really well, and I had Spider-Man win. I don't think there will ever be a movie like that only because of the lawyers and the businessmen and the contracts. They'd never be able to figure out who gets what and whose name comes first...but if they ever could do it, man, I think everybody would want to see that."
Those contracts have often been cited by Marvel's Tom Brevoort as a reason to avoid crossing over with DC in current publishing projects; he has said that because the publishers have to split profits and expenses, it's ultimately more of a boon to either of them to simply develop their own event miniseries that might not make quite as much money as a crossover, but which wouldn't have to be shared.
In the past, the two publishers have crossed over numerous times over the years, most famously in the DC Versus Marvel/Marvel Versus DC co-published miniseries in 1996. Featuring writing by Peter David and Ron Marz with art by Dan Jurgens and Claudio Castellini, the series pit characters against one another in order to appease the whims of two godlike brothers who were squabbling.
A follow-up of sorts, JLA/Avengers, was published that pitted the titular super-teams against one another from the creative team of Kurt Busiek and George Perez.
Both of those series -- as well as a number of other crossover series -- have been out of print for years and now fetch significantly more than their cover price -- especially for the JLA/Avengers hardcover, which can sell for hundreds of dollars.