If you?re a longtime fan of comics, you probably love a good crossover. Whether it?s two superheroes teaming up for the first time or a world threatening event that requires hundreds of heroes to stop, crossovers add a level of excitement and surprise to the monthly grind of comics?when they?re done right. Crossovers truly work best when they pair up two wildly different characters. Take this week?s Batman/TMNT, a new crossover miniseries co-published by DC Comics and IDW. No one expected DC?s Dark Knight to ever team up with a gang of mutant reptile martial arts experts, but now that the comic?s out, it just somehow feels right.
But for every Batman/TMNT, there?s a comics crossover that doesn?t make much sense. Whether it?s a bizarre celebrity cameo or an epic sports match between a fictional character and an outclassed opponents, comics has a proud tradition of concocting some really bizarre crossovers. Here?s a look at five of the weirdest crossovers we?ve seen in comics:
Superman vs. Muhammad Ali
Superman might be the greatest superhero in the DC Universe, but he doesn?t have anything on the People?s Champion. In 1978, DC released a 72 page oversized comic titled Superman vs. Muhammad Ali, with the real world athlete and fictional superhero teaming up to stop an alien invasion. Most of the comic revolves around a boxing match between Ali and Superman to determine who would represent Earth in a one on one boxing match against the champion of a threatening alien race called the Scrubb. To even the odds between a man who could literally move the Earth and an unpowered boxer, the match took place on a planet orbiting a red sun, which Ali won by knockout. After taking down Superman, Ali also makes short work of the Scrubb champion, leaving Superman with nothing to do besides lose a fight to the rest of the Scrubb forces. After doing all the heavy lifting, Ali reveals to Superman that he somehow knows the hero?s secret identity, one upping the hero one last time.
Archie vs. Predator
Riverdale?s had plenty of different visitors over the years, ranging from the Punisher (he came into town to kill some drug dealers) to the cast of Glee. But earlier this year, Archie and his friends faced a deadly extraterrestrial threat: a Predator from the popular series of sci-fi movies. After the gang travel to a tropical paradise for a vacation, Betty and Veronica attract the attention of a young Predator, who?s on Earth for his ?first hunt?. The Predator follows the gang back to Riverdale and starts killing anyone and everyone who stands between it and his two teen crushes. Ultimately, the Predator murders most of the Riverdale gang (including Archie, Jughead and Sabrina the Teenage Witch) before Betty and Veronica take the creature down. Not wanting to live in a world without Archie, the comic ends with Betty strapping the dying Predator to an advanced ?healing machine? at Veronica?s house and transforming the poor creature into an identical copy of Archie. That?s true love (or something), right there.
Godzilla vs. Charles Barkley
In 1992, Nike released a popular commercial featuring NBA superstar Charles Barkley playing a destructive game of basketball against Godzilla in the streets of Tokyo. Dark Horse Comics then adapted the commercial into a full length comic, which explained the background behind the epic basketball battle. According to the comic, a young boy recruited Charles Barkley to fight the rampaging lizard because Barkley ?was the greatest warrior on Earth? (I guess Michael Jordan was busy or something.) Barkley uses a magic silver dollar to grow to gigantic proportions and then challenged Godzilla to the one sport he can?t resist: basketball. The two engage in an epic sports battle, with Sir Charles coming out on top after tossing a dirty elbow at Godzilla?s neck. While Godzilla loses the one on one contest, Barkley gives him a pair of size 13000 sneakers and takes him to the desert to practice his game. Godzilla went on to star in several more movies, while Barkley?s career took a dramatic downturn. The basketball player never won a championship and is now the butt of jokes on TNT?s weekly NBA pre-game show.
Spider-Man Fights Barack Obama
In January 2009, Barack Obama was the hottest name in the world. The president-elect had won the 2008 election in a landslide, bringing promises of hope, peace and a George W. Bush-free White House. Marvel capitalized on Obama?s popularity by releasing a special backup feature featuring Spider-Man and the soon to be president fighting the Chameleon shortly before Obama?s inauguration. After the Chameleon attempted to impersonate Obama at his inauguration, Spider-Man used his deep knowledge of Barack Obama trivia to separate the real politician from the fake one. The issue in which the comic appeared, Amazing Spider-Man #583, sold over 350,000 copies, making it the best-selling comic of the decade.
Superman vs. Pat Boone
In the 1950s, Pat Boone was one of the biggest music acts in America, second only to Elvis Presley in terms of hit songs released and albums sold. In Lois Lane, Superman?s Girlfriend #9, ?Boone Mania? reached the DC Universe when the singer approached Lois Lane and asked her to perform a duet with him about Superman. Clark Kent agrees to help by writing lyrics for the song, but he realizes after turning the lyrics in that they contain clues about his secret identity. In order to protect his alter ego, Superman flies into action to stop Boone and Lois from ever performing the song. After several hilarious acts of interference (at one point, Superman puts a soundproof dome over Boone and Lois to stop anyone from hearing them sing), Superman tells Boone to write new lyrics and uses his heat vision and super-memory to produce a million records featuring the new song when the original master copy gets destroyed. DC used the comic as a lead into a Pat Boone solo comic, which lasted only nine issues.