In keeping with Batman-month, I’m going to talk about one of the coolest things when dealing with comics: the crossover. These are my top five Batman crossovers.
Now, I want to be clear, this is not a countdown of individual stories, it’s just literally other characters/franchises that I think work when crossed over with the Dark Knight.
5. Batman vs Alien
The first time Batman crossed paths with the terrifying creatures from 20 Century Fox’s films, it was to track down some Wayne Enterprise employees who went missing in the jungles of South America. While there, he had to team up with a group of mercenaries investigating a crashed spaceship. We can guess where this is going: Batman in a horror movie. The second time he faced the threat, it was when a government agent utilized Alien DNA to create an squad of soldiers by combining it with the DNA of Batman’s rogues gallery. Yes, I’m saying that there was a Joker-Alien. While not the best, it is fun to see Batman in a situation where the best he can hope for is to survive.
4. Batman vs Predator
You notice a pattern I’m forming here? Basically, a Predator comes to Gotham to hunt some big game, and Batman seems to be the top of the list. And as Batman discovers what it is he is dealing with, he comes up with some really impressive plans to deal with him. You’d think taking down a Predator would be enough, but Batman’s status actually leads to two more crossovers where Predators come after him to prove their mettle. And it makes sense. I mean, Batman is often portrayed as the ultimate idea of what a human can become with dedication and willpower, making him the ultimate prey for human-hunters like the Predator.
3. Batman and The Incredible Hulk
When the Dark Knight took on the Green Goliath, it was during the period when the Hulk was simply the opposite of Bruce Banner, a simple but powerful brute. It didn’t help that Joker basically talked the Hulk into attacking Batman. The fight was great, seeing as the Hulk is essentially unbeatable, meaning that Batman had to outwit him. But when the Joker turns out to be working with obscure Hulk villain the Shaper of Worlds in order to become a god, the two basically give the clown a working over that no one could imagine. And yet, I’m still fixated on how their fights with each other went. Seriously, that alone should have led to more crossovers between these two.
2. Batman and Captain America
Batman and Captain America are so damn similar, it’s almost unfair. Both are the pinnacle of human physicality, both are master martial artists, and both are able to do amazing things among superhumans despite being simply great humans. The ironic thing is, I don’t think they’ve actually fought each other like most crossovers go. The only time they crossed over solo, they teamed up in a World War II era story with their sidekicks to take down the Joker and Red Skull. When the universes fought each other in both DC vs Marvel and JLA/Avengers, they were the first ones to put the fight aside so they could work together to save reality. In fact, it was their similarities as being great humans among superpeople that saved both universes in DC vs Marvel.
1. Batman and Spider-Man
Yeah, I gave it away. But seriously, these two are perfect together. Their powers and gadgets-sets actually keep them in the same neighborhood in terms of power, they fight similar kinds of enemies in terms of powers and/or origins, and they both became superheroes due to the loss of loved ones at the hands of criminals, resulting in them not only fighting villains, but saving as many lives as they can. And yet they’re such polar opposites in personalities that you could make a sitcom about it. Hell, at one point when Batman references that he saw Casablanca as a kid, Spidey starts teasing him about chasing the Joker across the playground wearing his bat-diapers, only to get a stern glare. And whether you read their first meeting (where they had to deal with Joker and Carnage) or their second and last one (globetrotting to stop Ra’s al-Ghul and Kingpin), they just constantly rock by being around each other. Sadly, they don’t do intercompany crossovers anymore, so we may never see this titanic team-up again. Still, we can dream.