It’s easy to forget now but there was once a time when Marvel and DC would set aside their differences and their heroes (and sometimes, their villains) would team up. Spider-Man met Superman. The X-Men met the New Teen Titans. Darkseid met Galactus. Green Lantern met the Silver Surfer. Silver Surfer met Batman. Actually, a lot of Marvel heroes met Batman, everyone from the Hulk to Punisher to Daredevil to, again, Spider-Man. It makes sense. Batman, with his antisocial tendencies and his tragic backstory, had more in common with the typical Marvel hero than with Superman.
These events were never an official part of the Marvel or DC universe. Both companies eventually developed their own version of the multiverse and it was accepted that the Marvel/DC crossovers all took place in an alternate universe where Gotham City and Metropolis existed alongside Marvel’s version of New York City. Though these crossovers were not canonical, they always felt like a big deal. They were a chance to answer the age-old question of who would win in a fight, Batman or Spider-Man. It didn’t matter that the crossovers usually copped out on giving a definitive answer. Usually, the heroes would fight to a draw and then team up to battle the real enemy. That way both fandoms could be happy and there was still a reason to buy the next crossover.
The crossovers are something that will probably never happen again, not with the rivalry between the MCU and DCEU. It’s too bad because the crossovers were always enjoyable. The final Batman/Spider-Man crossover was called New Age Dawning and it was published twenty-five years ago, this month. Batman’s villain, Ra’s al Ghul, poisoned the wife of Spider-Man’s villain, Kingpin. Ra’s al Ghul thought he could blackmail the Kingpin into helping him sink the island of Manhattan. Instead, the Kingpin teams up with Spider-Man and Batman to defeat Ra’s plan. It’s a simple story but it ends on a note of grace, with Batman giving Spider-Man the cure for the poison and then Spider-Man taking it to the Kingpin. If the Batman/Spider-Man crossovers had to end, that was the way to end them, with two heroes coming together to do the right thing.
Previous Great Moments In Comic Book History:
- Winchester Before Winchester: Swamp Thing Vol. 2 #45 “Ghost Dance”
- The Avengers Appear on David Letterman
- Crisis on Campus
- “Even in Death”
- The Debut of Man-Wolf in Amazing Spider-Man
- Spider-Man Meets The Monster Maker
- Conan The Barbarian Visits Times Square
- Dracula Joins The Marvel Universe
- The Death of Dr. Druid
- To All A Good Night
- The First Appearance of Ghost Rider
- The First Appearance of Werewolf By Night
- Captain America Punches Hitler
- Spider-Man No More!
- Alex Ross Captures Galactus
- Spider-Man And The Dallas Cowboys Battle The Circus of Crime
- Goliath Towers Over New York
- NFL SuperPro is Here!
- Kickers Inc. Comes To The World Outside Your Window
- Captain America For President
- Alex Ross Captures Spider-Man
- J. Jonah Jameson Is Elected Mayor of New York City
- Captain America Quits
- Spider-Man Meets The Fantastic Four