It’s every comic fan’s dream to see our favourite heroes from Marvel and DC meet up. Message boards have been completely overrun with posts arguing over who would win in a fight between Batman and Captain America or how cool it would be to see Superman stop Galactus.
Unfortunately though, thanks to the rivalry between owners and the minefield of paper work needed to organise it, crossovers between the two companies are few and far between.
However, while the Marvel and DC bigwigs may be constantly at each others’ throats (as is wont to happen when you’re the kind of person for whom the term “market shares” isn’t a natural alternative to sleeping pills), things have always been a lot friendlier between the actual people who write the comics.
More importantly, the people writing comics are probably even bigger nerds than the one’s reading them so of course they want to see their favourite heroes cross over.
To that end, there have been multiple times when writers at both Marvel and DC have skirted the rules to have the two universes meet in a way that won’t send lawyers running.
10. The Crusaders
During the 1970’s, both Marvel and DC had comics featuring teams of superheroes from WWII. Over at Marvel, Captain America and Bucky teamed up with Namor, the original Human Torch and his sidekick Toro to form the Invaders. DC had a similar team called the Freedom Fighters, who were led by the ultra-patriotic Uncle Sam.
This similarity didn’t go unnoticed by the writers of each series, who decided it would be fun if the two teams met. Since that wasn’t a possibility though, they had to come up with a pretty ingenious solution.
In the March 1977 issues of their comics, both the Invaders and the Freedom Fighters fought a team called the Crusaders. The DC team consisted of the shield-wielding Americommando, his sidekick Rusty (who even looked almost exactly like Bucky), the aquatic Barracuda, Fireball and his sidekick Sparky. Meanwhile, the Marvel team was led by the ultra-patriotic Spirit of ’76 and included obvious homages to the rest of the Freedom Fighters.
Both teams only lasted for this one “crossover” before disbanding. Americommando and Barracuda have both made appearances in other DC series though and, over on Marvel’s side, Spirit of ’76 briefly took up the mantle of Captain America when the original went missing.