Collective Consciousness: Marvel/DC Crossover Pitches

by Nick Devonald on April 04, 2020

This months Collective Consciousness column is going to involve the CTG staff pitching their ideas for a Marvel/DC Crossover. Why have we decided this is going to be the focus of this months CC? I’ll let Stephen explain before he shares his pitch with us.

There has been a lot of talk on how to save our favorite local comic shops across North America as the Covid-19 pandemic has spread causing massive non-essential store closures. We’ve all read the news and know the measures in place. I think for sure the retail market in general is not going to look the same when this is all said and done but let’s get our minds off the virus for a minute and have a little fun! One of the ideas floating around the World Wide Web to save our neighborhood comic shops was for an exclusive, storefront only crossover between the big two publishers, Marvel and DC! I saw a lot of creators on social media championing the idea and thought it was pretty cool! It was nice to see writers and artists from both camps wanting to get this done!

I love this idea. It’s really a dream for comic book readers, whether they admit it or not, to have crossovers between the two universes with their favorite creators at the helm. It’s a lot of fun to think of what the ideal pitch would be to garner the most attention for such a story. I racked my brain for a few days thinking this over. It would have to be a big cast of recognizable characters. We’d need to draw in not only current comic fans but also new readers by sparking curiosity, interest, and conversation over what would have to be an epic event to get people into the shops.

There’s the obvious choice of teaming up the Avengers and the Justice League but it’s been done and I feel would come off as nothing but a cash grab if not done well. I feel it would turn out something like Avengers vs X-Men which was not well received. I started to think then about using some lesser know characters but that would only interest current fans. It would not draw in new readership and their cash. Then suddenly it hit me! The perfect crossover!! Something that has been discussed amongst comic fans for years. This would guarantee to get the attention of outside the industry media and new readers! Ready??

Batman’s Rogue Gallery VS Spider-Man’s Rogue Gallery

Which rogue gallery is better has been talked about and debated for years. They both contain a huge cast of colorful characters sure to satisfy veteran readers and to spark enough curiosity with non-comic folk to get them into the shops!

My quick pitch would be a group of villain’s led by Joker of course wanting to expand their business by setting up shop in New York City. I’d have a major Spider-Man villain killed in issue one causing the others to re-group and band together to try and fend off the Gotham gang’s aggressive assault on NYC’s underworld. I’d make it a simple 4 issue mini-series released twice a month to make sure that interest is maintained.

Upholding the schedule would be the number one priority. Nothing kills an event quicker than delays. With this mind I would need two artists that have proven they’d be able to meet the deadlines. The two issues under the Marvel imprint would be penciled by Ryan Stegman and the two issues under the DC imprint would be drawn by Greg Capullo. They are two of the biggest and best in the industry. What better introduction to the world of comics with some sweet art from those two!

The writing choice I did struggle with a bit but in the end went with Jason Aaron. His experience handling multiple characters and giving them a voice would be invaluable. I’m thinking of his work on X-Men and his Thor run which had a huge cast throughout. Plus he has experience writing some not very nice personalities like his work with Scalped and Southern Bastards.

There you have it folks my dream Marvel/DC crossover to save the comic shops!!

Thanks Stephen, I'd really like to see the two rogue galleries going head to head. Who would win that I wonder?
Next we’ll move onto Carlos and find out what his pitch is.

There are plenty of characters I’d love to see interact between the DC and Marvel universes: Wonder Woman and Emma Frost, Superman and Doctor Strange, Thor and the Flash are a few of my dream crossovers. But if I only ever got the opportunity to select two characters to meet, it would have to be Howard the Duck and Catwoman.

I adore Howard the Duck, he’s one of my all-time favorite characters throughout any work of fiction. And who from DC would make for a better co-star to the masterful, mallard sleuth than Catwoman? A world class thief and second-rate detective, I’m certain this would make for an amazing crossover.

The plot I have in mind would involve Catwoman stealing from the affluent characters of the Marvel Universe and finding Howard’s cat, Biggs, on her pilfering escapades. Selina would notice Biggs has no collar and would take him back to Gotham with her. Howard is out looking for Biggs when he finds Biggs’ collar along with Emma Frost and members of the X-Men surveying the area in search of someone who was foolish enough to steal from the White Queen. Howard figures the thief may have seen the mechanical cat while conducting their misdeeds and he can probably bill Emma for his services. The hunt is on in this game of cat and…duck?!

My dream team for this book would consist of Chip Zdarsky as writer, Mark Brooks as cover artist, Chris Samnee on pencils and Matt Wilson on colors. Character interactions would be a major driving force for this crossover and without a doubt Zdarsky would nail each character’s motives and dialogue, plus he writes my favorite version of Howard. Samnee is perfect for this book, his work tends to have a classic feel to it that would work perfectly in creating atmospheres for Gotham and New York, plus his Catwoman art is incredible! For colors, Matt Wilson would be awesome and would surely elevate the humorous tone with his color palette and pair well with Samnee’s pencils. And of course, it wouldn’t be my dream crossover without Mark Brooks designing the covers for the issues.

I like the fact that you’ve chosen Howard the Duck. He’s a character who doesn’t spend much time in the spotlight and this would be a fantastic way to bring him to the forefront.
Lets find out what Jay would pitch.

The Title: Batman Spider-Man and Robin: Power and Responsibility

The Skinny: The story would star Spider-Man (Miles Morales) & Robin (Damian Wayne) and would read as an all-ages action/adventure buddy cop comic as the new dynamic duo attempts to ward off threats in Gotham City.

The Team: Writer: Peter J. Tomasi (Batman and Robin/Super Sons) - Artist: Jorge Jimenez (Batman /Super Sons) - Colorist: Alejandro Sánchez (Super Sons) - Letterer: Clayton Cowles (The Unbelievable Gwenpool/Superman's Pal Jimmy Olsen)
(Optional Paragraph) The writing, art, and coloring team have worked on this type of story before, in Super Sons, with great results. Tomasi’s light-hearted but still serious tone mixed with his ability to add a deep message would work well in this book. And, Jimenez’s great, dynamic character illustrations, especially with youthful characters, would be the perfect fit for the tone. And since the story is set in a permanently nighttime Gotham, his inky art style and brilliant shading would be perfect. Sánchez’s coloring affects the dual tone of Jimenez’s art on Super Sons perfectly. It straddles the serious with the light-hearted which is what this story would attempt. Clayton Cowles has lettering that enhances the mood, especially humorous ones, of the comic he works on like very few. His style would be perfect at home in this story.

The Plot: After a “merger” is agreed upon by two of the biggest forces of evil in the respective universes, Lex Luthor and Doctor Doom, the heroes of DC’s Earth and Marvel’s Earth are banished to a newly bridged Negative/Phantom Zone (dubbed Phantom Zone -). This leaves both planets free for conquering, so Doom and Luthor (and a select group of villains) stake their claim to each other’s worlds. This makes Doctor Doom leader of the DC Universe and Lex Luthor the ruler of the Marvel Universe. While in the Phantom Zone -, which is infinitely large and filled with strange sights like a Moebius drawn landscape, a few heroes find each other. They remark on how odd this place is and how it must be by design (we’ll learn later that Phantom Zone – is being controlled by Luthor and Doom’s third partner, Brainiac), but there is residue from the warp holes/boom tubes that brought them there. After some science-ing, they get the rifts to re-open. However, they are unstable and open randomly at all locations of the dimension and send the many heroes to unexpected locations.

This is where this series would open. Robin wakes in the Batcave and finds a figure sitting in his father’s chair, he spins it to reveal, an unconscious, Spider-Man. The classic fight before they realize they’re on the same page. Eventually, they leave Wayne Manor to find Gotham City being patrolled by, instead of the GCPD Blimps, Doom Bots. There’s also a new leader of Gotham’s crime lords, Kingpin. The duo will have to fight street-level despite Damian wanting to go straight for Doom. Miles has to talk him out of it and convince him that they’re outgunned. Doom Bots are being produced at Ace Chemicals by the Toymaker, who calls them “Doom Dolls”. This would be the first act of resistance the duo puts up. They shut down production and in turn disrupt some of Kingpin’s plans, who is especially angered when CCTV footage shows his familiar foe is involved. Next, they take on Kingpin and his rogues (including Mad Hatter, Scarecrow, and Bane). The new Dynamic Duo is helped out by the GCPD and Jim Gordan and eventually runs into Harley Quinn and Poison Ivy who seem to be playing both sides (really just trying to make the best out of a bad situation). The ending sees the rest of the Bat-Family (Batgirl, Batwoman, Redhood, and Nightwing) return to Gotham and they go on a crusade through the city to make the streets safe once again.

The “themes” of the story would rely on both heroes losing their father figures, Bruce and Peter. Along with Damian being his usual hardheaded self. That’s where the “Power and Responsibility” elements come in. While Miles might seem like he represents “Power”, it’s actually Damian. Damian is more trained than Miles, more “in his element”, and is a better analyst and strategist. But he lacks the “Responsibility” of Miles who knows about the dangers of trying to do something you’re not capable of “like trying to take down Doctor Doom”. Miles convinces Damian to be a “friendly-neighborhood Robin” and prioritize Gotham and its citizens. A Scarecrow fear toxin trip leads Damian to reveal to Miles that not only has he lost his partner by being separated from Batman, but he also lost his father. And, after losing his grandfather, the League of Assassins (the first family he knew), his mother, and Alfred, this loss was just another in a long list of losses that will eventually leave him completely alone in the world. Miles reassures him that he’s not alone and that wherever Batman is, he's currently fighting to get back to his son. Their bond grows because of this moment. After the Bat-Family returns, Miles reminds Damian of when he said he’d be alone. This scene has no deeper meaning, but I like it: At one point Miles suggests that he should add bat ears to his costume.

What an incredibly detailed pitch Jay. I can’t help but wonder if this is an idea you’ve had kicking about for a while now due to the amount of detail you’ve included.
Our penultimate entry is from Olivier R.

Spider-Girl (Mayday Parker) meets Stargirl

So, I’m horrible at pitches or coming up with story ideas, but I think it would be awesome to have Spider-Girl (Mayday Parker) and Stargirl meet (not fight) and go after foes like Dragon King (Marvel) and Dragon King (DC) – oh that’s right, both ladies share a villain called the Dragon King.

I’d love to see these two mostly because of the fact that they were some of the first comic heroines that I really enjoyed when I first started getting into comics seriously in the mid to late 90s, they are both legacy heroes “discovering” their heritage, and they are both kickass characters.

Dream creative team? Artist is easy: Ron Frenz. To this day, I can’t see any interpretation of Spider-Girl without comparing it to Ron Frenz’s depiction back in the day. And knowing he does a great Spider-Girl, he would be an amazing artist for Stargirl as well.
As for the writer, I think someone like Gail Simone or Kelly Thompson would be a great fit for both characters.

That sounds like a great team-up. And a novel idea, having a team up WITHOUT an initial fight? Who’s ever heard of a team-up which doesn’t start with a misunderstanding and a fight?
Last but not least, Nick’s contribution.

I wanted my suggestion to be a little bit more low key than the big, more obvious, Avengers vs Justice League suggestions which are probably the more obvious choices. For a long time I debated a Nova/Green Lantern team up, as Nova is one of my all time favourite Marvel characters. But again, it felt just a little bit too obvious.

So I’ve settled for a Hellblazer/Alias crossover. Or John Constantine/Jessica Jones. Both characters are well known, in part thanks to both having their own TV series. They’re also much more street level heroes. And flawed characters. Wonderfully, beautifully, flawed human beings. They’ve got to be amongst the most messed up heroes from either of the big two publishers.

Of course it would need to have a mature rating, Marvel MAX and DC Black Label, that’s a no brainer.

How to get the two heroes together? My pitch involves John finding himself in a bit of a bind, one thing leads to another, deals are struck etc etc, only this time Constantine makes a deal with Mephisto. And with this being Mephisto of course we’ll end up in the Marvel universe. And since it’s John we’re dealing with it isn’t long until Hijinks ensue. Then there’s some collateral damage, which is where Jessica Jones steps in.

She ends up agreeing to help him get back to his universe. They need to use her detective skills and his knowledge of the supernatural, and their combined sarcasm and jaded attitudes to get him home and put the universe back in order again.

I very nearly went for Simon Spurrier to write this with Aaron Campbell to draw it. Then I decided I might as well try and come up with a team that isn't the current team on Hellblazer. With that in mind I would have Garth Ennis to write it, he's wrote some of the all time best Hellblazer comics after all, with CP Smith to draw it. His work on Archangel 8 absolutely blew me away and would be a great fit for this dark, gritty tale.

So there we have it, the CTG writers pitches for a Marvel/DC Crossover. Some say the best past crossover between the Big Two was Batman & Captain America. We think our pitches could give better it! What do our readers think of our pitches? Any winners? Any pitches of your own to share? Share them in the comments below, or on Facebook.