***THIS ARTICLE MAY INCLUDE SPOILERS FOR ACTION COMICS #998 AND MARVEL’S INFINITY COUNTDOWN PRIME #1***
Back in 1996 and 1997, the two biggest comic book companies joined forces for a short time to release a series of crossover books under an imprint known as Amalgam. DC and Marvel co-published several books under Amalgam which was presented as if the imprint had existed for decades, with stories and editorial comments referring to a fictional history stretching back to the Golden Age of Comics, including retcons and reboots.
For example, they referred to Secret Crisis of the Infinity Hour (an amalgamation of Marvel’s Secret Wars, DC’s Crisis on Infinite Earths, Marvel’s Infinity Gauntlet, and DC’s Zero Hour), which featured the well-known cover of Crisis on Infinite Earths #7, but with Super-Soldier (an amalgamation of Superman and Captain America) holding his sidekick’s body, instead of Superman holding Supergirl. Several issues included fake letter-columns to provide the illusion of background to the stories, with the “fans'” hometowns formed by amalgamating the names of existing cities.
But this wasn’t the first time Marvel and DC crossed paths. Back in the 70’s and 80’s we saw a series of crossover one-shots such as Superman vs. The Amazing Spider-Man (1976) and DC Special Series #27 which saw Batman take on the Hulk, then in the 90’s we got books like Batman/Punisher, Green Lantern/Silver Surfer: Unholy Alliances, Spider-Man and Batman: Disordered Minds, and Darkseid vs. Galactus: The Hunger.
And it looks like we may be revisiting the idea of a crossover between to the two biggest companies in comic book history. It all started when Scott Snyder, who is taking over Justice League in May, tweeted out his excitement for Jason Aaron being named as writer of Avengers:
Crazy excited for @jasonaaron on Avengers – going to be epic
— Scott Snyder (@Ssnyder1835) February 20, 2018
Aaron quickly tweeted back, with a teasing proposal:
Cheers, Scott. Maybe we need to work up a new Justice League vs. Avengers crossover.
— Jason Aaron (@jasonaaron) February 20, 2018
And Snyder was quick to agree:
I would do that with you anytime brother! Huge congrats and good seeing this weekend. https://t.co/d8VGJqkeoC
— Scott Snyder (@Ssnyder1835) February 20, 2018
Former Marvel Editor-In-Chief (and former DC editor) Axel Alonso also chimed in, saying:
So am I. We were building to this for quite a while. Hopefully I get comps. 😉
— axel alonso (@axelalonsomarv) February 20, 2018
With current Marvel executive editor/Senior VP of Publishing endorsed it, offering a low-cost price point tying into an old DC promotion:
For you, I’ll hold the line at $2.99…
— Tom Brevoort (@TomBrevoort) February 20, 2018
But it doesn’t end here. Marvel Comics’ next big crossover event, Infinity Countdown, kicked off with the newly-released Infinity Countdown Prime #1 last week, and while the issue reveals the new holders of the six Infinity Stones, it also tucked in a couple of clever Easter eggs — including one about DC Comics’ Shazam.
In the issue, readers are caught up on the location of all the Infinity Stones following the multiverse reset in Secret Wars. Captain Marvel/Carol Danvers is shown with the Reality Stone, but we’re told by the narrator that versions of Captain Marvel across the multiverse each have their very own Reality Stones as well. We’re shown Monica Rambeau’s version of Captain Marvel as well as the original, the Kree warrior named Mar-Vell.
However, it’s the Captain Marvel who is mostly off panel that is the real gem. If you look carefully you’ll notice that the costume of this obscured Captain Marvel looks a lot like a certain DC Comics hero, who’s also getting his own movie. While the colors on the hidden Captain are a little off, the details are too similar to miss. Marvel’s version has the distinctive two-tiered cape, the buccaneer boots, and even the arm bands so familiar on DC’s Shazam!
And then in this week’s issue of Action Comics, we see Superman and Booster Gold returning to their present time. Booster turns to Skeets, who is piloting the time ship in the body of an Eradicator android, and says “take us home Alfred.” Skeets responds, “please don’t refer to me as Alfred, sir.” Then, Booster says “not like I can call you Jarvis. Whole other timeline.”
For those unaware, JARVIS is the name of highly intelligent A.I. assistant of Tony Stark. However, the name originates from Edwin Jarvis, the loyal butler of the Stark family, which would explain the comparison with Alfred.
So, what does this all mean? Are DC and Marvel inside the same Multiverse? Are they in parallel timelines? And are they secretly working toward a crazy crossover event? Anything is possible, but all of this seems a bit too coincidental to not be leading toward something, in my personal opinion. And if it’s done in the way it’s being hinted at, these could end up in each others main continuity.
Would you be excited to see a new DC/Marvel crossover? What would you like to see from a new crossover? Let us know in the comments below.