The Most Ambitious Comics Crossovers

Comics are a great medium for bringing different characters together to make great stories. Crossovers are a popular way of increasing sales for comic companies and for keeping readers hooked. They are also good for introducing comics readers to characters that they don’t normally read. There have been many great as well as awful crossovers. Here are some of the most memorable.

The Spiderman Clone Saga.
This was indeed a saga, but not a good one. In fact it’s the story that put me off reading Spiderman comics. I’ve barely read any since. I’ll try to explain what happened but even now i’m quite confused about it. The clone saga involved clones of Spiderman and the return of Peter Parkers parents. A clone of Peter Parker called Ben Reilly turns out to be the original Spiderman while the Peter Parker who’s adventures comics readers had been following for years was actually a clone. It’s an interesting enough premise but the writers and editors didn’t seem to have an ending planned out so it got majorly confusing. I think that Ben ended up not being the actual Spiderman but by that point i’d lost the will to read.

X-Men – Age of Apocalypse
This was a fantastic crossover. It started with Charles Xavier’s insane son Legion who went back in time to when Xavier and Magneto were friends. His plan was to kill Magneto so that Xavier’s dream of human mutant co-existence would come true. What actually happened was that Xavier got in the way and ended up being killed instead of Erik. A team of X-Men including the time displaced mutant Bishop were sent back in time to stop Legion. They didn’t manage to stop Legion and Bishop was now stranded in the new reality that was created.

Without Xavier in the world there was no team of X-Men to stop the evil Apocalypse when he attempted to take over the world and that was exactly what he did. Due to Xavier’s death Magneto puts together a team of X-Men who were different to the ones readers were used to. Some members like Gambit and Rogue remained the same while others like Sabretooth and Magneto had switched sides to the good guys. Cyclops and Beast were now on the side of Apocalypse helping him to rid the world of weak mutants that he didn’t deem worthy of survival. Bishop was the remaining hope for the X-Men of old as he still had memories of the world that was. During this crossover the normal X-Men comics were not published and a group of new titles replaced them.

Zero Hour
This was a DC comics crossover and included characters such as Superman Batman, Wonder Woman and Green Lantern. In the story Hal Jordan who was once Green Lantern went insane and became Parallax after the destruction of his home city in the story ‘Reign of the Supermen. Parallax wanted to destoy the DC universe and remake it as he saw fit. This was all just a way for the DC writers to fix some continuity errors that had arisen after a previous crossover called Crisis on Infinte Earths. The DC writers took this opportunity to make such grand changes such as not having Batman catch his parent’s killer, erasing Catwomans lady of the night years and Supermans first appearance was now 10 years ago. Frankly, Zero Hour was a big waste of time.

X-Men – X-cutioner’s Song
The X-Men comics in the Nineties got so complicated that it felt like a real achievment to know what was going on in them. Grant Morrison did his best to streamline the X-men by cutting the number on the team down to 5 but after he left they started getting out of hand to the point where keeping up to speed with all of the stories costs an arm and a leg. X-cutioners song was one crossover that was worth it and it ran across X-Men, Uncanny X-Men, X-Factor and X-Force. . I will try and explain the story as best as I can.

Scott Summers (Cyclops) has a baby with Madelyne Pryor ( a clone of Jean Grey) who they name Nathan Summers. Yhen young Nathan becomes infected with a techno organic virus his parents discover that the only way to save him is to send him into the future. Nathan is sent into the future where the spread of the virus is stopped and he is left with one cybernetic arm and eye. In case Nathan wasn’t going to survive he is cloned by his healers. This clone ends up being stolen by the mutant Apocalypse who is looking for a body to use as a host. Once Apocalypse discovers that the boy is a clone he deems him unfit to be his host.

Cable turns into a very powerful telepath as does the clone. The clone however is brought up by Apocalypse and becomes filled with hate. He grows up to be a madman named Stryfe with a hankering for vengeance against who he believes to be his parents Scott and Jean. Stryfe travels back to the X-mens present day where he shoots Professor X in the head while posing as Cable. Stryfe then goes and does battle with Apocalypse on the moon nearly killing him. Just to cement his reputation as one bad mother Stryfe also gives a deadly virus to Mister Sinister as an insurance policy. The story ends with an almighty battle between Stryfe and and Cable and the unleashing of the Legacy virus.

What has been your favourite comic crossover story?

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