TROUBLE CITY

DC Confirms Marvel Shares Their Multiverse, Surprises No One.

ArticlesNick PeronComment

Yesterday, both CBR and ScreenRant flooded social media with a story that DC Comics had recently confirmed that the DC Universe shares its multiverse with Marvel Comics. 

 You could almost hear the gasps across the internets.

You could almost hear the gasps across the internets.

The "big news" happened to deal with two stories published by the two competing comic book companies. The first was in Marvel's Infinity Countdown Prime #1 which features a sequence showing various Captain Marvel's across the multiverse. One of them just happened to look like DC Comic's own Captain Marvel, Jr. from their Shazam! title of books.

 SHAZAM stands for Seriously Harmless Awareness Zebra At Marvel (Not all acronyms are perfect, y'know) 

SHAZAM stands for Seriously Harmless Awareness Zebra At Marvel (Not all acronyms are perfect, y'know) 

This was followed a week later with Action Comics #998 which featured a panel where Booster Gold and his robotic assistant make a reference to the Avenger's butler Edwin Jarvis. 

 I see what you did there!

I see what you did there!

Now, I've got a particular ax to grind with CBR because they once ripped off one of my articles for their own website. (Take note, CBR dates their articles month/day/year, so they wrote that article two months after mine.) So anytime I can point out how shitty and poorly-researched their material is, I'm going to take it, as I have done in the past. ScreenRant, I should point out is owned by the same company, so they're extra shitty for posting the same awful article on two websites. The writers over there should be fucking embarassed.

There's being late to the party, then there's being so late that not only is the party over, but the property was burned to the ground decades ago and the ghosts of the attendees relentlessly haunt you for the rest of your miserable life. The article over at CBR/ScreenRant falls into the latter category because they are reporting something that has been common knowledge for over 50 years. This news is old enough to be in menopause.

Awareness As Old as the Hills

Since the two companies revitalized the super-hero genre in the 1960s, there have been countless instances of self-awareness between the two companies. There has always been an awareness of the two universes, even if it was in a fictional sense.

 Amazing Spider-Man #101 (1971)

Amazing Spider-Man #101 (1971)

There have even been moments where each company lobbed.... what is it your kids call it today?... Oh yeah, they lobbed sick burns at each other.

 Brave and the Bold #74 (1967)

Brave and the Bold #74 (1967)

These are just two of the many, many, many examples of the situation. However, there have been countless times where it has been shown that the Marvel and  DC Universes share the same multiverse.

Unofficial Crossovers

First and foremost, there have been plenty of "unofficial" crossovers in the early silver age of comics. The first of such was in 1972. The town of Rutland, Vermont, had an annual Halloween parade. Since 1960 the head float featured Batman. Over the years, the parade became notable for its superhero-inspired floats. It soon got the attention of Roy Thomas in the 1970s when he was the regular writer on the Avengers. He was inspired to write a story where the Avengers end up in Rutland during the parade. This, in turn, led to the first unofficial crossover between Marvel and DC Comics.

 Amazing Adventures #16, Justice League of America #103 & Thor #207, all published in 1972

Amazing Adventures #16, Justice League of America #103 & Thor #207, all published in 1972

While the Beast and Thor don't interact with the Justice League of America, the "crossover" involved Steve Englehart, Gerry Conway, as well as Len and Glynis Wein. The four writers are heading up to the Halloween parade in Rutland. During their trip, they encounter the Beast battling the Juggernaut, the Justice League battling Felix Faust, and Thor battling Loki. The JLA story has vague references to the writer's encounters with the Beast, while the Thor story makes reference to the Justice League story. This isn't the only time either.

The next example was Aquaman #56 and Sub-Mariner #72. Both stories were written by Steve Skeates. In the Aquaman story, the hero battles a slime creature that he seemingly destroyed by blowing it up in space. It then crash landed on the Marvel Earth where it was destroyed by the Sub-Mariner. 

 Above: Aquaman #56 (1971), Below: Sub-Mariner #72 (1974)

Above: Aquaman #56 (1971), Below: Sub-Mariner #72 (1974)

Hey, remember that time in 1985 when the Flash died saving the multiverse from the Anti-Monitor in Crisis on Infinite Earths #8?

 It was during a time when dead meant dead.

It was during a time when dead meant dead.

 Thankfully he covered his shame.

Thankfully he covered his shame.

 DC Comics kept Barry Allan dead for decades until he came back from the dead in 2009, the late Mark Gruenwald, decided to do something about it. See, Gruenwald was a huge fan of the Justice League, and never having the opportunity to write that book, he decided to bring the Flash into the Marvel Universe. In Quasar #17, Gruenwald brought Barry Allen back from the void.

Not remembering who he is, the Flash ended up getting involved in a race to determine who is the fastest person in the Marvel Universe. Later, he vaguely recalls what his name was, saying it was something that sounded like "Buried Alien", in case it wasn't obvious enough. He would regularly appear in that series and eventually started calling himself Fastforward. Also, he got some proper clothing.

Superman's foe Mr. Mxyzptlk, in Superman #50 (1990) implied that he is also the Fantastic Four's foe the Impossible Man.

But this is just the tip of the iceberg. I would accept that they could easily miss these. However, that doesn't mean that there weren't official crossovers either. There were actually many. This is where CBR and CinemaRant look like fucking idiots for not mentioning these stories.

DC Versus Marvel

 The covers are pretty vague, so I guess I can understand how they missed it.

The covers are pretty vague, so I guess I can understand how they missed it.

This series came out in 1996 and it was hard to miss. It pitted the likes of Superman against the Hulk, Wolverine versus Lobo, Batman against Captain America, as well as Wonder Woman versus Storm. There were many other battles, but the ones I mentioned were important. See, for a crossover of such epic proportions, Marvel and DC allowed fans to vote for the victor. This story involved two cosmic beings who are brothers and are the embodiments of each respective universe. Trying to decide which universe was the better, the brothers had champions from both realities duke it out. It wasn't even a flash in the pan, one-off event either. See, at the time, DC and Marvel were actually on pretty rosy terms and this led to a number of subsequent crossovers.

 I'm the Best There is At What I Do, and What I do is the Night.

I'm the Best There is At What I Do, and What I do is the Night.

One part of the gimmick was creating the Amalgam Universe where both companies created a world that consisted of amalgamated versions of Marvel and DC's heroes. Wolverine and Batman were merged to become Dark Claw, Storm and Wonder Woman into Amazon, the Justice League and the X-Men into the JLX, and so on. This resulted in two runs of one-shots that explored this world.

But it didn't even stop there! In DC Versus Marvel, the introduced a character named Axel Asher, who became the hero named Access. Access was able to hop between the Marvel and DC Universes. This led to more crossover hijinx in two more limited series All Access and Unlimited Access which saw more clashes between the universes and more amalgams, such as the original Avengers and the current Justice League roster of the time.

It was during these crossovers that the Marvel and DC Universes became aware of each other. In the Superman and Fantastic Four crossover, Reed Richards literally calls Superman in his dimension. in the Silver Surfer and Superman crossover, it pitted the two heroes against the Impossible Man and Mr. Mxyzptlk. 

Even then....

How Could You Not Know About the JLA/Avengers Crossover?

 

 See, that look of disgust on these hero's faces is directed at you CBR.

See, that look of disgust on these hero's faces is directed at you CBR.

JLA/Avengers is the ultimate DC/Marvel crossover of all time when it was published in 2003, and sadly the last one to date. At the time, the series was 20 years in the making. It was even drawn by George Perez, one of the most beloved artists who also drew both titles. It featured literally every member of the Avengers and the Justice League up to that point including thousands of their foes. In this story, DC's Krona and Marvel's Grandmaster have a contest pitting the Avengers against the JLA. If Krona won, he would be allowed to learn the origins of the universe, which would destroy the Marvel Universe, but if he lost, the Marvel Universe would be spared and Krona would look elsewhere.

The two teams then went between universes to collect items of powers and fight it out. Not only was the story an all-out brawl, it was a love letter to both iconic teams, as well as a commentary on the fundamental differences between the two universes. It even saw both universes united in much the same way as Pre-Crisis Earth-One and Earth-Two. 

In Summation

Whoever wrote that article for CBR/ScreenRant should be fucking embarassed with themselves. If you're going to write about comic books and sound like you're coming from a position of authority, do some research you lazy ass. The article itself is poorly written and researched, sensationalizing something that has been common knowledge for many decades. If you really wanted to educate your audience you could have taken the time to cite all the examples I made above.