Sunday, September 28, 2008

C2C: I SEE THE DISTINGUISHED COMPETITION FROM MY HOUSE!
We've been making a lot of noise about DC's upcoming clash with the murderous fighters from Mortal Kombat, but let's not lose sight of the classic rivalries, eh?

Decades before Scorpion was spreading Staphylococcus aureus around the pond with his unsteralized spear attacks - the DCU was at metafictional odds with it's across-the-street counterpart - Marvel!

In recent years the friendly competition has been reignited in an industry built upon exclusive contracting of talent, and diverging philosophies in both publishing houses. DC, despite being backed by entertainment giant, Time-Warner; has struggled to respond to Marvel's dominance in direct market sales, and wide mainstream successes with feature films.

As if to represent the characterization of DC's publishing practises, the recent Batman sequel, The Dark Knight, struck a chord as both a significant artistic contribution to the superhero cinema complex, and an action film widely appreciated by diverse audiences.
The acclaimed record breaker potentially mirrors projects like The Dark Knight Returns and Watchmen, which typify a differentiation between DC's occasionally edgy artistic explorations, and Marvel's centred brand of relatable superheroics, which straddle the middleground moreso than DC's bulk of conservative releases.

Vague generalizations like these populate the undying arguments lodged by dedicated fans of either brand. Here at the Infinite Wars we've had a bit of a DC leaning in recent years, but continue to showcase strong representation of Marvel's nineties dominance.
Despite filing bankrupcy in 1996; Marvel comics' presence as a mainstream icon burned as bright as ever, leading the fanboy vernacular to make the interesting choice to canonize the battle of brands as Marvel versus DC, despite the reversed title leading and ending the series.

It's these on-the-page battles that we're looking at today!
After taking a look at Thorion #1 this week, it seemed fitting that we go back to one of the most popular subjects in Infinite Wars history! The mid-nineties DC versus Marvel/Marvel versus DC remains a popular checkpoint for both casual and diehard fans, and a curiosity in the history of publishing relations. A decade later the truce proves to be well and truly ended!

A cancelled Batman/Daredevil crossover publicly boiled over in 2004 when Brian Bendis revealed stubborn opposition from DC at a convention, leading to a pseudo-confrontation with DC rep, Bob Wayne. The meeting of urban vigilantes was allegedly greenlit until press comments from Marvel's EIC, Joe Quesada, offended conservative DC publisher, Paul Levitz.
Since; the lines have been clearly drawn, nixing prospects of a revival of DC/Marvel crossover practices begun in the seventies (with seminal classics like; Superman/Spider-man, Batman/Hulk, and Teen Titans/X-Men).

Green Lantern/Silver Surfer (December 1995)
"Unholy Alliances" Marz/Banks

The day begins as simple as it can for any cartoonist-slash-intergalactic lawman. Using his alien ring, Kyle Rayner stencils designs, when he is rocked without warning from his drawing table by an explosion! Thus, the Green Lantern charges his ring before flying to investigate!

As Kyle Rayner discovers the granite alien Terrax, he could not possibly conceive the interdimensional ballet occuring across space. In another world, a chrome warrior suffers a similar fate, happening upon a destructive warrior that appears to be more machine than super-man.

The truth can wait! As protector of truth, justice, and the space ways, Green Lantern must summon all his powers to defeat the cosmically charged Terrax.
Still inexperienced, Rayner may be facing the biggest challenge of his short career, but little does he know, the grand plot designs an ally in the wings!

DC versus Marvel #1 (March 1996)
Marz/David/Jurgens/Castellini

Life in the DC and Marvel universes has always been tough, but when cosmic events conspire to endanger both, the heroes of both Earths face a secret crisis that could destroy them all.

Before time two cosmic entities existed, sexless brothers representing the two sides of all that is, was, and will ever be.

Turmoil between the two brought about an end to things as they once were, but in the aftermath their energies were dissipated into space, becoming part of the multi-verse. As a result of the actions of various beings of different realities, instabilities emerged. After eons of recollecting their fragmented thoughts, the two brothers turned, and remembered their existence.

Now they pit their warriors against one and other.

Marvel versus DC #3 (April 1996)
"The Showdown of the Century!" Marz/Castellini

When cosmic events conspire to endanger both the DC and Marvel universes, the heroes of each Earth is faced with a secret crisis that could destroy them all.
By the will of two opposing omnipotent brothers, champions of the DC and Marvel universes are forced to fight for survival. To the victor goes the spoils of existence, but for any hero who would refuse to fight, a forfeit that brings their world closer to eradication.

In the final stages of the interdimensional war, it is Batman and Captain America that meet to reluctantly fight for the survival of their worlds. With the extra-dimensional keeper, Access, working to protect their existance, and the Spectre and Living Tribunal seeking alternative solutions, they battle on the streets below the skies that weep blood, for stakes far beyond anything either has faced!

Dark Claw Adventures #1 (June 1997)
"Face to Face" Templeton/Burchett

When cosmic events conspire to endanger both the DC and Marvel universes, the heroes of each Earth is faced with a secret crisis that could destroy them all. In the middle of this clash of worlds is Axel Asher - a citizen with a cosmic destiny that will embue him with the powers of Access!

By the will of two opposing omnipotent brothers, champions of the DC and Marvel universes are forced to fight for survival. To the victor goes the spoils of existence, but for any hero who would refuse to fight, a forfeit that brings their world closer to eradication.

What if... an elseworld existed composed of both universes?!
As histories are rewritten, and a new universe is borne of a bizarre cosmic amalgamation, is this existence the ultimate solution? In a universe made of one world is reality assured, or is this simply a mutual destruction?

A new breed of heroes - such as Dark Claw - may never know as they fight the good fight in a world where Batman and Wolverine never existed, and their reality is not as we know it!

JLA/Avengers #1 (September 2003)
"A Journey into Mystery" Busiek/Perez

When the exiled villain, Krona, develops powers of entropy, he uses his cosmic omnipotence to annihilate entire universes in the pursuit of understanding how they are formed. His rampage brings him into meeting with The Grandmaster - a warrior of another realm who claims to hold the secrets he seeks. Thus, the Grandmaster arranges an interdimensional competition, with the secrets of the cosmos the potential prize!

While the heroes of the DC and Marvel universes are manipulated into a race to scavange powerful objects from each world -- Krona and the Grandmaster prepare to betray one and other!

For the heroes, the first strike goes to Marvel, as Thor and Superman come to blows in a clash of superpowered titans!

2 comments:

Brian said...

I miss those old crossovers. They really had a lot of them going for a while, and now would be a great time to bring them back. DC is suffering in a lot of stories right now anyway, and the changes in Marvel's hero lineup could lead to some interesting fights. Imagine the new Captain America versus Jason Todd's Red Robin...

Mike Haseloff said...

@Brian: Indeed!

Ironically, DC seem to have been maintaining the concept a lot more than Marvel have lately: the MK game, Wildstorm and Tangent crossovers, stuff with Top Cow...

How long y'think Quesada's got in him?...