The Marvel/Indie Crossovers (1996-1997)

Hoping to get some synergy as the hottest talent in comics left Marvel for Image, the publishers united for a bunch of books. Aron Wiesenfeld wrote and illustrated (finishes by Richard Bennett) the first Image/Marvel crossover. Deathblow and Wolverine go crazy across San Francisco.

The art. Wow.

No, of course it doesn’t matter. But it’s fun. From there, Marvel and Image brought together Backlash and Spider-Man, Prophet and Cable, Youngblood and X-Force, and others.

I didn’t love the ’90s Image books. They were okay, but mostly high-testosterone/big guns affairs.

Soon after the Image Comics startup, Marvel’s former editor in chief, and others, launched Valiant comics and Marvel got the idea that maybe they could get some of the audience back via a series of crossovers.

The first of the lot was X-O Manowar vs Iron Man, a two-issue series.

X-O Manowar was one of Valiant Comics’ launch characters–created by no less than Jim Shooter and Steve Englehart. The “character” is actually sentient armor. So, a pairing with Iron Man makes sense. What makes a bit less sense is the choice of Marvel villains: The Cosmic Cube, Zola and Zemo. Captain America characters!

In this reality-twisting 2-issue series, we get both James Rhodes Iron Man and Tony Stark, as well as two versions of X-O Manowar.

Lots of fun. Not canon.

Several others followed. And there were a bunch of Marvel/Top Cow books as well.

Leave a Comment