DC and Marvel Comics have been two major comic companies for a long time. Naturally, this means a ton of comic crossovers have been greenlit between the various properties they own and others they don't. Some were expected or highly anticipated, like Robocop vs. Terminator or Alien vs. Predator. Others, like Archie meeting The Punisher, were completely unexpected.
The unexpected crossovers tend to happen for various reasons, like answering the age-old question of who would win in a fight between two characters or just wanting to have fun with the concept of two different teams meeting. There are many examples of two franchises colliding that usually leave audiences wanting more.
Disclaimer: The following article will contain spoilers for all the highlighted comics. The opinions belong solely to the author.
10 crazy comic crossovers that nobody saw coming
1) Injustice: Gods Among Us vs. Masters of the Universe
A crossover between Masters of the Universe and the DC Injustice comics was surprising. The Injustice video game had guest fighters like Hellboy, the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, and Sub Zero from Mortal Kombat, but He-Man and the other Masters of the Universe crossing over caught fans off guard.
The surprise is owed to the fact that Masters of the Universe's relevance rose with three Netflix series and that Injustice ballooned into its own series. The two crossing over was practically unimaginable, given their different tones. The basic plot is that following Injustice 2's "Superman Wins" ending, the Insurgency turns to Eternia for help, resulting in a war across realms between Superman, Darkseid, and Skeletor.
The result is a brawl that nearly leads to the multiverse ending as Regime Superman defeats Darkseid and Skeletor. But before he can completely remake the universe, He-Man defeats and kills him.
DC and Marvel have crossed over multiple times from the 1980s to the early 2000s. This may not be a surprising crossover then, but few know that the two crossed over in the first place. However, the JLA/Avengers crossover is in the spotlight, as it led to major consequences.
The first was a fan-voted series of showdowns between the two, which led into the fusion universe called the Amalgam universe. The second one had the two sides fight while Black Panther and Batman discovered who brought them together. The two sides had to cooperate to fight off the mysterious forces attempting to keep them fighting each other.
This comic crossover may not be entirely shocking, but it surprised people who wouldn't have thought they'd collide for a loop. It's hard to picture it happening nowadays due to copyright, among other reasons.
3) My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic/Transformers
A long-awaited, thought never to happen, and ultimately enjoyable crossover between two of Hasbro's most well-known properties is My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic and Transformers. Since Transformers has crossed over with several franchises, including GI Joe, Star Trek, and Ghostbusters, this seems the least ludicrous when given some thought.
There are two parts to this crossover. In part one, Queen Chrysalis accidentally summons Cybertronians to Equestria. The Mane Six and Autobots fight off the Decepticons and send them packing. In part two, Megatron intentionally summons the Mane Six to Equestria, tries to drain their magic, and revives King Sombra.
Megatron is forced to team up with the Mane Six and Optimus Prime to defeat Sombra, as the mad king is brainwashing Cybertronians and Equestrians alike. While a third part was teased, it never materialized as Hasbro focused on the next generation of My Little Pony, and IDW lost the license to Transformers in 2022.
4)TMNT/Mighty Morphin Power Rangers
This is technically the second time the Power Rangers have met the Ninja Turtles, but every fan of both usually ignores the first time. Why? Because it crossed over one of Power Rangers' best seasons, In Space, with one of the TMNT's worst, The Next Mutation, and wasn't very good overall.
The comic is a much better take on both series, giving the Ninja Turtles their due with the Power Rangers. The basic story is that Tommy Oliver attempts to infiltrate the Foot Clan and needs to be rescued after being captured by Rita Repulsa and Shredder. Like the aforementioned MLP/Transformers crossover, there's a sequel.
In the sequel, Kraang takes over and starts causing chaos with other TMNT villains alongside Rita after they depose Shredder. The turtles, Casey and April, even get to morph into Rangers temporarily, and Metalhead fuses with the Megazord.
There are technically three versions of this crossover: two comics and an animated movie. For brevity, this entry will focus on the second comic version: DC/RWBY. This comic sees the titular Team RWBY flung into one of DC's many alternate Earths due to a deal Lex Luthor cut with Salem for ultimate power. This results in Remnant and Earth fusing and disastrous consequences for both.
This is an entirely unexpected crossover for multiple reasons, the chiefest among them being that nobody thought Warner Brothers would think RWBY notable enough to have a crossover, especially not one this big. It's one thing for DC characters to cross over with Marvel; it's another to do so with a smaller indie series.
The events see crazy things like The Joker fuse with a Grimm, Arkham Asylum being overrun by Grimm, Superman being possessed, and other calamities as the heroes of both worlds race to prevent their mutual destruction.
6) Freddy vs. Jason vs. Ash
Three horror movie icons in one comic, based on a scrapped Freddy vs. Jason script that nobody thought would see the light of day in any medium, is brought to life in comic form. While Freddy Kruger and Jason Voorhees have collided multiple times in their respective series, including the aforementioned movie, nobody expected Army of Darkness to join the clash between killers.
The basic plot of the comic is simple: Freddy revives Jason (again) to retrieve the Necronomicon Ex-Mortis to revive himself. Ash Williams, meanwhile, is in Crystal Lakes' vicinity for the opening of a new Super Ultra Mega S-Mart. The collision nearly results in the end of reality, although Freddy and Jason are put down again.
The sequel, The Nightmare Warriors, details the U.S. government's foolish efforts to revive Freddy and Jason to control them. Ash teams up with survivors of the two beings' rampages, the titular Nightmare Warriors, to prevent the end of reality again.
7) Batman and Superman vs. Alien and Predator
Admittedly, this is multiple crossovers clumped into an ongoing series that lasted throughout the 90s. Starting with Batman vs. Predator, which sees the Dark Knight fighting off one of the titular Yajuta, it blossomed into Batman and Superman having to fight both Xenomorphs and Predators.
The idea of DC's World's Finest fighting off two of the deadliest and most iconic alien horror monsters may be largely unthinkable to the more superhero-inclined, and copyright issues are their own headache in this endeavor. This was a long time coming for horror fans who have been dying to see the alien monsters get more exposure and battle against superheroes.
As stated before, this blossomed into a series. It culminated in Superman being revered as a sun spirit by the Predators and the three having to prevent a Xenomorph takeover of Earth.
8) Archie Meets the Punisher
Archie meets Punisher might be one of the weirdest comic crossovers that Marvel ever did. Archie has had multiple weird crossover comics from Predator to Sharknado. Still, this one is arguably one of the most infamous of Marvel's brand of crossovers starring the teens from Riverdale and Frank Castle.
After tracking a drug pusher to Riverdale, The Punisher mistakes Archie for said drug pusher. A series of shenanigans ensue, including car chases, brawls, and the Punisher being a chaperone for Archie's school dance. It's exactly as weird but no less earnest and fun as it sounds.
This one-shot was the first major crossover that Marvel Comics ever did featuring another company that wasn't DC, opening the floodgates for further crossovers from both Marvel Comics and Archie Comics.
9) Justice League/Power Rangers
Somewhere down the line, every comic has crossed paths with the Justice League. One that nobody anticipated, given how young the franchise was at the time, was Boom Studios' version of the Mighty Morphin Power Rangers squaring off with the Justice League.
When Zack gets caught in an explosion that nearly destroys the Power Rangers' Command Center, he and Lord Zedd are teleported to the DC Earth. As the other Rangers come to back him up, they find themselves caught in an intergalactic conspiracy with Brainiac and Lord Zedd's unholy alliance orchestrating it all.
This series features the Rangers and Justice League having to get along despite their myriad differences to save Angel Grove and the rest of Earth from the clutches of Zedd and Brainiac.
10) Superman vs. The Amazing Spider-Man
As the Punisher and Archie were unexpected, so too was Superman vs. The Amazing Spider-Man. The latter, released in 1976, was considered the first time DC and Marvel ever truly crossed over. It wasn't expected by anyone at the time of its writing.
It's the second collaboration between DC and Marvel after they adapted The Wizard of Oz. In this first-ever crossover between companies, Superman and Spider-Man are forced to team up after Doctor Octopus and Lex Luthor escape a maximum security federal prison during a transfer. The two heroes get along less well than the villains at first, finally teaming up after several misunderstandings.
This crossover is one of the first big ones to make an impact in the comic world and, although non-canon to each series, remains a piece of comic book history. It likewise contains a battle of journalism between Morgan Edge and J. Jonah Jameson and a double date featuring Peter Parker and Mary Jane alongside Lois Lane and Clark Kent.
These have been 10 examples of comic crossovers that surprised readers and were entirely unexpected when they were released. Every one of these comes recommended for the fun and joy of watching characters from different universes clash and team up.
While these are only 10 examples, they were primarily chosen because most were from different companies. There are several that are owned by the same company for fans to discover, like one where Star Trek crosses over the new films Deep Space Nine and The Next Generation. If any crossover wasn't on this list that blew fans' minds, readers can list them in the comments.