Batman is one of the greatest superheroes to ever grace the pages of comic books, but, as a general rule, he tends to be a bit of a loner. Sure, he’s had his fair share of sidekicks and allies over the years and is a founding member of the Justice League, but, despite all of that, Bats appears to prefer working alone. That being said, he’s one of DC’s most popular characters so it makes sense that DC would try and market him as much as possible and one of the ways they’ve done that is through crossovers. For whatever reason, fans seem to love seeing their favorite characters from different universes meet.
As always, the rankings on a list like this are going to be a bit subjective, but we have tried to factor in the quality of the story, the artwork, and the strenght of the concept. If the idea of a crossover makes us excited to read it then it will probably rank fairly high on his solely because events like these are all about generating excitement and buzz.
15. Batman Meets Scooby-Doo
Undoubtedly the silliest entry on this list, it might also be the first Batman crossover that our readers encountered, considering the kid-friend nature of Scooby Doo. Given the serious nature of most of the crossovers on this list, and Batman himself these days, these movies are rather cringeworthy by today’s standards, but considering it was released 1972 and meant for children, we’ll give it a pass.
in terms of characterization and plot, this one definitely draws from the 1960s Adam West show. It isn’t as funny as a good as that show, but it contains the same campy storylines and absurd characters. Batman and Robin are civic-minded do-gooders and the Joker is closer to Cesar Romero than Heath Ledger. In fact, the Scooby’ gang’s average run of the mill real estate scam monster of the week might have been made a more worthy challenge than this movie’s Joker and Penguin.
14. The Darkness/Batman
Batman is, like the animals that whose name he bears, is a creature of darkness. He uses it as a both a shield an d a weapon, a tool to both flee from and ambush his foes. Aside from simply looking cool, the theme of darkness is a good one because everyone has a natural fear of the darkness. You don’t know what’s out there. It could be nothing or it could be a 6’3 billionaire ninja ready to kick your ass for purse snatching.
So what happens when you take Batman’s greatest weapon and turn it against him? Well, the Darkness/Batman sought to answer that question by taking Top Cow’s most famous demonic-possessed mobster to Gotham City. Jackie, Estacado was originally a low-rate enforce for the New York mob, but, on his 21st birthday, the Darkness, an ancient primordial force, awoke within him.
Batman/Darkness has some really good fight scenes and does a good job of showing Batman’s ability to adapt to new situations. Also, we get a really nice moment where Gordon gets to save the day and we don’t see enough of those.
13. Batman/Punisher: Deadly Knights
Despite his status as a superhero, Batman operates outside the law and is a rather morally gray character. He breaks and enters, assaults people, violates their privacy, and commits a whole host of other felonies in the course of his crusade. However, there is one line that he will not cross; Batman does not kill. In fact, despite what Batman Begins would have you believe, he will go out of his way to save his greatest enemies.
Marvel’s Punisher, on the other hand, does not have Batman’s moral code. He firmly believes that that the only way to solve New York’s crime problem is by brutally murdering everyone. Understandably, Batman doesn’t approve of Frank Castle methods and, when the Punisher pursues a target to Gotham, the two vigilantes clash as Batman is forced to defend the Joker from Castle’s brutal brand of justice.
Overall, this is one of the better DC/Marvel team-ups and the conflict between these characters, both the physical and ethical, makes for a great read. Plus, given that the Joker really has it coming, this is one of the few Batman stories where you might be okay with the Dark Knight losing.
12. Batman vs the Hulk
In recent years, thanks in large part to Morrison’s run, Batman has gotten a bit of a reputation as someone who, with the proper planning, is capable of defeating any opponent. Some fans, a bit deridingly, refer to this variant of the character as the “Batgod.” However, Morrison doesn’t deserve all the blame for this. After all, in 1981, Batman faced off against the Green Goliath himself in Batman vs. the Hulk.
Don’t get us wrong, Batman is awesome and has clearly earned his place amongst the Justice League, but him taking down the Hulk by himself seems a bit off. His use of pressure points is certainly a creative way to do it, but we find it a bit hard to see Batman coming out on top
Regardless of our opinions on the loser of this fight, the real winner here is the artwork by Jose Luis Garcia-Lopez. In a comic as heavy on the action as this one, it’s important to make sure the art is top-notch and this is some of the best you’ll find.
11. Batman & Spider-Man: New Age Dawning
When it comes to villains, Batman’s are pretty hard to top. From the cackling madness of the Joker to the cultured genius of Ra’s Al Ghul, Batman’s rogues gallery is one of the best in comics.
On the Marvel side of the fence, however, Spider-Man’s is well-worth a look. The Green Goblin in often dismissed as Joker rip-off, but, when done right, he is much more than that. Despite his lack of powers, the sheer menace of the Kingpin can’t be denied. He is the personification of organized crime.
So what do you get when Spider-Man and Batman team up to unravel a conspiracy led by the Kingpin of Crime and the Demon’s Head? A really good story that sees two of comic’s biggest icons unite to take save the world from ruin.
The contrast between Bruce Wayne’s brooding demeanor and Peter Parker’s more light-hearted, and pun-filled, dialogue is a joy to read and reminds a bit of the relationship between Batman and Nightwing.
When it comes to sci-fi monstrosities, the Xenomorphs, of Aliens fame, are the most badass of the bunch. As if the razor sharp teeth and claws weren’t bad enough, even their blood can kill you. Even trained soldiers have had trouble taking these inter-galactic abominations down, but Batman has managed it without ever firing a shot.
In fact, he’s taken them down twice. The first time when was he was investigating the disappearance of a Wayne corp enterprises team that vanished in the rain forest. He encounters a Xenomorph which has taken out a spec-ops teams. He manages to defeat it and retrieves two of the eggs which he secures in the Batcave. Knowing Bruce, we wouldn’t be surprised if he intended to use them as part of some part of some last-ditch effort to stop some unknown threat.
His second encounter actually takes place in Gotham and is a unique change of pace considering that most of the movies take place on alien worlds or spaceships. The idea of that creature running loose in a major city is nothing short of terrifying.
9. Batman/ Judge Dredd: Judgement On Gotham
Remember how well Batman got along with the Punisher? Yeah, well if you know anything about Judge Dredd then you’ll know that he’s kind of like the Punisher if the government decided that “hey that Castle guy has the right idea. Let’s give him a badge.”
Judgment On Gotham, which is the first of several Batman/Judge Dredd crossovers, sees Batman transported the dystopian future of Mega City One. where earns the ire of Judge Dredd. In addition to providing an excuse for these two to fight, this issue also pits Batman makes Batman a criminal forcing him to go up against Dredd’s ruthless sense of justice. Eventually, the two are forced to team up and hunt down an escaped criminal, but the team up isn’t why you read this story. You read it to see Batman punch Dredd in the face. It’s every bit as awesome as it sounds.
8. Batman Versus Predator
In the concrete jungle that is Gotham City, one predator reigns supreme: The Batman. Swooping down from the darkness to dispatch his foes, the dark knight strikes terror into the hearts of his enemies. So what happens when you take the ultimate hunter and turn him into prey? You get Batman V. Predator.
The story for this one is fairly simple: A Predator alien lands in Gotham City and it’s up to Batman to stop it before too many people are killed. Batman’s first encounter goes rather poorly, but he returns with a mech suit similar to what he wears in Dark Knight Returns and manages to defeat the creature in a pretty neat fight scene.
This is a premise that, at first glance, is really baffling, but we like it because it inverses Batman’s traditional role as a hunter and makes him the target of something with even more wonderful toys than him.
The 1990s are sometimes referred to the “dark age” of comics. Not necessarily because everything the industry put out was bad, but, because, the industry, even the big two superhero publishers, trended towards dark anti-heroes. One of the most popular of these anti-heroes was Spawn who is a former mercenary that was killed and then resurrected by a demonic force
Batman and Spawn have crossed path several times, but their first get-together is probably the best. Thanks in large part to it being a collaboration between Frank Miller and Spawn’s creator Todd McFarlane.
This issue finds Batman heading to New York to track down a murderer who is implanting the brains of dead homeless people into cyborg bodies so that he can create army. Yeah, the plot is weird, but we get to see Batman embed a batarang in Spawn’s face and that alone is worth the price of admission.
6. Justice Society of America
This one ranks so highly on the list solely for its historical importance despite the fact that it is not strictly a Batman comic. Nowadays, we take the concept of superhero teams for granted. Everyone knows the Avengers and Justice League, but turn back the clock several decades, and that wasn’t the case. In fact, the Justice Society of America, debuting in 1942, is one of the first. Beyond that, it’s also one of the earliest examples a crossover between two companies.
Back then, several of the characters that we now associate with the DC Comics were actually owned by All-American Publications. The two companies brokered a deal to share their characters and the Justice Society of America, which included Batman, was born. This team would be the basis on which other, more famous teams, such as the Avengers or Justice League.
Eventually, National Publications, which would become DC Comics, bought All-American giving us the basis for the modern Justice League.
5. Justice League/ Power Rangers
Again, this isn’t strictly a Batman crossover and, as of this article’s publication, the comic is still ongoing so we have no idea how it will turn out, but it’s the Power Ranges teaming up with the Justice League. If you threw in the Ninja Turtles and Star Wars, our childhood dreams would be complete.
The first issue does contain a fight between the Black Ranger and Batman, but Batman is able to subdue Adam fairly quickly. Beyond that, it’s too early to pass judgment on this comic and it could be utterly terrible by the time it’s over, but it has the potential to be one of the most interesting crossovers on this list solely because the concept is so much fun. Plus, we’re now imagining a final battle between the Megazord and Doomsday. We have no reason to believe he’ll be in this comic, but we can hope, right?
4. Batman/Daredevil: King of New York
Batman and Daredevil have a lot in common. Both lost their parents to violent criminals and rely on intellect and training more than superpowers though Daredevil’s enhanced senses certainly give makes him a bit more than a baseline human, but, then again, he’s blind so it kind of evens out.
The two vigilantes play well off one another and the second issue’s team-up between the Scarecrow and Kingpin presents an interesting contrast between the Scarecrow’s madness and the Kingpins more controlled logical demeanor. Plus, there’s a neat touch about Batman mentioning having encountered the Kingpin before in reference to the team up with Spider-Man.
The plots of both issues provide a decent explanation for why these two heroes would work together, but the real draw is the art by Scott McDaniel. It’s simply brilliant and, given that he worked mostly for DC, it was neat to see him draw Daredevil.
This one isn’t technically a crossover in the sense that two characters are meeting, but rather a merger. In 1996, DC and Marvel merged under the line Amalgam Comics. One of the characters that resulted from this merger was Dark Claw. After seeing his parents murdered by a robber, young Logan Wayne was sent to live with his who was a Mountie. Wayne used his mutant abilities to become vigilante known as Dark Claw and went on to help found the Justice League of Avengers.
The Amalgam universe resulted in some really strange ideas. Some made perfect sense such as Dr. StrangeFate, but others such as Dark Claw are a bit odd. Aside from being absurdly popular, these two don’t really have that much in common. Then again, it might have simply been a matter of marketability and popularity.
Despite our problems with the roots of this idea, it’s still a fun story and the idea of Batman and Wolverine working together is pretty awesome, but, for our money, we think it would have fared better as a standard crossover.
2. Batman/ Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles
As with the Power Rangers entry, this one would have earned a spot on the list based on sheer concept alone. It’s two of our favorite things smashed together? How could we not love it on principle alone? However, unlike the Power Rangers entry, this one is actually finished and it’s a pretty good story.
Despite the various Robins and other sidekicks he’s had over the years, Batman has always thrived as a loner so it’s always interesting to see him forced to work with others. The Turtles, on the other hand, are always at their best when they are working as a team so both parties have different strengths and watching them figure out how to mesh with one another adds an interesting dynamic.
It is rather interesting to see the Turtles meet up with Batman considering that, in their own universe, they were actually created by the same substance that ended up blinding Matt Murdock and turning him into Daredevil. So, we suppose, in a way, it could be argued that this also serves as Marvel/DC crossover.
1. Batman & Captain America
In our humble opinion, this is one of the best Batman crossovers out there. At first glance, Batman and Captain America make an odd team considering that Batman tends to be more of a brooding loner and Captain America is an optimistic symbol of hope. If handled poorly this story could have been little more than a rehash of one of the countless first meetings between Batman and Superman, but that’s not how it’s handled at all.
The writer, John Byrne, had the brilliant idea to set this story in the Golden Age of comics during World War II and write Batman and Cap as they acted in that period. It’s both refreshing and classic. Plus, it has one of the Joker’s best moments ever. When he realizes that Red Skull is a Nazi he declares that he may be a murderous psychopath, but he’s an American psychopath, damn it.
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