Given that Marvel are having some meetings behind the scenes with Fox right now regarding setting up a deal to share their comic book properties, it’s looking increasingly possible that we could finally get the complete shared universe we’ve been craving all along.
It’s fair to say that Marvel is winning the superhero movie race hands-down. They do have a slight problem though. While they own the rights to the Avengers, and numerous other characters, they don’t control the rights to the Fantastic Four, the X-Men, or Spider-Man. Most crucially, many of the best comic book villains started off in the pages of the Fantastic Four, so Fox has owned them for years. Should the two studios come to an agreement along the lines of the Marvel/Sony deal regarding sharing Spider-Man, we could finally solve the Marvel movie villain problem once and for all.
Also, crossovers are Marvel’s backbone in the comics, so team-up movies could be the next big thing. Considering how positively people responded to Spider-Man popping up in Captain America: Civil War this year, further crossovers could not only happen, but become the big trend of the next decade and solve the “superhero fatigue” problem we’ve been warned of so any times.
With all that being said, here’s 15 Marvel/Fox/Sony Crossovers We Want to See.
15 Avengers - X-Men
This is it, the one we’ve all been waiting for. If the deal goes ahead, this is the one we all want to see happen. Despite the two teams operating independently for decades, with only a handful of team-ups for the first forty years of Marvel comic history, they operate much more closely these days and there are many storylines to adapt.
Should they follow the comic books, adaptions of ‘90s crossovers like Bloodlines or Onslaught could be contenders. A much more likely storyline to adapt is House of M, where the heroes found themselves in an alternate reality created by the Scarlet Witch’s magic and fuelled by Xavier’s awesome telepathic powers. It could even create the much-needed multi-universe retcon that would allow both movie timelines to co-exist, or reboot the muddled X-Men one.
One massive boost that could come from a Fox/Marvel deal is that characters from one team could join the other. With X-Men like Beast and Wolverine having been long-standing members of the Avengers, we could see them join the Avengers on-screen and give us a cinematic universe even more impressive than Marvel’s own.
14 Spider-Man - Fantastic Four
Arguably Marvel’s most enduringly popular character is Spider-Man. While Wolverine and Deadpool have their moments of glory, Spider-Man is generally the one that features in the most team-ups and therefore has the most relationships with other characters in the Marvel Comics universe.
One of his most enduring relationships, and one that’s lasted longer than any of his girlfriends, is the one with the Fantastic Four. His friendship with Johnny Storm, The Human Torch, has been one of rivalry, but also one of affection and mutual respect. The two have been as close as brothers, at times even consoling each other in their darkest times.
Peter Parker is also often cited as being as smart as Reed Richards was at a younger age, and has at one time been Reed’s lab assistant. The two big brains together have often solved a problem through scientific means as opposed to simply smashing stuff. Given this, and their history of numerous team-ups in the comics, it’s a pairing we’d love to see brought to the big screen. Now that Sony is playing nice with Marvel, and Fox indicating that they may well do the same, we could get a three-way deal and see Sony’s Spider-Man, Fox’s Fantastic Four, and Marvel’s Cinematic Universe all brought together for one epic crossover.
13 Spider-Man – Daredevil
Peter Parker and Matt Murdoch both wear red, both are street-level heroes, both are driven by the pain of losing a loved one. The two men have so much in common it’s no surprise that they’ve crossed paths numerous times. Prior to the universe-wide events which caused the world to forget Peter Parker was Spider-Man, Matt was one of the few people that Peter trusted with his identity.
In a cinematic sense, Daredevil popping up in a Spider-Man movie makes perfect sense. Matt is already established in Netflix’s Daredevil series, but not so much so that he would look wrong playing second fiddle for once. Charlie Cox, who plays Daredevil, even expressed a desire to pay him in Captain America: Civil War, so in all likelihood would be willing to play him in a Spider-Man movie, especially in a larger role.
The ideal villain would be Kingpin, who is already established in the cinematic universe, as the two characters share so much comic book history with him. Should Kingpin expand his reach beyond Hell’s Kitchen, it’s natural that he would have to contend with Spider-Man, too. Of course, the obligatory fight between the two heroes, before they team up, would be entertaining if they avoid the pitfalls that Batman Vs Superman: Dawn of Justice had.
12 Spider-Man – Wolverine
These two aren’t friends. They don’t even like each other very much, and that's why they work so well. Unlike the close relationship between Spider-Man and guys like Daredevil or The Human Torch, Peter and Logan couldn’t be further apart.
Peter doesn’t kill; he’s as likely to risk his life saving the bad guy as he is an innocent bystander. Logan, on the other hand, has no problem using his claws on henchmen and top-tier bad guys. The friction this creates between them sets them up as a classic odd-couple.
Given that Marvel’s biggest hits have combined elements of other genres (Winter Soldier was a classic 70s Spy-Thriller for example) an action comedy may be going a little too far, but a buddy-cop movie with Mutants and Spider-People could be a welcome change of pace. To bring Marvel into the fold, it may work even better if a third character were to be thrown in for comic relief, perhaps taking the role Joe Pesci had in the Lethal Weapon movies. Someone along the lines of Deadpool may be a little too on the nose, but a teen character like one of the Young Avengers or Runaways would be great.
11 Captain America – Wolverine
While much of their history has been retconned, Wolverine and Captain America go back as far as WW2. Logan and Cap met during a mission in Madripoor which involved both Hydra, The Hand, and a very young Black Widow. Using that storyline as a premise, it would be easy to slot in a flashback to World War 2, then continue the storyline in the present day, maybe even bringing in Scarlett Johanssen’s Black Widow to round out the cast.
Where Steve looks at the world and hopes for the best, Logan tends to only see the worst. Their opposing world views mean that the two are as likely to fight each other as they are to take on a bad guy. That being said, they have numerous shared enemies in the comic books such as Viper, The Hand, Hydra etc. so it’s only natural that they could be coming at a mutual enemy from opposite ends of the spectrum or both be sent after a bad guy by Nick Fury.
The obvious problem is Hugh Jackman. Should this particular Team-Up happen, it’s likely to require a re-cast Wolverine as Hugh Jackman is pretty much done with the role after 15 years. Finding someone to fill his shoes is going to be a nightmare for a Fox/Marvel deal.
10 Avengers - Fantastic Four
While character team-ups are commonplace, teams getting together is usually reserved for the end-of-the-world scenarios which pop up less frequently. While the possibility of a Fox/Marvel deal has an Avengers/X-Men crossover written all over it, it does provide a perfect opportunity to reboot the Fantastic Four as part of the MCU.
Given that the Fantastic Four have some amazing villains such as Doctor Doom and Kang the Conqueror, both of whom who have close links to many of the Avengers, it would breathe new life into the Avengers franchise post-Thanos. Given the Time Gem is still out there, somewhere, Kang could be a perfect plot device for bringing the Infinity Gauntlet together, as Kang hails from far in the future.
Moreover, besides sharing bad guys, there’s the Hulk-Versus-Thing fight that would be easily more epic than the Hulk-Versus-Iron Man fight from Age of Ultron. Not to mention Mister Fantastic and Tony Stark trying to outsmart, or even out-science, each other before becoming a three man team of Science Bros alongside Bruce Banner.
9 New Avengers
While Avengers Disassembled was the story that shook up the tired Avengers franchise, it was New Avengers that breathed new life into the comic book. When Brian Bendis lobbied for a new team made up of the most popular characters (such as Wolverine and Spider-Man), adding Luke Cage and Spider-Woman for good measure, he took the team to new levels of popularity.
Whatever happens to the MCU after Infinity War, it’s very likely that The Avengers will continue without key members Captain America and Iron Man due to the contracts of Chris Evans and Robert Downey Jr. This makes it an ideal time to introduce The New Avengers. Bucky taking Cap’s role, Luke Cage jumping from the small-screen to the big, and Tom Holland’s Spider-Man officially joining the team allows for not only a change in direction, but a whole new team, albeit one that has ties to the original. It also allows for the introduction of a new Wolverine.
Casting a new Wolverine could well be the key to the success of a Marvel/Sony deal. While he isn’t at his mid-90s peak of popularity, he’s still one of the most recognized characters from the Fox X-Men movies thanks to Hugh Jackman’s spot-on portrayal. Should a new actor take the role - Tom Hardy or Scott Eastwood are fan-favourites right now - it’s critical that they be able to play the role in both X-Men and Avengers movies as they could hold the whole thing together.
8 X-Men - Spider-Man
Another deal that would require Sony, Fox and Marvel to sit at the same table is Spider-Man and the X-Men. It’s also one that would make perfect sense. Captain America: Civil War proved that team-ups can work if handled correctly and there’s no better fit than Spider-Man joining the X-Men for an adventure.
Whilst Spider-Man isn’t a mutant, he’s often been treated with the same fear and hatred as the mutant population and can identify with their plight all too well. At this stage of the MCU, Spider-Man isn’t a respected member of the Avengers, of even a well-known hero. Depending on the outcome of Homecoming, he could be labelled as an outlaw vigilante looking for friends, which could lead him to Xavier’s door should the Avengers remain as fractured as they were at the end of Civil War.
Indeed, the comic books set a precedent for this as Spider-Man has teamed up with the X-Men several times. His scientific acumen and wall-crawling abilities give him a lot in common with The Beast, and his good-guy nature gives him ample friction with Wolverine. A team-up to battle Doc Ock or a band of Symbiotes could prove to be as much fun as fighting traditional X-Men villains such as Mister Sinister. In fact, a clone-themed team-up between Spidey villain The Jackal and X-Men adversary, Mister Sinister could be exactly what audiences need. Just so long as they don’t call it The Clone Saga…
7 Avengers - Silver Surfer
One thing the MCU keeps teasing, but not quite delivering, are cosmic adventures. The cosmic side of the Marvel Universe has been there since the beginning, and so far it hasn’t been explored on-screen nearly enough. Considering the big-bad of the series is Thanos, it’s about time that The Avengers found their way off-planet. An ideal team-up would be for them to join the enigmatic Silver Surfer.
Traditionally, the Silver Surfer is tied to the story of Galactus: he arrives to prepare Earth for its destruction, only to be opposed by the Fantastic Four. Assuming that has already happened and the Silver Surfer is now an ally, he could be the perfect guide for The Avengers as they travel to the stars to either confront Thanos or another cosmic entity. Given that he is also one of the few beings who can stand up to The Hulk, there's the opportunity to see The Hulk lose a fight for once, too.
Given that a Fox/Marvel deal would potentially put the entirety of the cosmic cast of characters on the table, there’s ample to choose from. The Badoon, Kree, Skrulls, Shi’Ar, even the Korbonites or Ego The Living Planet could appear.
6 Captain America – Magneto
While not a team-up anyone is screaming for, it is one that would allow for a smaller, more personal film. One of the ultimate evils of both the real-world and the Marvel Universe are of course, The Nazis. Responsible for some of the most terrible acts in history, they set a terrible benchmark for all things bad in the world.
The two characters that have the most history with them are Captain America, the Super Soldier created to defeat them, and Magneto, the boy that survived the Holocaust only to grow up to become the master of magnetism. While crossovers between the two are surprisingly rare, it would allow the filmmakers to go off-book and do something truly original. Perhaps they could be looking for a secret cache of Nazi super-weapons or a long-lost war criminal.
Whatever plot device could be used to bring them together, a man who wields a metal shield and a man that controls all metal could be worth the ticket price just to see Magneto using his powers to launch Cap’s shield at a hundred Nazis at once.
5 Hulk - Thing
Mentioned previously, a Hulk Vs Thing team-up or even battle against each other is long overdue. Some of the key moments of the Avengers movies so far have seen The Hulk battle his friends and team mates. There’s only one hero that matches his stature that he hasn’t faced down yet, and that’s Benjamin J Grimm, the ever-lovin’-blue-eyed-Thing!
The strong man of the Fantastic Four has stood against The Hulk more times than any other hero in the comic books (Even more so than Wolverine or Thor) and their rivalry is often fierce. Indeed, while The Hulk is easily the stronger of the two, The Thing is a skilled fighter who retains his knowledge and abilities in his larger form. This skill set enables him to use the Hulk’s strength against him making it a fair fight.
Considering that a two-hour smack down would get boring after a while, the two would have to team-up eventually against a foe, or foes, of equal power. While there are some incredibly powerful bad guys like The Juggernaut to choose from, the ideal bad guy would be The Leader. He hasn’t been seen since being hinted at in 2008’s The Incredible Hulk and could have been plotting ever since, indeed he could have been the one to steer The Thing and The Hulk into a confrontation to begin with.
4 Young Avengers - New Mutants
While teen superheroes are a mainstay of the comic books, the Marvel Cinematic Universe has been less keen to put teenagers into danger. Indeed, Spider-Man aside, it hasn’t really happened. When making Captain America: The First Avenger, Marvel opted to change Bucky from teen-sidekick to friend and equal.
While this implies a sense that Marvel would rather their heroes be adults, there is a feeling that they are going to have to look to the next generation before long due to the age of some of their main characters. This could mean that Fox brings together the New Mutants, and Marvel brings together The Young Avengers. While either movie could be great on their own, a team up of characters with very different core beliefs could allow for some interesting story possibilities. The Young Avengers want to live up to their heroes, while the next generation of X-Men merely want to survive a dangerous world.
While the teens-versus-Armageddon type movies have begun to run out of steam at the box office, with the last Hunger Games underperforming, a teen-superhero movie could breathe new life into the demographic
3 Avengers - Kang
While Kang would be an ideal antagonist for a Fantastic Four and Avengers team-up, if Fox were prepared to share him, he’d be a perfect foe for the Avengers on their own. As mentioned before, the MCU has barely visited space, but they haven’t even begun to touch on that other mainstay of Sci-Fi, time.
While time-travel can be the undoing of a good story, in many cases it can be a stroke of genius. It also allows for some retcons, if handled correctly of course. Where Fox’s X-Men timeline is pretty muddled now, Marvel has shown serious skill in tying everything together. If Marvel were to take creative control, some time-travel shenanigans involving Kang could allow for the X-Men joining the MCU, albeit a different team of X-Men to the one we’ve seen previously perhaps. All it would take is one little change in history, one little butterfly effect, to see Mutants born in the present-day MCU.
2 Avengers – Doom
While Kang would be fun, Doom would be amazing. He’s been seen three times now in two different Fantastic Four universes, and both times he’s been portrayed rather badly.
Doctor Doom is a technological genius, easily on a par with Tony Stark or Reed Richards. He’s also a master of the dark arts, one of the few that can rival Doctor Strange. He even has an army of Doombots that rival Ultron’s clones. All in all, he’s easily as formidable as Thanos and would be the ideal primary villain moving forwards. While there may not be the appetite for more Fantastic Four movies right now, there simply has to be room for Doom. He’s been a rival to just about everyone in the Marvel Universe at one time or another and has a long history of taking on various Avengers both one-on-one and as a team.
Many fans are clamouring for a villain team-up. A version of the Masters of Evil where every bad guy seen so far in the MCU is brought back to fight the collective power of the heroes, if anyone has the power and genius to bring them all together it’s Victor Von Doom.
If anything represents the culmination of a Marvel/Fox deal, it’s The Illuminati: a secret group of leaders who come together in the shadows and share information and shape the Marvel universe from behind the scenes.
Charles Xavier of the X-Men, Black Bolt of the Inhumans, Iron Man from The Avengers, Namor the king of Atlantis, and Mister Fantastic of the Fantastic Four operated for years behind the scenes before eventually being found out. During their many years of meeting up, they assembled the Infinity Gems, reasoning that they couldn’t trust anybody else to have them and feeling that they were simply too dangerous to be left out in the open. While they succeeded in finding them, they each took one and hid them where nobody would ever find them. This plan failed, as Parker Robins, the villain known as The Hood, uncovered the Illuminati and tried to unite the gems for himself. While he ultimately failed, he did expose the Illuminati to the outside world.
Should Marvel and Fox succeed in their plans to come together, none of their properties combine every aspect of their shared resources as the Illuminati. Seeing such disparate characters come together would be a dream come true for many fans.
Got any ideal Marvel team ups we haven’t mentioned? Tell us about them in the comments!!