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CSBG Archive

A Year of Cool Comics – Day 165

Here is the latest in our year-long look at one cool comic (whether it be a self-contained work, an ongoing comic or a run on a long-running title that featured multiple creative teams on it over the years) a day (in no particular order whatsoever)! Here‘s the archive of the moments posted so far!

Today we take a look at a inter-company crossover that sets the bar pretty high for all other inter-company crossover, John Byrne’s brilliant Batman & Captain America…

Enjoy!

Byrne’s first clever idea was to have the whole thing set in 1945, only in the continuity that existed for each character as of 1945.

After that, Byrne just filled the book with cool moment after cool moment, from the first meeting of the two icons…

Byrne does a nice spin on the whole “heroes fight due to mistaken identity.” Here, while Cap and Batman are best buds, Cap is there on a secret mission and as Steve Rogers, he encounters his prime suspect, millionaire Bruce Wayne. So the heroes fight in their secret identities!

In another (of many) great bits, Byrne has the heroes split up, with their respective sidekicks SWITCHED! Robin and Cap…

and Bucky and Batman…

Finally, here’s an awesome moment between the two villains of the issue, the Joker and the Red Skull…

So awesome.

Byrne’s story is fun and engaging and filled with great details and action. His art is stunning, with seemingly every other page filled with a sweeping piece of dramatic awesomeness.

There is a whole lot of other cool scenes, but you should go buy the collection (I believe it was collected in one of those Marvel/DC Crossover Classics trades, Volume 2 if I remember correctly) and read it yourself! The epilogue alone is practically worth the price of admission!

If only all inter-company crossovers could be as clever and as fun as this one!

29 Comments

Well that’s another one I need to dust off and re-read.

My only quibble, I guess Byrne doesn’t know the Joker’s smile is frozen in place. It really looks odd to see him here with a variety of facial expressions.

Again, Byrne’s drawing the characters as they were as of 1945. His Joker is accurate.

As great as all this is… the ending is absolutely brilliant.

Oh, come on, Brian! How could you leave out the epilogue?

funkygreenjerusalem

June 15, 2010 at 4:24 am

Holy Moley, that looks great!

I’ve never even heard of this one before.

Crossover classics 2 also looks like it has the Punisher/Batman crossover where Punisher is in Gotham, which was the coolest of the cool when I was a kid… I’d love to have that again.

Damn you Brian, I was trying to save money this week!

Oh, come on, Brian! How could you leave out the epilogue?

Finding out what the epilogue is is hopefully what will get them to buy the book! :)

Tom Fitzpatrick

June 15, 2010 at 5:35 am

” Oh, come on, Brian! How could you leave out the epilogue?

Finding out what the epilogue is is hopefully what will get them to buy the book! ”

Soooooo, in other words, you’re getting kick-backs for all those shameless plugs to get fans to shell out their hard-earned money to buy back-issues to no end.

You, devious capitalist, you. ;-)

This was a great comic. Doesn’t Byrne reference this issue in Superman/Batman: Generations too?

Another great often overlooked Marvel/DC crossover that’s worth looking at is Stern and Rude’s Superman/Hulk.

This was such a fun book. And of course led to the Superman/Batman Generations books which took the same approach to time. Generations wasn’t as strong overall as Batman/Captain America but still had some really fun moments.

Clap clap clap clap clap. This book is great, and it may be my favorite of everything John Byrne has ever done.

DanLarkin: I’ve read that this does indeed take place in Superman/Batman: Generations continuity.

Ah, such a wonderful diversion in the spate of inter-company crossovers at the time. Byrne really put a lot of thought, effort, and affection into this one. Probably my second favorite inter-company crossover (nothing can top Punisher/Archie), with Byrne’s Galactus/Darkseid coming in at #3. (Byrne may not be perfect, but when he hits the mark, he *really* hits it…)

This looks pretty excellent.

I think Bucky and Damian would have made fast friends.

I don’t think so. Both are a little more ruthless than the average sidekick, but Damien is too elitist for Bucky. Now Bucky and Jason Todd…

A great pick, Brian.Some random comments:

1.John Byrne: Like many people, I have long lamented the steep decline in Byrne’s artistic chops (for my money, his run on NAMOR, although not the equal of his X-MEN and FF glory days, marks his last period of greatness), but this crossover was a pleasant surprise. For this issue, at least, we got to see some of the old Byrne magic.

2. The Byrne Batman: It’s always nice to see Byrne’s more upbeat caped crusader. Interestingly, although Byrne’s smiling Batman seemed rather contrarian during the days when every writer was trying to out grim ‘n gritty Frank Miller, his take on Batman now feels somewhat in sync with Grant Morrison’s stuff.

3. the Byrne Captain America: Just reading this conjures forth all those great memories of reading the classic Stern/Byrne CA.

4. Joker Venom vs. Dust of Death: Talk about a classic moment!

5. Future picks: Hey Brian, how about a selection from Byrne’s run on NAMOR? Perhaps the great INVADERS reunion arc or the return of Iron Fist storyline?

This is a crossover I didn’t know existed.
And, it looks like a frickin’ riot!
I will have to track this down.

The one thing this story lacked was an encounter between Steve Rogers and Bruce Wayne smoking their pipes.

In a time when everything Byrne did was so very bad, this and Generations really stood out. Generations 2 … not so much.

You know, this looks like a helluva lot of fun.

The Watcher
“My only quibble, I guess Byrne doesn’t know the Joker’s smile is frozen in place. It really looks odd to see him here with a variety of facial expressions.”

Since when?

Yeah, that definitely wasn’t the case when I was growing up in the Bronze Age. The Joker had all kinds of expressions. Not that this story is in any kind of continuity.

I love the instant camaraderie in the first few panels. It’s a nice change from the usual ‘fight-then-team up’ meeting.

Also, Joker being hit with a wrench= always funny.

Ethan Shuster

June 15, 2010 at 6:25 pm

Right, folks. As far as I recall the only place the Joker’s face is frozen like that was the Tim Burton movie.

It seems like most of the crossovers from the eighties and nineties were done by creators who knew they were working on something unbearably cool and obviously brought their “A” games (exceptions? some of the Access-related stuff, perhaps–Superman/Fantastic Four falls apart logically for me because of one line of dialogue). One could probably squeeze a month of cool moments from these stories alone.

God, I love this – it is hands down my favorite DC/Marvel crossover. Byrne just got everything right here: the “voices” of the characters, the story, the pacing, the art and the non-stop fun.
His “Generations” is also among my favorite of the Elseworlds titles, because it captures some of the feel of this one (although I think he should have stopped after Generations II, III was way over the top…)

“A Year of VERY Cool Comics” is what we have here!

Bats and Cap go together like salt and pepper.

Imagine if we could have had this crossover in the early 70s: Kirby/Steranko/Adams art Lee/O’Neil script!

Or the mid 90s: Breyfogle/Garney art, Grant/Waid script!

Or really the 40s: Kirby/Robinson art, Finger/Simon script!

While it would be interesting, I don’t know how well a 50s version would go, fighting Commie aliens! ;)

[...] A Year of Cool Comics – Day 165 – This is a Marvel/DC crossover with Batman and Captain America. Joker and Red Skull are the villains! [...]

See, you say this is John Byrne, but the art style makes me think so MUCH of Darwyn Cooke!

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