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Wednesday, February 18, 2015

Crossover Comic Book Key Issues


Alright, before we kick this series off that was suggested by JW a while back, let's establish what comic crossovers mean and there are various definitions. The most simple is one character from another comic title guest starring with another hero or other heroes in another title to establish that those characters are in a shared universe.

The characters must occupy the same story also and usually crossover into another hero's story and comic title. Today, these are more commonly known as guest appearances or team ups. In this series, I will focus the majority on that aspect of the term crossover and call them classic crossovers to help avoid confusion.

Then there's crossovers that involve two completely different fictional universes and publishers like DC and Marvel Comics. In the industry, this is called an intercompany crossover and some out there believe that this is the real definition of a comic book crossover but I tend to disagree.

Another type of crossover is a crossover event, in which the story line usually crosses over into multiple different comic titles and issues (tie-ins) within a shared universe like Marvel's Atlantis Attacks or Acts of Vengeance.

This series will be dealing more with important guest appearances or classic crossovers for superheroes, but will not neglect some of the other different crossover comics such as crossover events as well. Let's get this started, and this series promises to have a lot of good information in it.




TOP NOTCH COMICS #5
1st classic crossover
1st the Shield classic crossover
1st crossover story in comics

Although many believe that Marvel Mystery Comics #8 was the first comic crossover in which two characters meet and establish a shared continuity or universe, they could very well be wrong. Top Notch Comics #5 beats out Timely by one month concerning publishing or cover date.

Publisher MLJ Comics, the company who later became known as Archie Comics, were the first to create a storyline that would span across two different issues. This storyline The Mosconians Master Plan began in this issue and would also be the first time the publisher's two superheroes the Shield and the Wizard would meet.

Top Notch comics #5 was published May, 1940.

eBay - Three raw copies located for this early Golden Age key issue. One low grade copy, a mid-grade, and a VF if you can believe that! Pretty cool.

ComicConnect - Three raw copies here with the highest a VF.




PEP COMICS #4
1st Wizard classic crossover

Pep Comics was the home of the Shield and this is Part Two to the storyline that began in Top Notch Comics #5. Overstreet just regards this issue as a Wizard cameo though and it does continue the meeting of the Wizard and the Shield.

The Wizard does show up in issue #5 as well in another cameo appearance. Pep Comics #4 was published May, 1940 and is the first Wizard classic comic crossover. 

eBay - Did not see any copies of this one raw or slabbed at the time of this writing. May change or not by the time you read this.




MARVEL MYSTERY COMICS #8
2nd crossover story in comics
1st meeting between Human Torch and Submariner
Okay, this one is technically the first superhero crossover ever, and even though the characters both had separate stories running in Marvel Mystery Comics, the story arc in Marvel Mystery Comics ran through issues #7 through #10 and is the 2nd time in the history of comics that two different and separate superheroes met in a storyline that spanned across two or three issues.

So technically not the classical crossover from one title to a completely different title of a character or characters, but this issue is the first time any Timely/Marvel superheroes have ever met and established a shared continuity. The first to do so was the original Human Torch and Namor the Submariner.

Pretty historic issue in the world of comics. June, 1940 was when this historic Golden Age comic was published and revolutionized the comic industry forever. Marvel Mystery Comics #8 would help to keep the ball rolling concerning characters crossing over.

eBay - Only two copies located on the mighty eBay at the time of this writing. Both are slabbed and one is a PGX 3.0 and the other a CGC 5.5 FN minus. CGC copy is cheaper than the PGX.




ALL-STAR COMICS #3
1st DC Comics crossover
1st Hawkman, Green Lantern, Flash, and Atom crossover
1st intercompany crossover
Riding on the coat tails of both Marvel and Archie Comics was DC Comics concerning this area.

This is another huge one for the history of comics and superheroes, and even though every one mainly sees this key issue as the first appearance of the Justice Society of America, All-Star Comics #3 holds a lot more significance and importance than just that.

Of course, the Justice Society of America is the first superhero team in comics which I've mentioned on here before, so that in it's own right makes it important. However, there's more at work here than just that.

Not talked about often is the fact that this is also the first DC Comics crossover between it's own characters as well as other characters from another publisher, known as intercompany crossovers. That's right folks.

Hour-Man, Spectre, and Doctor Fate were owned by National Comics (DC Comics) and the Flash, Atom, Hawkman, and Green Lantern were owned by All-American Publications, in which Max Gaines, father of William Gaines, still owned at the time of this crossover.

National Comics would later absorb All-American Comics, but this issue is a wonderful part of comic book history and is important on so many levels that often gets over-looked today.

On top of that, Hour-Man was from Adventure Comics and the Spectre and Doctor Fate were both from More Fun Comics, so this is the first time DC crossed over their characters from another title to meet for the first time in a different comic title, establishing a shared continuity. This historic early crossover key issue was published December, 1940.

eBay - Only two copies located for this one as well. One is a raw copy and the other a slabber. CGC copy is a Restored VF 8.0, and who knows what the raw copy is...probably restored also.




MARVEL MYSTERY COMICS #17
1st Namor and Human Torch team up

In their first meeting, the original Human Torch and Namor battled each other. In Marvel Mystery Comics #17 they would eventually team up to whomp on some Nazis. Since this is when the Marvel company went under Timely Comics, it's not noted as the first Marvel team up.

However, whether you think of it as such or not, it is an early comic book team up. This Golden Age marvel was published March, 1941. 

eBay - Five copies here so far with only one CGC copy that's a 3.0 GD/VG. Others are raw copies.

mycomicshop - One CGC 3.0 GD/VG is the only copy here at the moment.

ComicLink - Only one CGC 5.5 FN minus copy here.





HUMAN TORCH COMICS #5 (Summer)
2nd Namor and Human Torch team up
1st Angel classic crossover into Submariner
First Timely/Marvel classic crossover
Namor and the Human Torch has shared the titles of Marvel Mystery Comics and this one with the majority of their adventures separate, but Human Torch Comics #5 Summer Issue has the 2nd Namor and Human Torch team up in comics.

The Angel, an early Golden Age superhero with no relation to the X-Men character of the same name, actually had no real title of his own and came from Marvel Mystery Comics as well. In this issue, the Angel makes the first classic crossover to join Namor in the story Blitzkrieg of the Living Dead.

June, 1941 was when this comic was published.

eBay - Saw only three copies of the summer issue to this comic. One is a CGC 4.0 VG and the other are raw copies. There are two #5 issues of the Human Torch Comics. This is the summer issue and the other is the fall issue. The fall issue has the 2nd Human Torch vs. Submariner battle.

mycomicshop - PGX 5.0 copy located here at the moment. Only copy for sale.



Here's the first six to this series, and like mentioned at the beginning, this series deals with important crossovers in the history of comics that establishes a shared universe from either story to story, character to another title within the publisher, or characters of two different publishers meeting. Sorry if I haven't posted in a while, but this info took quite some digging to find cross check, double and triple check.

The term crossover is very much used differently today and is often referred to as crossover events or intercompany crossover, but I am casting out a wider net here. So far lots of good stuff and those listed here are from the Golden Age, which set up a lot of early roots for the industry that still applies these concepts even today.

Click the PART 2 link below to continue with this crossover key comics list!



8 comments:

  1. mayhem great job explaining crossover terms, I can only imagine how much research you are putting into this. thanks so much. JW. over on this side of the country its all about duke Carolina tonight. GO DEVILS

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    1. Thanks JW...trying my best to make it as clear as possible concerning crossover. Should be some good keys in this series and some I've yet to mention. Who won?

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  2. just got back my FF 52 from cgc. spent 100 for comic about a year and a half ago and 70 to be graded. came back a 6.5 blue label. AWESOME. JW

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    1. Wow, that is AWESOME! Definitely some instant return on that bad boy JW! Congrats, man! That's what I like to hear.

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  3. yeah next one I have coming back hopefully in a couple weeks is iron man 55 so keeping my fingers crossed and see what happens.

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    1. Hope it comes back a good one as well JW! Keep me posted!

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