Comic book fans love seeing their favourite characters crossover with their other favourite characters, regardless of who owns the publishing rights. Spider-Man vs. Superman? That’s happened. Spawn and Batman? That’s happened too. Cerebus and Spawn? Yup. That happened in a very early issue of Spawn. This past week, another cross-company crossover was announced and it was the one that almost no one expected.
This past Friday, Archie Comics announced that its own dynamic female duo meet up with Gotham City’s dynamic duo… No, not those two, but the fabulous female duo of Harley Quinn and Poison Ivy! Archie Comics’ press release included the creative team bringing this crossover story to print, and its co-writer is none other than Paul Dini, Harley’s co-creator from Batman: The Animated Series (alongside of Bruce Timm).
Archie and the gang have had a number of epically strange crossovers over the years, many of which just seem out of left field. So having the upcoming Harley/Ivy/Betty/Veronica series will just be another fun romp. (It also manages to fit in with the hilarious hijinks that Ms. Quinn gets into on a regular basis.) Let’s take a look at some of the other crazy crossovers that the Riverdale crew has gotten into over the years, and in no particular order.
Archie vs. Sharknado
Yes, this happened. Because you can never have enough ridiculousness in comics today. Recently I talked about DC’s Warner Brothers crossovers, and it was all done in the spirit of fun. This one-shot (yes, it was only one issue, don’t worry) was also done with that same intent in mind. This one-shot was released around the same time as Sharknado 3: Oh Hell No! and that was not a coincidence.
This strange but fun story was written by Anthony C. Ferrante, the director of all of the entire Sharknado franchise, and so it has the feeling like it fits within that series of films. The art is done by Archie regulars Dan Parent (Die Kitty Die) and Rich Koslowski, and so even though it fits into the film series it still feels like part of the Archie series as well. If you’re expecting a masterpiece, this ain’t it; if you’re expecting a fun book that feels like it’s part of that movie series, you will probably enjoy this one-shot!
Archie vs. Predator
Again, this actually happened. A 4-issue miniseries where the movie monster descends onto Earth as the gang are enjoying their spring break in Costa Rica. Now, even if you thought the Sharknado crossover was a stretch, this one is even further out there. Because of the crossover to the Predator movies and the fact that the comics license is held by Dark Horse, this is an example of a cross-company crossover gone right.
Written by Alex de Campi, who has done work for Dark Horse on their Grindhouse comics series, so has experience writing some strange series to begin with. The art is by Archie regular Fernando Ruiz (also of Die Kitty Die) and Rich Koslowski, who put an Archie-type art spin on the alien species but with a very dark spin.
Archie Meets Glee
It should come as no surprise that the primary comic series about a bunch of teenagers who happen to have a band and sing should meet up with the (at the time) leading TV series about teenagers who break into random song. Now, how that translates into a comic book (where we can’t hear the music) is a challenge, but that is a challenge that Archie Comics has been embracing for some time. And of course it’s resident Riverdale brain Dilton Doily who has a device that transports Archie and the gang to McKinley High and kicks off the meeting of the two groups.
The story is drawn by Dan Parent, an Archie-comics mainstay. It is written by Roberto Aguirre-Sacasa, a writer for TV, movies, and the stage. He had previously written for Marvel, but at the time he took on this crossover he was a writer on Glee so he knew those characters well. This story helped him onto other Archie projects, including Afterlife with Archie, which is probably one of my favorite comics on the market today.
Archie Meets the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles
Where the crossovers above occurred recently, Archie crossovers have been happening for some time. Take, for example, this crossover from 1990. This was from a time with the original Ninja Turtles cartoon was in its prime and was very kids oriented (the current comic is very much like the original – not for a younger crowd). This crossover made perfect sense at the time (it really did) because the kid-oriented comic for the Turtles was actually published by Archie Comics at the time. This book pre-dated all of the ridiculous concepts of the 90s in comics, but not by much, and did set some precedent of ridiculousness for the strangest crossover in my opinion.
I remember having this book when I was younger but it has since gone to some kid I gave some older books to or else sold at a garage sale. This was an anthology one-shot, though, so it had a few stories from a group of creators who were working for Archie Comics at the time – either on the Archie or their side-brand that did the Turtles comics – but it has a cover by Dan DeCarlo, one of the definitive Archie artists of the time.
Archie meets The Punisher
I’m going to admit: This one-shot is one of my guilty pleasures. I bought this book new and absolutely love it. It’s completely out there and, like the Harley/Ivy and the Predator crossover, one that just simply doesn’t make any sense. And in that non-sensical approach it works as an amazingly fun story. When the Punisher follows a drug dealer named Red to Riverdale, he mistakes him for Archie Andrews (who looks uncannily like the drug dealer). The Punisher (and his sidekick Microchip) get help from Archie and the gang to capture Red (capture, not kill – this is still an Archie book and it is the 90s, unlike the other books earlier in this list).
This story was written by Batton Lash, who has previously written for Archie comics but also for Bongo! Comics, publisher of the Simpsons and Futurama family of comics. The art of this story is what makes it special – the Archie characters are done by Stan Goldberg, who was an Archie artist for the better part of 40 years. The Punisher characters were drawn by John Buscema, one of the definitive Marvel artists throughout the 70s and 80s. By putting 2 of the most prominent artists of both franchises on this book, it made for an amazingly fun story, and is worth hunting down and taking a read.