Comics : Marvel vs. DC #2

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This story is part of a Lookback Series: Crossover Crisis!

This review was first published on: 2006.

Background...

Previously, characters from the Marvel and DC universes got swapped and lots of people are where they shouldn't be. There's also a mysterious hobo and a glowing box that seem to be causing all the trouble. Also, Cosmic red and blue guys pointing at each other.

Some information about certain characters will be in brackets.

In Detail...

Marvel vs. DC #2
Year 1996 : SM Cameo
Summary: Peter Parker Cameos
Editor:  Mark Gruenwald, Mike Carlin
Writer:  Peter David
Pencils:  Claudio Castellini, Dan Jurgens
Inker:  Josef Rubinstein, Paul Neary
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Articles: Venom

The second book of this supposedly spectectular series opens with some background on the young man the hobo met in book one. The man's name was Axel Asher, and he feels a sense of displacement and wanderlust constantly. When he was young, his sister accidentally shot him in the leg, and that was the most traumatic thing to happen to him until the two cosmic pointers showed up in his mind. The pointers hate each other enough to level universes. Axel snaps out of it, and two cops come up to him and ask him what's wrong. Axel claims nothing is wrong, but knows the cops won't believe his story. He would have been taken in if the cops hadn't started arguing about whether they were in Gotham City or New York City. While the cops are arguing and Axel is thinking, Wolverine and Killer Croc [Mutated Batman villain] erupt from the sewers. Clark Kent and Peter Parker are standing nearby, both wanting to ditch their partner and change into thier costumes.

After the cops, superheroes in disguise, and brawling mutants are gone, Axel tries to take his money out of the bank to wander off somewhere. Unfortunately, the bank won't cooperate, and Axel wanders off, only to find the hobo and his glowing box. Meanwhile, Thanos and Darkseid meet, and Captain America fights Bane.

The brawl between Wolverine and Killer Croc takes them into a Warner Brothers store where Nightwing [Batman's former sidekick] watches on, obvlious to a sinister Cajun watching him. Then for no reason Wonder Woman and Storm are shown flying around. Meanwhile, Captain America ends his fight with Bane, and we cut back to Nightwing. Batman is trailing the pseudo-Lizard, but hears the sound of Gambit attacking Nightwing, and rushes to his former sidekick's aid.

On the street, the hobo and Axel are chatting about what's happening. The Spectre and the Living Tribunal both scream out that it's too late, and Batman and Nightwing are shown standing in front of the Warner Brothers store. Wolverine and Gambit steal the Batmobile, Mole Man steals the Batcave, and Jubilee is chatting up Robin. Then there's a tremendous flash of light and every in both the DC and Marvel universes are stunned for a moment as we learn about the Cosmic Pointers.

The Cosmic Pointers, who are the Yin and Yang, Good and Evil, and the Mainyu, encompassed everything in the universe but each other. They were brothers, but also sisters, sexless, and everything else. Once, they came together in battle, and were both sharded, creating multiple universes from one. Eons after their battle, they began to remember everything but each other. Thanks to events that rocked the cosmos, however, they've rembered that, too. They want to battle once again, but the Spectre and Living Tribunal have convinced them to utilize powerful champions from the universes each manifests. The Red Brother is the Marvel Universe, and the Blue Brother is the DC Universe. Their champions are to battle one-on-one until one combatant is immobolized. Refusal to fight pretty much spells doom for both universes.

Meanwhile, in the alley, Axel and the hobo talk some more in front of the cardboard box. The hobo tells him that everyone now knows the truth about the Brothers and their shards. Then, the hobo reveals that the cardboard box, Axel, and himself are all shards.

Then we jump to the pre-fight between Thor and Captain Marvel [Shazam!], two of the champions chosen by the Brothers. Of course, we have to wait, and we see Thanos and Darkseid deciding to fight, as well, for no reason other than to see which is better. Then we cut to two Scarecrows trying to capture Lois Lane, but she's saved by Peter Parker. Superman is relieved that Lois is safe, but wonders if he should be jealous. After this interlude, we see Thor and Captain Marvel fight each other in an amusement park. Snapper Carr [DC Comics general sidekick character] and Rick Jones [Marvel Comics general sidekick character] are taking bets on it. The fight takes about three pages, and Thor wins it, but loses his hammer. Wonder Woman finds and is transformed by it.

Namor and Aquaman are duking it out underwater somewhere, and the Flash and Quicksilver are doing the same ona stretch of highway somewhere. The two Speedsters cause an accident, but the Flash acts quickly and saves all the civilians. Quicksilver then runs up and punches him a few dozen times in a second. While he's being angsty over the fact that he just beat up a man after he saved some lives, the Flash jumps up and knocks him out. Then Aquaman has a killer whale jump on Namor, and wins that fight.

At the Daily Planet, Peter is making sure Lois is all right, but is about to get quite a shock: Wilson Fisk has bought the Daily Planet! He tells Peter to hold his toungue, as anger is the first step to a full-scale war...

In General...

Once again, the art was superb. The writing was also good as well, and getting to see three pairs of champions fight was nice, though I did have one problem with it, which I'll get to later. The introduction of Axel Asher was all right, though as this point it seems as if he was just introduced to be expositioned to. Once again, however, the characters are acting as they should be. Spider-Man's appearances were limited to a head-shot, but Peter Parker showed up several times. The Kingpin buying the Daily Planet was a nice touch.

The only major problem I had with this book were the fact that the champions had to fight. Sure, it makes sense on the outset, but certainly there are better things for them to do. Have Thor and Captain Marvel, since both are infused with godly power, take on a Herculean task and whoever finishes it most efficently wins. Make the Flash and Quicksilver race around the world. I can't think of anything for Aquaman and Namor, so I suppose their fight is all right. The only reason I can think of for having all the champions resort to fisticuffs is because of the space restraint of the four issue mini-series. This also explains why things felt crowded.

Overall Rating...

Another good book in the mini-series, despite a lack of originality in the contests of the champions and the crowded feeling.

Footnote...

Next: More fisticuffs!