There once was a time when crossovers between the heroes of the DC and Marvel universes were a semi-regular occurrence. The two titan publishers of superhero comics released a handful of crossovers between Superman and Spider-Man, Batman and The Incredible Hulk, and the X-Men and the New Teen Titans in the late ’70s and early ’80s. The ’90s and early ’00s saw DC and Marvel publish a dozen crossover one-shots, along with multiple DC/Marvel miniseries, an entire line of Amalgam Comics mashing up the characters of the two universes, and the iconic JLA/Avengers miniseries. Reprints of all of those stories have been long out-of-print, leaving curious fans to scour back-issue boxes for the individual issues, or to pay a premium for the collections.
That may not be the case for much longer, though. On Sunday, artist Barry Kitsonwho drew the Batman/Punisher: Lake of Fire one-shot, posted on his Facebook fan page some unused cover thumbnails from the issue — for apparent inclusion in an upcoming new collection of those DC and Marvel crossovers.
“Marvel and DC are collaborating on reprinting many of the Amalgam titles including Magneto and the Magnetic Men,” Kitson wrote, “And the crossover events including the Batman/Punisher books.”
Kitson has since edited the post to remove mention of the reprints.
Published in 1994 by DC Comics and written by Dennis O’Neilpenciled by Kitson, inked by James Pascoecolored by Matt Hollingsworthand lettered by Ken Bruzenak, Batman/Punisher: Lake of Fire It was the first of the ’90s DC & Marvel crossovers. It was followed later that year by Punisher/Batman: Deadly Knightspublished by Marvel and from the creative team of Chuck Dixon, John Romita Jr., Klaus Janson, Christie Scheeleand Comicraft.
Kitson’s post is obviously not an official announcement of anything, but the prospect of new reprints for these stories is an exciting one. The 1982 Uncanny X-Men and the New Teen Titans crossover Chris Claremont, Walter Simonson, Terry Austin, Glynis Weinand Tom Orzechowski is a stone-cold classic, and the ’90s crossovers, which include books like Ron Marz & Darryl Banks‘s Green Lantern/Silver Surferto ’40s-set Batman/Captain America story by John Byrne, and a pair of Batman and Spider-Man team-ups written by JM DeMatteis, they are a lot of fun. The Amalgam Comics are also an absolute blast, with all-star creators telling one-off stories featuring mash-up characters like Super-Soldier (Superman and Captain America), Dark Claw (Batman and Wolverine), Amazon (Wonder Woman and Storm) , Spider-Boy (Spider-Man and Superboy), and more.
The existing, out-of-print collected editions for these stories include four Crossover Classics trade paperbacks, a collection of the 1996 DC vs. Marvel miniseries, and four The Amalgam Age of Comics collections, not to mention JLA/Avengerswhich was reprinted in limited quantities in 2022 as a benefit for artist George Perez and The Hero Initiative. Two of the DC and Marvel crossover miniseries, All Access (published by DC) and Unlimited Access (published by Marvel), have never been collected before.
Could this purported reprint mean new crossovers are on the way? More to come on this, for sure.