The Brady Bunch visit the Partridge Family. James Bond teams up with Sherlock Holmes. Snoopy meets Garfield.
It’s an old schoolyard game, trying to come up with the most intriguing pop-cultural crossover. And for those who still play, here’s a doozy from Marvel Comics: a joint venture between the X-Men, the most popular superhero group in comicdom, and Star Trek, the most popular, shall we say, enterprise in science fiction. Marvel has brought the two galaxy-trotting squads together in a special 64-page comic book. ”It’s a perfectly natural crossover,” says writer Scott Lobdell. ”At heart, they’re both stories about a handful of people facing the unknown. They both hit the same nerve in American consciousness.”
This cosmic dream team came together after Marvel and Paramount Pictures struck a deal last January to publish a line of comics based on the studio’s titles. With both Trek and Marvel celebrating major anniversaries this year (30th for Trek, 35th for Marvel), it seemed apt to pair the two flagship properties. ”Isn’t that what we’re in the business of doing,” says Lobdell, ”going where no one has gone before?”
The story finds the X-Men traveling to the 23rd century, where they team up with Trek‘s Captain Kirk and his crew to battle a mutant hybrid of X-Men arch foe Proteus and Kirk’s former best friend Gary Mitchell (featured in the classic ”Where No Man Has Gone Before” episode). ”It was a challenge, putting realistic [human] characters next to ones that are idealized forms,” artist Marc Silvestri says about blending the two diverse looks. ”But it was fun just getting these characters into the same panel.”
If this formula sells well, who knows how many other joint ventures we can expect. ”What if Scully and Mulder [of The X-Files] tried to track down this alien who fell to earth,” muses Lobdell, ”and it turned out to be Superman?” Or what if they found the Terminator? How about the Terminator meets the Predator? Indiana Jones and Tarzan? Frankenstein and the Hulk…