Thursday, May 10, 2012

FEATURE: LoEB Assignment 13: The Ultimate Crossover Event!

Let's jump straight into this week's League of Extraordinary Bloggers assignment. Brian at Cool and Collected asked us:

What pop culture heroes or stories would make for the ultimate crossover–think along the lines of Han Solo meeting up with Firefly’s Mal on a smuggling run.

To paraphrase The Princess Bride, when I was a kid blockbuster superhero movies were called comics. And for comic fans there was nothing quite as awesome as when your favorite characters teamed-up - or better yet, duked it out. And Marvel knew this, which is why they introduced the awesome umbrella title Marvel Team-Up in 1972, which concentrated on pairing-up Marvel's most popular character - Spider-Man - with other members of the Marvel Universe. Sometimes they'd work together against a common foe or - as was common with Marvel stories - they'd be on opposing sides (usually due to misunderstandings or mind control.) Whatever the plot though, you could always be sure of one thing: a great story.

For me, the coolest issue of Marvel Team-Up was Issue 27. The plot - written by the brilliant Len Wein and illustrated by Jim Mooney - is fairly a classic example of the format and sees Spider-Man and The Hulk face-off against each other due to the machinations of master manipulator The Chameleon.

When his plan to break into a jail disguised as Spider-Man fails, The Chameleon is given a second chance when The Hulk - quite literally - drops into his lap. Disguising himself as Hulk's friend Rick Jones, The Chameleon is able to manipulate the Green Goliath into staging the break for him, a move that - naturally - sees Spider-Man stepping in to clear his name and stop the break-in.

This story had everything: Spider-Man, Hulk, an awesome villain in the form of The Chameleon, drama, conflict and pathos. But beyond that, it featured one of the most awesome moments in Spider-Man history: during their epic fight, Spider-Man leaps onto Hulk's shoulders, crosses his ankles under his chin and proceeds to play his head like a bongo.

It's a move so epic that even The Internet doesn't have the power to contain its pure Win Quotient, so here's the follow-up panel in which Hulk casually shrugs Spidey off like ''some kind of web-slinging dandruff!''

So that would be my choice for a crossover movie. I don't care about cross-continuity team-ups or ''what if?'' genre-merging. I just want to see a live-action adaptation of Marvel Team-Up #27 in which Spider-Man sits on Hulk's shoulders and plays his head like a bongo.

You can learn more about this week's assignment - and how you can take part - over at Cool and Collected.

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