With Avengers: Infinity War set to introduce moviegoers to universe-spanning crossovers, there’s only one place left for the movies to go.
It’s multiverse time, baby. It’s time to get Batman and Captain America on the same big-screen.
“But Matt,” you say, “a joint Marvel-DC movie? It could never happen!” In answer, I’d point you toward Sony and Marvel’s Spider-Man deal and Disney’s acquisition of Fox. If there’s enough money to be made, anything’s possible. Even Superman swinging Thor’s hammer.
EVEN. SUPERMAN. SWINGING. THOR’S. HAMMER.
In truth, though, we don’t really need a Justice League/Avengers movie. Because however it shakes out, it ain’t gonna be better than JLA/Avengers.
JLA/Avengers is perfect, and that’s not a word I toss around lightly. The story deftly establishes multiverse-level stakes, puts our heroes in conflict without making either team look bad, and gives each character at least one moment to shine. It plays with the fundamental nature of each universe in non-obvious but completely sensical ways, transforming the story’s initial “action figure mash-up” concept into a compelling narrative.
There’re only two or three writers who could’ve pulled this story off this well, and thankfully Marvel and DC found one of ’em. Kurt Busiek puts on a master class in juggling an insanely large ensemble cast and two universes’ worth of continuity. He answers nearly every question you’d want to see answered in a crossover of this level, and he gives you almost every moment you’d want to see (including the below).
I can think of two or three writers I’d want to write this story, but I can think of only one artist I’d want to draw it. George Perez is the only choice that makes any sense. Movies are movies, but comics are comics. And in JLA/Avengers, Perez shows why the one will never completely replace the other. Justice League couldn’t even completely fix Henry Cavill’s mustache problem. So how do you expect the movies to pull off something like this?
Perez is an iconic artist for both teams, and he draws what’s possibly the work of his career in this book. It’s not all big action set-pieces; Perez also nails the quieter moments sprinkled throughout. But if you pick up a book titled JLA/Avengers, big action set-pieces and loud moments are what you came to see. And boy does Perez deliver.
So do yourself a favor and get a jump on the superhero movies of five years from now (gotta give the DCEU a little room to breathe first). Read JLA/Avengers, and treat yourself to the biggest summer blockbuster of 2023. The book’s a little difficult to find, but trust me. It’s worth the price of admission.