Intercompany crossover

In comic books, an intercompany crossover is a comic or series of comics where characters that at the time of publication are the property of one company meet those owned by another company. These usually occur in "one-shot" issues or miniseries.
Some crossovers are part of canon. But most are outside of the continuity of a character's regular title or series of stories. They can be a joke, a gag, a dream sequence, or even a "what if" scenario.
Avengers/JLA is in canon, but most Marvel/DC crossovers are non-canon. They include those where the characters live in alternate universes, as well as those where they share the same Earth. Some fans have posited a separate "Crossover Earth" for these adventures. In the earliest licensed crossovers, the companies seemed to prefer shared world adventures. This was the approach for early intercompany crossovers, including 1976's Superman vs. the Amazing Spider-Man and 1981's Superman and Spider-Man. A number of other DC/Marvel adventures take place on a "Crossover Earth", but later intercompany crossovers tend to present the DC and Marvel Universes as alternate realities, bridged when common foes make this desirable, as the interest in overall continuity has become a major part of even crossover comic books.
Characters are often licensed or sold from one company to another, as with DC acquiring such characters of Fawcett Comics, Quality Comics, and Charlton Comics as the original Captain Marvel, Plastic Man and Captain Atom, respectively. In this way, heroes originally published by different companies can become part of the same fictional universe, and interactions between such characters are no longer considered intercompany crossovers.
Although a meeting between a licensed character and a wholly owned character is technically an intercompany crossover, comics companies rarely bill them as such. Likewise, this is the case when some characters in an ongoing series are owned or to some extent controlled by their creators, as with Doctor Who antagonists the Daleks, who are not owned by the UK television network the BBC, even though the character of the Doctor is.

Published crossovers

Golden and Silver Ages

/Marvel Comics intercompany collaboration
, Ross Andru and Dick Giordano.


The concept of intercompany crossovers has also been explored in video games, usually in the form of having one video game company licensing its characters to another.
Early intercompany crossovers in games occurred by taking advantage of licensing for publishing rights. GORF in 1981, produced by Midway, has the missions Astro Battles and Galaxians, which make use of characters and names from Space Invaders and Galaxian, which, at the time of the development of GORF, were licensed to Midway Mfg. In 1992, Tradewest released Battletoads & Double Dragon. At that time, Tradewest owned the rights for publishing of Double Dragon by Technos Japan and Battletoads by Rare. Rare developed the game, while Technos Japan was barely involved in the production.
In 1989, DIC Entertainment produced ', a cartoon show that featured characters and settings from Nintendo franchises and other franchises appearing on Nintendo video game systems, possibly taking advantage of Nintendo's licensing system to publish games. Characters such as Simon Belmont, Dracula, and Alucard from Konami, Mega Man, Dr. Wily, and Dr. Light from Capcom, Malkil of Wizards and Warriors from Rare, and settings from Dragon Warrior/Dragon Quest, Final Fantasy, Burger Time, and Faxanadu appeared in the series.
The 1990 animated series The Power Team had characters from arcade games ported by Acclaim to the NES as well as games to which Acclaim had publishing rights. These games included NARC, Arch Rivals, Kwirk, Wizards & Warriors, and BigFoot.
The first major intercompany crossover properly licensed is the Marvel vs. Capcom series, which originally began in 1994 with
'. Capcom followed this act by teaming up with rival fighting game developer SNK in 1999.
After the successful Capcom/SNK crossovers, many others have appeared since then.
Midway Games' Mortal Kombat vs. DC Universe pitted characters from Midway's Mortal Kombat video game franchise against DC Comics characters Superman, Batman Wonder Woman, The Joker, and others. This game was produced prior to the acquisition of Midway by Warner Bros. Since then, Freddy from A Nightmare on Elm Street appeared in Mortal Kombat and Scorpion appeared in Injustice: God Among Us. Kratos, from Sony's God of War franchise, appeared as an exclusive in the Playstation 3 version of Mortal Kombat.
The games Super Smash Bros. and PlayStation All-Stars Battle Royale were made possible by the "second party" model, in which independent developers work closely with the console maker to ensure exclusivity and quality. In both games, other third parties also appear as guest characters.
In Japan, Namco Bandai and its Banpresto imprint have published the Compati Hero Series and the Super Robot Wars series, both of which feature characters from numerous tokusatsu and anime properties.
The Simpsons has infrequently featured guest appearances from characters owned by other companies, examples include Jay Sherman from Sony Pictures Television's The Critic, Ren and Stimpy, and the Flintstones in a couch gag.