Random Retrospective #2 – DC/Marvel: All Access #4

Hey, remember the days back in the mid to late 90s when DC and Marvel were still friends and willing to do some cross-company crossovers? There was the Silver Surfer/Green Lantern one-shot and I think another around the same time before the big event of DC VS MARVEL . . . or MARVEL VS DC, whichever way round you want to put it . . . which appeared in 1995.

That was successful enough that, inevitably, there was a sequel, DC/MARVEL: ALL ACCESS and it’s the fourth and final issue of that series that crops up in my Random Retrospective this week.

Access has been trying to find out which of the heroes or villains from the respective DC and Marvel universes have been trying to bring back the Amalgam Universe, the interim state that DC VS MARVEL created temporarily. All evidence points to Dr Strange (who insists he’s innocent) and when Access takes the JLA to tackle Strange, he’s protected by the X-Men . . . which of course leads to a big fight.

A nice touch is Wonder Woman and Storm remembering their previous encounter in DC VS MARVEL amidst all the other battles going on that take up a good portion of the book until it’s revealed that, though he was unaware of it, Dr Strange was hiding the series villain all along:

The magician who tried to make the Amalgam universe permanent is up to his old tricks once more, trying to return what for him is the real world. He recreates Amazon from Wonder Woman and Storm but as none of the original pairings are are around, he makes the best of what he has:

Dr Strange still exists within Strangefate and whisks Access to safety, bringing him to some astral plane where Access is able to rescue him and allow him to return and confront Strangefate. The amalgamations are undone and Dr Strangefate is dealt with in a humane manner:

The globe is given to Access to look after, the heroes shakes hands and return to their respective universes and promptly forget about each other.

It was good fun on the whole, with Access appearing once more in UNLIMITED ACCESS before disappearing into the gap between the two publishers lawyers, I guess. I’m not aware of any other collaboration between DC and Marvel following this with the exception of JLA/Avengers that was something of a long time dream project for all involved. Access cropped up as a cameo in an issue of GREEN LANTERN that was being written by Ron Marz (the co-writer on DC VS MARVEL and sole writer of DC/MARVEL: ALL ACCESS) but apart from that, he has disappeared.

100 Issues Ago September 2013

Teased for months with the Trinity War crossover in the JUSTICE LEAGUE titles, the first big, line-wide crossover event since the launch of the New 52 landed – FOREVER EVIL, where the bad guys would win and take out the League, leaving the handful of apparently honourable bad guys (principally the Flash’s Rogues) to strike back and take over.

Of course, that’s all months down the line – this issue is simply the aftermath of the arrival of Earth-Three’s Crime Syndicate where they take out the world’s communications grid, and assemble Earth’s villains as their Secret Society, their army to take over the world. Oh, and they unmask Nightwing on live TV for . . . reasons, I guess. Maybe showing they can find anyone and everyone connected to the heroes, so telling them not to bother to retaliate.

It’s grim, and dark, and not much fun at all.

Elsewhere, the rest of my DC titles were all about showcasing the villains – each series had issues of x.1 or x.2 this month where the heroes were side-lined and their bad guys got the spotlight because of FOREVER EVIL.

Outside of DC it was still FATALE from Image and THE STAR WARS from Dark Horse, the adaptation of George Lucas’ original rough draft.