Well before there were the MCU and DCEU, comic book fans had been fighting about which of there beloved superhero brands were better. And while those fans may be aware of this, many newer Marvel and DC fans may be shocked to know that not only did they do a few crossover arcs, but that Marvel and DC both share a character: Axel “Access” Asher.
Introduced as a normal teenager living in New York in DC Versus Marvel #1, Axel Asher stumbled upon an old bum in an alley, who was very protective over his cardboard box that was actually a portal between the universes. He soon bestows the powers and responsibilities of protecting it to Axel, dubbing him the next “Access.”
As a result, he became the person in charge of preventing the DC and Marvel universes from merging into one. The universes were originally split when The Brothers Ying and Yang first fought. Fragments of the original, whole universe remained. Access and his powers were one, the cardboard box was another.
Access must move from one universe to the other keeping people from crossing over. If he stays in one place too long, he can cause spontaneous crossovers to occur. Access usually works out situations like this without anyone noticing that he is involved. (This explains how the subsequent crossovers occur. Adventures where heroes appear on a ‘shared Earth’ are believed to be dimensional fluxes where the two universe have begun to merge again. It has also been explained that once Access has restored the timelines, the participants forget about the crossover.)
Axel Asher was originally created as a means of allowing Marvel and DC to collaborate, then immediately retcon it thanks to his Access powers. This resulted in one of the most famous collaborations of all time, known as the Amalgam Comics.
This publication saw characters fight and join forces that have only ever done so in fan fiction. Superman faced Hulk. Captain America vs Batman. There was a lot of amazing stuff that came about as a result. Ego definitely got in the way though. While ballots were cast for deciding who should win when characters from each side faced off, silly stipulations ended up ruining some of the fun. Superman and Batman were not allowed to lose their fights. So Superman ends up beating Hulk and Batman and Captain America get lost in the sewers in their fight, eventually giving up looking for each other.
They didn’t simply fight each other though, as characters were also merged into single entities. Some of the coolest included Dark Claw (Batman/Wolverine), Super-Soldier (Captain America/Superman), and Shatterstarfire (Shatterstar/Starfire)
At the end of the collaboration, Access managed to separate the Brothers with the help of Amalgam’s heroes and the shards he had planted earlier.
It is hard to imagine this crossover, or the character of Access in general, ever making its way to the big screen. It certainly isn’t impossible though, considering we’ve seen two studios in Marvel and Sony work together before. Hell, it probably won’t be long till Disney just ends up buying them all, so sit back and relax, as we may see DC and Marvel together before the century is over.