Since the alphabet is the building block of our language, the Powet Alphabet is the building block of what makes us geeks.

Wherever Batgirl is, she's NAKED What do geeks like even more than our geeky pleasures? Seeing those geeky pleasures mashed together into incomprehensible new shapes, with ourselves in the middle of this new, geek-love sandwich of awesome. The fact that these things may not exist in the same “universe” (or owned by the same company) is hardly an issue! Pun intended.

Titillated? Read on!

I would be hard-pressed to identify the first crossovers in fiction. Suffice to say, in my own experience the most pervasive — and probably the most consistently sacrilegious as well — come from comic books.

Crisis After Crisis… (AKA, “It’s always something…)

Crisis on Infinite Earths #7 The ultimate mash-ups have come about every 20 years with DC Comic’s various Crises — most specifically 1985’s Crisis on Infinite Earths. Before this, it was bizarre to see Batman and Superman playing intergalactic ball billiards, let alone see them on the same printed page. In fact, the world each inhabits almost precludes the other’s existence for their particular milieus to be effective. DC writers decided to take this literally, and explain that there is (or — cough — WAS) a vast array of alternate Earths in a massive multiverse, each tailored to allow their particular heroes free reign and story self-consistency. So what happens if we slam them all together?

Sometimes wonderful things, like Lex Luthor enjoying tea with Darkseid on Apokalips. Sometimes it’s shit that doesn’t make any sense, like Batman breathing in space, or the living embodiment of death coming back to . Sometimes it would lead to unintended yet disastrous consequences, like if Galactus and Unicron ever met. But clearly that’s ludicrous. (OR IS IT? Marvel published the original 80-issue Transformers comics, but unlike its other properties did not seem like it took place in the good ol’ 616. Maybe.)

This sensibility even bleeds over into comic book movies: the Joel Schumacher Batman films made oblique references to Metropolis, and the entire stable of Marvel Studios films is one giant experiment in shared-universe movie making.

But speaking of DC and Marvel, what would it be like if they somehow got together?

Amalgam Comics

Secret Crisis of the Infinity Hour #7 We found out in 1996, when DC and Marvel, where many of their roughly-equivalent characters were quite literally mashed up together into new identities: Super-Solder (Superman, Captain America) and his arch-enemy the Green Skull (Lex Luthoer, the Red Skull), Doctor Strange-Fate (Doctor Strange, Doctor Fate), Dark Claw (Batman, Wolverine), and… Spider-boy (Spiderman, Superboy (the clone one))? Not that I remember much of that nonsense. Perhaps the sweetest thing to come out of it would be the unrequited love of Robin (Tim Drake) and Jubilee, and the only thing I really remember.

The rest of the story was an exercise in answering the oft-asked geek question: “Who would win in a fight?” Some of the answers were (ostensibly) determined by mail-in ballot (this was before the Internet was a big thing, kids), while the outcomes of others were reserved for story purposes. I think there are people still crying to this day that Superman beat the Hulk.

TV Shows

This is a whole mess that I’m almost afraid to get into.

There are the obvious ones: shows made by the same creators (often, but not always, airing on the same network) tend to share characters were possible… and sometimes not possible.

  1. Marrying comics and TV, Batman: The Brave and the Bold teams up Diedrich Bader against many other superheros from the DC stable, past and present (or past versions of present characters, or present version of past charactors, or– my head asplode). Come to think of it, Batman is in most crossovers. I wouldn’t be surprised if he turns up in the Avengers movie.
  2. Angel was a spinoff from Buffy: The Vampire Slayer, but even when the latter moved to the WB (Angel would soon follow suit), Joss Whedon maintained ties between the two through oblique references where direct crossovers were not possible.
  3. David E. Kelly created many shows in his time: Picket Fences, Ally McBeal, Boston Public, The Practice, and Boston Legal. Most of the series took place in Boston, and — despite being on different networks — there was at least one notable crossover between Ally McBeal and The Practice. The final season of The Practice also launched Boston Legal. Kelley also liked to re-use actors. A LOT.
  4. Most prime time sitcoms of the last couple of decades are related, perhaps because similar to David E. Kelly shows most of them take place in New York. Seinfeld, Friends, Mad About You, and many others crossed paths and shared actors
  5. All of the Star Trek series are related to each other, sometimes painfully so. Even the latest Trek film is couched comfortably within the context of the “prime” Star Trek universe. Leonard McCoy was in the Next Generation pilot; Spock, Sarek, and Scotty all showed up during the course of the series; and Picard even got to meet Captain Kirk before “bridge on the captain”. DS9’s Captain (then-Commander) Sisko had a personal grudge against Picard, Q AND Vash showed up, and even Will Riker’s doppleganger Tom got some action. Voyager left from DS9 before traveling into the Badlands and getting sent halfway across the Galaxy, then got to tangle with a reincarnated Borg Queen. Enterprise dealt with an ancestor to Data’s creator Doctor Noonian Soong, the Borg that were left back on Earth in the 22nd century from First Contact, and — in a final insult from Brannon Braga — ended up couched between two scenes of TNG’s “The Pegasus

It might help to remember that almost all of TV is really just a dream of an autistic boy from St. Elsewhere, and just leave it at that.


Beast Machines: The Lost Episodes - Episode 17 - Geever and Crawley Aren't Dead Unlike all of the others done for fun and profit, these unsanctioned stories are penned (and increasingly drawn/animated) by fans for fun. Or to annoy you. Or both.

Motivations to write fanfic often have to do with relieving tension viewers feel from their favorite shows — especially tension that the creators have no intention of addressing, and may even delight in continuing to perpetuate. Sometimes fanfic writers are trying to relieve tension that isn’t there at all — or is only there for a very, VERY small number of fans.

Then there are the ones that relieve… sexual tension. These are called “slashfics”, or simply “slash”, or — even more simply “/”. Ever wondered what it would be like if Bea Arthur and Betty White gave in to their obvious sexual tension (I mean, obvious)? How about it Silverbolt and Tarantulas ever got together?

Far more interesting than far-flung stories by armchair philosophers who consider themselves the next William Shakespeare are mashup images done by fans, or professionals who are fans of the various geek mediums. My favorite is a series of “Brave and the Bold: The Lost Issues” comic book covers, which I found not too long ago on, and can unabashedly say was the inspiration for this article (if the title image didn’t already give it away).

So there you have it. How can you get much geekier can you get? I dare you to try; leave a comment!