Method Man: “It’s you.”
Luke Cage: (ecstatic) “No man, it’s you! Oh man, P.L.O. Style was my joy back in the day! Sweet Christmas.” – Luke Cage “Soliloquy of Chaos” (Season 1, Episode 12)
Celebrities and superheroes have always been intertwined. Republic Pictures star Tom Tyler brought Captain Marvel to the silver screen in 1941, setting the stage for today’s star-studded superhero franchises. Where the 90’s superhero movies were vehicles for celebs like Shaquille O’Neal and Schwarzenegger, modern flicks have Oscar-level talent. That leads to a lot of celebrity superhero stars, but we are after the cringe-inducing mashups.
What happens when the superstars meet the superheroes? Let’s find out.
5. Eminem meets The Punisher
Eminem: “You don’t (pistol whips The Punisher) wanna #%@^ with Shady (wham) cause Shady (wham) will #%^*in’ KILL YOU! (empties his gun into The Punisher) Damn, that was easy.” – Punisher/Eminem #1
Eminem teamed up with Marvel in 2009 while promoting his new album Relapse. They struck a deal where Eminem would cosplay as The Punisher for a magazine cover if Marvel published a comic crossing the two over.
Following a concert, The Punisher guns down Eminem’s friends and tries to kill him. Eminem runs into an old friend called Barracuda, who happens to be an enemy of the Punisher. Barracuda helps knock out The Punisher and double crosses Eminem.
Barracuda reveals that the Parents Music Resource Center hired him to kill Eminem for corrupting children. As we all know, rap is evil but hiring an assassin to kill a rapper is A-O.K.! It turns out the Punisher was trying to save Eminem and only killed his friends because they shot first.
Eminem manages to escape and finds a chainsaw, which he uses to kill Barracuda. The Punisher considers killing Eminem, but decides to go slaughter the PMRC instead. Does this sound like Eminem’s fanfiction to anyone else?
4. Spider-Man meets Saturday Night Live
John Belushi: (dressed as a samurai) “That’s it, buster! You’ve pushed me around long enough! Now it’s my turn! (screams and attacks the Silver Samurai)
Silver Samurai: “Your courage is admirable, actor. A pity you haven’t the power to back it up!”- Marvel Team-Up #74
Eminem wasn’t Marvel’s first transgression.
In 1978, Marvel published a crossover between Saturday Night Live and Spider-Man. A villain called Silver Samurai attacks a studio where SNL is being broadcast from to retrieve a ring John Belushi is using as a prop. Luckily, Spider-Man is in attendance and teams up with the show’s cast to stop the Samurai and his goons.
I swear half of our list sounds like fanfiction, but they’re all real. If you want more on this weird crossover, check out our list of Spider-Man Movies Marvel Should Never Make.
3. Superman vs Muhammad Ali
Alien: (backhands Muhammad Ali) “Silence! You will speak when spoken to!”
Ali: ”Oh, my… (punches the alien) you are in trouble!”
Clark Kent: “Er… excuse me! I’ll summon the proper authorities.”
Ali: “You do that, Kent. I’ll watch this Trekkie and see if he’d like some more!” – Superman vs. Muhammad Ali
DC Comics trailed Marvel as usual into the celebrity crossover business. The company published Superman vs Muhammad Ali in 1978 as part of their All-New Collector’s edition series.
Clark Kent and Lois Lane decide to interview Muhammad Ali, who is visiting Metropolis. During the interview, aliens invade Earth to challenge humanity’s champion for control of the planet. Superman accepts the challenge, but Ali claims he should be the champion because Superman isn’t human. The aliens declare that a de-powered Superman will fight Ali and the winner will challenge their champion.
Ali trains Superman in boxing, but they can’t finish training in time. Despite a good showing, Ali demolishes Superman because this book is promoting the champ. Ali fights the alien champion while a not-too-battered-to-spy Superman infiltrates the mothership.
Ali defeats the superpowered champion because it’s his book. Superman destroys the fleet. Ali meets up with Superman after the battle and reveals that he knows Superman’s secret identity. He also says that both are Earth’s champions. I still get a little dizzy from the sugary overload thinking about it.
2. Obama meets everyone
Obama: “Contrary to the rumors that you’ve heard, I was not born in a manger. I was actually born on Krypton and sent here by my father, Jor-El, to save the planet Earth.” – Al Smith dinner 2008
Who knew President Obama liked comics? During the 2008 presidential election, it was revealed that he is a comic fan who collects Spider-Man and Conan the Barbarian. Marvel released a Spider-Man comic where the Webhead saves Obama from an assassination attempt. The comic was a massive hit and led to numerous copycats.
Devil’s Due Publishing released a well intentioned, but horribly named series called Barack the Barbarian, re-imagining Obama as a Conan ripoff. DC featured Obama in several series as the POTUS and even an alternate universe Superman. I guess he was telling the truth.
The fad was finally killed by Dynamite Entertainment’s Army of Darkness: Ash Saves Obama because nothing kills fads like causing Bruce Campbell’s zombie slayer to interact with them.
1. Batman Wall Climb Cameos
Batman: “Be careful not to get picked up. Chief O’Hara can be very tough on aliens incognito.”
Col. Klink: (taken aback) “Incognito? With my monocle?”
Robin: “Well, say hello to Colonel Hogan for us.”
Col. Klink: (miffed) It’s a wonder he hasn’t tried to borrow your Bat-Rope to pull another one of his escapes! (slams the window)” – Batman “It’s How You Play The Game” (Season 2, Episode 26)
The 60’s Batman show is infamous for its wall climbing scenes. Batman and Robin would scale a building’s side while discussing the episode’s events. Celebrities sometimes popped out of a window to talk with the Dynamic Duo.
The cameos ran the gamut from Jerry Lewis and Dick Clark to Sammy Davis Jr. and Suzy Knickerbocker. You might see Robin discuss music with Don Ho or Batman arguing about art with Edward G. Robinson. And that’s before you include actors appearing as their characters.
Van Williams and Bruce Lee famously cameoed as The Green Hornet and Kato. Detective Sam Stone (Howard Duff), comedian Bill Dana as astronaut Jose’ Jimenez, Nazi war criminal Colonel Klink (Werner Klemperer), The Addams Family’s Lurch (Ted Cassidy), and even Santa Claus (Andy Devine) all appeared.
The final cameo was the strangest. Entrepreneur Cyril Lord sold several rugs to Batman producer William Dozier and offered a discount for a cameo. Lord appeared as the Carpet King and gained some publicity from the cameo. It must have been very confusing for fans who hadn’t heard of The Carpet King. Like me. And probably you.
What is your favorite celebrity superhero crossover? Let us know in a comment.