Friday, November 8, 2013

1980-ish: Batman and the X-men

Continuing the trend of Marvel riffing on Batman, here are a few scans from an April Fool's gag by the fine folks at

Back in 2009, Chris Claremont was about to start his reboot series X-men Forever, an alternate reality series that purportedly told the story of what would have happened to the X-men if Claremont hadn't left Marvel back in 1991. At the same time, Marvel and DC that allegedly struck a deal that allowed one hero and one villain to switch universes. DC got Spider-Man, while Marvel ended up with Batman and the Joker.

So enthused about this development, Claremont decided to retell all his old X-men stories, with Batman as part of the team. Marvel agreed, so nothing prevented this from seeing the light of day.

In another surprise move, Claremont divulged his entire five year outline for the Bat-rebooted X-men. Chris figured that given how quickly his books got cancelled these days, he might as well get the story he planned to tell out there. In an interesting break from the source material, it wasn't Thunderbird who died during the team's second mission, but Cyclops... Which gave Batman a more than valid reason to become the X-men's new leader.

With the Batman in charge, there would be a few remarkable changes. For one, having the world's greatest detective on your team helped Wolverine learn every last bit of his origin decades before he'd normally would have... and the X-men's costumes got a subtle redesign as well. See if you can spot it.

In this reality, Jean Grey would sacrifice her life to the Phoenix entity in order to save her teammates as well. The Phoenix would eventually be corrupted by the Hellfire Club, just like she'd been in the regular 616-continuity. This time around, it wasn't Jason Wyngarde who seduced her... but rather an old, familiar foe.

The Joker had used his hallucinogens to sway Phoenix to his side. He used her to join the Hellfire Club, whose members in Claremont's revised universe no longer took their names from chess pieces, but from a deck of playing cards. This ensured that while there could be numerous Kings, Queens, Jacks and Aces, there would only be one Joker. Still, the crown prince of crime wasn't able to contain the cosmic force of life and death for long...  Phoenix became Dark Phoenix and threatened to consume all of creation.

Luckily, the Joker doesn't like to get upstaged and he killed her with a magic crowbar, resulting in this unforgettably reimagined cover.

And that's all she wrote for Batman and Outsid... X-men. A fun spoof I actually would have liked to see for real. If only to witness a team up between Arcade and the Joker who join force to ensure a visit to Murder World will truly be the t(h)reat of a lifetime... 


  1. Bwah-ha-ha-ha!!! God, that was too damn funny!

  2. This would have been the greatest thing in comics!

  3. Hi
    That is so cute, I would of never thought of that. I am definitely making me one or maybe a few! Lol



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