“Television: teacher, mother, secret lover!” – Homer Simpson
Growing up with a TV set was a big part of my childhood. From it, I learned about hate, love, humor, fear, and how to brainwash someone into buying a product. At times I would have to go outside and adjust the antenna after the frequent annoying windstorms passed through town. My mom would yell through the window to whether keep turning the antenna, or stop for the best reception. The younger me would be in complete shock to see the technology we have now to view/stream shows through our televisions. Thanks to one of those ways to watch shows (Netflix), I have reconnected with some of my favorite programs that I watched growing up, as well as some modern shows. I decided to make a list of my top five favorite television crossover episodes from the superhero genre.
5. Buffy the Vampire Slayer / Angel
Technically they are not superheroes, but neither are you. Long before Joss Whedon was directing blockbuster superhero films he was directing a simple vampire slayer, Buffy, and her vampire love interest, Angel, who try to save the world and their relationship. Angel first appeared on Buffy the Vampire Slayer, but would leave Sunnydale to start his own business/show in the city of angels. These two would occasionally guest star on each others shows throughout the remainder of their series. It is hard to pick a favorite episode, but when Angel went to Buffy’s mother’s funeral in season five I might have gotten goosebumps.
4. Arrow / Constantine
If you know anything about the programing going on at the CW, you have heard about Arrowverse. The Flash, Supergirl, Legends of Tomorrow are based on characters from DC Comics. Before this shared television universe began, it was about a guy going around and killing bad guys with his bow and arrow, eventually taking up the name Green Arrow. The series, Arrow, has developed stories about Oliver Queen’s life as a vigilante while also having flashbacks of him stuck on an island. One of those episodes was a crossover with NBC’s cancelled Constantine coming into the Arrowverse. John Constantine, who can be found in the Hellblazer comic series, is an exorcist, demonologist, and master of the dark arts. In season four of Arrow, Constantine uses his skills to help Oliver Queen get out of a tricky situation as well as cast out an evil spirit tormenting one of the gang. I was sad to see Constantine cancelled, so it was great to see the character return to television. His wit and unique character made for a great episode on Arrow.
3. He-Man / She-Ra
He-man And The Masters Of The Universe is probably one of the earliest cartoons I can remember watching as a toddler. I loved it as a small child, but have found it to be hilarious in my adult years. Recently I decided to see how She-Ra: Princess Of Power began and to see how she was connected to He-Man. As far as I know, it was my first time seeing how her character began. As I watched the first episode, I was surprised by how good the story was and enjoyed seeing He-Man guest star. It was awesome that it was She-Ra who would rescue He-Man and save the day.
2. Spider-Man / X-Men
I loved this crossover! Two classic Marvel 90s cartoons, Spider-Man: The Animated Series and X-Men, sharing the screen was a brilliant idea. It only made sense to have Spider-Man seek out the wise Charles Xavier, as he began mutating. This two-part episode story arc entertained viewers, showing that some of the X-Men weren’t so open minded with others claiming to be mutants just like them. Spider-Man’s humor in the episodes was great, as were the fight scenes between Spider-Man and the X-Men, and Spider-Man alongside the X-Men.
1. Power Rangers / Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles
Possibly one of the greatest crossover episodes ever and no one saw it. I know I didn’t see this episode when it aired back in 1998. I had already given up on the Power Rangers once Power Rangers Turbo lost my interest in the franchise. Thanks to Netflix, I have recently been re-watching this long-running franchise and have been pleasantly surprised with how interesting the storyline has been. The reason why I call this the greatest crossover is because the episode is true to itself. It was meant to be cheesy/corny, and the characters live up to that. That is what makes the show so endearing. Saban, who was responsible for the production of the Power Rangers up to that point, also created a Ninja Turtles show known as Ninja Turtles: The Next Mutation (1997-1998). The episode appropriately titled “Shell-Shocked” takes place in the season called Power Rangers In Space. The main villain of the season, Astronema, turns the Turtles bad and has them trick the Power Rangers into letting them into their space ship. The Rangers face off against the pizza loving turtles, but catch a break as a space electrical storm brings the turtles’ minds back to reality. This event allows for some epic team-up action and plenty of humor with Michelangelo hitting on the Pink and Yellow Space Rangers. And what is not to love about seeing the Ninja Turtles surf in outer-space? Cowabunga, Rangers!
What do you think of this list? What are your top five superhero television crossover episodes?
Thanks for reading,