It’s said that you can connect any actor living or dead to Kevin Bacon through six connections. Go ahead and try, we’ll wait. Spider-Man is the Kevin Bacon of the comics industry. Spider-Man has teamed up with virtually everyone in the Marvel Universe, but he has also teamed up with countless non-Marvel characters. Submitted here (in no particular order) are 10 of Spider-Man’s oddest team-ups or crossovers.
The Dallas Cowboys and Spider-Man in “Danger In Dallas”. In 1983, Spider-Man teamed up with the Dallas Cowboys to fight the Ringmaster and his Circus of Crime. This was actually the 3rd of 5 comics that were given away free to readers of the Dallas Times Herald in the early 1980’s. Issue #1 had Spidey and the Hulk fighting the Kingpin and Sandman in “Pipeline to Peril”. The Hulk and Spidey return in issue #2 with the Dallas Cowboy Cheerleaders guest starring in “Southwest Showdown”. “Christmas in Dallas”, the 4th installment has Spider-Man fighting the Kingpin in a holiday special. The final issue was also a holiday special in which Spider-Man, Iceman, and Firestar see the Dallas Ballet Nutcracker.
In “Danger In Dallas”, Peter Parker is travelling to Dallas with J. Jonah Jameson, inventor Stanley Mudge, and Mudge’s son Mark. Mudge has invented an anti-gravity device and is soon targeted by the Circus of Crime who seek it. Spidey teams up with the Cowboys to foil the Ringmaster’s plans. The book features cameos of Cowboy stars Tony Dorsett, Randy White, Danny White, and coach Tom Landry.
In the 1990’s Spider-Man teamed up with a number of Image Comics properties. In Spider-Man/Gen13, Spider-Man travels to San Diego to cover a concert for the Daily Bugle. While there, he runs afoul of Glider, a super-powered mercenary who is after Gen13. Glider gets the drop on Spidey and he’s knocked unconscious. Luckily Gen13 happens to be in attendance at the concert and are able to rush to his rescue.
Spider-Man also teamed up with Backlash (a member of Team 7 and StormWatch who had his own solo series from 1994-1997) to fight Venom and Backlash villain Pike in Backlash/Spider-Man #1-2. Spider-Man teamed up with Youngblood’s Badrock to fight Mysterio in Spider-Man/Badrock #1-2.
Marvel & Image Comics were involved in a crossover that wasn’t completely endorsed by the powers that be that featured Spider-Man and Howard the Duck teaming up with Savage Dragon and Destroyer Duck. Marvel Team-Up (1996) #5 and Savage Dragon/Destroyer Duck featured two sides of the same story with the “visiting” heroes always appearing obstructed or in shadow.
In 2005, Marvel and Image Comics again crossed over as Robert Kirkman brought his super-hero creation Invincible to Marvel Team-Up (2004) #14. Kirkman was writing Marvel Team-Up at the time and jokingly suggested to Tom Breevort that Invincible show up. Breevort loved the idea and Joe Quesada quickly signed off it. During a routine battle between Spider-Man and Doctor Octopus, a dimensional portal opens up and Invincible emerges. Spider-Man and Invincible team-up to fight Doc Ock and Invincible throws Ock a great distance from the scene. Spidey brings Invincible to Avengers Tower and Invincible explains that he has been fighting Angstrom Levy and that Levy is currently bouncing Invincible around various dimensions. During the conversation, Doc Ock is found and Spidey and Invincible rush off to fight him. After defeating him, a portal appears and Invincible flies in. Spidey attempts to follow him, but the portal closes cutting his webline. The story is continued (minus Spider-Man) in Invincible #33.
Stan Lee Meets the Amazing Spider-Man To celebrate Stan Lee’s 65th year with Marvel, Marvel published a handful of Stan Lee Meets… comics. The list included Dr. Doom, Dr. Strange, Silver Surfer, the Thing and of course, argubably Stan Lee’s most famous creation: Spider-Man. In the first story (penned by Stan Lee himself), Stan is settling in for the evening baking superhero cookies. Spider-Man appears and climbs in his window to complain to Stan that all he ever does is fight villains and never receives the proper credit for saving the day. Stan gives him a pep-talk and sends him on his way. Stan reflects on how much money he would lose if Spidey didn’t continue his crime fighting. Interestingly, this is not the first comic to have Spider-Man and Stan Lee share page space, but more on that in our next comic. The second story (written by Joss Whedon) revolves around an inter-dimensional Comic-Con. A comics vendor is stunned to learn that no one outside of his dimension has heard of Stan Lee. After asking around a bit, he runs into Stan Lee and learns that while there are many amazing comic creators there is only one Stan Lee.
Live from New York, it’s Saturday Night! In Marvel Team-Up #74 (October 1978), Peter Parker had scored a pair of tickets to Saturday Night Live. Arriving at the show late, Peter and Mary Jane are jostled by a man and his spidey-sense tingles, warning him of danger. Peter escorts MJ to their seats and settles in as Don Pardo introduces the evening’s host-Stan Lee! Within moments, the show is attacked by the Silver Samurai who is seeking a ring-a ring that has magically bonded itself to John Belushi. The rest of the SNL crew (including Dan Akroyd, Jane Curtin, Bill Murray, Gilda Radner, and Lorne Michaels) and Stan Lee try to keep the live show going for the audience while the Silver Samurai and his goons battle Spider-Man and the SNL crew backstage.
Marvel no longer retains the rights to the Saturday Night Live characters and thus this issue has not been reprinted since it’s initial release.
There is also potentially another “odd” crossover contained in this issue as two older members of the audience identify themselves as Statler and Waldorf. Longtime fans of the Muppet Show will recognize them as the balcony dwelling theater critics.
1976 saw the “Greatest Superhero Team-Up of All Time” as Spider-Man found himself teaming up with Superman in Superman vs. the Amazing Spider-Man. This was the first time that Marvel and DC Comics crossed their characters over and only the second time the two publishers worked together. In 1975, they produced MGM’s Marvelous World of Oz. This book features Lex Luthor and Doctor Octopus meeting in federal prison and plotting the downfall of their respective arch nemesis. The heroes first meet in their civilian IDs at a press conference. Lois Lane and Mary Jane are kidnapped by Luthor and in the obligatory misunderstanding phase of the team-up, Spidey and Superman fight after Superman mistakenly thinks Spider-Man is behind the kidnapping.
The two heroes would again team-up in 1981 in Superman and Spider-Man where the two title heroes join with the Incredible Hulk and Wonder Woman to fight Doctor Doom and the Parasite.
Spider-Man would also team-up with Batman in 1995’s Spider-Man and Batman: Disordered Minds and 1997’s Batman/Spider-Man.
Amazing Spider-Man: A Meal To Die For. Super-heroes have to eat and luckily J. Jonah Jameson throws away a pair of tickets to a filming of Kitchen Warriors. Peter snags the tickets and invites his girlfriend Carlie along. The pair arrives at the secret location and are paired with celebrity chef Eli Kirshstein from Bravo Network’s Top Chef! In a humorous side touch, the secret ingredient is revealed to be octopus. Eli begins preparing the octopus for Peter and Carlie when Eli discovers that someone has tampered with the octopus. He reveals this information to Peter and Carlie. They notice that everyone else is paralyzed. Peter, sensing trouble, runs off in the nick of time. Carlie and Eli pretend to be paralyzed as Mysterio appears to rob the crowd. Spider-Man appears and along with Carlie and Eli’s assistance quickly foils Mysterio’s plan. The issue ends with Pete and Carlie seeking out a pizza place, hoping no super-villains attack.
This digital only comic was released in 2011 and is available on both the Marvel Comics app (free) and Marvel Unlimited.
In 2009, in conjunction with President Barack Obama’s inauguration Marvel Comics had the President guest star with Spider-Man in Amazing Spider-Man #583. Peter is covering the inauguration for the Daily Bugle when the President-Elect arrives. Moments later a second President-Elect arrives. In the confusion, Peter changes into Spider-Man and confronts the two men, asking them Barack Obama trivia. Discovering who the true President-Elect is, Spidey unmasks the Chameleon and the Secret Service arrests him. President-Elect Obama declares himself a Spidey fan and Spider-Man goes off to watch the inaguration from the Washington Memeorial.
In a digital-only prologue to the story, Peter is late to the inauguration and discovers he has misplaced his press credentials. Using his abilities, he sneaks into the area, but is spotted by the Secret Service. Fortunately, Senator John McCain recognizes Pete and vouches for him.
In the world of Ren & Stimpy, Powdered Toast Man is the closest thing they have to a super-hero. Powdered Toast Man is the mascot of Ren & Stimpy’s favorite breakfast cereal. One morning the pair discover that there is no Powdered Toast for breakfast. and we quickly discover that Powdered Toast Man has been “injected with a yeast infection by his arch-nemesis, Dr. Dough-Naught!” Spider-Man quickly appears to help the pair out. This comic is filled with really bad puns (Walloping Web Snappers! Cereal Offenders!) but it does represent the second time that our friendly neighborhood web slinger is written by Dan Slott; the first being “To Bounce or Not to Bounce” in New Warriors Annual #1.
The Ren & Stimpy Show #6 is lovingly adapted into a motion comic in this YouTube video.
Red Sonja was created by Roy Thomas and Barry Windsor Smith in February 1973 in Conan the Barbarian #23. The She-Devil with a Sword often dueled with Kulan Gath, an ancient sorcerer. When Kulan Gath’s spirit inhabits a museum security guards body in Marvel Team-Up #79 (March 1979), Spider-Man and Mary Jane Watson are present. MJ picks up a sword during the fight between Spider-Man and the Gath-possessed guard and is instantly replaced by Red Sonja. Again, because they have to, the two heroes fight because of a misunderstanding (that and they don’t speak the same language). Eventually, Red Sonja and Spider-Man team up to defeat Gath.
In a nod to the Superman vs. the Amazing Spider-Man crossover, a “mild-mannered reporter for a great metropolitan TV network” appears at the Daily Bugle Christmas party that takes place in this issue.
Red Sonja and Spider-Man would team up again in 2007 in the Spider-Man/Red Sonja 5 issue limited series co-published by Marvel and Dynamite Comics. Their previous encounter is referenced and this time Spidey and Red Sonja team up to fight Kulan Gath and Venom. Once again MJ is replaced by a displaced Red Sonja.