Donny Cates teases a crisis across multiple comic universes in Crossover #1 - spoilers

Crossover #1
(Image credit: Geoff Shaw (Image Comics))

This week's much-anticipated Crossover #1 from writer Donny Cates and artists Geoff Shaw, Dee Cunniffe, and John J. Hill expands on the title's simple premise of a world where fictional superheroes have crossed into reality with a hint at how the title's classic comic book premise of a meeting of heroes might come to fruition.

And to say the tease could be hinting at something big might be the understatement of all understatements…

Spoilers ahead for Crossover #1

In the world of Crossover, a portal opened over the city of Denver, Colorado in 2017, with all manner of fictional superheroes coming through and engaging in an ongoing, unending battle that decimated the city and its population.

Though the heroes are not specifically named, Superman is name-checked in the narrative captions, alongside a seeming analog character appearing in the art.

(Image credit: Image Comics)
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With one of the heroes having erected a forcefield around Denver some time since, knowledge about what's going on inside and what the superheroes are doing is limited, and people are trapped inside. As a result, superheroes are hated, with superhero comic books having been burned en masse.

(Image credit: Image Comics)
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Still, comic book shops exist, dealing in superhero comics that survived the purges. It's in one of these shops that protagonist Ellie works, indulging her love of superheroes (especially Invincible) despite having lost her parents in Denver. One day, while the shop is being protested by anti-superhero zealots, a young girl from a comic book world is discovered in the shop.

The zealots turn into an angry mob, trying to get ahold of the girl, who has somehow escaped the force field around Denver. As Ellie and her boss think about how to escape the store and save the girl, Ellie asks how she got out of Denver. The little girl says she was evacuated by a man who helps people get out – but she can't recall his name.

Instead offering to draw a picture, Ellie and her boss are taken aback by her depiction of her rescuer. Clad in blue with an apparent red 'S' on his chest, the girl appears to have drawn a crude rendition of Superman himself.

To drive the point home, Ellie recognizes the drawing as a symbol of "hope" - which is the Kryptonian meaning of Superman's S-shield, as first introduced in 2004's Superman: Birthright (opens in new tab) by Mark Waid and Leinil Yu.

The idea of Superman crossing over with an Image series may seem far-fetched, but it's happened before. Superman and Savage Dragon crossed over twice in a pair of one-shots titled Superman/Savage Dragon: Metropolis (1999) and Superman/Savage Dragon Chicago (2002). He also crossed over with Top Cow hero the Darkness. 

Could the title 'Crossover' go deep enough to cross company lines? That question may be answered when Crossover #2 comes out on December 9.

You think this is crazy? How about Charles Barkley dunking on Godzilla? Check out our list of the craziest comic book crossovers of all time.

I've been Newsarama's resident Marvel Comics expert and general comic book historian since 2011. I've also been the on-site reporter at most major comic conventions such as Comic-Con International: San Diego, New York Comic Con, and C2E2. Outside of comic journalism, I am the artist of many weird pictures, and the guitarist of many heavy riffs. (They/Them)