It’s finally all coming together on Friday where all the superheroes from the Marvel Cinematic Universe clash to bring down one of the galaxy’s biggest threats. Since its introduction in 2008, Marvel and Disney have made building universe look easy, but many modern studios have proven it’s an impossible task to pull off competently. Before Marvel and DC there were many established Extended and Shared, and if you’re looking for a break from Marvel, these are five you might love.
5. The Hanna Barbera Universe
The Hanna Barbera clans have crossed over in to one another series so much that you’d have kind of a hard time remembering them all. The Flintstones met the Jetsons in a famous movie crossover, Scooby Doo crossed over with Josie and the Pussycats in one of the more notable Scooby Doo movies. There was also the Wacky Racers which featured a massive crossover of Hanna Barbera characters racing through an endless course and scheming against one another.
There’s also the contemporary Johnny Bravo series, where Bravo crosses over with Scooby Doo in his own mystery, as well as countless movies with Yogi Bear where he joined forces with folks like Snaggletooth, Auggie Doggy, Quick Draw McGraw, Top Cat, and Huckleberry Hound, just to name a few. It’s a nigh endless series of meetings that’s a ton of fun.
4. Godzilla Universe
Godzilla is the king of crossover and meetings. Godzilla fights King Kong, he meets Mothra, Ultraman, Ghidora, Mechagodzilla, they all show up in each other’s movies, and yes even 1998’s Godzilla now known as ‘Zilla shows up in a Godzilla movie to get his ass kicked by the genuine article.
There are a bunch of monster mashes including “Destroy All Monsters” and “Giant Monsters All Out Attack.” Godzilla is very well known for sharing movies with a gallery of kaijus that have carved out their own fan bases, and we’ll be getting a modern variation very soon in America with Kong meeting Godzilla, and eventually all the other monsters we know and love.
3. The Full Moon Universe
There’s the full “Puppet Master” movie series which features a gallery of murderous puppets, all of whom share the same mythos, and they’re indirectly connected to “Goobers” about small monsters. They’re all indirectly tied in to earlier horror films “Demonic Toys” which was supposed to set the stage for an all out cinematic Puppet Wars movie, but that never panned out.
However the Puppet Master Puppets and the Demonic Toys did inevitably cross over cinematically. The inch high futuristic cop “Dollman” also crosses over with the Demonic Toys to do battle with them. There’s also 1999’s “Planet Patrol,” centering on a group of alien fighting teenagers with special powers, which crosses over in to 1998’s “Kraa! The Sea Monster,” a giant monster movie where they appear and are introduced—for some reason.
2. The DC Animated Universe
It all began with “Batman,” which then led to “Superman: the Animated Series.” Shortly after was the “Batman/Superman Adventures” where Superman and Batman eventually crossed paths in to a movie, and would guest star on each other’s shows. After that ended, there was “Batman Beyond” where a young Batman is mentored by an elderly Bruce Wayne. Superman and the future Justice League inevitably appear for a two part episode involving Starro.
After “Batman Beyond” ended, there was the combination of all universes “Justice League” and then the expansion featuring most of the DC Universe with “Justice League Unlimited. Branching out further, there’s “Static Shock” where Jon Stewart, Batman and Robin, Superman, and the Justice League all appear. Static is given official canon status appearing in a huge time traveling arc in “Justice League Unlimited.” And if you want to cover the whole field, there’s “The Zeta Project,” a spin off of “Batman Beyond,” where Terry McGinnis’ Batman appears for an episode.
1. The Universal Monster Movie Verse
The Abbot and Costello movies alone feature them meeting Dracula, Frankenstein’s Monster, The Wolfman, and the Invisible Man. The Universal movies not only have crossovers but battles with their signature monsters. There’s “Frankenstein Meets the Wolfman,” along with “Dracula’s Daughter,” and “House of Frankenstein” which brings together Dracula, The Wolfman, The Hunchback, and Frankenstein’s Monster once again. There’s also “House of Dracula,” which rallies Frankenstein’s Monster, The Wolfman, and Dracula once more.
To a much lesser extent—there’s 2004’s “Van Helsing” which teams Van Helsing, Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde, Dracula, Dracula’s Brides, Frankenstein’s Monster, The Hunchback, The Wolfman in one embarrassing movie. In 1987, Fred Dekker brought fans the unofficial monster mash “Monster Squad” featuring very very close facsimile’s of Van Helsing, The Gillman, Dracula, Wolfman, Dracula’s Brides, The Mummy, and Frankenstein’s Monster batting horror movie loving teenagers in eighties suburbia.