The television event I’ve been waiting for is happening this Tuesday and Wednesday nights. It’s the annual crossover between The Flash and Arrow on The CW.

Last year’s crossover was a huge ratings success, prompting the early renewal of both shows on the network. Will the same thing happen again? I hope so!

Of course, I often go to the Internet to see if others feel as I do. Oddly enough, I’ve come across some people who don’t understand why the programs (and even comics) do this. Well, let me explain!

INCREASED AUDIENCE

Batman, Wolverine, Justice League, Supergirl, Superman, Marvel’s Agent Carter, DC Comics, The Flash, Arrow, The CW, Amalgam, JLA, Kurt Busiek, George Perez, crossover What happens when you have a comic or television crossover? Why, you attract the fans for BOTH products.

Believe it or not, there are people who only watch The Flash or Arrow, but not both. When you get both sets of fans to watch the two shows, it ends up providing more eyeballs. That allows you to sell your advertising for more money. And it is called “show BUSINESS,” after all, as I like to point out.

What you hope will happen when you do this is that some fans of the shows will like your program enough to become a new member of your audience, that they’ll be back for more new episodes. The same thing is true in comics. Events and tie-ins will appear in multiple books in an attempt to get you the reader to spend your hard-earned shekels on their title as well. Based on how often companies do that, it must work and work well!

One of the very earliest crossovers was the formation of the Justice League of America. The folks in charge of DC Comics at that time rightly thought that bringing their heroes together would increase sales with their “lesser” heroes. Oh sure, Superman and Batman would show up occasionally, they reasoned, but by bringing all the other good guys into one place, they’d help them all.

Well, it turned out that Batman and Superman appeared a lot more than originally intended! The book still brought more fans to the other heroes even though the World’s Finest pair was around.

Marvel did the same thing with The Avengers, uniting their biggest names into a team. Hey, other comics companies have also followed suit, most recently Valiant with their Unity group.

THEY’RE MEMORABLE

Batman, Wolverine, Justice League, Supergirl, Superman, Marvel’s Agent Carter, DC Comics, The Flash, Arrow, The CW, Amalgam, JLA, Kurt Busiek, George Perez, crossover As comics fans, we like to see things we haven’t read before. After all, if we’ve been down a road previously, we know what’s likely to happen next. And not many people like to read a story they know the end to.

Some of the crossovers I’ve loved the most happened years ago when Marvel and DC teamed up for an “Amalgam” universe, blending heroes from both companies. For example, Wolverine and Batman were merged together into Dark Claw (left). That was different! Also, the two biggest titles crossed over once, with the X-Men and the Teen Titans teaming up. Wow!

I really enjoyed the chance to see elements from the “Big Two” companies combined. I’d support it if they’d do that again, honestly!

But the biggest and best crossover happened when the JLA and the Avengers met, scripted by Kurt Busiek and drawn by George Perez. I still pull out my copies of the tremendous event and go through it from time to time. I particularly liked the Batman/Captain America sequences. I never realized how similar those two guys were before then!

Again, if they’d ever make Avengers/JLA II, I’d be there with bells on!

WHY THEY DON’T HAPPEN SO OFTEN

Batman, Wolverine, Justice League, Supergirl, Superman, Marvel’s Agent Carter, DC Comics, The Flash, Arrow, The CW, Amalgam, JLA, Kurt Busiek, George Perez, crossover Honestly, crossovers are great because we see heroes in places we wouldn’t see them in regularly, and I really get into that.

But there are reasons some companies don’t want crossovers to take place.

Remember when I said that crossovers can attract new fans? Well, if you’re the group not gaining any new fans while the other folks are, that could be a detriment to your bottom line. Of course, every company wants to get bigger and sell more books and product, so if you end up helping the competition, well, that’s not something some companies want to do.

To be blunt, I understand why Marvel doesn’t approve any crossovers with DC or other companies. There are certain fans who say that “the best DC comic isn’t as good as the worst Marvel.” I don’t buy that point of view, but it’s out there.

If you help your fans become acquainted with other books, you just might not get the same amount of money you had been earning previously. So, you don’t let that happen.

This is why this week’s TV DC superhero crossover is something special for me. It would be something to see Marvel’s Agent Carter team up with Supergirl sometime. Hey, I’d watch that, though I doubt CBS would let it happen!

What crossovers would you like to see? Share them in the space below!

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The Author

Wayne Hall

Wayne Hall

Wayne Hall creates the Wayne's Comics Podcast. He’s interviewed Scott Snyder, Greg Capullo, John Layman, Kyle Higgins, Phil Hester, Jimmy Palmiotti & Justin Gray, David Petersen, Christos Gage, Mike Grell, and Matt Kindt. Each episode also includes reviews, news and previews. On this site each week, he writes his "Comics Portal" column (general comics comments and previews) and reviews comics.

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