Superman: Okay, here’s one from my Smallville days.
(Takes the straw from the table and pretends to suck it up his nose)
Wonder Woman: Disgusting.
Superman: It’s in my palm. See?
Wonder Woman: I meant the table-top. It’s hideous. Are these cows?
Batman: It’s not the venue. It’s the company.
Whether it’s defending their fortunes or their country, or just having a milkshake at a diner, the heroes, and the villains of all ages, eras, and comic book publications do enjoy having a friend or two by their side. Just to make their nightly activities go a little smoother. Or to share a story with at the end of a long action-packed day.
We’ve seen the usual DC team-ups. The holy trinity of DC Comics, Batman, Superman and Wonder Woman. Then there are the different versions of the Justice League that have arisen over the years, be it the Justice Society of America, or the Justice League International. There’s also on the other end the Injustice League, the Crime Syndicate, the Legion of Doom.
But there are those few select moments where the good guys and bad guys find themselves with the unlikeliest of bedfellows. Like when Batman and Joker had to join forces to take down Owlman in “Game Over for Owlman”, Batman: The Brave and the Bold (2008-2011). Or when the Justice League and Legion of Doom fought side by side during Darkseid’s invasion in the finale of Justice League Unlimited (2004-2006).
So with that in mind, here’s a few DC Universe team-ups that I thought were pretty damn cool.
1. Batman And The Metal MenBatman, Doc Magnus, and the Metal Men, in “Clash of The Metal Men”, Batman: The Brave and The Bold (2008-2011).
The Metal Men debuted in the Silver Age of Comics (1960’s-70’s) as creations of Dr. William Magnus, an expert in robotics and elementals. Doc Magnus had been experimenting for years with the synthesis of chemistry and robotics before creating his masterpiece(s), the Metal Men: Gold, Lead, Mercury, Iron, Platinum, and Tin, humanoid robots with the ability to animate and control pure metal, with individual, independent sentience and a passion for fighting crime and doing good. They have fought side by side the Justice League such as in Final Crisis Issue #1-7 (2008), as well as various individual members, including, but not limited to, Superman and Wonder Woman. In Justice League: Gods and Monsters (2015), an alternate universe in which Superman is the son of General Zod, and Batman is Kirk Langstrom, the Metal Men make another interesting appearance. It was in “Clash of the Metal Men”, Batman: The Brave and The Bold (2008-2011), that we see the Metal Men in their most malleable form fighting alongside the Dark Knight to bring down the notorious “Gas Gang”.
2. Deathstroke And Dr.LightDeathstroke and Dr. Light in Identity Crisis Issue #21.
Deathstroke is Slade Wilson, also known as Slade in Teen Titans (2003-2006). He is a ruthless assassin, a former Army Major, and a former member of the League of Shadows. Even without a weapon in his hand, he is a force to be reckoned with, though his weapon of choice is usually a blade. The original Dr. Light, Arthur Light, is the founder of the Fearsome Five, and a constant thorn in the side of the Justice League. Having failed to ever defeat them, he is seen most frequently fighting the Teen Titans and was referred to as a joke. Though it was discovered that that was not always the case. In Identity Crisis Issue #20-26, foreseeing the enraged reaction of the Justice League to the unsolved murder of Sue Dibny, wife of Ralph Dibny, the Elongated Man, Deathstroke teams up with Dr. Light to battle the incensed heroes.
3. Superman And SinestroSuperman and Sinestro, in Year 2 of Injustice: Gods Among Us.
The man in blue and red needs no introduction, but I’ll still give the cliff notes version. Born on planet Krypton which was destroyed, but not before Super Mom and Dad could send him to Earth, where the atmosphere would grant him superhuman powers. Sinestro was a former member of the Green Lantern Corps, who was often reprimanded for using overt and unnecessary force against the criminals or warlords he fought. On being reproached by the Guardians of the Universe, the creators of the Green Lantern Corps, he broke away and started the Yellow Lantern Corps, whose energies are fueled by the power of fear. He fought numerous times against the Green Lantern Corps as well as the Justice League. In Year 2 of Injustice: Gods Among Us, Superman and his Justice League, including Hal Jordon, though hesitant at first, choose to team up with Sinestro and the Yellow Lantern Corps when the Guardians of the Universe send the Green Lanterns to put an end to Superman’s crusade for justice.
4. Commissioner Jim Godron And BaneBane and Batman, in “Over the Edge”, The New Batman Adventures (1997-1999).
Jim Gordon worked his way to the top of the hero category the old-fashioned way. By solving crimes and fighting for justice as an officer, a detective, and then finally the Commissioner of Police for Gotham City. Though there have been different live-action portrayals of him, Jim Gordon is a good detective, and despite turning a blind eye to the activities of certain bat-clad crusaders to let them do the legwork, he still keeps an ear to the ground, that is, Gotham’s criminal underground. Bane is one of Batman’s greatest adversaries. Even without his constant supply of Venom to give him extraordinary strength and reflexes, Bane is a self-taught expert in most subjects, including the sciences, languages, martial arts, history, and his latest obsession, crime and the Batman. Obsession can be a dangerous thing, especially for an emotional father. In “Over the Edge”, The New Batman Adventures (1997-1999), Commissioner Jim Gordon takes a trip to Arkham Asylum to offer the Man Who Broke The Bat a chance at leniency, if he helps him take down Batman.
5. Harley And Ivy And LivewireHarley, Ivy and Livewire, in “Girls Night Out”, The New Batman Adventures (1997-1999).
Harley and Ivy are the ultimate power couple, having, in fact, once teamed up together to rob Gotham City blind and almost succeeded, defeating the Joker and Batman in the process. The former is the Maid of Mischief, sort-of girlfriend to the Joker, and formidable fighter in her own right. Poison Ivy comes under the super-villain category, having been in an accident that gave her control over plant life and a hyper-immune system. Her dream is to create a plant-animal hybrid capable of defending itself from the cruelty of man and eventually wiping out the species entirely, except the parts she needs. The very sexy Livewire, voiced by Lori Petty, is a villain from Metropolis, who, after an accident caused by an electrical explosion found herself with blue hair, blue lips, and some serious electrokinetic powers, i.e, powers to generate and manipulate electricity. In a crossover between The New Batman Adventures (1997-1999) and Superman: The Animated Series (1996-2000), these two Queens of Crime teamed up with Livewire, fast-talking merciless radio jockey Leslie Willis, turned supervillain, to wreak havoc on Gotham City.
6. Hawkgirl And Solomon GrundyHawkgirl and Solomon Grundy, in “The Terror Beyond”, Justice League: The Animated Series (2002-2004).
Hawkgirl, given name Shayera Hol, is a hero from the planet Thanagar, which consists of humanoid life-forms who sustain by mining the ore of a metal called Nth Metal (Ninth Metal), which has the unusual properties of granting the user the ability to negate gravity. The species is most notable for the giant hawk wings on their backs. Shayera, Hawkgirl, was a lieutenant in the armed forces of her home planet before landing upon Earth, according to Justice League: The Animated Series (2002-2006). Solomon Grundy, in the DC Universe, is a powerful immortal creature, the undead body of one notorious gangster Cyrus Gold, who rose from a swamp believed to have been cursed with dark magic. The magic of the swamp trapped Grundy in an endless loop of death and rebirth from his marshy grave, and destroy any who may come in his path as he searches for gold, the only thing he truly understands and desires. In a two-part episode of Justice League: The Animated Series (2002-2006), entitled “The Terror Beyond”, this combination of villain and hero make a formidable pair and form a powerful bond as they attempt to save the planet from an extra-dimensional being of absolute power known as Ichthultu. Joining them on their adventure is lesser known but one of the more powerful characters, Dr. Fate.
7. Lobo And The Justine LeagueLobo and the Justice League, in “Hereafter”, Justice League: Animated Series (1997-1999).
In another two-part episode (just for the record, all of the stories were two-part or three-part episodes) of Justice League: The Animated Series (2002-2004), entitled “Hereafter”, we see again an unusual pairing. Lobo is a Czarnian, and much like the Man of Steel, the last of his kind. A few other things they have in common are super speed, super strength, and invulnerability. But he doesn’t quite have Superman’s yearning for justice. He’s a professional (and lethal) bounty hunter, that lives by no law except his own. Chasing down intergalactic criminals from one side of the solar system to the other, he sells his services to the highest bidder, whoever they might be. In fact, in his first interaction with Superman, he fought the boy in blue and captured him to turn him over to his “client”. So the Justice League wasn’t thrilled when he broke through the windows of their orbiting satellite headquarters as they were mourning the death of Superman. But the villains down in Metropolis were celebrating, and the Justice League had no choice but to take the help of Lobo in subduing Livewire, Deadshot, Toyman, Kalibak and numerous other villains that had taken over the city. You can see Lobo at his best at the beginning of the second season of Young Justice (2013).
8. Amazo And The Justince LeagueAmazo The Android and the Justice League, in “Wake the Dead”, Justice League Unlimited (2004-2006).
Amazo is one of the characters in the DC Universe I’m fascinated by because he isn’t always a character. A.M.A.Z.O is an android built by the mad scientist Professor Arthur Ivo, and he has been built using constantly evolving nanotechnology that allows him to comprehend and then replicate anything traits, characteristics, fighting styles, etc., that he sees. This makes him a particularly dangerous foe as in one go, he can replicate all powers of Superman, Wonder Woman, Green Lantern’s ring, Hawkgirl’s wings, Black Canary’s supersonic bird cry. the list goes on. But with their powers, he also inherits their vulnerabilities. In Young Justice (2013), the android can be seen as a machine, following the instructions of its creator, which is how he is depicted in numerous comics. However, in Justice League: The Animated Series (2002-2004) and it’s continuation, Justice League Unlimited (2004-2006), Amazo is depicted as a creature with a sentient mind and a will of its own. Though his initial encounters with the Justice League are largely unpleasant, in the episode “Wake The Dead”, Amazo, who was under the guidance of Dr. Fate teams up with many members of the Justice League, to take down a newer, stronger and more deadly Solomon Grundy.
9. The Teen Titans & The Doom PatrolThe Teen Titans and the Doom Patrol, in “Homecoming”, Teen Titans (2003-2006).
Two true underdog stories in their own way meeting in the middle. I love it. The Teen Titans is a team formed by the sidekick and younger members of the Justice League, such as Robin, Kid Flash, Starfire, Beast Boy and many more. The Doom Patrol is another superhero team, consisting of heroes that have been labeled as social misfits, freaks, and outcasts. Their members include, but are not limited to: Elasti-girl, who can expand her body to any size, Negative Man, who can leave his physical body and fight threats in the form of a negative energy signature of himself, Robotman, who is literally a man’s brain in a robot body, and our young friend, Beast Boy. In a two-part episode of the Teen Titans (2003-2006), entitled “Homecoming”, now Teen Titan Beast Boy receives a distress signal from his old team, who are fighting a new threat to the world, courtesy of the Brotherhood of Evil. His new team and he go to the aid of the veteran heroes and begin the hunt for Monsieur Mallah and his evil master, the Brain.
10. Superman and NightwingSuperman and Nightwing, in DC Comics Presents Issue #9, The Out of Towner, featuring Superman and Nightwing.
In DC Comics Presents Issue #9 (2003), the Man of Tomorrow and the Boy Wonder make a formidable pair for a night of crime-fighting on the rooftops of Bludhaven City. After years of being Robin, sidekick to the Dark Knight, Dick Grayson chose to go solo and assumed the super-hero identity, Nightwing. Now, in the colors black and blue, he follows in his mentor’s footsteps, fighting evil-doers in the city of Bludhaven, a neighbor of Gotham City. On one of his nightly tours of what I can assume is at least the globe, Superman encounters the young and quick-witted hero of Bludhaven flinging himself from building tops. On the trail of the latest nefarious activities of Intergang, a world-wide crime syndicate, this odd couple teams up to fight against Ferrous and his men, accomplices of Intergang.
11. Justice League and The Looney TunesLooney Tunes and the JL, in Superman & Bugs Bunny, Issue #4.
Yessss! This one always gets me excited. All of our favorite Warner Bros. characters join forces in this four-issue spectacular released in 2000. Bugs Bunny, Daffy Duck, Peppy Le Pieux, Elmer Fudd, Tweety, the Road Runner, and many more, fight alongside the many members of the Justice League, such as Green Arrow, Flash, and Martian Manhunter in Superman & Bugs Bunny Issue #1-4. Our heroes, from both sides, work together to try and save their universes and stop them from colliding. But there may be changes that have been made that are irreversible.