Ten Star Trek crossovers you might not know exists, including one that doesn’t…
Many a comic book reader is an avid fan of the traditional crossover. In the past we’ve had Superman pitted against Muhammad Ali, Batman going toe to toe with the xenomorphs, Judge Dredd visiting Gotham City and many, many more. Crossovers are a staple of the comic book industry, intercompany crossovers are rare in that they rarely stay in print due to everchanging licences and legal agreements, and are usually no more than a guilty pleasure to most fanatical readers and collectors. Today, we count down the ten Star Trek crossovers that might just surprise you with their existence.
10. Star Trek / X-Men
In 1996, years before Marvel’s deal with Paramount to distribute the likes of Iron Man and Thor, Marvel Comics launched the ‘Paramount Comics‘ imprint, which lasted around two years. The imprint’s launch stopped DC Comics and Malibu Comics in their tracks with their Star Trek lines, with the rights going exclusively to Marvel. Marvel launched new lines (or intended to…) based on Mission: Impossible, Star Trek: Voyager and more. First up in the fairly extensive line of Star Trek comics, though, was a one shot X-Men crossover. The sixty-four page one off special pitted the 1960s Star Trek team with the X-Men. The X-Men, consisting of classic 1990s lineup Cyclops, Wolverine, Jean Grey, Beast, Storm, Gambit and Bishop, follow the Shi’ar into a dimensional rift that leads to their encounter with the Enterprise crew. Including lots of fun moments, including Wolverine succumbing to Mr. Spock’s famous Vulcan Neck Pinch, this issue is nothing short of fun. It does feel a little out of place as an X-Men story, but could easily have been an episode of ‘X-Men: The Animated Series‘. Written by Scott Lobdell with art by Marc Silvestri, Billy Tan and David Finch.
“Investigating a spatial rift near Delta Vega, the planet where Dr. Elizabeth Dehner and Lt. Cmdr. Gary Mitchell mutated and died, the Enterprise encounters a ship in distress. Before exploding, seven life forms are detected and another ship comes through the rift. A being named Gladiator leaves the second ship and claims Delta Vega in the name of the Shi’ar Empire, punching Scotty’s shields for emphasis. Meanwhile, the seven life forms have teleported to a cargo hold in the Enterprise – Cyclops, Phoenix, The Beast, Wolverine, Storm, Gambit, and Bishop. With the crew of the Enterprise, the X-Men must face Deathbird and Proteus, who has bonded with the essence of the long dead Gary Mitchell and a potentially inexhaustible supply of psionic energy” – Marvel Comics
9. Star Trek: The Next Generation / X-Men: Second Contact
Following the success of Marvel’s 1996 one shot, a follow-up graced fans’ hands in 1998 with Star Trek: The Next Generation / X-Men: Second Contact. Again with 64 pages, the Enterprise-E crew find themselves crossing paths with the X-Men, this time with Angel, Colossus, Kitty Pryde, Nightcrawler, Storm and Wolverine. The combined team take on Marvel supervillain Kang the Conqueror in an effort to save all universes as they know them. Not as fun as the first issue, but this is still not to be missed. Written by Dan Abnett and Ian Edginton, with art by Cary Nord.
“Trying to return to their own time, the Enterprise drops out of the time displacement field in 1998, disrupting the space-time continuum and crossing over into the parallel reality of the X-Men. The crew of the Enterprise and the X-Men, led by Storm, must repair the rift in time and foil Kang’s plan to take control of all realities. To do so, they must resolve paradoxes involving the ‘Battle of Wolf 359’ and events in ‘Days of Future Past’.” – Marvel Comics
8. Star Trek: The Next Generation / X-Men: Planet X
Star Trek: The Next Generation / X-Men: Planet X falls short of being one of the best comics in this list, for the simple fact that it is not actually a comic. This 420 page novel (288 in the 2012 edition), by veteran Star Trek novelist and DC Comics writer Michael Jan Friedman, features some of the best quips and fanservice moments throughout the X-Men crossover trilogy. Jean-Luc Picard and Charles Xavier bonded over their similar looks, several years before Patrick Stewart was cast in the role of Professor X, we might add, they shared conversations in French, enjoyed poetry and generally bromanced. Picard et al find themselves en route to the planet Xhaldia, where youths are developing strange mutant powers. The Enterprise crew pick up their friends, the X-Men, along the way. The book is firmly a sequel to ‘Second Contact’, and, we think, a better execution. Thoroughly enjoyable and wild, not to be missed.
“When hostile aliens appear in orbit around Xhaldia to try and abduct the transformed for use as a superpowered force in an attack on the Federation, even the combined forces of the crew of Starfleet and the X-Men may be unable to prevent an inferno of death and destruction. Starfleet’s finest crew and Earth’s greatest mutant heroes will need all their powers and abilities to save the Xhaldian people and stop a deadly threat to the Federation.” – Pocket Books
7. Star Trek / Legion of Super-Heroes
DC Comics’ Legion of Super-Heroes are a team many may be unfamiliar with, with the occasional guest spot by Superman, such as in the cartoon, 1996’s Legion of Super Heroes. The team consists of time travelling superheroes from the thirtieth and thirty-first centuries. In 2011, as part of the New 52 publisher-wide relaunch of DC Comics, the Legion found themselves relaunched too. The New 52 line-up were featured in this six issue crossover from 2011 through to 2012, written by Chris Roberson with art by Jeffrey Moy and published by IDW in collaboration with DC Comics. Not the greatest crossover on this list, but the first with DC, who published Star Trek in the 1980s.
“Eisner-nominated writer Chris Roberson and Star Trek and Legionnaires veteran artist Jeffrey Moy partner up to bring you the most bizarre partnership of any century! In this first issue, a group of Legionnaires end up lost in the 23rd century, but it’s a universe that isn’t familiar to either the Legion or the crew of the USS Enterprise!” – IDW
6. Star Trek / Green Lantern: The Spectrum War
DC Comics and IDW collaborated again in 2014 to co-publish Star Trek / Green Lantern: The Spectrum War, which depicts the Enterprise crew in their J. J. Abrams trilogy iteration. In an alternate DC universe, Ganthet, the last Guardian of the Universe, takes one of each remaining power ring to another universe in an attempt to escape Nekron, who, as the embodiment of death from the Blackest Night series by Geoff Johns, has destroyed almost all life throughout the universe. The Enterprise crew of the ‘Kelvin Universe’ discover the rings and accidentally activate them, leading to Chekov, McCoy and Uhura donning one each, with Chang getting the yellow ring and the remaining two floating off into space. Hal Jordan joins in the adventure, followed by Star Sapphire, and eventually Sinestro, Larfleeze, Atrocitus, John Stewart, Guy Gardner and Kilowog. Written by Mike Johnson with art by Angel Hernandez, The Spectrum War is a typical intercompany crossover, it lacks depth from both franchises but is fun and certainly enjoyable, and extremely pretty to look at.
“[This is] the ultimate fanboy dream. I’ve been a fan of both of these universes since I was little kid, and now that little kid gets to play in the best toy box in the universe. My biggest hope is that the fun I’m having working on this story comes across on the page and entertains anyone who reads it, whether they’re Trek or Lantern fans or both. Angel Hernandez has taken on a monumental task in combining these two universes, each with their distinctive iconic visuals, and he has blown us all away with his work. I think fans are going to be amazed and thrilled by what he’s creating. Whether it’s character likenesses, spaceships, power ring battles, whatever we’ve thrown at him, he has aced it.” – Mike Johnson, writer
5. Star Trek / Green Lantern: Stranger Worlds
Following on immediately from The Spectrum War, this second volume, again written by Mike Johnson and pencilled by Angel Hernandez, provides us with much of the same. In Stranger Worlds, classic Justice League and Green Lantern villains the Manhunters also feature, and it’s revealed the Star Trek universe has its own planet Oa.
4. Star Trek Vs Transformers
This five issue miniseries published entirely by IDW between 2018 and 2019 features Generation 1 Autobots and Decepticons from the Transformers franchise, and characters from Star Trek, specifically the 1973 Animated Series. From long-time Transformers writer John Barber and veteran Star Trek author Mike Johnson, with Philip Murphy and Leonardo Ito on art, comes this zany, crazy short series depicting everything that is fun about Star Trek and Transformers. Kirk, Spock and the rest of the U.S.S. Enterprise crew investigate problems at a remote mine, they meet the Autobots and Decepticons in a wild ‘verses’ fight of the ages. It reads almost as an all-ages Rick and Morty story, it’s just incredibly fun and compromises nothing.
“When the crew of the starship Enterprise investigates a distress call on the fringes of Klingon space, they inadvertently stumble into a Decepticon attack, necessitating the intervention of Optimus Prime and an alliance between the Autobots and the Enterprise crew. But Megatron and the Decepticons have allies of their own, with a personal grudge against Captain Kirk…” – IDW
3. Star Trek: The Next Generation / Aliens:
Perhaps most shockingly, Dark Horse and IDW agreed to team up, to bring ‘Acceptable Losses‘ to comic shelves beginning April 2017, but the project sadly never came to fruition. The miniseries was set to be penned by Star Trek writing team Scott and David Tipton, with Star Trek veteran artist J.K. Woodward providing pencils. Little about the story is known, but the series was reportedly already written with just artwork to finish off. This miniseries could have been the first of many, and could have pushed both franchises boldly where neither had been before. The Borg assimilating the Xenomorphs could have been the sci-fi event of the decade, but the Alien franchise now helmed by the House of Mouse we are very unlikely to ever see this happen.
“We’re beyond excited to team up with Dark Horse for this unique miniseries. With Scott and David writing and J.K. handling art, the blending of the Star Trek and Aliens worlds is guaranteed to be a fun, scary, thrill-a-minute ride!” – IDW editor Chris Cerasi
2. Star Trek: The Next Generation/Doctor Who: Assimilation²
IDW published this eight issue miniseries between May and December of 2012 to generally favourable fan reaction, with two collected editions published in 2012 and 2013 respectively collecting the short run. The miniseries, written by Scott and David Tipton, with assistance from Doctor Who comics writer Tony Lee, and artists J.K. Woodward, The Sharp Brothers and Gordon Purcell, sees the Borg and Cybermen join forces, leading to the unlikely alliance of the Eleventh Doctor (Matt Smith’s incarnation) and Captain Jean-Luc Picard. The Cybermen betray the Borg, causing explosive consequences. Captain Kirk and the Fourth Doctor (Tom Baker’s likeness), amongst others, also feature, albeit briefly. Star Trek: The Next Generation/Doctor Who: Assimilation² seems such a natural fit for both franchises, we can’t help but wonder why it didn’t happen sooner, or happen since. Not to be missed, this crossover is simply brilliant.
“By joining these two sci-fi powerhouses, fans will be taken on the ultimate adventure through time and space,” – Liz Kalodner, executive vice president and general manager of CBS Consumer Products
1. Star Trek / Planet of the Apes: The Primate Directive
IDW and BOOM! Studios presented The Primate Directive from late 2014 through to mid 2015. The concept was simple; Star Trek and Doctor Who works, so why not pair Star Trek with yet another classic 1960s science fiction franchise? The results satisfied fans with what would be a well rounded crossover that snugly fit into both universes. Poised as an alternate Star Trek timeline, the five issue miniseries, written by Scott and David Tipton with art by Rachael Stott, give us classic sci-fi action with a modern aesthetic, which many find difficult not to like. The series is set after the first, original, Planet of the Apes movie and plays out exactly as a Planet of the Apes movie or Star Trek episode with no disappointments whatsoever. The art is stunning and the story truly does feel as though it’s canon to both franchises. Not to be missed, this is quite possibly one of the greatest comic book crossovers of all time.
“The Klingons secretly backing a renegade gorilla general in a coup for control of Ape City, Captain Kirk finds himself in the uncomfortable position of having to help out Dr. Zaius’ orangutans. Taylor won’t be happy with that!” – David Tipton, writer
Words: Graeme Small