Sunday 22 February 2009

Crossovers that should never have been

Often I find myself asking "If I could link any franchises together, which ones would it be?" Obviously, the most sensible ones have already happened: Marvel characters make their debuts appearing in already successful volumes, successful game characters get their own breakaway franchises which then cross back over given enough time. What, then, of the franchises that make no sense? Are they destined to live forever in obscurity?

Not if we here at Emotionally Fourteen have our way.

Gotham By Gaslight - Batman meets Jack the Ripper

Now I know what you're thinking. "Batman meets Jack the Ripper? What an awesome idea." All well and good thinking that, but can you imagine the shit the person who invented this concept was smoking? The contents of his travel bag could probably bring down an elk. Or how long they'd been out of ideas at DC?

"Hey Dave...What ideas did you have for the next Batman comic?"
"I thought he could fight somebody smart and mysterious."
"I like it, but haven't we done that to de-"
"Jack the Ripper."
"....We'll have to make it an Elseworlds comic."
"What the fuck is Elseworlds? And where did I put my crack pipe?"

It's weird, as well, on the subject of Elseworlds, that so many of the concepts sound so sensible, and then you get that thrown in. I can certainly see the appeal, and also see where the crossover kind of makes sense. Every comic book label has its "What if" series. Unfortunately, Star Wars continuity does not allow for Jar Jar Binks to be crushed by a falling Star Destroyer, so that's restricted to my fanfic. I can always just imagine that he's on Alderaan in its final moments.

Superman: Speeding Bullets sees Superman's pod crash into Wayne Manor, so the story is imagining what he would be like as Batman instead of Superman (presumably rich and immortal. Not bad, Kal-El, not bad at all...) But then there's Gotham by Gaslight, which tells the story of what would happen:

If Batman had been around in the 1880s AND If all his contacts and friends had existed around that time AND If he lived in London AND If he was real.

All of those things happening together? I don't think any more need be said.

WCW Brings in Robocop

In the annals of professional wrestling's dumbest moves, this had to be one of the highest in the list by a country mile until they gave the title to The Great Khali. In 1990, WCW were keen to attract some of the entertainment-loving fans of the popular WWF (before the pandas kicked off and got the name changed). They did this with a gimmick for a wrestler named The Black Scorpion, as well as the aforementioned Robocop appearance. Unsurprisingly, the gimmicks did little to increase house show attendance, and ultimately WCW only succeeded at the time due to breaking away from the NWA federation in 1993 and becoming its own independent label.

In all seriousness, WCW would probably have been better off using Teddy Ruxpin as their gimmick. The need for promo guys at the time was pretty high, and Ruxpin's mic work, while predictable, was hailed as revolutionary by wrestling's key demographic at the time.

The Punisher meets Archie

What the fuck is this? How devoid of ideas were the people at Marvel?! At least Jack the Ripper had some street cred, take a page from DC's book and stick the Punisher up against Hindley and Brady or something, give him some shred of dignity. At least then he can use some of his weapons - in this comic, he's only required to apprehend the notorious drug dealer "Red", who coincedentally looks exactly like Archie.

Here's the problem with that. Surely Archie goes to school at that point. Surely if the Punisher has to go to a school dance in order to apprehend a drug dealer, alarm bells start going off. I mean, the Punisher's a vigilante, not a retard. Besides, this drug dealer, "Red" lacks the correct Punisher villain credentials in that he doesn't have an over the top stereotype name like Red Frapuccino or Red McDougal.

All in all, I'd have sooner seen Cloak and Dagger meeting Heathcliff. I hold out hopes for the future.

Mortal Kombat vs DC Universe

Ever wondered what would happen if Batman fought Scorpion? Me neither.

Ok, I get that Marvel did a crossover with Capcom which is hailed as a cult classic game series. Yes, I realise that Mortal Kombat needed a real re-design after the problems it had with overcrowding the story. However, did it REALLY need to have a DC crossover game?

Probably the biggest flaw with this game (apart from the fact that having played it, it's fucking tedious) is the fact that it's a Mortal Kombat game with a 16+ PEGI rating. Mortal Kombat without extreme violence and fatalities is essentially Soul Calibur, and they lost their way to me when they chose Yoda over Ben Kenobi for the secret character.

That said, the Joker does look awesome in this game. However, there will never be a more recognised Joker than Heath Ledger from now on, and kudos to him for his time of accidental death making the Academy award a certainty.

The Mule

The mule is a hybrid of a male donkey and a female horse. The obvious question that springs to mind is "why not call it a honky?" The simple answer, my friends, is that the term 'honky' is an adjective that describes how a goose acts. As far as I know, that's the only use the term has.

What the hell is the point of a mule anyway? If you want something that can carry a lot, get a donkey. If you want something that can run, get a horse. Surely nobody was sat on a farm one day and said to themselves "this horse and this donkey are all well and good, but what if there was an animal that had a moderate speed and carriage capacity?"

While researching mules, I ventured to Wikipedia, the bastion of all reliable and unflappable knowledge, in order to find out more about the characteristics of a mule. The article makes for very interesting reading. It may or may not interest you (and I suspect I know which) to know that the mule possesses the sobriety of a donkey. That's a relief isn't it? It's good to know that in the event of a massive farmyard drinking party, a mule will keep a cool head if it's got work the next day.

Mules are also curious by nature, and less tolerant towards dogs than horses. They also have a tendency to kick out their hooves in any direction, including sideways. Next time I hear someone say "Those damn honkys piss me off. They're totally intolerant, always violent and often stick their noses where they don't belong", I can turn around to them and say "I think you're wrong, I think you'll find they're called Mules."

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