Crossover(seas) in Fiction and the Future

Marvel’s the Avengers and Popular Manga Attack on Titan in First Crossover of its Kind

By Nick Tronolone

Crossovers in fiction are nothing new. This is especially true in comics, manga (Japanese form of comics), cartoons, videogames, and movies.  Spiderman and Batman, Mazinger Z vs. Devilman, the Jimmy-Timmy Power Hour, and the Mario and Sonic at the Olympic Games, just to name a few.

But what all of these have in common is that they are from the same culture. Spiderman and Batman are American comic book icons. Mazinger Z and Devilman were the two most popular manga in the 1970s. Jimmy Neutron from the show Jimmy Neutron and Timmy Turner from the show Fairly Odd Parents  are both cartoons on Nickelodeon.  All these crossovers happened within the medium that they became popular in.

This tradition has ended in early November when it was announced by C.B. Cebulski, Marvel Comics Senior VP, teased about a crossover on his twitter account. At first, followers thought he had been joking but he made it clear that it was not and soon tweeted out an image that showed Spiderman with a Titan from the manga  Attack on Titan.

This is completely unprecedented. A crossover between an American comic and a Japanese comic has never been done.  This is definitly the first of its kind, though in the minds of the fans of either it is a topic of conversation that has been brought up a number of times. Even people who are not fans of Marvel or Attack on Titan are talking about it.

“Attack on Titan” is a popular manga (turned anime) set in a world in which giants known as Titans wipe out most of humanity.

This is set in the style of Marvel’s “What if?” storyline, meaning it’s not cannon in either Universe, in which  some titans attack New York and be confronted with the Earth’s Mightiest Heroes as well as the Guardians of the Galaxy.

The title of the story is: “Attack on Avengers.”

The comic itself is only eight pages long, which is considerably less than what a normal crossover would consist of. However, the last panel of the story is when the Guardians of the Galaxy show up to lend a hand in the fight against the Titan that towers over the Statue of Liberty.

Fans never see the fight between these two teams, which has led some fans of both to think that there will be more of this while others think that this is a one-time crossover.

If the release is overall successful then there is no reason to not see more cross-culture crossovers in the future.

“The best of both worlds, from comics and manga,” said Ryan Tacoronte, a CSI student and a fan of both who is pleased with the idea  “The only thing more I could hope for is if it is the reverse as well. And by that I mean like the Attack on Titan heroes vs. Marvel Villains.”

However there are fans that are not pleased with the idea to begin with. Comments were made on various sites where news of this crossover was published by fans of either one saying things to the effect of “It will ruin the series”, “No one wanted this to happen anyway.”

From a business standpoint this is great for Marvel and the publishers for “Attack on Titan,” since fans from either side may show interest and buy Avengers comics or the Attack on Titan manga to get up to speed and understand what the other is about.

As of now the comic is out in Japan but there’s no word of when it’ll be released in the United States, or anywhere else for that matter.

While fans in the United States eagerly wait for the release the anticipate comic, some are beginning to wonder if this is just a way for Marvel to test the international waters.

There is no reason to not see it like that. For years fans have wanted an official story with Superman from DC comics and Goku from Dragon Ball Z and this has never happened. There was, for a short time, a call for a Sailor Moon-Wonder Woman crossover.

There is no word of a follow up or a release for the rest of the world but one thing is for sure, sooner or later a trend of international crossovers is going to take place. It’s the only logical step.


Categories: Arts

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