We take crossovers like this for granted now, but have you ever thought about the time when such crossovers were novel? As far as I can tell, the first early crossovers were in the Bronze Age. I define a crossover as, naturally enough, a story which spills over into another comic in such a way that it is necessary to buy the other comic to read the complete story.
The first crossover I can remember reading was the classic Avengers/Defenders War.
The next crossover I read was a bit shorter and took place in the pages of Nova and Spider-man.
Strangely enough, Nova never appeared in Marvel Team-Up, so seeing the two characters together makes up for that in the Fan Accounting side of my mind. Interesting enough, this crossover was penned by Marv Wolfman who would later architect the granddaddy of all crossovers, Crisis on Infinite Earths.
Based on what I've read about the pushback Steve Englehart encountered when he came up with the Avengers/Defenders War, I think the reason we saw so few crossovers back in the Bronze Age comes down to a couple of reasons.
- Difficulty coordinating storylines with other writers
- Fear by publishers that such storylines might not ship in chronological order
- Lack of interest by writers to participate in such events
What's funny is that now, with missed shipping dates such a common thing, a lot of those reasons still apply, but we have more crossovers than ever. Almost too many IMO. Money talks, aye?
Just curious - Does anyone know if there were crossovers before the Bronze Age?
Have a great day!