Michael Eury did a brilliant job on his new book, The Team-Up Companion for TwoMorrows Publishing. It tells the behind-the-scenes stories of the greatest team-up books from both Marvel and DC. It was fun reading about the creators of these great comic books. It’s too bad they don’t have these types of books today. I guess it is reflective of the political divide we have today. We just can’t work together to achieve a common goal. The only books that team-up characters today are company property cross-overs from different publishers.
As a kid, I loved team-up books. My favorite book was The Brave and the Bold. I loved that Batman would team up with various heroes in the DC universe. It was funny, how could a lone dark knight have monthly adventures with different heroes? Was everybody just dropping by Gotham to join Batman? It was later explained that those Batman stories took place on an alternate earth called Earth-B. I guess that Batman of that earth was the friendliest of all from the 52 multiverses. He worked well with other superheroes. The constant I liked about the series was Jim Aparo, I loved the consistent style of the characters. The “Earth-B” Batman is actually an amalgamation of several different Batmen from several different Earths with non-continuity stories. Batman took over The Brave and the Bold because of the 60s TV series. It was a jumping point for readers to buy other comics featuring the guest superhero.
I enjoyed, later on, DC Comics Presents, a Superman team-up book that also was a non-continuity series. The same could be said about the 70s movies of Superman, DC Comics Presents was a Superman vehicle for other characters to jump-start sales on the back of the Superman movie’s popularity.
Marvel had Spider-Man team-ups with Marvel Team-Up and The Thing had Marvel-Two-In-One and later on, they had Marvel Fanfare where other heroes teamed up. I always enjoyed these books, it only made sense, these heroes had to meet at one point or another. DC Comics had fewer superheroes mingling than Marvel, other heroes would appear in Marvel single issues dedicated to certain heroes. DC was more contained.
There were other comic books that had team-up concepts but never achieved the success of DC Comics Presents, The Brave and the Bold, Marvel Team-Up, and Marvel-Two-In-One. Both DC and Marvel captured the ultimate team-up with Superman and Spider-Man in the famous get-together in a giant treasury comic book form. The Hulk and Batman (Bruce and Bruce) would later hook up. Marvel went one step further with Super-Villain Team-Up. DC comics’ only comeback to a villain team-up book was the short-lived Joker series. Team-up books waned in the mid-80s and were ultimately canceled around the same period by both publishers.
The thing I really enjoyed was Michael Eury‘s interlacing these team-up comics with pop culture team-ups on TV at the time these books were out. The Team-Up Companion was a romp to read, bringing a lot of my childhood rushing through with good memories. When we work together we are a better society as a whole.
Michael Eury is a reformed supervillain, having spent several years banished to the Phantom Zone for tearing off pesky?do not remove under penalty of law? pillow tags. He now toils for truth, justice, and several other virtues that look good on his resume? as the editor of BACK ISSUE magazine and an advisor to The Overstreet Comic Book Price Guide. A former editor for DC Comics and Dark Horse Comics, Eury has authored for TwoMorrows Publishing the books The Justice League Companion (2005); Dick Giordano: Changing Comics, One Day at a Time (2003); and Captain Action: The Original Super-Hero Action Figure (2002); and was a contributing writer to VIP?s The Superhero Book (2004). Additionally, he has written cartoons, comics, and copy for Nike, Toys R Us, Warner Bros. Worldwide Publishing, MSN, Cracked, and Bowen Designs.