The release of Luke Cage season 2 is coming on June 22nd. Luke Cage has been a popular character since his first appearance in Luke Cage, Hero For Hire #1 in 1972. Early reviews say that the second season is just as engaging and entertaining as the first season. It slots nicely in with other Netflix Marvel shows and there are bound to be many Easter Eggs and references to the larger MCU Netflix universe and rumor has it that Finn Jones will appear in this next season to reprise one of the greatest unlikely duos in the Marvel Universe. With all this going on it seems apropos to talk about them and a whole stack of other crossovers and unlikely team-ups.
Luke Cage + Iron Fist
In the early ’70s there was a push for Kung Fu based superheroes (heroes like Richard Dragon, and Shang Chi), though they are obscure and don’t get much play nowadays. Iron Fist was one of these heroes, yet he escaped obscurity when Marvel paired him up with Luke Cage, the Power-Man. Both hero’s respective comics were falling out of popularity and this is just what they needed to revitalize the characters. It’s an unlikely duo, but one that we love witnessing in the comics, and on Netflix from what we’ve seen so far. Like all duos they show a lot of humor in their differences, and their interesting contrast is fun to see; but what they share in common is how to throw a punch at anybody who stands in the way of truth and justice. They are one of the first team-ups that have stood the test of time and are still well loved today.
Flash + Green Lantern
In the comics the two heroes are quite different personality-wise. Barry Allen as The Flash is calculated, level headed, and a rational member of the Justice League; always there to lend a helping hand. Hal Jordan, the Green Lantern, is hot-headed, confident, and daring; not the wisest but definitely one of the bravest. On paper they shouldn’t get along, but they seem to bring out the best qualities in each other and deliver justice in the most spectacular of ways. From fighting Darkseid to Black Lanterns, there are many adventures they have shared. But one things still stands with this duo: no matter what the circumstances are, you’re guaranteed to find a great story with a lot of heart, humor, and havoc.
Dr. Strange + Dr. Doom
In 1989 the obscure graphic novel Dr. Strange and Dr. Doom: Triumph And Torment was released. It has mostly been out of print throughout its history; but it puts to page an amazing magical team-up in the Marvel universe and one that nobody would expect. Every midsummer Dr. Doom battles Mephisto for his mother’s soul which is trapped in hell, and every midsummer battle ends in a stalemate. When Dr. Doom wins a boon from Dr. Strange he asks Strange to accompany him to Hell to win his mothers soul back. It’s a humanizing tale about Dr. Doom and the art by Mike Mignola make it a great comic book about a captivating magical team-up between unsteady allies.
Power Girl + Harley Quinn
During Harley Quinn’s own comic book run in the New 52, for six issues she was teamed up with Power Girl (the Earth-2 counterpart of Supergirl). It makes no sense, but it makes for some whimsical and interesting moments in this team up. You have the zany psychotic nature of Harley Quinn tempered by Power Girl’s super strength and sense for justice. When they are both thrown through universal portals and stranded on an unknown planet they must work together in order to save themselves from the strange warlord Vartox. Many jokes are made, reluctant trust is established and exploited between the two as they survive this rollicking space adventure.
Spider-Man + Deadpool
More well known than most unlikely duos is Spider-Man and Deadpool. They look similar and have similar senses of humor (Deadpool just takes it to the Rated-R level). Deep down though they are quite different. Spider-Man has the morals of Captain America, with the small beginnings of a poor boy just trying to make a living in the big city. Deadpool has the morals of Deathstroke with a dollop of humor. However, when they get together the humor is on point, the wisecracks are never-ending, and the continued annoyance of Spider-Man is pretty great too. It’s fun to see Spider-Man out sarcasm-ed, bemused and flustered while Deadpool just has more fun. They do still end up kicking bad guy butt, and in the end Spider-Man’s morals usually win out and justice prevails leaving everyone happy.
Blue Beetle + Booster Gold
Two lesser known DC comic book characters on the list are genius CEO Ted Kord, a.k.a. Blue Beetle and poser hero from the future Booster Gold. Many times they have come together in what is regarded as one of the greatest friendships and buddy cop duos in DC comics. You would never think these two would adventure together so much. They are the highlight of the ’80s run on Justice League International, and they are hilarious as they both complain about how nobody takes them seriously as superheros. Blue Beetle’s smarts and Booster’s brawn help them face any foe and live to remember the experience fondly. Perhaps one day we’ll see this duo rise out of obscurity into mainstream comic book fandom.
Squirrel Girl + Iron Man
Something nobody would have seen coming. Squirrel girl has gathered somewhat a cult following in recent years. She has the knack for controlling an army of Squirrels and for some reason seems to be able to defeat anybody. You wouldn’t think she’d end up with Iron Man, the man of logic and science. She considers herself one of Iron Man’s biggest fans, and even though at first Iron Man is peeved by her persistence to help him, he has a soft spot for her. Because of this they happen to team up a lot. She borrows his suits, he tolerates her helping him fight crime, they share words over social media, and in the end they remain friends. Both have saved the Avengers on multiple occasions, both have trifled with Galactus, and both love the thrill of the superhero life.
Batman + TMNT
Perhaps the strangest is saved for last. It sounds crazy. It shouldn’t work. But read the comic and see for yourself; it’s a fun team-up and certainly not the weirdest thing to happen in comics (Superman and the Nesquik bunny). When Krang transports the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles to a different universe, they find themselves in none other than Gotham City. They quickly run into Killer Croc where they meet Batman and it leads to an interesting team-up. Here we have four ninja turtles and one ninja bat, all with varying skills; There are some great moments including a brief fight between Batman and the Turtles before they team-up, a fight together against Shredder, and a tender good-bye from the Turtles when they have to leave. A great comic run, and a spectacular spin on some old characters.