Sunday, February 15, 2015

Crossover of the Week

May 1, 2011-September 11, 2012
            Quincey Morris and Libby Chastain battle a Middle Eastern terrorist cell that has acquired control of an afreet. A Navy SEAL and combat magician volunteered to spend six months in the U.K. under the tutelage of an ex-SAS sergeant major, who was said to be the greatest combat magician living. Quincey and Libby’s ally, FBI agent Colleen O’Donnell, mentions a blood spatter analyst named Morgan who worked on a case in Chicago. Quincey and Libby discuss the time they traveled to London for “that Castor thing.” Quincey meets with another colleague, Barry Love, who refers to rumors of an afreet driving a cab in New York for a while. Quincey and Barry set up a meeting at Strangefellows Bar and Grill; Quincey says that there’s another bar of that name in the U.K., and Barry knows a man in the same line of work as them named John who hangs out at the English bar. When Quincey arrives at Strangefellows, Barry is talking to a werewolf named Larry Talbot. Barry tells Quincey about a vampire he once encountered named Jerry, who was fond of apples and was killed by a high school kid after going to California. As Quincey and Barry part ways, Barry says that he is planning to deal with a guy called Pinhead. The terrorists use a spell called the Tarnhelm Effect to mask their breaking into a zoo, and discuss potential threats to their plot, including a magician in Chicago named Dresden and a woman named Blake in St. Louis.
            Novella by Justin Gustainis, 2013. The ex-SAS Sergeant Major and combat magician is William Gravel from Warren Ellis’ comic books Strange Kiss and Gravel. Morgan is Dexter Morgan, a blood spatter analyst and secret serial killer of other murderers, from the television series Dexter. However, Dexter works for the Miami Metro Police Department’s Homicide division, and has never been based in Chicago. Most likely, Dexter was on loan to the Chicago Police Department for this case, and O’Donnell merely assumed he worked for the CPD full time. “That Castor thing” is a reference to Felix Castor, an occult detective created by Mike Carey. The Castor books take place in a world where the public knows supernatural beings exist, so the Castor mentioned by Quincey and Libby must be the Crossover Universe counterpart of the character seen in Carey’s novels. Barry Love is a disguised version of Clive Barker’s occult investigator Harry D’Amour. Pinhead is from Barker’s story “The Hellbound Heart,” as well as the Hellraiser film series. The afreet that drove a cab in New York City appears in Neil Gaiman’s novel American Gods. The British Strangefellows is featured in Simon R. Green’s Nightside books; the main character of that series is private eye John Taylor. Larry Talbot is from the classic horror film The Wolf Man and its sequels. Jerry is Jerry Dandridge from the movie Fright Night.The Tarnhelm Effect is from Randall Garrett’s Lord Darcy books, which take place in an alternate universe where Richard the Lionheart did not die in the year 1199 and magic has supplanted science. Obviously, the Tarnhelm Effect exists in both Lord Darcy’s universe and the CU. Dresden is Harry Dresden, the protagonist of Jim Butcher’s The Dresden Files series of novels, while Blake is Laurell K. Hamilton’s vampire hunter Anita Blake. Like the Felix Castor novels, the Anita Blake novels take place in an alternate universe where the general public is aware of the existence of the supernatural. Therefore, the Anita Blake mentioned in Gustainis’ Morris and Chastain Supernatural Investigations novels must be the CU counterpart of Hamilton’s character. Although this novella supposedly takes place shortly after the last entry in the series, Play with Fire, Gustainis must have compressed the timeline of events. Play with Fire begins shortly after the novel preceding it, Sympathy for the Devil, which ends the day after Inauguration Day. The last Inauguration Day before the publication of Sympathy for the Devil was January 20, 2009. The inspiration for the terrorists’ actions in Midnight at the Oasis is the death of Osama bin Laden, which occurred on May 2, 2011.


  1. Delirium from Sandman made a cameo in American Gods. Mind you this was probably an alternate version than one from the comic. The comic did show the Endless existing in multiple realities beyond the DC/Vertigo universe. Dream had a cameo appearance in a Usagi Yojimbo comic and I think a Munden's Bar backstory in Grimjack (not sure about the last one.) The magic book from the first storyline was mentioned in an episode of Angel along with the Necronomicon Ex Mortis from Evil Dead. (For one reason or another, Win only mention the latter in the episodes entry in Crossovers 2.)

  2. Yeah, I had already decided to count that as the CU version of Delirium, so we're on the same page here. And I did know about the mention of the Magdalene Grimoire in that Angel episode, though I hadn't heard about the Usagi Yojimbo and Munden's cameos.

  3. I'm not certain about the Munden's but I seem to remember seeing a panel online with Dream in the background. There were lot of character cameos in Grimjack and Munden's (The Shadow seemed to hang out there a lot. The CU undoubtedly one of the realities that comes into contact with Cynosure.)

    The cameo in Usagi is a bit weird since Dream is drawn looking like a human when the majority of characters in the comic are talking animals. Usagi is definitely another AU, thought the Senso miniseries had the characters battling H. G. Wells' Martians. Alternate versions of Zatoichi (Zato-Ino the blind sword pig) and Lone Wolf and Cub (Lone Goat and Kid who are literal goats) where recurring characters.

    Shadow, the protagonist of American Gods, also appeared in the story Monarch of the Glen, which had appearance of characters from another story of Gaiman's, but I can't seem to figure out which one. (It's been awhile since I read it.)