We've seen some strange crossovers in the past when it comes to the TV Universe. There have been movies which either feed into, or which grow out of, Toobworld, like the 'Star Trek' franchise, the 1966 'Batman' movie, or David Lynch's prequel to 'Twin Peaks', "Fire, Walk With Me".
There have also been stories told only on the Internet which provide additional material for the canon of their particular show. Lately these have included 'Rescue Me', 'Battlestar Galactica', 'The Office', '24', 'CSI: Miami', and the 'Doctor Who' "Tardisodes". Coming soon will be an ancillary tale connected to 'Lost'.
And speaking of 'Lost' there was the whole Dharma Initiative experience that played out over the summer and which included an "interview" with an employee of the Hanso Organization and a staged interruption at a comic book convention by the hacker known as "Rachel".
And of course, there are the tie-in novels like the ones Lee Goldberg has been writing for 'Monk' and 'Diagnosis Murder'. Tie-in novels have a long tradition concerning TV shows, with 'Star Trek' probably reigning as the king. (My favorite from this batch was "Ishmael" by Barbara Hambly, which combined 'Star Trek' with 'Here Come The Brides', and with a dash of 'Bonanza' and 'Maverick' along the way.)
Along those same lines have been comic books based on TV shows and not all of them have been sci-fi oriented. Again with the 'Star Trek', but also 'The X-Files', 'Kolchak: The Night Stalker', 'CSI', 'Secret Agent Man', even 'Run, Buddy, Run'!
So this latest multi-verse, multi-media crossover shouldn't be all that shocking, had it not been for the proposed plotline.
According to several online sources for both TV and comic news, Marvel Comics will be teaming up with the producers of the CBS soap opera 'Guiding Light' to introduce a new superhero before he (or she) goes on to glory in the pages of a comic book team-up with Marvel heavy-hitters Spiderman and Wolverine.
Soap operas have been delving into comic book territory ever since Mikos Cassadine tried to freeze Port Charles, NY, with his weather machine on 'General Hospital' back in 1980. Since then we've seen angels, living dolls, demonic possession, underground empires, aliens from the planet Luminos, and Governor Jesse Ventura show up in the various soaps. (And that doesn't even begin to scratch the surface for the old soap standbys like evil twins and characters who return from the dead.)
Not only will the new superhero appear in the town of Springfield and thus gain a Toobword existence, but several of the soap opera's characters will find themselves in the comic book. So they will have become true multi-verse characters like Bilbo Baggins, Mr. Spock, Sherlock Holmes, the Doctor, Radar O'Reilly, and the Pigeon Sisters.
(This is because the townsfolk of Springfield found themselves immortalized in a stand-alone novel back in 2002 called "Lorelei's Guiding Light" which purportedly was Lorelei's intimate diary. It's publication played a significant role in the soap's plotlien for awhile as everyone had to come to grips with their secrets being revealed.)
The superhero will debut on 'Guiding Light' on November 1 and in various titles from Marvel beginning October 25th.
It's an example of synergy in which Marvel and Procter & Gamble (which produces "Guiding Light") are teaming up, with hopes that soap fans will pick up a comic book and that Marvel addicts will tune in to the daytime series.
The comic book will have the Avengers, as well as some of their super-powered foes, showing up in Springfield to determine if the new character has what it takes to join one side or the other. But even though that 8 page story will be found in other comic books beginning with October 26th's releases, it won't be until November 1st when the character is officially introduced on 'Guiding Light' with a reveal of his (or her) origins and powers.
Of all the soap operas out there, how come Marvel teamed up with 'Guiding Light' for this cross-promotional experiment?
It turns out that Shawn Dudley, costume designer for 'Guiding Light' created the wedding dress worn by the superhero Storm of 'The X-Men' for her wedding to T'Challa in his comic book "Black Panther #18". Apparently that first collaboration got both sides to think about other joint endeavors.
As Marvel's Editor-in-Chief Joe Quesada described this new venture, "This is just one more way that we're trying to reach out beyond our usual audience in an effort to expose those who don't know anything about the greatness of comics and hopefully come back with a few new converts. And hopefully some of our fans will find themselves with a new habit as well - Guiding Light!"
Along with the cross-promotional blipverts for Marvel which will run during the episode, (as well as material to be found in the comic books which urge their True Believers to watch 'Guiding Light'), the episode on November 1st will also include plenty of Easter Eggs and perhaps even in-jokes to keep the whole hour interesting.
These are the titles in which the crossover will be appearing:
CIVIL WAR: CHOOSING SIDES
SPIDER-MAN LOVES MARY JANE 11
MARVEL SELECT FLIP MAGAZINE 18
MARVEL TALES FLIP MAGAZINE 17
MARVEL ADVENTURES SPIDER-MAN 21
SPIDER-MAN AND POWER PACK 1
MARVEL ADVENTURES FLIP MAGAZINE 18
MARVEL HEROES FLIP MAGAZINE 18
AMAZING SPIDER-GIRL 2
FRANKLIN RICHARDS: HAPPY FRANKSGIVING!
MARVEL ADVENTURES FANTASTIC FOUR 18
ULTIMATE MARVEL FLIP MAGAZINE 19
ULTIMATE TALES FLIP MAGAZINE 19