Until Kevin Feige came along with his master plan to create a shared universe of superhero stories that would intricately fit together to tell one epic and sprawling narrative, the idea of seeing Marvel‘s roster of iconic characters teaming up on the big screen remained a pipe dream for decades as the rights to the various costumed crimefighters were dotted around Hollywood’s studio system.
The X-Men and the Fantastic Four were properties of Fox, Spider-Man had spent decades bouncing between companies before finally ending up at Sony, while Universal controlled the rights to the Hulk. As a result, the upstart Marvel Studios were forced to rely on names that didn’t hold much cache outside of the comic book community to build their franchise, but things worked out pretty well for Phase One stalwarts Iron Man, Thor and Captain America in the end.
An incredible new fan poster from Art of Time Travel imagines a world where all of the rival companies could have put their differences aside, though, and joined forces to deliver a Marvel crossover epic in the mid-2000s with beloved video game Ultimate Alliance serving as the inspiration, and you can check it out below.
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Despite the wildly inconsistent quality of each respective superhero’s solo adventures, it would have been awesome to see Tobey Maguire’s Spider-Man, Hugh Jackman’s Wolverine, Wesley Snipes’ Blade, Nicolas Cage’s Ghost Rider, Ben Affleck’s Daredevil and Thomas Jane’s Punisher team up with the rest of the X-Men and the Fantastic Four to battle the combined might of Magneto, Doctor Doom and the Silver Surfer. Thankfully, the unstoppable rise of the MCU has now made these epic crossovers that used to be solely contained to the realm of Marvel Comics a reality, and with the introduction of the multiverse, things will only be getting crazier from here on out.