Plot / Theme: The sequel to DC vs Marvel. The rookie hero Access must discover why villains from the Marvel universe are materializing in the DC universe. Should he fail to stop the phenomenon, it could jeopardize the survival of both worlds. Before he gets to the bottom of it, however, Jubilee reunites with unrequited love Timothy Drake (aka Robin) and the X-Men and the Justice League come to blows. Also, what exactly is going on with Dr. Strange?
|Marvel Universe||DC Universe|
|Marvel Universe||DC Universe|
|Marvel Universe||DC Universe|
- DC/Marvel All Access #1
- DC/Marvel All Access #2
- DC/Marvel All Access #3
- DC/Marvel All Access #4
- This series is the sequel to the company crossover DC vs. Marvel. The premise was that two “brothers” (representing the Marvel and DC universes) became aware of each other and decided to have a contest as to which universe should survive. Various heroes/villains fought each other in the contest. There were 11 fights in total with 5 being decided by a public vote.
- During the contest, Jubilee met Tim Drake (Robin III) when he was transported to the Marvel universe. The two developed a quick attraction, although it seemed stronger on Jubilee's end. During their fight, Jubilee underestimated Robin, as he was a “mere” human, and was incapacitated when he tricked her with a classic “bait and switch” using his cape.
- Wonder Woman came across Thor's hammer, Mjolnir, when he had lost it following his own fight and she proved worthy to wield it. Despite the advantage it gave her, she chose not to use the weapon against Storm during their battle. This proved folly, as she fell against Storm, overwhelmed by her elemental powers. Storm's win was decided by comic book fans.
- Spider-Man and Superman met in their civilian identities as reporters during the crossover. The two men developing a slight rivalry with Spider-Man asking Superman's long-time paramour Lois Lane on a date, unaware that she was in fact engaged.
- In the crossover, a nascent hero named Axel Asher (“Access”) was introduced. Apparently, he represented a “shard” of both universes but he had been unaware prior to the event. When the two realities were fused by the actions of the Living Tribunal and Spectre, Access hid “shards” of both universe in Batman and Captain America. When the universes were remade into the “Amalgam” reality, Access finds counterparts of Batman and Captain America and was able to restore both universes, despite opposition from the mystic Dr. Strangefate, who was eager to preserve his world and his existence. With the worlds restored, the “two brothers” began to battle, commencing the end of all things for both realities. Batman and Captain America convinced Access to take them to the “Brothers”. However the "Brothers" did not exist in the physical realm and the heroes were teleported to a kind of "astral plane". Initially they attempted to reason with the "Brothers" but they were mere "gnats" to these cosmic beings who simply ignored them and continued to battle. While the entities were warring, Batman and Captain America were injured in the crossfire. As both men began to die from their injuries they experienced their lives flash before their lives. Due to the nature of this realm the "Brothers" also experienced this. Suprisingly this turned out to be the salvation of both universes as each “Brother” was humbled by the tragedy, heroism and nobilty of the other's creation. They agreed to end their conflict, congratulated each other on a job well done and restored both universes, fully separated and safe again.
- At the start of this crossover, Ming Kuo-Fan is Axel Asher's girlfriend. They met in grad school and have been dating for six months at the time of publication. Her family owns the Mandarin Chinese restaurant in Greenwich Village, located across the street from Dr. Strange's home.
- Caitlin Fitzgerald had just moved to Metropolis, against her mother's wishes.
- Gotham City and Metropolis both feature heavily in the series. Both cities are fictional and exist in the DC Universe on the east coast in New Jersey and Delaware respectively.
The newly minted hero, Access, is running late for a date with his girlfriend Ming at the Mandarin restaurant in Greenwich Village (located in the Marvel Universe). When he gets there, he nearly faints, experiencing a vision that the Spider-Man villain Venom has somehow been transported to the DC universe. Making an excuse, he tells Ming he has something he forgot to do and quickly leaves, much to her annoyance. As he leaves, he notices a strange man, dressed in traditional Chinese garb, watching him from a peculiar building across the street. Given the urgency of what was transpiring, he ignores this and finds an alley way to change into his costume.
Access manages to trace Venom to Metropolis, only to find that he has already taken a hostage, a young woman named Caitlin “Fitz” Fitzgerald, and is in active combat with the city's protector, Superman. Recognizing Venom's insignia as they fight, Superman mentions Spider-Man, realizing the two must have a connection. The mere mention of Spider-Man enrages Venom, who gets the jump on Superman and flees with his hostage. Access appears on the scene, offering his help, but Superman mistakes him for a civilian. A short time later, Superman finds Venom and distracts him long enough to allow Access to retrieve Caitlin and teleport her to safety. Before he returns to the fray, the two have a flirt and, to Access' surprise, she is exhilarated by his strange abilities as opposed to being afraid. Despite his gargantuan power advantage, Superman is still struggling with Venom when Access returns to Metropolis. As such, Access decides to go back to the Marvel universe to find Spider-Man and bring him across to aid the Kryptonian. Spider-Man quickly explains Venom's weakness to sonic vibrations and Superman instructs Access to teleport to S.T.A.R. Labs to retrieve a sonic disruptor so he can use it against the symbiote. When Access comes back, Spider-Man and Superman have been overpowered by Venom. Seeing an opening, Access uses the gun himself, incapacitating the villain. In the aftermath of the battle, both veteran heroes compliment Access on his performance despite his novice status, with Superman offering his help if Access needs it in the future. Access takes both Spider-Man and Venom back to the Marvel universe and Spider-Man takes Venom into custody, leaving the scene. Nearby, Access is observed from the “peculiar building” he saw earlier by sorcerer supreme, Doctor Strange. [Note: Earlier on, Access was being watched by Dr. Strange's assistant Wong.]
The following week, in an effort to repair the damage done to his relationship by his impromptu disappearance, Access treats Ming to a carriage ride in Central Park. Still suspicious, Ming questions Access about why he left on their last date, only to be distracted by a fireworks display. Just as the two are about to kiss, a female voice says “I thought I would never see you again.” Appearing in front of the young couple is Generation X's Jubilee. As Access is unable to explain how he knows Jubilee, Ming immediately thinks the worst and accuses her boyfriend of being involved with a teenager with “weird fashion sense.” After Ming storms off, Jubilee pleads with Access to reunite her with Robin, with the promise of fixing things with his girlfriend afterward. This entire exchange is at the bewilderment of the other members of Generation X present, who don't know what she is talking about. Jubilee explains that the memory of what happened appeared to fade in other people but she has remembered everything, as she kept a diary. In an act of poor judgment, Access agrees to take Jubilee to Gotham City to see Robin again. Unfortunately for her, Robin is more surprised than happy at seeing her again. He confesses that, when they met previously, he had actually already been in a relationship with another girl named Ari. Although he does remember her, he seems more intimidated by Jubilee’s fawning of him than anything else.
Despite this, Jubilee requests some privacy for her and Robin to catch up and Access complies. While on his own, pondering current events, he is hit from behind and knocked unconscious by one of Gotham City’s most famous rogues, Two-Face. Two-Face explains he has a score to settle with the boy wonder and tries to kill him and Jubilee. The teens outsmart him, however, by using a similar ruse to the one Robin used to defeat Jubilee in the contest. Dressing Jubilee in Robin's cape, they lure Two-Face, only to blindside him, literally, with Jubilee’s unexpected “fireworks” powers. Following the brief melee with Two-Face, Jubilee and Robin are attacked by another villain, long time Spider-Man nemesis Scorpion, only for him to be summarily taken down by Robin’s mentor, Batman.
Batman demands an explanation as to what happened and presses the now conscious Access for answers. Interestingly, despite Jubilee's earlier claim, Batman also remembers the contest and his encounter with Access at its end. With the situation quickly explained and Access receiving an admonishment from Batman for being so reckless in the first place, Batman agrees to travel to the Marvel universe to use his detective skills to help Access investigate what was responsible for the “Web-head's” villains’ sudden appearances in Metropolis and Gotham respectively. He does, however, insist that Robin not accompany them, as it is too dangerous, and wait for the police to ensure Two-Face was taken into custody. This means that Robin and Jubilee have to say goodbye. Jubilee passionately kisses Robin and wishes him good luck, telling him he was a great guy and that she wonders what might have been. She also hopes he would think of her from time to time, which he promises he will do.
Upon their arrival to the Marvel universe, Jubilee assumes she is going to remain involved in this caper but Access insists on taking her home to protect her. Jubilee becomes annoyed and secretly dupes Access into taking her to Xavier's mansion so she could notify the X-Men about what has been transpiring. When Access comes back, he explains to Batman the possible cost of people crossing from the other Earth and that it could lead to the re-creation of the Amalgam reality. He believes that whoever is causing this disruption has to be based in the Marvel universe, as the villains crossing over were only from that reality. Remembering that Dr. Strangefate, the most powerful being of the Amalgam universe, had tried to keep the combined reality together, Access has a realization and remembers being watched by the Chinese man earlier in front of the peculiar building. Putting two and two together, he figures the only likely culprit has to be Dr. Strange.
Deciding against stealth, Batman crashes the skylight of the Sanctum Sanctorum and he and Access confront Strange, who denies responsibility for current events. As the men bicker, Jubilee arrives with a coterie of X-Men (Cyclops, Phoenix, Storm, Iceman, Cannonball and Bishop). In an attempt to mediate and get to the bottom of things, Dr. Strange consents to a telepathic examination by Jean Grey. Although Grey’s probing does not find anything suspicious, Batman is not convinced, much to the irritation of Bishop, who attacks him. Batman’s analytical skills make him a competent opponent, even for a group of X-Men. Nevertheless, the hero is no match for the combined might of the X-Men present and he is eventually incapacitated, with Bishop holding a gun to his head. Seeing the situation escalate so quickly, Access teleports to the DC Universe and takes Superman up on his earlier offer and brings him, along with the rest of the Justice League (Wonder Woman, Flash, Green Lantern, Martian Manhunter, Aquaman), to even the sides.When the League arrives, Superman commands Bishop to let Batman go, while Access assures both groups they were all on the same side. Cyclops agrees and orders Bishop to ease up but he refuses, believing they would be relinquishing their advantage. Batman proves Bishop's suspicions correct by using this momentary insubordination in the X-Men ranks to kick Bishop off him. Now seeing no other option, Cyclops orders the X-Men to attack, just as Dr. Strange starts to feel faint and collapses. Unsurprisingly, the X-Men’s most powerful members Jean Grey and Storm pair off with the JLA’s own powerhouses Superman and Wonder Woman respectively. Jean’s telekinetic might holds its own against Superman but the changing landscape of Dr. Strange’s West Village sanctum disorientates Storm, who was already reluctant to fight Wonder Woman again in the first place. To Storm's surprise, Wonder Woman agrees with her sentiment and, when a dizzy Storm begins to fall, she rescues her former opponent. Both women agree that, while they were forced to fight previously but there is no need for conflict between them now. They are the first to lay down arms.
The battle between the two groups has spilled into the streets and Access starts to worry about Ming. Finding her leaving her family's restaurant, he forces her to flee the surrounding area and, despite her protestations, does not explain to her the full details of the situation or who and what he was. As she runs away, she swears she would never understand him. Although this forces Access to accept that this is the end of their relationship, he takes comfort in the fact Ming will be safe.
Meanwhile, inside the Sanctum, Cyclops has taken out Batman but is in turn taken from behind by Martian Manhunter. This distracts Jean, who is them placed in a hold by Superman. Nearby, Jubilee is tending to Dr. Strange when Access suddenly returns. All of a sudden, there is a blinding light and Dr. Strangefate reveals himself and assumes full control of Dr. Strange’s body, having apparently hidden in his sub-consciousness. Jean theorizes that he must have been able to hide from her detection, as he didn't technically belong in their universe.
Strangefate intends to fuse the universes together in an effort to “survive” and begins combining the assembled heroes together. Storm and Wonder Woman are first to be merged into their Amalgam version, “Amazon,” with the other assembled heroes being put into similar combinations. Strangefate dispatches these minions to kill Access but the youth instinctively teleports away to the Dark Dimension, where the astral form of Dr Strange is currently held. Using his teleportation powers, Access frees the mystic. With Strange now free, his astral form bolts towards his body. While Strangefate is technically twice the sorcerer that Strange is, he is also not within his own universe, therefore he lacks legitimacy and cannot prevent Strange from retaking his body. Now “dying,” Strangefate begs for his own survival and that of his world. In an act of mercy, Dr. Strange spares Strangefate and places him in a green orb with a facsimile of the Amalgam universe. Strange entrusts the orb to Access, who contains it within his chest. Logically, he is the only person who could protect the Amalgam world, due to his anomalous status as being from both but neither worlds.
It is now time for more goodbyes, so the X-Men and Dr. Strange wish the Justice League a safe return to their world, with all heroes promising to do better by each other should they meet again. With the entire saga concluded, Access meets up with “Fitz” again for a date, now with a renewed sense of his purpose in the grand scheme of things.
- Access appeared in a follow up series Unlimited Access and Green Lantern (3rd series) #87.
- The difficulty Superman has in the story in fighting both Venom and Jean Grey is extremely odd. He is considered the DC Universe's “most powerful” hero and dwarfs Venom in terms of sheer power and even has heat vision, which coincides with one of the symbiotes established weaknesses. While Jean, as one of the X-Men's most powerful members, is a far more suitable opponent, even she largely seems to be fending him off with mere telekinesis.
- Tim Drake’s relationship with Ariana Dzerchenko did not last. His most consistent on and off again relationship being with fellow vigilante, Stephanie Brown aka Spoiler.
- Jubilee has had no significant romances since Robin and may still be pining for him.
- The DC universe is very unstable and usually has a “crisis” of some sort every few years with reality being rewritten, resulting in new histories for the core characters. It is unclear if any of the DC characters would remember this event as it may not have happened for the present incarnation of the characters.
- Based on Cyclops' dialogue in the third issue of the series, it seems the intention is that this series takes place following the Onslaught crisis. This, however, creates a continuity error, as Storm had taken on a new look at this point in time. It also makes the choice of X-Men somewhat strange, as more popular characters such as Rogue, Gambit and Wolverine had been unavailable to varying degrees pre-Onslaught, but they were available on the X-Men roster again post Onslaught. Based on the line-up, it seems more likely that the series was intended to be occur before the Onslaught crisis but changed later on, due to the date of publication. Interestingly Dr Strangefate was himself a version of Charles Xavier from the Amalgam universe.
- Wonder Woman lifting Mjolnir was referenced again in Thor: The Worthy #1, albeit very obscurely. As this series is a direct successor to Marvel vs. DC, it can be assumed that they are all canon but cannot be referenced more pointedly due to copyright legalities. Interestingly, none of the “Access” stories were referenced in the next “canon” company-wide crossover, JLA/Avengers. Jubilee's comment that memories of the prior contest fade may provide an in-world explanation for this discrepancy, as eventual “amnesia” may just be a byproduct of characters of these two universes meeting.