I love a good crossover. Who doesn’t love seeing their favorite characters from different shows, books, movies, or comics team up? Team-ups have been a staple of superhero comics for decades and, for my money, one of the strengths of shared universes like the DC Universe and the Marvel Universe. This year, Action Lab Entertainment throws its hat into the ring with Actionverse, a six-issue miniseries that brings together many of Action Lab’s creator-owned superheroes. I was lucky to get my hands on the first three issues of Actionverse and, trust me, you will want to pick this up when it hits your local comic shop.
Readers got their very first glimpse of the Actionverse in Actionverse #0 (still available on Comixology for under a buck!), which saw Molly Danger (created by Jamal Igle), Stray (created by Vito Delsante), and Midnight Tiger (created by Ray-Anthony Height) team up for the very first time. Actionverse #1 reveals that the Actionverse is really a multiverse. Action Lab’s creator-owned characters live on different Earths. The first issue, written by Anthony Ruttgaizer and drawn by Marco Renna, introduces us to Kyle Scordato, a dimension-hopping wannabe supervillain who’s willing to destroy every other Earth in the multiverse if it means returning to his own. Scordato runs afoul of Jake Roth, the main character of Ruttgaizer’s The First Hero. Roth is the only hero on his world, a world where everyone who has developed superpowers has also gone criminally insane. Scordato also discovers that whatever energy fuels Roth’s powers can also be used to fuel his interdimensional portal. The first issue ends with Scordato and Roth stranded on the world shared by Molly Danger, Stray, and Midnight Tiger, which I’ve decided to call Actionverse Earth-Prime.
Actionverse calls to mind DC’s classic Crisis on Infinite Earths and Marvel’s recent Secret Wars event. All three involve a multiverse in danger and a promise that something new and different may be on the horizon. Will the Action Lab multiverse collapse, leaving all of these characters existing on a single Earth? Will the characters currently stranded on Actionverse Earth-Prime find their way home, preserving some version of the multiverse? Will we see a company-wide Actionverse crossover every year? Only time will tell.
I’m a fan of several of Action Lab’s books, including Stray, Midnight Tiger, and Hero Cats of Stellar City, and I’m super-excited about the prospect of a shared universe featuring all of these characters. Now, I know the idea of taking a step into a new universe full of unfamiliar characters can be a daunting prospect. But, never fear! The Action Lab editors have your back: Each issue ends with a handbook-style entry (or two) of key characters.
If you want to support creator-owned comics, but also crave the shared superhero universes of the Big Two, then Actionverse is for you. Go to your local comic shop and have them pre-order the first three issues of Actionverse today!