We’re right on schedule with crossovers: since brands discovered that we love seeing characters from different universes interacting with each other, they’ve desperately jumped in to make us happy: Batman meets the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, ‘Fortnite‘ meets Terminator, and so on. But no crossover, ever, will be as crazy as the one in 1988 that brought Alf into the Marvel crossover of the moment, making him a part of the same universe.
Alf the Evolutionary
Imagine for a moment that you’re reading ‘Secret Wars’ or ‘Civil War,’ and suddenly, amidst all the superheroic clashes and sonic punches, Alf, the Melmacian extraterrestrial, appears, ready to eat cats and solve the predicament. Sounds impossible, right? Well, maybe not so much. But to understand why, we have to go back to 1988 when Marvel was in the midst of a crossover event titled ‘The Evolutionary War.’
In this crossover, the High Evolutionary (who first appeared in 1966 in the pages of ‘Thor’) had decided to “evolve” all of humanity, whether they liked it or not. Naturally, the superheroes weren’t thrilled about this, so they rallied against him during a massive saga that spanned across most of Marvel’s annual comics, from ‘X-Factor’ to ‘The Avengers,’ including ‘Fantastic Four,’ ‘Silver Surfer,’ and… ‘Alf’?
In 1988, the extraterrestrial from Melmac was at the peak of his fame. Not only did he have a successful television series, but he also starred in his own animated series and even its spin-off. He had three shows running simultaneously, which, of course, led to his own comic book series that lasted for 50 issues, 3 annuals, and 3 summer specials. In fact, it outlasted the TV series itself.
It’s in this first annual issue, which promises to be part of the crossover in question on the cover, that Alf is at camp with Brian when suddenly the head of the High Evolutionary appears, demanding explanations. In fact, we learn that Melmac exploded because of the Dark Phoenix (yes, you read that correctly!) and the High Evolutionary erases Alf’s memory and makes him crash-land on a pile of comics. However, years later, the official Marvel Universe guide declared it absolutely true and canonical: all of ‘Alf’ is part of the Marvel Universe. Get on it, Kevin Feige, we’ve been waiting long enough.