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|Publisher||Marvel Comics/DC Comics|
|First appearance||DC vs. Marvel #1 (1996)|
|Alter ego||Axel Asher|
Access (Axel Asher) is a fictional character owned by both DC Comics and Marvel Comics. He made his first appearance in DC vs. Marvel #1 (March 1996), a special crossover between the two companies. He was created as both a way to explain the events of the story as well as a means to enable future intercompany crossovers.
First appearing in DC vs. Marvel #1 (March 1996), the character was used to explain the events of the Amalgam Comics' publications, which were a cooperative project between DC Comics and Marvel Comics. Access reappeared in two follow-up miniseries, DC/Marvel: All Access and Unlimited Access.
Fictional character biography
Axel Asher first became aware of his extraordinary powers when the two cosmic entities called "The Brothers," who represent the DC Comics Multiverse and Marvel Comics Multiverse, became aware of each other (as a result of the events in crossovers previously published by the companies) and hurled their respective heroes into conflict with each other's to prove their superiority over their counterpart; eleven 'champions' from each universe were selected to fight, the winner being whoever immobilized the other first—some champions were too powerful to ever be conclusively defeated by their opponents—and the overall winner being the side with most victories.
Axel was just a normal teenager living in New York who came across an old bum in an alley, who protected what seemed to be a cardboard box but was actually a portal between the universes. He also revealed that Axel was next in line to bear the powers and responsibilities of being "The Access", the person in charge of preventing the universes from merging into one. This happens because they were originally one universe that split in two when The Brothers first fought; certain "fragments" of the original universe remained. The "box" was one of them—Access was another.
At the height of The Brothers' battles, when the last battle had ended—with the Marvel Universe being the overall winner with six victories to five—the universes were combined into a single Amalgam Universe by The Spectre and the Living Tribunal to avert the end of existence. Access used shards of each universe hidden inside Batman and Captain America to separate and restore both universes. Aided by Batman and Captain America, Access helped stop the fight between The Brothers, saving the two universes from destruction when the Brothers, looking at the two heroes whose status as unique entities among their fellow heroes represented the brothers in miniature, realized how foolish their conflict with each other truly was.
Access has subsequently appeared in two sequels to the DC vs. Marvel series. In the first, Access helped prevent Dr. Strangefate from re-merging the two universes; in the second, he discovered that the "old bum" was actually his own future self, and that a variant version of himself had joined forces with Darkseid to avoid his and Access' shared fate. He also discovered his powers were greater than he believed, and he absorbed his evil self into himself and helped the heroes of both universes defeat Darkseid's scheme. Despite having witnessed his future self's demise, the defeat of his alternate evil self gives Access the hope he needs that his future is fluid and not written in stone, and therefore a chance to change his fate existed.
Access is briefly mentioned in a Superman/Fantastic Four crossover. When Superman receives a (false) holographic message from his father Jor-El, stating that Galactus was the one who destroyed Krypton, he flies off, reflecting to himself "With the help of experts I'll find the monster. And to find them... I need Access." Although not shown explicitly, this suggests that Superman subsequently contacted Access to travel into the Marvel Universe to ask the FF for help tracking Galactus.
Access is mentioned again in the crossover Superman/Silver Surfer.
Access' first appearance was foreshadowed in the 1995 DC/Marvel comic Green Lantern/Silver Surfer: Unholy Alliances, where the two heroes joined forces to stop Thanos and Parallax from destroying their universes. The final frames of the comic show an alleyway in New York where a large cardboard box is beginning to emit powerful beams of energy.
Access is now a native of both universes and his duty is to keep them separate. If they start to overlap, the universes will merge into the Amalgam Universe once again. Access must move from one universe to the other keeping people from crossing over. If he stays in one place too long, he can cause spontaneous crossovers to occur. Access usually works out situations like this without anyone noticing that he is involved (this is done to explain how the subsequent DC/Marvel crossovers occur. Stories where DC and Marvel heroes appear on a "shared Earth" are believed to be dimensional fluxes where the two universes have begun to merge again. It has also been explained that once Access has restored the timelines, the characters usually forget about the crossover, though there are some exceptions, such as Jubilee getting Access to let her visit Robin, with whom she had a brief romantic relationship during Marvel Vs DC).
Despite shared ownership between DC Comics and Marvel Comics, only DC has used the character once in a non-crossover appearance. In Green Lantern #87, Access appears to Jade and claims to be looking for Kyle Rayner. It is later revealed that he was looking for Rayner as backup for Spider-Man, who was fighting Mantis and the Juggernaut at the time. Having no success, he travels to the Marvel Comics universe in order to find the Silver Surfer, only to return to the scene of the battle and subconsciously summon Wonder Woman to aid Spider-Man.
Powers and abilities
Access has the ability to create and use interdimensional gateways between the two companies' universes to teleport himself as well as summon others to him. He can merge two people he touches if one is from each universe, creating an "amalgamation" of the characters. The gateways also permit time travel when crossing universes. He can feel the presence of anything from one universe which is present in the other which occasionally causes him great pain.