Following the traditions of other comic book crossovers, IDW Publishing utilized their recently licensed classic Cartoon Network properties by gathering together the characters from their best shows into a 6 issue mini-series Crisis Crossover. Shows included are Samurai Jack, Ed, Edd n Eddy, Dexter's Laboratory, The Powerpuff Girls (1998), and Ben 10: Omniverse.
The story concerns Jack’s arch enemy Aku gathering together Vilgax, Mojo Jojo and Mandark from their respective worlds to form a League of Extraordinary Villains in an attempt to conquer the Multiverse. Together they then proceed to build a large army of robot mechas to invade their own worlds, capture their rivals, and bring them back to their space station (Ed, Edd, and Eddy are taken by mistake). The heroes are then forced to team up with each other in order to thwart the villains’ plans and return to their own worlds.
Beginning in June 2014, Super Secret Crisis War spanned 6 issues, written by Louise Simonson, with the addition of 6 one-shots. The one-shots will concern other Cartoon Network worlds the villains try to invade, and included two page back stories to the main comics. They include Johnny Bravo, Foster's Home for Imaginary Friends, The Grim Adventures of Billy & Mandy, Cow and Chicken, and Codename: Kids Next Door.
Not to be confused with CN's other, similar crossover, Cartoon Network: Punch Time Explosion.
Tropes for the main Story Arc include:
- Action Survivor: Writer Louise Simonson has stated the Eds' status as being this, since they're the only characters out of the group that don't possess any special abilities (other than Cartoon Physics).
- Badass Normal: Even though the Eds are still the weakest protagonists overall, they still manage to defeat one giant robot on their own using ingenuity.
- Chronic Backstabbing Disorder: Gee, do you think four villains working together would be willing to share their spoils?
- Crossover: A comic crossover between Samurai Jack, Dexter's Laboratory, The Powerpuff Girls (1998), Ben 10: Omniverse, and Ed, Edd n Eddy, with the one-shots including Johnny Bravo, Cow and Chicken, Codename: Kids Next Door, The Grim Adventures of Billy & Mandy, and Foster's Home for Imaginary Friends.
- Crisis Crossover: The heroes have to work together to stop the villains from destroying their worlds.
- Heel–Face Turn: Mojo Jojo does this by the end of the fourth issue, while Mandark does at the beginning of the sixth. In each case, it's because their own worlds are threatened by the other villains. (Not to mention Mojo Jojo didn't get any respect among his peers)
- Heroic Sacrifice: Discussed but ultimately averted. The heroes are willing to stay on-board when they destroy the ship they are on if it means keeping their own worlds safe, but they manage to make it home just before the ship explodes.
- MacGyvering: Dexter's means of offense is building guns out of destroyed robot parts, and he occasionally trades up for better guns as soon as they start destroying better robots.
- Morality Chain: Mandark is prevented from being truly evil because he's thinking of Dee Dee.
- Nice Job Fixing It, Villain: Aku and Vilgax mistakenly sending Dynamo into the Eds' world when their robot mooks spill their drinks on the control panel. Though they are not seen as a threat, they eventually play an important part in bringing down their plans.
- Mojo Jojo's Heel–Face Turn was partly motivated by how the other villains didn't take him seriously. Aku points out that he had expected Mandark to betray the villains first, since he had tricked him into almost destroying his own world.
- Aku and Vilgax both blame each other for this during their fight in the climax. Vilgax blames Aku for his over-zealous antics, while Aku points out how he complained so much.
- Magitek: All of Aku's robots and his space station function as this. Each robot is powered by an Oni Spirit.
- Robot Me: The cover of Issue #3 shows off evil robot duplicates of all the main heroes, minus the Eds. The Villains intended to use these duplicates to conquer more worlds.
- The Runt at the End: Ben and Ed, Edd, and Eddy fulfill these tropes in different ways; Ben is the only protagonist whose show was still airing new episodes at the time, and was never a part of the Cartoon Cartoon Fridays block while Ed, Edd, and Eddy are the only protagonists without any combat abilities.
- Shared Universe: Averted. Each show is split up into its own dimensions, as opposed to Cartoon Network's usual Cross Through.
- Shout-Out: The title is one to various crossover events of comic history, such as Crisis on Infinite Earths and Secret Wars (1984).
- Spanner in the Works: The Eds, and Mojo Jojo after his Heel–Face Turn.
Aku: Not the super powered Heroes that are the templates for our army, but we might as well conquer their world, too.Vilgax: Judging by their level of technology, it should take about five minutes.
- The villains are quick to point out how the Eds are not much of a threat as heroes.
- Story-Breaker Team-Up: It's established that Mojo Jojo and Mandark both feel outnumbered by Aku and Vilgax, and it plays a major role in the story.
- This Looks Like a Job for Aquaman: The only reason Dexter was able to build any devices after being captured was the Eds' knack for savaging parts.
- Villain Team-Up: In usual crossover tradition, the conflict is caused by the alliance of four Cartoon Network villains: Aku, Vilgax, Mandark, and Mojo Jojo.
- Wants to Be Hated: Much like in his origin series, Mojo Jojo refuses to be called a hero by the Powerpuff Girls when they all return to Townsville, storming off to return to his villainy.
- You Have Outlived Your Usefulness: As the Johnny Bravo one-shot shows, Aku is planning to kill his comrades once they've served their purpose. Later one-shots show that the other villains plan to do this as well.
Tropes for the One-Shot Stories include:
- Brick Joke: In the Codename: Kids Next Door one-shot, Project C.A.R.R.O.T. is briefly mentioned in the beginning, to which Numbuh One responds that they don't talk about that project. At the end of the story, we see the results of that project: it turned Numbuh 619 into a rabbit.
- Deal with the Devil: Chicken nearly signs a contract with Red Guy to get rid of one of Aku's robots in the Cow and Chicken one-shot, only for said robot (who short-circuited from getting wet with coffee) to attack after its systems came back online.Red Guy: Seriously?! You couldn't wait 5 more seconds?!
- Lawyer-Friendly Cameo: The "Life Coach" that Grim hires to get rid of the invasion robot bears a passing resemblance to Dr. Lawrence Jacoby from the 1990s Drama Twin Peaks.
- Loophole Abuse: Twice in the Codename: Kids Next Door one-shot:
- Q-36 states that any worthy opponent can challenge it, so Sector V has the robot fight Father and the Delightful Children from Down the Lane. This becomes subverted, however; after a quick Curb-Stomp Battle, they leave, and the fight goes back to Sector V.
- After a "Eureka!" Moment, Numbuh Five convinces the team to defeat Q-36, despite the rest of the team believing it to be a Violation of Common Sense. She reasons that, with all the paperwork required just to go on a school field trip to a museum, they can't be teleported to another world that easily. Sure enough, she's correct; after Q-36's defeat it attempts to teleport Sector V, but it quickly fails.
- Precision F-Strike: On the Cow and Chicken one-shot, Chicken says a swear.Chicken: ...Damn...Red Guy: You Rang?
- Punctuated! For! Emphasis!: In the Codename: Kids Next Door one-shot, after Numbuh Five tells the team her plan to defeat Q-36, Numbuh One responds thusly:Numbuh One: That. Is. Not. A. Plan.
- Sadistic Choice: In the Codename: Kids Next Door one-shot: the robot Q-36 provides this to Sector V. If they win, they are going to be teleported to another planet and cloned. They can't afford to lose either, or they will be unworthy.
- Unsound Effect: Twice on the Cow and Chicken one-shot: "CWUSHING EMBWACE OF FWIENDSHIP" and "SIBWING WOVE" at the end.
- Villain of Another Story: The one-shots show exactly what happened to all the robots that were accidentally deployed at the end of the first part of the main story, while also explaining why the protagonists of those worlds weren't captured.