It took less than a year before Alan Moore and David Gibbons' Watchmen was first mentioned in the pages of a story set in the DCU. In 1988's The Question #17, Denny O'Neil and Denys Cowan had shown Vic Sage reading a copy of the graphic novel and pondering Rorschach's psychopathic approach to problem solving. Yet the first, and perhaps only, crossover between Moore and Gibbon's Charlton analogues and the DCU appeared in the little-known and repeatedly delightful Hero Hotline, a 1989 mini-series which featured a team of minor-league super-people working for hire in order to pay their everyday bills.
The fifth issue of writer Bob Rozakis and artist Stephen De Stefano's short run featured a scene set in the apartment of the mysterious "Coordinator" who owned the Hero Hotline business. An obviously well-connected figure in the super-heroic community, he would have been revealed to be the Americommando had the series survived. The walls of his home were shown to be hung with a variety of photographs of super-friends and enemies alike, and each of the four decades of DC's existence up until that point was referenced there. It was a smart way of emphasising both the Coordinator's status as a significant player in the DCU and the remarkable length of his crime-fighting career.
|The worrying thing about the figure of Mr Mind at top-right is that it appears to be moving. At first, it looks like a macabre memento from a run-in with the Captain Marvel nemesis. But unless the frame he's resting on is itself shaking, that Mr Mind is - gosh! - alive and spying on Hero Hotline!|
At the bottom left-hand side of the panel which showed all of this was a signed and framed photograph starring a smiling post-Crisis Captain Atom and a joyless Dr Manhattan. It's a touch of playful meta, of course, since both are revamps of the original Steve Ditko version of Captain Atom from the Sixties. But since there's absolutely no sense that the Coordinator's anything other than an entirely-sincere and well-respected individual, it's highly unlikely that the photograph is a fake. Not only did Atom and Manhattan actually meet, therefore, but they even hung around to pose for a snapshot afterwards. As such, it seems to me that this has a good case for being the only legitimate crossover between the characters of the Watchmenverse and the DCU.
I've little doubt that there's a 60-issue Event to be spun out of it.