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Comic Books: Amalgam Comics

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About Amalgam Comics
Covers Gallery
DC's Amalgam Comics
Marvel's Amalgam Comics

About Amalgam Comics:

Amalgam was a very interesting, and quite unusual, experiment between the two top publishers Marvel and DC.  In 1996, the two publishers teamed up for a heavily-hyped, four-issue mini-series called "Marvel vs. DC", or "DC vs. Marvel".  If Marvel printed an issue, it was titled "Marvel vs. DC".  If DC printed an issue, it was called "DC vs. Marvel".  Although only four issues, the mini-series had 8 different standard covers just because both publishers printed it.  In the "Marvel vs. DC" mini-series, superheroes faced off against their counterparts in a battle to the death.  By the end of issue 4, the winners were declared, but all the events of the series were wiped away, like they never happened, and all the heroes, living and dead, returned to their respective realities like nothing ever happened.

To tell the truth, the "Marvel vs. DC" event was NOT as cool as it could or should have been.  It all seemed rather dry.  The whole "killing off superheroes" bit had been done to death since Superman's death in 1992.  Not to mention the fact that comic books had pitted enough superheroes against each other in comics for the last several years.  There just wasn't anything special about the concept anymore.  The best thing that came out of all this was Amalgam Comics.

Amalgam Comics was attempted twice.  The first Amalgam event occurred near the end of the "Marvel vs. DC" run in 1996.  Twelve titles were released in a single week, temporarily replacing the publishers' regular releases.  Half the comics were published by Marvel and half by DC.  Funny thing, though, only the Amalgam logo was shown on the cover.  You actually have to look inside the comic to see who published it.  The whole idea behind Amalgam is that it was a fictitious publisher.  The name Amalgam comes from the fact that the new characters are really blendings (amalgams) of characters between Marvel and DC.  Some of these fusions proved quite interesting.  Others were not so good.  In one-third of all the Amalgam Comics published, fictitious letter columns were created to give a larger background to the stories and to give hints of what might happen in the next issue.  The names of hometowns from the imaginary "fans" were typically fusions of existing American cities.

The second Amalgam attempt was made one year later in 1997.  Again, twelve issues were released, divided equally by the publishers.  Marvel later published all their Amalgam Comics into a trade paperback edition, and DC did the same.  As cool as the idea of Amalgam was, it just didn't take, and it hasn't been attempted again.  It probably never will be attempted again, which is a bit sad.  Superhero comics in the late 1990s generally sucked, but Amalgam was a bright spot in that period.  It's amazing that the freshest ideas superhero comics offered in years came from the mixing of already established characters!

DC's Amalgam Comics- 1996

  • Amazon- A cross between Marvel's Storm, and DC's Wonder Woman.  A great idea, but a poor comic.
  • Assassins- Two assassins team up to take on the Big Question.  Catsai is a cross between Marvel's Elektra and DC's Catwoman.  Dare The Terminator is a cross between Marvel's Daredevil and DC's Deathstroke, the Terminator.  Big Question is a cross between villains Kingpin, of Marvel Comics, and Riddler, of DC Comics.
  • Doctor Strangefate- A cross between Marvel's Doctor Strange, and DC's Dr. Fate.
  • JLX- A cross between Marvel's Avengers, DC's Justice League, and Marvel's X-Men.
  • Legends of the Dark Claw- A cross between Marvel's Wolverine and DC's Batman.  Dark Claw's sidekick is Sparrow, a cross between Marvel's Jubilee and DC's Robin.  The villain is Hyena, a cross between Marvel's Sabretooth and DC's Joker.
  • Super Soldier-  A cross between Marvel's Captain America and DC's Superman.  The villain is Green Skull, a combination of Marvel's Red Skull and DC's Lex Luthor.  Green Skull's robot is Ultra-Metallo, a combination between Marvel's Ultron and DC's Metallo.  This was a cool comic and great idea.  It seems right.  Super Soldier is the only Amalgam hero who really deserved his own ongoing series.  Too bad he never got it.

DC's Amalgam Comics- 1997

  • Bat-Thing-  A cross between Marvel's Man-Thing and DC's Man-Bat.  To be truthful, DC's Swamp Thing is the true counterpart to Marvel's Man-Thing.  I'm curious as to why those two weren't combined.  Man-Bat is a villain in Batman comics, so I'm not sure why he was even considered for this.
  • Dark Claw Adventures-  You know how 1992 brought us the creepy TV cartoon series, "Batman: The Animated Series"?  Well, that cartoon inspired its own comic book series called, "Batman Adventures".  The character of Dark Claw is drawn in the fakey 1940s-style for this comic, just like Batman had been in his own.
  • Generation Hex-  A cross between Marvel's Generation X and DC's Western comic Jonah Hex.
  • JLX Unleashed-  The JLX returns, with Amazon now a member.
  • Lobo the Duck-  A cross between Marvel's Howard the Duck, and DC's Lobo.  Weird on top of weird.
  • Super Soldier: Man of War-  Super Soldier returns.  This comic was made to look like a WWII comic from the 1940s.

Marvel's Amalgam Comics- 1996

  • Bruce Wayne, Agent of S.H.I.E.L.D.-  A cross between DC's Bruce Wayne (Batman) and Marvel's Nick Fury, Agent of S.H.I.E.L.D.  The line-up of heroes and villains are crosses between characters from Batman and Nick Fury comics.
  • Bullets & Bracelets-  Two lovers team up to fight the evil Thanoseid, a cross between Marvel's Thanos and DC's Darkseid.  Diana Prince (DC's Wonder Woman) teams up with Trevor Castle (Marvel's Frank Castle, the Punisher, and DC's Steve Trevor) as two Punisher-type vigilante heroes.
  • Magneto & the Magnetic Men-  Marvel's Magneto & his Brotherhood of Mutants are crossed with DC's Metal Men.
  • Speed Demon-  DC's Flash and Etrigan, the Demon, and crossed with Marvel's Ghost Rider.  THIS was a cool comic idea.  One of Amalgam's best.
  • Spider-Boy-  A cross between Marvel's Spider-Man and DC's second, hip version of Superboy.
  • X-Patrol-  A cross between Marvel's X-Force and DC's Doom Patrol.

Marvel's Amalgam Comics- 1997

  • Challengers of the Fantastic-  A cross between Marvel's Fantastic Four and DC's Challengers of the Unknown.
  • Exciting X-Patrol-  X-Patrol returns, this time to fight Brother Brood.  That villain was a cross between Marvel's Brood and DC's Brother Blood.
  • Iron Lantern-  A cross between DC's Hal Jordan version of Green Lantern, and Marvel's Iron Man.
  • Magnetic Men Featuring Magneto-  The team returns!
  • Spider-Boy Team-Up-  Spider-Boy returns in this mock version of the old Marvel title, "Marvel Team-Up", that regularly starred Spider-Man.  In this issue, Spider-Boy joins up with all kinds of crossed hero characters.
  • Thorion of the New Asgods-  A cross between Marvel's Thor and DC's Orion, from the New Gods team.  Asgods, of course, is a play on the name of Thor's homeland, Asgard.