Thursday, May 28, 2015

Amalgam Comics (Amalgam Comics - Marvel Comics / DC Comics)



Amalgam Comics
Amalgam Comics (Marvel Comics / DC Comics)
1996 - 1997

Fans of both DC and Marvel Comics wished for a long time that the two companies would do some form of crossover story arc, and in 1996 that wish was finally fulfilled. During the mini series, Marvel Vs. DC and DC Vs. Marvel the two companies combined their efforts even further when they crossed some of their most famous characters together to create all new persona's. Rather than print their books under their own banners, DC and Marvel developed the all new brand, Amalgam Comics.

Each company developed their own stories and ideas, and featured them in six unique books all numbered as issue one - Not that there were ever any plans to move on to an issue two.

DC's books were;

Amazon - A cross between Wonder Woman and Storm

Assassins - A book featuring numerous combined characters. It's main protagonists were Catsai - A cross between Catwoman and Elektra, and Dare the Terminator - A cross between Deathstroke and Daredevil. Other notable characters included; The Big Question (Riddler / Kingpin), J. Jonah White (Perry White / J. Jonah Jameson), Jimmy Urich (Jimmy Olsen / Ben Urich), Terra-X (Terra / Terrax), Winterstick (Wintergreen / Stick) and Wired (Manhunter / Cable).

Doctor StrangeFate - A book featuring numerous combined characters. It's main protagonist was Doctor StrangeFate - An obvious cross between DC's Doctor Fate and Marvel's Doctor Strange. Other noteable characters included; Abominite (Hellgrammite / Abomination), Jade Nova (Green Lantern / Nova), Myx (Mr. Myxzptlk / Wong), White Witch (Zatanna / Scarlet Witch) and Skulk (Solomon Grundy / Hulk). The Doctor StrangeFate issue is notable as being one of the story arcs reprinted in the collected editions of the DC Vs. Marvel trade paperback due to it being a vital piece to the overall story.

JLX - This was a book which meshed the teams Justice League and X-Men together. As such, there are numerous "main" characters; Angelhawk (Hawkman / Angel), Apollo (Ray / Cyclops), Aqua-Mariner (Aquaman / Sub-Mariner), Canary (Black Canary / Mockingbird), Captain Marvel (DC's Captain Marvel / Marvel's Captain Marvel), Firebird (Fire / Phoenix), Goliath (Oliver Queen / Goliath), Hawkeye (Green Arrow / Hawkeye), Jocasta (Jocasta, Sentinels / Millie the Model), Mercury (Impulse / Quicksilver), Mister X (Martian Manhunter / Professor X), Professor Kang (Professor Zoom / Kang the Conqueror), Runaway (Gypsy / Rogue), Will Magnus (Will Magnus / Bolivar Trask) and Wraith (Obsidian / Gambit).

Legends of Dark Claw - It's probably the most popular book in the entire Amalgam series due to the combination of Batman and Wolverine into Darkclaw. Other notable characters include; Huntress (Huntress / Carol Danvers), Hyena (Joker and Harley Quinn / Sabretooth) and Sparrow (Robin / Jubilation "Jubilee" Lee).

Super-Soldier - It was a combination of both poster children for the American way of the DC and Marvel universes - Superman and Captain America. The roll still belonged to Clark Kent who took on the alternate persona of Super-Soldier. Other characters included; Green Skull (Lex Luthor / Red Skull) and Ultra-Metallo (Metallo / Ultron). Super-Soldier also made an appearance in the JLX book(s).

Marvel's books were;

Bruce Wayne: Agent of S.H.I.E.L.D. - It's Bruce Wayne meets Nick Fury to become Colonel Bruce Wayne - Okay, it wasn't the most exciting approach to an Amalgam series. Characters in the series included; Baron Zero (Mister Freeze / Baron von Strucker), Black Bat (Batgirl / Black Cat), Deathlok (Jason Todd / Deathlok), Madame Cat (Catwoman / Madame Hydra), Moonwing (Tim Drake / Moon Knight), Sgt. Rock (an Amalgam version of DC's Sgt. Rock) and Nuke (Bane / Nuke).

Bullets and Bracelets - The book featured The Punisher (Steve Trevor / The Punisher) and an Amalgam version of DC's Diana Prince, AKA Wonder Woman as the main protagonists. Other notable characters included; Big Titania (Big Barda / Titania), Bronze Panther (Bronze Tiger / Black Panther), Circle (Circle / Sersi), Granny Harkness (Granny Goodness / Agatha Harkness), Highfather Odin (Highfather / Odin), Scott Free (an Amalgam version of DC's Scott Free), Thanoseid (Darkseid / Thanos) and War Monarch (Monarch / War Machine).

Magneto and the Magnetic Men - This was a book which meshed a group of DC and Marvel characters into an all new team. It featured; Antimony (Platinum / Scarlet Witch), Bismuth (Tin and Snapper Carr / Toad and Rick Jones), Cobalt (Gold and Lucious Fox / Mastermind), Iron (Steel / Iron), Kokoro (Katana / Psylocke), Magneto (Will Magnus / Magneto) and Nickel (Mercury / Quicksilver).

Speed Demon - An obvious Amalgam of The Flash and Ghost Rider. There are actually numerous versions of Speed Demon portrayed in the story. The first features an Amalgam of Golden Age Flash and Phantom Rider. The second, and most predominant is a cross of The Flash and Ghost Rider, and the last is Kid Speed Demon which is a cross between Wally West and Danny Ketch. Other notable characters include; Arrowcaster (Speedy / Nightcaster), Blob (Chunk / Blob), Madman Jordan (Green Lantern / Madman), Merlin (Merlin / Merlyn), Miss Miracle (Mister Miracle / Crystal), Puck (Oberon / Puck), Scarecrow (an Amalgam of Scarecrow from both the DC and Marvel Universe), Siliconman (Plastic Man / Sandman), Etrigan the Demon (Etrigan the Demon / Zarathos), Two-Faced Goblin (Two-Face / Green Goblin) and Uatu the Guardian (Guardians of Oa / Uatu the Watcher).

Spider-Boy - This book features the obvious cross between Spider-Man and Superboy to create Spider-Boy. A fun aspect to the story was that it also featured a Spider Clone Amalgamation of Bizarro and Ben Riley. This was one of the two characters in the story to utilize Bizarro. Other characters included; Bizarnage (Bizzaro / Carnage), "Brooklyn" Barnes (Dan Turpin and Brooklyn / Bucky Barnes), Dr. Curt Connors (an Amalgam of Marvel's Dr. Curtis Connors), "Flash" Thompson (an Amalgam of Marvel's Flash Thompson), Guardian Angel (Guardian / Angel), Insect Queen (Insect Queen / Mary Jane Watson), King Lizard (King Shark / The Lizard), Captain Sam Makoa (an Amalgam of DC's Captain Sam Makoa) and Roxy Leech (an Amalgam of DC's Roxy Leech).

X-Patrol - This team featured numerous "main" characters which included; Beastling (Changeling / Beast), Dial H.U.S.K. (Dial H / Husk), Elastigirl (Elasti-Girl / Domino), Ferro Man (Ferro Lad / Colossus), Niles Cable (The Chief / Cable) and Shatterstarfire (Starfire / Shatterstar).

In 1997, the Amalgam universe was rekindled for a second wave of books - All once again numbered as issue one. Though some characters returned, the books were given different names. Once again each side delivered six different books.

DC's books were;

Bat-Thing - A cross between Man-Bat, Swamp Thing and Man-Thing.

Dark Claw returned in the book Dark Claw Adventures - A take liken to that of the highly popular Batman the Animated Series. Other characters included; Ra's-A-Pocalypse (Ra's Al Ghul / Apocalypse) and Ubuwong (Ubu / Wong). Last but not least, the assassin ninja-robot THX 1138 deserves an honorable mention. The name is an obvious nod to George Lucas.

Generation Hex - An old west based series featuring numerous characters such as; Aurora Trigger (Wayne Trigger / Cinnamon), Black Tom Savage (Wandal Savage / Black Tom Cassidy), Johnny Random (Johnny Thunder / Random), Jono Hex (Jnoah Hex / Chamber), M-Parasiteplate (Parasite / Emplate), Madame Banshee (Madame .44 / Banshee), Marshal "Bat" Trask (Bolivar Trask / Bat Lash), Nightgate (Gateway / Nighthawk), Northstar Trigger (Walter Trigger / Northstar), Pow Wow Boom Boom Smith (Pow Wow Smith / Boom Boom), Retribution (Penance / Firehair), Shaggynaut (Shaggy Man / Juggernaut), Skinhunter (Skin / Scalphunter), Thuderchick (Siryn / Hawk), Thunderhawk (Thunderbird / Tomohawk) and White Whip (Whip / White Queen).

JLX Unleashed - This story added new faces to the JLX team established the prior year. New characters included; Chaos (Spitfire / Havok), Fin Fang Flame (Brimstone / Fin Fang Foom), Iceberg (Ice / Iceman), Iriskani (Iris Allen / Mother Askani), Lord Maxwell Hodge (Maxwell Lord / Cameron Hodge), Mistress Maxima (Maxima / White Queen), Red Vision (Red Tornado / Vision) and Savage Shaw (Vandal Savage / Sebastian Shaw).

Lobo the Duck - Probably the most anticipated stories of the second wave of Amalgam books was Lobo the Duck. Fans expected a funny and violent experience, and were delivered both. The main character is an obvious cross between Howard the Duck and Lobo. Other characters included; Al Forbush (Al / Irving Forbush), Ambush the Lunatik (Ambush Bug / Lunatik), Bevarlene (Darlene / Beverly Switzler), Billie the Millie (Billy the Girl / Millie the Model), Daryl Rutabaga (Jonas Glim / Space Turnip), Doctor Bongface (Scarface / Dr. Bong), Gamorola (Shao-La / Gamora), Godthing (Gawd / Chair Thing), Gold Kidney Lady (Goldstar / Kidney Lady), Imposible Dawg (Dawg / Impossible Man) and Jonas Turnip utilizing Space Turnip again in conjunction with Jonas Glim.

Super-Soldier: Man of War - This book featured the return of Super-Soldier along side numerous new characters such as; American Belle (Liberty Belle / Miss America), Human Lantern (Golden Age Green Lantern / Android Human Torch), Major Zemo (Iron Major / Baron Zemo) and The Whiz (Jay Garrick, the Golden Age Flash / Whizzer).

Marvel's books were;

Challengers of the Fantastic - This take on the Fantastic Four included a large number of characters - Second in size only to Spider-Boy Team-Up, which we'll go into below. Notable characters included; Ace (Ace Morgan / Invisible Woman), Big Gorgon (Big Bear / Gorgon), Bronze Panther (Bronze Tiger / Black Panther), Diablo, the Volcano Man (Diablo / Volcano Man), Doctor Doomsday (Doomsday / Doctor Doom), Drabny the Fixer (Drabny / Fixer), Dream Crystal (Beautiful Dreamer / Crystal), Galctiac (Brainiac / Galactus), June Masters (June Robbins / Alicia Masters), Medusa Moonrider (Mark Moonrider / Medusa), Multi-Master (Multi-Man / Puppet Master), Prof (Prof Haley / Mister Fantastic), Red (Red Ryan / Human Torch), Red Ghost (Red Ghost/ Gorilla City), Rocky (Rocky Davis / Thing), Silver Racer (Black Racer / Silver Surfer), Triserinak (Triton / Karnak) Ultivac the Multi-Robot (Ultra the Multi-Alien / Machine Man and Galactus's Punisher Robot) and Vykin (Vykin the Black / Black Bolt). The book also featured characters developed for the book that were not based on cross overs; Comrade Grodd, Congo-Red, Moon Bo and The Radioactive Kra.

Exciting X-Patrol - This book featured the return of the X-Patrol from the 1996 book. It included new characters such as; Brother Brood (Brother Brood / Brood), Jericho (Jericho / X-Man) and Raveniya Dayspring (Raven / Aliya Dayspring).

Iron Lantern - This book was an obvious combination of Iron Man and Green Lantern. It also featured the alternate persona of Hal Stark (Hal Jordan / Tony Stark). Other notable characters included; Gardner (an Amalgam Guy Gardner from DC Comics), Great White (Shark / Ultimo), Green Guardsman (Green Lantern / Guardsman), Gyrich (an Amalgam Henry Peter Gyrich from Marvel Comics), Happy Kalmaku (Thomas Kalmau / Happy Hogan), H.E.C.T.O.R. (Hector Hammond / M.O.D.O.K.), Madame Sapphire (Star Sapphire / Madam Masque and Pepper Potts), Mandarinestro (Sinestro / Mandarin), Oa the Living Planet (Planet Oa / Ego the Living Planet), Rhomann Sur (Abin Sur / Rhomann Dey), Senator Harrington Ferris (Carl Ferris / Senator Harrington Byrd) and Stewart Rhodes (John Stewart / Jim Rhodes).

The Magnetic Men featuring Magneto - This book featured the return of Magneto and the Magnetic Men alongside new characters such as; Black Vulture (Black Condor / Vulture), Chemodam (Chemo / MODAM), Deathborg (Cyborg / Deathlok), Kultron (Kobra / Ultron), Quasimodox (Vril Dox / Quasimodo), Soniklaw (Sonar / Klaw) and Vance Cosmic (Cosmic Boy / Vance Astro).

Spider-Boy Team-Up - As we mentioned above, the cast of Spider-Boy Team-Up featured a ton of characters; Agamotto Empress (Emerald Empress / Eye of Agamotto), Bouncing Ball (Bouncing Boy / Speedball), Cannonfire (Wildfire / Cannonball), Chameleon (Chameleon Boy / Chameleon), Darkstar (Shadow Lass / Darkstar), Dream Date (Dream Girl / Desting), Fantastic Lad (Elastic Lad / Mister Fantastic), Invisible Girl (Invisible Kid / Invisible Woman), Lady Bug (Shrinking Violet / Wasp), Lectron (Lightning Lad / Electro), Living Colossus (Leviathon / Micro Lad and It! The Living Colossus), Manorb (Mano / Orb), Martinex 5 (Brainiac 5 / Martinex), Mass (Star Boy / Charlie-27), Myriad (Triplicate Girl / Multiple Man), Nucleus (Element Lad / Molecule Man), Paste-Eater Pete (Matter-Eater Lad / Paste Pot Pete), Phantomcat (Phantom Girl / Shadowcat), Phoenetix (Kinetix / Rachel Summers), Psu-Girl (Saturn Girl / Vulture), Shadowstar (Shadow Lass / Starhawk), Sparkler (Light Lass / Dazzler), Spartacus (Persuader / Gladiator), Spider-Boy 2099 (Mig-El Gand and Mon-El / Spider-Man 2099), Sun Lord (Sun Boy / Firelord), Tharlock (Tharlok / Deathlok), Timberwolf By Night (Timber Wolf / Werewolf by Night), Universe Boy (Ultra Boy / Captain Universe), Valinus (Validus / Terminus) and Xcel (XS / Quicksilver).

Thorion of the New Gods - This book was a combination of Marvel's Thor with DC's Orion as the main protagonist. The main antagonist was L'ok D'saad - A combination of Loki and Desaad.

A lot of these books were great reads - Others...Well, you work with what you've got. Let's just say some have good stories, others were just fan service.

Join us next time when we revert back to toys, and take a look at Donkey Kong!

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3 comments:

  1. I never even knew there was a second series published. The whole thing was completely nonsensical, but it was great fun seeing the two biggest publishers team up for a bit.

    Of course, I still wouldn't mind seeing Dark Claw and Hyena figures.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Some of the characters were a bit silly, but overall the books had a fun charm to them. The key was to not take them seriously.

      Delete
  2. I remember buying these up when they came out!

    ReplyDelete

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