In the year, 1996, the two major comic book houses, DC Comics and Marvel had decided to mash all their characters and create a whole new fictional construct. This was called the Amalgam era and was a one-time event as these comics are not being reprinted.
As we all know, it has been a ritual for most fans to pledge allegiance to either DC or Marvel. All the Punisher loyalists seem to hate that Batman does not actually kill his enemy, the Joker. All the Superman fans are arguing that Thor can never defeat DC’s Man of Steel.
The crossovers between Marvel and have been very rare. The DC vs. Marvel miniseries had super fights that were fueling all the nerd arguments for many years.
Th Amalgam comics were a fan service of highest order, and we had seen where Superman fight the Hulk and win, Wonder Woman being able to lift Thor’s hammer, and Marvel’s Elektra defeat Catwoman.
What then followed was the debut of the entire Amalgam Universe.
The Amalgam books had come out in two parts, and they were a year apart. Some had been super bad, and others were actually sublime artifacts. The best managed to thrive on a commonality of the mythoses that were mashed up or just found energy from bringing together a few opposite bits. Iron Lantern mixed Tony Stark and Hal Jordan and created Hal Stark, a character that needed recharging of the armor whihc he had made from an alien-like lantern artifact.
Bruce Wayne-Agent of SHIELD. It really does not sound like it would be received very well, but this ended up being super fun.
This is the better book that was created in this project and was the mixing of Batman and Nick Fury who fought against The Green Skull. He was helped by SelinaLuthor, and yes, this is a mix of Catwoman and Madame Viper.
Specific fusions had different results. Dark Claw was a super mash-up of Wolverine and Batman. This surely felt more engaging in Dark Claw Adventures comic. The work was much better than straight superhero drama as in Legend of the Dark Claw.
Challengers of Fantastic had also paid homage to the Fantastic Four and Challengers of the Unknown science-hero teams. Creator, Jack Kirby had really worked for the publishers and had mixed the elements of the Inhumans and New Gods.
Taking inspiration from Kirby’s legacy was Thorion of New Asgods.
It is surely a huge and exciting space fantasy treat where the Mother Box and Cosmic Cube become ‘Mother Cube’ and Odin, Thor’s father and Highfather become one.
In Bullets & Bracelets, an odd couple pairing of The Punisher who is a Frank Castle and Steve Trevor hybrid with Diana Prince was created. They fell in love and had a child.
A lot of Amalgam comics suffered from having backstory exposition dumps on their pages.
The wry nods to comics’ history had been metatextual as we saw in Amalgam company’s Stan Schwartz (DC Stan Lee and Julie Schwartz) and this references to Final Onslaught and Secret Crisis crossovers which are also nods to the Final Crisis, Secret Wars, and Onslaught events.
The Amalgam books capitalized on some long-simmering conspiracies on events that cannot be coincidences. The Doom Patrol is a DC team of all the outcasts that are led by a man who is always in his wheelchair.
But not all the Amalgam books made use of experiment’s fusion power. Assassins, unfortunately, is kind of the worst and was packed with artistic overindulgence and stilted writing, and this had been characterized as the worst of 1990’s comics.
The Lead characters, Catsai and The Dare are combinations of Daredevil, Elektra, Catwoman, and Deathstroke. Enigma Fisk was a villain who was a mix of Kingpin and Riddler.
Spider-Boy and Super-Soldier, the patchwork heroes, had been sewn from many elements of Captain America, Spider-Man, and Superman. The Super-Soldier comics captured the Greatest Generation optimism of 1940s comic with a more angsty man-out-of-time vibe that is there for Clark Kent and Steve Rogers.
The Spider-Boy Team-Up had also given a fun canvas, costume changes, time travel, and also a legacy with the perfect amount of snark.
These were comics that gave superhero genre’s fans a warm hug, with in-jokes and fan-fic logic. The Superman and Spidey projects from the year, 1976 and 1981 had been written to hook all the non-nerds. This is the crystallization of all policies and editorial problems that created smaller comics-reading population.
When the DC vs. Marvel and Amalgam comics were collected, the companies took turns releasing anthologies. Marvel and DC had gotten their fair share of the lucrative sales. DC is a Warner Bros. company while latter-day Marvel is owned by Disney.