Before I finish off my History of Marvel Crossovers, there is just one thing I wish to discuss. It was a moment in time when something came about that was so strange, so weird, so perfect, that everyone knew it could never last.
Oh yes: this is the Amalgam Age of Comics.
There's always been a rivalry between Marvel and DC, but there's also been friendliness between the two. After all, most comic writers and artists wrote for both companies at one point or another — most of them were friends or on friendly terms.
But it was still quite a surprise in 1996 to see a series called DC versus Marvel (and Marvel versus DC — they alternated titles). This was a four issue limited series both companies published and yes, it was quite gimmicky. Aside from an interesting premise (the two universes are represented by two "Brothers," cosmic entities who finally meet one another), the actual battles between characters was forced and the outcomes were decided by fan vote (leading to such upsets like Wolverine beating Lobo).
But it's what came after the crossover that concerns us: to save both universes, the Spectre and the Living Tribunal merged them and created the Amalgam universe.
And everything was awesome.
Some Amalgam comics were quite obvious in retrospect, like Amazon. This is Princess Ororo, the adopted sister of Diana, raised on Themyscira.
Diana, on the other hand, would be in a book called Bullets and Bracelets, where she would take the name Freelance and fight alongside her husband, Trevor Castle (the Punisher), against the forces of Thanoseid and Apokolips.
(Yes, Thanos was based on Darkseid. If you are combining characters, surely you combine the two characters that are the most similar, right?)
(Not right. You'll see.)
Storm and Wonder Woman was easy, but now comes Batman and... Wolverine?!
Yes, dear readers, gaze upon the Dark Claw Adventures (as well as the companion Legends of the Dark Claw).
Yes, his name is Logan Wayne and his sidekick is Sparrow (a combination of Robin and Jubilee, which is totally weird because they were love interests in DC versus Marvel) and arch-enemy is Ra's-A-Pocalypse (I seriously can't read that with giggling).
He was also raised by Canadian Mounties after his parents died. Not kidding.
Does this mean Bruce Wayne doesn't exist in the Amalgam universe? Heck no! Here, he's Bruce Wayne, Agent of S.H.I.E.L.D.
And now we're back with the obvious mixture: Iron Lantern about Harold "Hal" Stark, a multi-billionaire and founder of Stark Aircraft, who found a crashed landed alien and built a metal suit out of alien technology.
Oh and his love interest/enemy is Madame Sapphire and his arch-enemy is Mandarinestro.
Let me repeat that:
(And we're not even at the best part.)
(Also that giant-head on the cover is H.E.C.T.OR., the Highly Evolved Creature Totally Orientated on Revenge.)
Oh my. This is like everything about '90s smooshed together into a delicious yet inedible cake. It's the X-Patrol (also known as the eXciting X-Patrol). With Elasti-Girl, Ferro Man, Beastling, Dial H.U.S.K., Raveniya Dayspring, Niles Cable, and Shatterstarfire!
Yes, that's right: Shatterstarfire. Why combine Shatterstar and Starfire? Because shut up.
Their enemies were Doctor Doomsday, X-Stroke the Eliminator, and Brother Brood.
(You may notice that this sounds more like a combination of X-Force and the New Teen Titans. But come on: Shatterstarfire. It just rolls off the tongue.)
I could go on and on talking about Thorion of the New Asgods or JLX or Challengers of the Fantastic or Magneto and the Magnetic Men. I could talk about Super-Soldier or Angelhawk or the Aqua-Mariner or Doctor Strangefate or Bizarnage (it's Bizarro and Carnage) or Captain Marvel (it's Captain Marvel and Captain Marvel — yes, that's the joke).
But honestly, this last picture is worth a thousand words: