Amalgam Comics

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to navigation Jump to search
Amalgam Comics
Amalgam Comics logo.png
Amalgam Comics logo
Parent companyDC Comics
Marvel Comics
(The Walt Disney Company)
StatusDefunct in 1997
Country of originUnited States
Publication typesComic books
Fiction genresSuperhero fiction

Amalgam Comics was a publishing imprint shared by DC Comics and Marvel Comics, in which the two comic book publishers merged their characters into new ones (e.g., DC Comics' Batman and Marvel Comics' Wolverine became the Amalgam Comics character the Dark Claw). These characters first appeared in a series of 12 comic books which were published in April 1996, between issues #3-4 of the DC vs. Marvel miniseries. A second set of 12 comic books followed one year later in June 1997.[1] All 24 of these issues occurred between the aforementioned issues #3-4 of DC vs. Marvel.

The Official Handbook of the Marvel Universe: Alternate Universes 2005 designated the Amalgam Universe as Earth-9602 in the Marvel Multiverse.[2][3] DC Comics has not yet identified the Amalgam Universe in its Multiverse.

Publication history[edit]

On two separate occasions – April 1996 and June 1997 – Marvel and DC co-published a total of 24 one-shot "first issues" (12 in April 1996 (six by DC and six by Marvel) and 12 in June 1997 (again, six by DC and six by Marvel)) under the Amalgam Comics imprint. The issues were presented as if the imprint had existed for decades, with stories and editorial comments referring to a fictional history stretching back to the Golden Age of Comics, including retcons and reboots; for example, they referred to Secret Crisis of the Infinity Hour (an amalgamation of Marvel's Secret Wars, DC's Crisis on Infinite Earths, Marvel's The Infinity Gauntlet, and DC's Zero Hour), which featured the well-known cover of Crisis on Infinite Earths #7, but with Super-Soldier holding his sidekick's dead body (who is female and wears a costume similar to that of Marvel's Captain Marvel), instead of Superman holding the dead body of Supergirl. Several issues included fake letter columns to provide the illusion of background to the stories, with the "fans' " hometowns formed by amalgamating the names of existing cities.[4]

The first Amalgam event occurred near the end of the DC vs. Marvel crossover event in 1996. In that event, the Marvel and DC Universes were shown being combined into one - the Amalgam Universe - and the Amalgam comics were presented as the result of that. The first 12 Amalgam titles were released the following week, delaying both publishers' regular releases by one week. Half the issues in the event were published by Marvel and half by DC. A year later, the event was repeated, but without the crossover providing context.[4] Later, both publishers collected their respective issues into four trade paperback collections.[5]All 24 of the Amalgam comic books took place between the third and fourth issues of DC vs. Marvel.

Between the two rounds of Amalgam Comics, the two publishers released a second miniseries, DC/Marvel: All Access. A third miniseries, Unlimited Access, followed the second round. Both crossover miniseries featured additional Amalgam characters.

Fictional origin of the Amalgam Universe[edit]

The two comic book universes came together when the two physical incarnations of their respective universes (referred to as "the Brothers") became aware of each other after eons of slumber. To prevent the Brothers from destroying each other, characters from each universe battled to determine which universe would survive (a real world vote by readers of the series was conducted to determine the outcome of five of the in-comic match-ups, with three of them favoring the Marvel hero). Access, a character created specifically for the event and co-owned by both Marvel and DC, served as a gatekeeper who became stuck while traveling between the two universes.

When the battles were finished, neither universe was willing to go. To prevent their total destruction, the Spectre and the Living Tribunal created an amalgamated universe, in which only Access and Doctor Strangefate (the amalgamation of Doctor Fate, Doctor Strange and Professor X) knew the truth about the merge. The two characters fought against each other to reverse (in the case of Access) or preserve (in the case of Doctor Strangefate) the change.

Access managed to separate the Brothers with the help of the Amalgam Universe's superheroes; before the merge had taken place, he had planted 'shards' of the two universes inside the Batman and Captain America. Once he discovered the Dark Claw (an amalgamation of the Batman and Wolverine) and Super-Soldier (an amalgamation of Superman and Captain America), he used those shards to give the Spectre and the Living Tribunal the power to restore the two universes. The Batman, Captain America and Access were thus able to make the Brothers realize that their conflict was pointless and the two universes were separated once again.[1]

Amalgam characters[edit]

During the event, pairs of Marvel and DC characters were merged into single characters. The same was done with teams and fictional locations. Usually, the merged characters had something in common (for example, the Challengers of the Fantastic, an amalgamation of the four-member Jack Kirby creations the Challengers of the Unknown and the Fantastic Four, or the Aqua-Mariner, an amalgamation of the water-themed superheroes Aquaman and Namor the Sub-Mariner), or their names or themes allowed for clever combinations (such as Superman and Captain America's amalgamation, Super-Soldier, a reference to the Super Soldier Formula that created Captain America; the Bat-Thing, an amalgamation of the Man-Bat and the Man-Thing; or Shatterstarfire, an amalgamation of Starfire and Shatterstar).

Amalgam comic books[edit]

The 24 issues have been reprinted in four trade paperback collections:

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b DCO PattyJ. "DC vs. Marvel". Superman Homepage. Retrieved January 28, 2011.
  2. ^ Earth-Amalgam at The Appendix to the Handbook of the Marvel Universe
  3. ^ "Amalgam Comics". June 20, 2008. Retrieved March 24, 2011.
  4. ^ a b Radford, Bill (April 20, 1997). "New Amalgam comics bring back characters, add a few". Beaver County Times. Retrieved January 28, 2011.
  5. ^ Weiner, Robert G. (2008). Marvel graphic novels and related publications: an annotated guide to comics, prose novels, children's books, articles, criticism and reference works, 1965–2005. McFarland. p. 385. ISBN 978-0-7864-2500-6. Retrieved January 28, 2011.

External links[edit]

  • Amalgam Index at The Appendix to the Handbook of the Marvel Universe