Amalgam Comics was the bizarre fusion of the Marvel and DC universes, but has the time come to revive the strange world for a new era of comic books?
With the obscure and wild history of comics generally celebrated by fans, nothing needs to see the light of day once more than Marvel and DC’s ambitious lovechild, Amalgam Comics. Comic companies love titillating fans by bringing back long-forgotten pieces of their history and reviving them for a new generation of readers. And there’s nothing more strange than the event that led the two titans of the industry creating a brand new, yet strangely familiar comic book universe.
The singularly unique Amalgam Comics was an imprint co-published by Marvel and DC during the Marvel vs DC/DC vs Marvel crossover event of 1996. The story by Peter David and Ron Marz with art by Dan Jurgens and Claudio Castellini involved personifications of the respective universes known as the Brothers challenging one another by having their heroes fight to determine which universe is superior and which will be vanquished. To spare both sides, the Spectre and Living Tribunal fuse the dueling worlds, creating the entirely new Amalgam Universe.
The new world was populated by merged versions of popular Marvel and DC heroes, each more peculiar than the last. Some made thematic sense, like Super-Soldier, the noble warrior for good, was an union of Superman and Captain America. Characters like Iron Lantern took bits from their inspiration’s backgrounds to create something mostly new. Some characters were even connected based on their popularity like perennial favorites Batman and Wolverine. These two were fused to create the warrior known as Dark Claw, who would even get an additional title modeled after Batman: The Animated Series in a nod to the Dark Knight’s far-reaching adoration.
Amalgam was an opportunity to explore the similarities and differences of Marvel and DC’s characters, but the landscape of comics that Amalgam was built on has changed quite a bit. The imprint was rooted in the then-current status quo of the ’90s and the fusions of the event reflected this. Amalgam’s Spider-Boy was a combination of Superboy Conner Kent and the Ben Reilly version of Spider-Man, no doubt created based off their similar cloning backgrounds. A contemporary version of Amalgam could potentially incorporate Miles Morales’ Spider-Man and add in elements of the newest Superman, Jonathan Kent. Or it could create new combinations of heroes that found popularity after the original Amalgam event, such as a fusion of Deadpool and Harley Quinn to create the ultimate wisecracking, meta-aware killer.
The idea of Marvel and DC working together to create something as outlandish and fun as Amalgam seems like a pipe dream nowadays at best. Despite teasing a potential crossover as recently as 2019’s Doomsday Clock, there’s been no effort to seriously coordinate a new event to bring the two together. With so much new material to work with from the last several decades, DC and Marvel should consider having the Brothers meet once more to let audiences discover how wild a modern-day Amalgam Comics universe could be.