Comic Book: Amalgam Universe
when a mommy Comics 'Verse
and a daddy Comics 'Verse
love each other very much, they get together and have a baby Comics 'Verse
. It's a special, magical thing, and should only happen within the bonds of holy CrossOvers
In 1996, Marvel Comics
and DC Comics
co-created a Limited Series called, oddly enough, Marvel Vs. DC
, in which the Superheroes
of the two powerhouse Comic Book
companies met, fought, and came out friends— then had their memories of the whole affair erased
. Except for a very few, who remembered
It seems that The Multiverse
of each company's main continuity was in fact the creation of two Sufficiently Advanced Aliens
known as "The Brothers". For eons, they were ignorant of each other until the first Intercontinuity Crossover
brought them to each others' attention. Each wanting to be the singular Anthropomorphic Personification
of the Multiverse, they decided that in true Superhero fashion, the matter could only be settled with a Fight Scene
. Or rather, a series of one-on-one battles between the most similar heroes. Some of these fights were between characters who would later be Amalgamated, such as Spider-Man
. Some were matched by ability; the Badass Normal Batman
versus the Badass Normal Captain America
, for example. The loser's universe would be destroyed, so both sides had plenty of motivation to kill each other. At the same time, a young man named Axel Asher
, A.K.A. Access
, discovered that he was a shard of the original joined reality
. This was apparently a mantle that was passed down from generations
(he acquired the abilities from a homeless man who died soon after). Access could only stand by and watch as the two universes did battle. Marvel was ahead six to five, when suddenly
The Powers That Be
named the Living Tribunal and The Spectre
try to take the pressure off by merging both universes into an Amalgam where the iconic main characters of each world merge into single being with aspects of each— Wolverine
become Dark Claw, Superman
and Captain America become Super Soldier (He really was one, too
). Some were merged because they were similar
in powers or purpose, others because their names sounded
alike (resulting in some awful punny names
) and still others for the heck of it (see the list below). Each had a "remembered" history that splits the difference between the merged characters— there was a Golden Age
Super Soldier who joined the All-Star Winners Squadron, a Wild West
team of mutant "malforms"
called Generation Hex
The Brothers quickly pulled themselves apart, thus separating the Marvel Universe and DC Universe once again. Angered, they decided to forego the contest and simply battle each other. This would've surely resulted in the destruction of both universes.
Access managed to bring Cap and Bats to the interdimensional battlefield between the Brothers, and showed the big boys a first-hand look at the beings whose realities they were planning to eliminate— and they liked what they saw. Impressed by the iron wills of these two mere mortals, and seeing that they were Not So Different
, the Brothers called off their grudge match, the Reset Button
was pressed, the limited series ended, and all was good... for a while.
Turns out Access can't stay in one universe too long, or his powers go haywire and begin transposing inhabitants from one universe to another. And in the sequel All Access
, it turned out the Amalgam Sorcerer
Doctor Strangefate (made from Doctor Fate
and... Professor Xavier
; who'd have guessed?) had hidden himself in Doctor Strange
's mind, and burst out to try to re-create his universe by merging the Big Two. So once again, cue fight music as the JLA
throw down, only to be saved by the original Doctor Strange
creating an independent Amalgam Universe without
affecting the original two (though based on the first one). This Amalgamverse was safely tucked away inside Access and again all is well. Except for a few whacky Time Travel
adventures in the Unlimited Access
miniseries, but those had no plot effects and were apparently just for fun.
Several sets of Amalgam comics set in the merged universe have been published jointly by both companies. The titles include Bruce Wayne: Agent of S.H.I.E.L.D.
, Iron Lantern
, Bullets & Bracelets
, Justice League Avengers
, and many others.
Characters in the Amalgam Universe note
Tropes demonstrated by the Amalgam Universe:
- Adaptational Heroism: Doctor Octopus, in the Spider-Boy titles.
- Adaptational Villainy: Kyle Rayner's counterpart in Iron Lantern, due to being amalgamed with the Face Heel Turned Guardsman.
- All American Face: Super-Soldier.
- Always Someone Better: Quicksilver's problem when fighting The Flash.
- Animated Adaptation: Dark Claw Adventures was drawn in the style of The Batman Adventures and billed as being based on the animated version of the character.
- Atrocious Alias: Some of the portmanteau names are just painfully stupid.
- At least in one case, it was done on purpose due to the Rule of Funny: there's a merge of two characters who already had each one separately– DC's Matter-Eater Lad, from Legion of Super-Heroes, and Marvel's villain Paste-Pot Pete (who changed his name to Trapster) were combined into... Paste-Eater Pete.
- Badass Normal: Did rather well in the pre merge fights: Of the non-powered combatants only Catwoman lost and she was fighting another Badass Normal (more or less) in Elektra. Robin beat Jubilee and Batman (rather more impressively) beat Captain America.
- In the merged universe: Most of the characters in the title Bruce Wayne Agent of S.H.I.E.L.D., Catsai, from Assassins, Trevor Castle from Bullets and Bracelets.
- Cliff Hanger: Several of the one-shots had twist endings or left plot points seeking resolution. For example Bruce Wayne Agent of S.H.I.E.L.D. has an ending which implied that most of the featured heroes and villains were killed in an explosion. Their fate was never clarified. X-Patrol ended with a major character crippled and the rest of the team reacting to it.
- Composite Character: The whole point of the universe.
- Two examples that really stick out here are Magneto and Will Magnus. As if it wasn't enough to make one character out of the original two, they decided to make two characters, explain them as brothers and put them on opposite sides of the law. Even more interesting, the one who took the name Magneto ended up becoming a hero, while the one called Will Magnus became the villain, in a reversal of their namesakes' usual roles.
- Continuity Snarl: The Spider-Man that appears in the series is Ben Reilly rather than Peter Parker, as the Clone Saga was still running in all the Spider-Books at the time. However, when out of costume Ben has his normal appearance of looking like Peter rather than the look he'd adopted with his hair dyed blonde and cut short.
- Depending on the Artist: Shatterstarfire's fingers. In X-Patrol, drawn by Roger Cruz, she had four fingers per hand, as Shatterstar; In The Exciting X-Patrol, penciled by Bryan Hitch, each of her hands has five fingers, as Starfire (and most humans).
- Gender Flip: Marvel's Daredevil and DC's Deathstroke are both male, but they were merged into a female character: Slade Murdock/Dare from Assassins.
- Letters to the Editor: Some of the one-shots had faux letter columns with letters from portmanteaus of DC/Marvel creators (such as Simon Siegal) referencing earlier issues of other comics in the Amalgam line.
- Palette Swap: A few of the amalgams, such as Beastling and Thanoseid, have the body of one component, and the color scheme of the other.
- Super Soldier: Super-Soldier.