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Comics Merger

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When two comic book titles merge into one.

One title may just subsume the other. Alternatively, a new title might combine the names of the two pre-existing ones, or have a completely new name.

Very common amongst British Anthology Comics of the seventies and eighties, where the tradition was that the name of the worst-selling comic appeared in tiny letters for a few months, and then just disappeared.


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    Comic Books 
  • Tornado, Starlord, Crisis, and Revolver all merged with 2000 AD.
    • 2000 AD #2350 and Judge Dredd Megazine #460, both published September 2023, are What If? issues imagining what the comic would be like if Battle-Action had been taken into the fold. The lead strip in 2000 AD is Judge Dredd: Juves Rule OK, which relocates Action's notorious Kids Rule OK strip to the Dreddverse, and the other strips have been given an SF&F gloss, such as Major Eazy now fighting the Ghostapo or Rabid Cop Dredger getting sent to the future. The Megazine, meanwhile, relocates all the strips to the Dreddverse, often dramatically reinventing them in the process, except the lead story which is a Dredd/Curistor Doom crossover, despite the fact Curistor Doom was a Smash! character, and never apeared in Battle-Action.
  • Hoot and Nutty which both merged with The Dandy.
  • Buster, a semi-official spinoff of Andy Capp, merged with probably the largest number of comics during its run than any other comic; the final merger was with Whizzer and Chips in 1990. Many of the comics it merged with had already merged with other comics, especially Whizzer and Chips, which had merged with four comics during its lifetime. One of those four (Whoopee!) had also merged with another three comics.
    • In one case, one of the comics it merged with (Jackpot) had a strip called Milly O'Naire and Penny Less that was basically the Distaff Counterpart of one already running in Whizzer and Chips, Ivor Lott and Tony Broke (which had itself originally been in Cor!! before it merged with Buster). When the comics combined the strips were merged, becoming Ivor Lott and Tony Broke with Milly O'Naire and Penny Less (although the girls were eventually phased out after a few years).
  • The Beano, arguably Britain's most well known comic, has had no official mergers over its lifetime. However, it has absorbed characters from comics which have ended such as The Numskulls from The Beezer and Fred's Bed from The Topper. Speculation ran rampant that the Dandy's Desperate Dan could end up in The Beano as well when its print run ended (Bananaman already appeared in both comics), but it continued as a download and in annuals, so Dan has stayed where he is.
    • The Christmas Annual, however, was The Magic-Beano Book from The Magic Comic's cancellation in 1942 until 1950.
  • The merger of the aforementioned Beezer and Topper is another odd example with the two comics' merger in 1990. The new comic formed was called The Beezer and Topper and unlike many other mergers both comics where given equal billing until the comic's end in 1993.
  • Although The Beezer and Topper didn't merge into Beano or Dandy, the two comics did take on some of their characters. Beryl the Peril and Blinky went into the Dandy, while the Beano initially took on The Numskulls and later revived Fred's Bed, Adrian the Barbarian (renamed as Olaff the Madlander), and Tricky Dicky.
  • The final survivor of the five Power Comics (Smash! which later merged with Valiant) absorbed the other four power comics and for a brief time went by the name Smash and Pow incorporating Fantastic.
  • Perhaps the most famous American example is the merger of the Marvel Comics series Power Man and Iron Fist in the late 1970s, which worked so well the characters still turn up together more often than not.
  • Earlier in the decade, there was briefly a plan to do this with Daredevil and Iron Man slated to become parts of a single "double feature" title due to their solo comics' failing sales. Instead, both went bimonthly for awhile instead, and both recovered thanks to well-received runs.
    • This was actually a throwback to Marvel practice in the 60s. A lot of Marvel heroes shared a double-header book until they finally received their own titles towards the end of the decade. When the book "split", one character would start afresh from issue #1 while the other continued the numbering from the older title. Characters who did this include Captain America, Iron Man, The Hulk, Giant-Man, the Human Torch, the Sub-Mariner and Dr Strange.
  • This happened during the so-called "DC implosion" in the late 1970's. By the mid-70s, DC was looking for a new plan to support its superheroes, and it found it almost by chance when a publishing experiment revealed that readers were enthusiastic about 80 or 100 page comics, with wider profit margins. Hence, DC developed a three pronged strategy: keep their profitable big-name (licensable) characters in their own regular comicbooks, cancel the worst selling titles outright, and merge everything in-between into super-sized anthology titles. As such, characters with decent sales but limited licensing possibilities found themselves uncomfortably sandwiched together into the pages of titles such as Superman Family, Batman Family, or Super-Team Family.
  • Thus, In 1974, DC Comics canceled Supergirl's first solo title, Superman's Pal, Jimmy Olsen and Superman's Girl Friend, Lois Lane. The three features were combined (along with other occasional Superman-related features) in the super-sized Superman Family title, which ran until 1982.
  • In an odd fate, thanks to the aforementioned "DC Implosion", DC was on the verge of cancelling Detective Comics. What did they do to save it? The combined it with their best-selling Batman book, Batman Family, waited until its sales started to return to normal, and returned it to normal old 'Tec.
  • After the "DC Implosion", completed but unpublished stories of several solo characters including Black Lightning saw print as backups in other characters' comics.
  • Cable and Deadpool had their solo series merged into Cable & Deadpool for a while; the fact that these characters didn't go together well was part of the humor.
  • The Atom and Hawkman had their solo titles merged into Atom and Hawkman for a while; not as successfully as Power Man and Iron Fist, but it still made them canonically best friends for years thereafter.
  • The 1980s revival of Eagle enabled the completion of a notable merger chain. The original 50s Eagle had been merged into its rival Lion when it closed. Lion would later be merged into Valiant, which in turn was ultimately merged in Battle. Finally, Battle itself was closed and merged into... Eagle.
  • In Poland superhero comic books were immensely popular among kids after the fall of communism, but at the end of decade the sales decreased. While Spider-man and The Punisher still sold well, Batman and Superman comicbooks were merged into one title. It was cancelled after a year.
  • When the initial run of Captain Britain concluded, the series continued as a backup feature in Super Spider-Man and the Titans, displacing Titans to form Super Spider-Man and Captain Britain.
  • Secret Empire saw Captain America: Sam Wilson and Captain America: Steve Rogers merge into a singular Captain America title, with Sam Wilson's numbering, Steve Rogers' artist and the writer for both titles. That issue, Captain America #25, was the end of Nick Spencer's run.
  • In January 2018, U.S.Avengers, Uncanny Avengers and The Avengers merged to form the weekly book Avengers: No Surrender.
  • IPC's girl's comics have a similar chain to Eagle, but doesn't quite link up. Eagle's Distaff Counterpart Girl was merged with Princess, which then merged with Tina. Princess Tina then merged with Pink (more of a magazine than a comic, as were the following publications) which merged with Mates, which merged with Oh, Boy!, which merged with My Guy ... which was simply cancelled. Meanwhile the long-running Tammy absorbed Sally, Sandy, June, Jinty and Misty, before itself being merged into a relaunched Girl .
  • Meanwhile, at DC Thomson's girls department, Mandy absorbed Debbie (which itself had merged with Spellbound, DC Thomson's version of Misty), and then Judy to be Mandy and Judy for a while (an unusually equal partnership, with the two title characters even sharing a strip where they were now friends, whereas Debbie had just disappeared), before merging with the Trope Maker of "girls' comic with a girl's name", Bunty.
  • This kinda-sorta happened with Sonic the Hedgehog (Archie Comics). When spin-off title Knuckles the Echidna was cancelled just before the start of the Sonic Adventure storyline, the Knuckles storylines meant for the title were put into the Sonic comic as back-ups, lasting until issue #125.

    Comic Strips 
  • A rare newspaper example happened with two strips by Darrin Bell, Candorville and Rudy Park. The creator and the syndicate realized that none of the newspapers were running the two strips at the same time, and wanting to reduce the workload, Bell decided to gradually have the two strips merge, having both series run the same comic on the same day. Eventually in 2018, both strips were combined into one as Candorville.