Back in the late-90s, Marvel and DC formed the publishing house Amalgam Comics, whose sole purpose was to promote crazy combinations of their characters. For two years, the writers at Amalgam threw hundreds of Marvel and DC characters into a comic blender and poured out a comic character smoothie so outrageous and awesome that we just had to talk about them.
There were 400 hybrid character creations across 30+ issues – you can read the entire list HERE – and while fantasy character combos such as Two-Faced Goblin (Two-Face/Green Goblin), Icebreaker (Aquaman/Iceman), and Hawkhawk (Hawkman/Hawkeye) are intriguing, there’s no way we can mention them all. However, we did single out ten of our favorite mash-ups and the comics they are introduced in, that we would love to see come to life on the big screen.
[NOTE: These are NOT crossover comics, but rather a blending of existing comic properties to create an entirely new comic universe.]
Bruce Wayne Agent of S.H.I.E.L.D.
Bruce Wayne is joined by Huntress (Huntress/Ms. Marvel) and Moonwing (Nightwing/Moon Knight) as S.H.I.E.L.D. battles the Green Skull (Lex Luthor/Red Skull) and the minions of Hydra. Skull is, of course, attempting to destroy the world with his doomsday machine – the Terra Cannon. It’s important to note that Bruce Wayne isn’t Batman in this version, but rather a highly-skilled special agent. Also standing in his way is the seductive and deadly Madame Cat (Madame Hydra/Catwoman).
Bruce’s story is filled with spies, superheroes and megalomaniacal bad guys – so basically, no different than every other superhero movie ever produced up to this point. Because this story isn’t too outlandish, in the proper hands, a talented screenwriter could easily turn this amalgamation into something worth watching.
The origin story of Spider-Boy (Ben Reilly/Superboy) starts as a rather sad one. Peter (Spider-Boy) is the failed result of an attempt to clone the Super Solider program, who gets adopted by General Ross, finds out he has the ability to control his own gravity (enabling him to walk on walls), and is orphaned when Ross is killed by a mugger. It wasn’t all negative for Peter though, for awhile he takes pictures of himself flirting with other superheroines for the Daily Bugle, and ends up marrying the Insect Queen (Mary Jane Watson/Insect Queen).
Spider-Boy is one of the few Amalgam characters to meet his future self from the year 2099 during a crossover comic issue where he teams up with the Legion of Galactic Guardians. This particular story is chock full of characters such as, Lady Bug (Shrinking Violet/Wasp), Sparkler (Light Lass/Dazzler), Scavulture (Scanvenger/Vulture), and Paste-Eater Pete (Matter-Eater Lad/Paste-Pot Pete).
Lobo the Duck
In one of the more outrageous pairings, the story for Lobo the Duck (Lobo/Howard the Duck) is set in an alternate reality where all of Amalgam’s superheroes have been murdered. Lobo the Duck agrees to investigate (since he was paid upfront by the fallen heroes) and along with his sidekick, Impossible Dawg (Dawg/Impossible Man), battles through various villains – such as Doctor Bongface (Scarface/Doctor Bong) – in search of superhero killers.
Since Howard the Duck was an unmediated disaster on film and Lobo has yet to actually make his way into theaters (though he did have an awesome short film made several years back), there’s a zero percent chance that a film about this fantastic character hybrid ever materializes on the big screen… but we can dream.
Iron Lantern is essentially a straightforward mash-up of the Hal Jordan/Green Lantern and Tony Stark/Iron Man – except the suit replaces the ring as Iron Lantern’s source of power. Along with Pepper Ferris (Pepper Potts/Carol Ferris), who becomes Madame Sapphire (Star Sapphire/Madame Masque), they battle the evil robot known as Great White – until the Green Guardsman (Green Lantern-Kyle Rayner/Guardsman) sabotages them.
The powers for Iron Lantern were changed slightly to include time travel and telepathic abilities, while his armor could convert heat into electricity. For some reason, it also included jet skates powerful enough to tow several thousand tons behind him. Everything about this one-off story still sounds better than everything used in the real Green Lantern movie.
Thorion of the New Asgods
In this story, Thorion (Thor/Orion), All Highfather Odin (Odin/Highfather) and other various New Asgods are called upon to defend Ragnarok from Thanoseid (Thanos/Darkseid) and the armies of L’ok D’saad (Loki/Desaad). Thorion received the power of light by making a pact with The Source – a power he must use to defeat L’ok D’Saad whose henchmen are using the power of the Mother Cube (Mother Box/Cosmic Cube).
Unlike Thor’s origins, Thorion is actually the son of Thanoseid who is traded to Highfather Odin during a treaty. Thorion and his battle against galactic evil would ultimately show up in eight Amalgam issues – each story becoming grander than the last. A gods vs. gods battle for the fate of the universe would surely be an epic spectacle for audiences to watch on a big screen.
In one of the most ambitious Amalgam stories written, members of the Justice League and X-Men universe are mashed together in order to battle their greatest foe in the entire series. It will take nothing short of the combined powers of Amazon (Wonder Woman/Storm), Firebird (Fire/Phoenix), Nightcreeper (Creeper/Nightcrawler), Chaos (Spitfire/Havok), Iceberg (Ice/Iceman), Mariner (Aquaman/Namor), and Mr. X (Martian Manhunter/Professor Xavier) to overcome the ferocious force of nature known as Fin Fang Flame (Fin Fang Foom/Brimstone).
The combination of powers and characters in this story arc alone – which includes the villainous Hellfire League of Injustice and the heroic Judgement League Avengers – is staggering. As much as we would love to see this story come to life, realistically there may not be enough screens in North America to properly display the sheer awesomeness a mashup like this would generate.
Challengers of the Fantastic
In their galactic story spanning several universes, Amalgam called on the superheroes Ace (Ace Morgan/Sue Storm), Prof (Professor Haley/Reed Richards), Rocky (Rocky Davis/Ben Grimm) and Red (Red Ryan/Johnny Storm) to battle the evil forces of Galactiac (Galactus/Brainiac) and Doctor Doomsday (Doctor Doom/Doomsday). With the help of allies such as Bronze Tiger (Bronze Tiger/Black Panther) and Silver Racer (Silver Surfer/Black Racer) they are able to defeat the Galactiac but not before he turns Rocky into Rocky Punisher (The Thing/Punisher Robot) and combines Prof with the arms of Dr. Octopus.
No doubt, the most interesting components of this story are a Punisher robot/Thing hybrid, Mr. Fantastic with eight stretchable arms and a headquarters in Fantastic Mountain. Those images alone are enough to make us want to watch this mashup in glorious live-action. At the very least, these characters would make an interesting animated movie.
Just like his Marvel and DC counterparts, Speed Demon was a role filled several times throughout its comic life. Jay Garrick (Phantom Rider/Golden Age Flash) was the original Speed Demon until Night Spectre (Nightmare/The Spectre) captured his soul, turning him into the demon Etrigan. Blaze Allen (John Blaze/Barry Allen), a stuntman and amatuer mystic, would be the second Speed Demon, while his nephew Wally West (Daniel Ketch/Wally West) would finally don the flaming skull as Kid Demon.
Speed Demon must save the soul of his wife from the evil Night Spectre and during their battle with the darkness, Demon and Allen run into the Blob (Blob/Chunk), Siliconman (Sandman/Plastic Man) and Two-Faced Goblin (Two-Face/Green Goblin). This wasn’t the most imaginative story Amalgam produced but it might do better at the box office than Ghost Rider 2.
Legends of the Dark Claw
Dark Claw was one of Amalgam’s most popular comic creations – producing more than two standalone issues – with the character making multiple appearances throughout the two-year run. The story for Legends was a by-the-numbers revenge tale, where Lady Talia (Talia/Lady Deathstrike) seeks revenge against Dark Claw (Batman/Wolverine) for the death of her father, Ra’s A-Pocalyspe (Ra’s Al Ghul/Apocalypse). Also making appearances were Spiral Harley (Harley Quinn/Spiral), Dark Claw’s sidekick Sparrow (Robin/Jubilee) and Hyena (Sabretooth/Joker).
With movies such as Suicide Squad and Batman V Superman hitting theaters soon, there’s very little chance of ever seeing characters like these come to life in live-action. However, some stories were meant to dominate the small screen and if there was ever a story worth turning into an interesting TV show, this would be it.
Bullets and Bracelets
In this complicated story combing many universes from each comic book house, Punisher (Frank Castle/Steve Trevor) and Diana Prince (one of only a few characters not to be combined with anyone else), are in desperate search of their kidnapped child, Ryan. Thanks to Monarch’s (War Machine/Monarch) Boom Tube, they travel to the lands of Apokolips and New Asgard where they battle Thanoseid (Thanos/Darkseid) and his Female Furies, Stompa, Lashina, Bernadeth, Mad Harriet and Big Titania (Big Barda/Titania).
The difficulty in explaining this complex story in theaters would be on par with The Watchmen. A movie of this caliber would definitely be a high risk bet under any circumstances but there are so many characters in it, it might just be worth it.
While these mashed up, hybrid characters are fun to read about and it could be even more fun seeing them come to life, there’s a slim-to-none chance that Marvel and DC would ever let their cinematic properties be tainted in this way. But as Sony lets Spider-Man come back into the MCU, and Fox is toying with the idea of bringing the worlds of X-Men and Fantastic Four together, there’s always that little glimmer of hope that something this outrageous could one day show up at your local theater.
Got your own favorite Amalgam mash-up you want to see on the big screen? If you could make a hybrid character using Marvel and DC properties, who would it be? Sound off in the comments below.