Back in 1996, after the big honkin' Marvel vs. DC fan event where comic readers got to vote on who won battles between iconic Marvel and DC characters (such as Wolverine vs. Lobo, Superman vs. Hulk, etc.), they got together and created Amalgam Comics, merging their two universes together to give us characters like Dark Claw (Wolverine + Batman), Super Soldier (Superman + Captain America), and Lobo The Duck (Lobo and Howard The Duck). It was lots of fun.
These days, relations between the two companies are fairly frosty, so it's not likely to happen again anytime soon. Which is why, with apologies to the original artists of the following images, we thought it might be fun to play around with the concept (and play around in Photoshop), because so much has changed in both universes in the 16 years since it last happened.
So, here are five interesting things that could happen if DC and Marvel gave us more Amalgam Comics in the modern era.
5. JIMMY OLSEN: WINTER SOLDIER
We'll start off slow and with the crappiest 'shop, running with the previously established Super Soldier character by combining Superman and Captain America's respective sidekicks into one hardass ginger. Clark Kent was a World War II hero revived in modern times, but what of his bosom buddy Jimmy Olsen? Captured by Stalin's Russkies, that's what! Brainwashed into being the ultimate assassin as well as the ultimate shutterbug! Can Super Soldier deal with his friend gone astray?
4. BONES: DIRECTOR OF S.H.I.E.L.D.
I promise, I did more than just paste heads on other images, but it's late and I'm tired after finagling some of the other ones on this list, and I'm not the best 'shopper to begin with. Also, Director Bones of the DEO deserves a higher profile in the comics world, and what better way than combining him with Nick Fury? Besides, Bones is a black man with invisible skin (which also happens to be poisonous), so we can make him all Ultimate-styled, even. Plus, if we keep Bruce Wayne: Agent of S.H.I.E.L.D., it's even cooler, because Bones gets to boss him around.
3. STORMWATCH OF ATLAS
Now that Wildstorm is in the DCU proper thanks to the New 52, we can cram some of those folks together, too! Stormwatch and the Agents of Atlas have similar functions – secretive organizations trying to save the world without letting anyone know they exist. So why not combine them… and why not crazy go nuts with them, too? Apollo The Sentry, Jimmy Hawkswoor, Namora The Projectionist, M.M.-11, Adam 3-D, Venus the Engineer and The Midnight Punisher What Punishes At Midnight! Oh, and Gorilla Man. There's no need to change Gorilla Man. Because he is Gorilla Man.
2: INCREDIBLE HULK: RED LANTERN WORLDBREAKER
Really, this whole feature article idea started with me reading Red Lanterns and going "man, the Hulk would be awesome with these guys!" Then, I couldn't stop thinking about it until I finally started Photoshopping it up. And here we go. There are Skittle Lanterns and Skittle Hulks now, so why not put 'em in a jar and shake 'em up? They'll keep their original colors, just to be confusing. Of course, The Madder Hulk Gets, The Stronger Hulk Gets, so he has to be a Red Lantern.
His archenemy, Emil Blonsky, aka The Abomination, has the ability to instill great fear, so naturally, he goes where the big bads go.
Then there's the rest of the Hulk clan to cover the other colors of the rainbow.
Here's the reasoning: Skaar is angry all the time just like his father, so let's make him red, too. Betty Ross, the Red She-Hulk, once would have qualified for the Green Lantern Corps thanks to the tremendous willpower she showed in sticking by Bruce Banner's side during all his Hulkness, but lately, she's looking out for #1 and refusing to be denied anything she wants anymore. Hence, avarice, a recent development. Rick Jones, aka A-Bomb, is blue, and he's perennially hopeful and positive – he actually enjoyed being turned into a big spiky monster – so he gets the Blue Lantern ring. Korg up there isn't technically a Hulk, but he loves his Warbound brethren, especially the late Hiroim The Oldstrong, and it exudes from the cracks in his rocky skin.
Then, of course, there's good ol' Jen Walters, the original She-Hulk, sporting the Indigo Tribe's compassion power. Why? A. She's worked as a defense attorney, and there's got to be a level of compassion there to champion the cause of the wrongly accused and B. you've got an unparalleled amount of compassion if you willingly engage in coitus with the Juggernaut. Allegedly.
Wait a minute, aren't we forgetting one? Oh, yeah. The opposite, the switch-up. The Thunderbolt.
Green Hulk: Red Lantern, meet Red Hulk: Green Lantern. You might argue (and be pretty well right) that Thaddeus Ross should be an Orange Lantern as well, given his coveting Banner's power leading him to become a Hulk in the first place. But he's not going to fight his daughter over it. Thunderbolt Ross was a general in this man's army (or, rather, Air Force), and there's a certain amount of drive necessary to achieve that rank. Then there's the fact that he hounded the Hulk with the military might at his disposal for years and years and years with an obsessive stick-to-it-iveness that speaks of an unparalleled willpower, considering how often the Hulk smashed every tank and jet thrown at him. These days, he has the will to keep his identity a complete secret from everybody, including his teammates on the Avengers, and live most of his days with androids as his only friends in order to protect his legacy and the dignity with which the world thinks he died.
Hulk smash puny Guardians.
Oh, wait. That's redundant.
Besides, thanks to seminal (and definitive) Deadpool writer Joe Kelly's Superman/Batman Annual #1 a while back, Wade Wilson already slyly wormed his way into the DCU without needing Amalgam Comics. He's the Antimatter Universe Deathstroke, aka Slade Wilson… as well he should be, considering his history.
The perfect note to end on, no?