Picking up where last year’s Green Lantern/Silver Surfer team-up left off, Marvel and DC heroes begin disappearing in flashes of light and meeting the stars of the other publisher’s books.

(That’s not Spider-Man, it’s Ben Reilly–because this is the mid-’90s and Marvel kinda sucks for the most part.)

Of course there are lots of fun exchanges. Like Bullseye vs Batman and Robin, when the flash of light transports Bullseye right into the Batcave.

And the clash of the water boys.

And Lobo vs Wolverine.

Some of the fights were resolved by fan voting–Spider-Man beat Superboy, Superman beat Hulk, etc. Yeah, gimmicky. But lots of fun.

The big bad are two cosmic characters made up just for this series who, at the very end, decide to use their godlike powers to merge the DC and Marvel universes.

And so Amalgam is born–a line of comics about characters who represent fusion between DC and Marvel heroes.

Quite obviously, the Amalgam Universe is not canon–so I’m not going to spend a lot of time on it. At the same time, it was pretty fun and popular at a time when comics were not all that fun. The mid-’90s is a nadir for the industry, but especially for the big two and most certainly for Marvel. So any bright spots are worth noting.

“Wave One” of Amalgam were all published in 1996 and had some pretty cool composite characters.

The first was Super-Soldier: Clark Kent gets the Captain America serum, plus radiation, which gives him Supermanlike powers.

Then came Dark Claw–Batman and Wolverine. The Bat-universe would get a second entry in Amalgam as well: Bruce Wayne: Agent of SHIELD.

Storm and Wonder Woman became the Amazon of Amalgam. Wonder Woman got a second entry, later in Wave One, as a partner to Punisher in a book called Bullets and Bracelets.

Which also gave us Thanoseid.

At this point, it was time for a big team up: JLX, which delivered a slew of new heroes and had a terrific pedigree of creators. After the big-and-splashy fun of JLX, things got darker with a duo called “Assassins” that consisted of Catwoman/Elektra and Daredevil/Terminator. Too bad Deadpool and Terminator didn’t combine…

Next came Doctor Strangefate, who included the two obvious guys plus, inexplicably, Professor X. Because he needed to be even MORE powerful?

It made great use of its side characters…

Then Spider-Boy, which linked Spider-Man and Superboy. You might think this one negates the essential components of both characters: Spidey is the underdog and Superboy is the child-God.

But it was hilarious and awesome.

Next, rather than unite speedsters, Amalgam delivered a literal Speed Demon of Flash, Ghost Rider, and Etrigan.

It was awesome

And we closed out with Magneto and the Magnetic Men (aka The Metal Men) and X-Patrol (Doom Patrol and X-Force).

Again, lots of fun. It doesn’t take itself too seriously. Peter David is thanked under the writer credit, so I’ve included him as one of the creators.

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