Fans enjoy the four-color exploits of their favorite superheroes from the DC and Marvel universes, characters who have been providing exciting tales of adventure for multiple generations. Readers can't get enough of their favorites, and wonder about matching up characters from one arena with another. The classic "let's fight and then let's team up" trope has fueled many a story, and has been the basis of more than a few inter-company crossovers. Some fans take it to the next level, conjuring up creative amalgams of characters and their costumes and powers. After all, who wants to stop enjoying the story just because you've come to the last page?
Sometimes it is done to put together a character with another that has a similar skill set. Sometimes, it is to see if a powerful character can be made even more formidable. Sometimes, it is bringing together an off-the-wall combination and making something thrilling and fresh out of the joining. The talented artists below have put their imaginations to work, coming up with new superheroes that pique our interest because they are just so cool. In fact, the following fan-made mash-ups are so amazing, we wish they could be in actual stories!
15 WONDER WOMAN + PHOENIX
Princess Diana of Themyscira is a powerhouse, the foremost warrior of her homeland and one of the top heroes in the DC Universe -- even if she was underestimated in the early days and relegated to secretary in the Justice Society of America. But she's got nothing on the X-Men's Phoenix, who has the power to destroy worlds.
Rick Marin, known as MisterHo at Deviant Art, combines the two in Wonder Phoenix for TopTenz.net. Wonder Phoenix sports Wonder Woman's colors, bracelets and gold tiara with the ruby star, but has the Phoenix symbol in place of the eagle or the stylized WW on the bustier, and Phoenix's gold thigh-high boots and sash. Moreover, she has flaming red hair -- and the flaming Phoenix Force apparition to boot.
14 THE JOKER + LOKI
It's a striking, chilling thought: Loki, the trickster god of Asgard, suffused with the madness and love of chaos that is The Joker. Just the sight of this combination is even more foreboding, and yet, at the same time, it is equally fascinating. Marco D'Alfonso, known as m7781 at Deviant Art, gives us such a sight.
With a background of royal purple, we find this amalgamation (Joki?) seated on a stone throne. The forced perspective has us looking down at him, but he's so scary that we know not to look down on him. He is wearing the golden horned helmet and wielding a staff that has a little flag at the top, blaring "BANG" -- not to mention the deck of cards strewn at his feet.
13 CAPTAIN MARVEL + THOR
Thor, a Norse demigod with the ability to control the lightning and Captain Marvel, a boy who lightning, transforms into a mighty man with the powers of a pantheon of powerful deities and heroes -- the wisdom of Solomon, the strength of Hercules, the stamina and invulnerability of Atlas, the power of Zeus, the courage of Achilles and the speed of Mercury. Put them together, and you have Thunder God.
EricGuzman at Deviant Art gives us the proud figure of Thunder God, who sports long, dark locks; a winged helmet; broad shoulders and arms covered in chain mail, a la Thor circa 2007. He also sports a red tunic trimmed in gold, with gold shields, belt and wrist bracelets, and a white cape with gold piping. His eyes, hammer and chest symbol -- a lightning bolt, natch -- glow from the energies coursing through him.
12 GREEN LANTERN + CLOAK AND DAGGER
For two characters whose powers and persona center around darkness and light, it's a natural to couple Cloak and Dagger with the power of the Green Lantern. Cloak and Dagger, introduced in Peter Parker, the Spectacular Spider-Man #64 (March 1982) are teen runaways who became mutates. Cloak taps into the darkforce dimension and can teleport people into and out of it. Dagger generates "light daggers" that sap people of energy, but also can energize Cloak's need for light.
Bloody Samoan posted this creation at Deviant Art, and even went so far as to come up with a Green Lantern oath specific to the duo: "(Dagger) Brightest Day! / (Cloak) Blackest Night! / (Cloak and Dagger) When no one hears your woeful plight, opposing forces fight for right / (Cloak) Child of Darkness! (Dagger) Child of Light!"
11 CAPTAIN MARVEL + CAPTAIN MARVEL
Another take on matching DC's Captain Marvel with a Marvel Comics hero unites him with his namesake, Mar-Vell, the Kree warrior. This design blends Captain Marvel's classic look from C.C. Beck with Marvel's Captain Marvel design created by Gene Colan.
This Captain Marvel sports the white cape with gold piping, gold wristlets and arm bands and gold boots, as well as a gold sash tied over the hips. But the costume also sports a red tunic and sleeves and the black leggings from the House of Idea's Marvel's design, as well as a black area that extends from the mask down to the shoulders. Artist Walfiend2 notes over at Deviant Art that he did this design because he didn't like the original Amalgam Captain Marvel's look.
10 THE JOKER + IRON MAN
The Super-Team Family: The Lost Issues blog serves up a regular dose of fantasy mash-ups between DC and Marvel heroes, stitched together through the magic of Photoshop and presented as covers of the greatest team-up comic that doesn't exist -- but ought to. Issue #70 comes up with a pairing that is at once brilliant and frightening: The Joker as Iron Man.
The image, provided by Brian Bolland, shows Joker peering at the reader with his ever-murderous grin on his lips. He is clad in the armor, which practically pulsates with power -- and, thanks to who is wearing it, with dreadful menace. The cover blurb says it quite clearly: "OH, THIS WILL NOT END WELL ..." for a story titled "THE CLOWN PRINCE OF IRON!"
9 DEATHSTROKE + DAREDEVIL
Matching Deathstroke the Terminator with Daredevil makes an odd kind of sense. Both men are warriors known for their agility and eclectic fighting styles, and their enhanced senses. Deathstroke is blind in one eye and Daredevil is fully blind, but has a radar sense that gives him an edge over his foes. Deathstroke's edge is a little more... literal.
The design by cossiokpo at Deviant Art elegantly simplifies things, right down to the name. It does away with Deathstroke's garish orange mask, shorts, gauntlets and buccaneer boots, and goes with Daredevil's colors -- black, grey and muted red. Instead of DD's billy club or Deathstroke's pistol, machine gun and bandolier of ammo, Dare has a broadsword -- and the grim look on his face says that's quite enough.
8 BLUE BEETLE + SPIDER-MAN
Blue Spider brings together two characters long associated with Steve Ditko: the amazing Spider-Man and the Blue Beetle. Both of the bug-based battlers are known for their agility and their wisecracking ways, and the Ted Kord version of the Beetle, like Peter Parker's Spider-Man, is a scientist and inventor, too, so the combination works out.
Artist Walfiend2 said, "Since the new Blue Beetle's costume is some sort of semi-sentient weapon/battlesuit, I thought this works well with Spider-Man's symbiant suit." Blue Spider sports a mostly black body suit, following the design of the costume Spider-Man first wore during Secret Wars -- the outfit that later proved to be the symbiote Venom. But he also wears boots and a mask from the Blue Beetle's garb, as well as pads on the elbows.
7 YELLOW LANTERN + MAGNETO
The mutant master of magnetism, Magneto, has been villain, antihero and freedom fighter in his day, with a career in the Marvel Universe that stems from the mid 20th Centruy and life as a Holocaust survivor to ruler of his own nation and his own planetoid, Asteroid M. He has been both antagonist and leader of the X-Men, but he foremost has served his own agenda -- protection of mutantkind from outside forces.
Milo619 at Deviant Art makes the already formidable Magneto even more imposing by coupling his innate control of magnetic fields with the yellow energies of the Qwardian Central Power Battery. The Sinestro Corps yellow rings work through instilling fear, as opposed to the green lantern rings, which operate by channeling willpower. The figure of Magneto-Laterna Amarelo majestically towers above mere mortals, striding ever alone.
6 DEADSHOT + BULLSEYE
Deadeye brings together two very similar characters, DC's Deadshot and Marvel's Bullseye. Both are master marksmen with a dubious hold on sanity. Deadshot has been around longer, appearing in Batman #59 (June 1950), looking more like he was ready for a night at the opera than the target range. He wore a domino mask, top hat and black tie and tails adorned with a pair of gunbelts. Bullseye made the scene in Daredevil #131 (March 1976).
Bullseye was largely forgotten until he was given a makeover and added to the Suicide Squad, whose modern incarnation debuted in Legends #3 (January 1987). Deadeye's outfit, rendered by cossiokpo at Deviant Art, bears Deadshot's wrist-mounted machine pistols and facemask with a sight over the right eye, but Bullseye's dark colors and target on the forehead.
5 MARTIAN MANHUNTER + THE VISION
EricGuzman at Deviant Art combines the ethereal qualities of The Vision with the strengths of the Martian Manhunter. He gives us a rather stern-visaged hero emerging from a wall, intent on finding something. The Martian Vision has a high-collared yellow cape and matching belt and wristbands, dark blue cowl and matching pants. The cape has a frontpiece that extends over his chest and is held in place by red straps.
Not only does the Martian Vision have the power of intangibility -- presumably, he can alter his density the same way the Vision does -- he also can turn invisible like the Martian Manhunter. We can hope he also shares the Martian Manhunter's power and shapeshifting abilities, but not his primary weakness of being susceptible to fire.
4 THE JOKER + THE HULK
The Joker met the Incredible Hulk in the classic 1981 crossover tabloid Batman vs. The Hulk (strictly speaking, DC Special Series Vol. 1 #27). The canny Joker even claimed a kinship with the jade behemoth: "Look at us, Hulk -- we're two of a kind. See? I've got green hair -- just like you." Of course, he was just trying to use the Hulk, who was too dim to notice.
At Bleeding Cool, Paul Cornish came up with not only The Big Joke's cover, but also the combined hero's backstory. The broke research scientist Jack Banner was recruited by "foreign interests" to steal the fruits of his work, an experimental gamma nerve gas. The container was punctured by a stray shot while Banner was being captured, and he was exposed. "Now, whenever Jack laughs, a horrible transformation occurs and the gentle scientist is transformed into a monstrous, giggling psychopath!"
3 SUPERMAN + IRON MAN
Paul Cornish created another mashup at Bleeding Cool, combining Superman and Iron Man. Cornish nicely alters the Gil Kane and Vince Colletta cover from Iron Man #47 (June 1972), which has the Golden Avenger breaking chains. The figure is blue where Iron Man is gold, and has a long, bright red cape and the metallic S shield from Steel's costume on the chest.
The backstory? "When billionaire media mogul Clark Stark is wounded by criminals in a botched kidnapping, he is forced to don a mysterious suit of armor from an alien world in order to save his life. Now he fights such villains as Lex Laser, Meltallo and Titaniac in a never-ending battle for truth, justice and the American way. Clark Stark is the Invincible Man of Iron."
2 BATMAN + SPIDER-MAN
Spider-Man and Batman have both helmed long-running team-up titles. Spider-Man was the lead for most of the 1972-1985 run of Marvel Team-Up and Batman was in 133 issues of The Brave and the Bold, which lasted 200 issues from 1955 to 1983. Not only that, they've met each other in the 1995 crossover Spider-Man and Batman: Disordered Minds, facing off against Carnage and The Joker.
DBed at Deviant Art mashes up different versions of the Wall-crawler and the Cowled Crusader, coming up with a figure based on Batman Beyond and the Iron Spider Armor devised by Tony Stark during the Civil War storyline. The Spectacular Spider-Bat has a red bodysuit with two gold mechanical limbs that protrude from his back as well as a pair of gold bat wings.
1 JUSTICE LEAGUE OF AMERICA + THE AVENGERS
Now we look at the premiere teams of the two companies, the Justice League of America and the Avengers, populated by the foremost superheroes of the DC and Marvel comics universes. Artist ctdsnark at Deviant Art goes whole hog, populating his hero team with eight characters blended together from DC and Marvel stars, and it works in so many hugely delightful ways!
Leading the team is Thor-El, who has Thor's upper body and Superman's shorts and pants. He is followed by Green Arrow, a mix of Hawkeye and Green Lantern; the Glimpse (the Flash and the Vision); She-Canary (Black Canary and She-Hulk); Iron Manhunter (Martian Manhunter and Iron Man); the Amazon Witch (Wonder Woman and the Scarlet Witch); Stingray (Aquaman and Yellowjacket); and Black Flag (Batman and Captain America).