While Marvel and DC Comics might collectively own most of the world's biggest superheroes, it's been a while since the two comic book titans really got along. Although Marvel and DC crossed over regularly throughout the late 1990s and early 2000s, the publishers haven't officially teamed up in over 15 years. However, the publishers were on considerably friendlier terms in 1996. That's when the two comic book giants co-produced Marvel vs. DC. Over Ron Marz, Peter David, Dan Jurgens and Claudio Castellini's four-issue miniseries, dozens of heroes and villains faced off in battles that fans had been dreaming about for decades. In one of the blockbuster event's most surprising twists, the worlds of Marvel and DC merged to form the Amalgam Universe near the end of the crossover. Throughout two series of one-shot comic books in 1996 and 1997, fans got to explore a world filled with characters like Dark Claw, a combination of Wolverine and Batman, and teams like the Justice League X-Men.
With Marvel set to mash-up some of its own heroes later in 2018 in the Infinity Warps event, CBR is taking a look back at Amalgam Comics, the original superhero mash-up extravaganza. More specifically, we'll be counting down some of Amalgam's most powerful characters. Since most of these Amalgam heroes and villains have the abilities of both of the characters that inspired them, these are some of the most ridiculously overpowered characters in the history of superhero comics. Even though most of these characters only appeared once or twice, they still have enough raw power and mind-bending accomplishments to stand out in any universe.
For a little while in the mid-1990s, Spider-Man and Superboy were both clones. While Ben Reilly and Kon-El aren't as prominent as they once were, the two clones were combined to create Amalgam's Spider-Boy. After Project Cadmus created Peter Ross, his adoptive uncle, General Thunderbolt Ross, perished. While battling monstrous foes, Spider-Boy saved innocent lives with distracting witty banter that also made him a crowd-pleasing celebrity.
Besides a snazzy leather jacket and a web-shooting pistol, Spider-Boy also has gravity-manipulating powers. Through novel uses of this power, Spider-Boy gave himself super-strength, heightened agility and the ability to walk on walls.
29 DARK CLAW
While DC's Batman and Marvel's Wolverine share tragic lives and fierce fighting styles, the two icons aren't the most obvious pairing. Still, Amalgam saw the two icons merge to become Dark Claw. After Logan Wayne's parents perished, he moved to Canada with his uncle, until he also perished.
After both tragedies, Wayne discovered his mutant powers and joined the Weapon X Project.
Dark Claw had a jaw-dropping assortment of abilities at his disposal. Between his healing factor, genius intellect, adamantium claws and mastery of 127 fighting styles, Dark Claw was bad news for any criminal in New Gotham City.
Since Batman and Logan were mashed-up to form Dark Claw, their arch-rivals, the Joker and Sabretooth, merged to form the Hyena. Dark Claw's perfectly-named nemesis was originally Creed Harley Quinn. Like Dark Claw, Creed went through the Weapon X Project, which gave him a bizarre appearance and adamantium claws on his fingertips.
While his healing factor saved his life, it didn’t save Creed's sanity. After becoming too savage for Weapon X, the Hyena dedicated himself to eliminating Dark Claw. In addition to his other abilities, the Hyena also has super-strength and a range of destructive gadgets like Frolic Frags.
On the surface, Gambit, the X-Men's card-throwing Cajun, and Obsidian, the occasionally evil son of DC's first Green Lantern, don't have much in common. Still, the mutant and the shadow-controlling antihero were mashed-up to create Amalgam's Wraith.
Like Obsidian, Todd LeBeau was separated from his twin sister at birth.
After growing up in New Orleans, LeBeau was given a set of magic playing cards that activated his meta-mutant abilities. With his shadowy powers, Wraith could become intangible, manipulate his size, charge objects with his dark kinetic energy and had limited telepathic abilities, which he used in the Justice League X-Men.
When Marvel's Shatterstar and DC's Starfire were merged, the resulting Amalgam creation was, naturally, called Shatterstarfire. While that name might make the character seem like a joke, Shatterstarfire's origin finds a lot of common ground between the alien X-Force member and the alien Teen Titan.
After being taken from her subatomic home Tamojoran, Princess Koriand'ru joined X-Patrol, a meta-mutant superteam. Although she never quite got used to Earth, she was one of its most powerful heroes. With the combined abilities of Starfire and Shatterstar, she could fly, had super-strength, project energy blasts and was an extraordinarily skilled, incredibly agile fighter.
25 BROTHER BROOD
Although it wasn't around for long, Amalgam excelled at bringing completely disparate concepts together in characters like Brother Brood. While Brother Blood is a DC cult leader who fights the Teen Titans, the Brood are essentially Marvel's version of Alien's parasitic Xenomorphs.
Brother Brood had a "spiritual awakening" after being implanted with a Brood egg.
As the leader of the Cult of the Brood, Brother Brood had an increasingly large army of alien Brood and brainwashed disciples at his disposal. Despite its might, Brood's army was left wandering around mindlessly after he was defeated.
24 CAPTAIN MARVEL
Between the Marvel and DC Universes, 11 major heroes have been called Captain Marvel at one point or another. While Marvel's Carol Danvers has the strongest claim to the name today, two other Captain Marvels merged to form Amalgam's Captain Marvel. Marvel's Kree alien hero Mar-Vell was combined with DC's young Billy Batson, who transforms into the hero now called Shazam!
In the Amalgam Universe, young Billy Mar-Vell turned into the adult, alien-powered Captain Marvel by shouting "Kree!" This "super-science" hero has most of Shazam's powers, including immense super-strength, super-speed and flight, to name a few.
23 NILES CABLE
While Marvel's time-traveling psychic mutant is one of the most definitive characters of the 1990s, DC's Niles Caulder, the Chief of the offbeat team Doom Patrol, had a much lower profile. While Amalgam's Niles Caulder got the Chief's red-hair and beard, his origin, powers and appearance owe a hefty debt to Cable.
Niles traveled back in time and formed X-Patrol to prevent an apocalyptic future.
Despite his immense telepathic abilities and cybernetic enhancements, he briefly lost the use of his legs after battling Doctor Doomsday. Still, he was successful in helping X-Patrol prevent a dark future controlled by Brother Brood.
While most Amalgam characters are only combinations of two characters, some characters use aspects of several Marvel and DC characters. Technically, the robotic Amalgam villain Sinistron is a combination of Marvel's X-Men villain Mr. Sinister and DC's Titans villain Psimon. However, Sinistron also brings in aspects of robotic villains like Marvel's Ultron and Nimrod and DC's Brainiac.
Although he was built to be the ultimate meta-mutant-hunting Sentinel, Sinistron rebelled against his creator, Will Magnus. Using his adamantium body, mind-controlling Encephalo Ray, technological genius and numerous energy weapons, he tried to build a world-conquering meta-mutant army on the island Genosha.
21 THE FOUR-ARMED THING
As his name implies, the Four-Armed Thing is a version of the Fantastic Four's Thing with an extra set of arms. While Rocky Grimm's appearance takes a lot from Marvel's super-strong hero, he was combined with the human adventurer Rocky Davis, from DC's Challengers of the Unknown, in Challengers of the Fantastic.
This Challenger of the Fantastic also serves as a United States Senator.
Like his adventure-loving teammates, Grimm "cheated death" after his experimental spacecraft made a crash-landing. The cosmic villain Galactiac turned Rocky into the Thing, shortly before the rampaging hero used his immense strength to destroy the alien's ship.
While Marvel and DC both have plenty of speedsters, Amalgam's Mercury is a somewhat unlikely combination of the Avengers' Quicksilver, Marvel's most famous speedster, and DC's Impulse, a younger speedster from the far-future. Amalgam's Pietro Allen was also from far-future, which was ruled by meta-mutant-hunting Sentinels.
Despite his harsh upbringing, Mercury was an annoyingly upbeat presence on the Justice League X-Men. Like most speedsters, Mercury's primary super-power is his super-speed, which allows him to move and think incredibly fast. While the true nature of his powers is unclear, he may have also used it to time-travel to the modern age.
19 IRON LANTERN
Throughout the 2000s, both Iron Man and Green Lantern became considerably more famous. By chance, Marvel's Armored Avenger and DC's Emerald Warrior were also combined to form Amalgam's Iron Lantern in 1997. While testing out an experimental aircraft, inventor Hal Stark was drawn to an alien crash site.
After being injured, Stark used the alien ship to create his Iron Lantern armor.
While his quick-thinking saved his life, it also gave the Iron Lantern a dozen super-powers. In addition to the numerous abilities of Iron Man's standard armor, the Iron lantern can create solid energy constructs and travel through time.
Unsurprisingly, Aquaman and Namor the Sub-Mariner, DC and Marvel's respective Kings of Atlantis, were combined to create the Aqua-Mariner, Amalgam's sea-dwelling hero. In Amalgam's world, Arthur McKenzie initially surfaced as a hero during World War II and began his ongoing quest to find the lost city of Atlantis.
In his ongoing search for his ancestral home, Atlantis, the Aqua-Mariner was eventually joined by members of the meta-mutant team JLX, who could also trace their powers to the undersea kingdom. Like Aquaman and Namor, Aqua-Mariner has considerable super-strength, enhanced speed and a variety of other abilities that are especially effective in water.
On the surface, it might be tough to see too many differences between Marvel's Magneto and Amalgam's Magneto. While both might share the same name, similar costumes and identical powers, Amalgam's Magneto was also based on DC's Will Magnus, the robotics genius who built the Metal Men.
In Amalgam's world, Erik Magnus used his powers and genius to build the robotic Magnetic Men.
As a group of anti-Sentinels, the offbeat Magnetic Men fought for meta-mutant rights. While Amalgam's Magneto has the same powers as his famous namesake, Magnus is considerably smarter and uses his abilities in more creative, innovative ways.
16 MISTER X
In the Amalgam Universe, one of Magneto's chief rivals is Mister X, the mysterious meta-mutant psychic who leads the Justice League X-Men. Eventually, X was revealed to be a disguised J'onn J'onzz, a shape-shifting Skrullian Manhunter from Mars.
Inspired by Marvel's Professor X and DC's Martian Manhunter, Mister X had immense telepathic abilities thanks to his unique alien physiology. His alien heritage also gave him considerable shape-shifting abilities that allowed him to go undetected for a lengthy-but-undisclosed amount of time. As if that wasn't enough, he also has super-strength and some degree of super-speed.
While the Hulk might be one of the most prominent characters in the Marvel Universe, his Amalgam Universe counterpart, Skulk, only plays a supporting role. As a henchman for Doctor Strangefate, Skulk is a super-strong beast who's partially inspired by the mindless DC villain Solomon Grundy.
In the Amalgam Universe, a radiation blast bonded Bruce Banner with a mystical entity called Solomon Grundy.
In exchange for his service, Strangefate helped Banner control his monstrous Skulk form. Since the Hulk and Grundy are two of the strongest characters in their worlds, Skulk is almost certainly the most physically strong Amalgam character.
In the same way that Marvel's Captain America and DC's Superman and the biggest heroes in their respective universes, their Amalgamation, Super-Soldier, is the epitome of heroism in the Amalgam Universe. As part of an effort to create a super-soldier, the human Clark Kent was injected with a formula derived from an alien that had crashed on Earth in the 1930s.
After fighting in World War II, Super-Soldier spent years frozen in the Atlantic before returning to active duty. In addition to Superman's plethora of powers, Super-Soldier also has Cap's fighting expertise and an indestructible vibranium S-shaped shield.
13 KID DEMON
In some of Amalgam's odder pairings, a few DC speedsters were combined with some of Marvel's supernatural Spirits of Vengeance. For instance, Wally West, the second modern Flash, merged with Danny Ketch, the second modern Ghost Rider, to form Kid Demon.
After West discovered that his uncle was the Speed Demon, the wizard Merlin gave West supernatural powers.
Although his power is derived from the villainous Night Spectre, Kid Demon has fire-manipulating abilities, a mystical chain and a flaming motorcycle that moves at super-speed. Although his abilities were largely untested, he began working with Speed Demon as his sidekick.
12 DOCTOR DOOMSDAY
In another one of Amalgam's most simple-but-inspired pairings, Marvel's Doctor Doom and DC's Doomsday were combined to create Doctor Doomsday. When the brilliant Victor Von Doom found the body of the alien Doomsday, one of the monster's bony outcroppings scarred Doom's face and transformed him into the equally monstrous Doctor Doomsday.
Despite his beastly appearance, Doctor Doomsday still has Doom's technological genius and hi-tech armor. Along with the monster's limitless strength and regenerative abilities, Doctor Doomsday is one of the strongest, and smartest, characters in the Amalgam Universe.
Amazon is one of the signature creations of the Amalgam Universe. Inspired by DC's Wonder Woman and Marvel's Storm, Ororo was adopted by Queen Hippolyte when she was found on Themyscira as a child. After Ororo's weather-controlling meta-mutant powers emerged, she won the title of Wonder Woman.
Ororo became the Amazons' ambassador to man's world instead of her sister Diana.
Besides her weather-manipulating powers, Amazon also had Wonder Woman's impressive slate of fairly standard powers like flight and super-strength. She could also create a "lasso" out of lightning that compelled anyone caught in its shocking grip to tell the truth.
10 FIN FANG FLAME
Basically, Fin Fang Flame is a giant dragon made of fire. The massive creature is a combination of Marvel's alien dragon Fin Fang Foom and the fiery DC alien Brimstone. In the Amalgam Universe, Flame was summoned by the Hellfire League of Injustice after being held captive for 8,703 years. After they ordered him to destroy all meta-mutants, he started by roasting them before taking on the rest of the world.
Besides his massive size, Fin Fang Flame's most noteworthy ability is his "Unextinguishable Flame." Despite that impressive name, the Justice League X-Men extinguished Flame's fire without too much trouble.
9 KANG THE TIME CONQUEROR
While they usually fight the Avengers and the Legion of Super-Heroes in their respective home universes, Marvel's Kang the Conqueror and DC's Time-Trapper have some of the most convoluted histories in superhero comics. To make matters more confusing, Amalgam's Kang the Time Conqueror combined the time-traveling villains into a time-twisted villain Chronos-Tut.
To gain access to all realities, Kang tried to absorb Spider-Boy's powers.
During his brief appearance, Kang caused a Chronal Collapse that erased and created new timelines. He also created Limbo, a dimension outside of reality, which he filled with Negative Zone energy after he was defeated.
8 SILVER RACER
In their own ways, Marvel's Silver Surfer and DC's Black Racer are both harbingers of doom. While the Surfer heralds the arrival of the planet-eating Galactus, the Racer is the living embodiment of death. Naturally, Amalgam combined those two into the Silver Racer.
Although he was once a man named Willie Lincoln, the Racer was the "Asgodian" Avatar of Death who gathered fallen souls. Like the Black Racer, the Silver Racer could instantly travel through the cosmos with a conspicuous set of skis. He also had the slightly more imposing ability to take lives with a single touch.
7 SPEED DEMON
In another one of Amalgam's most inspired combinations, Marvel's Ghost Rider was combined with DC's Etrigan the Demon and Barry Allen's Flash to create Speed Demon. In an attempt to save the soul o his wife Iris Simpson, Blaze Allen made a deal with the sorcerer Merlin.
Possessed by the spirit of Etrigan, Allen became the super-fast vengeance-seeking Speed Demon.
With the combined abilities of the Flash and Ghost Rider, Speed Demon has an astonishing assortment of abilities. In addition to his incalculable speed, the fires of his Penance Stare are hot enough to scald a cosmic entity.
6 NIGHT SPECTRE
In the DC Universe, there's not really anything the Spectre can't do with his limitless supernatural power. In his corner of the Marvel Universe, Nightmare is almost as powerful. Together, they were combined to form Night Spectre, a mystical entity who draws his supernatural power from the pain of evil-doers.
If he had been able to capture the soul of Harvey Osborn, the Two-Faced Goblin, he would've had total control over Earth and other dimensions. While that plan was thwarted by Speed Demon, he still managed to covertly turn the hero's nephew into the tortured Kid Demon.
5 UATU THE GUARDIAN
While Uatu the Watcher is one of the friendliest cosmic entities in the Marvel Universe, DC's Guardians of the Universe created the Green Lantern Corps to protect their universe. When those concepts were combined in the Amalgam Universe, Uatu the Guardian was considerably less helpful.
After going mad, Uatu wiped out the entire Starbrand Corps by himself.
After destroying the intergalactic police squad, Uatu regained his sanity and helped Earth's heroes when Galactiac tried to consume the planet. At his best, Uatu had vast cosmic abilities including telepathy and the ability to wield unfathomable amounts of cosmic energy.
In their own universes, Marvel's Thanos and DC's Darkseid are the ultimate alien villains. Since Darkseid helped inform the creation of Thanos, it made sense to combine the two alien despots into Thanoseid in the Amalgam Universe. Besides ruling Apokolips, Thanoseid wanted to impress Lady Death by assembling the Ultimate Anti-Life Nullifier and destroying the rest of the universe.
Although the full extent of his powers was never revealed, Thanoseid cast an imposing shadow across the Amalgam Universe. Besides having an army, super-powered generals and cosmic energies at his disposal, he also has super-strength and is effectively immortal.
In the Amalgam Universe, Marvel's planet-munching Galactus and DC's mechanical alien menace merged to form Galactiac, the cataloger and devourer of worlds. Billed as the "ultimate synthesis of mind and machine," Galactiac is one of Amalgam's oldest and most powerful villains.
In order to replenish his power cells, Galactiac consumed the lifeblood of worlds.
At full strength, Galactiac essentially had an infinite amount of unlimited cosmic power and impossibly advanced technology. Despite that, the Challengers of the Fantastic still managed to melt his main neural network and send him running into space in a backup escape pod.
In the Amalgam Universe, Thor, Marvel's Asgardian God of Thunder, merged with Orion, one of DC's New Gods, to form Thorion the Hunter. In Thorion of the New Asgods, Thorion wielded the cosmic power of the Astro-Force and his hammer to guard the uneasy peace between his home, New Asgard, and Thanoseid's Apokolips.
When L'ok D'saad, Thorion's half-brother, used the reality-shattering Mother Cube to free the Promethean Giants, the New Asgardian showed the full might of the Astro-Force. With a single strike, Thorion saved the universe, took out Kalibak, Mangog and Surtur and evolved into the unimaginably powerful Celestial.
1 DOCTOR STRANGEFATE
Doctor Strangefate is the only Amalgam character who understood the mashed-up nature of the Amalgam Universe and survived its destruction. With the combined might of two mystic masters, Marvel's Doctor Strange and DC's Doctor Fate, and Marvel's Professor X, Amalgam's Charles Xavier walked the line between hero and villain to protect his universe.
After saving Nabu the Ancient One, Xavier was trained in the mystic and martial arts.
In addition to being the world's supreme sorcerer, Strangefate was also the world's most powerful telepath. After sneaking into Strange's conscious, he even convinced Strange to recreate Amalgam as a pocket dimension.