Nothing beats a good mashup. Mashups, combinations and amalgams have long been a part of comic book history, whether it was a hero donning another heroes costume or a fusion of capes from two totally different comic book universes. For some, this means a mantle-passing of sorts, like versions of Batman where Azrael or Damian Wayne are sporting the cape and cowl or Sam Wilson and Bucky Barnes taking on the mantle of Captain America. For others, this is a complete reimagination, like the Superman/Captain America and Aquaman/Namor combos from the infamous Amalgam Universe or Loki becoming the Sorcerer Supreme and Doctor Doom becoming Iron Man as part of Marvel’s status quo shakeups.
But honestly, the real fun comes from the combinations you’d least expect -- those that subvert the tropes and the obvious. Sure, combining Doctor Strange and Doctor Fate (it’s right there in the name!) or The Flash and Quicksilver (they both have superspeed) seem like shoe-ins, but when we get weird with it, more often than not you’ll get a better character. We’re talking about Martian Manhunter molding with Charles Xavier or Ant-Man joining the Nova Corps. Let’s break down 15 superhero mashups that you won’t believe actually happened.
15 THE HULK / WOLVERINE
This superhero mashup comes in the form of a recent comic crossover in the pages of The Totally Awesome Hulk and Weapon X. In said event, a terrifying new creation comes to life, Weapon H, and wreaks havoc as an amalgamation of mutant powers that include The Hulk’s incredible stature, size and strength and Wolverine’s adamantium skeleton and claws.
Sure, there’s also a bit of Lady Deathstrike and Warpath in there, too, but that’s just a bonus measure. After surviving the event, Weapon H looks to a solo series next year following up on the events of the crossover, which leave the titular monster on a quest of self-realization after breaking from religious zealots and crazed scientists. Yeah, we’d have to do a bit of soul searching after that, too.
14 SPIDER-MAN / IRON MAN
At the time of the Iron Spider’s inauguration, the very concept was unbelievable. It begged a question that we’d all asked: what if Iron Man made a suit for Peter Parker? Fortunately, the line-spanning plot of Civil War made it possible, when Tony Stark builds the Iron Spider suit for Peter once he agrees to unmask and join his side.
Of course, things don’t go so hot for Peter as Civil War plays out, and he eventually defects to Captain America’s side. But the Iron Spider suit, what with its red and gold build and wicked cool metal, robotic arms, ended up being a high point of the event -- one loaded with high points. With the suit making its sort-of cinematic debut in 2018’s Infinity War, could we see a return in the comics?
13 GREEN LANTERN / BATMAN
As one of the titular Dark Knights of Dark Nights: Metal, the Dawnbreaker stands among the others as one of the most creative combinations, this time blending Bruce Wayne with Green Lantern. This Bruce Wayne’s world was consumed by shadow, which would eventually devour his home in the multiverse.
But as he makes his way into the main corner of the DC Universe, he’s proven to be a formidable foe for the likes of Cyborg and Hal Jordan. And his appearance is pretty terrifying, looking like a cross between an emaciated diver and an almost Nazi-esque Green Lantern. It probably doesn’t help that he’s used his abilities to cloak Coast City in complete darkness. You know, for a Green Lantern, he doesn’t really do the whole “hope” thing.
12 THOR / GROOT
Honestly, if we really wanted to, we could fill this entire list with the cast of Thors, the 2015 mini-series during Secret Wars that followed the exploits of God Doom’s personal security force, a whole bunch of Thors. Among those, a combination of Thor and Groot, answering what would happen if everyone’s favorite denizen from Planet X was worthy of Mjolnir?
While we don’t really get to see this Thor Groot in action very much during the series, we do get a few panels of him being exactly what you’d expect. It’s adult Groot, with glowing parts that mirror Ultimate Thor’s armor, and a sweet cape made out of bushes and branches. He’s definitely one of our favorites from the mini. Say it with us: I am Thor!
11 WAR MACHINE / PUNISHER
There’s something that just seems so right about The Punisher donning the infamous War Machine armor. With James Rhodes out of the picture for the foreseeable future, Frank Castle literally picks up the pieces to use the War Machine armor in his quest for retribution. But honestly, it just gives Frank more to work with, and more hyper violence for fans to dig into.
And in that sense, it’s kind of wild that Marvel would literally give Frank more ammunition for his mission. Sure, the costume looks kind of awesome, but aside from a stellar solo run the last few years, Frank’s been sort of the butt of the joke (see: Deadpool vs. The Punisher). Regardless, it’s a nice way to keep the War Machine mantle going until Rhodes makes his eventual return, you know, back from being punched by Thanos.
10 ZATANNA / SCARLET WITCH
Though she was one of the more obvious Amalgam Universe characters, Wanda Zatara, also known as the White Witch, was easily one of the coolest. Her appearance was a selection from both characters, sporting Zatanna’s iconic black and white style with Wanda Maximoff’s headpiece, cloak and general appearance.
Her time was mostly spent as an aide of Doctor Strangefate, an amalgam of Doctor Strange and Doctor Fate. The White Witch has all of the reality warping prowess of Scarlet Witch, combined with the specific sorcery of Zatanna. Additionally, she can fire hex bolts, fly, travel to different dimensions and wield the elements. She also spent time in the Amalgam Universe teamed with Jade Nova, a Green Lantern/Jade/Nova combo, and Skulk, a combination of The Hulk and Solomon Grundy.
9 WONDER WOMAN / STORM
Princess Ororo of Themyscira was one of the premiere characters of the now defunct Amalgam Universe, a hero that brought together the might and power of both Storm and Wonder Woman. Their combination was surprising mostly because of their powers, and one might expect Storm to join with Shazam or Wonder Woman to be combined with Ms. Marvel.
But the hero known as Amazon was a force to be reckoned with, and a mutant with incredible abilities. Amazon could manipulate weather, courtesy of Storm, while also able to fly and be incredibly skilled in hand-to-hand combat. Oh, and she also sported elements from Amazonian Artemis as well. Should the Amalgam Universe ever make a glorious return, we expect that Amazon would come along with it.
8 BATMAN / THE JOKER
Another recent comic book mashup comes in the form of The Batman Who Laughs, a demonic version of the Dark Knight that hails from a universe where The Joker is killed, but not before he infects the body and soul of Bruce Wayne -- eventually forcing him to kill his friends, family and fellow heroes before setting off into the multiverse and ending up on Earth.
Easily the scariest on this list, this Batman/The Joker combo deal sports a long black cloak, a scarily long tongue, a bloody face, plenty of spiked clothing and a troupe of undead Robins that maybe sort of eat actual people while chanting about crowbars. We can only imagine what else is planned for this terrifying mashup as Dark Nights Metal continues.
7 MARTIAN MANHUNTER / PROFESSOR X
Mister X might be the simplest of the Amalgam Universe characters, but that doesn’t mean he’s not one of the strongest. On a base level, he’s the combination of Professor X and the Martian Manhunter. Dig a little deeper and you’ll find that he’s basically a Skrull, while also sporting the ability to change shape, has superhuman strength and speed and telepathy.
Aside from that, we don’t really get too much from Mister X, though we can only imagine facing him one-on-one would be anything but easy. He’s also one in a long line of Professor X amalgamations, including Onslaught and that time Red Skull took Xavier’s brain and put it in his body. Mister X sports Martian Manhunter’s outfit and a wheelchair similar to Professor X’s.
6 NOVA / ANT-MAN
While not so much a mashup as it as a costume combination, Ant-Man joining the Nova Corps still lives up to the hype. As part of Gerry Duggan’s Guardians of the Galaxy run, our favorite space team (now with more Ant-Man) joins up with the Nova Corps to investigate a string of not-so-great happenings. And while we wish Baby Groot Nova and Rocket Nova could make this list, none are as outlandish as Ant-Man Nova.
With Scott Lang on the run following the events of Secret Empire, we were more than excited to see him join up with the Guardians. Plus, the poppy colors in this latest series really make this amalgam Ant-Man suit one of the coolest we’ve seen in awhile. OK, so maybe Baby Groot Nova is cuter.
5 GREEN LANTERN / NOVA
Jade Nova is easily one of the most charismatic characters on this list, successfully blending the ablitiies and appearances of DC Comics’ Jade, Green Lantern (Kyle Rayner) and Nova. Jade Nova’s stint in the Amalgam Universe saw her as a prisoner of Mephisatanus, but when she’s freed she finds herself acting as an agent of Doctor Strangefate.
She retains the powers of the Green Lantern, including energy projection, beams, the ability to fly and create physical constructs. She mostly uses that last one to create chains, which allow her to stop her enemies in their tracks. Honestly, though, she reminds us way more of Guy Gardner than Kyle. She plays an integral part it bringing down Access, whose power basically combines people from different universes, hence Amalgam.
4 DOCTOR STRANGE / LOKI
This more modern combo can be seen in the pages of Donny Cates’ Doctor Strange, and has the God of Mischief, Loki, taking over as Earth’s Sorcerer Supreme. Sure, you might think that the world has gone to hell in Loki’s stead, but he’s actually not doing such a terrible job -- albeit being constantly mocked by his fellow sorcerers.
His look is probably the most surprising, and easily one of the coolest to come out of these costumed character combos. Loki carries his iconic horned helmet, but now dons the Cloak of Levitation and hangs out in the Sanctum Sanctorum with Doctor Strange’s mentee Zelma. While the shakeup is nice enough, we wouldn’t be too surprised to see Stephen Strange take the reins back a few issues in.
3 THOR / WAR MACHINE
Honestly, we’re just surprised this guy isn’t called Thor Machine. Grand Marshal Rhodes is basically a combination of Thor Odinson and James Rhodes, and the character played an integral part in the Secret Wars mini-series Thors, as well as Armor Wars, where the character met his untimely doom.
His appearance is about what you’d expect, as the War Machine armor dons a red cloak and sash and the frontward appearance of Thor’s Ultimate armor. As the leader of Technopolis’ Hall of Order and Law, he was close to Baron Stark, who would go on to kill him. As far as the Thor Corps goes, though, War Machine Thor stood among them as one of the coolest and more out there combinations, at least from what we saw.
2 SUPERMAN / BATMAN
Composite Superman is more hilarious than anything -- at least in appearance. After gaining powers and learning how to shape-shift, Joseph Meach takes on the abilities and appearance of several members of the Legion of Super Heroes, mostly notably being Superman and Batman. This causes his appearances to look like a straight split down the middle between the heroes.
Not only did this allow him to sport most of the Kryptonian powers of Superman, but a slew of other abilities, including the ability to affect matter, fire lightning bolts, multiply himself, control magnets and stretch his body. The list goes on. Though laughable in appearance, he’s definitely one of the tougher villains the World’s Finest have had to put up with, especially of their classic villains.
1 IRON MAN / DOCTOR DOOM
This one might be one of the biggest surprises, especially with it being so recent. After the wild events of Secret Wars, Victor Von Doom returned to the Marvel Universe, but not as the evil Dr. Doom. No, he returned as the Infamous Iron Man, a man looking to do some good, now that he’s got his old face back and dropped the clunky armor.
In exchange, he took on some sleek armor and rounded up some baddies, using a combination of Iron Man-like abilities with his sorcery talents. Of course, we don’t expect this one to last too long, what with Tony Stark inevitably returning and Riri Williams taking names as Ironheart. But you’ll always be in our hearts, Doom, but mostly for that sweet looking armor.