Amalgam Comics

Amalgam Comics was a publishing imprint shared by DC Comics and Marvel Comics, in which the two comic book publishers merged their characters into new ones. These characters first appeared in a series of 12 comic books which were published in April 1996, between issues #3-4 of the DC vs. Marvel miniseries. A second set of 12 comic books followed one year later in June 1997. All 24 of these issues occurred between the aforementioned issues #3-4 of DC vs. Marvel.
The Official Handbook of the Marvel Universe: Alternate Universes 2005 designated the Amalgam Universe as Earth-9602. DC Comics has not yet identified the Amalgam Universe in its Multiverse.

Publication history

On two separate occasions – April 1996 and June 1997 – Marvel and DC co-published issues under the Amalgam Comics imprint. The issues were presented as if the imprint had existed for decades, with stories and editorial comments referring to a fictional history stretching back to the Golden Age of Comics, including retcons and reboots. For example, they referred to Secret Crisis of the Infinity Hour, which featured the well-known cover of Crisis on Infinite Earths #7, but with Super-Soldier holding his sidekick's body, instead of Superman holding Supergirl. Several issues included fake letter columns to provide the illusion of background to the stories, with the "fans' " hometowns formed by amalgamating the names of existing cities.
The first Amalgam event occurred near the end of the DC vs. Marvel crossover event in 1996. In that event, the Marvel and DC universes were shown being combined into one and the Amalgam comics were presented as the result of that. The first 12 Amalgam titles were released the following week, delaying both publishers' regular releases by one week. Half the comics in the event were published by Marvel and half by DC. A year later, the stunt was repeated, but without the crossover providing context. Later, both publishers collected their respective issues into four trade paperback collections.All 24 of the Amalgam comic books took place between the third and fourth issues of DC vs, Marvel.
Between the two rounds of Amalgam Comics, the two publishers released a second miniseries, DC/Marvel: All Access. A third miniseries, Unlimited Access, followed the second round. Both crossovers featured additional Amalgam characters.

Fictional origin of the Amalgam Universe

The two comic book universes came together when the two physical incarnations of their respective universes became aware of each other after eons of slumber. To prevent the Brothers from destroying each other, characters from each universe battled to determine which universe would survive. Access, a character created for the event and co-owned by both Marvel and DC, served as a gatekeeper who became stuck while traveling between the two universes.
When the fighting concluded, neither universe was willing to go. To prevent total destruction, the Spectre and the Living Tribunal created an amalgamated universe, in which only Access and Dr. Strangefate knew the truth about the merge. The two characters fought against each other to reverse or preserve the change.
Access managed to separate the Brothers with the help of Amalgam's heroes; before the merge had taken place, he had planted 'shards' of the universe in the Batman and Captain America. Once he discovered the Dark Claw and Super-Soldier, he used those shards to give the Spectre and the Living Tribunal the power to restore the universes. The Batman, Captain America and Access were thus able to make the Brothers realize that their conflict was pointless and the universes were separated once again.

Amalgam characters

During the event, pairs of Marvel and DC characters were merged into single characters. The same was done with teams and fictional locations. Usually the merged characters had something in common, or their names or themes allowed for clever combinations.

Amalgam comic books

The 24 comics have been reprinted in four trade paperback collections: