Marvel and DC joined forces during a comics sales decline, creating Amalgam, a fake imprint with mashups of their characters.
Characters like Lobo the Duck and Spider-Boy emerged from this collaboration, with unique powers and storylines.
Some of the most intriguing Amalgam characters, like Dial H.U.S.K. and Moonwing, never received much explanation but had great potential.

Marvel and DC have dominated the North American comic book market, leading to one of the greatest rivalries in pop culture. Fan debates over whose characters are stronger, faster or smarter have raged since the genre’s earliest days. While this rivalry remains mostly good-natured, it does get heated at times. The two publishers also take pot shots at each other from time to time, stoking the flames even further. Yet there have been times when Marvel and DC have beaten their swords into plowshares.

One such instance came during what is arguably comics’ lowest point. By the mid-1990s, sales were in free-fall, and something had to be done. Marvel and DC came together to release Marvel vs. DC, a miniseries pitting each company’s icons against each other. Midway through the series, the publishers pulled the rug out from under everyone by creating Amalgam, a fake imprint composed of mashups of the two publisher’s characters. These characters are jointly owned by Marvel and DC, and here are the top 15.

15 The Brothers

The prime instigators of Marvel vs. DC, the two Brothers (never given a name) were the physical representation of their respective universes. The Brothers were immensely powerful and even viewed beings like the Living Tribunal and the Spectre as below them. The Brothers became aware of each other, embarking on an eons-long fight, ultimately using the heroes of the Marvel and DC universes as their pawns. Marvel vs. DC ended with the brothers calling a truce, and learning to live in harmony.

14 Access

Another central character to Marvel vs. DC, Axel Asher AKA Access, has the ability to cross between the two universes with ease. However, if Access remains in one universe for too long, they start to merge. This necessitates that Access switches frequently between the two. He has not been seen since the last Marvel vs. DC crossover in 1997, not even rating a mention in JLA/Avengers a few years later.

13 Challengers of the Fantastic

This team is a mash-up between two of Jack Kirby’s best creations: the Fantastic Four and the Challengers of the Unknown. Billed as “the World’s Greatest Death Cheaters,” the Challengers of the Fantastic faced down Galactiac, a Braniac/Galactus hybrid and his herald the Silver Racer (a cross of Black Racer and Silver Surfer). The Challengers were also explorers of the Amalgam universe, and their one appearance opened up some fascinating story possibilities, introducing an Amalgam version of Earth-Two.

12 Lobo the Duck

One of the more mind-bending characters to come out of Marvel vs DC, Lobo the Duck is a mixture of the Czarnian bounty hunter Lobo and former presidential candidate Howard the Duck. Accompanied by his sidekick the Impossible Dawg, Lobo the Duck was hired to investigate the murders of several Amalgam heroes. Lobo the Duck possesses a true cross-section of Howard and Lobo’s powers: keen tracking senses, super durability as well as being a master of “Quack Fu.”

11 Spider-Boy

Peter Ross, the Spider-Boy, was a mashup of Marvel’s Spider-Man and DC’s Superboy. A clone of both Peter Parker and Super-Soldier, Spider-Boy dedicated his life to fighting crime after his father, General Thunderbolt Ross, was killed by a mugger. Working as an agent for the Cadmus Project, Spider-Boy fought the monsters the Project had inadvertently released. When fans last saw Spider-Boy, he was engaged to Mary Jane Watson AKA The Insect Queen.

10 Mister X

Mister X was not only a cross between Marvel’s Professor X and DC’s Martian Manhunter, but was also a Skrull. Disgruntled with his people, Mister X left Mars and came to Earth, where he allied himself with the JLX. When the team learned of his Skrull ancestry, it initially led to problems, but Mister X’s commitment to justice won them over. Among Mister X’s many powers included super-strength as well as the ability to shape-shift and read minds.

Related: 15 Coolest Supervillains Co-Owned by Marvel and DC

9 Dare the Terminator

Slade Murdock, AKA Dare the Terminator, not only mashed up Daredevil and Deathstroke, but gender-flipped it at the same time. Slade was once a high-powered lawyer who grew disillusioned with the system. Working as an assassin she was captured and experimented upon by the Big Question. Horns were grafted onto her head, and the process caused her to lose her vision but enhanced her other senses. Dare fought the evil Deadeye (Bullseye/Deadshot) as well as her own daughter Jericha. She was forced to kill Jericha in a dark mirror of one of Deathstroke’s darkest moments.

8 Dial H.U.S.K.

Marvel vs. DC and Amalgam Comics not only crossed the publisher’s biggest names, but some of the more obscure characters as well. Dial H.U.S.K. brought together Paige Guthrie (Husk from Generation X) and Dial H for HERO. Dial H.U.S.K. had the ability to shed her skin, turning into a new hero every time she did. A member of the X-Patrol (X-Force/Doom Patrol), Paige never received an origin during the event, making her one of the most mysterious characters owned by both Marvel and DC.

7 Moonwing

A cross between Nightwing and Moon Knight, Moonwing’s origin captured the best of both characters. Young Dick Grayson was once a top circus acrobat, but was forced out when it was discovered he had Dissociative Identity Disorder. However, Bruce Wayne, an agent of SHIELD in the Amalgam universe, recruited Grayson to the agency. Grayson was fascinated by the moon, and thus fashioned a costume to reflect that. He had an illustrious career with SHIELD, but even left the organization. Moonwing was drawn back into the group by the death of his protégé, Jason Todd.

6 Super Soldier

Superman is one of DC’s biggest characters, just like Captain America is at Marvel, so it was an easy choice to cross the two, creating Super Soldier. Young Clark Kent volunteered to be the test subject for the Super Soldier Serum, only this one was made from the cells of a dying alien. As the Super-Soldier, Clark fought bravely in the Second World War, nearly winning it by himself. However, much like Captain America, Super Soldier spent nearly 50 years in ice, and was revived in the present day.

5 Captain Marvel

Perhaps the most clever of the Amalgam mashups, Captain Marvel mixed the Billy Batson incarnation of the character with his Kree counterpart. Many Amalgam characters received new names that reflected their origins; however, there was no need to do so here. When young Billy Mar-Vell said the word “Kree” he would transform into an adult superhero. Unlike the DC Captain Marvel, this version was powered by super science instead of magic.

4 Speed Demon

Speed Demon was another clever mashup, mixing not only Marvel’s Ghost Rider and DC’s the Flash but throwing in the demon Etrigan for good measure. Blaze Allen dabbled in magic, but after a demon killed his beloved wife, the wizard Merlin bound him to Etrigan. As Speed Demon, Blaze would fight some of Amalgam’s worst villains, including Doctor Doomsday, the Two-Faced Goblin as well as his archfoe the fearsoome Night Spectre. Blaze even had a sidekick in young Wally West.

3 Iron Lantern

Crossing Green Lantern with Iron Man, the Iron Lantern was Harold “Hal” Stark. Stark owned his own aircraft company. One day while testing an experimental plane, he was pulled towards the ship of a dying alien and during the process, a shard got into Stark’s body. It would have killed him had he not fashioned a suit of armor from the wreckage of the alien’s ship. The suit was powered by a battery resembling a lantern, hence the name. As the Iron Lantern, Stark fought against Madame Sapphire and Mandarinestro.

2 Doctor Strangefate

In the Marvel Universe, there is no greater sorcerer than Doctor Strange and in the DC Universe, the same can be said for Doctor Fate. So when it came time to create a powerful mystic for the Amalgam universe, mixing the two was a no-brainer. However, unlike Strange and Fate, Doctor Strangefate had a much more ambiguous moral compass. He was charged with protecting the universe no matter the cost and actively worked to preserve the Amalgam universe while others sought to restore the originals.

1 Dark Claw

A mashup between Batman and Wolverine, Dark Claw was one of the most popular Amalgam characters, actually earning two books during the event. After losing most of his family at a young age, Logan Wayne enlisted in the Canadian Air Force, where he was experimented on and given an adamantium skeleton. Breaking free of the Weapon X program, Dark Claw would return to New Gotham, where he would use his mutant abilities, alongside his keen detective skills to fight crime, including his number one nemesis the Hyena.

These days, corporate politics keep the two companies from crossing over; there has not been one since 2003’s JLA/Avengers. This means many of these awesome characters owned by both Marvel and DC may unfortunately never be seen again.

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