Thursday, October 4, 2012

Some (not so) final thoughts on Amalgam comics.

So in the last few Retro Reviews I took a look at the Amalgam one shots Legends of the Dark Claw, Dark Claw Adventures, Amazon, and Super Soldier. I wanted to review Spider-boy and Spider-boy Team-Up, but I couldn't find them anywhere in my area and had to order them online. Rather then wait the few weeks for them to get here I've decided to share my closing thoughts on the Amalgam line now. I'll still review the two Spider-boy one shots but for now here are my not quite final thoughts on Amalgam comics.

One of the things that struck me about this line of books was the odd choices and missed opportunities. Take JLX, this had two one shots and they were both weak. This is a combination of X-men and B and C list Justice League characters. Some of these guys I can't even tell who the DC character is. Cyclops is combined with the Ray, which took me a while to figure out, and check out the Rogue character.

According to Wikipedia shes an amalgam of Rogue and Gypsy. There is almost nothing of Gypsy in this character design. It looks like the player two color scheme when both players select Rogue in Marvel vs Capcom 2. In the first JLX one shot the JLX are mutant heroes who have broken off of the JLA (Judgement League Avengers) We get our first glimpse of the Judgement League Avengers.

Damn that's the team I want to read about. Why couldn't they get their own one shot? I mean they had some lame ass Amalgam one shots why didn't this make the cut? Did we really need a Brotherhood of Mutants + Metal Met Amalgam one shot? Or a second one for that matter? I mean, shit, this team has Dark Claw and Super Soldier together. What's their relationship like? Are they close friends like Superman and Batman? I'll grant some of these character designs are unimaginative, like the Giant Man guy is named Goliath but his real name is Oliver Queen. Ehh. The Green Arrow looking guy is named Hawkeye and the Mockingbird looking girl is named Canary. Still I'd much rather read about them then JLX. I get it was the 90's and we needed some X-men shit everywhere but there already were a lot of X-men in these one shots couldn't we have a little more Avengers?
Judgment League Avengers, we hardly knew ye.

Another thing that stuck me as odd, a distinct lack of Flash. There were some elements of Flash in the Ghost Rider+Demon Amalgam Speed Demon's back story, but other than that really nothing. Hell Impulse got combined with Quicksilver to make one of the JLX losers but no real Flash character.

There were a few characters I wanted to see more of. One was Thanoseid, the Thanos+Darkseid Amalgam. Granted he was in the Bullets and Bracelets one shot, but if it were up to me we would have seen him fight the Amalgam JLA. There's too much Darkseid and not enough Thanos in his character design, but when it's a combo of Darkseid and Thanos, it's hard not to love him.

Also there was a villain in the Speed Demon one shot, Siliconman, a Plastic Man+Sandman Amalgam. We only see him for one panel but it's a pretty freaking sweet character design and I love both those root characters. Also it doesn't overly favor one root character in the design which is nice.

Another odd choice, I thought at least, was the Man-Bat+Man-Thing Amalgam Bat-Thing. He actually had his own one shot. Again no Judgment League Avengers, but we get Bat-Thing.

I mean really? You combine Man-Thing with Man-Bat and not Swamp Thing? A Swamp Thing+Man-Thing Amalgam, or Swam Man, would have been great. Both characters, especially Swamp Thing, have such rich histories to draw on and parody, and they are so similar in concept.

And the last thing where I think the ball was dropped with Amalgam was the lack of a crossover. I mean crossovers were all the fucking rage in the 90's. Hell Amalgam spins out of Marvel vs DC, the ultimate 90's crossover. In the Amalgam trading card series you could get 9 canvas cards that depicted the "Secret Crisis of the Infinity Hour" crossover.

That's the one shot I would have wanted to see. Because like I said above, we never see a lot of these guys interact. Spider-boy is basically a clone of Super Soldier, so do they have a mentor/protegee relationship? Does Super Soldier just find Spider-boy annoying? I realize the Amalgam one shots were meant largely tongue in cheek and at times full on parody, but why not parody the universe wide crossover event. It was a big deal in the 90's and still is now.

Despite it's flaws I still think Amalgam was damn fun idea and had some pretty amusing one shots come out of it. I will be Retro Reviewing Spider-boy #1 and Spider-boy Team-Up #1, but other than that I'm pretty much done with Amalgam for the foreseeable future. For now I leave you with still more evidence that Rule 34 does indeed hold up, here is some (censored) Amalgam porn. Because somebody actually took the time to draw it.

Yeah, I censored it. I try to keep it PG-13 around here. There's plenty of places online you can get your porn, but I gotta try and have alittle bit of class here.

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