In the nineties, America's two big comic publishers came together. Literally. The Amalgam universe is what happens when the biggest Marvel characters drink and drive, inevitably crashing their party van through the wall of the DC universe prom. But rather than clean up the mess, the two publishers put pen to paper and made every ten year old boy's dream an odd reality.
Characters came about by fusing together the names and/or appearances of two similar characters. For example, Dark Claw is the combination of Batman and Wolverine, which makes perfect sense on paper: Batman is the world's greatest detective who vows to never take a life while Wolverine is a man who kills people simply on the basis that he woke up that morning.
Other character choices were so obvious as to be painful, such as Captain America and Superman (“Super Soldier”).
And others still made such little difference that they needn't have taken place at all, such as Namor and Aquaman's “Aquamariner.”
The Amalgam universe lasted for twenty four issues with several different books. The publishers played up their own fictional history with a fake fan mail column referring to previous issues (that didn't exist) and animated series (that would never be made).
Spider-Man Loves Mary Jane
Comics have always faced a dilemma: female readership. For some strange reason, the ladies simply don't flock to comic books like they used to back in the early days.
In 2005, Marvel noticed that female readership had grown due to the popularity of “manga”, or Japanese comics. To try and win back the dames, Marvel decided to mimic the visual style with actual manga artist and to go in with Mary Jane as the lead. The end result was this:
Mary Jane was notable for two things: not being Spider-Man and being someone who Spider-Man loved but hadn't inadvertently killed somehow. However, things were different with Spider-Man Loves Mary Jane. Rather than see Spider-Man thwart the dastardly Rhino or see Aunt May get her skanky groove on, readers were treated to angsty teenage love triangles, homecoming dance shenanigans and eyes the size of unobtainable pectoral muscles we’d be seeing if we read a decent comic. ‘Nuff said.
- - Superman's Girlfriend Lois Lane: http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/en/5/5a/Action_Comics_1.jpg http://www.i-mockery.com/shorts/lois-lane/01.jpg http://www.supermanfan.net/main/wp-content/uploads/2010/02/lori_lemaris.gif
- - Superman's Pal Jimmy Olsen: http://www.i-mockery.com/shorts/jimmy-olsen/3.jpg http://www.i-mockery.com/shorts/jimmy-olsen/1.jpg http://www.i-mockery.com/shorts/jimmy-olsen/7.jpg http://1.bp.blogspot.com/_0aF72ivaEJI/ShYEavS-mXI/AAAAAAAADiI/ARyjLHABYHY/s320/JimmyOlsen_121.jpg
- - Trouble: http://images1.wikia.nocookie.net/marveldatabase/images/thumb/7/76/AmazingSpider-Man258.jpg/300px-AmazingSpider-Man258.jpg http://www.the-iss.com/2008/07/15/img/auntmay.jpg http://www.toplessrobot.com/460443321_ed75321b56_o.jpg
- - Amalgam Comics: http://wolverine.x-knights.com/fullsize/wolverine45.jpg http://media.comicvine.com/uploads/1/15921/329545-55489-super-soldier_super.jpg http://www.marvunapp.com/Appendix/amariner5.jpg
- - Spider-Man Loves Mary Jane: http://www.the-isb.com/images/WICTigra.jpg http://3.bp.blogspot.com/_TMusHguXLKQ/R5Z3phLEruI/AAAAAAAAAK8/4Ir0Pzv5MWI/s400/Spider-Man_Loves_Mary_Jane_1.jpg