Comic book character mash-ups are not exactly a new thing. In fact, there have been variations on the theme for decades. For some, a character mash-up equates to someone taking up the mantle of another hero, like with Sam Wilson and Captain America. In other instances, heroes and villains are completely reimagined in all sorts of fun ways. The possibilities are practically endless and the results are typically wild and crazy.
The most famous mash-up event occurred back in the ‘90s when Marvel and DC Comics got together in an extremely rare crossover event. The series was DC vs. Marvel and it was hugely popular, having fan-favorite heroes from both companies square off with each other to determine the ultimate question: who’s stronger? Afterwards, DC and Marvel created the Amalgam imprint line. At the end of the day, it was a massive, and ultimately failed, PR stunt. It featured the big two comic powerhouses crossing over and mashing up their heroes and villains. To this day you still have characters that are mash-ups of other characters, of course, some of these characters are stronger than the original while others are weaker. Today we’re looking at 15 mashed-up superheroes and seeing who’s the strongest and weakest of the bunch!
STRONGER: SPEED DEMON
The Flash is the Fastest Man Alive, while Ghost Rider is the Spirit of Vengeance. The two share almost nothing in common except they have a flair for going at high speeds. Granted, Ghost Rider travels on a motorcycle, but not everyone can run at light speed. During Amalgam, the Flash was merged with Ghost Rider and the character became known as Speed Demon. Additionally, there were two other Speed Demon characters running around, but all three failed in popularity. Still, his strength was astounding.
On his own, Ghost Rider is a powerhouse. Doctor Strange once said Ghost Rider’s power is potentially limitless. So what happens when you fuse divine might with the Flash and all his godly speed-related powers? Well, you get a neigh unstoppable being, that’s what. Though the character was a flop, Speed Demon’s power wasn’t.
Captain America and Superman are comics’ shining examples of standing up for the weak and fighting for truth, justice and the American way. They both embody the best of humanity and are respected by every hero (and even some villains), so it makes perfect sense to have the Sentinel of Liberty and the Last Son of Krypton become one.
Introducing Super-Soldier, the mash-up of Superman and Captain America. In this alternate reality, Clark Kent wasn’t from Krypton, but was just an ordinary guy. After volunteering for a government program, he was experimented on with a Super Soldier serum made from alien DNA. Because of this, he became the Super-Soldier. Stronger than Captain America, but weaker than Superman, Super-Soldier could fly, had super strength, some invulnerability, and even came with a nifty shield modeled after Superman’s crest.
STRONGER: WEAPON H
Two of the strongest and most well known heroes in the Marvel Universe are the Hulk and Wolverine. They have similar powers and personalities — they both have healing factors and are prone to fits of rage. Coming out of The Totally Awesome Hulk and Weapon X, was the creature known as Weapon H. With the stature and strength of the Hulk, plus Wolverine’s adamantium claws and healing factor, Weapon H is as dangerous as he is powerful.
There’s also a bit of Warpath, Lady Deathstrike, and Sabertooth in there too, but their abilities are extra perks. X-Force is no match for him the only thing they can do is provide him with a sense of self. Following his run-in with the superhero mutants, Weapon H is due for a solo series. It’ll likely follow him on his quest for self-realization after having to deal with mad scientists and religious extremists.
Amidst Amalgam, someone clearly thought long and hard about how to make the Hulk as uninteresting as possible. Already the Hulk is a pretty intriguing character, but one character, who the Hulk is actually a rip-off of, is the villain Solomon Grundy. Known for being a lumbering, super-strong zombie that murmurs riddles about being born on a Monday, it wasn’t the most exciting of combinations.
The history of Bruce Banner began similarly to his original story. This time around, while Bruce is minding his own business in the desert and conducting gamma bomb experiments, Solomon Grundy appeared and was walking to the blast site. Bruce tried to save the superhuman zombie, but instead of any kind of rescue, the gamma bomb exploded and fused the two, forming Skulk. Ultimately, Skulk was really just Solomon Grundy who happened to wear the Hulk’s iconic purple pants.
STRONGER: DARK CLAW
Two of the most popular characters in comic books are Batman and Wolverine. Fans love them to the point where they’ve been overexposed to the nth degree and still people clamor for more stories. Marvel and DC were aware of this even back in the ‘90s and fused their biggest cash cows into Dark Claw. To no one’s surprise, he became the most popular character of the Amalgam line. Logan Wayne endured much of the heartbreak Bruce Wayne did, murdered family etc. except that he wound up in Weapon X.
After adamantium was welded to his body, Logan became Dark Claw. He maintained his playboy status as a careless, billionaire artist so people grew none the wiser about his nocturnal activities. When night fell, he’d assume his Dark Claw identity and rend enemies limb from limb. With Wolverine’s infamous healing facto and Batman’s intelligence, Dark Claw was nauseatingly powerful.
WEAKER: PUNISHER AS WAR MACHINE
The Punisher is ruthless in his never-ending war on crime. Fueled only by his insatiable hunger to wipe out everyone he believes needs killing, when Frank Castle was given the opportunity to broaden his murder-y horizons and don the infamous War Machine armor, he jumped at the chance. It’s not every day you get to use a high tech suit of armor to kill tons of people and get away with it. There’s something satisfying in watching the Punisher wield this instrument of destruction, as the War Machine armor gave Frank an incredible armory.
Marvel Comics literally provided Frank with all the ammunition he’d ever need. That said, the Punisher hasn’t gotten used to piloting the armor yet and is still making a ton of mistakes; he’s nowhere near as deadly as he should be. Just you wait though.
STRONGER: THE BATMAN WHO LAUGHS
Batman is incredibly popular, there’s no disputing that, and in recent months one character has emerged who’s already become on their way to becoming one of the Caped Crusader’s greatest villains: The Batman Who Laughs. Clawing his way out of the Dark Nights Metal series, this Batman/Joker combination is a demonic version of the Dark Knight. In his universe, Batman killed the Joker, which releases a virus from the Joker’s body that infects Batman, driving him mad and making him kill his friends and family. From there, he sets his sights on the multiverse.
Downright horrifying. The Batman Who Laughs sports a long black cloak, a bloody face, a ghastly assortment of spiked clothing, and a personal entourage of cannibalistic undead Robins. Already revealed to stick around after Dark Nights Metal finishes, this is one character mash-up who’s not leaving anytime soon.
Like most Spider-Men, Spider-Boy’s origin is full of tragedy. The combination of Spider-Man and Superboy, Peter (Spider-Boy) was the failed result of an attempt to clone the Super Soldier Program. He later gets adopted by General Ross, but discovers he can crawl up walls. This doesn’t help matters much since Ross is killed by a mugger, leaving Peter an orphan. Further down the road, Peter wound up marrying the Insect Queen (Mary Jane Watson/Insect Queen).
Unlike most Amalgam characters, Spider-Boy met his future 2099 self. This story introduced a bunch of unimportant characters such as Sparkler (Light Lass/Dazzler), Scavulture (Scanvenger/Vulture), and Paste-Eater Pete (Matter-Eater Lad/Paste-Pot Pete). Despite the kooky adventures he went on, Spider-Boy’s powers weren’t terribly impressive. He also had a goofy web gun that was horribly lame.
STRONGER: GHOST SPIDER
Spider-Man and Ghost live on polar opposite ends of the Marvel Universe, rarely interacting. It was a then a rather bold decision to mash the two into one, making an arachnid-themed hero with a flaming skull. Over in one reality, Uncle Ben did not die. Instead, he helped his nephew Peter take charge of Parker Technologies and become one of the richest men on the planet.
This Spider-Man wanted more power. Capturing and absorbing the powers of other Spider-Men from across the Multiverse, he was stopped when the main Spider-Man accidentally put him in a coma. Afterwards, his spirit went to Hell. Yet he got a second chance at life when Sorcerer Supreme Bruce Banner brought back his spirit and gave him the powers of the Ghost Rider. And yes, he had all the combined abilities of Spidey and the Spirit of Vengeance.
WEAKER: CHALLENGERS OF THE FANTASTIC
The Fantastic Four are often dubbed as Marvel’s First Family. They are the heroes who kicked everything off for Marvel Comics. While they might be considered more explorers than superheroes, they’ve saved the world on multiple occasions. In one of Amalgam’s stories a new variation of the team, and some of their adversaries, was introduced.
There was Ace (Ace Morgan/Sue Storm), Rocky (Rocky Davis/Ben Grimm), Prof (Professor Haley/Reed Richards), and of course Red (Red Ryan/Johnny Storm). Together, they battled Galactiac (Galactus/Brainiac) and Doctor Doomsday (Doctor Doom/Doomsday). They were helped by other familiar faces like Bronze Tiger (Bronze Tiger/Black Panther) and Silver Racer (Silver Surfer/Black Racer). In spite of the nifty reinvention of classic characters, the Challengers failed to leave a meaningful mark, as nobody remembers them to this day.
Thor Odinson is one of Marvel’s mightiest heroes. With an incredible array of powers that are only further enhanced by way of his trusty magic hammer Mjolnir, there are few heroes or villains who can keep up with the God of Thunder. As for Orion of the New Gods, he’s easily capable of taking on the likes of Superman and even Darkseid. Merging their powers into one being would create a hero unlike any other. In this case, it created Amalgam’s Thorion.
First appearing in Thorion of the New Asgods #1, he boasted a level of unreasonable power. With a hammer similar to Mjolnir, Thorion’s power only increased after a battle with L’ok D’saad. Upon releasing titanic energies from The Source, Thorion put the “g” in god and became the cosmic entity the Celestial.
WEAKER: BRUCE WAYNE AGENT OF S.H.I.E.L.D.
As Batman, Bruce Wayne capitalizes on his intelligence and vast resources to keep Gotham safe. One of the planet’s greatest heroes, things took a slight departure from the narrative we know when Bruce Wayne was combined with Nick Fury of S.H.I.E.L.D. in Amalgam. Accompanied by Huntress (Huntress/Ms. Marvel) and Moonwing (Nightwing/Moon Knight), Bruce led the fight against the Green Skull (Lex Luthor/Red Skull). The Skull’s plan, like it so often is, involved destroying the world with a doomsday machine. Without any of the Batman skills he’s known for, Bruce instead used secret agent techniques to get by.
Like any good spy story, Bruce’s tale is one full of gizmos and gadgets, superheroes and megalomaniacal bad guys. The story didn’t feel wholly original and people want to see Bruce Wayne at full power as Batman, not as a super spy.
STRONGER: COLOSSUS AS JUGGERNAUT
Cain Marko, the Juggernaut, might very well be the X-Men’s physically strongest enemy. Having received his power from the several billion-year-old abstract mystical entity Cyttorak, the Juggernaut more than lives up to his name. Though he only possesses a tiny fraction of Cyttorak’s might, it’s been enough to beat the Hulk and nearly defeat Thor.
Colossus of the X-Men is the team’s resident strongman. Capable of turning his body into organic metal, his strength reaches Hulk levels. After some X-Men-related craziness, the power of the Juggernaut belonged to Colossus. With this new level of power, Colossus’ might was overwhelming. His strength shot through the roof, and when pushed, he transformed into a monstrous demonic being who could not be hurt. He nearly killed the Red Hulk, defeated the Thing in single combat, and completed dominated Spider-Man.
WEAKER: PUNISHER/DOCTOR STRANGE
Back in 2015 in the “Secret Wars” event, the Punisher and Doctor Strange were mashed together, creating one of the most awesome characters out there. Given the title of Sorcerer Supreme, the Punisher expertly used his tactical know-how, combined with the mystic arts, to devastating effect. This was a Punisher/Doctor Strange combo that was more powerful than either hero individually. However, this wasn’t the first time, they’d been mashed-up.
In the Marvel What If…? #24, Wolverine gets bitten by Dracula, kills the evil vampire, and becomes the Lord of Vampires. He proceeds to turn or kill every hero on Earth. It’s eventually left to the Punisher, imbued with Doctor Strange’s power, to kill most of the vampires. He does a pretty well, learning on the job, but eventually falls to Wolverine after killing Kitty Pryde. If only he’d had more experience…
STRONGER: IRON LANTERN
Tony Stark, Iron Man, is a genius billionaire who wears a weaponized suit of armor more powerful than nearly any other technological achievement on Earth. Green Lantern wields “the most powerful weapons in the universe” and uses it to combat evildoers everywhere.
Thanks to Amalgam, they became the Iron Lantern. In this universe, Hal Stark was the founder of Stark Air-Crafts. While working on a flight simulator, it flew into space and crashed him on another planet where he met Rhomann Sur. Sur died before he could convey an important message, but the wounded Stark jury-rigged a high-tech suit made from Sur’s ship; a lantern-looking battery powered it. The armor made Hal stronger than Iron Man or Green Lantern, providing the hero with time travel, telepathy, faster than light travel, energy blasts, and more.
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