Bullets & Bracelets
Amalgam (Marvel; April, 1995)“Final Thrust” WRITER: John Ostrander PENCILER: Gary Frank INKER: Cam Smith COLORIST: John Kalisc LETTERER: Richard Starkings & Comicraft EDITOR: Chris Cooper EXECUTIVE EDITOR: Bobbie Chase
Ex-married couple Trevor Castle and Diana Prince come back together when their son, Ryan, is kidnapped. Diana pleads with Monarch (Jim Rhodes) to send them to their child, and he sends the couple to Apokalips. There they learn Thanoseid has recruited Big Titania (lost after Scott Free’s death during the Secret Crisis) and others under Granny Harkness. Using Orion’s old gear, Trevor attempts to rescue his son but Diana realizes, after Thanoseid uses his Omega Beams on the toddler, that Kanto is in fact the time-displaced Ryan grown up. Kanto and Titania switch sides and are transported to New Asgard, met by Highfather Odin. Trevor and Diana, however, are sent back to the alley where they first met, where they rekindle their romance.
What they got right: They succeeded at what they wanted to do. The action is there. The references work well enough.
What they got wrong: Granny Harkness is mistakenly referred to by her un-Amalgamated name of Granny Goodness. The subplots with Ryan and his estranged parents seemed to happen way to quick for me. I’m not buying “a mother knows” as to how Diana figured out who Kanto was so quickly. Ryan was a baby when he was kidnapped.
- Trevor Castle (Steve Trevor/Frank Castle): It’s a blond Punisher. That’s pretty much it.
- Diana Prince (Wonder Woman/Electra): Granted, I don’t know a lot about Elektra. However, this could easily be a 90s take on Diana’s de-powered years. I’m not a fan of the outfit. Also, Wonder Woman was split into two characters, just like Batman with SHIELD director Bruce Wayne and Dark Claw. What makes these two so special?
- Ororo Of Themoscyra (Storm/Wonder Woman): I didn’t pick up the Amazon comic so I’ll mention here that this merger in appearance seems to work better than Electra. I forget if she’s in the JLX comics I have so I’ll find out soon enough. We may revisit here there.
- Monarch (War Machine/Hawk): It’s the War Machine armor mixed with Monarch’s armor. It looked cool but he does so little in this story they might as well run into some Phantom Stranger amalgamation.
- Granny Harkness (Granny Goodness/Agatha Harkness) & Big Titania (Big Barda/Titania): I’m putting these two together because it’s an odd merger, one hero one villain. Granny is just Granny Goodness while Big Barda is wearing Titania’s outfit and her switch back to the good guys comes out of nowhere.
- Thanoseid (Thanos/Darkseid): Thanos was Marvel’s answer to Darkseid so this merger was one of those that had to happen. It’s probably the best Amalgamation I’ve see thus far, with enough elements of both characters to work, yet the character is just fine on his own.
Would I get the series: Probably not. Separately I’m not that into Electra or the Punisher. This really didn’t do anything that impressed me.
Recommendation: A decent idea that wrapped up clean too easily, feeling more like a last-minute canceled title than a first issue. There may be people into this comic, but I’m not one of them.