What if Wonder Woman and Ororo Monroe (Storm of the X-Men) were amalgamated to become Amazon? (from Amalgam Comics / Marvel & DC)

>> Rob: Here, you don't have to pay for prime because this Amazon is delivered directly into your earbuds. Welcome to Tier Watchers, an omniversal comic book podcast where we do a deep dive into the bullhyper.

>> Guido: We are traveling with you through the stories and the worlds that make up an omniverse of fictional realities we all love. And your watchers on this journey are me, Guido. I didn't come up with some amalgamated name for myself today, so I'll just.

>> Rob: Be Guido and I will be the master. The weather wizard that's already a character, but that's me, Rob, that's who Stewart could be amalgamated with, Weather wizard.

>> Guido: Well, we'll get into that for sure.

>> Rob: And Guido, what's new in our little section of the multiverse?

>> Guido: Well, since last we had an episode, which we're on our every other week schedule, we watched the two episode debut of X Men 97. It's really exciting. It's overwhelmingly exciting. In fact, I'd say I think most of the world agrees and that's cool. So I'm sure we'll talk about it in more detail at some point. There is a prequel comic coming out that is going to give us the time between the finale of 92 and the, premiere of 97.

>> Rob: I'm sure we can find a way to make all of X Men 97 a multiverse. Maybe at the end with some deadpool tie ins as we predicted, it will be a multiverse.

>> Guido: We did predict that and we did cover X Men 92 because there was the comic series that's sort of a riff on that. And so, back during secret wars. So we have some coverage and it's really fun. If people haven't watched it, go check it out. Particularly if you watch the early series. But I bet it's still fun. The other thing that's cool is there was a recent announcement about omnibuses of amalgam titles, which is what we're talking about today. And we'll talk about how cool that is and what that's going to look like. And those come out in May. So if you're listening to this episode live, yeah, I mean, omnibuses are so often delayed that I wouldn't be surprised if they are. But they are due out in May. And the last thing is this is episode 130. I don't know what sort of anniversary that is, but it's a round number, so let's celebrate it.

>> Rob: We should have recorded this at 130. Like 130 on 130.

>> Guido: Maybe it's 130 right now. Who knows? No one knows what time it is.

>> Rob: When we're recording this, listening to this. Oh, my God. If you're listening to this right now and you look at your phone and it's 130, your mind will be blown.

>> Guido: So congratulations to us on 130 episodes. We're coming upon three years of the show. Sure, three years of the show, some number of years of the show this summer, but we'll get to that anniversary, probably three. It's been 130 episodes, and we're really excited. We have not turned into an X Men podcast, though we keep covering X Men, and today is sort of tangentially X men related. So we're still X Men coverage, but people like it. I love it. So let's move on.

>> Rob: Yes. And if for some reason, after 130 episodes, you're only joining us for the first time, what's wrong with you? But also, we have three parts of our journey through the multiverse today, origins of the story, exploring multiversity and pondering possibilities. So thanks for coming along for the ride.

>> Guido: And remember, leave us a five star review on social media, and you can find us, leave us a five star review wherever you're listening to us, and find us on social media or by visiting deerwatchers.com.

>> Rob: And with that, welcome to episode 130. And let's check out what's happening in the octaverse. With our travel to today's alternate universe, we are strapping on our magic girdles and brazing the elements to answer the question, what if Wonder Woman and Storm, aka Aurora Monroe from the X Men, amalgamated to become the world's largest bookstore?

>> Guido: Yes, they become, Amazon. And now I was just about to say Amazon. I mean, it's very hard to be talking about Amazon and amalgam in the same episode because I keep wanting to say, pronounce them differently.

>> Rob: but anyway, you're on vacation right now, and I feel like this is your vacation brain seeping into not as.

>> Guido: Careful and attentive to things. That is true. That is definitely true. It's spring break. All right, so the Amalgam universe, which we have covered before, was originally Marvel Earth designate six nine two, later renumbered to nine six two. Meanwhile, DC numbered it four nine six and then later renumbered it to 1996. They can't agree on anything. That's why it's amazing that this project even ever happened. But we are going to call it nine six two because that's an official designation in, Marvel Encyclopedias. We have covered this universe, four of the parts of it, if you will. On previous episodes, we've covered Spider Boy, Dr. Strange fate, dark claw, and speed demon. Most of those with our pal ethan of make mine amalgam. So if you go to deerwatchers.com and click episodes, there's a search bar and you can find anything you want to look for. And you can just put in amalgam and you will see those pop up. But real quick, before we dive in, this is what you need to know about the amalgam universe because we're not going to talk so much about the universe.

>> Rob: Hm.

>> Guido: We're going to focus on Amazon. So there are these two brothers that represent the entirety of the Marvel and the DC universe, and Axel Asher, aka access. a, character created for the DC versus Marvel series is a gatekeeper going back and forth. The Marvel and DC characters are dropped into fights with each other. The Spectre and the living Tribunal decide to merge the universes so that they both survive. This creates the amalgam universe. So Marvel and DC publish these initial twelve one shots that amalgamate the characters, and then they resolve the miniseries, but they revisit it one year later with a new miniseries, twelve more one shots, and then a third and final series later that year. We have not covered the core series before. I think once we cover more of the characters, or maybe once the omnibuses are coming out, we'll cover some of those core storylines for our listeners. But that's basically all you need to know. And the amalgam is the Marvel and DC characters combined. So we'll get a lot more into what that means in today's episode.

>> Rob: I was just thinking they should have named Axel Asher after, like, famous DC and Marvel creators. I was thinking he could be Stan Lee Siegel. What do you think?

>> Guido: Yeah, but I'm sure that they would not have been able to agree on who that would be.

>> Rob: Whose name goes first?

>> Guido: Whose name goes first. Right. All of that, I'm sure, would have been impossible. So it had to be someone new and unique, alliterative, because that's very much a callback to both universes. but Axel Asher, it is. Although later there was the publisher, Axel Alonso in Marvel. So maybe Marvel wins. That's why DC doesn't let them publish it, republish it.

>> Rob: Well, Guita, what was your background with amalgam? Which we, shared, but let's briefly recap.

>> Guido: Yeah, I read it as it came out. I loved it as it came out. I consumed all of it I've shared before on our episodes. I was tricked by all of the fake mythology that they build up so at the time when they would reference issues that didn't actually exist, I was like, wait, hold on a second. When did that come out? And I would go try to find it until I realized what was happening and I, figured out that I was being tricked.

>> Rob: But amazing read all on their own.

>> Guido: They could just go, they are, we're.

>> Rob: Going to even the bus.

>> Guido: And they move the mythology along, which is cool, or they don't move it along. They add to it. So we'll actually reference those today. But anyway, so I loved it, consumed it, had it, read it, read the second iteration of it, read the third miniseries of it, got the trade paperbacks of it that have been out of print for so long. Am excited for the omnibuses. I love the amalgam universe. How about you?

>> Rob: Yeah, I think the same as you. I read a lot of them when they were coming out in the 90s. Love them. I think in many cases loved them actually more than the characters that they were riffing on, maybe because they were new and I felt like I was entering from the beginning. So I was like, oh, these are mine, because I'm reading them as they're coming out well, or like we were.

>> Guido: Just talking about today with some of the characters, especially you. And I didn't necessarily know some of the not strange, but b list DC people. And so this took those B list DC people who we didn't know anything about and merged them with Marvel characters that we knew a lot about. So it made everyone a little bit familiar, which was, I think that, I.

>> Rob: Think that definitely helped. And it's been fun revisiting. I think we'll get into this more later. I think some of them probably aren't as good as my memory is for them as a whole. But we can debate that when we get into our amalgam issue later on. Well, there's, a storm coming, and it's going to wash us into a little island out of the middle of nowhere that we call origins of the storytell. Right now on this very show, you're going to get the answer to all your questions. Our amazing story begins a few years ago. So let's go in character age with these two icons and legends, both of whom we have covered before and who we're doing a little new reading for today.

>> Guido: Yes, because quick preview, Amazon is, of course, Wonder Woman and Storm put together.

>> Rob: Yes.

>> Guido: In our origins of the story. We're going to address those two characters before we get into what they look like merged.

>> Rob: Well, first up is Wonder Woman. Who was created way back in 1941 by William Moulton Marston and Harry Peter for DC Comics and also, like lots of uncredited women as well. Right. Had inputs there for sure.

>> Guido: So know that you can go back. We have a few Wonder Woman episodes. We covered Bombshell's universe. We had an interview with author and Wonder Woman historian and fan Tim hanley, who also joined us for another episode. So go find that. We talked about Wonder Woman's creation by Stan Lee, which is another alternate. So you can go find all those episodes. But because we never actually covered, and therefore, you, Rob, probably never read the most famous reboot of Wonder Woman Post Crisis 1987, we decided to read that for today. So that's our issue.

>> Rob: Yes, that is Wonder Woman number one from February 1987 from DC Comics. And it's titled the Princess and the Power. Not to be confused with Shera.

>> Guido: I know, but it's post shera, so they have to have been inspired, I have no doubt, which is why I love them both. All right, so, this book is written by Greg Potter and George Perez, penciled by George Perez, inked by Bruce Patterson, colored by Tatiana Wood, lettered by John Costanza, and edited by Karen Berger. And this is, of course, the famous post crisis reboot. It resets continuity. So real quick summary of the start of tons of lore that is still true for Wonder Woman. She's now born of a clay creation that her mother Hippolyta has made. All the Amazons are the souls of women who were killed in misogynistic acts of violence. But there was this one special soul held back and then imbued into Diana, the clay baby, with each goddess giving her a skill or strength. And at the end of this issue, she ends up winning the contest of the Amazons to become their ambassador. So lots of notes we're familiar with, but.

>> Guido: Most of them are being created here. It's original to Potter and Perez's vision for this character. And definitely the bringing in of the greek mythology so strong is a huge part of Perez's run. So this was your first time reading this. What'd you think?

>> Rob: I loved this issue. I thought it was great, from the writing to the art, which we definitely have to cover. But I think I was just also blown away by the adult qualities of this issue. Like, this is a character that I think because of also the TV show and super friends and whatnot. Could have done had a very kitty, appeal for a long time. It was very simple, but there's a lot of adults and violence on women from the very first panels that's throughout this. And I was very surprised by how serious it was in many ways for a character that hasn't always been treated that way.

>> Guido: Yeah. Which is so cool. And why this is, an iconic, legendary run on her, I'd say, for any fan of hers to make sure that they take a look at, because I agree. I've reread this many, many times, but every time it surprises me, because it's not only adult in the nature of the violence and the fact that there is murder and betrayal. There's certainly allusions to, we can assume, sexual violence and rape, but also the message, the explicit dealing with misogyny. I love, even though this is two men at this point, rebooting Wonder Woman and taking this iconic female character, but I think they're doing a really great job of leaning into what it would mean to have Wonder woman be someone who doesn't shy away from dealing with feminism, dealing with gender. I mean, they talk so much about gender in this issue, and this is even, I'm sure, before most of these writers and most of our culture were thinking about deconstructing gender and reconsidering gender, and yet they're talking about it in this really nuanced way, and they're talking about gender based violence. And so it's really striking to me that the themes that are adult are, really on message. So I love this issue and this start to the series.

>> Rob: Do you think some of that came from trying to counter some of the images that had been of Wonder Woman? I'm also thinking, like, some of the changes that were made to Batman around this time, where a lot of it was fighting against the 60s TV show. Do you think a lot of this was kind of fighting against the Linda Carter element, which was fun and cool, but also not as much about gender and asking these tough questions?

>> Guido: Well, I think it's funny. We have a huge oral history in an issue of back issue that was just done in the last year on this reboot that we should have consulted and is a great resource for this. But without a doubt, I think it's 1987. So all comics are being influenced at this point by the Dark Knight, the Batman year one, and also Watchmen. So I think that there was probably a slight pivot toward, quote, unquote, something more adult. You see it a little bit in Burns man of Steel. I think what all these creators were doing in the post crisis reboots is writing for an adult audience. I don't think they were all leaning into darkness or deconstruction of a superhero or death or murder violence. The kind of stuff that watchmen and, Dark knight do start to inspire a little later. But I think they were all definitely writing away from the more kid oriented tone of the books.

>> Rob: I think this threads the needle really well between being a comic book still and something that's going to be appealing to the wider comic book audience than, say, dark knight, returns, and watchmen. But also doing that seriousness, it's such a tightrope walk that I feel that it very successfully manages.

>> Guido: And it really, I think in part that's because he's leaning into the mythology, or they're leaning into the mythology. Though we know Perez is the primary architect of this reboot, he continues to be the plotter and the story driving force for much of it, though he does always work with scriptors and co writers, but we know he's the driving force behind it. And I think the mythology, the presence of the mythology is what helps make it very comic booky, even though there are pieces of it that are a little heavier once it gets into her being a hero, too. It has that bravado and that optimism of, like, a superhero comic. This issue doesn't have much of that because you're just going through the history of the Amazons in this issue. But, yeah, he balances all of those things quite.

>> Rob: I'd say we should definitely mention the art because I had, of course, seen some George Perez art, but hadn't really, I think, dived into it, like, with this issue. And I thought the art is just amazing and really reminded me. I've recently been reading some, soap opera comic strips, things like Prince Valiant and those other ones that are the serious comic strips. And I was really taken. Oh, he really seems like he was influenced by that soap opera serious comic, especially thinking of the Prince Valiant, probably because that's set in a medieval time. And there's a lot of similarities in the style to the Amazons here. So I was very interesting because it wasn't quite comic booky, but at the same time, I don't know, it seemed very singular in a way.

>> Guido: Well, it's a very classic style. It's heavy detail.

>> Rob: Lots, of detail.

>> Guido: It's realism, but not hyper realism. I mean, I don't know. We'll have to ask Elliot for more ways to articulate what this style is. But I think it is seminal comic book art, for sure. It is like defining of not even an era. It's just defining of a style, because you still see this style showing up now, and it doesn't feel of a time. It doesn't feel like, oh, someone's aping that seventy s, eighty s bronze age art. And it's like, no, it really just feels distinct. And some of that is also in the inking. He always has great inkers. I mean, sometimes he inks himself very rarely because he was. I can't even believe that he was able to accomplish the things he was able to accomplish.

>> Rob: Oh, my gosh.

>> Guido: This hasn't taken a while. It's unreal. You can see why Phil Jimenez has often credited George Perez as his major influence. And you can see it. And Jimenez, of course, has a similarly iconic run of Wonder Woman with the heavy detail. But it is just gorgeous. And, before we move away from Wonder Woman, do you want to read more Wonder Woman? Do you think this is a good entry point for people into, the series?

>> Rob: Yeah.

>> Guido: Would you read, like, number two, number three, number four?

>> Rob: I'd be curious to see kind of where it goes, because not a lot of this issue has Wonder Woman, the character in it. A lot of it is kind of background on the Amazon. So I would be interested to see how they develop the actual character of Wonder Woman. We don't actually see her leave the thermoscaya paradise, island, in this issue. So seeing her out in the world, I'd be curious how they handle that.

>> Guido: Yeah, well, it's great. So I recommend it. This conversation is making me want to reread it, though. I don't think I did that that long ago. Maybe when the movie came out. I reread a lot of the Perez run. Anyway, so Wonder Woman is only 50% of our character today.

>> Rob: Our other 50% is Aurora Monroe storm. And she was created by Len Wean and Dave Cochrane in 1975 for Guido's white whale of a comic, giant size x Men number one.

>> Guido: Yeah. If anyone has a copy lying around, send it. Send it our way.

>> Rob: Yeah, send it our way. It's okay. we'll pay for the postage. Don't worry. And we didn't read anything new. We do dive into her origin way back on another episode, but a quick rundown if you are living under a rock for all things storm.

>> Guido: So we actually way back on episode seven, so who knows what that episode even sounds like? We first discussed storm. It's a cool what if that she's in, and we did her origin there. Since then, we've only had one other episode, alternate version of her, where she murders Black Panther. But that's all our coverage of her, so, real quick. For those of you who are indeed living under a rock, Storm is a mutant and a princess from a local kenyan tribe, though she grows up a bit in Harlem. Later in Egypt, where she's orphaned, has an early encounter with Xavier, then later is recruited by Xavier to join the X Men based on her goddess like, weather controlling powers. Of course, since she's been with the X Men in 1975, she's led them at various times. She's been depowered at various times. She has left the team and returned at various times. So she is, iconic, essential X Men, I think, probably. I don't know. Where do you think she falls after? Like, we know Wolverine is always the most popular, most well known X Men, but she's not far behind, is she number two?

>> Rob: I'd say two or three. I mean, either Cyclops has got, like, number two, or Storm. I say they're the three biggies. Yeah. If you think of X Men. I think a lot of people think of those three characters.

>> Guido: Yeah, I agree, and I love her. We didn't read anything new for today, but let's talk about why we love her, why we think people love her, why she's got some staying power. Her origin has not been super retooled. There have been little things, like Claremont put in that she had encountered Xavier when she was a child and stuff like that, which we talk about in our last episode on her all those years ago. But why do you think she has such staying power?

>> Rob: one thing I think is her powers, because take cyclops for, like, most people probably wouldn't want to shoot lasers out of their eyes. Right. Not a power a lot of people want, and then a lot of people would probably want to be a telepath. But as we see, that causes a lot of problems. Like, you're constantly thinking other people's thoughts. Like, there's some moral issues there, right. But control the weather, I don't know. It's been snowing and rainy here where we are. Right. So I wouldn't mind just having the sun come out. So I think on one very base level, it's like a character who. It's like, oh, her powers are so cool. They're so expansive. Like, you can do so many things with them. Again, like laser shooting. You're out of your eyes. It's kind of limited. Right.

>> Guido: Well, I think that's the key.

>> Rob: ICE, she can do fire, all this stuff.

>> Guido: Well, I think that's the key. That expansive nature of it. Or even the fact that she's essentially controlling nature in and of itself. I think that's what makes it. I mean, she has since been named an omega level mutant, meaning one of the mutants with the most powerful power set there is. There are a highly limited number of omega level mutants. And it makes sense because while we might immediately think of the pretty easy, straightforward stuff, like she uses wind to knock someone over, she calls down lightning to zap someone, if you really think about it. And they do this a little bit in X Men 97, those first two episodes, which I think is what got people so excited in part, about those episodes, she can literally control the atmosphere. Like, if she starts to freeze something or turn everything into ICE, she can destroy things. She can, completely using water, using rain. We know from the state of our sad real world how destructive water and flooding can be. So now imagine a mutant who can control that, right? Like, there is something about her powers being control of nature that just makes her both. The power is, like you said, it's diverse, it's visual, it's recognizable, and it's also massive and immense. So I think that does also. I think she's got great characterization and not too dissimilar from Diana Prince. I'd say she's. What we know about storm is that we know she's seeking compassion. She's seeking empathy and love and peace. And she is a fierce warrior who will not stop at helping achieve those goals. She's never going to choose violence first, but she is not afraid of violence by any means. And that is Wonder Woman to me. So I think it makes sense that these two characters might be linked.

>> Rob: And I think also, judging mostly by the animated series, and again, revisited here in X Men 97, is just some of that great dialogue, which is also kind of some of the dialogue that you can hear Wonder Woman say too. Right? There's a lot of pronouncements to the gods and stuff like that. It almost has this shakespearean flair, which just must be, oh, I was going.

>> Guido: To say Joan Crawford Flair.

>> Rob: That too.

>> Guido: It is shakespearean, but with a sass to it. It's like, very much like, I know I am stronger than you and better than you and all of those things. And I'm just going to tell you right now in not so many words. So, yeah, I think she's a great character and a great mutant.

>> Rob: Well, there's a strong wind blowing us into our next segment that is, of course, exploring multiversity.

>> Guido: I am your guide through these vast new realities. Follow me and ponder the question, what if?

>> Rob: And today we are asking the question, what if Wonder Woman and Storm amalgamated to become Amazon? And that is Amazon volume one, issue number one from April 1996. And it's entitled Family History.

>> Guido: And this is written and penciled by John Byrne, inked by Terry Austin, colored by Patricia Mulvahill, lettered by John Costanza, edited by Paul Kupperberg. It is again part of the, amalgam series. So it's Earth nine six two with a whole fictional backstory. And we'll actually dig a bit more into that real quick. Of course, John Byrne, legend, controversial at this point for having crappy views at some point that hopefully he's moved on from, but we don't know for a fact. So anyway, leaving that behind us, he.

>> Guido: Had a really iconic run of X Men and Fantastic four both as writers and artists, then moved on to the post crisis reboot of Superman with the man of Steel limited series and then actually did a few years on Wonder Woman prior to this issue. So he has a lot of experiences that make sense for him to be doing this issue. And why don't we get a summary of the issue and start talking? And then we'll bring in some of the other mythology from some of the other, amalgam stuff that's out there.

>> Rob: Great. So Amazon, who's called Wonder Woman in this issue, but more on that later, maybe tangles with the sea God Poseidon, uncovering his treasure trove. Flashback to slash, Auroro's origin story that sees her academic father take a piece of Poseidon's treasure, only to be plagued by bad luck ever since. So he tries to return it. Then Poseidon kills him and the rest of Aurora's family, though she is rescued by Hippolyta and raised as Hippolyta's, own daughter. Flashback to present time. About to be killed by Poseidon. Aurora convinces him that mankind has forgotten the gods and that her father was actually trying to return their memory to mankind. And Poseidon releases her.

>> Guido: And one other plot thread I'll add in there. Aurora convinces him that the Amazons are part of what will keep the gods alive. So that's why he should stop fighting against them. So some interesting callbacks, of course, to both wonder Woman and Storm's history here. In terms of storm being orphaned, of course she has the power she has. But then wonder woman with the daughter of Hippolyta, leaving Themyscira to be the ambassador. So really a good merger of the two characters, I'd say and I think it balances the pieces well, which we see sometimes in amalgam, they skew toward one or the other. I think this one is a pretty even match. Wouldn't you agree?

>> Rob: I think, yeah, definitely. Yeah. There's little bits like, I noticed that her father, well, her family's killed off of Egypt. And of course, Storm has the link to Egypt. So there's stuff like that. But then we get the whole kind of, a lot of stuff with Amazon and of course, the gods.

>> Guido: Yeah, the greek gods and the paradise island and going off the island to be the ambassador.

>> Rob: And even in that George Perez issue, we got some text kind of reminded me, certainly of Neil Gaiman's american gods as well, where the gods are concerned that one day they'll be forgotten by mankind. That's definitely a crux of this issue as well.

>> Guido: Yeah. So I think it's a good design. Now, having said that, I think neither of us loved this issue.

>> Rob: It definitely feels like amalgam is so interesting because sometimes it feels like, oh, we're just introducing the character. Other times it feels like we're just plopped in the middle of the story, even though it's a number one. And that's definitely the latter. With this point, I think if this was an actual character that existed and you were reading it, you'd go, oh, that's a perfectly fine issue. But because it's basically a one off, I wanted a little bit more from it than I got.

>> Guido: Well, let me bring in some of the history, because I think you're right. Some of the history. Now, this comes from both the trading cards and the letters page. Both of those sources are really great extensions of the Amalgam universe. They are canonical, so they're cool. They add stuff to it. So what we find out from those sources is that Amazon debuts in giant size tales of the Amazons, number one, in 1975. So obviously a callback to giant size X Men. And supposedly, this is a sidebar. Supposedly, Marco Xavier approached her to join mutant heroes, but she refused to join a group led by a man. So that's interesting. But what we find out is that for 54 years, there is this solo series called Tales of the Amazons. And, in that, Diana and Aurora share the title. They are both in the title. And who knows what the stories that that title are supposed to have told are? No idea. But ultimately, there's a miniseries called Amazon's the contest. Now, this does not exist. Sidebar for people who hear this like I did, and think they should go out and find this doesn't exist.

>> Rob: We should just say they have a bit of Diana's in this issue, a little bit in the flashbacks, and they have a bit of like a Thor Loki rivalry. Yeah.

>> Guido: And Diana has her own. So. Because what happens is that there's this series called Amazon's the Contest by John Byrne and Terry Austin where Diana and Aurora end up fighting. And so tales of the Amazons gets, quote unquote, canceled and splits into two titles, Amazon number one and bullets and bracelets number one. And so what we are reading is sort of a soft reboot in the world of amalgam, where we are now seeing Amazon on her own for the first time. And then, of course, you can read bullets and bracelets, which we will cover separately at another time to see Diana and her whole deal and what her line is. So that's the fake universe that we're stepping into here. So it is a little bit of both in what you're saying. Like, yeah, there's some titles where you're supposed to be reading, like, issue number 300 of a run, and it just keeps calling back to all this fake history. Other titles that are brand new origin issues. This one is sort of trying to do both, I think.

>> Rob: Yeah, it was perfectly fine, I thought. But yeah, I think also because this is not a character like some of the other characters where there's a lot of inherent humor in the amalgams, but this one is not really, I wouldn't say serious issue in the way that some of the George Perez issue was serious, but there's not a lot of humor to be found in it as well.

>> Guido: Well, no, because really it's Amazon versus Poseidon. So how much fun can you have with Poseidon? And then everything else is a flashback to her dying family or very briefly to Themyscira. So, yeah, I think there's not a lot of space to actually have a story being told here because he's doing the origin flashback of and I think it's fun. Go ahead.

>> Rob: Yeah, I was going to say, too, I also didn't love the art because it's got this sketchy quality, which you said is kind of just the John Byrne style.

>> Guido: It is in this era. It is in this era. And he might have been more rushed on this issue. his wonder Woman run. I really don't like the art. You'd hate it. It is this style. It's actually a little more sketchy rushed than this style. But, yeah, I'm not sure what the.

>> Rob: Deal with that is reading them back to back with the George Perez, which is like the antithesis of that because it's so detail oriented that maybe that affected me as well. Or I was thinking, oh, maybe they thought, oh, it's an amalgam. It's not like a real issue. So we're going to spend a little less time on it.

>> Guido: But yeah, no, again, I think his wonder woman run looks like this. So I think it's more just how he was drawing at this point in the 90s, for whatever reason, because he's great before it. But, yeah, I don't love this stuff. And of course, Terry Austin is then a famous artist in his own right, so his inking should have enhanced it, but does not seem to.

>> Rob: John Costanza did the, lettering on this and the George Perez issue. So another little.

>> Guido: Well, as we know from talking to Janice Chang, letterers worked on thousands of books. It is just what it takes to have that career. before we move away from this universe, m there is more Amazon for us to talk about, but based on what we know of Amazon here, not this issue in particular and not necessarily with this creative team, would you want more Amazon stories, though? Do you think it's a character that lends itself to a whole section of the universe?

>> Rob: It's hard to say because I feel like we just didn't get a lot of her personality in this one issue. So I think it's a great amalgam character. But, yeah, I don't know. Just reading this, I would say no, I'm fine without more. What do you think?

>> Guido: Yeah, I agree. What I'd say, too, is while she's a good blending of the origins of these two characters and the myths that fuel these two characters, the power set is also not a part of this story. he doesn't do anything interesting with the fact that Wonder Woman, who is, of course, insanely, absurdly powerful in her own right, now has the access to the powers of nature and storms. Right. He doesn't do anything with that. And so I would have liked to have seen more with her fusion of powers.

>> Rob: I was even thinking underwater with Poseidon, could electricity, like electricity and water? Or maybe if she created a whirlpool or something like that, there was a lot of opportunities, I think, to use the storm powers against a, water based antagonist that didn't quite get utilized.

>> Guido: Yeah. All right, well, let's move on because there is more of her to explore.

>> Rob: Yes. She is back in our pondering possibilities. Will the future you describe be averted, averted, diverted so Guido, what are we talking about for pondering possibilities?

>> Guido: Well, we have a few things to talk about here. She does show up in the second wave of Amalgam, which we're going to talk about an issue here that she shows up in. She's a key part of the miniseries, the DC versus Marvel all access. So the second miniseries, but we're going to cover that separately. It's more about that story, though. She's a key part of it. And then she has a brief appearance in bullets and bracelets, but it's just in Diana's flashback. So what we're going to look at instead is the second wave of Amalgam, an issue that followed the next year that gives us a bit of an update on her and moves her character forward a little bit. And then I do have one more quick, weird appearance that we can talk about afterwards. But let's talk about this amalgam issue first.

>> Rob: Yes, this is JLX unleashed. Because it's the 90s. Everything had to be extreme or unleashed. Volume one, issue one from June 1997. And this is titled the Unextinguish. Oh, that's a hard word to say. Unxtinguishable flame. I still didn't quite say it.

>> Guido: So this is written by priest, Christopher Priest, credited as priest, penciled by Oscar Jimenez. Inked by Hanibal Rodriguez. Colored by Patricia Mulvahill. Lettered by Ken Lopez. Edited by Ruben Diaz. Let's get a super quick summary of this issue because JLX is another amalgamated team, the Justice League X men, that we will have to cover on a separate episode. Our focus is going to be Amazon. But what's going on in this issue?

>> Rob: So a group of villains releases thing Fang flame, who promptly kills them all and sets off to exterminate all of humanity in order to save the world. Amazon slash Aurora convinces Mr. X, a telepathic quadriplegic Skrull, to gather his team, the JLX, to destroy FFF. They win the day and Amazon joins the JLX team. And there's lots of backstory and things that, as you said, we're not covering here.

>> Guido: Yes, I do just want to mention that that group of villains is called the Hellfire League of Injustice. And there are a bunch of really cool mashups that I enjoyed. yeah. So focusing here on Amazon. Yeah. So she shows up. We find out in some of the backstory, again, it's supposed to have been something we would know as fans of this fake universe that she's a member of Justice League Avengers and JLX is sort of a rogue offshoot of JLA. And so they go into that sort of. JLA would feel betrayed by her participating with JLX. And so that's why I think it's supposed to be like a big beat at the end that her, one of these core characters joins this more rogue offshoot, edgy team of JLX. So was it fun to see more Amazon for you?

>> Rob: Yes. though she doesn't have a lot to do in this issue.

>> Guido: I would say though, she is like, she probably has the biggest role, but I agree with you, but she probably has the biggest role here.

>> Rob: Yeah, she's like the, plot wise she is a bit more because she's the catalyst for bringing them back and is battling with them. And she's like the only character that's going, as you said, from team to team, really. But within that, she doesn't have much to do. It's the JLX team members that get a lot and they get a lot of the X Men kind of humor throughout. And I don't think Amazon really gets any of that as a character.

>> Guido: No, not at all. Yeah, because I think, again, I think she's supposed to be like the core trinity of this world, the serious, big guns, if you will. And then you have these goofier, edgier people. We meet Cyclops's, brother, Apollo, Cyclops's brother, who instead of being havoc, is chaos. And we get more of the rogue character who is of course, in JLX the first series.

>> Rob: All of that is who is the Nightcrawler, the creeper. And he's like the really star of this issue.

>> Guido: I like that he says Matthew Perry is going to play him in a movie.

>> Rob: Well, because he's like that Matthew Perry, that Chandler bing. He gets all the good lines. He definitely stole the show here.

>> Guido: So while I know we weren't talking about JLX and we will one day talk about them, though I have to say I don't love it, which is part of why we haven't talked about it yet. but does this interest you in Amazon? Like, would you want to read JLX with her on it? Would you want to read JLX more because she's a part of this new team?

>> Rob: It's the same thing, I think, as the burn issue. I just don't get any of her character throughout. And I think the same thing like you just previously said about her power set, I think that's also underutilized in this, like, for instance, they need to freeze Fang flame and they use the, JLX character who has ICE powers. But couldn't Amazon also freeze him? So why did they also.

>> Guido: That's true.

>> Rob: She seems on the periphery of her own.

>> Guido: Right, right. Maybe in some ways it's one of those instances where she's just too powerful for people to know what to do with her.

>> Rob: True.

>> Guido: They sort of write her as maybe just a Wonder Woman, that she's like generically powered and they're not really using the storm powers so much. What's funny is on the letters page on this issue, there's a lot of JLX content. But the tease for the next issue actually interests me more than this issue, which is that, the JLA won't sit still after Amazon's defection, especially since she now runs with the world's most infamous heroes. All this, and I love, first of all, I wish there was the Mongol onslaught, amalgam actually existed. But second of all, aside from that, it's just fun to think, oh, now the JLA is going to come after them because she has defected to this edgier group. So that plot would have been more interesting than.

>> Guido: This one, I think.

>> Rob: And even seeing her, how she interacts with people who bend the rules a bit more than she's willing to, there's, I think, an interesting story there to be had. But because this one's mostly action based, there's not really any room for that.

>> Guido: Yeah. So 97 is the end of Amazon. Except it's not shockingly, because even though the Amalgam universe has never been seen officially again since 97, she shows up in IDW comic. So this is so silly. But in 2012 there's an IDW series called the Infection team up two or the infection two team up or something like that. That's confusing. Yes, it's infection two team up. So it's a really silly series by Chris Ryle that is, the lovecraftian gods have broken the barriers across worlds. This little gray alien that I guess is fighting them. I've not read any of it, except this issue meets the weekly World News Batboy. So it's a big crossover right there. And all these timelines start merging and collapsing. And in one panel they're walking down the street and there's like this Cthulhu tentacle God coming out of the sky and super soldier, Iron Lantern and Amazon are all fighting it. So Amazon is there in the background. So a real fun little Easter egg that's in there. As if to say the amalgam universe persists and gets pulled into this multiversal war that IDW was doing in 2012.

>> Rob: Hopefully they don't get sued.

>> Guido: Well, it was twelve years ago, so I think they're okay now. It probably slid under the radar, it looks like. Sounds like, because, I didn't even know about it until researching this issue, this episode. And so, of course, you have the omnibuses coming out in May our hope. We've talked many times about our dream of amalgam universes on screen, or Marvel and DC actually coming together to do some project because they're just leaving money on the table by not doing it. But let's talk a little bit about Amazon. Is there a different amalgamation you could imagine for Wonder Woman or.

>> Rob: So I think it's a great amalgamation because I think these characters really do go together pretty well. They're both goddesses of a sort, I would say. The other character I could see Wonder Woman amalgamated with would be Black Panther, which is, of course, a character that storm has connections with, but they're both rulers from these kingdoms that are.

>> Guido: That was isolated and had to decide to send someone out into the world.

>> Rob: A relationship with the gods as well, and ancestors. So I think that would be an interesting. And I don't think many of the amalgam characters cross genders, so it would be interesting to also do that with a character.

>> Guido: Yeah, well, Robin and I. Yeah, I think that's a good one. It does make a lot of sense. And I could see it being interesting storytelling to look at the connections between the two. It's funny because when I was thinking about this question, I was thinking about Wonder Woman. Also, storm seems hard. Maybe yours and my DC, depth of knowledge is just weather wizard. See enough.

>> Rob: Yeah.

>> Guido: but who's she then blending with? Because the wizard is a Marvel character.

>> Rob: No. Isn't weather wizard one of flashes? One of the flashes.

>> Guido: Oh, so storm is mixed with weather wizard.

>> Rob: Yeah.

>> Guido: What you're saying.

>> Rob: Yeah.

>> Guido: Okay. I thought you were calling your amalgamation weather wizard.

>> Rob: Oh, no. I was mashing them two together.

>> Guido: I was picturing the wizard from Marvel amalgam nobody wants. Yeah, it's true. that'll be in like, one of those. What, the slapstick?

>> Rob: Exactly. Yeah.

>> Guido: But I, of course, just want Wonder Woman with the Phoenix. I think that would be really fun.

>> Rob: I can see that.

>> Guido: No reason whatsoever other than just, I like them both.

>> Rob: Yeah, well, it also, Wonder Woman has been resurrected so many times. Right? So there's like, she is like the Phoenix. Like, she keeps coming back.

>> Guido: Well, that's more. In reboots, she doesn't actually die. That has died. She has died now probably twice, but that's low compared to other characters. That's true. So we'll have a lot more amalgam to cover in our near future. But for now, that is a wrap. Dear listeners, thank you for listening. I have been your amalgamated.

>> Rob: Guido and I have been, a stormy rob.

>> Guido: The reading list is in the show notes. Follow us on all social media. Tell us who you want to see storm and Wonder Woman amalgamate with at.

>> Rob: Deer watchers and leave us a five star review. Rare people in a podcast. We'll be back soon with another.

>> Guido: In the meantime, in words you watch, you keep pondering the possibilities.

Creators and Guests

working in education, background in public health, lover of: collecting, comics, games, antiques, ephemera, movies, music, activism, writing, and on + on...
Queer Nerd for Horror, Rock N Roll and Comics (in that order). Co-Host of @dearwatchers a Marvel What If and Omniverse Podcast
What if Wonder Woman and Ororo Monroe (Storm of the X-Men) were amalgamated to become Amazon? (from Amalgam Comics / Marvel & DC)
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