SO there I was last week, checking out my local bargain basement bookstore, looking for cool STUFF, when all-of-a-sudden I spotted a comic bin. 2 packs for 99p! it said. I had a good old rummage and lookee here:
I've never, ever heard of Continuity Comics, but this cover suckered me in. It features their Superman rip-off, Megalith, battling tentacled horrors. Unfortunately, the actual story seems to be a confusing mess, involving Megalith battling his own mind to gain understanding of his powers. Or something.
I suspect CC struggled in the marketplace, given the slightly desperate tone of their advertisements. What on Earth do you mean by that, Rev Austin? Allow me to show you:
And given the other characters on offer, I'm not surprised. I mean, how could anyone have thought a hideously 90's cyborg rock star called CYBER RAD would be a good idea?!
Answer: business people living in the 90's! "Cyborgs are cool. Rock music is cool. Let's combine them, into yet another hopelessly confusing comic, and call it CYBER RAD!"
And if these adverts for their other characters are anything to go by, 'Confusing Comics' really would have been a more appropriate moniker:
Oooo, hello soldier!
I also don't think growing up reading Marshall Law really helped me (and others, I suspect) to take these kinds of characters seriously. But then I discovered this in one of the packs. Yep, he goes where no ordinary rabbit would dare:
And since the comic came before the cartoon, CC evidently hoped for a repeat performance from some of their other characters. Never happened.
But now's it time for the MEAT. Back in the mid-90's, Marvel and DC had the completely insane brainwave of combining their characters. Quite literally. Amalgam Comics was the result, with a variety of 'one-shot' issues featuring these 'new' heroes and villains. Amalgam also did a rather clever thing of mentioning, in the comics, backstories and other characters that were never actually printed, thereby giving the illusion of a whole seperate comic universe. In one pack of comics I picked up, I had THESE:
Dr. StrangeFate is rubbish, as a character, but the story he's involved with is really ace. There's a superhero called Access, and he and the Doc are the only people who know that the Amalagam universe was created by merging two other ones. The doc sends a posse of heroes after Access to sto him, and that's pretty much it.
Dark Claw is much cooler, and not just because it mixes Batman with Wolverine. Oh alright, that's exactly why it's so cool. Dark Claw fights The Hyena (a mix of The Joker and Sabretooth) and...that's pretty much it as well. At the back of both comics there's an ad for all the other one-shots.
Unfortunately, despite being "first issues", these aren't really worth a lot. As mentioned, they never made any other follow-on issues (hence them being 'one-shots') so these were all readily available, in large numbers, diminishing their worth as collector's items. Amalgam DID produce a couple of 'collected' graphic novels, however, featuring stories and characters not mentioned above. I own the one with the Man-Bat/Man-Thing creature, Bat-Thing, in it. It also features Lobo The Duck and a different Dark Claw adventure. Cool beans.