Comic Book Review – Amazon #1 (April 1996)

Writer and Artist – John Byrne

Inker – Terry Austin

During the summers here in Pittsburgh, Replay FX usually holds their video game expo. I have gone the past few years to play old arcade games and pinball machines. There is a vendor area and when my friends and I need a break, we take a look around at the various items for sale. Looking in the dollar bin, I came across this issue from Amalgam Comics.

During the DC vs Marvel miniseries, there was a month when they released number one issues of comics featuring amalgamated superheroes. Combine Captain America and Superman and you get Super Soldier. Mix Batman and Wolverine and you get Dark Claw. There were so many titles that I missed a few when they were originally released. One that I regret not buying or reading at the time was Amazon, featuring Ororo (Storm from X-Men) as Wonder Woman.

Wonder Woman is flying high over the ocean until hurricane force winds knock her into the water. She comes face to face with an angry god of the sea, Poseidon. As the two-tussle underwater, Wonder Woman is knocked out of the fight and lands inside of a cave. This cave is full of gold coins and other treasures and trinkets and Ororo realizes she’s inside the throne room of Poseidon. As she looks around, she finds a gold statue.  Poseidon tells Ororo that the statue is actually one piece in a set of statues. We learn about the fate of the sister statue and how it ties into the origin of Ororo in this issue.

I loved how the writers of Amalgam Comics were able to combine the heroes of the DC and Marvel Universes to create bold, different, and new characters. I did enjoy the way John Byrne was able to blend Ororo into the history of Princess Diana, the Amazons, and Themyscira seamlessly in this one shot.

The only downside to the Amalgam Comics venture was that once you got a taste of this new world of characters, you wanted more. In some cases, you got to see some characters return in the second run of Amalgam Comics. Most times, you got a story that ended on a cliffhanger and it felt kind of cheap to get you excited, knowing full well you wouldn’t get to see how the story ends.

I did like how they had a letters page at the very end of the issue discussing how readers were upset that after 50 issues, Tales of the Amazons was ending to make room for Amazon and Bullets and Bracelets. I laugh because this fake letters page seems true to life and the real complaints comic book lovers have when their beloved comic is cancelled oh too soon because of low sales, another reboot, or a new number one issue to help drive comic book sales.

If you can find a copy of Amazon #1 for cheap, it’s well worth reading. Heck, taking some time to dive in the dollar bin to find any of the old Amalgam Comics is a worthy endeavor. It just makes you sad to think that comic book readers will never get to see DC and Marvel crossing over again anytime soon.