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Super Soldier

Ask Chris #253: Access the Amalgam Age Of Comics

Ask Chris #253, background art by Cary Nord

Q: I found Bruce Wayne: Agent of SHIELD in a box of 50-cent comics. Great idea or terrible one? Fun new direction or misread of the character? -- @Keith_Frady

A: Oh, that one was a great idea, but not for the reasons you might think. See, Keith, what you have stumbled across is neither a misread of the character nor is it a bold new direction. You've just found yourself a piece of the Amalgam Age of Comics.

Originally published in 1996 and 1997, the Amalgam books were quite possibly the strangest mainstream superhero project that ever happened: A not-quite-series of 24 comics that mashed up Marvel and DC characters into weirdly amalgamated versions that were actually produced by Marvel and DC, and that frequently made absolutely no sense at all. And, as you might expect from the fact that this all happened when I was 14, I loved it.

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Comics By Chance: Reviewing Cheap, Random Buys [August 2013]

comicsbychanceaugust

I think the intuition/thought process of buying cheap comics is interesting. There's a combination of randomness, curatorial sense and instinct at play. You end up with a group of comics that would ordinarily never be linked together, from different times, artists and publishers, but links and common themes are there and just need to be unearthed. You end up with a vantage point on the artform you would never get otherwise. No scholar would ever link these comics, but the link is there. This is how most readers, especially the uncounted legion of casual fans who aren't part of the Wednesday crowd, encounter comics.I picked up this particular group of comics at a sidewalk sale for a dollar each. They're exactly the type you'd find at a place that doesn't specialize in comics, in this case The Record Exchange. None are rare or valuable. None are celebrated classics of the form. They're probably comics you've seen a many times and thought nothing of, but each tells its own story.They are Green Lantern Corps #223 and #224, Super Soldier #1, The New Teen Titans #9, and Green Lantern1,000,000.

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