Sunday, March 12, 2017

Black Power!

Most comic book fans think Amalgam Comics, a joint effort of Marvel Comics and DC Comics, was only printed in 1996 but most forget that Amalgam comics were also printed as early as the 1970’s. Black Power was arguably the most famous character of this early, experimental Amalgam Comics era. 

Jefferson Lucas was raised in the slums of Yorktropolis. Later, he received great powers from a suit that the criminal Gambini had experimented on in a  prison laundry laboratory. In the first issue he established that his name was Black Power. He needed super-powers to fight The Pin-Whale Gang; they were corrupting his neighborhood. Later Jefferson discovered these powers were always within him. He also fought the KKK, when they were causing racial strife in Yorkopolis! Black Power had his most famous adventures in the future era of 1984!

Amalgam was published on an informal basis over the years and never sold very well. Not to let that stop them but Amalgam even attempted the universe spanning Secret Crisis Infinite Wars in the 1980’s where Amalgam introduced the character of Grandmaster-Flash. The quality of that series, many fans felt, was inferior to DC Comic’s similar Crisis on Infinite Earths or Marvel Comic’s Secret Wars, plus there were only four issues of SCIW as opposed to eight issues of those other titles. Did DC and Marvel consign their second rate writers and artists to work on SCIW? Many fans have speculated yes! Did the big two conspire to keep Amalgam low quality to keep them from stealing readers from their own titles? Did early Amalgam have a meaningful impact on the world of comic books? Only time will tell.

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