Casting the Amalgam Universe Movies Phase 2


Fire up your Tamagotchi and pop on The Spice Girls, we’re bring the 90s into today by casting Phase 2 of the Amalgam Universe comic book movies. For you Unrealtors who may have missed the first edition of this article, the Amalgam Universe was a once-in-a-True-Believer’s-lifetime event where the big two comic publishers, Marvel and DC, decided to throw their respective universes into one big blender and publish books with whatever came out. It was fascinating, it was fun, and it’ll never happen again.

However, happen it did and in this wild world of comic cinema who knows who will be trading quips on the silver screen. So, assuming we’re following the Marvel Studios system, let’s see who’d be donning tights, capes, and maybe a helmet or two for Amalgam Universe Phase 2.



Let’s call this one making up for past sins.

A quick recap: after having an experimental flight simulator take off without warning, billionaire Hal Stark had moments to build a suit of armor out of alien technology to prevent shrapnel in his chest from ending his life. Little did he know this technology was powered by Oa the Living Planet. Suddenly Hal went from wealthy playboy to high-flying superhero Iron Lantern.

Yeah, the Amalgam Universe really did just do a simple chocolate and peanut butter job with Iron Lantern, but it still worked. The book was solid, the character surprisingly well-developed, and the costume was killer. Throwing “Lantern” on a hero these days is fairly commonplace, but in Amalgam’s heyday it was still rare.

We all remember Terrence Howard from the first Iron Man flick. We all waited in anticipation for him to slap a silver paint job on one of Tony’s suits and take it for a spin as War Machine. Boy oh boy that would have been swell. Alas, shenanigans unfolded, and when it was time for Iron Man to return, the paint job was done by Don Cheadle instead. Terrence Howard joined the ranks of Lacey Chabert and Katie Holmes as actors who were recast after a series took off.

It happens, but still, what a shame. Sure, Don Cheadle’s great, but I had a much harder time buying the slim and trim actor as the supposed-to-be broad and bruising James Rhodes. Howard fit the bill (and build) better and I was disappointed when I heard he was out.

But with our new flicks here, he can be the leading, Lantern-powered star he deserves to be. The guy’s an Academy Award nominee so we all know he’s got the acting chops, and he’s a handsome devil, too, so playing a character who’s a combination of two notorious Ladies…Men shouldn’t be a stretch, either.

Terrence Howard deserved better than what the House of Ideas gave him. He deserves new opportunities in this new universe.



This was a total no-brainer.

Adopted by the Amazons at a very young age, metamutant Ororo discovered she had the ability to control the weather on the island of Themiscyra. The Amazons taught her how to focus her powers into a lasso of lighting that could compel anyone bound by it to speak the truth. Later, Ororo left home to enter the modern world to right wrongs as Amazon.

C’mon, do I even really need to explain why? First of all, everyone loves Gina Torres. So…there’s that. Second, every conversation I’ve had with comic fans where the casting of Wonder Woman comes up, Torres is nearly always mentioned. She already even played her in the MMORPG DC Universe Online. She’s got the Amazonian cred and the love of the geeks. She’s a shoe-in.

Also, let’s just stop and think about what a great thing it would be to have an Amazon movie for both young women and young women of color. When was the last time, actually, scratch that, when was the only time you’ve ever seen a woman of color in a leading role in a major motion picture with as wide-spread appeal and stretch as the current comic book movie trend? It just isn’t happening, and I wonder if it ever will. Sure, Amazon is a thoroughly obscure character, but what a great opportunity this could be to try something bold and brave in a genre that’s starting to get just a bit too sanded to be interesting for much longer.

This isn’t a soap box article so I’ll step down. But still. I can’t quite shake this feeling that we have a big ol’ pile of undiscovered treasure in a potential Amazon movie. Alas, a fan can dream…



Potentially the most powerful character in all the Amalgam Universe, Dr. Strangefate, real name Charles Xavier, is the world’s most powerful telepath, and Mage Supreme. One of the few characters aware of his universe’s true origins, Strangefate tried, futilely, to save his universe from destruction. Or…maybe he was successful. I dunno, the 90s were weird and now everything’s bananas anyway. Either way, the Amalgam Universe needed a big, powerful, macguffiny magician, and they got one here.

Unlike his DC and Marvel counterparts, Dr. Strangefate was kind of…gigantic badass. Whereas Doctors Fate and Strange were typically more magical pacifists, Strangefate got his helmet dirty and went to desperate measure to ensure his reality’s survival. He was willing to put wisdom aside and bloody his knuckles (and end a life) to make sure he was still floating around. I love the stoic, sage-life magic user as much as the next guy, but it’s always fun when abra-cadabraing is used to kick some ass.

Terry O’Quinn tiptoed the line between cool strategist and ruthless survivalist for six seasons as John Locke on Lost. The performance nabbed O’Quinn an Emmy, and while maybe a certain Unreality columnist had a bigggggggggggg ol’ problem with the last couple of seasons of the show, O’Quinn always stood out as a highlight to whatever time travel nonsense or unexplained crap the show kicked around in its latter days.

The duality of John Locke and the acting prowess of O’Quinn to bring him to life makes him a perfect Strangefate for me. A character that can just as easily debate existence as he can summon fire demons from Hades needs an actor who can switch between yin and yang effortlessly. My vote goes to O’Quinn, and since he’s not too busy acting-wise right now, I think he can take time out of his schedule to don a fancy new golden chrome dome.

And, no, I promise I didn’t just pick him because he was the first bald actor who’s not Patrick Stewart that I could think of. Honestly, y’all…I really didn’t…



Because…because I wanna.

Phase 2 complete. I’m sure I’ll come back for a Phase 3. Until then, whatcha think Unrealtors? Which characters have I still not cast that you want to see share the screen with Dark Claw and Super Solider? Let’s hear it!

Adam Esquenazi Douglas is a playwright who was born in Texas, grew up in Arkansas, was raised by a Jewish man and a Cuban woman, and, somehow, he doesn’t have an accent. His plays have been produced across the United States from Los Angeles to New York City, as well as in Canada and Japan.

He is co-host of two podcasts, The JimmyJew Podcast Extravaganza and Schmame Over Level 2, which can be found at http://jimmyjew.libsyn.com/ and  http://schmameoverlevel2.libsyn.com/ respectively, as well as on iTunes. He is a contributing writer to www.GamersSchmamers.com.

He currently lives in Brooklyn where he drinks far too much coffee.

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