Marvel and DC fans got a taste of intercompany crossovers in the ’70s and ’80s with non-canon one-shots like The Uncanny X-Men and the New Teen Titans and Superman and Spider-Man, but it wasn’t until the ’90s that fans were able to see multiple heroes from each comic universe collide. This occurred in the pages of Marvel Versus DC/DC Versus Marvel, which resulted in the creation of the Amalgam Universe — where Dark Claw represented the best of both Batman and Wolverine.
The 4-issue Versus series introduced two cosmic beings known as The Brothers, who had separately created the Marvel and DC universes. After becoming aware of each other’s existence, they decided only one would survive. The Brothers decided to use the heroes of their respective universes to fight their war and comic fans were asked to weigh in on key battles through a mail-in ballot, including Superman vs. Hulk, Wolverine vs. Lobo and Batman vs. Captain America.
However, when the battles between champions were over, the Brothers decided to merge and restart the universe. They mashed up DC and Marvel heroes and villains in bold new ways, which were explored over two waves of single issues starring the merged characters of the Amalgam universe.
These issues took place as if the characters had always existed in that form, so each one had a long history in the Amalgam universe that was partially explored in their respective issues. One of the best and most fondly-remembered mash-ups from the Amalgam era was that of Wolverine and Batman, who merged to become the mysterious hero known as Dark Claw.
The first full encounter with Dark Claw after the character’s debut cameo in Marvel vs. DC #3 occurred in Legends of the Dark Claw #1, by Larry Hama and Jim Balent, with Ray McCarthy, Pat Garragy and Bill Oakley.
Dark Claw is Logan Wayne, a mysterious artist with an unknown past in the Royal Canadian Air Force who uses his mutant abilities and adamantium claws to protect Gotham as Dark Claw. He wears a black and tan costume that mimics the look of Batman, while including the more animalistic designs of Wolverine, with tan stripes and a batwing-like cutout on his adamantium claws.
Dark Claw has a hidden underground headquarters known as The Burrow, which is obviously patterned after the Batcave, though it features unique items from Wolverine’s history — like a giant Canadian nickel instead of an American penny. Dark Claw doesn’t use as many gadgets as Batman, but he does have a militaristic helicopter that he stores in the rooftop hangar of his penthouse.
Most of Logan’s dark history (which closely mirrors Wolverine’s own Marvel origins as Weapon X) is revealed by Carol Danvers — a rogue black ops agent known in the Amalgam universe as Huntress — when she breaks into Logan’s penthouse apartment and discovers his secret identity of Dark Claw.
Carol Danvers is currently Marvel’s Captain Marvel, but back in the ’90s she was still known as Ms. Marvel/Warbird and was a close ally of Wolverine and the X-Men. Carol merged with DC’s Helena Bertinelli/The Huntress, though there wasn’t much of Helena beyond the costume and the crossbow included in Dark Claw’s Huntress.
Carol Danvers wasn’t Dark Claw’s only amalgamated ally. Fans were also introduced to his young partner/pilot Sparrow, a merged version of Marvel Versus DC combatants Jubilee and Tim Drake/Robin. Like Huntress, she was mostly just Jubilee in a version of the original Robin costume.
Sparrow first appeared in Legends of the Dark Claw #1, though she returned in Dark Claw Adventures #1 by Ty Templeton, Rick Burchett, Linda Medley and Tim Harkins. Dark Claw Adventures was done in the same style as The Batman Adventures comic that was based on the hit Batman: The Animated Series, which implied Dark Claw had an equally successful animated series.
Fans were also introduced to a few new but familiar enemies as well, with the Joker/Sabretooth amalgamation Hyena. Creed H. Quinn was experimented on alongside Logan, in the hopes of creating the ultimate weapon.
Dark Claw Adventures continued merging characters with an emotional connection to both Wolverine and Batman with Lady Talia, an equal mixture of Lady Deathstrike and Talia al Ghul who swore revenge on Dark Claw for the death of her father, Ra’s A-Pocalypse. Not much was learned about Ra’s A-Pocalypse beyond his earlier goal to wipe out all the mutants from Earth and his design, which resembled Marvel’s Apocalypse much more than DC’s Ra’s al Ghul.
Wolverine and Batman were two of Marvel and DC’s most popular characters that actually successfully merged to become Dark Claw. Some other Amalgam creations can stay in the ’90s without any complaints from fans, but Dark Claw and his related characters from the Amalgam universe are always welcome to return.
When the Marvel and DC comic universes merged to create Amalgam Comics, the worlds of Batman and Wolverine collided very well to create Dark Claw.