Armalgeddam

Welcome to Armalgeddam:

The First Battles

In 1996, comic fans were witness to what could have been one of the most interesting series of events in comic history. Instead, they were reintroduced to a feeling all too common in comic history, disappointment. Systematically chronicling comic’s endless series of disappointments, would be entirely too exhausting and pointless. Instead, I want to reintroduce the two concepts at the core of these events, and hopefully spark some interesting discussions. I speak, of the comic events Marvel vs. DC and Amalgam. The concept I would like to focus on is combining characters, but before I do, I want to establish some framework for the combinations. I feel there is no better way to do this than going through the match ups. So, without further adieu, let us jump into Marvel vs. DC.

Marvel vs. DC

I cannot say that I was entirely disappointed with all the match ups. Unfortunately, most of them fell short, for more than one reason. I would like to start by listing each match up, with the declared winner. Here they are:

Aquaman vs. Namor Winner: Aquaman
Elektra vs. Catwoman Winner: Elektra
Flash vs. Quicksilver Winner: Flash
Robin vs. Jubilee Winner: Robin
Silver Surfer vs. Green Lantern Winner: Silver Surfer
Thor vs. Captain Marvel Winner: Thor
Batman vs. Captain America Voted Winner: Batman
Spider-Man vs. Superboy Voted Winner: Spider-man
Wolverine vs. Lobo Voted Winner: Wolverine
Storm vs. Wonder Woman Voted Winner: Storm
Superman vs. Hulk Voted Winner: Hulk

Looking at this list, I see three glaring problems. Nearly half the match-ups are voted on, a few of the fights are miss matched, and some of the outcomes are illogical.

The problem with voting
Do not take this as an attack against the institution of democracy. I feel that voting is important and has its place. There are some-places that I feel it does not belong. The effects of voting turned the selected battles into popularity competitions. This does not properly convey who would actually win in those battles. To put this into perspective, if voting were included when trying to determine who would win in a fight between spongebob squarepants and Mr. X, sponge bob would win, despite Mr. X being psychic sociopath who was trained in multiple forms martial combat. All this because Sponge bob has innumerable followers and Mr. X is an obscure Wolverine villain.

In my eyes, this invalidates all the battles that were voted on. Mind you, this should not be confused with reversing the decisions. What is required instead is a reassessment of those battles. Before I do this, I wish to cover the other discrepancies in these battles.

Out of their League
Although not as glaring as nearly half the fights becoming popularity contests, there is a problem with certain characters fighting outside of league. While it is interesting to root for the underdog in certain fights, it is a complete other matter to know that worth while characters are beaten down all because they were matched against a superior force. There is no enjoyment from watching such an unbalanced fight. What I find even more exacerbating is when an underdog wins, not because of skill, but because of popularity, as we have spoken about previously. In addition to reassessing the fights, I will also be pointing out characters fighting outside of their leagues, as well as pointing out why the outcome of some of the fights make no sense.

The Rundown

Lets take a closer look at that these fights

Aquaman vs. Namor Winner: Aquaman
This fight I felt was one of the closer and more evenly matched fights. The problem I had with this fight were the plot holes that I saw. Both Namor and Aquaman are Atlantian Royalty, who are incredibly effective in melee combat. This should have been less a battle and more of a civil war. The writers decided that Aquaman wins my commanding a whale to effectively commit suicide by jumping out of the water and crushing Namor. As I stated earlier, both are Atlantian royalty. The way I see it, with these two fighting, all the seas will be at war. Aquaman’s ability command the marine life will be neutralized.

Like so many other conflicts, there will be supporters of both sides, and some sitting on the fence. For each animal that fights for Aquaman, I could easily see another animal defending Namor. Then we have the problem Aquaman commanding a whale, one of the most intelligent forms of marine life, to commit suicide so that Aquaman could win. Unless Aquaman suddenly became a heartless dictator, I just don’t see this happen. Even if he found some fanatical suicide bomber of a whale, we are still talking about Namor. Namor is incredibly strong, remarkably resilient, and most importantly unstable. Combine these three with his ability to fly, and I see Namor loosing it, and punching a hole through the whale.

My point is, this would not have been an easy or short fight. In fact, for purposes of this study, I’m going to call it a Draw. Although they are different characters, they are still evenly matched. They have many similar abilities, and any advantage that one has over the other can easily by negated by a different ability of the other. As I stated, I see this as a Draw.

Elektra vs. Catwoman Winner: Elektra
At first, this may seem like an even match. Upon closer inspection, I do not believe so. An argument can be made for Catwoman winning this fight, the fact of the matter is, she is facing off against a highly trained assassin who has gone toe to toe with other killers and beaten death. This type of battle is something that Electra was built for. I like Catwoman, I also like Elektra. I like them for different reasons though. What I would have preferred to see is Catwoman against one of Marvel’s top level thieves. Elektra would have been better served fighting another assassin.

Flash vs. Quicksilver Winner: Flash
This is a fight I did not want to see. The outcome is such a no brainier that anything other than flash winning is a major injustice to the characters. The Flash eclipses Quicksilver in every realm of competition. Although Quicksilver has been known to run at 5 times the speed of sound, run across water, and create cyclones by running in a circle, these are all thing that The Flash not only perfected, he probably invented the techniques. Consider also that the Flash has additional techniques that Quicksilver can’t replicate, and the fact that the Flash is faster and is a better combatant. This would not be a battle about who would win, it would be a fight to see how long Quicksilver could last. This battle was too one sided to really matter.

Robin vs. Jubilee Winner: Robin
This is teen version of the Electra/Catwoman fight. Jubilee may have had powers, but they were nothing that robin would not be unaccustomed. Robin fights crime in Gotham along side Batman, and at times alone. The fireworks that Jube has would pose no problem to the Boy Wonder. The only thing left would Jubilee’s little used combat skills vs. Robins high training. Did mention this was a one-sided fight? This is not a serious challenge for Robin.

Silver Surfer vs. Green Lantern Winner: Silver Surfer
There is little I can say in terms of this fight. Only that I may have gotten this fight with confused with the Green Lantern vs. Silver Surfer story that was published around the same time. All in all, it’s a close fight, but in the end Green Lantern may have the most powerful weapon in the DC Universe, but Silver Surfer is the most powerful weapon in the Marvel Universe.

Thor vs. Captain Marvel Winner: Thor
This is a similar fight Silver Surfer vs. Green Lantern. There is only one difference. The second Thor realizes the key to Captain Marvel’s power, the fight will be over. Captain Marvel calls down lightning to transforms. Thor controls this very bolts. That small difference makes all the difference in this fight, and suddenly makes it unfair.

Batman vs. Captain America Voted Winner: Batman
This is an interesting fight. Of all the fights, I believe this is one of the closest and most eavenly matched battles. Unfortunately this is a battle that came down to popularity instead of combat. For this reason I feel short changed.

I see a battle between Batman and Captain America as 1/3 of a trifecta Combat Superiority between Marvel and DC. The three players in this trifecta are Batman, Captain America, and Wolverine. All three of them are examples of the top combatants in the two Universes, and more importantly, I see them balancing each other out as well.

In a battle between Cap and Bats, I see Captian America coming out on top. Batman may be trained to human limits, and phenomenal when it comes to tactics and traps, but Captain America pushes past human limits, and is so resourceful that I see him making his way out of every trap. It would be a long exhausting fight, but in the end Captain America is victorious. Why? Because Captain America does not tire.

There are few people who can match Captain America’s sheer tenacity. Wolverine is one of those people. Captain may be a better combatant that Wolverine, but because of his healing factor, Wolverine can take whatever Captain America can throw at him. Wolverine is also so Dangerous, that Captain America would need he shield to protect himself from Wolverine’s claws. Wolverine may not be as good as Captain America, but he is good enough to pressure Cap in the few openings he offers. Eventually, I see Wolverine being able to get that shield away from Cap. Once that happens, Cap falls to Wolverine.

Wolverine has proven time and time again that he is a dangerous character. Unfortunately Batman has dedicated his life to dealing with people like Wolverine. Batman, like any good combatant, isn’t limited to one or two styles, and he is superb at reading people. Against Wolverine, I see Batman playing defensively to get a proper reading on Logan. Bruce is also the type of person who can turn a disadvantage into an advantage, and vice versa. This is the key to him defeating Wolverine. The detective, fighting defensively, would find that his training in stealth would not be as effective as he is used to. He would then soon deduce that Wolverine has enhanced senses. A few flash grenades and smoke bombs later, and Wolverine would find himself incapacitated from surgical blows while his senses are overpowered. And so is established my prime combatant Trifecta

Spider-Man vs. Superboy Voted Winner: Spider-man
I have two words for this fight, “Rip Off”. First, we don’t even get the real spider-man. Yes I said it. Ben Reily was not Spider-man. I don’t care that Scarlet Spider won agaist Superboy. I do believe the Peter would have taken Superboy. In fact, I believe Spider-man deserved a better challenge, and I am unwilling to accept Ben Reily as spider-man (I know I was not the only person who felt this way, look up the Spider-man Clone saga if you don’t believe me).

I am in no way trying to take anything away from Superboy, but Spider-man is supposed to be one of Marvel’s premier characters. He has also had to deal with more problems than most any two other characters combined (certain exceptions apply). I believe it says something when the standard Spider-man story involves him struggling to break even, yet he has garnered the respect of just about every character around him. Superboy, on the other hand has been remade many times, and seems to be content exploring what it means to be a teen with powers.

Wolverine vs. Lobo Voted Winner: Wolverine
I’m not going to lie. I consider this fight to be the worst out of all of them. Why the hell is Wolverine fighting Lobo? Just because the two of them have a fondness for bars, bikes, and drinking does not mean they are on the same level. Lobo is on a power level similar to that of Superman. Which begs the question, how did Wolverine win? Voting. The writers couldn’t even come up with something. Lobo is in bar. Wolverine comes in. Wolverine dive bombs Lobo behind bar counter. Fight occurs off screen. Wolverine comes up and drinks beer. Seriously? I love Wolverine, but this fight is ridiculous. This fight represents everything that I feel went wrong with these match-ups. Nuff said.

Storm vs. Wonder Woman Voted Winner: Storm
I feel this fight is similar to Wolverine Lobo fight, but less so. Storm is more powerful than Wolverine, I still feel that she is not a proper match for the Amazonian Princess. Storm may be used to being one of the most powerful people in a fight, to having god like powers, but you need to remember something. Storm is not a goddess, although she has been worshiped as one. Wonder Woman on the other hand, has fought Gods and won. How is it that Storm won? Voting.

Superman vs. Hulk Voted Winner: Hulk
Ah, Superman vs. Hulk. I’m not sure where to begin with this one. To be fair, these are two of the most powerful characters that Marvel and DC have in their rosters. There are also a slew of variables to account for. How strong (read: angry) would Hulk be? How much access to Banner’s mind would he have? How well will he be able to affect Superman, and for that matter, how well would Supes be able to affect Hulk. How useful would any of Superman’s strategies be against the Hulk? Would Superman realize what he is up against in time? and one of my favorite question, Considering Superman is weakened around Kryptonite Radiation, and the Hulk origin is very much based on Radiation, how would they interact, if they interact at all. In all the scenarios that I can conceive, I normally come down two questions. 1. Can Superman get the Hulk into an area that Could neutralize him (for example: space) before Hulk pounds Superman into unconsciousness? If Superman were to get the Hulk into an area that could neutralize him, would it? We are talking about the Hulk here, a force of nature. I’ve seen the Hulk smash reality to bend to his whims. The shear ridiculousness of the Hulk’s potential strength borders on the power of Chuck Norris’s round house kicks. Every fight I have seen the Hulk ends in two ways. Underdog vs. the Hulk, or Underdog, who has not realized he is the underdog, vs. the Hulk. I personally would have found it more amusing to have superman watch the Hulk fight Doomsday to a stand still, and realize that no matter who wins, superman has to fight him next.

Lessons learned.

The reason I wanted to go through these match ups first, is I feel they bring certain standards that can be used when combining characters. This is what I have learned.

  • Don’t make the combinations based on popularity. I feel it cheapens the individual characters, especially when you consider how rich the individual characters are. The combinations should be at least as interesting as the halves, not less.
  • Try not to miss match characters. Certain characters will work better with other characters. While others will get your reader to scratch his head. Don’t, for example, combine Man-thing with Superman. Captain Planet was already made, and jokes are still flying.
  • Try not to be ridiculous with characters. Although all the characters are in their own right a bit fantastical, they did not earn their place in our hearts and minds by being a complete joke. Be mindful of the decisions that are made.

Comments

Nefestous

I'm sorry, but we no longer support this web browser. Please upgrade your browser or install Chrome or Firefox to enjoy the full functionality of this site.