Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Super summer showdown, round two: the champions

The heroes in this round may not have been born unto godhood, like the last bunch, but somewhere along the way they acquired great powers, far beyond not only mortal men, but beyond most super beings. Most of these heroes represent humanity’s greatest champions and have vast, very versatile powers.

Contest #11: Green Lantern (DC) vs. Silver Surfer (Marvel)

There have been many Green Lanterns, but they all the same basic power: a magic ring that converts their willpower into green constructs of whatever they can think of. The Silver Surfer is an alien who was infused with the “Power Cosmic,” which lets him manipulate matter and energy and gives him abilities similar to the heroes in round one. In fact, despite being born mortal, both of these heroes have become among the most powerful beings in their universes. And both are pretty cool, so this is a tough one. Classically coolest: tie. Most badass: tie. Most firepower: Silver Surfer. Most heart: Green Lantern. Most compelling character: Green Lantern. Overall winner: Green Lantern. Although, honestly, the magic surf board beats the magic ring, hands down.

Contest #12: The Flash (DC) vs. Quicksilver (Marvel)

The fastest men alive, but only one of them has a well-developed history and ties to the mystical “Speed Force.” Classically coolest: The Flash. Most badass: tie. Most firepower: The Flash. Most heart: The Flash. Most compelling character: tie. Overall winner: The Flash.


Contest #13: Dr. Fate (DC) vs. Doctor Strange (Marvel)

These masters of magic are nearly identical, and both have a history of ridiculousness. Strange is a rip-off of Fate, but he also has aged better. Classically coolest: Dr. Fate. Most badass: Doctor Strange. Most firepower: Doctor Strange. Most heart: tie. Most compelling character: Doctor Strange. Overall winner: Doctor Strange.


Contest #14: Firestorm (DC) vs. Jean Grey (Marvel)

Firestorm, “The Nuclear Man,” was formed when two people fused together into one, and the hero could hear the voice of his other half giving him advice in his head. His power was to manipulate non-organic matter, changing one thing into another at will – although, apparently he was powerless to give himself a less hideous costume. Jean Grey, known variously as Marvel Girl or Phoenix, had an even bigger case of split personality: as her power grew from simple telepathy and telekinesis to enough cosmic power to consume planets, she found her dark side (Dark Phoenix) taking control. But man did it know how to dress! Classically coolest: Jean Grey. Most badass: Jean Grey. Most firepower: Jean Grey. Most heart: Jean Grey. Most compelling character: Jean Grey. Overall winner: Jean Grey.


Contest #15: Blue Beetle (DC) vs. Iron Man (Marvel)

The original Blue Beetle was a Batman rip-off, a playboy with lots of cool gadgets. The new version of the hero has alien armor that can do amazing things. But not as amazing as the original armored hero. Classically coolest: tie. Most badass: Iron Man. Most firepower: Blue Beetle. Most heart: tie. Most compelling character: Iron Man. Overall winner: Iron Man.


Contest #16: Booster Gold (DC) vs. Cable (Marvel)

Booster Gold got his powers by stealing a super suit from the future. Cable is a mutant from the future who travelled back in time. Both of them have more power and prominence than they deserve. Classically coolest: Booster Gold. Most badass: Cable. Most firepower: tie. Most heart: Cable. Most compelling character: Booster Gold. Overall winner: This one's close, but Booster Gold gets the nod.


Contest #17: Zatana (DC) vs. The Scarlet Witch (Marvel)

Zatana has magical powers and wears fishnet stockings. The Scarlet Witch has mutant powers that allow her to manipulate reality in a way that mimics magic, and wears fishnet stockings. Classically coolest: tie. Most badass: The Scarlet Witch. Most firepower: tie. Most heart: tie. Most compelling character: The Scarlet Witch. Overall winner: The Scarlet Witch.


Contest #18: Raven (DC) vs. Adam Warlock (Marvel)

Raven is the daughter of a human and an inter-dimensional demon, who can has several magical powers, including manipulating emotions, controlling darkness and teleporting. Adam Warlock is an “artificial human” with a self-aware cosmic gem on his forehead that feeds, vampire-like, on the life energy of others. Classically coolest: Raven. Most badass: tie. Most firepower: tie. Most heart: tie. Most compelling character: tie. Overall winner: Raven.


Contest #19: Starfire (DC) vs. Storm (Marvel)

Two female heroes that can fly and manipulate energy (cosmic in Starfire’s case, weather-related in Storm’s), and are famous for their skimpy outfits. Starfire is an alien princess. Storm is a mutant goddess queen. Classically coolest: tie. Most badass: tie. Most firepower: tie. Most heart: tie. Most compelling character: Storm. Overall winner: Storm.


Contest #20: Aquaman (DC) vs. Namor the Sub-Mariner (Marvel)

Two Kings of Atlantis, one with a ridiculous orange and green get-up, and the other more ridiculously in just a green Speedo. Aquaman has a horrible name and a bland history. Namor has inexplicable wings on his ankles that let him fly, and a chip on his shoulder against humanity. Both have tried to reinvent themselves countless times, but despite having kingdoms that cover 70% of the Earth’s surface, neither has quite worked his way to the upper tier of superheroes. Namor is moody and has a longer and more interesting history. DC tried to make Aquaman edgier by giving him a beard and cutting off his hand. That’s a move in the right direction. They also made him shirtless. That’s a move in the wrong direction. Classically coolest: tie. Most badass: tie. Most firepower: Aquaman. Most heart: tie. Most compelling character: Namor. Overall winner: Aquaman, as long as he doesn’t take off any more clothing.


Round two score: Still all tied up – DC 5, Marvel 5. Cumulative score: DC 10, Marvel 10.

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