Sunday, June 5, 2011

Super summer showdown, round seven: the anti-heroes

The heroes in this round aren’t always the most heroic. In fact, they can be downright nasty. Some have been known to dabble in crime. Some of them are mercenaries, who offer their services to the highest bidder, right or wrong. Others are vigilantes, who operate above the law. And some are just plain unhinged.

Contest #61: Lobo (DC) vs. Wolverine (Marvel)

Wolverine is Marvel’s most popular character, a mutant with extraordinary healing abilities, heightened senses and razor-sharp claws. He’s undeniably a good guy, but he lives on the edge. In is own words: “I’m the best there is at what I do, but what I do isn’t very nice.” Lobo started as a parody of Wolverine, and that pretty much describes him: a space biker with extraordinary healing abilities, heightened senses and super strength. Classically coolest: Wolverine. Most badass: tie. Most firepower: Lobo. Most heart: Wolverine. Most compelling character: Wolverine. Overall winner: Wolverine.

Contest #62: Catwoman (DC) vs. Black Cat (Marvel)

Catwoman is one of Batman’s greatest foes. And love interests. In recent years, she has shifted from burglary to vigilantism, but she still operates in a different moral realm than Batman. Black Cat is a shameless rip-off of Catwoman. Classically coolest: tie. Most badass: tie. Most firepower: tie. Most heart: tie. Most compelling character: Catwoman. Overall winner: Catwoman.

Contest #63: Catman (DC) vs. Sabretooth (Marvel)

Catman (no relation to Catwoman) is a former supervillain turned antihero. He’s a trained fighter, hunter and tracker who uses razor-sharp claws in battle. Sabretooth is a mutant with similar powers to Wolverine, including razor-sharp claws. Although he has fought on the same side as Wolverine at times, he lacks Wolverine’s moral compass. Classically coolest: Sabretooth. Most badass: Sabretooth. Most firepower: Sabretooth. Most heart: Sabretooth. Most compelling character: Sabretooth. Overall winner: Sabretooth.

Contest #64: Etrigan the Demon (DC) vs. Ghost Rider (Marvel)

Etrigan is a scaly, orange demon from Hell who is bound to the human Jason Blood. Because of Blood’s influence, Etrigan is able to suppress his normal violent nature and fight for good. Well, sometimes. Ghost Rider is human Johnny Blaze, who sold his soul to the demon Mephisto in order to save a friend’s life. (The friend then died from other causes. Never make a deal with the devil!) As a result, Blaze was cursed and became the Spirit of Vengeance, transforming into a flaming skeleton who rides a motorcycle and punishes the wicked. Mega-points for that image alone, but points off for the lame Nicholas Cage movie. Classically coolest: Ghost Rider. Most badass: tie. Most firepower: Etrigan. Most heart: tie. Most compelling character: Ghost Rider. Overall winner: Ghost Rider.

Contest #65: The Question (DC) vs. The Punisher (Marvel)

The Question is a Batman-style detective who isn’t afraid to take the law into his own hands. The Punisher is a vigilante who fights fire with firepower. Classically coolest: The Punisher. Most badass: The Punisher. Most firepower: The Punisher. Most heart: tie. Most compelling character: The Punisher. Overall winner: The Punisher.

Contest #66: Huntress (DC) vs. Elektra (Marvel)

The Huntress is a purple-clad vigilante who uses a crossbow to fight crime. Elektra is a red-clad ninja who uses twin sai swords as a mercenary assassin, and has been known to spar with her on-again / off-again love interest Daredevil. Classically coolest: Elektra. Most badass: tie. Most firepower: tie. Most heart: tie. Most compelling character: Elektra. Overall winner: Elektra.

Contest #67: Star Sapphire (DC) vs. Emma Frost (Marvel)

Star Sapphire is like a female Green Lantern, except in purple, and she’s been romantically linked with Green Lantern Hal Jordan at times, although she’s just as likely to fight him. Emma Frost is a mutant telepath who can also turn her skin to diamond for some reason. She’s been an X-Man, but seems to like fighting the X-Men more. Classically coolest: tie. Most badass: tie. Most firepower: tie. Most heart: Emma Frost. Most compelling character: Emma Frost. Overall winner: Emma Frost.

Contest #68: Talia al Ghul (DC) vs. Mystique (Marvel)

Talia al Ghul is the daughter of one of Batman’s greatest enemies, Ra’s al Ghul, and a member of the League of Assassins. Oh, and she’s also the mother of his son. Mystique is a mutant shapeshifter who splits her time between the X-Men and the Brotherhood of Evil Mutants. Oh, and she’s also the mother of X-Man Nightcrawler. Classically coolest: Mystique. Most badass: tie. Most firepower: tie. Most heart: tie. Most compelling character: Talia al Ghul. Overall winner: Talia al Ghul. I mean, seriously, she had Batman’s baby. That’s almost a superpower in itself!

Contest #69: Bane (DC) vs. Abomination (Marvel)

Bane is criminal mastermind who was able to deduce Batman’s secret identity, sneak into his Batcave, and break the Dark Knight’s back. (It didn’t hurt that he was all hopped up on the magic steroid Venom, which gives him super strength.) However, since then he’s made amends with Batman and moved into more of an anti-hero role. The Abomination was a KGB spy who zapped himself with gamma radiation to turn himself into an evil version of the Hulk. He later repented and became a hero of sorts before being killed. Classically coolest: Abomination. Most badass: Bane. Most firepower: Abomination. Most heart: Bane. Most compelling character: Bane. Overall winner: Bane.

Contest #70: Deathstroke the Terminator (DC) vs. Deadpool (Marvel)

Deathstroke is one of DC’s most interesting characters, a one-eyed assassin named Slade Wilson who is in peak physical condition (thanks to military experiments a la Captain America), skilled in martial arts and weapons, and possesses extraordinary healing abilities. Deadpool is a blatant rip-off: a two-eyed (but disfigured and slightly insane) mercenary named Wade Wilson who is in peak physical condition (thanks to military experiments by the Weapon X program), skilled in martial arts and weapons, and possessing extraordinary healing abilities. Classically coolest: tie. Most badass: Deadpool. Most firepower: tie. Most heart: tie. Most compelling character: Deadpool. Overall winner: Deadpool. Yes, he’s an acknowledged rip-off, but the “Merc with a Mouth” has been so cleverly written over the years as to surpass the original. His best bit has been breaking down the “fourth wall” and acknowledging the readers directly, which the other characters chalk up to his insanity.

Round seven score: Marvel has a way with anti-heroes – DC 3, Marvel 7. Cumulative score: DC 32, Marvel 38.


  1. Lobo would tear wolverines head off.
    Black Cat is prettier and a bettey thief than catwoman.
    Sabretooth would literally eat catman.
    Ghost ridr sends etrigan staight to hell.
    Punisher punished the question.
    Elektra would hun the huntress.
    Emma frost is richer and prettier than star sapphire and can control her mind.
    Mystique disguised as ra's al ghul and killed talia al ghul before she even realized the fight started.
    Abomination is stronger than hulk and is a military genius who would smash bane.
    Deadpool would batter deathstroke half to death and taunt him for even thnking he stood a chance.

  2. Black Cat first appeared long before Catwoman. How dare you appear in my Google search results with your spewing diarrhea opinions, you chicken fried cumdumpster.

    1. Catwoman debuted in 1940, Black Cat in 1979. It's true that aspects of Catwoman later copied Black Cat, but only after aspects of Black Cat copied Catwoman. Again, the whole point of this eercise was to show that the two major comic companies shamelessly copy off of each otehr left and right. And anyway, despite your eloquent rebuttal, Catwoman's still cooler.

  3. I gotta disagree, but I'm moved by your passion. I love 'em all! :)