Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Discuss: Your Favorite Super-Hero Head to Head Match Up

Karen: I have to go with any time the Hulk and the Thing go toe to toe, but there are a lot of other fun match ups too.


Anonymous said...

If it can be more than one then the Avengers vs. Defenders. But that just showed how super-hero vs. super-hero fights make them look totally dumb as they can't see that they are being manipulated in some way or other.

Humanbelly said...

Gotta run this morning-- have to be mercifully short-winded--

As a convention, I'll go on the record as saying I've never, ever been fond of the popular hero-vs-hero throwdown. It invariably casts at least one character I like as being the bad guy, or it makes both heroes look stupid and short-sighted.

That being said, the Spidey vs Firelord (and Firelord was definitely the "bad guy" in that one) all-stops-out brawl is far & away the best one for me. A truly emotionally-moving high point in nailing the rock-solid strength and determination at the core of Pete's heart.


Anonymous said...

My vote is for the "Batman / Captain America" special by John Byrne. If memory serves, Bats and Cap face off, size each other up, then immediately call a truce as they both realize they're too equally matched in skill (both martial & strategic) -- a neat subversion of the trope. :-)

William said...

Nice one HB. I was thinking of Spidey vs. Firelord as well. And it reminded of my own personal favorite superhero battle:

Daredevil vs. The Sub Mariner, from Daredevil #7.

DD vs. Namor is akin to a Batman vs. Superman situation. No one would think that DD would stand any kind of chance against Subby. (And he really doesn't). But it makes for some great drama, and let's the reader know just what Matt Murdock is made of. The story leaves no doubt that he's a true hero, willing to sacrifice all for the greater good.

I've always loved that comic (I even own a copy). Wally Wood does a spectacular job on the art, and Stan Lee even cited it as his personal favorite story he ever wrote.

It's going a long way back, but I always felt that battle was the blueprint for all those other great Marvel, David vs. Goliath type of match-ups we've gotten over the decades. Such as the aforementioned Spider-Man vs. Firelord, as well as Spider-Man vs. Juggernaut, and Daredevil vs. The Incredible Hulk (man that DD is one crazy dude)! Come to think of it, maybe his tagline should be "Man Without Common Sense". lol

Murray said...

The Avengers-Justice League epic pretty much sits at the top of my extensive and scholarly lists. To me, they seemed very much their Bronze Age selves, just as George Perez drew them back when.

(I have to respectfully correct Anonymous above. In Byrne's crossover, the fight was between Bruce Wayne and Steve Rogers. After one page of effort, their skills essentially revealed their secret identities to each other and they stopped. It was in the Avengers-Justice League where Batman and Cap did a "martial arts ballet", assessing each other before deciding Cap win on points and let's use our time more constructively.)

Another that just popped into my head is Dracula vs Dr. Strange. Dracula is by no definition a hero, but he was the protagonist-star of his comic. The two-part story ended perfectly, with a weary, but triumphant Strange walking away from a crispy-fried Drac. I didn't collect Dracula comics, so I just left it there, quite content. (I know the title wasn't cancelled afterwards, so obviously Dracula returned via some vampire shenanigans)

Doug said...

The gold standard for me will remain Silver Surfer #4, the throwdown between Norrin Radd and the Mighty Thor. Second place is the first half of Avengers #158, where the Vision and Wonder Man have it out in glorious fashion.

I think the Thing/Hulk tussle in Marvel Feature #11 is my favorite one there, and I've a soft spot for the Spidey/Nightcrawler battle in ASM #161.

Lots of fun ones from which to choose! Great topic!


david_b said...

Doug, STRONG second on the Thing/Hulk match-up in MF ish 11. One of my first comics, and a gorgeous look at Starlin-drawn FF as well.

I still daydream about the direction the FF would have taken if Starlin accepted the offer to take over the FF in the '70s, per the 'Untold Stories' book..

Who could not love the Subby/Hercules match-up in Avengers 262..??

I'd still go with a few of the best Avengers/Defenders Clash match-ups, such as the Cap/Subby and Ironman/Hawkeye bouts.

Ok, and I'll throw in the fun Spidey/Luke Cage free-for-all in ASM 123, the PERFECT follow-up to the heavy Gwen/Gobby demises and drawn by Romita, Sr.

Doug said...

And David, I'll second YOU on the Herc/Subby tilt. That was a blast -- one of the first issues I bought as I was getting back into comics.


Anonymous said...

The fight between The Dark Knight and The Boy Scout in Miller's landmark The Dark Knight Returns. I thought the set up and execution was spot on. Batman's gambit to set up the one armed Green Arrow's shot was just cool.

To echo's Murray's Dr Strange Dracula encounter, you have instances where anti-heroes such as Deadpool or Catwoman get their own titles, like Dracula, and almost every encounter is the fight/talk join forces.

And an additional echo to Colin, when Stark tried to reclaim in Iron Man tech and took on every character that employed Stark designs but that is, I think, outside the parameters of today's topic.

The Prowler (outside the parameters of the BMI).

J.A. Morris said...

The Hulk/Thing battles rarely disappointed. I just read the Marvel Feature fight last night, still good. The Giant-Size Super Stars fight, where they swapped minds was fun. And their fight in FF 112 was classic.

The Hulk/Namor fight in Hulk #118 was one of the first back issues I ever purchased (giving it lots of sentimental value) and it's a great battle.

Edo Bosnar said...

Great topic indeed!
Pretty much any of the throwdowns contained in the excellent Marvel Super-hero Battles would make excellent entries here, and two of my favorites have already been mentioned: DD vs. Namor and Silver Surfer vs. Thor, and there was also one of the earliest of the many excellent Hulk/Thing showdowns.
But my favorite from that book, and probably in general, was the epic knockdown-dragout between Iron Man and the Sub-mariner. Those two just pummeled each other in that one.
Another really good one is when Iron Man and Hulk duked it out in Iron Man #132 (with a preliminary tussle in #131).

Karen said...

i knew you guys would have fun with this topic. If you all can keep a secret, the reason I thought of it is that I'm writing up an article on a certain war between two Marvel teams that occurred in the mid-70s...nuff said!

When you look back at the early days of Marvel it seems like Sub-Mariner was fighting just about everyone!Iron Man, The Thing, Captain Marvel, the Torch, Triton, Thor, the Hulk, Daredevil... it just goes on and on. But I really enjoyed his battle with Captain America in Avengers 117. Two old allies, who know each other all too well, on opposite sides of a battle this time. Englehart understood both characters' personalities so well - it was just perfect. There's Namor full of arrogance, yet he respects Cap. And Cap, determined to get the Evil Eye, yet willing to listen to his old friend. It was a great fight!

Murray said...

Hold the proverbial Bat-Phone, online chums! I have this very morning sallied out into the world and returned with a singular treasure. What may be the Ultimate Hero vs Hero ever!

I hold in my hands "Groo vs Conan"! (issue 1 of 4)

I now take my leave to go read it...

Dr. Oyola said...

Peter Parker vs. Matt Murdock

I think it is during Gang War - but Peter Parker and Matt Murdock were in the back of a taxi stuck in traffic and are arguing about the gang war and start fighting. . . and the cabbie breaks it up because Parker is "beating on a blind man."

So great.

Anonymous said...

Yeah, Spidey and DD have had some good tussles. I also like the DD/Punisher fights, because their opposing philosophies are always brought into it.

Mike W.

Rip Jagger said...

I'm a Avengers-Defenders Clash fan, so I give my vote for that since it's a Bronze Age blast.

But the absolute most heinous battle of heroes had to be the multi-part JLofA - Avengers bash by Busiek and Perez. I waited pretty much my whole life for that one after pseudo battles (Squadron Sinister) and scores of other crossovers over the decades.

I actually consider that event to mark the end of my long term involvement with both the DC and Marvel Universes. What could they do to top it? Nothing.

Now it's reprints most all the time.

Rip Off

Humanbelly said...

Boy, TOTAL exalt to J.A. for citing Hulk #118! I cannot believe I skipped right over it-- it's one of my favorite all-time comics, to boot-!

'Round that late-Silver time there was a relentless debate going on about who was stronger: Subby or the Hulk? I'm pretty sure we were still hearing about it on the letters pages a year after this, even. With the wisdom of Solomon-on-a-hotseat, the editors simply declared that Hulk was the strongest on dry land, whilst Namor would have an "edge" in the water.

Man, I loved the Avengers/Defenders war so much, and I haven't read it in a long, long time. But I'm not sure it ranks as all-out head-to-head, if memory serves, 'cause NO ONE really wanted to let loose against their opponent-- with maybe the exception of Hulk/Thor (And believe it or not, I can't recall who the victor was in that match. Defenders #10, it was. . . ).

Y'know, Groo should truly, TRULY take Conan down-! Our beloved Wanderer simply doesn't get beaten, even when he doesn't realize he's in a battle. And he's beaten multiple versions of the Cimmerian in his own Groo-verse. The Cimmerian may out-wit, out-maneuver, and even possibly out-athleticize Groo--- but once Groo gets goin' in a whooptidoo-youbetcha fray, he takes on a Juggernaut aspect. Especially if there's food involved.


Edo Bosnar said...

And if Conan slips up and calls Groo a mendicant, well then, I'm afraid our favorite Cimmerian is toast...

Humanbelly said...

"Cimmerian toast".
I'm likin' that-- good one--!


Anonymous said...

Namor vs. Iron Man. Those guys have always despised each other, and they're a fairly good match-up.
Of course, I gotta root for Subby, because I can't stand Tony Stark!

Anonymous said...

Cimmerian toast with raisins. Cut extra thick with a huge pat of butter.

The Prowler (BMI you're going down).

Redartz said...

Wonderful topic, and many great stories have been listed! Here is a personal favorite; it lies outside the Bronze Age but always brings a smile:Untold Tales of Spider-Man Annual 1 from 1996.
Spidey and the Torch match wits, but the big battle faces Spidey and Major. I don't want to spoil it ( lots of humor and a clever setup to the conflict) , but it echoes Daredevil #7 in that Namor comes to respect Peter's courage. A great story you can probably find for a couple of dollars...

Redartz said...

By the way, that battle was between Spider-Man and Sub-Mariner, not Major. Stupid auto correct.

Anonymous said...

I usually go for the heavy hitters - Thor vs Hulk, Hulk vs Thing, Silver Surfer vs Thor, Thor vs Hercules, but sometimes you get some interesting matchups like Spidey and the Punisher, or DD and Captain America. It's the clash of personalities more than powersets which makes these so interesting.

- Mike 'it's clobberin' time!' from Trinidad & Tobago.

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