Thursday, September 18, 2014

Avengers vs. Justice League -- Who Ya Got?

Doug: Since I cannot recall the last time we talked about this, it must be time to discuss it again! Today's pretty wide-open -- you determine the match-ups, whether conventional (Flash vs. Quicksilver) or odd (Zatana vs. Swordsman [don't ask... I just made it up]). If you want to be more historically comfortable, choose seven members on each side. And be sure to state one thing that bugs me in this whole conversation: If the Justice League had Superman, Wonder Woman, and J'onn J'onzz on their side, could the Avengers counter with Thor and Hercules and win? Or would the Hulk be necessary? She-Hulk? What a quandary!


Murray said...

Pow! versus WHAMMO has been discussed at length. The epic Avengers vs JLA, for my money, settled many of those conflict questions rather well.

However, that four-parter sparked a realization in me. Perhaps the "dials go up to 11" in the Bronze Age DC universe for power and muscle, they surely do not for BRAINS. The DC creators seemed to have something of a jock bias against intelligence. 99% of the scientists and thinkers in the DC world are Evil, Mad or Absent-Minded.

Just to keep it straightforward, I'll use the exact collection of characters you provided in the images. In the JLA, you have...the Flash. Barry Allen is a sharp forensic scientist. A solid intellect, but no groundbreaking research or Nobel Prizes in his life. Batman has a razor mind, but he's likewise focused on forensics and criminal detective work. Superman...Superman is going to be a touchy case. Bronze Age Superman alone built incredible androids and did some amazing superscience in his Fortress. BUT, it is as close to a flat-out Law of Nature as can be found in a comic book that when Superman teams up with the JLA, especially if Batman is in the mix, he loses half his IQ. Whether it's a natural glandular reaction for Kryptonians or Superman takes a "Stupid Pill" en route to a meeting was never explained. Suffice to say, in this team setting, Superman is bright, but not really a contender.

Over in the Avengers, we'll start with the Black Panther. He's the best and brightest Wakandan and a graduate of their super science educational system. Especially on his resume is designing the first Avenger quinjets. I think he ranks at the same level as Flash and Batman. And then we climb up and away. Iron Man is wearing his credentials. Tony Stark is the top of the class for the world's engineers and inventors. Any boob can theoretically wear the armour, but what makes Iron Man special is the adjustments and tinkering Stark does on the fly to match the emergency. And then, Goliath (judging by the yellow eyepiece mask). Hank Pym is ranked among Marvel Earth's big brains. Like Stark, he's "wearing" part of his credentials. And the Pym Particles are only his popularized claim to fame. He's a mega brain.

And I have no idea how the contest would proceed or how to make it exciting comic book fare. But Marvel would win. Shouldn't reply to this stuff before breakfast.

Humanbelly said...

That is such a cool take on the question, Murray-- nicely done.

I agree that, in the who-beats-who-on-paper dept, AVENGERS/JLA did a nice job of trying to establish some sort of baseline for comparison, and that the JLA (DC Universe) came up with the powers-advantage pretty much across the board. I mean, to answer Doug's question, heck no, I don't think the Thor/Herc combo would have a prayer against Supes/WonderWoman/MartianM'Hunter. I wouldn't even bet against Superman alone if he were facing those two. . . although it would be ugly. So yeah-- you'd have to get the Hulk in there w/out a doubt to absorb Superman-- but that's certainly no guarantee. Then. . . Thor/Jon Jonz? I probably go w/ MM. Wonder Woman/Herc? Holy cow-- right out of the pages of Bullfinch's Mythology! Probably WW, 'cause they're probably about physically matched-- but WW's a HECK of a lot smarter.

Ohhhh, I can't get all sucked into this kind of enjoyable time-idling! Too much on the work-plate today!


Doug said...

Pre-Crisis Superman wouldn't stand a chance against Thor's enchanted hammer. Isn't the Uru hammer endowed with magicks?

In the comments made already, it would seem that DC has godlike characters in terms of brawn (we have always known that), while Marvel's characters are more godlike in terms of brains and maybe even luck.


Karen said...

I think that DC's high-powered characters (Superman, Wonder Woman, Martian Manhunter, Captain Marvel)have the edge over Marvel's (Thor, Hulk, iron Man (?), etc.) simply because all of DC's have super-speed. If they didn't want to get hit, they wouldn't, while they could unleash hundreds of blows on their much slower opponents.

William said...

I did a 4-part action figure comicbook mini-series called "CROSSOVER" which revolves around this exact same subject matter. It's basically the pre-Crisis JLA vs. the Bronze Age Avengers, with a ton of villains from both universes thrown in for good measure.

If anyone has the time, check it out and let me know what you think of my match-ups, and the outcomes.

Here's a direct link to the story.

Anonymous said...

First of all, to get it out of the way, Murray said "boob"! I'm still laughing.

Okay, my lineup would have an Avengers grouping of Captain America, Thor, Iron Man, Hawkeye, Scarlet Witch, The Wasp and Ms Marvel. Opposing them would be a JL of Superman, Batman, Martian Manhunter, Wonder Woman, Green Lantern, Flash and Black Canary.

If we went classic comic book pairing of "Hit 'em high, hit 'em low" then I think JL would win an everybody pair off and go at it. But if you had a more Marvel's Avengers movie pairing where Cap actually used some strategy, then I think the Avengers could pull it off. Thor and the Wasp, Hawkeye and Scarlet Witch, Iron Man and Ms Marvel with Cap guided the proceedings would really start wearing people down. But in a throw back to yesteryear, at the peak of the conflict, Iron Man would run out of power, I mean, at it's lowest ebb!!!

The Prowler (the things that pass for knowledge, I can't understand).

Humanbelly said...

Wow, ALL of those characters have super speed? I did not know that. Even Wonder Woman & Martian Manhunter, huh? Yeah, that's a total trumps-everything you've got there, Karen. Super speed (at that DC "Speed Force" level) has always struck me as being the most unbeatable power of all-- limited only by the stamina and imagination of the user. Well. . . or the writer.

HB (d'oh! How'd I get back here??)

Edo Bosnar said...

Nope, in true Marvel fanboy fashion, I will not concede that the JLA automatically outpowers the Avengers.
Thor's got a magic/supernatural hammer, which at least levels the playing field with Supes. As for the others, sure, WW and J'onn are formidable, and I'll even concede Green Lantern and Aquaman here, but the Avengers have at their disposal Hercules (whose strength, if not intelligence, matches Wondy's), Wonder Man, She Hulk, Ms. Marvel, Sub-mariner, Iron Man and Vision.
There's also the unpredictable but potentially quite dangerous Scarlet Witch and, of course, Captain Marvel (Monica Rambeau).
And the Avengers' "lesser" members are more impressive than the JLA's, i.e., I'll take Captain America, Black Panther, Wasp, Beast, Hawkeye, Falcon, etc. over Black Canary, Green Arrow, Hawkman, Atom, Zatanna, etc. any day.

Murray said...

Super speed is a whompin' big inconsistency even within the DC universe. Flash and Superman can move so fast, they are invisible to the human eye.

Only the most elaborate villainous precautions would ever stop this from happening: "Ha! You can't defeat... me! The "..." is literally the time where Flash, and especially Superman, strip searches the villain, puts him in an orange jumpsuit and leaves him to finish his statement in a jail cell.

(My favourite scene is always Kid Flash (Bronze Age) seeing a high-speed pursuit on the freeway, cops after gun firing crooks. He paused (by his subjective standards) to dismantle the crooks' car's engine into pieces. He then continued on to the Teen Titans meeting. From the crooks point of view, their car suddenly slowed, bumping over the pieces of its own engine.)

SOoo, Karen is quite right. Taken to their logical potential, all that superspeed is unbeatable.

Anonymous said...

I think the perceived power advantage for the JLA stems from the different way that Stan initially portrayed Marvel heroes as "flawed" - Iron Man's weak heart/power supply - Thor couldn't be without his hammer for 60 seconds - Hulk might change back to Banner - Scarlet Witch's hex power was unpredictable, and so on.

And sorry...what are Aquaman's powers besides talking to fish, again?


Pat Henry said...

The Avengers would have to apply the tactics of the villains who have fought JLA over the years—divide and conquer. Send Superman on a bogus mission to the Planet Yotzz, then rain fire down on MM.

I tend to think JLA would give the Avengers a mighty pasting, which the Avengers would suffer in with Oscar winning pathos and melodrama. That was the difference between the two company’s in those years—massive power inflation and focus on the mightiest versus focus on character and interpersonal conflict with some cool fireworks poured on the fire.

Anonymous said...

The ultimate clash in any JLA/Avengers crossover should be.... Darkseid v Thanos!

Darkseid wins, because he's the revelation, the tiger-force at the core of all things.


J.A. Morris said...

Vision takes out Lantern, since he's got yellow in his costume. Which him up to stick his hand through J'onn, knocking him out. Wanda can do anything the writer says she can, which includes changing reality as we know it. Superspeed can't outrun the manipulation of reality.

Batman is pretty smart, but I imagine Stark is his equal, plus his armor trumps Bat-gadgets.

As Doug said, Superman isn't immune to magic.

Avengers win, unless Wanda goes crazy.

Martinex1 said...

Aquaman drops Stingray, but is taken out by Namor in a fit of righteous anger. Yellowjacket is about to be beaten by the Atom, but grows to Giant Man size and locks Ray in a jar. The Vision semi-solidifies his hand in Batman's chest sending him into cardiac arrest; in retaliation Superman pile drives Vision into the ground (even in his intangible form). Gilgamesh drops Superman with a single punch (just because I think it would be funny and would light up the internet like no other story). Wonder Woman smashes Wonder Man and wears his safari jacket as a trophy, The Wasp flies into the Flash's ear and disrupts his equilibrium. It all ends when Scarlet Witch and Zatanna's magical feedback wipes out all of the standing males and they recruit Wasp and Wonder Woman to form the new Liberators.

Doug said...

Martinex, I would buy that!


PS: Super Blog Team-Up is right around the corner (hint -- one week from today!). I'm working on part of our post right now!

Anonymous said...

Hah this is one of those 'what if' matchups that geeks always seem to enjoy. Personally, I've never been to fond of these types of matchups, simply because the outcome depends so much on the writing. Stan Lee himself famously said that Mickey Mouse could defeat Godzilla in the hands of a writer who chose to go that route.

However, in the spirit of this post, here's my 2 cents - first up, Flash vs Quicksilver is a total mismatch; Pietro is fast but against someone whose speed enables him to time travel, well, let's just say Barry Allen (my favourite Flash) would put him out of his misery really quickly (pun intended).

Other matchups are more intriguing. like Thor against Supes; Kal-El's got his super speed and invulnerability but can he escape a dimensional vortex whipped up by Mjolnir? Or how would Captain America fare against Batman in hand to hand combat? Can Bruce Wayne pull out anything out of his utility belt to penetrate Cap's vibranium shield? Wonder Woman against Herc? Talk about a battle of the sexes! I imagine the dialogue would go thusly : Herc - "Surrender o Princess of Themyscira, 'tis unseemly for the Lion of Olympus to strike one of the fairer sex!" WW - "Save your sweet talk for those weak Earth women you are so fond of, son of Zeus! Never will an Amazonian born bow to a man, especially one such as thee!'

I agree with Tom; on paper, the Justice League is trumps when it comes to raw power, and Stan did seem to instil most of Marvel's heroes with some kind of flaw, be it Iron Man's weak heart or Daredevil's blindness. My prediction on who would prevail? It's all in the hands of the writers.

- Mike 'hamburger vs fried chicken?' from Trinidad & Tobago.

Humanbelly said...

Oh my lord, how can Tampa Bay be this horrible? So, alright-- the (football) game tonight isn't holdin' my attention too well-- so let me submit my own pairings for a seven-pairing slugfest, eh?

Now, to equalize what I still see as a significant raw-power deficit on the MU's part, I've gone a bit deeper into their roster:

Superman vs the Hulk: As we all know, I am the BIGGEST Hulk fan thooming around these-here parts-- and yet I still don't see him ultimately prevailing over the Man of Steel that I remember.

Wonder Woman vs Hercules: I still give it to WW. Herc's mighty as all get out-- but at the heart of it, he battles for fun. Wonder Woman is a serious warrior and (this sounds strange to say)is made of harder stuff, in a way. She'll take advantage of Herc's guile, condescension, and chauvinism and definitely prevail.

Thor vs Martian Manhunter: Actually, I think Thor does take this. I do have to yield the hammer-factor-- especially w/ Jonn's fire vulnerability. (As a reader, though, I'd much more enjoy seeing a Vision/Martian Manhunter philosophical discussion about isolation and achieving relative humanity. . .)

Green Lantern vs Iron Man: This. . . is a really tough call! Two physically non-powered guys who each command an unfathomably powerful device. Both smart-- both tend to be incredibly cool under fire. Does the usual gold in Tony's armor negate a lot of Hal's effectiveness? Is Hal impervious to most of what Tony can dish out? I think. . . I might even go w/ Iron Man on this one.

Captain (Billy) Marvel vs Sub-Mariner: This is hard to pin down. I think Billy may be physically somewhat more powerful-- but man, Namor's personality and relentlessness and belief in himself are almost like an extra powerset of their own. I give it to Subby.

Flash (Barry) vs Photon (Monica): Geeze, battle of the nicest folks in two universes. Barry-- Barry wins this, although Monica's broader power set could well have him on the ropes. But Flash's level of experience alone gives him an unbeatable advantage.

Batman vs Captain America: Didn't the two of them come to the conclusion that Cap would eventually best Bats. . . after a loooong, long fight? And I'd go with that, too. I just. . . I have trouble ever thinking that Cap will ever lose. . . even to the Batman.

So what have I got? Hunh-- whattaya know, MU beats DCU in an extremely close match, 4 to 3! Right there, in black & white!


Vintage Bob said...

Ok, let's look at the battle between the Avengers and the JLA! For this battle, we'll go with the most common teams.

For the JLA, that would be:

Black Canary
Green Arrow
Green Lantern

The Avengers would consist of:

Iron Man
Capt. America
Scarlet Witch

So, who wins? I give it to the Avengers (big surprise!). Here's how the battle plays out.

Thor and Superman immediately go at it, feeling one another out (ie how much power does each one use?). Captain America and Batman get into hand-to-hand combat. Quicksilver speeds off, enticing Flash to chase him. Vision confronts Green Lantern in the sky. Hawkeye and Green Arrow launch an arrow-slinging face-off. Scarlet Witch and Black Canary get into a cat-fight. That leaves Ironman and Aquaman to battle.

Thor, being a god and wielding Mjolnir (the most powerful magical weapon in the Marvel universe), hurls his hammer at Superman. Mjolnir can track its foe and can attain faster-than-light speed. Super-speed or not, Superman becomes a red and blue explosion in the sky on impact! He has no defense against magic, and Mjolnir is as magical as a thing can get! Or Thor can simply use Mjolnir to open a vortex to a galaxy with a red sun and Superman gets sucked in and loses all his power. Can you say "implosion in a vacuum"? Either way, Thor destroys Superman without so much as breaking a sweat.

Batman quickly discovers that although he has trained his body to the best of his ability, it still falls far short of the speed, dexterity, and endurance of someone who is the pinnacle of human development. Capt. America bitch slaps Batman into unconsciousness while Batman is making a futile attempt to get something out of his utility belt.

Flash is much faster than Quicksilver, but Quicksilver is a sneaky bastard, and not above playing dirty. Flash is chasing Quicksilver, and intends on passing him up. However, just as Flash is about even with Quicksilver, Quicksilver lifts his arm and smashes his elbow into Flash's face. The super-speed elbow to the face ends the race, and Quicksilver speeds away to wash what used to be Flash's face off his elbow.

Green Lantern tries to blast Vision with his ring, but Vision pulls his cape in front of himself, which negates the power ring's blast (it does not work on anything yellow). Vision turns immaterial and puts his hand into Green Lantern's chest, turns partially solid, and stuns Green Lantern, who falls from the sky, unconscious. His power ring protects him by cushioning his fall, but once on the ground the Vision arrives and turns his body to diamond-hard maximum density and plunges his fist into Green Lantern's chest. Since Vision has yellow gloves, the power ring offers no defense. Green Lantern now looks like Bob from accounting after taking a .50 caliber slug to the chest.

Hawkeye and Green Arrow are still shooting one another's arrows out of the air, but Hawkeye is younger and has better endurance. Green Arrow tires, and Hawkeye nails Green Arrow to a tree.

The Scarlet Witch knows how to deal with sonic voices, having fought Lady Lark. She casts a hex and all that's left of the Black Canary is her wig and high heels.

Ironman uses his repulsor rays and turns Auquaman into tuna salad in an instant. As if he had a chance!

Avengers win, hands down, no problem.

Humanbelly said...

Um. . . if they're comfortable and completely fine with murdering their opponents outright-?

But-- then they're not the Avengers anymore. . .

HB (always holding on to that nugget of idealism)

Anonymous said...

HB - Maybe they're really space phantoms.


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