Saturday, April 23, 2016

Discuss: Mismatches


J.A. Morris said...

Daredevil #7 is one of my favorite mismatch stories. DD of course loses to Sub-Mariner, but Namor praises his courage when the fight is over.

Spider-Man's battle with the Juggernaut is another classic mismatch. One of my favorite stories of all time.

Anonymous said...

The cover of Dazzler #10 - surely the most bizarre mismatch of all time, Dazzler vs. Galactus.

Anonymous said...

I want to say DD versus the Beyonder, but of course, anyone is in big trouble vs the Beyonder. It just seems DD is even more so.

It becomes interesting when you have no clear idea how powerful someone is. I remember in that FF story, post-200, when the Sphinx was building up to a fight with Galactus. I had no idea how powerful (or not) the Sphinx was, or how deluded about his own power levels. I genuinely had no idea if he was going batter Galactus or get wiped out in an eye-blink.

Another issue is what kind of power. You can have super powers til Tuesday, but if Doc Strange has just transported you to the Horror-Hell-Infinite-Cess-Pool dimension, you’re gonna wish your powers included a mop and a bucket.

Hulk vs Starfox. You had to love it when Starfox tried to use that (somewhat rapey?) sexual desire mind control thing and Hulk just swatted him.

Magneto vs Wolverine or Colossus. Or the Tin Man from the Wizard of Oz.

Captain Marvel vs Thanos. Although, as Mar-Vell dispatched Thanos with a single karate chop to the cube, you could argue it either way.

Jean’s parents vs Dark Phoenix could have ended a lot worse.

Robin vs anybody. I mean really. Pretty sure I could take him.

This question of how to assess powers relatively becomes critical in a high stakes games of Super Hero Top Trumps, where, of course, the Wasp could beat Galactus. Plucky Jan, I say.

Finally, can I get a big shout out for Avengers #161 where Ant Man (fairly credibly) batters the Avengers.


William said...

Ohh, I love a good mismatch superhero vs. battle.

J.A. already mentioned a couple of my favorites Daredevil #7 with DD vs. Namor (which I own a decent copy of, BTW), and Amazing Spider-Man #229-230 "Nothing Can Stop The Juggernaut" one of the best Spider-Man stories of all time. Another of my favorites is one you have pictured Daredevil #183 which has DD battling the Hulk.

Some others that I love are ASM #269-270, Spider-Man vs. Firelord, and Captain America #230, Cap vs. The Hulk, and as Richard already mentioned Avengers #161, Ant-Man vs. The Avengers.

And how about the Marvel / DC crossover classic "Batman vs. The Hulk" (man, it seems everyone fights the Hulk eventually don't they?)

Speaking of which, how can we forget the first appearance of Wolverine where he had to fight (you guessed it) The Hulk!

Martinex1 said...

I really enjoy the examples shared Fun covers too. The only ones I can think of is when Hawkeye faced the Collector or tricked the Gamesmaster but those are classic and perhaps played to Hawkeye's strengths as a sly trickster.

Doug said...

I'm thinking the upcoming Avengers flick "Infinity War" is going to be two pictures because the first one is going to involve a serious mismatch against Thanos.

I am so waiting for that moment when Rocket, Groot, and the Hulk ride into battle together. Please let it happen!


Unknown said...

Here are a few more mismatches:

--Spider-Man vs. Rocket Racer (Amazing Spider-Man #172, Sept. 1977)
--Dazzler vs. Dr. Doom (Dazzler #3, May 1981)
--Ghost Rider vs. Incredible Hulk (Ghost Rider #11, Apr. 1975)
--Captain America vs. Sub-Mariner (Avengers #117, Nov. 1973)

And for the most ridiculous mismatch I can think of this morning--this one is a real howler:

--Batman vs. Calendar Man (Batman #384 and Detective Comics #551, both from June 1985)

Just to shed some light on Calendar Man, he's a "super" villain who commits crimes that tie in with holidays and important dates. Yes, that's his claim to fame. A strong contender for Batman's worst enemy of all-time, and there are more than a few duds in Batman's Rogues Gallery--I'm looking at you, Crazy Quilt, Kite Man, Cluemaster, Zebra Man, Dr. Double X, Ten-Eyed Man, et al.

Redartz said...

Fun topic today! All my favorites have been mentioned, especially Daredevil 7. So, here's one some may not ne familiar with: Squirrel Girl vs. Dr. Doom. Yes, in her first appearance, SG (Doreen Green) actually defeats Doom by overwhelming him with squirrels. Not Bronze Age, but certainly fun. I love SG; one of few current titles I pick up regularly.
Oh, and one more for your list of lame Bat villains, Thomas: Getaway Genius. His big skill...wait for it...getting away...

Rip Jagger said...

I never understood why Mr.Hyde and the Cobra gave Thor the God of Thunder such a hard time. Hyde was never as strong as Thor and Cobra was just slippery, but for several years they were in his rogues gallery until they were switched off to Daredevil and Captain America (wisely).

Pretty much any mortal (aside from the Hulk, Juggernaut, or Abomination) taking on Thor was a mismatch of epic proportions. Thor would fight Mangog for half a dozen issues then switch off to doing battle with the Circus of Crime. Sheesh!

Rip Off

Anonymous said...

Wasn't Boomerang originally a Hulk villain? That's pretty lopsided, if you ask me :)

Mike Wilson

Anonymous said...

JLA 14: Green Arrow and the Atom vs. Darkseid. One of my very favorite (quick) super-battles.
Marvel 2-in1 Annual 2: The Thing vs. The Champion Ben can't possibly win, but he won't go down. "I'm to dumb n ugly to quit!" Love it.

I like this trope, but it can get ridiculous. Superman vs. Toyman or the Prankster! Why would the fight last more than one panel? I also find Batman vs. Superman tiresome.

Great examples everyone, with Daredevil vs. Namor and then the Hulk making for fantastic comics.

- Mike Loughlin

Anonymous said...

Mr. Hyde's "Hyde formula" didn't always work the same way, and sometimes he was running low on the stuff. But Thor could've clobbered him at any point; he was just holding back. And he couldn't really smack Cobra without turning him into a green grease-stain.
As for the Sensational Stilt-Man going up against Thor, it had to happen!!!
New York ain't big enough for the both of 'em!!
M.P. (Chairman and Acting Secretary, Stilt-Man Ant-Defamation Society)

ColinBray said...

I agree with Rip and M.P - Amongst all the awesomeness Thor has had some crummy earth-bound opponents.

Crypto Man!
4-D Man!
El Toro Rojo!
And of course, the aforementioned Circus of Crime and Stilt Man!

Not that these are all mismatches per se, but compare and contrast with Celestials, Gods, Cosmic types and mythical creatures we were used to seeing.

Thor was created for epic, and anything smaller-scale comes across as almost comical.

BobC said...

Hee hee! Princess Garter snake vs Iron Man?!! She has to be one of the dumbest villains ever.

Anonymous said...

Not every one of Thor's opponents is gonna be a contender. It would get a little monotonous after a while if they were. He's gonna hafta smack some ass-clown around every once and awhile, for comic relief and to break up the tension. Superman's got the same problem. Remember Prankster, Blackrock and Terra-man?
But there always used to be some big back story developing, like Surtur waking up, Odin nodding off, Seth building a strike-force or Ego menacing the Rigellians, so you knew two-fisted cosmic action was brewing somewhere, the way you demand it, true believer!

Edo Bosnar said...

Stiltman vs. anybody. Seriously, man, all you need is decent length of rope or iron cable to tie around the base of his stilts and he's finished...

Anonymous said...

Hey Edo, apparently not....

"Publication history[edit]
Stilt-Man first appeared in Daredevil #8. He is a criminal wearing an impenetrable suit of armor with powerful telescopic legs (useful for high-story heists). In addition to being one of Daredevil's most enduring arch-foes, he has appeared as an adversary for heroes more equally matched to his power level, such as Iron Man and Thor."

Nest week: Bambi vs Godzilla.


William said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
William said...

Mike Wilson, yes Boomerang did start off as a Hulk villain and it was kind of ridiculous that he could give him any kind of a challenge.

Which reminded me that the Constrictor was also originally an adversary for the Hulk, which was equally ridiculous.

BobC said...

The whole Circus of Crime was really dumb, come to thunk of it

J.A. Morris said...

This might be controversial, but here's a fight that should have been a mismatch:
Sabretooth vs. Wolverine.

Why? Because prior to Sabretooth becoming an X-Men villain and Wolverine's brother, he was rather easily slapped around by Iron Fist, Luke Cage and Spider-Man. I know Claremont and Byrne did interviews in the late 70s and early 80s suggesting that there was a connection between Logan and Sabretooth. But Jo Duffy "claimed" Sabretooth when she was the long-serving writer of Power Man and Iron Fist, since he was introduced in Iron Fist's solo series. I suppose you could make the argument that he's tougher for Wolverine to defeat than the others since brothers know each other's strenghts and weaknesses. But I never thought much of him and I'll never see him as a major threat to the X-Men.

johnlindwall said...

Great timing for this topic: I just acquired a beat up copy of Captain America #110: Cap vs the Hulk!

An oversized Hulk is featured prominently on the Steranko cover, but the actual battle lasts less then 4 pages! What a disappointment! Hulk grabs Cap's wrists and the hero responds by doing a kangaroo kick to greenies face. This attack knocks Hulk to the ground (huh, rilly?). Jade jaws then destroys a military ionic cannon with a lamppost harpoon, and jumps away never to be seen again this issue. That was it.

Steranko's hulk is pretty weird, having "normal" humanoid super-hero proportions in some panels and a beefier more traditional Hulk body in others. Wonky, but still cool. The cover is weird too with Hulk looking like he is 9 feet tall and "Bucky" (Spoiler alert: it is Rick Jones) appearing to be about 3 foot 6 inches!

Mismatch for sure, but much like the Batman encounter the underdog does pretty well!


Humanbelly said...

Greatgreatgreatgreat fanboy/geekfest topic! Woo-hoo!

I don't think we caught the Spiderman/Firelord throw-down in there, did we? One of the best, really, 'cause it WAS a definite mis-match (a main point of that story, in fact)-- but Spidey still won the actual fight regardless. Spidey was (as he always is at his best) like a Tardis---- bigger on the inside than he is on the outside.

Does anyone recall that in Avengers #60 the whole reason the idiotic Circus of Crime crashed Hank & Jan's wedding in the FIRST place was 'cause they wanted to ambush THOR--- whom they apparently considered their "real" nemesis-??? (and he wasn't even there--!) How does a small group of NON-SUPER-POWERED acrobatic crooks buy into such a mass delusion about their abilities and effectiveness?? And they, too, crossed the Hulk's path a couple of more times down the road. . .

The old, original Hawkeye/Iron Man dust-ups should totally have fallen into this category. . . except that it proved to be a great foundation for establishing how surprisingly effective Clint was as a guy perpetually fighting at about 10 levels above his weight class, y'know?

Uh-- the Miracle Man in one of the earliest FF issues? Wasn't he entirely based on manipulating illusions, or something?


BobC said...

Hi HB--I have an "Essential Marvel Team Up" edition that collects up a bunch of really terrible team up stories from the 70's. Remember the "epic" battle of Valkyrie and Spiderman vs The Meteor Man? Talk about Grade Z!! Every other issue some villain has SM and whomever his co-star is that issue chained to a board! One time it is Frankenstein. Good lord--what a dopey series! Oh and you just have to see the Basilik's ridiculous get up!!! It is really the worst. And then we have Hercules pulling Manhattan island with a chain around his waist!!! Oh and then the glorious mismatch of Iron Man, SM and Iron Man all against the painfully obscure Wraith! Good Lord.

Unknown said...

It’s definitely true that the Marvel Team-Up series was weak at times. Still, there were some high points, such as the partnership of Chris Claremont and John Byrne, scribe and illustrator of the Uncanny X-Men respectively. When this pair took the reins, the series improved. (Both worked together from issue #59-70). And issue #100, co-written by Chris Claremont and Frank Miller, featured a terrific cover by Miller and introduced the character “Karma” of the New Mutants.

Granted, the villains faced by Spider-Man and his ally of the month were usually pretty feeble. Marvel Team-Up was obviously a book intended to try out new ideas and new characters and to keep the few popular ones and discard the others, which were second-rate.

In Marvel Team-Up, I was hoping that Spider-Man would join forces with the Silver Surfer, but this never happened on the series. I had to content myself with an early Bronze Age (Mar. 1970) pairing of this duo in Silver Surfer #14. The story was weak but the artwork by John Buscema was superb.

Here’s a link to the cover >>>

Thomas F.

BobC said...

Good point, Thomas. My favorite Marvel Team Up story line was when Byrne really upped the Wasp's powers--something sorely needed at the time. That was classic stuff. But the edition I'm talking about is one dud story after another. Byrne came along way afterwards.

Unknown said...


I'm guessing you have the Essential Marvel Team-Up collection, either volume 1 or volume 2, in black & white. Since you refer to Frankenstein and Valkyrie, I'm pretty sure you have Essential Marvel Team-Up volume 2, which reprints #25-51. I happen to have the first one, which reprints issues #1-24. You're quite right, not Spidey's best.

david_b said...

Late to the party here.., but yeah, Batman versus Supes..?

I understand the chemistry between the 50yr bromance there, but an actual beatdown..? It's the silliest thing ever.

I do like the quick Civil War-type gif out now on FB and the 'net of Spidey landing on the ground holding Cap's shield and Hulkie suddenly jumping down on him and instantly rippin' his body to bloody shreds.

Too blatantly funny, but sadly true.

BobC said...

Hey Thomas--It is Volume2. I know the stories are craptastic, but they are fun in a trashy kinda way. I also enjoy The Essential Antman early editions even though they are obviously craptastic too. I feel like I'm getting a glimpse into my parents' generation. I love it--cheesy or not!

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