Friday, December 30, 2005

Where: New Invaders #6 When: March 2005
Writer: Allan Jacobsen Artist: Jorge Lucas

The story so far...
Those visiting SWIE will remember back to our first installment at the beginning of the month, highlighting one of the exciting chapters of the Enemy of the State storyarc by Mark Millar.

With the New Invaders title on the brink of cancellation, it seemed apparent that a gratuitous guest appearance by Wolverine, as part of an Enemy of the State crossover would be a last ditch effort to assess the viability of the book.

The political struggles in the oil rich nation of Mazikhandar continue, and the Invaders are there as part of the US/Atlantean joint effort to take care of the synthetic Pterrorists. The Invaders' victory ironically curbs invasion, and leaves the Nazi Masterman out of favour with Baron Von Strucker, master of the Hydra.

Displeased, Strucker dispatches an assassin to do away with the failed loose end...

Tale of the tape...
As was the case last time, Wolverine again faces fairly over whelming odds.
Although a much smaller unit than the collective of X-Men and SHIELD operatives that we last rated Wolverine against, the Invaders pack a particularly potent punch.

Now, I should admit, I am an avid fan of this series, and the grossly underrated Sub-Mariner. In certain circles I am known and regarded as the Namor guy, but in cases such as these I think impartiality is a virtue most important.
Now, let me tell you about how great Namor is...

Strength: 5 (Super strength)
Fighting ability: 6 (Warrior)

The Sub-Mariner's fighting skills aren't as refined as Wolverine's, which include a range of hand to hand martial arts, and extensive Samurai training. However, the Atlantean ruler has honed his effectiveness over the years, clobbering everything from the trivial, to the downright omnipotent.

Occasionally Namor's hard headedness, and wanton regard for himself have been known to be his downfall. It is perhaps here that the two characters, both known for their brash, loner attitues, begin to diverge.
Namor's incredible mutant strength allows him the luxury of taking a beating from the likes of Thing and the Hulk, where Wolverine can be swiftly subdued.

Of course, though Namor leads the charge, he's not alone.
Accompanying him are two competent forces in their own right: the US Agent and Blazing Skull, possessing their own unique skills.

US Agent posseses some of the same attributes as Captain America, who already has a defeat over Wolverine, but let's be honest. If a team beat the crap out of Wolverine, pretty much anyone could be there to put the finishing blow down.

Intelligence: 4 (Tactician)

Wolverine is the underdog on paper, largely due to the versatility and stature of a character like Namor. If he were able to systematically eliminate the distractions of Blazing Skull, and US Agent, he'd still have overwhelming odds to overcome. Of course, that's what he does, and he is the best there is...

What went down...

It's one hell of a way to make an entrance.
Wolverine makes his presence known, gutting Sulumor (aka Charlie Tuna), Namor's Atlantean advisor from behind while he's talking to Blazing Skull.

With his reservations tamed by Hydra's brainwashing, Wovlerine savagely attacks US Agent.
Blazing Skull comes to the rescue of his fearless leader, and loses a forearm and leg for his troubles. It seems to be so rare that we actually get to see Wolverine inflict these kinds of wounds, so it's quite nice.

It's now that business really picks up.
The involvement of Blazing Skull and US Agent really forces this to be listed as a fight against the Invaders, but the real crux of this fight is all about Namor.

Fighting Namor is never a good idea, but getting him stark raving furious by killing one of his own? That's the bullseye equivalent of priceless.

Wolverine takes the punches, and rakes the claws over Namor's face.
Hydra's control has unlocked Wolverine's greatest potential, and apparently that also includes some sadistic quipping. He licks the blood from his claws, and remarks, "Mmm. Sushi."
Fair enough.

Namor applies his vastly superior strength to the fight, swatting the pocket sized Canuck away with a conveniently present girder.
There's an argument to call the fight here, but it's not over until it's over.

The Sub-Mariner goes in pursuit of the possessed X-Man, finding him quite some distance away, amongst the tanks and machinery of the Mazikhandar.
Intent on his goal to assassinate the Necromancer scientist that failed his master, Wolverine decides to go through Namor... and is surprisingly successful.

Wolverine slices a tank of oil open, and then drives his claws directly into the Sub-Mariner's abdomen. Any other man would be dead right then and there, and without the aid of his fellow's, Namor very well could've been.

US Agent, arriving by helicopter, prevents a killing blow, sending Wolverine back with a hail of bullets from a machine gun. Using his spiked shield, US Agent swats Wolverine back into the puddle of oil he let spill, and ignites it with his gun.

Proud to the end, Namor protests US Agent's interference, on the edge of death.

A flaming Wolverine emerges from the fires, about ready to tear the universe a new arsehole, as Blazing Skull lifts Namor and US Agent to safety.

Hydra agents arrive to cancel Wolverine's mission, and redirect his priority to the events of the Enemy of the State core issues occuring in the Wolverine title.
US Agent tends to the mortally wounded Namor, finally having earned respect from the pointy eared bastard of a monarch.

The Hammer...
This is a series that really didn't get the shot it deserved, and it seems people that checked it out post-cancellation in trade enjoyed it. This issue does absolutely no justice to what was a truly different, and exciting book from Marvel. Something fresh, in a time when Marvel was quickly losing me as a reader.

Where the fight is concerned, this is an incredibly difficult fight to call. While Sub-Mariner clearly out muscled the clawed Canuck, Wolverine never stayed down, and inflicted some serious blows.

I think it's reluctantly that I have to acknowledge, Wolverine got the better of the Invaders, in what was very nearly a draw.
Like the JLA/Deathstroke confrontation, the final result was relatively inconclusive. What sets them apart is that in this particular battle, Wolverine was never convincingly put on the back foot. He got smacked around, but he never stayed down.

So there you have it, the first month of Secret Wars on Infinite Earths behind us, and a new year ahead.
Tomorrow you have to look forward to what will regularly be a month's end recap, taking a look back at what's happened, and who stands where. As some eagle-eyed readers will remember, part of this blog's purpose is an exercise in discovering the potency of characters' effectiveness.

Also watch out for potentially new fun, and hopefully some more fun comics discussion.

Happy Holidays, and a have a good New Year, all. Ciao!

The Fight: 4 The Issue: 4 [July 17, 2006]

Wolverine - Kill. (Sulumor)
Wolverine - Mortal injury; cuts off right forearm. (Blazing Skull)
Wolverine - Mortal injury; cuts off right lower leg. (Blazing Skull)
Wolverine - Kill. (Colonel Mutasim Zai'id)
Sub-Mariner - Knockout blow; with girder. (Wolverine)
Wolverine - Mortal injury; claws to gut. (Sub-Mariner)
US Agent - Critical blow; machine gun. (Wolverine)
US Agent - Critical blow; oil explosion. (Wolverine)

Friday, December 23, 2005

Where: The Dark Knight Returns #4 When: June 1986
Writer: Frank Miller Artist: Frank Miller

The story so far...
The future is a grim and gritty place.
The heroes have been driven out by a world that watched them with envious eyes. There are still whispers though. Rumors of a Superman puppet to the administration, and if you walk down the right alley, into the right bar, you just might find someone who knows him.

For Bruce Wayne the silence is deafening, and inevitably the Dark Knight returns to Gotham, in a time when he may be needed the most.

His return is not without it's cost. Though he rises to defeat the menace of the Mutants gang, old foes reemerge to take a last shot at their enemy. Two-Face and Joker make a stand, but prove to be nothing more than chapters in the Batman's legacy.

The true enemy is within. The Batman has rattled the cages of the wrong people, and now they have sent their Superman to stop him.

Tale of the tape...
If you're young enough, this might actually be your father's Batman, but ironically this Batman is the influential father to current interpretations of the Dark Knight.
Time has been relatively kind to Bruce Wayne, but he's definitely feeling it in his old age. Not to say life is peaches and cream for Superman in this dark future.
Before the fight, boy blue averts nuclear disaster by detonating it, and robbing himself of the solar powers he draws upon, via a nuclear winter.

Slice it anyway you like, this is the god damned Batman.
A Batman so typically atypical of Frank Miller's work; deliciously stripped to the core of his being. This is perhaps a more potent Batman than any seen since. A Batman driven, and focused in a way our current multi-tasking Batman seems incapable of.

Intelligence: 5 (Professor)
Stamina: 5 (Marathon runner)

For the Batman this is what it all comes down to.
David beats Goliath solely on the principle of his ability to account for, and effectively counter, the advantages presented against him, and by extension, the willpower to make it happen.

Strength: 6 (Invincible)
Speed: 6 (Speed of sound)
Stamina: 6 (Generator)

For Superman, it's probably a fight that on paper should be in his favour.
The legend of the oft despised infallible Batman has arguably been grossly over exaggerated, and ultimately, clouded the interpretation of Batman's abilities on a logical plane.

Reading a recent issue of Infinite Crisis, it was qui enjoyable to see a prime example of Batman's brittle humanity put to the forefront. With the DC trinity standing in the rubble of the Justice League sattelite, the villain Mongul does away with Superman and Wonder Woman, leaving Batman at his cosmic-level mercy.

Weakened or not, Superman is still Superman.
His weaknesses are Kryptonite; something more accessible than you might think; and his heart and Kansas razed good nature. Where the scales tip is the fact that these fallabilities fall right into the hands of an embittered industrialist-genius, with an emotional tie.

What went down...
Well, for the most part, I'm guessing most of us know what goes down, even if we haven't read this all important and influential chapter of The Dark Knight Returns.

As previously arranged, Superman shows up at Crime Alley, right on time. The place where it all began, and where it just might end for our grizzled anti-hero.

The welcome wagon comes in the form of six hunter missles, activated by the x-rays Superman uses to survey the area.
Anytime the Batman's role as a master strategist comes into question, this is without a doubt one of the finest examples of exactly how absurdly obvious his abilities are.

Carrie Kelly, aka Robin, is there to continue battering the great white dope as he hits the ground a block away from the target. The batmobile, more reflective of a military attack vehicle is light work for a man more powerful than the pounding surf.

True to form, Superman's first approach is to negotiate with the Batman. He probably asks him to give in to reason, and return to the shadows, away from the sight of the politicians that now control the last son of Krypton.
His words falls on deaf ears, though, protected by heavy armor and sound proofing. Perfect protection for unleashing a sonic assault, that gives the Superman a nosebleed, barely five minutes into the fight.

Using a street lamp, the Batman taps into the city's power to power his hulking armored suit, and fry the Superman's brain.

The Batman's resolve is strong, even when his helmet is ripped from his head.
He throws massive, technologically enhanced fists, defiant to the end, as Robin makes a getaway with the police moving in.

As the fight drags on, Superman busts three ribs.
"You're just bone and meat... like all the rest."

Distracted by the choppers, the back-up is slow to react. With one arm remaining, the Green Arrow waits in the wings with the final piece.
Batman distracts Superman with acid, and despite getting plugged in the leg - Green Arrow makes the shot.

Hanging upside down from a fire escape ladder by his legs, using his teeth to pull the bow, Green Arrow makes the shot - synthesized kryptonite.

With the kryptonite the clincher, the Batman pummels his better into submission. He reminds him of everything they've stood for, and everything they've begun, and as his heartbeat slows, Bruce Wayne makes sure Superman remembers who bested him.

Then, he dies.

The Hammer...
Of course, as we all know, Batman's death fell right on midnight by his own design. Though his back to the concrete by fight's end, Batman not only bested Superman in battle, but also proved to be the superior force for inspiration.

According to Batman these days, the last time Superman really inspired anyone was when he died. Batman's death was purely strategic, allowing him the retreat, and the opportunity to strike again.

This is definitely one of the greatest of comic book rivalries, and this is the battle that embodies it. This is the fight that shows just how hard it is to keep a good Batman down.

Apologies for being a little late. Hope everyone had a fantastic, violent Christmas full of dream match ups!
Next week another opportunity for the enemy of the state to step up to the plate, the 'dues ex', Wolverine. Then the end of month/year update. Ciao!

The Fight: 7 The Issue: 7 [July 17, 2006]

Robin - Executed distraction. (Superman)
Green Arrow - Critical blow; kryptonite arrow. (Superman)
Batman - Multiple critical blows. (Superman)
Batman - Faked own death.

Friday, December 16, 2005

Where: Identity Crisis #3 When: October 2004
Writer: Brad Meltzer Artist: Rags Morales

The story so far...
Sue Dibny has been murdered, and this single death is sending shockwaves that touch each and every hero in the DC Universe.

With the most analytical and tuned heroes turning up no evidence, and a hyper technological security system showing no signs of forced entry, most of the League begin investigating the obvious suspects; teleporters, magicians, shape shifters, but one group has a different theory.

This is the event that changed the playing field, making it clear that the innocence of the past was nothing but a sham. These select few go in search of Dr. Light, a now-bumbling villain that had found his way to the Justice League satellite and raped Dibny years earlier.

Revealing their dark past, Green Arrow admits that the League had used Zatanna's magic to erase portions of the villain's minds pertaining to the secret identities of the heroes. The heroes did only what they needed to, until Dr. Light, when they crossed the line, and altered his personality forever.

Tale of the tape...
Deathstroke is really quite a scary villain for a lot of reasons, one of those being that controlling 90% of his brain function makes him pretty difficult to define. I'm not sure anyone could tell me exactly what potential 90% brain function would unlock. As it is, it just seems to make him an incredible tactician and fighter, which I guess means he's more in tune with his body and mind.

Intelligence: 4 (Tactician)
Fighting Ability: 7 (Born fighter)

Deathstroke is officially the first character to rank a seven on the Haseloff system for fighting ability. This is purely based on the determination of the advantage of his brain power, which is poorly reflected by his intelligence rating.
Though perhaps vaguely ill-defined, Deathstroke's powers must be recognised as making him an extremely impressive foe.

This particular arrangement of the Justice League roughly consists of; Hawkman, Green Arrow, the Flash, Black Canary, Atom, Green Lantern, Zatanna and Elongated Man. Not the most impressive line-up we've seen of the JL, but without a doubt still a competent mix of seasoned veterans, and incredible powers.

Even on his best day, one has to question the odds for Deathstroke to defeat that collection of heroes. The sheer strength of numbers tends to lend itself to someone getting the jump on him, while he tries to eliminate them.

This is an opinion, of course, that has particular relevence for the way they fight is choreographed.

What went down...

This really is the ultimate in fights as far as breaking it down for this particular section. It's so easily disected into neat little pieces that I can literally deliver a beat by beat account of what occured, without missing a pip. Of course, this approach is also one of the most glaring criticisms.

Having already taken care of Elongated Man at the end of the previous issue, Deathstroke is pretty keen to make sure everyone understands it is his fight, as per the terms of his agreement with Dr. Light. Terms involving a hefty sum of money.

The Flash, quite naturally, is the first to act.
Deathstroke's 90% function doesn't outdo Batman in the anticipation department, but it's still impressive. He sets off a series of C-5 plastique charges infront of him, prompting Flash to attack from behind. Of course, this move leaves Flash skewered on Deathstroke's rather ample sword.

Attacking the next biggest perceived threat, Deathstroke goes straight for Zatanna, tapping her liver with a well placed shot, drowning her reversed incantations in vomit. Not terribly pretty, but damn effective.

Hawkman and his long-range threat is the next targeted, and naturally Hawkman meets it with a suitable amount of controlled aggression. Apparently he was ready to fight, but not ready to have his wing harness cut from his chest.

Why Hawkman wouldn't be ready for such an attack, absolutely baffles, and this is no doubt where the fight starts to break down.

Continuing down the line, he flows into an attack against Green Arrow, with bow cocked the entire time, as he tracks his high speed target. Deathstroke's greater reflexes allow him to swat the incoming arrow away, before taking a swing at the archer himself. As Green Arrow ducks the swing, he realises that the projected target was the tails of his arrows.
As the feathers fly, Green Arrow's stock in the fight plummets, his arrows now rendered relatively useless. (Or are they?)

Black Canary prepares to unleash a sonic scream, but Deathstroke is a man who thinks of everything, coming prepared with an airtight rubber mask. He bags the Canary's head, tying it tight around the neck, and cuffs her arms behind her back for good measure.

With the backstory of Dr. Light's rape on Sue Dibney, there's actually a very disturbing potential to this panel, where he is seen lurking in the background, with Canary's bikini-fishnet clad buttocks taking precedence in the foreground.
I've read that the themes of interpreted misogynism caused a minor outcry from fans, but I think finding an objectification of women in comics is both dramatically late, and in this case, perhaps a little faceitous.

On with the fight, Deathstroke scans the battlefield for the Atom, who I must say has the nifty trick of getting forgotten. If I were the opponent to the Justice League reading this issue, I would have the little bugger bouncing around in my eardrum by now.

Again, that incredible capacity for anticipation and execution is on display, as Slade anticipates Atom's microscopic attack, and using his advanced vision blasts him with electrons and protons in a beam of a laser pointer's light.
The Atom 're-bigulates' just in time to knock Hawkman right between the eyes, as he was rising to his feet after his previous fall.

By now, there's a very real argument that it's been far too easy to take each JLer one by one. No matter how fast Deathstroke's reflexes are, and how advanced his planning, it's tough to believe the Green Lantern could have been standing idle for this long.
Granted, Kyle Rayner doesn't have the experience of the other heroes, but he's no kid anymore.

Slade locks up with Rayner, who foolishly decides it's suddenly a good idea to become a fist fighter, and gets four broken fingers for his trouble.

One assumes ninety percent brain function must give Deathstroke a pretty impressive will power, as he grips the broken hand and tries to wrestle control of the Green Lantern's ring away from him.
Of course, on previous occasions Rayner's ring has been shown to only respond to himself, and a select few of his fellows, but the injuries sustained, and Deathstroke's incredible willpower make for a feasible argument for the deadlock.
Green Arrow attempts to make some of his own luck, and shows that he's more than a one-trick pony. With his arrows no longer viable projectiles, ol' Ollie goes the low tech approach, and stabs Deathstroke in the eye.

Sent into a murderous rage, Deathstroke loses his cool, calculating advantage, intent simply on killing Green Arrow. Let's face it, with that goatee, and pathetic disguise, it's a place we've all been.

Getting the snot beat out of him long enough to let League pull themselve's together, Green Arrow buys the time necessary for the heroes to finally make a joint attack. They each grab a limb, and wrestle for it. Of course, this scene prompts a flashback for the previously mindwiped Dr. Light, where he recalls a similar instance involving himself.

The mind wiped villain has something of a meltdown, bursting into a blazing light of rage.
When the heroes come-to, they're on their arses, infront of Superman no less. Faux pas!

The Hammer...
When I first gauged potential interest in some of the greatest fights in comics of all time, this was actually the fight mentioned the most. Hopefully the few reading this website will be pleased that it made the list promptly.

As mentioned earlier, my biggest criticism would have to undoubtedly be the delivery of the fight, which suggests that no Justice League hero was able to intervene during the systematic elimination of member after member. Perhaps the toughest pill to swallow is the fact that Green Lantern, a hero who quite regularly scoops villains up in bubbles, could be left as an oversight until the very end. The neglect shown is only further exasperated by the decision to have Green Lantern, posessor of anything he can imagine, enter into a fistfight with a quite obviously dangerous threat.

Maybe the ball falls on Morales, whose art seems shakey in places, or maybe Meltzer isn't the world's greatest fight writer. Hey, they can't all be Mark Millars.

As far as calling the fight, I'd have to say I think this result was inconclusive.
Deathstroke definitely had the battle in his hand, but Green Arrow did enough to redeem the Justice League, and snatch victory from the jaws of defeat.
In light of that, I'm going to have to call this the first draw.

If you have any dispute, feel free to drop a comment.
Stay tuned next week for a showdown of blockbusting proportions, not Christmas themed, but truly a gift worthy of the holidays. Until then, some stats. Ciao!

The Fight: 6.5 The Issue: 5.5 [July 17, 2006]

Deathstroke - Severe injury inflicted by sword. (The Flash)
Deathstroke - Critical pressure point blow. (Zatanna)
Deathstroke - Subdued with bag and cuffs. (Black Canary)
Deathstroke - Critical blow with laser pointer. (Atom)
Deathstroke - Severe injury; four broken fingers. (Green Lantern)
Green Arrow - Severe injury; stabbed eye with arrow. (Deathstroke)
Dr. Light - Present, but did absolutely nothing but watch.

Friday, December 09, 2005

Where: Fantastic Four #3 When: March 1998
Writer: Scott Lobdell Artist: Alan Davis

The story so far...
Heroes Return saw the triumphant return of Marvel's core cast of characters after a lengthy hiatus from the "616" universe, and the styles that have made them famous.

Having overcome a universe of trouble in Heroes Reborn, the Thunderbolts stealing their home, trouble in France, and a single-celled Iconoclast; the FF were overdue for a visit from a more familiar nemesis.

Staying back to finish some analysis work before a New Year's Eve ball, Reed Richards is available to receive a call ending in distress from an ESU scientist, where Reed is a consulting Professor.

Tale of the tape...
There's a clichè amongst comic fans regarding characters' supposed potential to be the most powerful character in the universe. While in some cases it's an exaggeration, there are sometimes some very real points to be made, and where Reed Richards is concerned, this issue is part of one of those arguments.

Intelligence: 6 (Genius)
Agility: 6 (Rubber)

What makes Mr. Fantastic so fantastic is probably his almost unparalleled genius, and capacity for invention. If you need evidence, check out the last entry, which featured an invention by Richards capable of creating life in the most barren of locations.

Of course, intelligence is really quite relative, and if Richards has a downfall, it's his ability to see the potential in applying his genius to other areas. Areas such as combat, where his rubber malleability, and control over the density of his structure could potentially make him one of the most impressive super powered fighters in comics.
Every character has flaws and weaknesses, and this is Mr. Fantastic's.

On your average occasion, matching wits with the Red Ghost and his Super Apes, I would probably call it 50-50. Sheer numbers are probably more than an equializer against Reed Richards, whose greatest strengths in the field are as a team leader, and cooardinator.

What went down...
Ever the marital moron, Richards is hanging out in his lab, instead of going to a New Year's Eve charity benefit, with his dressed up wife. It's not all bad, because it means when Dr. Polombo of ESU leaves a message that ends in distress, Professor Richards is able to answer the call.

When he arrives he finds something rather surprising. Those damn dirty Super Apes are not only in control of their cosmic powers, but they're also super intelligent now too, at the cost of the Red Ghost's intelligence, it would seem.

Richards shows an uncharacteristically tactical approach to the fight, stretching his eye through a drainage grate to get a scope on the situation.
As it so happens, the Super Apes efficiently incapacitated the lone security guard, and scientist, leaving them to pump powerfully toxic nerve gas into Times Square.

The fun is interrupted by an innocent knocking at the door - or is it?
Using his powers to great effect, Richards takes one of the Super Apes out with a flying fist, before emerging from his hiding place in the drains.

Mikhlo the stretchy orangutan does what he can to wrap the good professor up, but Richards continues to show his offensive enginuity, stretching his head out, and then snapping it back full force. Not the most effective application of his powers, but still impressive.

With the other apes incapacitated, and the Red Ghost tied up in a test bunny's pink eyes, it leaves Richards in a showdown with Praetor - the brains of the group.

Praetor's advanced powers and intelligence prove to be a worthy challenge.
Intangibility and magnetikinesis make for interesting foils for Mr. Fantastic's versatile abilities, but ultimately he's able to get a hand free, and finish the job with the drain grate he came in through.

The remaining members of the Fantastic Four arrive just in time to apprehend the... delighted Red Ghost, still engrossed in the colour of the rabbit's eyes.
Ever the thinker, Reed Richards finds his victory hollow, as he ponders what potential threat merging genetic makeups could pose, as a result of their cosmically irradiated bodies.

The Hammer...
As mentioned last week, this was a relatively deliberate choice for a battle. With the release of Fantastic Four on DVD, I thought it would be appropriate to mark the occasion appropriately, by dipping into the FF longbox.

I'm sure we can all gladly agree that Mr. Fantastic came out with the win, rather conclusively. Something I always like to see in a comic book fight, but don't see terribly often.

Next week I dare say it'll be something from the DC bin, just to assure everyone we're not playing favourites. Of course, this entire website is fairly dependent on my meager comic collection, so equality isn't exactly an option...
Feel free to drop a comment, or even recommend or suggest a comic fight. Cheers!

The Fight: 3.5 The Issue: 4.5 [July 17, 2006]

Friday, December 02, 2005

Where: Wolverine #25 When: April 2005
Writer: Mark Millar Artist: John Romita Jr.

The story so far...
Mark Millar's Enemy of the State six part storyarc has seen Wolverine come under the control of Hydra, as part of Baron Von Strucker's last play as the head of Hydra.
The resulting story is akin to a Hong Kong revenge flick, or a video game, as Wolverine graduates through the levels of opponents before finally arriving at freedom.

This long and arduous road has seen Wolverine face off against SHIELD, the Invaders, Daredevil, Elektra, and even the Fantastic Four. Leading him to the next logical step.

Seeking the means to locate the President of the United States, Wolverine's quest leads him to his home, the X-Mansion, where under HYDRA's control he intends to enlist the aid of Rachel Summers, a formidable psychic, to locate PotUS.

Tale of the tape...
Over the years Wolverine has gained something of a reputation for being an unstoppable killing machine, equipped with mutant healing factor, and unbreakable Adamantium claws. Of course, in the context of fight specifics, this is probably farthest from the truth. As an equalizer, his unique ability to recover from almost any injury has made him one of the most wreckless fighters in the Marvel universe, and his wanton disregard for injury has left him the worse off in many-a battle.

Against an arrangement of X-Men that includes; Rachel Summers, Kitty Pryde, Cyclops, Beast, Havok, Northstar, with the assistance of agents of SHIELD, Captain America and Iron Man - Wolverine never really stands a logical chance.

On the right day, there's no doubt Wolverine has the tools to overcome the odds. His stylish application of hairspray wasn't what earned him a place in the hearts of fanboys worldwide, it was his irrepressible Canadian underdog attitude.

Intelligence: 4 (Tactician)
Stamina: 6 (Generator)
Fighting Ability: 6 (Warrior)

Against the powerhouses he faces, the above three are likely his greatest chances for victory. His keen skills as a tactical operator, coupled with his hightened senses give him the ultimate in Predator-esque strategies.
In the woods of the Westchester X-Mansion, it's the perfect place for Wolverine to divide and conquer opponents that are likely holding back because of emotional attachment.

With guys like Havok, Cyclops and Iron Man in the field, Wolverine's greatest vulnerability is high impact long range attack. Though capable of taking a lickin', it's been proven in the past that enough energy stops him tickin', for a while.

What went down...
Things begin real subtle, as Kitty Pryde shares a midnight chat with Rachel Summers, before phasing through the cieling. Of course, little does she realise an invisible Wolverine is perched on the sofa, with a terra-former gadget designed by Reed Richards to populate uninhabitle locales with the necessary elements of life.
As Wolverine gladly points out, the destruction that kind of ecological change could unleash on Westchester could be insurmountable. HYDRA's utilization of Wolverine gives a slightly unique view of the character, making use of the technologies bestowed upon him, in ways that in todays climated would brand him a terrorist.

Battling the inner monologues of the HYDRA controls, Wolverine is distracted enough for Summers to escape his clutches, and alert her fellow X-Men.

HYDRA are quick to act, bouncing their agent through the mansion long enough for him to reach the hangar, where he crashes an X-Jet through the mansion, to the neighbouring woods. Woods he knows better than anyone else.

With various X-Men out in full force, Wolverine goes about taking out two nameless SHIELD agents, and taking a sizable slice out of Havok, who's just too darned scared to shoot straight, apparently.
Despite the distraction, Wolverine is able to dispatch of the far stronger Beast, before making another hop, again giving him the element of stealth.

Of course, it's here that the money shot arrives.
In the lead up to, and throughout the series there was plenty of teasing as to which "significant" X-Man would fall before the six blades, and phasing at the last second, Kitty Pryde escapes a skewering, leaving Northstar to take it in the chest - like a bitch.

Shadowcat is able to get the jump on the warn out Wolverine, and a hefty blast from Cyclops, a somewhat less reluctant Summers brother, puts Wolverine on the ropes.

It's no small wonder that when push comes to shove, it's the sentinel of liberty himself that puts his man down.
He's sometimes dismissed as a cornball fossil, outdated in these modern times of complex characters, anti-heroes and deconstructions; but here Captain America proves himself in all of his awe-inspiring glory.
Metal meets metal as the shield of the red, white and blue comes crashing down on the laced skull of Wolverine. Taken out, maybe not like a bitch, but quite surely none the less.

Unfortunately my chosen format for images doesn't lend itself to this particular image. Say what you will about John Romita Junior, but this is one heck of a full page splash.

The Hammer...
All in all, not a bad fight to start things off with. Purely a pick off the top of the pile of comics that happened to be sitting around. Of course, I'm sure other chapters in Millar's Enemy of the State will come up, because as this fight shows, it's an action movie.

This storyarc arguably personifies the very type of thing I hope to embody and explore on this webpage. It's especially favourable because, unlike some superhero battles, there's a clean winner.

I don't think anyone could deny Captain America and the X-Men finished the job, and so they should with odds like those. While Wolverine gets deprogrammed, I'll leave you with some additional info while I ready myself for the next article, which is not-so random. Cheers!

The Fight: 5 The Issue: 5.5 [July 17]

Rachel Summers - Subdues Wolverine with the Phoenix force.
Wolverine - Destroys X-Mansion with jet plane.
Wolverine - 2 kills (SHIELD agents).
Wolverine - Severe injury (Havok).
Wolverine - Subdues Beast.
Wolverine - Kill (Northstar).
Kitty Pryde - Critical blow to Wolverine with tree branch.
Cyclops - Critical blow with optic blast.
Captain America - Subdues Wolverine with shield.

Thursday, December 01, 2005

Frustrated by inaccurate Google searches? Tired of getting punked for asking about so-called unimportant backstory? Wish you could find an image of an obscure character?

Secret Wars on Infinite Earths does it's best to serve you up a one-stop resource for a variety of informations and tools to do with superhero comics. Refine your search with the issue index, and don't forget to use the indepth tags included at the bottom of every entry to track your favourite characters, creators and titles!

NOTE: To preserve the cleanliness of the Index, we have removed comment functionality.
If you find an error, be encouraged to let us know in the comments section of any recent Shipping List or Monthly Punch-Up! To discuss individual issues or requests, find the comments section of appropriate posts. All help is appreciated! Thanks in advance!

> DC Comics
52 #42, #44, #45
Action Comics #586, #688, #713, #824, #846
Action Comics Annual #4
Adventure Comics #40, #444, #446, #450
Adventures of Superman #519
All-Star Squadron #4
All-Star Superman #4
Batman #442, #489, #497, #608, #611, #612, #613, #614, #619, #621, #624, #628, #629, #637, #647, #648, #663
Batman and Robin #1, #2
Batman Confidential #2
Batman: Battle for the Cowl #2, #3
Batman: Dark Victory #3
Batman: Gotham Knights #49
Batman: The Long Halloween #3
Batman: The Mad Monk #1
Blackest Night #1, #2
Blue Beetle #1
Captain Atom: Armageddon #1
Catwoman #22, #49, #63, #78
Catwoman: When In Rome #4
Checkmate #12
Countdown #2
Crisis on Infinite Earths #2, #8
Daring New Adventures of Supergirl #9
Dark Knight Returns #3, #4
Dark Knight Strikes Again #1
DC: The New Frontier #2, #2, #2
DC Universe #0
DCU: Brave New World #1
Detective Comics #474, #781, #796, #817, #826, #850, #855
The Demon #17
Faces of Evil: Solomon Grundy #1
Final Crisis #1, #2, #3, #6
Final Crisis: Requiem #1
Final Crisis Aftermath: Dance #1
Flash #209, #210
Flash: Rebirth #1, #2, #3, #4
Green Arrow #45, #60, #70, #71, #72
Green Lantern #40, #127
Green Lantern #24, #25, #25, #42, #44
Green Lantern Corps #34, #37
Green Lantern: Rebirth #1, #4
Guy Gardner Reborn #1
Hawkman #23, #24, #31, #33
Identity Crisis #3
Infinite Crisis #1, #1, #2, #6, #6
JLA #118, #118
JLA: Classified #3
JSA #51, #64, #65
JSA Strange Adventures #1
Justice League of America #196, #200, #261
Justice League of America #15
Justice League Unlimited #14
Justice League: Cry for Justice #1
Justice League: The New Frontier #1
Kingdom Come #4
Legends #1, #1, #1, #2, #3, #3
Nightwing #98
Power of Shazam #11
Red Robin #1
Secret Origins #32, #32, #32, #32, #32, #32, #32, #35
Secret Society of Super-Villains #5
Seven Soldiers: Zatanna #4
Solo #1
Solomon Grundy #1, #2, #2
Steel #20, #21, #28
Suicide Squad #2, #2, #6, #10, #43
Super Powers #5
Supergirl #3
Superman #74, #206, #216
Superman/Batman #4, #14, #15, #21, #23, #42, #43, #78
Target: Superman #1
Watchmen #2
Wonder Woman #29, #32

> Marvel Comics
Adventures of the X-Men #7
Alias #23
All-New Ghost Rider #5
Alpha Flight #34
Amazing Spider-man #7, #176, #230, #230, #327, #329, #347, #585, #589, #600, #621
Amazing Spider-man Annual #4
Annihilation #1, #4
Astonishing X-Men #5
Avengers #214, #501
Avengers #1, #4, #5
Avengers West Coast #65
Avengers West Coast Annual #5
Avengers: The Initiative #24
Beta Ray Bill: Godhunter #2
Beyond! #1, #3
Black Panther #18, #19
Blade #5
Cable & Deadpool #36
Cage #3
Captain America #251, #252, #405, #408
Captain America #1, #6
Captain America #4, #5, #25
Captain America Annual #9
Captain America: Reborn #2
Captain Marvel #26
Civil War #1, #3
Contest of Champions II #1, #1, #4
Daredevil #132, #163, #255, #257
Daredevil #49, #65, #75, #79, #87, #90, #91, #116
Daredevil: Man Without Fear #2
Deadpool #2, #4, #19, #20
Deadpool: Sins of the Past #2, #3
Deadpool: Suicide Kings #2
The Defenders #43
Doctor Strange, Sorcerer Supreme #10
Domino #2
Excalibur #3
Exiles #31
Fantastic Four #12, #52, #53, #129, #235, #249, #350, #354, #358, #361, #366, #367, #412, #543
Fantastic Four #2, #6, #13
Fantastic Four #2, #3
Fantastic Four: Unplugged #1
Ghost Rider #40
Ghost Rider #29
Ghost Rider/Blaze: Spirits of Vengeance #6, #13
Guardians of the Galaxy #25
Heroes Reborn: The Return #4
Hulk #6
Hulk vs Hercules: When Titans Collide #1
Immortal Iron Fist #11
Incredible Hercules #128
Incredible Hulk #205, #335, #374, #449
Incredible Hulk #95
Infinity Gauntlet #4, #4, #4, #4, #4, #4, #4, #4, #4, #4, #4, #4, #4
Invincible Iron Man #12, #14
Iron Fist #14
Iron Man #159, #239, #271, #302, #310, #312, #316
Iron Man #2
Iron Man #3, #5
Iron Man Annual #11
Marvel Adventures #12, #14
Marvel Adventures: The Avengers #9, #9
Marvel Comics Presents #19, #49, #83, #114
Marvel Holiday Special 1992, 1993
Marvel Knights: Spider-man #1, #3, #11
Marvel Premiere #28
Marvel Super Hero Contest of Champions #3
Marvel Super-Heroes #3
Marvel Team-Up #14, #58, #63, #149
Marvel Treasury Edition #25
Marvel Two-In-One #92
Marvel Two-In-One Annual #7
Marvel Zombies #1, #3, #5, #5
Marvel Zombies 4 #2, #3
Marvel: Heroes & Legends #1, #1
Mighty Avengers #10, #10
Moon Knight #6
New Avengers #3, #27, #27, #35, #36, #54
New Avengers #2
New Avengers: Illuminati #1, #2
New Invaders #0, #1, #5, #6
New Mutants #98
Nextwave #2
Nova #2, #3
Omega Flight #1
Onslaught: X-Men #1
Power Man & Iron Fist #66, #90, #90, #92
Power Man & Iron Fist #1
The Pulse #14
Punisher #5
Punisher War Journal #3
Secret Defenders #10
She-Hulk #8, #8
She-Hulk #32
Silver Surfer #13, #107
Spectacular Spider-man #142, #215
Spider-man Adventures #9
Spider-man Family #1, #1, #2, #3
Spider-man Unlimited #1, #2
Spider-man: Blue #2
Strange Tales #111, #114
Tales of Suspense #39, #98
Tales to Astonish #79
Mighty Thor #337, #465
Thor #1
Mighty Thor Annual #15
Thunderbolts #1, #105, #111, #150
Ultimate Fantastic Four #12, #23
Ultimate Spider-man #95, #96
Ultimate X-Men #49
Ultimates 2 #10
Uncanny X-Men #4, #132, #133, #143, #183, #194, #205, #295
Uncanny X-Men Annual #6, #14
Venom: The Enemy Within #3
Warlock and The Infinity Watch #21
What If? #41
What If...? #4, #24, #24, #24, #51, #54, #66, #70, #94
What If? Wolverine Enemy of the State #1, #1
Wolverine #20, #22, #24, #25, #37, #39, #50
World War Hulk #3, #5
X-Force #5
X-Men #25, #124, #150
X-Men Omega #1
X-Men: First Class #2

> Crossovers
Dark Claw Adventures #1
DC/Marvel: All Access #1, #3
DC versus Marvel #1, #4
Green Lantern/Silver Surfer #1
JLA/Avengers #1
Marvel versus DC #2, #2, #2, #2, #3, #3, #3, #3, #3, #3, #3, #3, #3
Thorion of the New Asgods #1
Uncanny X-Men and New Teen Titans #1, #1
Unlimited Access #1, #1, #3

> Miscellaneous
Dragon Ball 169-170, 171
Hellboy: The Corpse and the Iron Shoes The Corpse
Hero Happy Hour #4
Jack Staff #1
Mortal Kombat: Battlewave #6
Mortal Kombat: Blood & Thunder #1, #2, #3, #4, #4, #5, #6, #6
The Phantom #686, #972
The Phantom #1
Savage Dragon #7, #22
Street Fighter II #1, #1, #6
Street Fighter Alpha Vol.1, Vol.1, Vol.1
Street Fighter #1, #1, #1, #8
Street Fighter II #1, #2, #2, #3, #3, #3
Street Fighter II Turbo #6
Street Fighter IV #1
Street Fighter Legends #1, #2
Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles #1
Tekken Forever #1, #1

> Television
Batman: Animated Series Ep.2
Mortal Kombat: Conquest Ep.1
Spider-man Ep.3, Ep.13
Street Fighter II V Ep.2, Ep.5, Ep.9, Ep.12, Ep.14

> Movies
Batman Begins (2005)
- Batman vs Ra's Al Ghul
The Dark Knight (2008)
- Batman vs Joker
Hulk (2003)
- Hulk vs US Military
Iron Man (2008)
- Iron Man vs Ten Rings
Spider-man (2002)
- Green Goblin vs Spider-man
Street Fighter (1994)
- Vega vs Ryu
- Sagat/Vega vs Ken/Ryu
Street Fighter Alpha (1999)
- Vega vs Dan Hibiki
- Shun/Ryu vs Zangief
- Sadler's Cyborg vs Ryu
- Ken vs Ryu
- Birdie vs Dan Hibiki
- Ken vs Sodom
- Ken/Chun-Li/Birdie vs Sadler's Cyborg
Superman Returns (2007)
- Superman vs Lex Luthor
X-Men (2000)
- Wolverine vs Sabretooth
X-Men 2 (2003)
- Deathstrike vs Wolverine

> Video Games
Mortal Kombat: Armageddon (2006)
- Intro Video Sequence