Monday, March 20, 2006

"The Showdown of the Century!"
Marvel versus DC #2 When: March 1996
Writer: Peter David Artist: Dan Jurgens

The story so far...
Life in the DC and Marvel universes has always been tough, but when cosmic events conspire to endanger both, the heroes of both Earths face a secret crisis that could destroy them all.

Before time two cosmic entities existed, sexless brothers representing the two sides of all that is, was, and will ever be.

Turmoil between the two brought about an end to things as they once were, but in the aftermath their energies were dissipated into space, becoming part of the multi-verse.
Cosmic instabilities, as a result of the actions of various beings of different realities, created instabilities. After eons of recollecting their fragmented thoughts, the two brothers turned, and remembered their existence.

Now they pit their warriors against one and other.

Tale of the tape...
Like the previous two DC versus Marvel fights, there should be very little confusion regarding the thematic origins of this match up. We started with powers derived from Gods, moved through Atlantean undersea kings, and now we arrive at the time tested question of speed versus speed.

Although a very logical, and interesting match-up, I think most fans would be unanimous that this fight was pretty much over before it even started. Which is fitting, because for anyone watching, the super speed probably would see the fight finished in seconds.

Strength: 3 (Trained Athlete)
Intelligence: 3 (Straight A's)
Speed: 7 (Lightspeed)
Stamina: 6 (Generator)
Agility: 3 (Acrobat)
Fighting Ability: 3 (Streetwise)
Energy Powers: 1 (None)

The Flash would have to be considered the superior speedster by even the most casual of fans. An argument could be made for the powers granted by the speed force being superior to those of a natural mutation. The speed force is generally shown to be involved on a larger scale, and capable of far more.

Furthermore, I don't believe Quicksilver has ever really been seen breaking barriers of light. Though interpretations tend to be somewhat varied, The Flash seems quite capable of effectively operating in frozen time, invisible to those around him.

Although currently without mutant powers as a result of the House of M crossover, we will maintain a rating standard for Quicksilver previous to that development.

Strength: 2 (Normal Human)
Intelligence: 2 (Normal Human)
Speed: 6 (Sound Speed)
Stamina: 6 (Generator)
Agility: 2 (Normal Human)
Fighting Ability: 3 (Streetwise)
Energy Powers: 1 (None)

The degrees of separation between the two character's differences are probably far less than the ratings may usually indicate. For example; issues such as strength, which would logically need to be at a certain point to survive the pressures of super speed would arguably rate Quicksilver higher than an average human. Never the less, contextually this is probably the most accurate rating.

Though a seasoned veteran, there are very few advantages for Quicksilver in this particular match-up. External forces would be the most likely opportunity for Quicksilver to snatch victory.
Although, as the arrogant son of Magneto, one should not discount Quicksilver's capacity for dirty play. Though not likely to share in Aquaman's act of blatantly cheating; it's quite plausible that Quicksilver could trick the Flash into letting his guard down.

Of course, as a seasoned member of the Justice League, and a well accepted successor to legends like Jay Garrick and Barry Allen, it's still a stretch to believe the Flash would fall for tricks. Particularly with the fate of his universe in the balance.

As history will show us, Flashes have a habit of rising to the occasion when the world needs them most. Wally West is a Flash that knows this best, ever inspired by the sacrifice of his predecessor and uncle, Barry Allen.

As harsh as it is, this may be one of the most one-sided matches featured on Secret Earths thus far.

What went down...
The Flash gets a running jump on Quicksilver, as they converge on a deserted road. The only witnesses to their clash; a father and son, driving an oil tanker.

The Flash uses super speed to batter Quicksilver with a flurry of punches, as he ponders their potential for friendship. Quicksilver is all business though, concerned only with protecting his universe, and gaining victory.

The two heroes, distracted, battle at high speed into the path of the truck occupying the road. The two are tossed apart, as the tanker veers off the road, losing it's load, and leaving it to erupt in explosion off the side of the road.

Ever the public servant; Flash races to the aid of the driver and his son, plucking them from the scene, and dropping them away from danger
Flash's selfless act did not come without a cost. Stunned by the smoke sucked into his lungs, Flash is helpess as Quicksilver capitalizes on the distraction, unloading with a barrage of his own brand of super speed punches.

Quicksilver hesitates, disappointed with the dishonorable methods of his pending victory. Guilt sets in as he also ponders his jealousy over finding someone faster than he.
This pause is enough for the Flash to gather himself, once more.

Flash pounds away at his mutant opponent, until the deed is done.
"... He who hesitates... is lost."

The hammer...
The winner (to no one's surprise) - The Flash!

I certainly don't want to discount the potential and worth of a character like Quicksilver. As far as mutants in the Marvel universe go, he's probably one of the elite, having served with the X-Men, X-Factor, Magneto's Brotherhood and even The Avengers. Pretty big honors.

I think Quicksilver has probably suffered in a way similar to Namor. Both arrogant characters removed from the people around them by nature, I think sometimes they get written as somewhat two-dimensional characters. Their arrogance and demeanor becomes their character, rather than a character trait.

That's perhaps what was so interesting about the Son of M spin-off, coming out of the House of M mega event crossover.
Essentially it's Quicksilver's mutant super speed that distances him from others, but as a byproduct of that distance, it also becomes his identity. When the fallout sees him stripped of those powers - who is he?

Those reading the Son of M series know that he's reached out to his Inhuman connections, and plans to usher in the return of the mutant race using their terrigen mists. The mists had previously granted Quicksilver limited timetravel abilities, which he uses to further his plot.

As events through the Marvel Universe broil, sepeculation now begs the question - where next for the heir of the similarly powerless Magneto?
Marvel previews seem to suggest Magneto may rise to prominence, but some speculation surmises it may be the son who takes the guise of Magneto.

So, although not a big seven A-lister to the degree of the Flash, Quicksilver is certainly a force to be reckoned with - even without powers.

The Fight: 1.5 The Issue: 3

NEXT: The Man of Steel versus the Monster of Steel!

No comments: