Monday, May 22, 2006

DC versus MARVEL
(DC/Marvel)
Where:
DC versus Marvel #1/#4, Marvel versus DC #2/#3 When: March/April 1996
Why: Ron Marz/Peter David How: Dan Jurgens/Claudio Castellini

The recap...
- Captain Marvel versus Thor
- Aquaman versus Sub-Mariner
- Flash versus Quicksilver
- Robin versus Jubilee
- Green Lantern versus Silver Surfer
- Catwoman versus Elektra
- Lobo versus Wolverine
- Wonder Woman versus Storm
- Superboy versus Spider-man
- Superman versus Hulk
- Batman versus Captain America

For the past three months Secret Earths has featured the events of the mini-series that broke all the boundaries, and brought DC and Marvel face to face, ten years ago.

Pitted against one another by two cosmic entities; champions from the Marvel and DC universes did battle to save their universe from extinction.
In the end Batman and Captain America would be catalysts for saving both universes, as the young new cosmic hero, Access, merged realities to create the 'Amalgam' universe.

Though this merged universe could not last, in the end, the triumphs and tribulations of the lives lived by Captain America and Batman were enough to save their worlds. In the last moments the two cosmic 'brothers' that waged war with their pawns were satisfied, and spoke for the first time to say, "You've done well!"

Despite officially winning it six-to-five, Marvel and DC, represented by these two cosmic entities, make a rare gesture of sincerity and congratulate each other on a job well done. Which is all good and well, but what about the 'unofficial' fights peppered and alluded to throughout the series?

Superman versus Juggernaut (DC versus Marvel #1)
What originally begins as yet another tussle between the X-Men and Juggernaut, takes a curious twist. As the mighty Juggernaut prepares to deliver a crushing blow to a floored Wolverine, he finds himself among the earliest targets of this cosmic crossover event.
The follow through of the previous punch collides with the side of a building - the Daily Planet - which doesn't make a great first impression.

A streaking blue collides with the helmet of the Juggernaut, and actually manages to floor the unstoppable force! Though this encounter was brief, this is deemed conclusive of a result.
Winner: Superman

Batman & Robin versus Bullseye (DC versus Marvel #1)
What a delicious turn of events. While the Joker was crazy enough not to engage a disaplaced Spider-man - Bullseye is unstable enough to snatch the nearest kid in a cave, and start demanding answers.
Unfortunately for him, one of those answers is "Batman."

With a knife to Robin's throat, Bullseye holds Batman in a stand-off, batarang drawn. The man who doesn't miss teases Batman, cutting at the mask of Robin and speculating his chances of a miss.

The boy wonder, hardly helpless, elbows the fiend in the neck, giving Batman an opening to toss his batarang. However, even stunned, Bullseye is able to snatch the weapon out of the air, and whip it right back at the target.

Much to Bullseye's dismay, however, Batman is able to duck and weave the return attack, and swiftly plant a stiff left on the chin of the Marvel villain.
"You hit... even harder than... than... Daredevil..."
Winner: Batman (w/ Robin)

Wolverine versus Killer Croc (Marvel versus DC #2)
Bursting from the sewers, Killer Croc and Wolverine go at it tooth and nail - literally!
With several on lookers (including Clark Kent and Ben Reilly), the two feral fighters do battle and exchange quips. The two battle their way into the streets, careering into a toy store, as Wolverine takes an apparent offensive.

While no definitive blow is struck on the page, Wolverine is free to accompany Gambit in stealing the Batmobile. Though apparent that Killer Croc is defeated, it is possible he escaped.
Winner: Inconclusive (draw)

Bane versus Captain America (Marvel versus DC #2)
The battle of the serum enhanced super soldiers!
As Cap's shield hurls out of reach, Bane mocks his opponent as he prepares to deliver a back breaking finishing move that will leave the Captain crippled and helpless.

As Bane mocks the Captain's strategy, his full frontal assault turns out to be an error of judgment. Cap's shield, ever a faithful weapon, comes boomerang around right into the back of Bane's skull. Ouch. Schooled by the master!
"Now... No more back talk from you."
Winner: Captain America

Peter Parker versus Scarecrow & Scarecrow (Marvel versus DC #2)
Walking the streets alone can be dangerous, but that goes double when you're Lois Lane - professional damsel in distress!
In a meeting of gimmicks, both the Marvel and DC Scarecrows come up with the genius plan of kidnapping Superman's gal for whatever genius reason that goes unsaid.

Luckily Planet photographer Peter Parker is nearby, and able to unload some mean martial arts skills on the two fear enducing putzes.
Winner: Peter "Ben Reilly" Parker

Hulk & Superman versus Metallo (Marvel versus DC #3)
Beamed to Metropolis, Hulk finds himself dealing with a metallic hulking maniac called Metallo. Using a nearby giant Superman statue, Hulk smashes the 'metal geek' around a bit, until Superman finally shows up.

Confronting each other for their official bout, the two do away with Metallo switfly with a double punch, before being teleported to clearer grounds.
Winners: Superman & Hulk

Dark Claw & Super-Soldier versus Hyena (DC versus Marvel #4)
Dark Claw lurks across the rooftops, pursuing his arch-nemesis the Hyena.
Dark Claw attempts to put an end to the pursuit, hurtling a bomb at his foe, but Hyena is able to rip a chimney from a roof and swat it away toward innocents below.

The intervention of Super-Soldier sees a happy ending for the folks below.
As Hyena thinks he's finally made his get-away, the two heroes loom on the rooftop waiting for him.

Hyena backflips away, and makes his way to the streets below where Access, a character with newly acquired powers, finds himself the target of a hostage situation.

Of course, as Hyena leaps at his potential ticket out, Access creates a portal to someplace unknown, and lets Hyena send himself away.
Access attends to more important business, like seperating the Amalgam universe into the Marvel and DC universe via bits hidden in Captain America and Batman.
Winner: Access (w/ Dark Claw & Super-Soldier)

Hulk & Superman versus Moleman & the Moloids (DC versus Marvel #4)
In the batcave, Hulk emerges to tackle the swarming Moloid masses led by the Moleman. Using a well shined giant penny, Hulk flattens an armada of Moloids, and then tussles it up with the little freaks himself.
The cavalry arrives in the form of Superman, who deflects a blast from the Moloids' "greatest weapon" - a very Kirby laser canon.

Moleman and his Moloids are forced into retreat.
Winners: Superman & Hulk

Superboy versus Kingpin (DC versus Marvel #4)
As Wilson Fisk abuses his powers as owner of the Daily Planet, Spider-man swings in to heckle his long-standing foe.
Having already laid Perry White on his ass, Kingpin doesn't even see the brazen attack from Superboy coming. Some tight pants, a bulky jacket and a little 'tactile telekenisis' later, and Kingpin's getting dumped through a table.
Winner: Superboy

Elektra & Catwoman versus Abomination (DC versus Marvel #4)
Though the battle is sufficiently depicted (and considerably one-sided), in the end the sky turning to blood proves too much of a distraction.
Winner: Inconclusive (draw)

Flash & Quicksilver versus Venom (DC versus Marvel #4)
As the Marvel villains continue to get a good run in the wrap up of this mini-series, Flash and Quicksilver, though much better matched, find themselves sufficiently distracted during their fight.
Winner: Inconclusive (draw)

JLA/Avengers versus Darkseid & Thanos (DC versus Marvel #4)
A collection of heroes from both universes charge in to do battle with the wagering titans, Darkseid and Thanos.
Darkseid takes delight in finding "fire" in the mighty Thor, who deflects deadly eye beams from the ruler of Apokolips. The Silver Surfer and Storm swoop in for attacks on Darkseid, but they prove ineffective, as Darkseid topples Thor with a second eyebeam attack.

Meanwhile Green Lantern, Wonder Woman and Captain Marvel fare better with Thanos, drawing first blood.

As the two fights converge, a thumped Wonder Woman hands Thor the mighty Mjolnir, much to his surprise.

As the sky turns to blood, these heroes too are distracted.
Winner: Draw

The hammer...
So, in the end, with these additional fights, who is the true winner?
Well, by Secret Earths standards it was a draw. While the official fights drew a 6-5 finish, additional fights ended in an 8-all draw, with a bunch o' ties and inconclusive results. Bravo to fair conclusions.

All in all this probably wasn't the greatest crossover event. As alluded to by some of these extra fights, there was a lot of fertile ground that went untouched.
That said, it's been a lot of fun taking a look at each battle the past few months, and filling the site with entries based on comics that were just made for a site like this.

Unfortunately, criticms of this mini-series come to mind far quicker than praise.
Perhaps some of the most bitter results are the chances missed. Some of the fights alluded to, but not given enough screen time to make this extras special included: Steel versus Absorbing man, Green Lantern versus Green Goblin, Daredevil versus the Riddler, Batman versus Venom, Captain Marvel versus Dr. Doom, Punisher versus Deathstroke, Etrigan versus Ghost Rider, Thing.Human Torch versus Firestorm/Martian Manhunter, Superman versus Annihilus, Spider-man versus Man-Bat and Nightwing versus Gambit.

If even a fraction of that list could have been given a look in, this series might have even scraped through with obscurity cred. Unfortunately, these just highlight a lot of missed chances, sitting next to a lot of half-done fights listed in this entry, and even in previous 'official' entries.
I would also particularly highlight the absence of big names like the Fantastic Four and the Martian Manhunter, lucky to get even a one-page mention.

Overall, I suppose a lot of this has to be put down to the era.
The writing is not at all intelligent, providing a fairly standard cosmic romp with a lot of quick, vingettes for each fight. The drama and the story of each conflict is completely absent here, and that's a shame.

Visually the book is also lacking. Castellini and Jurgens appear as somewhat unusual choices for a project so huge in the context of comics history.
For a one-time situation, it's disappointing that more range and variety couldn't have been offered up.

Personally I'd love to see another effort, with contemporary talents and characters spreading the event across several mini-series and one-shots. Guys like Brian Bendis and Ed Brubaker with Michael Lark on Daredevil/Batman.
Characters like the JSA, the JLA and the Avengers all interacting. There really are endless possibilities.

Never the less, it was a very fun series, and great to see what we did.

Next month, as voted by poll, Monday madness will feature fights starring the Hulk! Hope you enjoyed revisiting Marvel versus DC, I know I did (even if it is 2am!)!

NEXT: Another special event! Celebrating the release of X3, Wolverine takes on a bitter foe in a whole other medium! Stay tuned!

7 comments:

Ronan Jimson said...

Great Work!!!
this is a good link you can refer Art Collection

Jonah Falcon said...

Peter David obviously had great fun with Aquaman/Namor - and that segment was well-written. The rest seemed... rushed.

Mike Haseloff said...

I would at least give the Namor/Aquaman fight the credit of having some character, but nothing will ever make up for that result.

You hear me, Peter David?!
NOTHING!!! ;-p

Russell said...

I really hope they do another Marvel vs. DC with much longer fights. Each fight should be at least an issue long. That Cap America vs. Batman fight was disappointing to say the least.

Mike Haseloff said...

Russel: I honestly think there'd be some difficulty laying the fights out like that, whilst still serving a satisfying story.

If such a truce were reached again that we could see this most unlikely of events, maybe a collection of involved mini-series would be the answer: As suggested here.

I totally agree, though.
We were cheated on quite a lot of these fights.

Idéias said...

Hey fellow, Hi.
Listen, I'm brazilian and I'm an english teacher.
My blog is ideiasmutaveis.blogspot.com

I'd like to know if you have scanned the marvel vs dc comics.
If you have them, I would like to see. I'm gonna put on my blog for my students. Would that be alright?
seeya

Mike Haseloff said...

@Idéias: The panels you see on the site are about as much as I'm ethically comfortable with sharing. By all means, if you're keen to get your hands on the DC versus Marvel mini-series, check it out on Amazon.com. It's available!

Cheers!