Monday, May 08, 2006

"The Showdown of the Century!" (DC/Marvel)
Marvel versus DC #3 When: April 1996
Why: Ron Marz How: Claudio Castellini

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. As a result of the actions of various beings of different realities, instabilities emerged. 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...
Strength: Hulk 6 (Invincible)
Intelligence: Superman 4 (Tactician)
Speed: Superman 6 (Sound)
Stamina: Equal 6 (Generator)
Agility: Superman 3 (Acrobat)
Fighting Ability: Hulk 6 (Warrior)
Energy Powers: Superman 5 (Lasers)

Oooh, I think I can still hear the seething of fanboys worldwide, reverberating through space and time, each crying foul. Some say Hulk, some say Superman.

As has been the case since employing the new approach, it was difficult to weigh-in, one way or the other, in terms of who dominates who in their talent ratings. Both, according to the patented Haseloff System, clock in at a six for strength. However, it's a popular and fair opinion that the Hulk has the greater potential for strength by the very nature of his powers.

Likewise, inadequacies also arise in under estimating certain abilities.
Superman's intelligence as a tactician is a compromise between the muscle bound moron and the super scientist interpretations of his character. His comptence as a field leader, and combative strategist is relatively consistent, unlike his scientific expertise and ability to 'super learn.'

Going on generally standard information, the Hulk is measured in his common savage state, exhibiting minimal intelligence. It should be noted, however, that in this particular encounter, Hulk possesed the mental capacity, expertise and memories of Bruce Banner.

The question here, of course, is not really about how far one character's powers can be stretched. The problem posed to us is to measure the likely winner, on paper.

Despite Superman's greater superiorities in the initial measure, this is a much closer clash than some may consider. Of course, over estimation of Hulk's abilities can slant the fight the wrong way.
Ultimately it's Superman's broader abilities, and more definitive invulnerabilities that make him the more likely victor. Despite possessing an incredible amount of strength, the Hulk is known to be a creature of gamma irradiated flesh, and though he may be green like kryptonite, he does not weaken the man of steel.

What went down...
Hulk occupied himself by toying around with Metallo, before the big S arrived on the scene.
In true Superman style, he extended some old-fashioned Southern hospitality, thanking Hulk for keeping his spot warm in Metropolis by joining Hulk in partaking in some B-villain smacking.

It was now that the mysterious powers-that-be saw fit to teleport our heroes away from civilization, where their destructive powers could truly be unleashed.
If it didn't resemble some far off craterous region of an alien planet, the barren firma of the Grand Canyon might just feel like a home advantage for the green goliath.

Hulk wastes no time, knocking big blue's block off before he's even out of the gate. Something the Hulk no doubt shared with Thor, for future reference.

Superman hurtles into a nearby wall of rock, but is able to spring back into action with eyes blazing - leaving behind a crater that would make any WB cartoon character proud, and with a glowing red pair of peepers to please Jim Lee.

Being the super-whiz he is, Superman is able to assess the Hulk's strength as powerful enough to survive his maximum heat vision blast, even if he couldn't withstand it.
[Too bad if the Hulk's magic weakness just happened to be fire.]

Hulk, notably shaken, returns fire with his own long range attack, unleashing a trademark seismic slam on the rocky ground.

Shaken but not stirred, Superman moves into close quarters looking to slug it out with the Hulk. The two exchange thunderous blows, blasting rock into the air, and hwff and nnghing their way into the record books.

For his world, universe, and the woman he loves, Superman puts aside his wish to be friends with the Hulk, and gives one last punch everything he has.
With the knowledge that he had to put the Hulk down; Superman's punch sees him coiling his body in the follow through, but also sending the Hulk hurtling into the Grand Canyon, where half of it crumbles ontop of Marvel's mighty mean green fighting machine.

Though the tourist attraction may have been partly destroyed - the DC universe, was one step closer to living on.

The hammer
Let's be honest, as perhaps the number one most recognisable superhero in the world, was there ever any chance of Superman losing? Not bloody likely!

At the time of this series, these two characters had co-existed for over thirty years in the same industry. Their pairing was no doubt inspired by their status as top powerhouses in their respective universes, and yet, of the few Marvel/DC crossovers of the seventies, it was the Batman who encountered the Hulk.

With this history in mind, you'd have to think this was one of the most anticipated match-ups imaginable. Unfortunately, this blockbuster-in-the-making suffers the weaknesses of the format with which this series was presented.
Despite being one of the more dynamic and visually exciting fights, it still suffers heavily from being relegated to a mere four page highlight reel.

Despite efforts to honor both characters here, this fight remains one of the most contested and debated on internet message boards, 'Net-wide.Those that favour the Hulk's ability to combat the strength of the Superman press the argument that Hulk's anger management issues would have financed victory.I tend to think the Hulk's capacity for strength is too often over estimated, confusing his actual strength with his extrapolated potential for strength.

Perhaps what lets this fight down so much is it's potential. Not only is this a pairing I'd love to see in an entire issue, but they are two characters that could arguably sustain an entire mini-series.
With an emphasis on story telling, this could have been a very compelling story of two characters not quite human, but often humane.

The depth afforded to a character like Hulk certainly outshines the potential of the often two-dimensional encounters between Superman and DC's out-of-control powerhouse, Solomon Grundy.

This is definitely a fight that deserves to be revisited in the future, but until differences between the powers at Marvel and DC can be settled, you'll have to swallow this ruling: Superman is the strongest one there is.

The Fight: 3.5 The Issue: 4

NEXT: Punching. Crunching. Exploding. Don't call your mum or your doctor, just pick up the phone and call - NEXTWAVE!


truthseeker said...

For all comments think of this
As regards the hulks power I did some research. Marvel comics have truly underestimated his full potential. I know are many of you who are die-hard fans of superman or Thor. And If Superman was a pink bunny in some people’s eyes he would still be top notch. Please read this link. And as for Sentry he has the Power of a 1000 hell lets give him the power of a 90000000 exploding stars. See the link below on Gamma explosions. One of the links are from NASA. Recall also the hulk can regenerate to the point of from having his skin and most of his muscle tissue torn away. ( basically close to death read issue incredible hulk 401, and incredible Hulk vol.1 #340, Incredible Hulk vol.1 # 455

Please do not comment on super boy prime dipping into the sun until you read the several links below on Hulk true Potential. Shame on marvel for not bringing this out to the full. Please all you who have read the links below Please tell marvel do some research on the hulks true abilities. Also the madder he gets the stronger hulk gets. Well WWh did not even come close to his true potential.

Oh and one of the links said this “The amount of energy released from a gamma-ray burst boggles the imagination. Exploding with the power of ten million billion suns, only collisions between objects like super-dense neutron stars and black holes have enough energy potential to create such a cataclysmic event. But no one is sure what causes a gamma-ray burst; the motive remains a mystery”

and see

and see
Well one may say that is a Gamma burst at a cosmic level. But remember this our sun has many nuclear explosion on it’s surface. Those explosions though much stronger than a nuclear bomb are very similar in subatomic structure. Now a Gamma explosion is much more powerful than a Nuclear explosion. And a gamma ray burst is way,way more powerful than the sun. Case in point Superman is powered by the sun, and the hulk gets stronger of gamma radiation.
Now with everything said and done forget Thor, Superman, Sentry. Just Put hulk in a cage with Iron Man. I actually don’t like him he remind me too much of crooked politicians. The people I think can beat the true hulks powers as I described above are Thanos, Galactus of course hulk.

Overdrive Games said...

The Hulk, like many Marvel power houses, would only win if Superman's no-kill policy let him down. Hulk is capable of ripping Superman in half. Superman's powers emit a shield around his body made of a sort of solar energy that protects against impact. A tear is not an impact, and Hulk would rage rage rage until he was able to grab Superman for a fraction of a second. This is just like the Goku VS Superman argument. The guys who made that video were just providing material to be argued over.

Joseph Gusman said...

I disagree ,overdrive, the hulks agility on fighting is way faster than superman(hard to believe) but is true he can react faster and act faster than superman which means his weight does not matter and superman cant just fly away from the hulk. even though he can fly faster than the hulk superman still cant do a full suprize attack on the hulk because once hulk notices he is able to move very fast surprisingly to stop the attack. also hulk absorbs Gama radiation just like superman with the sun. don't base this of the new hulk. The very old hulk was a very bad and unstoppable force and in the comics he was the very few standing heros against Thanos when he had the infinity guantlets. also even against Apocalypse in one of the x-men comics and compared to darkside, darkside is nothing compared to Thanos and guess what Thanos did not need a boom or a army to destroy a world he could aim with his figure and shoot.

Joseph Gusman said...

boom sory typed wrong a bome