Monday, May 01, 2006

Ha-cha! Another month of battling bedlam and secret wars!
EDIT: Entries are often largely completed in advance, so I thought it best to insert a further apology for on-going delays.
Technical problems have made it difficult to complete April's entries, but it will now likely take further delay before we can charge into May.

I will endeavour to fix the problem as soon as possible, and thank you all for your patience.

As fantastic as April has been, May is absolutely going to knock some socks off without even taking off your shoes!
Before we get to all of that we have a few of the usual things to look through. As always, the ever exciting top five is lurking somewhere below this chunk of text, but before we do that...

You'll notice a slight change in format for the preliminary information of each fight. Just to carry the theme through we've now added "why" and "how." These are indicative of what they imply, usually being writer (why) and artist (how). You'll see a slight twist that better justifies the vagueness, soon enough.

For those who came in late...
If you're only just now stumbling upon our humble little fight club, you might not yet know that Monday's are Marvel versus DC madness, highlighting the tenth anniversary of the mega crossover event.

If you missed the event, the challenge goes out to you to try to tip the winners as they come. Sometimes it's easier said than done, and as we move into the final fights, we find controversy aplenty thanks to the voting system used.
Prior to these final five fights were the battles determined by writers Peter David and Ron Marz, and perhaps their editorial overlords. This was a structure that saw DC get out to an early lead in the first month, but that has since changed.

Marvel has stormed through April to prevent DC picking up a single victory!
Arguably some of these results were quite questionable, but alas, this is history as it was written, and so it must be.
As we look ahead, I leave it to those of you who don't know the outcome to speculate away! Will DC's greatest heroes provide a final burst, or will Marvel run away with it? We'll find out in May!

DC: 3 (Aquaman, Robin, Flash) Marvel: 5 (Thor, Silver Surfer, Elektra, Wolverine, Storm)

The card: Mayhem in May!
As we discussed last month, the arrangement of fights for each month will be ordered like a fight card. The main event will be saved for the last week of the month, but in true Secret Earths style, you can be sure even the openers are must-see battles!

This month is no exception, in fact... I think it may just be the most exciting month we've ever had to look forward to. I teased you in the punch-up opening dialogue, but now the time has come to really dangle the fly infront of the fish.

(May 1st) We kick off with Monday Marvel versus DC action. The beginning of the business end as the true icons step out to deal their destruction. It's a battle of the clones, as Spider-man (Marvel) faces off against nineties icon, Superboy (DC).
(May 5th) This may just be the most exciting opener I've ever alluded to. It's a new dog with new tricks, but this old idea is taking on another, who similarly succeeds another. Yes it's vague, but it's less than a week away, and it's hot!
(May 8th) Though only in the second week, this is perhaps the biggest fight any fanboy could imagine. This is crossover action as the big green Hulk (Marvel) takes on the big blue Superman (DC) in a clash of the titans. The real winner here is the fans!
(May 12th) The introductions continue as we usher in the inclusion of some old dogs with new tricks. Tricks like: Photon manipulation! Punching! Crunching! Guitar smashing! Fleshy bashing! Big, sharp metal bitting! And big purple underpants!
If you haven't guessed it yet, then you're doing something wrong...!
(May 15th) The Marvel/DC main event. Perhaps one of the most controversial battles to occur in a battle between icons. Even after this entry, you won't be satisfied, but you'll be damned pleased you tuned in.
The fight: The Batman (DC) versus Captain America (Marvel). The prize? A universe!
(May 19th) Old feuds die hard, but one wandering warrior is about to learn a valuable lesson from the most unlikely of foes. This mountain of muscle has all the reasons to be looking for payback, but what new philosophies has he learnt, and how will they affect the outcome of this classic clash?
(May 22nd) We recap the events of DC versus Marvel, and put some of the events under the microscope. Believe it or not, this special entry has the potential to completely rock the results, as we declare a winner. DC or Marvel? Marvel or DC?
(May 26th) Finally we round out the month by celebrating the exciting release of X-Men 3: The Last Stand in cinemas. This radical new vision is sure to Xcite, and we're going to celebrate it by taking a look at a classic rivalry. Wolverine faces off against one of his oldest foes, but what about this arena is so interesting? Be here to find out!

So, are you excited yet? If you're not, go get a few cups of coffee and mark your calendar so you don't miss out! This is going to be the most explosive month of Secret Wars on Infinite Earths that ever was, and may ever be!

The top five...
And so we arrive at the moment we all wait for every month.
Don't pretend fanboy. You know you love this part as much as I do, and this month there were one or two surprises down the list.

For the top five, the format has changed slightly. The first number in brackets represents the movement through the ranks, and the second represents how many weeks they have been in the top five. This second number replaces the highest ranking record that was noted previously.

As a gateway for new readers to explore characters of potential interest, we also include the company the character comes from. This also just makes it interesting to note who is doing what in the rivalry scheme.

#1 The Batman (-) (5) (DC Comics)
We've been through it five months previous, so there isn't a lot I can say. From the inception of this blog Batman has reined as number one. In these early months he remains challenged, but as time goes on you have to wonder what the chances of him falling will be.

When it's all said and done, Batman has to be universally recognised as one of the greatest fighting characters in comics. Batman as number one is a reality that, unlike some results, is quite fair.

- Batman versus Superman
- Batman versus Superman
- Batman & Red Hood versus The Society

#2 Daredevil (-) (4) (Marvel Comics)
Daredevil, of course, is the only character challenging Batman right now. With his hands tied currently in the Ed Brubaker/Michael Lark issues of the on-going series, it's questionable whether or not Daredevil will climb. Of course, with enemies swarming around him in prison, and the FBI trying to move him to general population, it's entirely possible we'll get to see DD back in action!

I think we'll see this spot taken soon enough, but ever a favourite, Daredevil will never be out of the picture entirely.

- Daredevil versus Scope
- Daredevil & Elektra versus Bullseye
- Daredevil versus Turk

#3 Zatanna (+1) (3) (DC Comics)
Now here is a bit of a surprise. I've lamented previously that Zatanna is not a character to prominently feature in my interests, but through circumstances we see her climb the ranks anew!

As part of the unique "trenchcoat brigade" adventure in JLU, Zatanna has prolonged her stay at the top. Some of her previous successes may keep her here longer than expected, and as One Year Later ticks on at DC, you have to wonder whether or not this woman of intrigue may stick around a little longer. Certainly one of the characters to benefit most from the many Crisis that have plagued DC of late.

- Justice League (inc. Zatanna) versus Deathstroke
- Zatanna versus Zor
- Justice League (inc. Zatanna) versus The Demons Three

#4 Elektra (+9) (RE) (Marvel Comics)
Another somewhat surprising entry, as Elektra climbs the ranks with a bullet. Moving up nine spots, one has to wonder whether or not the top five could be overwhelmed soon by girl power. Very interesting, and unlikely given the nature of male dominated comics.

As one of the greatest martial artists Marvel comics have seen; it's not at all inappropriate that Elektra hit the top five.
Unfortunately as results are loosely dictated by my collection, it means Elektra's odds of staying here are somewhat slim. Like many other second-tier characters, she just doesn't have the quantity to stay here.

Of course, as the current leader of the Hand, that could easily be turned around.

- Elektra & Daredevil versus Bullseye
- Elektra versus Catwoman

#5 Wolverine (+14) (RE) (Marvel Comics)
Marvel steal the final spot, as that ever gritty Wolverine claws his way back into the top five. This is the first time since month-one that we've seen Wolverine this high, but I don't think anyone's surprised.

I don't think anyone buying Marvel comics could avoid Wolverine if they tried. His presence has grown exponentially over the years, most recently with inclusions in the New Avengers, and now a second on-going series that explores his mysterious origins.

Events relating to both of those recent inclusions, and the Civil War, will probably see Wolverine return to Secret Earths in the very near future.
Despite being squashed due to his over exposure, Wolverine may be the one to challenge Batman for the top spot.

- Wolverine versus The X-Men w/Captain America
- Wolverine versus The Invaders
- Wolverine versus Lobo
- The X-Men (inc. Wolverine) & Juggernaut versus Nimrod

Ones to watch...
The top five has been reshaped by the events of the previous month, but what you don't see is the shift among the lower ranks. So, like last month, it seems fitting that we take a look at some of the names potentially on the rise.

#9 Captain America (-2) (Marvel Comics)
At the forefront of the Civil War, and defecting to Canada in the midst of being hunted by SHIELD - Cap is right in the mix.
Ever the fighting hero; Captain America will no doubt be entering into heavy fistifcuffs as chief opposer to Marvel America's demands for hero registration. Particularly, considering their intent to use excessive force.

#16 Iron Man (-1) (Marvel Comics)
Iron Man sits on the flip side of the coin, opposing his long-time friend, Captain America. As a pro-registration hero, and perhaps as a puppet for the movement, Iron Man may even end up battling many of his former teammates.
This development barely a year after the Avengers: Disassembled storyline is somewhat disappointing, but good news for the character.

#27 Spider-man (new) (Marvel Comics)
Sitting somewhere in the middle; Spider-man only just hit the Secret Earths ranks, but will no doubt be at the conscious forefront of comics fans entering the Civil War. Torn between both side, we can only imagine how Spider-man will fight his way out of this situation.

#56 Magneto (-14) (Marvel Comics)
Also in the fanboy's eye will be Magneto, who makes his third feature-film appearance next month in X-Men 3: The Last Stand. The character, played faithfully by Sir Ian McKellen, has proven to be a lasting fan favourite for the franchise. A month of Magneto may be in the future!

#81 Superman (-22) (DC Comics)
Of course, from the distinguished competition comes an equally exciting feature prospect. In fact, if online chatter is anything to go by, the zoo-going fans may follow director Brian Singer away from the X-Franchise, over to the big S.
In the comics Superman has lost his powers 1 Year Later, but with a feature film hitting the big screen, he's sure to be battling.

The hammer...
Thank you for your continued patience as we try to reassemble normality around here.

With some delays through the month, here's a checklist of entries just incase you missed something. Be sure to check those out, and be here next month for more, because it's gonna be a doozy!

- Green Lantern versus Silver Surfer
- Justice League versus Demons Three
- Elektra versus Catwoman
- Spider-man versus The Tri-Sentinel
- Wolverine versus Lobo
- Red Hood versus Black Mask
- Storm versus Wonder Woman
- Nimrod versus Juggernaut & The X-Men

NEXT: Superboy versus Spider-man!
April Hit Count: 1098 (+270)

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