Monday, December 03, 2007

By popular demand, the Infinite Wars are about to go where they've never been before! After two years of comprehensive canonical fight fact coverage, we're delving into the fictional world of fantasy fights, because you demanded it!

In the spirit of the immensly popular '96 DC/Marvel crossover event, we're pitting fifteen of each company's most relevant characters to 2007 against one and other! Stay tuned as we take a look at the imagine struggles of the superhero stars that have propelled the Infinite Wars across two full years of fisticuffs!

Strength: Hercules 6 (Invincible)
Intelligence: Captain Marvel Jr 3 (Straight A)
Speed: Draw 3 (Athlete)
Stamina: Draw 5 (Marathon Man)
Agility: Draw 2 (Average)
Fighting Ability: Hercules 6 (Warrior)
Energy Powers: Captain Marvel Jr 3 (Explosives)

The Hook...
If we learnt nothing from the voted upon battles of the original DC vs Marvel crossover; it's that every good fight needs some kind of hook.
Superboy/Spider-man was the clash of the clones; Aquaman/Namor was the attack of the aquatic kings; Flash/Quicksilver the race of the speedsters.

In 1996 we saw the theme of gods and god-powered heroes when Captain Marvel met Thor [Marvel versus DC #2] in the battle of the living lightning rods. I suppose it's by suitable design that 2007 serves up their supposed second-tier successors in Captain Marvel Junior, and the Greek demi-god, Hercules.

If you haven't been reading Trials of Shazam, you won't know that Cap Jr has been battling the gods that make up the SHAZAM acronym in an effort to earn each of their powers. These trials have been decreed by the original Captain Marvel, who has since assumed the role formerly held by the Wizard Shazam.

Hercules has been making headlines as one of the super-powered sympathisers of the Hulk, who returned from space to wage war on the heroes that betrayed him, shot him into deep space, and seemingly destroyed the planet he came to call home. Herc will soon inheret the Hulk title as his own, while the character diverges into a series of alternate versions.

The Math: Draw (Meta Class) Rankings: Hercules (#256)

The Battle...
Forced to fight for the fate of their universe by the intergalactic will of the Infinite Wars readers; Hercules is no doubt more delighted by the prospect of combat than most other unwilling participants.

Captain Marvel flutters from the sky to meet the earthbound hero who puts the H in Shazam. No doubt it would be Hercules who is first to make an offensive play, calling upon the strength that made him famous to toss huge chunks of Earth at the Junior Marvel.

Possessing only a fraction of his Shazam strengths, as per developments in the Trials of Shazam series; the wisdom of Solomon informs Marvel Jr that in the absence of his super-strength, intelligence will be his key to beating Hercules.

The Greek hero no doubt continues to hurl rock and bashful insult as he demands Junior either surrender, or stand and face him like a man to get it over with.
Young Freddy Freeman shows signs of inexperience and intimidation; pressured into entering a physical confrontation despite being unable to properly utilize his wisdom to devise a strategy.

Hercules would no doubt prove to be the controlling factor in the fight, swatting his younger opponent over and over with the pure strength of a demi-god.
Given airborne moments of reprieve, Marvel Jr is finally able to concoct a plan. Claiming his god-given powers will result in a never ending battle that could threaten both of their worlds; Marvel Jr challenges Hercules to a close-quarters exchange of Grecco-Roman wrestling.

HERCULES was actually struck down by the lightning controlled by the CLONE-THOR, in the pages of CIVIL WAR #3!Too proud and culturally intrigued by the prospect to refuse, Hercules finds himself the victim of a dirty ruse. All but assured victory, Hercules locks up with his opponent, only to suffer the infamous sting of the lightning ambush.
The pure bolt of magic lightning proves sufficient to put Hercules to rest.

The hammer...
Being that I haven't read Trials of Shazam, I'm a little unclear on the specifics of Captain Marvel Jr's current abilities. I am, however, given the impression by what I do know, that the lightning bolt is still a factor in his reduced form.

I have to admit to some chagrin regarding the "lightning ambush."
Seen several times already on the Infinite Wars [Legends #1; Superman #216; 52 #45], I can't help but feel it has become an all too common part of the Shazam-powered arsenal. A deus ex machina to be commanded against most powerful foes, even outside the likes of Superman.

I like the idea of repeated changes taking a toll on a Marvel, particularly one such as Cap Jr who is young, and in his current state, under powered. It should be a trump card of sorts, used occasionally. Of course, with your universe on the line and an opponent as formidable as Hercules, I think that would constitute just such an occasion, even under my own rules of reduced usage.

Have a different opinion? Why not drop a comment and let us know how you think this, and the battles yet to come, might go down!
Winner: Captain Marvel Jr

1 versus 0

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