Sunday, December 23, 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: Draw 6 (Invincible)
Intelligence: Draw 4 (Tactician)
Speed: Black Adam 5 (Super Speed)
Stamina: Draw 6 (Generator)
Agility: Black Adam 3 (Acrobat)
Fighting Ability: Black Adam 7 (Born Fighter)
Energy Powers: Black Adam 3 (Explosives)

The Hook...
In 2007 there were two characters who were very, very angry.
They say you won't like them when they're angry, but even so, they were responsible for two major selling events dubbed World Wars in their respective universes.

One was World War III, which saw a grief stricken Black Adam devolve to a maniacal killing machine: the opening shots saw the deaths of millions [52 #45].
Unable to strip him of his powers literally; the new keeper of the Shazam totem, Captain Marvel, was instead able to switch the magic word out from under his black sheep counterpart, rendering him powerless upon his final change.

BLACK ADAM goes in search of AZRAEUZ - a search that will end with the deaths of millions, as seen in: 52 #45!World War Hulk promised far more catastrophic results, but ultimately simmered to a battle with few casualties, making an ironic footnote for a grief strick Hulk's return to his home planet. Much like Adam, Hulk too was ultimately undermined by his human alter-ego, reverting after a lengthy battle, and the reveal of a betrayal far closer than his human conspirators.

By now Adam has found his new word ("sorry"), but on the otherside, Bruce Banner has been taken into SHIELD custody, leaving us to await the emergence of an all-new, all-different red Hulk who is, as far as we know, someone entirely different. Because of this, we're going to break convention and represent the Banner Hulk in WWH condition.

The Math: Black Adam Ranking: Hulk (#6)

The Battle...
This is probably the hardest battle to draw the lines on.
There's undoubtedly a degree in the details to be found, and in this case, I would consider that the "lightning ambush" is off the cards, which probably makes a difference to the outcome. I mean, I don't think a magic bolt of lightning is going to seal the deal for Black Adam, but it's a pretty big weapon!

I prefer Black Adam as a blunt trauma character, who wouldn't really be as inclined to use the trump card strategy the way the Marvel family seems to.
There's also recent events that saw him foiled by resorting to just such a strategy, so I'd like to think now, more than ever, he'd be least likely to resort to it.

So what would he be doing? Those unfamilar with the character would've learnt well from 52 that, when angered, Black Adam isn't one to be messed with. After the death of his adopted family he slaughtered around three million - a nation - to get to his enemy. That statistic is frightening in it's own right, let alone when you compare it to Hulk's "World War", which began with an evacuation of a city.

HULK steps up to DEADPOOL in combat and repartee in DEADPOOL #4!I don't think World War Hulk's follies as a plot concept should really impede on the simple truths here: Hulk is one tough customer, and the madder he gets, within the reason, the stronger he gets. Getting pounded by Black Adam? Bound to make him mad!

There's a simple answer that, much like Hulk/Superman, hands the win to the jade giant out of respect for the branding.

We're supposed to be a bit more technical than that, but honestly, there's a lot to be said for the power of a name, and as much as I like Black Adam, there is that frustrating X-factor in the Hulk's power supply.

From a standing-start I think Black Adam probably measures up the stronger of the two, but as a fight wages on, Hulk's motivations are inherently stronger than Adam's, even on the level of their gladiatorial mentalities. Black Adam isn't exactly the kind of customer who gives up, but he's not as easily invested in a battle as Hulk, whose classic motiff is to just prove he's the strongest one there is!

As a script this is inevitably a checkerboard of textless panels featuring snapshots of blow, after blow, after blow. Under other circumstances it might even prove to be a draw of mutual exhaustian, but this time around, I'm going to give it to Hulk who, despite the conclusion of World War Hulk, is supposed to be coming at things with a strategic perspective, and a mourner's rage.

The Hammer...
Y'know, even now I'm stuck thinking about Black Adam, the Shazam magic, and the lightning ambush; but I'm going to do my best to press on.
As has been the case with all battles, readers should feel encouraged to express their opinions and/or disagreements, because frankly, I might even agree!

For the Infinite Wars, it's been a real shame to not feature more of the two events that inspired this entry. 52: World War III and World War Hulk marked an uncharacteristic opportunity to build events around singular combat concepts, which has traditionally been hampered by sins past. I don't know how successful these stories were, particularly the lengthy and awkward WWH, but they served their purpose.

It's with particular chagrin we continue to omit WWIII from our catalogue, particularly considering it's significance in the saga of Black Adam.
The character's simmering rise has been documented in previous entries [Hawkman #24] and as much as it began years prior to even 2006's 52, it was in 2007 that the character really exploded with the events that preceded WWIII.

It's our hope that in the New Year we can finally bring to you that final chapter of the character's exploits, and perhaps even look at catching up on those other events that have eluded us. The Infinite Wars readership continues to grow, reaching thousands of visitors daily, and if you think you're an online retailer looking to promote your service, sponsoring the unique weekly activities of the Infinite Wars might just be a great place to do it!

And with that little promo done, we should probably wrap this up and get on with the show! Combat waits for no one -- not even Santa Claus! (And if you want to make the nice list, remember to vote in the poll! Just a few days remain!)

6 versus 5


Anonymous said...

Black Adam would destroy Hulk 9 times out of 10. You're forgetting that Black Adam beats Captain Marvel and Captain Marvel beats Superman and Superman beats The Hulk.

Mike Haseloff said...

Oh, I wish I was!

Like I said, I'm inclined to agree that Black Adam has every chance of winning as the Hulk, but it wouldn't be by that measure.

You might be forgetting that Captain Marvel's victories more often than not involve "the lightning ambush" [Superman #216], which was rightly or wrongly ruled out at the beginning.

I think it's fair to say Black Adam still represents a stronger opponent, and an opponent with the capacity to step up his game to terrifying [genocidal] levels, but not without motivation.

If we're using the DC vs Marvel premise of winner-survives, maybe that was a motivation oversight, but like the event proper, I think the grandure is inevitably over some character's heads.

Worth raising the point, but Captain Marvel isn't making, or breaking, this argument!

Anonymous said...

If the Hulk can't fly then how can he even come close to Black Adam?!

Mike Haseloff said...

I would recommend punching.

Strange but true: Flight, a great fighter, does not make.

There are a whole range of responses to the flight issue, most eventuating to no real change in the course of a battle.

Precedent shows flight was a non-issue during the fight between Hulk and Superman.

Presumably both characters could survive any kind of fall. It's going to take more than one drop, or a torpedo plung to stop the Hulk, and/or Black Adam.

As a character, I personally don't think Black Adam is inclined to zip in and out of a fight throwing speedy, flying punches. I also think the Hulk, who is incredibly fast and strong in his own right, is more than capable of swatting or snatching Adam out of the air.

If there's a chase involved, Hulk can use his mighty leap to follow.
If there's atmosphere to be considered, let the record show that Hulk would pound any airborne vessel before it would become an issue.
Hulk's bulk and strength just render flight a non-issue. It might factor into the style of battle, but ultimately be moot to the conclusion.

Happy New Year!

buzzlefett said...

I know that you have listed the Hulk as being slightly more strategically inclined in his thinking since the WWH story line but does that really compare to the wisdom of a God (which is a power that Black Adam has). This wisdom also sometimes gives him advice and guidance in times of need.

Also, Black Adam is considered mainly invulnerable to physical harm. Even if the Hulk's great strength did damage him in some way, the lightning isn't just used for transforming and ambushing, it can also heal Black Adam.

Also, even if the Hulk is fast, Black Adam has the speed of a God (he was going Mach 500 WHILE being drained of speed by the Flash) which is considerably faster than Hulk can even comprehend.

I gotta give this fight to Black Adam. Hulk has no way to combat Black Adam other than pure physical strength and I don't think that has ever worked on Black Adam before. Plus, Hulk doesn't have a way to recover other than running away and Black Adam would never allow that to happen.

Mike Haseloff said...

Well, what can I say? You make some very compelling points. There's a good chance the wrong call was made here!

For me, I think there's at least some defense in the degrees of presentation. I would say upfront, however, that if we're to take a present Hulk for his intelligence, we really have to do the same for Black Adam, and his armada of strengths.

If the above wasn't the case, I would raise the point of variation in depiction.

Depending on your references, the Hulk has at times been seen to have a Wolverine style penchant for healing. Granted, it probably isn't as expansive, but his Hulk durability means his injuries are never as severe.

I imagine some of your points are coming from the place of the recent World War Hulk, as well as Adam's recent exploits through the DC Universe, which have seen him over achieving far beyond anything in his printed past.

The scale of something like World War Hulk can be deceptive, but when you look at the many obstacles faced by the Hulk, his succumbing to injury is really quite a bit more extraordinary than face value.
He's stood up to Black Bolt, Dr. Strange, adamantium ammunition, and sure, ended with some cuts and bruises by the time Sentry shows up.

If you compare that to what Black Adam has faced, you can start to see the debate for durability in a one-on-one context. I don't think we can underestimate how much punishment the Hulk can take, and heal from.

And just to touch on one more point - Black Adam's wisdom (of Zehuti) - I think it's fair to say that Adam is often seen ignoring that aspect of his power. He seems, to me, typically more hard headed, and certainly when he's reaching the power levels you're describing, wisdom is an incredibly low priority.

It's been suggested that there's a distinction between the relationship he has with his Gods, and Captain Marvel's relationship with his.
Recent depictions suggest Marvel has a series of voices in his head, while there's the implication Adam is on his own, capable of calling upon those powers.

I think at the very least these points satisfy an argument, but like I said. I fully acknowledge the strength of a lot of your points, and while I'm not inclined to reverse the decision, hopefully everyone can observe your comments and reach their own conclusions!

Did Marvel really win overall, or were they cheated here? Food for thought!

steveasat said...

There should be a special category for "characters who can fling objects the size of Manhattan into the Sun". And whenever such characters are pitted against characters who cannot fly under their own power in the vacuum of space? The flinger wins every time. And Adam would not think twice about doing it, either, like Superman would. After he got tired of fistfighting Hulk, that would be one sunburned green goliath. And it wouldn't even have to kill him. That's the beauty of depositing your foes in a vast gravity well - they won't be walking home and no one's gonna be able to rescue them 10,000 miles under the surface of a star.

Anonymous said...

You seem to forget that the hulk was created by gamma now what is gamma and before ba can fling the hulk to the sun he would have to get past the hulk power and strength levels madder hulk means stronger heavier hulk that can withstand alot of pain I would say the hulk would punch ba so hard it would kill the gods that powers ba and render him powerless ba level to an extent is limited compared to the hulk can be unlimited so as an example 10000 vs infinity I'll put my money at infinity here