Saturday, December 29, 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 3 (Athlete)
Intelligence: Batman 5 (Professor)
Speed: Daredevil 4 (Olympian)
Stamina: Draw 5 (Marathon Man)
Agility: Draw 4 (Gymnast)
Fighting Ability: Draw 5 (Martial Artist)
Energy Powers: Batman 4 (Arsenal)

The Hook...
The Kryptonite gloves are on when FRANK MILLER writes and draws BATMAN: As seen in DARK KNIGHT STRIKES AGAIN #1!There's no sales grabbing event that brings these two together. No brilliant resonance that makes their confrontation poignant and retroactively obvious.
Sure, they aren't worlds apart. They were both inspired to fight crime by parental death; they both share qualities with bats (persona, sonar); and they've both been touched and shaped by Frank Miller.

They're two incredibly intriguing characters, each well known their noir predicaments, endless wars against crime, and their many failures as much as any of their triumphs. They both have a wide cast of extravagant crooks and gangsters who would like nothing more than to see their bitter defeat, and plenty of folks who continue to try to make just that happen.

At a convention panel, Brian Bendis famously shared his discussions with then DC-exclusive writer, Ed Brubaker, regarding ideas for a Batman/Daredevil inter-company crossover. Though conceptually nothing out of the ordinary, inter-company politics dictate that DC is reluctant to do business with Joe Quesada's Marvel, and given recent events surrounding Spider-man, they probably aren't the only ones!

The Math: Batman Ranking: Batman (#2)

The Battle...
Wow. Well, gee, where do you even start in a situation like this?
In the past I've rationalized any encounter between these two as one of those oh-so unfortunate scenarios where the villains interject before the fight gets serious, and Batman and Daredevil realize they have to stop Kingpin and Black Mask before the villains of Gotham and New York take over.

Like previous entries in the Fantasy Fights; it's a very familiar urban setting for these two, making for a fairly neutral and imaginable situation.

There are a lot of innate possibilities that allow one to evade the other, turning stealth against their opponent. The man without fear is presumably not going to be intimidated by the Batman, but tactical diversions and theatrics are in the favour of the Dark Knight, whose personal arsenal readily accounts for most of what Daredevil can throw at him.

I think a bit of cat and mouse is par for the course, and it's Daredevil who will inevitably take it close quarters when neither character's distanced combat strikes a winning blow. It's here that Batman gets a first hand taste of Daredevil's martial arts abilities, which is going to leave a sting, maybe even draw blood.

This isn't DD's first dance. He's going to begin to clue-in to the fact that Batman is gathering a lot of information about how Daredevil fights, and his evasive maneuvers complimented by a keen radar are going to be noted, even if not fully understood.

A bag of rosin is all BULLSEYE needs to put DAREDEVIL in DAREDEVIL #132!Some breaking, rooftop/alleyway battling would no doubt follow, but as Batman comes to terms with Daredevil's style and abilities, he's going to start bringing out the toys. Having no doubt already burned through old favourites like the batarang and grappling gun, we start to look at broader defenses.
If Batman, and I'm totally serious about this, should go for something like mace, or any other weapon that will specifically reveal that DD is blind, sonar might enter the situation. Any kind of blanketing sound attack is going to be a major offensive, and a fairly logical staple of Batman's carry-on infantry.

From there, the battle is easily won.

The Hammer...
I'm sure someone out there is going to disagree with this, so as always, feel encouraged to drop your discourse in the comments below. The Fantasy Fights are only here because you, the readers, demanded it!

As much fun as a straightout fight between these two would be, I think one becomes so accustomed to Daredevil's solitary movements, that it almost doesn't make sense. That is, Captain America made a far more logical character to represent Marvel, not only in terms of stature [necessary for their role in the story], but also as a character who readily involves himself in superhero/cosmic events that are traditionally above his level. He's a card-carrying Avenger, and that kind of adaptive quality is part of the job description.

As much as I don't like seeing Batman in those scenarios, there's that same level of familiarity when it comes to Batman and other tri-colour scenarios, which is balanced well by the presence of a Cap-style opponent.

It's obviously the far more interesting prospect to see Batman and Daredevil meet on some sort of imaginary terms that allow them to interact without the interruption of cosmic level events. A recent example of how that juxtaposition can be unwelcome was Superboy-Prime's abstract involvement in the resurrection (by retcon) of Jason Todd.

In the past we've talked about another DC/Marvel crossover in terms more relevant to the current business model fo the internal event. That is to say, the option of a core mini-series, while other series provide room for more detailed story telling. In this case, that would require DC/Marvel mini-series in the vein of Green Lantern/Silver Surfer, allowing for greater story. Story was the key element missing from the '96 mini-series, which struggled to fit exposition and fights into a meager four issues.

A previous concept looked a little bit like this:

" Unsuccessful in his attempt to use the law to shut down a prostitution ring, Daredevil begins an investigation that leads him to Gotham City, where the Batman is dealing with a flock of dangerous escapees from Arkham Asylum.
Together, the two uncover a plot by the Kingpin of crime to organize the Gotham rogues with his own New York muscle, in a play to dominate both cities.

Suffice to say, this is hardly the discovery of the ages, but the simplicity is key to any successful merging of the two characters. As a spin-off mini, a series like this has the luxury of foregoing elaboration on the origins of the circumstances, instead working on the assumption of a shared universe.

From there it's hardly a stretch to imagine a slew of characters like; Tombstone, Jester, Joker, Two-Face, Jigsaw, The Hood, Red Hood, Bullseye, Shocker, Hammerhead, Owl, Penguin, Scarecrow, Scarecrow, Killer Croc, Catwoman, and a whole mess of others.

And now; stay tuned as we gear up for the final Fantasy Fight for 2007!
Remember, you've got mere hours to rally your forces to represent in the Infinite Wars poll [located in the menu; at the top of the page] and decide the winner of the final battle. Who's representing? Let's just say any result is acceptable!

WINNER: Batman
7 versus 7


buzzlefett said...

I thought Batman was going to go against Spider-Man? That is a fight I would much rather see!

Mike Haseloff said...

Happy New Year, buzzlefett!

While our 2007 DC/Marvel Fantasy Fights were undoubtedly an exercise in interesting battles, they were also built on reflecting certain resonances from the year that was.

Though it was a shame to omit Spider-man, it was my feeling that the fifteen fights selected were not only interesting, but also carried greater weight in "the hook".

Incidentally, the very first entry to feature Fantasy Fights was the December Punch-Up, where you will find a quick fix of Batman fighting Spider-man!

As illustrated, this is a fight that has happened, so in the interest of diversity, we at least tried to offer some battles a little less common.

Even so, Batman/Spider-man is duly noted, and there'll be plenty more Fantasy Fights in 2008, so stay tuned!

buzzlefett said...

I have some other neat fantasy fights to consider...

The Flash vs Thor

Elektra vs Black Canary

Solomon Grundy vs Juggernaut

Silver Surfer vs Firestorm

Gladiator vs Superman

Longshot vs Mr. Miracle (for fun!)

and I can't tell how much of a fair fight this is...

The Spectre vs Dr. Strange

(The Spectre once destroyed most magic in the DC universe but Dr. Strange is said to be as powerful as the gods he invokes. He also has the ability to absorb others powers and "when taking the powers of omnipotent entities, he can absorb their mind and assume their duties and roles in the dimension in which they exist")

Mike Haseloff said...

Yo! I'll keep those in mind!
Don't know when Fantasy Fights are going to factor into things. I'm floundering a bit at the moment, but once we get back on track, I'll try to come back to these.