Wednesday, December 05, 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 2 (Average)
Intelligence: Catwoman 3 (Straight A)
Speed: Draw 3 (Athlete)
Stamina: Catwoman 4 (Athlete)
Agility: Tigra 5 (Cat-Like)
Fighting Ability: Catwoman 4 (Trained Fighter)
Energy Powers: Draw 1 (None)

The Hook...
As is typical of the Infinite Wars; we're servicing several different objectives when indulging in the age-old art of fantasy fights. Sure, we get to have some speculative fun, and we get to do something that's a little bit different, without being radically removed from our usual regime. That said, at the spine of it all is a partial intention to reflect on characters that have had significant roles in 2007.

It was mere months ago that Tigra made headlines for, quite possibly, the first time in the character's existence. It was as a victim. And to questionable benefit for Marvel/Bendis' latest silly playtoy; would-be supervillain kingpin, The Hood; that Tigra was demoralized and physically destroyed [in a much less disappointing way than the now late, and apparently NO LONGER peacefully reformed, Phillip Masters -- if I do say so myself - Mastermind Mike]

Catwoman, as we all know, has had plenty of criminal underworld problems of her own, albeit with much more resonating results. She fell pregnant, took a year off, and ultimately gave up a child that would live under constant threat if she were to keep it. I think there may have been a faked death in there too, although, I don't know how that factors into Gotham Underground, Batman & The Outsiders, OR Salvation Run. Suffice to say, at the very least, no one can argue Catwoman's status in Season 07/08!

You might say the theme here is of sexually empowered female superheroes. Maybe it's of characters who've repeatedly played the double agent in recent times of Civil Wars, Amazonian Attacks, and societal unions between villains.
Ultimately, this is two characters on roughly equal terms of a feline nature, and in the tradition of DC vs Marvel, that's all we need.

The Math: Catwoman (Champion Class) Ranking: Catwoman (#27)

The Battle...
Having done this dance before [vs Elektra] and suffered the bruises of a total mismatch; Catwoman doesn't stop to resist, question, or even contemplate the nature of this battle. In the grimey shadow of an alley, Catwoman descends upon her scantily clad counterpart.

CATWOMAN prepares to unleash her skills on upstart rookie super villains - TRIPLE THREAT; in the pages of CATWOMAN #63!The element of surprise proves less prominent that it seems as Tigra, having sensed the Catwoman in the shadows with her keen animal senses, rolls through the attack to toss her opponent into the adjacent brick wall.

Catwoman is on her feet fast, as the two circle in the darkness like alley cats sizing each other up. Acrobatics are abandoned as these two street level vixens collide in an exchange of fists, kicks, and unforgiving claw swipes.

Relatively evenly matched, the two leap backward, putting distance between them while they both attempt to restrategize. With Catwoman being perhaps the slightly more skilled of the two, she easily evades the more primal brutality of Tigra's attempt to press her agility and strength.

Playing for keeps; Catwoman reaches for the whip with absolutely none of the irony you might expect. With the fate of a world on the line, Catwoman lashes as the readily exposed flesh of Tigra, slicing her into submission. With her opponent on the ropes, Catwoman delivers a title winning knock-out blow.

Leaving her opponent bloodied and hanging by the whip from a fire escape; Catwoman walks away with a smirk; "Honey, don't you know fur is murder?"

The Hammer...
For me, one of my favourite elements of the Catwoman character is without a doubt her sly wit and radiant, oft-times cheeky, confidence. As a writing exercise I chose to respond to recent developments by playing the scene much harsher, and to the point. Something I personally regard as a plausible, street level scrap between two seasoned urban fighters.

Tigra's choice of attire which amounts to less than a typical bikini is hard to go past, especially against today's utilitarian Catwoman. I don't know if the furr gag is quite as sophisticated as Catwoman should be, but it was an easy gag, and I'm going to cop-out and blame it on trying to bang this out past deadline.

I'm trying to look at more balanced combat, and while I give the fight to Catwoman, I think it's much more evenly matched than her pseudo-canonical throwdown with uber assassin, Elektra. Thief somehow doesn't quite measure up, no matter the medieval association.

Agree, disagree, or think I've overlooked something obvious in my haste? Be sure to drop a comment and let us all know how you would've done it, or if there might have been a better opponent for either, or!
WINNER: Catwoman

2 versus 0


Alex said...

You are absolutely, 100% wrong about the outcome of this fight. You either don't know things I do about Tigra or have completely overlooked the obvious in your haste. Tigra, in Marvel Chillers and her other 70's appearences, was kickass. She only was different from then on either by being watered down or by the Hood thing. And about the Hood thing in New Avengers # 35...Bendis was doing that for harming Tigra whom he dislikes for unfair reasons. He completely ignored her power level in order for the Hood to trash her for the sole purpose of satisfying his injustice-like contempt for her, when, realistically, she woulda torn him to bits in seconds and could have/should have in NA 35by all means. You either (A don't know Jack about Tigra like I do, or B) are just ignoring all this b/c you like Selina better. My God, people like you get me mad. So irritating, so unable to realize the truth like I am. Man. Sometimes I think I'm the only one who knows these things.

Mike Haseloff said...

@alex: Ahoy! Great to hear from you!

I can definitely appreciate where you're coming from. Lord knows I have my favourites, and through this site I get to focus on them more than is probably fair, but I digress...

What you've failed to take into account is that these aren't exactly efforts to summarize characters in their best light. Each fantasy match-up was designed around an element of review of recent events in 2007.
In that respect, you yourself actually acknowledge that Tigra hasn't been looking so hot lately. So, while the character may have enjoyed better results through the seventies, Tigra is currently canonized as a hit-and-miss street level character. Based on your response, I imagine in that respect, you believe the match-up accurately reflected Tigra's current stature within the Marvel Universe.
Likewise, your points focus in on a very specific point of Marvel history. The character, at best, is known for fluctuations in power, and we even see that precedent in 1981's Avengers #214, long before Bendis allegedly cast his wrathful sights on the character.

It's always great to see fans championing their favourites (and hating on Bendis), but in this case, you've overlooked the defining factor of context.
In this case the "jack" you need to know is the contemporary landscape.


Alex said...

Uh, yeah, but the only reason Tigra's known for "fluctiations in power" as you put it, is that she in Avengers # 214 was intentionally written that way by Jim Shooter(Jerk Shitter, if you ask me)to tear her down from the A lister status she was on her way to in the seventies because he's an inredeemable douchebag. That, and how anything else about that was done by similar douche writers, and the fact that Tigra's known for fluctuations in power is the own fault of the fans who know her for that for their own ignorance in either forgetting her true self of the seventies or not knowing it, so that fact, that they don't know it, but I do, makes it so the "jack" you need to know is that the only reason for the "cotemporary landscape" or present way things are, put another way, is for deliberately watering down and out of character stuff that many people think to be true, when in reality, it's far from the truth, and if they don't know it, and Tigra, like I do, that is their problem. All this, plus the "contemporary landscape" or present case, as you put it, is hated by many fans in terms of comics in some areas, such as the abysmal OMD crap of poor SPider-Man losing MJ. All this said, and the fact I know of Tigra like few others do and that's the only reason for the present knowledge of her so called power fluctuations(and like I said, this was done by jerkass writers who wanted to tear her down from the cool, awesome, powerful character she was in the beginning so she couldn't continue to be kickass)and it's plain to see why the fact she's known for this by those who are ignorant of her true self and have only read watered down versions should not change that a fully, well used Tigra is kickass, and so, like I said, it's their problem, and for having the temerity to tell me the things she's known for because people don't know her right, I oughta sue you. Just kidding. please take these facts into consideration. Cheers.

Alex said...

And as this might show you, I'm gonna be stickin' to my guns here. Nuff said.

Mike Haseloff said...

More power to you for sticking to your guns. Narcissim and the mythic lost secrets known only to you, the chosen one, aren't exactly much of an argument, but whatever helps you sleep at night.

For every fan feeling discontent over the handling of a character, there's another enjoying it; or in the case of Tigra, not really interested either way. However, that's pretty irrelvant to the Infinite Wars Fantasy Fights.

Aware of the past as I am, I can appreciate your enthusiasm, even if I don't have a lot of time for an A-list Tigra myself.
Arguments like yours probably do very little to change minds of people who matter, because, frankly, you're coming off the Single-White-Female side of possessive.

I'm sure other Tigra fans will be glad to see you've championed the cause, but in the case of the Fantasy Fights, stick to your guns though you may, you cannot win here.
As a reflection of the contemporary landscape, your response is confirmation of our accuracy. Like it or not, folks like Shooter or Bendis have the majority share right now, and in their position, I'm not sure I'd be compelled to do especially different.

Maybe you'd like to create a blog of your own to better display everything you love about Tigra!
You could even draft Tigra into a Fantasy Team sponsored by said blog!