Friday, December 07, 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: Sub-Mariner 6 (Invincible)
Intelligence: Draw 4 (Tactician)
Speed: Sub-Mariner 3 (Athlete)
Stamina: Sub-Mariner 5 (Marathon Man)
Agility: Sub-Mariner 3 (Acrobat)
Fighting Ability: Sub-Mariner 6 (Warrior)
Energy Powers: Aquaman 2 (Projectile)

The Hook...
Ten years ago this section might've made for a vaguely amusing Aquaman pun, but in a year that saw the final decline of the character into succeeded mud-mush, there just isn't much point. I'm a little sketchy on the details myself, but at last check, Aquaman's real name is now Orin, and he's been turned into someone/something called the Dweller of the Deep.

Significance to 2007 takes a backseat here, because if I were asked to choose one fight from the original DC vs Marvel to recount, it would be Aquaman/Namor.
Two reasons make this, of all the contested results, the most glaring to myself, and many others. One is the fact that the decision to crown Aquaman over the Sub-Mariner was made without even the unfortunate influence of deranged fan votes; and two is because the Hulk-battling scion of the seven seas was taken out by a whale. A whale. The very thing he is said to be stronger than at the beginning of the cartoon theme...

If you don't know, apparently ol' Aqua-pants found himself turned into this Dweller of the Deep when he emplored the sea gods to grant him the strength to save both the original denizens of Sub-Diego, and the last survivors of Atlantis. Oh, yeah. Apparently during his anti-magic genocidal rampage, the Spectre saw fit to wipe out half of the Atlantean population, leading to this ultimate integration of the two sea-dwelling species.

Meanwhile; over in the other side of the universal divide; the Sub-Mariner has been subverting justice as a member of the Illuminati, and investigating Civil War profiteering schemes with a small army of Atlantean sleeper agents.
When he hasn't been quietly lounging in his throne room; he's been butting heads with Wolverine or Venom; and finally, dispersing the Atlantean populous throughout humanity, whilst forming an alliance with former Super Villain Team-Up partner, Dr. Doom!

Both character has no doubt garnered the suspicions of fellow superhero secret santa participants, with each retreating into their self-contained domains to hatch plans, and generally loom around kinda sinister. Still, even with his crazy man of the sea routine, Aquaman bites, and so does swordy Aqualite, who's since been cancelled.

The Math: Sub-Mariner (Meta Class) Ranking: Sub-Mariner (#16)

SUB-MARINER exercises his superior strength in his original showdown with AQUAMAN; in the pages of MARVEL VERSUS DC #2!The Battle...
As much as we'd all like to see Sub-Mariner torpedo his way through the water to knock Aquadud into the next hemisphere, we have to give Curry-Come-Second some credit.

Through the glut of stories that are presumably as painful as they sound, Aquaman's actually amped himself up to have powers that might actually give the Marvel stud a run for his money.

Alright, for the most part those new powers seem to involve being mysterious, vague, and having occasionally convenient magical powers, but I tend to think these are still, at best, stalling tactics.

When the Sub-Mariner washes into warmer waters, he becomes aware of the apparent shift in his realm. From within the shadowy gloom of the depths, a voice lingers, recounting the tale of the last time the two kings clashed.

Despite inevitable demands for the voice to show itself, the Sub-Mariner is strategically patient in indulging the Dweller of the Deep's vague prophecies of doom and gloom for the aquatic underworld. Able to tolerate no more; Namor makes his move, launching through weed and rock to clutch the garb of the aged Dweller.

NAMOR battles a defensive construct formed by the MIND GEM in the pages of NEW AVENGERS: ILLUMINATI #2!In an echo of their last confrontation; the Dweller summons a horrible sea behemoth to battle the brawn of the Sub-Mariner, Imperius Rex!

Despite being initially overcome by the creature's size and speed, the Sub-Mariner battles with the heart and power of a true king, wrenching freedom from the maw of the fanged beast!

Having fought the behemoth into submission, Namor lets loose the cry of, "Imperius Rex!", before renewing his attack on the grizzled Dweller of the Deep. Having been stripped of his mercy's by the last attack, Namor grapples with his older foe with the intent to tear him limb from limb, but something changes. As he desperately grips Orin by the throat, the Sub-Mariner finds his limbs no longer entirely responsive to his imperial command.

Feeling the full effects of vintage Aquaman, Namor struggles to resist the telepathic influence Orin has over all acquatic creatures. The Dweller drifts slowly away from Namor's reach, while the mutant monarch writhes in space, struggling to come to terms with what's happening to him.

Calling upon his famous will, the Sub-Mariner battles through the haze of Aquaman's mental attack, clutching his garb to deliver a knock-out blow.

NAMOR reclaims the throne after defeating ATTUMA in the now classic, WHAT IF? #41!The Hammer...
Gah! As much as a cakewalk would've satisfied those dark, dirty fanboy urges, the creating mind simply cannot deny what is a battle of great potential! As noted earlier, I'm really not aware of Aquaman's abilities as Orin, Dweller of the Deep, but hopefully an exercise in his classic abilities can be excused of any inaccuracy for it's demand to be explored.

Though the fan vote factor has often been used to discount the results of battles like Lobo/Wolverine and Wonder Woman/Storm; we have to give Peter David some credit for his work on the original Aquaman/Sub-Mariner confrontation.
I mean, sure, the execution might not have been great, but ultimately those fights that weren't voted upon were there to flesh the whole thing out, while respecting the overall vote tally which, as we know, went to Marvel. Which means David had the unadmirable task of writing a battle that couldn't be ignored, but had to go to Aquaman by numbers.

Of course, as inferred, that grace only goes so far as the result, and studied here was the plausible, if minor, effect Aquaman's telepathy could've had. Sure, we also highlight the fact that Sub-Mariner is well known for his hard headed willpower, but in an effort to deliver a more satisfactory than plonking a killer whale on top of a guy who flings Thing and Hulk around for fun, it might've been nice to see.

Agree or disagree? Disappointed not to see the new Aquaman in the fray?
These fantasy fights are for the fans, so why not drop a comment? It might be too late to change the result, but there's always hope of a retraction!
WINNER: Sub-Mariner

2 versus 1


john said...

let's not forget that in times past namor had the same powers over marine life...but marvel choose to discontinue subby's use of them. namor has also been able to break a spell cast upon him by dr. strange. when strange tried to restrain namor by casting magical bonds around his/namor's arms namor chose not to be bond. when he broke free of his bonds the master magician ... fainted. marvel has always been inconsistent in their handling of sub-mariner. from his abilities, strength, shape of his head, etc. they remain inconsistent. namor is just too complex for marvel's writers as a whole and he is too complex for their/marvel's lowest common denominator promotional skills. they just don't know how to get a grasp upon the character nor due they know how to stay true to the character and still make the public find him appealing. marvel really displays a total lack of interest in the character and has for quite some time now. while aquaman gets an upgrade. marvel decreases namor's powers/skills, etc.

john said...

namor chose not to be bond. =
namor chose not to be BOUND.