Saturday, December 15, 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: Wonder Woman 4 (Tactician)
Speed: Ms. Marvel 4 (Olympian)
Stamina: Draw 5 (Marathon Man)
Agility: Draw 2 (Average)
Fighting Ability: Wonder Woman 6 (Warrior)
Energy Powers: Draw 1 (None)

The Hook...
There are definitely comparable examples for Marvel, but I think when you approach a scenario such as this, there are three names that demand representation. They are arguably the lynch pins upon which an entire universe is built, and at least two of this trinity have endured as broad cultural icons.

Wonder Woman hasn't fared the years quite as well as her iconic counterparts, (Batman and Superman), and it was largely this fact that led to her fan-voted defeat in the '96 DC/Marvel crossover, when she was pitted against inferior opponent, but immensly popular X-Man, Storm.
In the decade that followed it was the steady flatline that Wonder Woman has been most recognised by. The occasional trough and peak was reached through events such as the recently maligned Amazons Attack, and a headlining high point with Infinite Crisis, which set the character up to confront moral issues.

On the flipside; Ms. Marvel spent the last ten years earning a credbility that has seen the character front-lining A-list projects such as the newly launched Mighty Avengers, along with a growing following in her solo title.
One of many to ride the resurgance of popular 1970's characters; Ms. Marvel received a boost in New Avengers, before enjoying great success as a result of the division created by Civil War, which allowed her to become one of the faces of the pro-registration Avengers, along with A-lister, Iron Man.

Both represent incredibly powerful female icons within their respective universes, and perhaps even reflect a double helix as Wonder Woman teeters on the brink of a decline, while Ms. Marvel continues to prosper under a conceited support network put forward by Marvel's brightest talents.

The Math: Wonder Woman Ranking: Wonder Woman (#60)

The Battle...
Landing outside the city, the two super women observe the barren landscape that will be their battleground. Ms. Marvel attempts to open a dialogue with her opponent, following one of many prerehearsed procedures developed in conjunction with SHIELD and the Registered Superhero Initiative.

Though a proficient ambassador in her own right, Wonder Woman is all too aware of the stakes they have each entered into. With the fate of her world hanging in the balance once more, the warrior Amazon has little time for words.

Ms. Marvel, having taken a hovering stance above the battlefield, soon finds herself familiar with Wonder Woman's own means of airborne propulsion, as she jets toward the Avenger with staggering speed. Ms. Marvel attempts an offensive-defensive with energy blasts, but the star-spangled Amazon is able to brush them off, colliding with her objective in a spearing mid-air tackle.

Wonder Woman follows the gut wrenching collision with an axe handle blow to the back that sends Ms. Marvel hurtling earthbound, to a tumbling landing.
Marvel rolls through it to spring back to her feet, while Wonder Woman makes a voluntary landing that cracks and shakes the ground beneath her.

Ms. Marvel makes a flying charge of her own, skating just above the ground, to come to a grappling smash with Wonder Woman. The pair lock up like Grecco-Roman warrior gods, Wonder Woman again finding the edge with a stiff headbutt that breaks the lock. She goes for her sword next, but Ms. Marvel blasts it from her hand as it rises above shoulder height in practical menace.

Unphased, WW swings wildly with a closed fist, slapping it across Ms. Marvel's face to send her tumbling to the dirt once again. The Amazon descends on her opponent, wrapping her super powerful hands tight around Marvel's throat.

As her arms and neck bulge with tension, Wonder Woman is able to whisper a faint apology to her "sister", justifying her actions as required. As life seems to leave Carol Danvers through her vacant expression, the declaration of war snaps her back to reality, prompting a swift knee to the Amazon's groin, allowing her the break needed to toss her opponent away.

Seeing a means of victory, Danvers sucks air into her lungs whilst charging toward WW's sword. The Justice Leaguer shows great endurance, speeding in at the last moment to snatch her sword from the greedy clutches of her opponent.
As Ms. Marvel's mouth gapes in shock, WW turns the blade on it's handle, stabbing it at speed into the flesh of Ms. Marvel's thigh.

The Avenger drops defeated as blood gushes from the leg wound.
Wonder Woman, victorious, shows compassion for her, revealing the nature of the cut to be superficial. With that, she uses her own cape to suture the gash until it can be treated, should Ms. Marvel's universe survive that long.

The Hammer...
While it certainly has the potential to read that way, this is a little less than a contrived exercise in fan-fiction. This is an oft requested extension of what the Infinite Wars are, and while the fifteen rounds of DC/Marvel mayhem were cast ahead of time, no efforts were made to prepare for our descriptive debates.

WONDER WOMAN puts an end to BATMAN's dictatorship in a world that might have been: As seen in the pages of SUPERMAN/BATMAN #15!Wonder Woman was a popular subject of discussion earlier in the year, seeing a great deal of analysis and debate directed toward WW's nature as a warrior superhero [Wander Woman]. It's with no subtlty at all that I call upon my preferred interpretation of the character, highlighting what I believe is the kind of warrior force Wonder Woman could be characterized to exert under the right circumstances.

We've seen precedent for this kind of action in Superman/Batman, where an altered timeline gave a parallel example of Wonder Woman fighting for the existence of a reality. Granted, this fight is more about an idealistic effort to restore what should have been, but I think the will is well described.

Likewise, we've referenced in the past books such as Brian Azzarello's Superman, and even the fan-favourite DC: The New Frontier, both of which depict Wonder Woman as a sword wielding warrior willing to go to great lengths for the right cause. The latter example is particularly effective, characterizing Wonder Woman's efforts in Vietnam during late 1940's conflict in Indo-China as thoroughly uncomprising. She liberates a prisoner camp of women who have been tortured and abused, sparing no captor's life.

It should be no secret that it's my opinion, even if she isn't butchering the guilty, Wonder Woman should readily carry her sword for the potential of lethal force. As much of that characterization depends on the delicate balance that maintains Wonder Woman's status as a hero; I make careful effort to depict her struggle (albeit, without dialogue) as intellectually conflicted, and ultimately merciful.

It's Wonder Woman's undeniable good nature that necessitates a conclusion that does not end in Ms. Marvel's death, because no matter how weasly she may have been depicted in elements of Civil War, the character is not evil. And she certainly wouldn't evoke that kind of evil in the context of this battle.

I suppose I should add there's definitely a self-conscious layer when entering into something like this, even if it's a naive sense of it. Something like the recent Tigra incident [New Avengers #35], was interpreted in a very wide range of ways, with varying degrees of reason. Although, in my opinion, both that, and this scenario, fall under the 'pull no punches' rule.

There's always a niggling worry that there's a blindspot that's been overlooked, but for me as a fan of fiction, and as someone who accepts violence in superhero fiction; it strikes me as far more obtuse to expect a story to seriously depict females in a combative environment without the battle scars of their male counterparts. Characterization always has to hold stock as well, and I hope that is noted in what's proposed here, with the 'talk it out' option put forward as a conceit relevent to [Ms. Marvel]'s character, (and some would say, females in general - razz!).

I would hope this kind of even-handed approach to the broad acceptance of violence would not be offensive, but when agenda is involved, sometimes things have a way of serving the argument irrespective of depth. We've probably seen the flipside of this in response to Gail Simone's supposed agenda of female-superiority.

Agree, disagree, or have a different take on it? As is the regular closing statement for the Fantasy Fights; this is the section of the Infinite Wars that is closest to you, the readers! Make your feelings heard, and don't forget to predict the final outcome by scrolling back up to vote in the poll (top-right of menu)!
In a war of only fifteen rounds, it's three more for the DC win!
5 versus 2

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