Monday, December 17, 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: Martian Manhunter 6 (Invincible)
Intelligence: Professor X 5 (Professor)
Speed: Martian Manhunter 4 (Olympian)
Stamina: Martian Manhunter 5 (Marathon Man)
Agility: Martian Manhunter 2 (Average)
Fighting Ability: Martian Manhunter 4 (Trained Fighter)
Energy Powers: Professor X 6 (Mass Destruction)

The Hook...
At first glance this might seem like an odd pairing.
I mean, sure. Most of us will instantly recognise these two as chrome domed telepaths, but keeping in mind these match-ups are supposed to reflect on 2007 in some way, it might seem a little baffling. Might, that is, unless you've been keeping track of the conspiratory forces of the two major comics universes.

In the aftermath of World War III, it seems Martian Manhunter has finally returned to his fifties escapades, delving into those sci-fi secret agent roots.
If you're among the shameful many who haven't been reading Checkmate, you'll have missed out on the extremely fun, covert operations of the Manhunter, but one assumes you'll be seeing more of that in upcoming Batman & The Outsiders.

On the flipside, Professor Xavier has been involving himself in extra-curricula activities away from his school for gifted youngsters, which, he was incidentally kicked out of. Before he fell victim to the Decimation, he was mixing it up with the secret cabal of powers dubbed The Illuminati.

So, as you can see, this alien and mutant meeting isn't so bizarre.

The Math: Martian Manhunter Ranking: Professor X (#175)

The Battle...
Just as battle locales were subject to variation in the original clash of the two universes, so too do we recognise some degree of variety in conditions.

Here, Professor Xavier finds himself chairbound once more, and staring down a busy business district court, bustling with massive crowds of people. The faces of suits moving pointedly to unknown destinations melt into anonymity, as the Professor begins to probe for his Martian opponent.

It is ultimately the Manhunter's telepathic defenses that give him away, hiding him too well amidst the sea of life, so much so to be noticable. Even so, Xavier's detection of the void of telepathic presence proves moot, as a disguised Manhunter reveals himself directly behind the Professor's chair.

SINISTER invades the mansion and neutralises XAVIER: As seen in ULTIMATE X-MEN #49!The Manhunter mournfully apologises as he grips the handles of the Professor's chair, and gradually increases his speed as he pushes the Professor toward a row of stairs.

Just as the Manhunter watches his paralyzed opponent fling down the stairs, he awakens to the deception that has clouded his mind. The concrete and steel modern setting fades away to nothingness, leaving the exposed Manhunter alone in a black void.

Martian Manhunter attempts telepathic recourse, using the astral plane to reach out to seek a weakness in Xavier. Groping around for the Professor's fears and regrets reveals a many dark moment from the X-Men's past. The deaths of countless mutants, the decimation, betrayals, defeats, and perhaps the darkest moment that haunts the Professor -- the day he turned his powers against Magneto without remorse or regret.

Enraged by MAGNETO's actions, XAVIER takes his greatest weapon - his mind: Seen in the now classic X-MEN #25!Plucking the painful memories draws Xavier out into the astral plane, where the two engage in astral fisticuffs representative of their telepathic blows to one and other.

DESPERO probes MARTIAN MANHUNTER with his own telepathy: Seen originally in JLA #115!Despite the Manhunter's success in drawing out Xavier's emotional instabilities, he fails to realise that the gambit left him exposed to Xavier's own probing. With a massive power boost provided by the mind Infinity Gem, Xavier launches his overpowering mental assault, englufing J'onn J'onnz in visions of flames and the death of his species.
It is a scenario Xavier feels all too familiar with, and even as he notes the bitter compromise he feels he has made all too often in recent times; Xavier presses the Martian into submission with the image of becoming engulfed in flames.

Alone in the darkness of the astral plane with a whimpering Manhunter -- Xavier stands victorious.

The Hammer...
I can just imagine the collective groan being expelled by some.
Granted, it's incredibly rote by now to resort to the fire fear, and by now there's probably enough precedent to suggest the Martian Manhunter has overcome such fears, especially fictional telepathic visions of such a fate.

Even so, I think there's a justification in crossover events to represent characters with broad strokes. We saw it to a disheartening degree in some of the "real" battles depicted in the '96 crossover, and while some of those were pressed to the point of mischaracterizing character's abilities, I think this is an example of the kind of stroke fans should accept.

I like the idea of the whole switcheroo situation in terms of suggesting scenarios that might be a little bit too much to cram into a crossover like this. Which, yes, is some bizarre indication of the pseudo-realistic publishing rules I'm putting on these fantasy fights, despite the opportunity to go wild.

In trying to represent events from 2007 and characters who have been heavily involved in those sequences, I think we get a really interesting result here.
It's not the first time the two characters have been paired up. The Amalgam project merged the two as alien leader of the JLX, but even so, I think those added layers drawn from books like Checkmate and Illuminati really go to lengths to merge the commonalities of the characters, that can otherwise be overshadowed by Martian Manhunter's secondary-Superman status.

Feel different? Think things should've played out differently?
Feel encouraged to make contact in the comments section below, where even unregistered posters should feel welcome to register their opinions. The less vocal of you (which appears to be a majority) should also be directed to the top of the page, where there's a bit of a fun poll to vote in. Groovy!

This result brings the merry Marvel mano back to the table, but it's still an upward battle with the DC denizens not only two in front, but only three away from victory! Dun da dun dun!
WINNER: Professor X

5 versus 3

1 comment:

bamminer said...

As an old comic book fan(no longer), I feel like whoever wins the battle of the minds wins the battle. To me, Charles is more impressive! Marvel is a universe of super mind control, having far more mind powers than DC! Plus, Xavier is top 7 in all of Marvel--if not better: this includes the god-like beings(which I don't agree with by the way)! Also, MMH has went planet(Xavier supposedly did that at 13); Xavier goes intergalactic without aid, supposedly. I think Charles is at least 1.5 times better than MMH in this area. That's enough to control him; it's like a BA degree in Physics VS an AAS degree in Physics. Most BA degree graduates would run circles around the latter(tougher assignments and better practice in the "real world"). That's Xavier's advantage over J'onn as far as a mental superhero is concerned. Xavier convinces J'onn that he's on Mars with Human Torch like invaders and they have enclosed him in a fiery circle with more waiting in the air--if he should come out. Xavier is intergalactic in a world of tougher to control people and a specialist, while J'onn is planetary and does more things! I don't see how you can compare the two on a mental battlefield.