Saturday, December 01, 2007

The Ballot heard around the world. Some of you filled this out, and doomed STORM to defeat WONDER WOMAN. Damn you. You maniacs. It was Earth.MONTHLY PUNCH-UP #24
(December 2007)

We do a lot of business here at the Infinite Wars.
We deal in all things battle; strange and exotic, bland and obvious. The popular pastime of pretend periodical pestilent percipience, ["fantasy fights" to the alliterately illiterate], was one ultimately overlooked. In it's stead, canvasing the established canon of comics culture, in a way not seen since the unelaborative win/loss stats of the first Marvel Universe collectable card series, took precedence.

Having arguably established ourselves as the leading blogger resource for fight-centric pseudo-sports league battle reviews written by Mike Haseloff; we find ourselves approached with many-a google search seeking fights that have never occurred, and answers to rumors that persist through the uninformed of the internet.

To this day, the tenth anniversary recap of the inter-company crossover mega event, DC versus Marvel/Marvel versus DC, is the most popular entry to be featured in the Infinite Wars. No matter the obscurity of battles like; Iron Man/Venom, X-Men/Lizard, or Bane/Son o' Judomaster; the lure of the unlikely clash of the Marvel and DC powers is just too damned great!

So, where am I going with all this? If you're a regular War Monger, you'll have noticed a decline in regular output. Maybe it's the changing seasons, or the rush of the onset of seasons greetings, but I just haven't been keeping up. In an effort to at least make these shorter posts carry some merit [as opposed to being an excess of self-referencial cop-outs], I thought it might be nice to spend half the month tackling the oft pondered notion of a DC vs Marvel rematch.

Barring unforseen interruptions, every second day will feature a new fantasy crossover battle that follows the formula established by the '96 mini-series.
We'll extend our card to fifteen fights, maintaining the tie breaking odd number, but extending it to feature more of the characters who have been significant throughout the 06/07 season. A connective logic has been applied to each battle, but some of the combinations and featured heroes, may surprise.

To get things warmed up, we again turn to our cumulative Infinite Wars statistics to pit the top five Marvel and DC characters against one and other in mini-combat. Our fantasy battles will not have any statistical baring, and will feature a format more expansive than these teasers.

BATMAN looms over SPIDER-MAN as they struggle to get in sync in SPIDER-MAN/BATMAN!- Batman versus Spider-man
It's the power of forward-thinking contingencys, versus pre-cognitive spidey senses. Arguably the two biggest names in superhero pop culture, they've already met to some degree, in two seperate crossover series.

Spidey has the super powered advantage to bounce around the urban sprawl and evade Batman's attacks, but the dodge will only take him so far. When Batman cuts himself free of Spidey's web, the Dark Knight detective will be able to familiarize himself with Spider-man's movements, and pounce.
Intimidation and analysis are the Batman's keys to victory.
The Pick: Batman (DC)

- Superman versus Wolverine
It's a battle of the unstoppable force and the immovable object.
Well, okay, that's not entirely true. I mean, sure, you might not be able to push Superman around, but Wolverine's a stop-starter at best.

On fair terms we have to assume adamantium is going to give Superman a bit more than a papercut, but that kind of attack only goes so far. Superman's got all the tools to evade and destroy, with heat-vision being the obvious weapon to factor into reducing the healing Wolverine to super-heated slag. Would Superman go that hard? I'd like to think Wolverine would push him just enough.
The Pick: Superman (DC)

IRON MAN finds himself in big trouble at the hands of SUB-MARINER in the NEW AVENGERS: ILLUMINATI special!- Black Adam versus Iron Man
In terms of resources, Iron Man: Director of SHIELD probably has more than enough support and tools to take Black Adam down. That said, we'll self-govern by putting each battle on grounds that have some neutrality -- which ultimately works against Iron Man.

IM's got the strength to go toe-to-toe with the strongest powers in the Marvel Universe, but as we saw in 2007, a motivated Black Adam can reach a whole other level. I can't help but think of the scene in the original Illuminati special, where Iron Man finds himself peeled like a tin can by the Sub-Mariner.
The Pick: Black Adam (DC)

- Steel versus Captain America
We saw Captain America go head-to-head with the armored Iron Man for most of the 06/07 season, before his death. Despite the staggering divide between a suit of armor and a human super-soldier, Cap managed to rise to the level necessary to protect truth, freedom, justice, and the people of his country.

Steel might not be about to threaten the rights of Americans, but his armor isn't quite as diverse as Tony Stark's, either. As much as I love Steel, I think a charge and fight from Cap would be enough to beat Steel into submission, at least until they could resolve the situation with intelligence.
The Pick: Captain America (Marvel)

- Green Arrow versus Hulk
This is the battle of the top five DC characters, against the top five Marvel characters. These ranks are determined by the two years worth of stats accumulated on the site -- so there's no premeditation when we arrive at a theme of green like this one.

Green Arrow has a lot of trick arrows, sure. We've seen him take down the man-mountain, Brick, on more than one occasion here in the Infinite Wars. That said, this is the Hulk we're talking about, and, well, yeah. Hulk smash puny human!
The Pick: Hulk (Marvel)

That my friends is but a taste of what's to come! Will DC take the sweep in the final stakes, or are their top five contenders just an abberation? Be sure to tune in throughout December to find out, and check out some of the delicious duels and fantasty fisticuffs!

The Top 5...
#1 Spider-man (-) (16) (Marvel)
Class: [Meta] Last Opponent: [Gomdulla]
Win Percentage: [58.82%] Features: [34]
Season 2006: [#2] Current Ranking: [#1]

With only thirty days left in the year, it's almost inconceivable that Spider-man could lose the top spot. Like Batman in season 2006, the web-slinger has been indomitable, riding the success of the Spider-man 3 feature film, and appearances inspired by it.

In 2007 Spidey extended his many associations with other powers in the Marvel Universe by becoming a charter member of the Secret Avengers. These new ties have compensated well for under whelming events like Back in Black, and the terminally delayed "weekly" One More Day, which may be dead on the table.

The future seems uncertain for Spider-man, but if the influence of the film medium continues to steer the Infinite Wars, The Spectacular Spider-man cartoon is the next blip for 2008. Likewise, rumblings of a third feature sequel will no doubt get a little louder in the new year.

#2 Batman (-) (22) (DC)
Class: [Meta] Last Opponent: [Scarecrow]
Win Percentage: [69.57%] Features: [23]
Season 2006: [#1] Current Ranking: [#2]

It seems almost fitting that Batman would be number two, still mathematically a prospect to take the top spot. It seems to reflect his character, who has overcome unlikely odds similar to what he was given at the beginning of 2007. Little promise in the comics seemed to paint a grim picture for the Dark Knight, yet, here we are, at the annual count.

Though the most realistic successor to Spidey, Batman's position in the top five is by no means secure. Dominant to the end in '06, this year Batman's fighting off the likes of Captain America and the Fantastic Four.

While his nearest opponents have ridden the wave of success provided by film and press grabbing events to their logical conclusions; Batman's true assault is yet to be seen. '08 sees the release of the eagerly anticipated The Dark Knight, and will no doubt more than make up for the lack of excitement in the comics.

After a year of lacklustre efforts from big hitters on the major titles [Paul Dini on Detective, Grant Morrison on Batman], one would expect sponsored retort in the comics, courtesy of film hype. No doubt fill-in issues will be the measure, contrasting 2007's disappointing schedule for the Dark Knight.
A strongly rumored Captain America-styled death may be involved, though the demise of Bruce Wayne seems highly unlikely, even as part of a brilliant concept to revamp the soon-to-be-deceased New Gods.

#3 Captain America (-) (6) (Marvel)
Class: [Meta] Last Opponent: [Invaders]
Win Percentage: [40.74%] Features: [27]
Season 2006: [#8] Current Ranking: [#5]

Some cynical readers will be surprised to see 2007 come to a close without Steve Rogers back among the denizens of the living.
Like the works of a legendary artist, Cap's stock exploded in the wake of his comics death [Captain America #25].

November was a quiet month for Cap as we turned our attentions to the echoes of 2007, which gives us a glimpse at season '08. With another character set to fill the symbolic costume, Steve Rogers may just slip into obscurity. Then again, with an Alex Ross time travelling mini-series on the way, and the Infinite Wars back issue features, who can say for sure?

#4 Mr. Fantastic (+1) (5) (Marvel)
Class: [Champion] Last Opponent: [Gomdulla]
Win Percentage: [60%] Features: [15]
Season 2006: [#14] Current Ranking: [#7]

Though over shadowed somewhat by Spider-man, the FF enjoyed a successful movie sequel this year as well, sharing the title with everyone's favourite chrome domed surfer.

Marvel's first family went relatively under represented in the first year, leaving the Infinite Wars to pick up the slack on the FF front. Mr. Fantastic didn't have any trouble pulling his weight, branching out during the Civil War to join up with Tony Stark, while also expanding his association through Illuminati membership.

Late in the year Black Panther and Storm assumed membership with the team while Richards and Invisible Woman ducked out to deal with marital turmoil. The division, however, proved short-lived, with the Fantastic family sticking relativley close together, before an abrupt join-up under the demands of Infinite Wars Top 10 writer; Mark Millar. A reunion sure to be indicative of big things in 08!

#5 Thing (+2) (new) (Marvel)
Class: [Champion] Last Opponent: [Gomdulla]
Win Percentage: [50%] Features: [16]
Season 2006: [#53] Current Ranking: [#10]

If you scroll down to the Super Stock, you'll note the cluster formed by Marvel's first family, even in the cumulative stakes. The teams association should make Thing's rise to the top five, no big shock.

As a combative website with a vague slant toward Marvel comics, (thanks mostly to back issues), Thing's rise has probably been well overdue. As one of the most endearing characters of the Marvel Universe, the ever lovin' blue-eyed Thing has taken part in some of the most classic comic book fights ever!

With a full month of competition still to go, there's every chance Thing might slip back out of the top five, possibly even over taken by one of his teammates. That said, he's making all the right moves at the right time, and going from an '06 end at fifty-three, he has to be one of the most worthy bullets of '07.

Super Stock...
CHUN-LI unleashes her deadly lightning kicks to battle her way to the top of the heights of the CAPCOM stakes!1. Spider-man (-) (M)
2. Batman (-) (DC)
3. Wolverine (+1) (M)
4. Iron Man (+1) (M)
5. Captain America (-2) (M)
6. Hulk (-) (M)
7. Mr. Fantastic (+1) (M)
9. Daredevil (+5) (M)
10. Thing (-1) (M)
11. Human Torch (-1) (M)
12. Invisible Woman (+1) (M)
14. Venom [Symbiote] (-2) (M)
15. Ryu (+41) (Capcom)
16. Sub-Mariner (+5) (M)
18. Steel (+6) (DC)
22. Iron Fist (+5) (M)
24. Luke Cage (-4) (M)
31. Ken Masters (+29) (Capcom)
42. Morbius (new) (M)
48. Guile (-3) (Capcom)
50. Rainbow Mika (+49) (Capcom)
54. Dr. Strange (-2) (M)
59. Wonder Woman (-4) (DC)
61. Sagat (+115) (Capcom)
65. Nova (+6) (M)
69. Fei Long (-4) (Capcom)
81. Chun-Li (+161) (Capcom)
82. Lethal (new) (DC)
92. Akuma (-4) (Capcom)
100. Mallen [Extremis] (-4) (M)
103. Sakura Kusanago (-3) (Capcom)
118. Dhalsim (-2) (Capcom)
In stark contrast to CHUN-LI, ZANGIEF finds himself powerslammed to the bottom of the ranks with a double defeat!127. Thunderhawk (-2) (Capcom)
137. Moonstone (+2) (M)
138. Blade (+109) (M)
143. Moon Knight (+74) (M)
150. Fin Fang Foom (-4) (M)
167. Birdie (-4) (Capcom)
168. Vega (-53) (Capcom)
170. Venom [Mac Gargan] (-3) (M)
175. Scarecrow (+110) (DC)
183. Tombstone (-10) (M)
184. Radioactive Man (+10) (M)
185. Penance (+10) (M)
200. Photon (-7) (M)
250. Shun (new) (Capcom)
276. Balrog (-4) (Capcom)
300. Black Goliath (-3) (M)
350. Boomerang (-2) (M)
400. Black Hand (-2) (DC)
401. Sodom (-2) (Capcom)
408. The Penguin (new) (DC)
409. Felipe DeClaude (new) (DC)
411. Gomdulla (new) (M)
412. Matador (new) (M)
427. Lizard (-9) (M)
428. Taskmaster (-9) (M)
429. Dan Hibiki (-9) (Capcom)
430. Zangief (-111) (Capcom)
431. Magneto (-10) (M)

Always remember what Mr. TOMBSTONE says kids: Don't be a drip! Conserve water today, so tomorrow you can play!The hammer...
Y'know, we took the Quick Fix out of the Punch-Up because it can be seen elsewhere, and it seemed like a good way to save some time. Hah, fat chance! The Infinite Wars just can't help but remain dedicated to the entertainment of a readership hungry for battle!

December is where it all happens, folks!
Technically marking our two year anniversary, we're going to have a whole lot of action going down in the final countdown. Not only can you look forward to fifteen DC vs Marvel fantasy fights, but also: Cover to Cover entrys highlighting battles from the last twenty-five years; the last chance for the Street Fighters to beat out their Marvel rivals for top five slots; and, of course, all the fights that will determine who finishes 2007 as numero uno!

Before we continue, a retraction is in order!
A week ago we featured a review of Daredevil #91, where discussion continued to ponder whether or not Daredevil has been a satisfactory read under Ed Brubaker. Lodged was the concern that villains were being orchestrated too sparsely, but if you've picked up the recent issue of DD, you know that the Enforcers are in battle with Razor Fist and the Wrecker!

Not only is this great news for readers, but obscurely matches up with discussion we had in another entry about the manner in which the Wrecker; who is traditionally relegated to the Avengers/Superheroing side of the Marvel Universe; could be used in the urban sprawl [Captain America #251]. With any luck Christmas will provide the vehicle upon which we can catch up with DD, and lodge more informed opinions about the book's progress, and the movements of Herr Brubaker.

Speaking of progress, don't forget that ComixPress are now promising faster delivery and customer service. The Kirby Martin Inquest was reviewed earlier in the month by ComicRelated, and is on sale now for $2.99 at ComixPress!
There's still time to get in and make a Christmas purchase if you think you might know someone who might enjoy a little-comic-that-can in ther stocking!

Big thanks have to go, not only to ComicRelated, but also the many blogs shooting hits our way! Be sure, as always, to check out sites like; When Fangirls Attack, Always Bet on Bahlactus, Comics Make No Sense, Comic Book Revolution, and the many friends and foes listed under the Allies links!
You too can join the list by pandering shamelessly to the ego of Secret Wars on Infinite Wars. Not to be confused with Ego the Living Planet, who remained secret until the Marvel Zombies recently found, and ate him. Bummer.

Will MARK BAGLEY feature in 2008 with his work for DC?... RHETORIC!Just a quick note; if you enjoyed the short-lived Comik-Politik pseudo political cartoon style awful drawings -- apologies! For the time being those incredibly poorly drawn cartoons will no longer be featured on the site, but you can substitute for the less addictive shipping list updates.

All bets are off as we round out the year! It's vintage, fly by the seat of your whim, Infinite Wars action! Will your favourites be represented, or delegated to fights of future past? The only way to find out is to visit regularly!
Now, if you'll excuse me, I have to go rest my head in a bucket of ice before moving on to the next exciting Infinite Wars feature. HOT~!!!

- Mike Haseloff; War Monger-in-Chief
Mike Haseloff is a relatively unknown comics writer, who is at present listening to Bronski Beat and Mark Almond's rendition of "I Feel Love" in the comfort of boxer shorts. It seems his Christmas has come early. This is not likely to benefit his career prospects, in the slightest. Nor is admitting any attraction to Celine Dion in tight pants. And now you know too much!...

November Hit Count: [5431/48320] (-507)


Pedro Cruz said...

Man, that pic of Namor taking Iron Man's helmet off looks so incredibly ridiculous it almost seems like it's taken right off a parody!

Mike Haseloff said...

Yeah, I kinda think Stark's teeth ruin the whole image. I debated about using one of the earlier panels of the scene because of that, but ultimately preferred this one for being descriptive (and for Namor looking vaguely Black Adam esque).

This one panel isn't great, but I think Maleev's art overall translated to superheroes much better than I expected it to, at the time.