Saturday, January 12, 2008

In the first round of Fantasy Fights from the Infinite Wars, Marvel proved their overall superiority in fifteen seperate battles that culminated with your vote deciding their fate. Now, with DC vanquished, the Marvel Heroes are back to tangle with some old enemies: The world warriors of Capcom's Street Fighter!

By popular demand the Fantasy Fights are sticking around for seven more rounds of non-stop non-canon action! When the characters met in the video games, they were united against common goals, but this time some of Marvel's greatest fighters will be initiated as they duke it out for supremacy over the SF classics!

BLANKA versus BEASTARTWORK: EdyanARTWORK: Ethan Van Sciver
Strength: Beast 5 (Super Strength)
Intelligence: Beast 6 (Genius)
Speed: Draw 4 (Olympian)
Stamina: Blanka 5 (Marathon)
Agility: Draw 5 (Cat-like)
Fighting Ability: Blanka 3 (Street Wise)
Energy Powers: Blanka 3 (Explosives)

The Hook...
It doesn't take a brain surgeon to work out what makes this such a perfect pairing of sparring super-sapiens, but if it does, we've got Dr. Henry McCoy (aka; The Beast) on hand to clear everything up for us!

As Beast would no doubt tell you, these two fine physical specimens represent the ultimate combination in mutant super strength, speed, and agility. Sharing many common traits with their simian counterparts, both Beast and Blanka possess impressive maneuverability and grace given their bulk. Though we rate Beast a little stronger on the scale, they are essentially a perfect match.

That is, until you take a look at the IQ scores.
Blanka is a child-like friend to the kind of heart, but to those who would purvey evils on this world, he becomes a wild animal hardened in the jungles of Brazil! Complimenting his ill temperment is the ability to channel electric energy through his body like an electric eel, making for shocking results.

While Beast isn't capable of any energy based retorts, he does possess one of the keenest intellects on the Marvel Universe and is particularly well versed in biology and genetics, giving him all the skills and information to out strategize his conductive counterpart. Failing that, ol' Hank McCoy has a wild side of his own!

The Math: Beast Ranking: Beast (#19)

The Battle...
As tends to be the case, there's often a little introduction to inter-company battles. Invariably at least one pairing, if not more, will express some sort of dismay about their forced predicament. I imagine something like that for these two, who are essentially relatively peaceful creatures, contrary to their exterior.

Exhibiting a child-like distraction for one of the many X-gadgets Beast might drop, Blanka is unwittingly being observed by his brilliant counterpart who intends to put him down gently with a sedative, but guess what? Blanka doesn't like needles, and he doesn't take too kindly to being ambushed!

Violently retaliating, Blanka would inevitably take the fight to Beast with a varied combination of diving tackles, punches, and kicks. Placing our battle in the jungle village familiar to Blanka's scenary, Beast distances himself defensively, using his own powerful limbs to leap into the trees above.

BEAST attacks an ill-prepared Xorn: First seen in NEW X-MEN #150!As Blanka apes around a bit, Beast would launch into an attack of his own, taking the physical fight in a stir of green and blue fur. The two tumble, before breaking to again allow Beast to make a strategic exist into the dense jungle surrounding.

This time Blanka takes his search to the treetops, making up for his eratic pattern with competence and speed moving amongst the jungle canopy.
Beast makes a strategic play, utilizing one of the X-Men's holoprojectors to create a veil of invisibility around himself, before again tackling Blanka.

The Brazilian man-beast lets out confused animalistic cries as Beast begrudgingly unleashes a barrage of blows from his powerful paws. Believing himself to be the victor by strategy, Beast relents and in doing so, gives Blanka the opportunity make a last ditch instinctive attack: the result -- fried X-Man.

BEAST tangles with another green manimal, the LIZARD in X-MEN: FIRST CLASS #2!The Hammer...
As far as I know, we don't seem to attract too many X-Maniacs around the Infinite Wars, probably due to the relatively low review figures. Still, if we did, I can only imagine the furor a result like this might create. As is always the case, feel encouraged to make your own case in the comments section, and tell us just how wrong we got it!

I had actually intended to get back to the Fantasy Fights last weekend, but as these things tend to do, it got away from me bet. Really that works out well, because after four months of Street Fighter entries, I'm happy to have the characters represent, but seven fights should just about do me.

Through various sources I've received some Fantasy Fight requests, which I'll be saving up for future features, but to cull the list I'm going to encourage anyone making suggestions to devise a hook to help me decide whose picks I'm going to go with. The best way to make Fantasy Fight requests is in the comments section of this, or any of the other Fantasy Fights previously featured!

Something that hasn't previously been featured is Blanka!
I tend to get the impression Blanka made a bigger impact with American audiences, and as much as I have a warm spot for the instantly recognisable Street Fighter mutant, I also think he's a character all too often used to give license to some of the less worthwhile concepts in SF history.

We talked alot during our four months of Street Fighter Sunday's about the central conceit of Street Fighter as a universe with a rich fight culture, and entire world of characters representing different fighting disciplines and ethnic identifiers. On that basis, Blanka is really out of place in the Street Fighter world, but to observe him on the merits of the first appearance, he joins the other Street Fighter II fighters as a represented of a specific type of character and energy.

Beneath the various arcade trademark techniques are motivations that see characters like Vega, Balrog, Zangief represent baseline human character; guys like Ryu, Ken, Sagat who all possess ki-based arsenals; and Bison, who represents another side of ki and technological warfare.

Of course, the things that make Blanka so different, are also the things that typically relegate him to cameo appearances. The Street Fighter film, which features a version of the character who'd make Lou Ferrigno blush, probably highlights some of the teething problems of trying to insert what is essentially a mutated Tarzan into an otherwise grounded storyline.
Even the animated SFII movie; which goes to great lengths to feature all major world warriors; can only manage a tangential cameo for the character. Full credit, the film is probably better for it, and quite intelligently presents Blanka as an oddity paraded for the amusement of bloodthirsty high society types.

A great character, but maybe best left to isolation.

WINNER: Blanka

1 versus 0

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