Saturday, January 19, 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!

Strength: Black Widow 3 (Athlete)
Intelligence: Draw 4 (Tactician)
Speed: Draw 3 (Athlete)
Stamina: Draw 4 (Athlete)
Agility: Draw 4 (Gymnast)
Fighting Ability: Draw 5 (Martial Artist)
Energy Powers: Black Widow 2 (Projectiles)

The Hook...
We're running catch-up here, and I'm running on empty, so we're not going to mess around too much with this one. The formula for putting characters together has been about trying to create resonance and as a result of that, viable pairings of characters. That's particularly addressing something like the Capcom/Marvel video games that have characters like Hulk, Spider-man, and Mephisto, up against the slightly pedestrian Street Fighters.

The premise between these two is simple: They're both assassins, they're both highly skilled fighters, they're both involved in sub-sections of espionage in their universes, they've both been tied up with mind-control and all that sort of jazz.

The Math: Black Widow Ranking: Black Widow (#74)

The Battle...
As I said, I'm not really inclined to dwell on this too long.

We've got two characters with extensive histories in fighting. Essentially their roles are defined in their corners by their ability to out-fight, out-maneuver, and generally be very proficient assassins. Like we've talked about recently [Captain America #4], bringing two characters like this together creates an awkward friction between respecting the reality of their skills, and maintaining the on-going survival of the characters.

If we accept the conceit that neither character is ordered to kill here, we just have to hammer out who wins the hand-to-hand. It might expose an ignorance, but I'm going to say Black Widow, maybe by the (historical) numbers, has shown more signs of weakness and incompetence. I can't really go into specifics, but I'm just going to say on the whole, Cammy has maintained that two-dimensional reputation better.

I think the depiction of the fight, like some of our other close ones, really needs to service a lot of acrobatic and skilled close quarters fighting, but in the end, I expect Cammy to out maneuver Black Widow.

The Hammer...
You'll notice a complete lack of pictures here.
We haven't really had an opportunity to take a look at either character, and I'd be honest that part of that is due to relative disinterest in the characters. I think there's a good chance we'll get to see Black Widow in the near future if we manage to get back into Daredevil, but I couldn't say for sure.

I think something that's let Black Widow down in particular has been her being shoe-horned into the superhero world. If Marvel could maintain interest in something like a Checkmate, you could imagine Black Widow joining a cast of characters of varying significance. I guess it hasn't been that long since SHIELD titles and things of that sort have been tried, though, so maybe that's not such a great insight.

Looking forward to Street Fighter IV, it'll be interesting to see Cammy make an assumed come back. The reveal of a new character, the first of several female balances, has sparked a lot of debate amongst fans regarding the nature of a "good" Street Fighter character, and whether or not there's a place for suited assassins in this universe.

I'm not entirely decided, but I do tend to feel Crimson Viper [the new character in question] deviates from the classic formula more than I want. Cammy is being used as a justifying argument, but I think there issues both on a broader asthetic level, and more specific notes of concept. Really, I'm not up to getting into that, so you'll just have to track some of those arguments down yourself.

Be sure to make your voice heard by dropping comments if you agree/disagree with the results here, and check in with the poll in the right menu! Who should win overall? Can the Street Fighters come up to the level, or do the Marvel Heroes have their number with those crazy powers?


2 versus 1

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