Saturday, April 21, 2018

Cosmic Battle on the Edge of The Universe! (Marvel)
Infinity Gauntlet #4 When: October 1991
Why: Jim Starlin How: Ron Lim & George Perez

The Story So Far...
When the Silver Surfer crash lands to Earth through the roof of Doctor Strange's Sanctum Sanctorum -- he brings ominous warning of the greatest threat the universe has ever known! Thanos lives and has taken possession of the Infinity Gems of Soul, Mind, Power, Time, Reality, and Space to form the omnipotent Infinity Gauntlet!

The Mad Titan's mission is to eradicate half of all sentient life in existence! A feat he achieves in an instant with but a mere thought! His quest to court the mistress Death does not end there, though. His dominion is now all that exists in the known universe -- a reality, his to dominate and reshape!

Ripples of Thanos' power echo throughout the universe, causing mayhem and destruction on Earth, where the mightiest heroes assemble in conference to discuss the unknown threat. The unexpected arrival of Adam Warlock provides limited answers as he takes command, selecting a special task force to confront Thanos in a desperate ploy to save the universe from The Infinity Gauntlet!

Tale of the Tape...
Strength: Thanos 6 (Invincible)
Intelligence: Thanos 5 (Professor)
Speed: Hulk 4 (Olympian)
Stamina: Thanos 7 (Unstoppable)
Agility: Draw 2 (Average)
Fighting: Drax 7 (Living Weapon)
Energy: Thanos 6 (Mass Destruction)
Total: Thanos 34 (Super)

The first strike ended with a bit of a dead rubber, but now that Thanos has decided to take the heroes on - the fight can really get under way!

His choice to indulge a physical fracas helps all of the heroes of Earth, but it could be argued it especially suits the pure brute strength of the second wave coming at Thanos in today's spotlight!

Hulk is Bruce Banner in spirit, if not mind and body. At this point in time, Hulk doesn't quite command the scientific acumen of Banner, but he possesses a degree of intelligence greater than his best known days of rampaging. That bodes well for both the collective of heroes he's joining - and their careful plan!

Unfortunately, Drax The Destroyer does not possess a very notable IQ. These were the days when his physical might was at its peak, but his mental state was akin to that of a child. This means he's susceptible to distraction, confusion, and temper tantrums that could endanger his allies as quickly as his enemy!

We saw the dim-witted Drax exercise his strength against a mad Thor in Warlock and The Infinity Watch #21. He also brings the appealing quality of existing for the very purpose of destroying Thanos. Something he achieved temporarily, many years after Infinity Gauntlet, in Annihilation #4!

Hulk has no shortage of big time battles with major league opponents. We've seen him take down the likes of: demi-god Hercules [Tales to Astonish #79], Silver Surfer [Incredible Hulk #95], The Sentry [World War Hulk #5], and Thor [Avengers #5]. He's also gone toe-to-toe with Superman [Marvel versus DC #3] and Green Lantern [Unlimited Access #1] in crossover dream battles!

In the last battle, Thanos kinda ducked out of dealing with Iron Man, Sub-Mariner, Firelord, and "Thor". That said, we have seen him punk out Terrax in the Green Lantern/Silver Surfer crossover, and beat up the Guardians of the Galaxy who literally found him with his pants down [GOTG #25]!

Given the added omnipotence of The Infinity Gauntlet as a greater sum of the Infinity Stones of Soul, Mind, Power, Time, Reality, and Space -- Thanos is one of the most formidable forces imaginable! He is vulnerable only by choice, which leaves very little chance for the heroes.

Drax has an individual victory to his name, and shared in the team gambit of Star-Lord and The Guardians of the Galaxy. Our Fight Club history favours he and the Hulk, but will their combined strength put a dent in Thanos' plan? Let's go ahead and find out...!

History: Drax (2-0-0)
The Tape: Hulk & Drax Ranking: Hulk (#6)

What Went Down...

Even with the choice to strip his knowledge and awareness of all things in the universe; Thanos loses himself in gloating laughter as the first wave of heroes crashes harmlessly into his platform. He is undeniably their better, yet, in his rush to appeal to the mistress Death, he has allowed himself to be vulnerable!

Thanos fails to notice two green behemoths drifting directly behind him! Fails to remember their trajectory on a board he just walked, unencumbered by the whims of time! In his arrogance, Thanos did not notice The Hulk & Destroyer!

The two power houses punish Thanos for his neglect! Their devastating punches hit in unison - sending the omnipotent villain flying across his own platform!

The twin titans immediately seize upon their advantage - raining down a barrage of blows with massive fists! Any ordinary foe would crumble under such punishment, but not one who wields the Infinity Gem of Power!

A blast of energy sends Drax flying away from the Mad Titan! His patience for a fair fight is clearly being tested, but the Hulk remains, still pummeling with power far greater than any ordinary man!

In spite of his present intelligence, The Hulk loses himself in a flurry of punches. For a moment, he truly believes his opponent isn't even defending himself! The awful truth of the matter soon becomes too apparent to ignore: the Hulk is the smallest one there is!

Thanos' command of reality has reduced the once towering Hulk to a man of mere inches! He stands barely as tall as the fist that wears the omnipotent Infinity Gauntlet responsible for his predicament!

That same hand reaches out to squash the tiny hero! With the proportionate strength still housed in his muscular legs - the Hulk leaps clear! Forced to suffer the indignity of running from the fight! Even as he fleas, his purpose is still served. Behind them rises the next attack to catch Thanos by surprise...!

The Hammer...
In the first wave - neither party delivered any kind of decisive attack. This time the battle was more clear. Although Hulk and Drax live to fight on - it was the hand of Thanos that toppled The Destroyer, and forced Hulk to run for his life!

The net result of the defeat is still minimal for the heroes, but Hulk and Drax at least succeeded in knocking Thanos off his feet! They confirmed that Thanos is playing by a code of rules -- inspiring some degree of hope!

They've also inspired a recklessness in Thanos that once again renders him sufficiently distracted to fail to notice the next attack coming!

Everyone understands the titular "Infinity Gauntlet" is a gem studded glove, but Thanos is now running the gauntlet of heroes assembled by Adam Warlock! This combat gauntlet depends on carefully planned waves of attack, which we've determined are distinguished enough to be recorded as individual fights!

Thanos has registered his first Infinity Gauntlet win, but it's only a temporary victory. Warlock's army of heroes still has a full regiment, and there's a long way to go before this gauntlet is done!

If Hulk and Drax come back around to combine with some of their fellow heroes, who knows what they might achieve? The next wave is not without its promise, too. Be here for the next installment to see who's on offense - and how it goes!

If you're looking for more links from the Infinity Gauntlet you should check out the Marvel section of the Secret Archive Index. You'll find each wave linked as issue #4, with plenty of other featured fights to discover via publisher & series!

Get ahead of the fight by reading the Infinity Gauntlet in collected edition for yourself! Shopping via the Amazon link provided helps support the site at no extra cost to you!

Discover more battles by following Secret Wars on Infinite Earths on Twitter and Facebook! A like, share, or retweet is another great way to join the fight!

Winner: Thanos
#117 (+236) Thanos
#6 (--) Hulk
#100 (-24) Drax

Infinity Gauntlet #4
Thanos runs the gauntlet of heroes in a special series spotlighting the classic cosmic showdown!
Versus Wave 1, Hulk & Drax, Wave 3, Thor & Dr. Doom, Wolverine, Wave 6, Cloak, Firelord & Drax, Iron Man, Spider-man & Thor, Nova, Quasar, Captain America

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