Supervillain Showdown: Round One
Following in the virtuous footsteps of last Spring’s Superhero Showdown come the results of this Summer’s Supervillain Showdown. Teens gathered at the Teen Center Wednesday, July 23 (Batman's 75th anniversary) to argue out a series of "Who Would Win?" scenarios. The worst of DC and Marvel’s rogues galleries were assembled in a tournament bracket, with rules tweaked to favor the wicked. Each fight:
· takes place on an abandoned street in New York City
· will be decided by death or knockout
· has been scheduled with a day’s notice to prepare (villains do love their plans, after all)
· allows henchmen, but superheroes and unique villains cannot be consulted
Clayface (Basil Karlo) vs Sandman (Flint Marko)
This fight came to a standstill in debate: how do you predict the winner in a fight where both parties can shapeshift and change hardness? One teen suggested that Sandman’s background as a criminal made him more ideal for a brawl, while Clayface was “just an actor” who wouldn’t be tough enough. The New York environment led another teen to observe that Clayface could break a fire hydrant, scattering Sandman’s grains down a sewer, while clay would keep its form. This swept the group’s consensus, leading to a unanimous vote for Basil.
Green Goblin (Norman Osborne) vs Joker (???)
The crowd seemed unanimous in Joker’s favor to the point of not needing an argument. “Joker will get his hands on anything and find a way to win” and “he’s just so crazy,” but the referees pressed for a constructive reason for one winning over the other besides popularity. “But Joker was in a better movie!” Two points came up: first, Goblin would likely underestimate Joker as “just a man” and not think that many steps ahead; second, Joker would have a device to disrupt Goblin’s mechanical glider, and “once he’s on the ground, it’s over.”
Sabertooth (Victor Creed) vs Venom (Eddie Brock)
“Venom is a crucial dude in a fight!” a teen exclaimed as soon as Venom was revealed. “Venom is the best. His only weakness is sound.” The crowd took a while to warm up to Sabertooth, but gave him credit as an assassin with decades of experience, including surviving annual fights with Wolverine. While Venom could try to wrap around and consume Sabertooth, he could just as easily tear through the symbiote with his claws. There was confusion over who would win, given that both opponents have an accelerated healing factor, but the referees reminded the crowd that knockout is also a win condition. Everyone agreed Sabertooth would take the fight via KO.
Lex Luthor (Alexander Joseph Luthor) vs Doctor Doom (Victor von Doom)
This war between the self-made geniuses quickly became a contest of invention. “Luthor has a power suit that would beat Doom,” followed by “Doom will build a better power suit,” leading to a seeming arms race. “With Doom you get to shoot electricity, and electricity beats everything,” one teen claimed, adding that Doom uses several robotic clones as well. Eventually, the debate shifted to each villain’s nemesis: Doctor Doom’s vendetta against his former State University classmate Reed Richards of the Fantastic Four paled in comparison to a certain Kryptonian. “Who cares about an army of Doombots versus The Guy Who Beat Superman!” How would Lex feel, having Superman win this battle for him?
Winner: Lex Luthor
Poison Ivy (Pamela Isley) vs Sub-Mariner (Namor McKenzie)
“I gotta go with the tree girl,” a teen declared, and that seemed to be the tone of this matchup at every step of the debate. Ivy’s pheromone-based mind control gave her a distinct advantage, as did New York’s cement jungle. “Namor will dry out,” teens decided, doubting that he would last long when his strength diminishes due to dryness. His powers of flight and super strength were nothing compared to Ivy’s mind control, poison, and ability to erupt trees from the ground.
Winner: Poison Ivy
Master Mold vs Brainiac
The teens thought this fight through within the first couple of minutes, estimating that “Brainiac can make smarter minions” and “will calculate all the odds to find the best attack.” Master Mold was given little to no credit as a mobile, mutant-hunting Sentinel factory: “Mold will go down in one shot and lose control over all the Sentinels.” The artwork for Master Mold showed him sitting down, which didn’t win him any points: “How does Master Mold make Sentinels? He has to sit down? He’s completely useless, sitting down in a fight!”
Magneto (Erik Lehnsherr / Max Eisenhardt) vs Sinestro (Thaal Sinestro)
Magneto definitely had the greater star power of the two, as one teen asked, “Is Sinestro the blue lantern?” His fear-based powers were weak against Magneto’s personal history: “If you survived the Holocaust, you can beat anything! Magneto’s not afraid.” The New York environment factored strongly in Magneto’s favor, as teens judged he would have enough metal from the cars, street poles, and steel building frames around him to handle anything. At least Sinestro’s ring was given benefit of the doubt to be made of a vague cosmic stone and not a metal Magneto could simply lift from his hand. “Sinestro could seal himself in a bubble,” went one defense, countered by, “Until that bubble pops!”
Kingpin (Wilson Fisk) vs Ra’s al Ghul (“The Demon’s Head”)
As a couple of the biggest and most serious threats in their respective universes, Wilson and Ra’s went back and forth in the debates. Each was allowed to bring an army of henchmen, but their henchmen’s similar abilities were judged to nullify each other, leaving the fight still mano-a-mano. Kingpin was underestimated at first: “Kingpin’s tough, he’s beaten Spider-Man before” was met with “Anyone can beat Spider-Man!” (Ouch.) The Marvel Encyclopedia was consulted, and Kingpin’s 450 pounds of pure muscle gave him a strict advantage. The teens seemed decided that his New York background gave him a home field advantage, but “Ra’s is worldwide. Don’t matter what city he’s in.” The Hand and The League of Shadows were both determined to be international organizations. The vote was split 5-3 in Kingpin’s favor, coming down to Ra’s ninja agility versus the 450 pounds. “Ra’s would lose by KO, he might be good with a sword, but he can’t take a punch.” A final cry in Ra’s defense went unheeded: “Ra’s is Batman but bad, people!”
This concludes the first round of showdowns. How did your predictions work out? How do you think the next round will go? Are you among the countless millions who could apparently beat Spider-Man?
Watch Richland Library’s website for a Round Two update, coming soon! Below is a sampling of comics featuring the villains above.