Well, they let US vote. The ballots were available in each comic book store across North America. Comic book fans everywhere got their say. And while the results were much like what happens when the public does get the chance to vote on anything, more of a popularity contest rather than actual logic (see any TV reality show or even political election these days)...at least actual readers got their say. Personally, I didn’t get the chance to vote for it, because at the time my parents were the ones that usually picked up my comics for me, and they probably didn’t know how much of a big deal this was. Oh well. At least when the trade paperback was released, I picked it up.
The critical response for DC Versus Marvel was mixed...especially when the end result was a tie between two publishers, and their universes melded together for a month, giving us the Amalgam event...where we ended up with heroes such as Dark Claw (Batman melded with Wolverine) and Super Soldier (Superman blended with Captain America). It didn’t last long, but fans seemed to enjoy the concept more than the actual DC and Marvel heroes duking it out!
Well, I realized that this huge comic event turned 20 years old this past year and I wondered, what if it happened all over again, with the modern versions of these heroes? A lot has certainly changed since 1996, wouldn’t you agree? Would the results be the same? Likely not!
I decided to try to figure out what would happen if these heroes (or rather, their modern counterparts) duked it out today. Now to be clear, the results here are MY personal opinion, not based on popularity or what I think the readers would vote on...I’m going to try to figure out who would actually win in a fight between them, using all this (most of the time useless) comic book knowledge I’ve gained over the years. So yeah, you may not agree with all of these...but I’ve written this column a while now...I know I can’t make everyone happy!
That being said, let’s do this!
Green Lantern (Hal Jordan) vs. Nova (Sam Alexander)
Okay, yeah. I know. The original story had Silver Surfer vs. GL, not Nova. But let’s be honest here. Silver Surfer has not been too relevant lately (mostly because his film rights belong to Fox). And on top of that, isn’t Nova a bit more similar to Green Lantern? Both belong to a intergalactic police force, both are normal joes who’s powers are given to them via an object they wear (a ring and a helmet), right? Good enough for me!
So, back in the day, it was Kyle Rayner who was the prominent GL in the comics, and now we have quite a few GLs to choose from. While Jessica Cruz, Simon Baz, John Stewart and Guy Gardner are all formidable active human Lanterns, Hal Jordan is by far the most famous one and since he didn’t get to be in this fight last time around, it’s time to let him have a shot.
I also think it is cool to see experience vs. youth in this battle, so let’s have Sam Alexander have a go, rather than Richard Rider, who is set to return to the MCU soon.
Now, this battle would be most likely fought in space. Assuming this will be a one-on-one battle between the two heroes and they both keep their respective Corps’ out of it, I think we would see a knockdown drag-out between the two. Alexander is young, but that doesn’t mean he isn’t smart and able to utilize his powers to the best of their abilities...but on the other hand, Hal Jordan wields the most powerful weapon in the universe, the power ring that he can will to create anything he imagines. After a barrage of giant boxing gloves, machine guns and whatever else Hal dreams up...I can’t see how Nova can win here. Unless Sam, with his speed advantage, flies out into space leading a wild goose chase in the cosmos in an attempt to drain Hal’s ring from power, and before GL can say his oath and recharge his ring, Sam attacks with ferocity he’s never unleashed before. Would he be wise enough to do that? Or capable? Or even know to do so? He wouldn’t know much about the power ring and it’s power limit, since he’s from another universe entirely.
The Surfer won the first time, and it was no surprise with his vast cosmic powers. But this time, with the young Nova taking Surfer’s place his place, also dealing with the greatest Green Lantern ever in Hal Jordan...I give this one to DC.
Winner: Green Lantern
Jubilee vs. Robin (Damian Wayne)
Boy, a lot has happened with these two characters over the past two decades. Jubilee is no longer a mutant anymore, but rather a vampire! On top of that, she is an adoptive mother of an orphan baby named Shogo. Even more drastic is the mantle of Robin, which has been passed on from Tim Drake to Batman’s paternal son, Damian Wayne.
In the ‘96 crossover, we saw a little romance blossom between the teenagers, Jubilee and Tim...they didn’t want to fight against one another, but were forced to for the fate of their respective universes. The better trained Tim won by non-violently tying up Jubes in his bat-rope (yeah...Tim’s into that stuff, I guess), and that was that. Now things are very different. Gone are Jubilee’s fireworks and now she has the powers of a vampire (fangs, bloodlust, strength, speed, flight, all of that fun stuff) at her disposal. Not saying Damian is a pushover either! In fact, with his ninja training from the League of Assassins and not to mention his more ruthless nature...he may be a bit more of a threat than Tim was. Tim was much more of a hero and detective...but let’s be honest, Damian Wayne is a little jerky ninja hell-child.
I can see this taking place on the rooftops of Gotham, as Damian is stalked by the vampire Jubilee, but when she thinks she is on top of Damian and about to pounce on the hooded boy-wonder from above, she finds out that the hood is empty, and the huntress becomes the hunted. Damian barrages her with a mix of swift ninjitsu moves, bragging all along that he has battled his mothers giant ninja Man-Bats and Jubilee, with her enhanced speed (and Danger Room training) can hold her own for awhile, until Damian finally does clip her with a kick. The young Wayne could also eventually can stop the former X-Man with some sort of garlic gas gadget he whipped up in the batcave, weakening her enough to win the fight.
Surely Jubilee HAS the powers to beat the human Damian, but there’s one thing the kid has that she doesn’t...and that’s his devious nature. Heck, I can even see Damian using Shogo’s welfare to his advantage, pretending he would hurt Jubilee’s son to come out of the shadows if she was being stealthy. Damian may be Batman’s son, but he also shares DNA with his mother, Talia Al Ghul and her father, Ra’s, two of the most devious villains ever. And Jubilee, well, with all her demonic powers is first and foremost, a caring mom now. To Damian, that would be a weakness. One he would likely use to his advantage. Another win for the blue team, and Jubilee can’t catch a break against two consecutive Robins!
Superman vs. Hulk (Amadeus Cho)
This is interesting, seeing as the current Superman would be the ONLY DC character that technically also fought in the previous DC vs. Marvel tournament. Yes, this Superman is the one who survived from the previous universe into the New 52. Unfortunately, both universes don’t actually remember the past events as their memories where erased after the dust settled.
So, we have a very powerful Superman taking on a brand-new Totally Awesome Hulk in Amadeus Cho. The Hulk the first time around was probably my favorite version ever, the mid-to-late 90’s “smart Hulk”, who had the brain of Bruce Banner, the brawn of the green Hulk and the attitude of the grey Hulk. I see him as probably the most definitive green goliath ever. And still, he fell to the might of the then-mulleted Superman. I didn’t really see the fault in that decision, since Supes made a career from battling big, mean, monsters. Maybe none as powerful as Hulk, mind you. Hulk is likely stronger than even Doomsday, if he’s angry enough.
So how would this updated fight measure up? Well, I wish it would look better for Amadeus Cho, but it just doesn’t. Sure he’s smarter and could attempt to out-smart Superman, but in the end, Cho is incredibly egotistical and that would definitely think he could handle the Man of Steel one-on-one...and he just can’t. In a battle of fists, Supes wins. Every time. He may get a few good shots in like his predecessor did, but the Totally Awesome Hulk would fall. There’s no doubt about it.
Storm vs. Wonder Woman
I think these days the match would be Captain Marvel against Wonder Woman, personally. And even back then, I was confused why it wasn’t She-Hulk in this one. But I’ll play along, because Storm is a pretty powerful and more popular character, and I do love her.
In terms of powers, not much has changed between these two heroines. Storm has gone through many losses and setbacks within her family, the X-Men. Would she hold back as much if her very universe was in jeopardy? I doubt it. I don’t even think she held back the first time, because she won! As for Wonder Woman, besides being a new version of Diana from a new universe, and perhaps with a bit more of a “warrior” attitude, she is basically the same as well, at least her power set is the same.
So, what I’m saying is this battle would possibly be a little more violent, which changes things a little. Storm would bring down more lighting, more torrent rain on the Amazon. Wonder Woman, armed with her sword and shield would lasso the weather goddess down to earth and attempt more of a ground-and-pound offense. Storm is a tough cookie, but she can hardly battle Diana in a physical fight. Wonder Woman would once again dominate, and the results would end much more different than in ’96.
And to be clear, this X-Men fan didn’t agree with Storm winning the first time.
Winner: Wonder Woman
Aquaman vs. Namor
What do we have here? The battle of the fish-guys Part 2! These guys are probably two of the most hated superheroes ever (if you can even call Namor a hero). Did anyone really care who won this the first time? Well, Aquaman won, but it’s possible most fans voted using the eeny-meeny-miney-mo system. Hey, that method is valid! Just ask Negan!
But I shall NOT choose in that manner, because I care, dammit! And yes, some may say “but Namor is dead!” and yes...in the recent Squadron Supreme comics, the king of the Atlantis may have lost his head...LITERALLY. But even more recently, he was resurrected! Mr. wing-ankles is back in full effect.
Now, the debate on which character is better is decades old. Because of their similarities every comic fan has at least once debated on whether Namor or Aquaman deserves the title of “cooler fish guy.” You want my honest opinion? Even though I have made fun of both of them in numerous columns, I will lean more towards...Namor. I can’t help it, he is cockier, more violent and just will forever have just a little bit more edge to him than Arthur. Maybe I just prefer the black vest suit thing he wears over the ugly orange, scaley sweater. Yeah, it may literally come down to fashion sense here.
In terms of an actual fight between the two? I think their power level is pretty even if the fight is taking place underwater. Sure Aquaman has his telepathic fish abilities as an advantage, but once again, Namor would probably fight dirtier and with more ferocity. A fish attack wouldn’t really stop him. He would laugh at that. But is Aquaman stronger pound-for-pound? It’s possible. This indeed is a hard one to call.
The first time, Aquaman won because he dropped a killer whale on Namor. Would that actually take him out? Or would Namor rip his way out of the animal’s carcass and with a bellowing “IMPERIOUS REX!”, beat down Aquaman with his own trident AND THEN just to be a big, wet, jerkface...steal Mera away from him as well (not saying he could do it...but he would try at least)? I would like to see the latter happen. Namor is loathsome as hell, but I always found him very entertaining, at least a lot more than Aquaman.
Also, Marvel desperately needs a win here! Let’s put them on the board at least!
Batman vs. Captain America (Steve Rogers)
Why would they make this the matchup? Why not Batman vs. Daredevil? I think I would rather see that one! But anyway, this was what we got in ‘96, and it was the final battle as well, with both universes tied up. This fight was the main event tie-breaker! And what happened? Well, with both heroes nearly drowning in the sewer (why did this take place in a sewer?), technically Batman won after he threw a batarang at the same time as Cap threw the shield, and Bats had better aim, knocking out Cap. I don’t think it was fair, since both heroes were fighting for their lives in water. So, I sort of thought of it as more of a tie in the end.
So, years later, and Bruce Wayne being slightly younger while Steve Rogers is secretly a VILLAIN...who would win this one? Well, forget that sewer crap, let’s put them in an abandoned warehouse or something like that, where they can really go at it.
This is a pretty hard match when you consider how trained and conditioned both men are. Cap may have a slight advantage with the super soldier serum, but who can deny that Batman is at the peak of human perfection and probably a better hand-to-hand combatant than even Rogers? Sure Bruce would take a hell of a beating, but I think Cap would be pushed to his limit as well, even to the point of wondering if Batman is enhanced in some way. Also, keep in mind that Cap is currently mind controlled by Hydra and the Red Skull...which could cause him to make an arrogant mistake!
I think in the end, once he puts his brain and gadgets into play, Batman would win...barely. Why? He’s Batman. And Batman always finds a way.
Thor (Jane Foster) vs. Shazam
Now we’re dealing with power! In one corner there’s the Thor, Norse Goddess of Thunder in the other we have Shazam (formerly DC’s Captain Marvel), a hero with combined might of the Greek gods and the mind of a teenager. Both are heavy hitters with godlike abilities.
These guys have changed quite a bit, especially Thor, who in 1996 was not even the same gender! Now we have the former lover of Thor, Jane Foster as the worthy wielder of Mjolnir. For Shazam, besides the name change that makes things a little easier for us comic fans because we don’t have to correct everyone who called him Shazam all the time anyway, he is more or less the same character as his pre-New 52 counterpart.
Who would win in this fight now? Well, the female Thor is just as powerful as the male one was, and Shazam is likely the same as well. Back in ’96 we saw the two trade punches before a stray lightning bolt commanded by Thor accidentally transformed Captain Marvel back into an unconscious Billy Batson (not sure how that worked without the magic word). Unless Shazam can find a way to turn the tables and turn Thor back into Jane, I can’t see the results changing in this scrap. I would still give Thor the advantage as not only the better fighter, but the more powerful wielder of thunder! Marvel gets another one.
Catwoman vs. Elektra
This one here is one of the less publicized fights in the series (it didn’t make any of the promotional posters), but nonetheless, Miss Kyle vs. Miss Natchios still mattered and fans got to vote on it. Here we have the sleek, conniving master thief taking on the relentless, deadly ninja assassin.
Besides costumes, not much has changed for these two. Elektra is basically the same and Catwoman may have a bit more edge after her stint as a major Gotham crime lord and her new status as a “murderer”, but I can’t say that has upped her chances in a fight with a ninja.
Last time this battle ended with Elektra dropping Selena into a crate of sand (saved by “kitty litter” once again), giving her the easy win. The only difference this time is I think Selena would give her a tougher time, and willing to fight dirtier and rougher! But don’t get too excited, boys...in the end there’s no way Catwoman can defeat Elektra in a one-on-one fight.
Now the fight I would love to see would be Elektra vs. Katana. I don’t even know who would win that one!
Lobo vs. Wolverine (Old Man Logan)
Here’s what I would call the match with the most controversial result of them all. In ’96, this match began in a “cantina style” space bar (of course), with these two viciously battling behind the bar and somehow it’s Wolverine that pops up victorious! Now, I am the biggest Wolverine fan there is...and I do NOT see how Lobo, a character that has gone toe-to-toe with Superman on multiple occasions, could possibly lose to Wolverine! Lobo is also essentially immortal, so even if Wolvie can find a way to defeat the Main Man, he’s not allowed back in either Heaven or Hell...so he can’t die. It’s beyond all logic!
Well, that proved that the first series was one big ‘ol popularity contest...but this time around I get to make things right! And besides, now we have Old Man Logan in the place of the younger, whipper-snapper of a Wolverine! Not that him being older would change much, he’s still in great shape for an old guy. Er...oldER guy.
To be honest these two could probably go on with the slashing and the punching for quite some time, since both have healing factors...but Lobo is ridiculously immortal on top of being hands down the stronger of the two. So in the end, I think he’s the one that would get the win here...eventually. After days, months...maybe years of fighting!! I honestly would love to see this rematch, drawn by the one and only, Simon Bisley!
Winner: (As much as it pains me to admit it) Lobo
Spider-Man (Miles Morales) vs. Superboy (Jon Kent)
This here is a fun little match. I decided that since the current Superboy is Lois and Clark’s actual son, Jon, why not have someone more his size to fight? I’m pitting him against the younger Spidey, Miles Morales!
This fight would be hilarious! Both would not really want to fight one another, in fact, I think they would want to be friends. And in another situation, they probably would be! The end result would be pretty hard to figure out, too. The first time Spider-Man (who at the time was Ben Reilly) handily defeated the hot-headed Superboy (Connor Kent), which was an ironic battle between clones. This time we have two inexperienced characters, but the older Miles may have the advantage in experience...but then, here we have Jon Kent who has all the powers of his pops, even though he isn’t yet as powerful as a fully grown Superman. Even a half grown Kryptonian is a lot to handle, though!
Hard decision, but I don’t think I can deny that Miles would figure SOMETHING out to beat Superboy, who is still only a little kid. Geesh, just offer him to take him to Chuck E. Cheese or something! Another win for Marvel.
Quicksilver vs. Flash
The battle of the speedsters! Pietro Maximoff taking on Barry Allen (in ’96 it was Wally in the red suit) for all the marbles! Like Aquaman vs. Sub-Mariner, this is a much debated matchup in the annals of comics. They are mirror images of each other with almost identical powers. Almost.
I think it’s pretty clear that The Flash really is faster than Quicksilver, even Barry Allen, who is not as fast as Wally was would win this if you’re estimating by speed. But would he win the fight? While the cocky Quicksilver could get in some sneaky licks, eventually Barry would gain the upper hand and win against Pietro. Still, this has been and always will be one of the most entertaining cross-universe fights of all time. There’s nothing more fun than seeing speedsters fight, right? It’s really too bad every fight lasted merely two pages or so in '96. Like Logan and Lobo, these two could probably go for a long, long time before there’s a clear winner.
Nonetheless, the end result will and always will be the scarlet speedster (any of them) coming out on top.
Winner: The Flash
The End Results
Well, there we have it, kids. I would say that if DC Versus Marvel were to go one-on-one for comic universe supremacy, we would see DC Comics dominate. And keep in mind, I am a Marvel guy! I just feel that DC’s heroes are way more powerful...at least in these specific matchups, anyway.
But in the end, it matters not. I never saw why the two publishers competed so much over the years. Both companies have brought comic books where they are today, and both have some of the most iconic heroes and villains in pop culture history! I celebrate them both every day I draw breath and I always will.
And hey, keep in mind the results are MY OPINION, feel free to voice yours if you think I’m wrong in the comments below or on Facebook or Twitter! You know where to find me!
Hope everyone enjoyed this look back at DC Versus Marvel over two decades later! That’ll be it for now! Bleed Out!