As always, we (by which I mean me, so why the hell did I write "we"?) here at COC are dedicated to trying new things. Last post's threesome, a battle in Socratic dialogue, lame setups that aren't funny at all... Yes, all of these cheap ploys have been essayed. Today's cheap ploy is another novelty. Instead of a pitched battle of two specific champions, we will examine a series of brief encounters, all starring everyone's favorite mutant, Wolverine. The feral furry fellow will fight a variety of opponents picked out using my very own Super Secret Random Hero Generator (tm). What? No, you can't see it.
So why Wolverine? Because --- and this blog's three faithful readers will begin to sense a pattern here --- COC is all about rectifying fanboy adulation gone awry. You see, as created, Wolverine is not a truly formidable being, relative to some of the truly souped-up denizens of the Marvel Universe. His stats reveal a character who is only slightly more powerful than a human: for example, he can lift only 800 pounds. So why, then is he always going toe-to-toe with guys who should be, by all rights, wayyyy out of his league? No, not because he's a tough mofo who does what he does best. Because when he's in a comic, fame is his power. Fanboy-driven fame. (I have the same beef with how Captain America and Batman are portrayed --- if a big selling point for the character is that he's just a human, albeit a human honed to the point of perfection, he still shouldn't be tussling with the Hulk or Amazo, no matter how big a woody fanboys get just reading about him. Maybe more on Cap later, as I do have some more to say on that subject.)
So anyway, here are a few matchups for Wolvie to delight in, only they'll be objective. Gads, I'm an iconoclast!
* The Hulk. Wolverine is always tussling with the Jade Giant. And somehow living through the experiences. Why? How? The man can only press 800 pounds! The Hulk is... how shall I put this? Oh yeah --- the strongest one there is. How do you justify the Hulk trading slugs with Thor in one book, yet in another having trouble with a relatively quick 5'3" guy who has knives in his wrists? I don't care if he has admantium guns that shoot admantium lasers comings out of his frickin' eyeballs, the little furball doesn't stand a goddam chance! You tell how it goes down, Hulkie: "Claw-man leap around, shouting 'Bub' like he does which only make Hulk angrier. So Hulk clap like this, BOOM, and claw-man fall down. Hulk grab claw-man and squeeze real tight. Hulk can crush tanks like grapes, so claw-man's skin mush up real good. Hulk leap a mile up and punch claw-man lots of times all the way up. Claw-man will scratch at Hulk like he does, but Hulk can take a few scrapes, and they heal in a few minutes anyways. On way down, Hulk make sure claw-man land first and Hulk on top. Hulk eat claw-man's face." Hulk by KO in 2, maybe 3.
* Captain America. Now this is a more even match. Capt. Rogers is as strong as Logan; the mutant may have the edge in speed. Logan's fiercer, but Cap's cool head in combat means that ferocity is no edge. Wolvie's claws are probably negated by Cap's dextrous shield-weilding skills. Wolverine has decades of combat experince, but so does Cap! In the end, I think that Cap's keen sense of battle stategy could carry the day, while Wolverine's fury could only work against him and make him sloppy. Still, with the healing factor and all, Wolvie's a hard guy to put down. Captain America on points.
* The Beast. Logan's fellow X-Man makes another reasonable contest. Dr. McCoy is much stronger (he can lift about a ton), more agile, and probably just as fast, but lacks that taste for blood that, in this case, might spell victory for Logan. He also lacks a healing factor, which means the good doc will, I'm afraid, be losing a war of attrition. Wolverine by KO in 5.
* Superman. No contest. Wolvie would cut this guy to ribbons posthaste! Just kidding. I put him in here to see if you were still paying attention. Superman by KO in 2, but only because he spends all of round one trying to calm Wolverine down so he won't hurt himself hurling his body against Superman's torso.
* The Black Panther. In the Avenger Who Lurks, we find another reasonable foe for the contumacious Canadian. This would be a battle royale that I, for one, would pay money to see. T'Challa's vibranium suit, energy knives and combat skills would give Wolvie a run for his money, or at the very least, work hard for a victory. There are a couple of variables here that I can't account for --- would Wolvie's claws be able to pierce the Panther's bullet-stopping vibranium suit, and would the Panther's own "anti-metal" have any deleterious effect on Wolverine's admantium? All the weaponry aside, I think this fight would be decided by speed, agility and combat smarts, and while the King of the Wakandians is no slouch, Wolverine has the edge in all three. If the fight were held in the jungle, or some other place (like an old ruined fort) where T'Challa's acrobatic skills and stealth could come into play, the Panther could probably manage to drop Wolverine. Even that is iffy, though, given the greater amount of damage Wolverine can absorb. In open ground, T'Challa wouldn't have much of a chance. I'd have to say Wolverine by TKO in 8 or 9.
* The Human Torch. With this fight, we suddenly perceive something about combat that comic book universes rarely address. To wit: characters who can fly and have long-range attacks are much, much, much more likely to win fights. What's Wolverine going to do, throw stuff at Johnny? He'd only melt it anyway. "Hey! What's that weird, orange, glowing skeleton with claws doing in that crater?" "Oh, that's where Wolverine lost his fight with the Torch. Don't touch it. It's still hot." The Torch by KO in 4.
* The Punisher. I think Wolverine's "fought" this guy before (aside from Ennis' humorous Punisher run, which doesn't count). What the hell? Wolverine can take a machine gun hit. Frank can't take a set of claws right through his Kevlar-covered belly. End of story. Wolverine by KO in 2.
Well, that was fun. I only wish comic writers would approach their own battle scenes as blissfully stripped of any fanboy worship.
So who is the Champ?
Why, us! The comic-book buying public.
Next: Oooooh, spooky