DC vs. Marvel: 20th anniversary redux
Twenty years ago, the biggest comic publishers put into print what fans had been arguing about for years, with “DC vs. Marvel/Marvel vs. DC.”
Some of it was a little forced, with what could have been marathon battles lasting just two or three pages. And fan voting determined the winners of the five biggest fights, leading to dubious outcomes like Storm defeating Wonder Woman.
But there were memorable moments, including Gambit stealing the Batmobile and Wonder Woman wielding Thor’s hammer. The series was, if nothing else, fun.
What follows is my list of the 11 fights I think would be featured if the series happened today – doubtful since it’s been years since the companies collaborated on crossovers. They include the current versions of the characters (no Tony Stark Iron Man) and the ones that would be the most heavily marketed, not necessarily my dream match-ups (no Black Canary vs. Dazzler or Squirrel Girl vs. Doomsday).
Superman vs. Captain Marvel
Superman has the history, and would likely win a fan vote, but Marvel has been pushing Carol Danvers the last few years and she’s got a movie coming out in 2019 – plus the raw power to make Superman quickly abandon any gentlemanly hesitation to fight a woman.
Batman vs. Black Panther
Batman’s popularity would give him the voting edge, but this would be a down-to-the-wire battle between the two most cunning, prepared and relentless heroes in each universe. If you only know Black Panther from “Captain America: Civil War,” check out Christopher Priest’s comic run, then try to tell me he can’t go toe-to-toe with the Dark Knight.
Wonder Woman vs. Thor
This match-up works whether it’s classic Thor or the new, female version. Wonder Woman might have the advantage in speed and, in the case of the latter, experience, but both are part of powerful pantheons and each would consider the clash sport as much as outright combat.
Flash vs. Spider-Man
As in 1996, the obvious pairing is Flash and Quicksilver, but outside the last two X-Men movies, Quicksilver doesn’t generate much interest. It’s hard to come up with a DC parallel for Spider-Man, but he can’t be left out. His spider-sense would help some, and a deus ex machina could close the speed gap by accelerating Spidey or slowing Flash.
Harley Quinn vs.
Forget one fight in a bigger series: If DC and Marvel could bury the hatchet and publish a crossover just featuring these two, they would make approximately all the money.
Green Arrow vs.
They appeared together briefly in the original series, but with Green Arrow starring on TV and Hawkeye on the big screen, they should face off in a trick-arrow-heavy display of archery prowess.
Cyborg vs. Ironheart
The youngest, least-known member of DC’s movie “Justice League” takes on the teen girl who reverse-engineered Iron Man’s armor and is trying to take his place.
Aquaman vs. Groot
Although he won their battle in ’96, Aquaman’s not in the same power class as Marvel’s Atlantean counterpart, Namor, who’s about as popular as Quicksilver. Plus, we’ve got to have a Guardian of the Galaxy in here somewhere. In other words, “I am Groot.”
Supergirl vs. Jean Grey
Power sets don’t match, but the current teen version of Jean has the psychic firepower to make a fight with this Kryptonian immigrant interesting.
Constantine vs. Doctor Strange
Strange is more powerful, but John Constantine is craftier and fights dirtier.
Atom vs. Ant-Man
Both are size-changing legacy heroes. Ant-Man is a surprise movie star, and the new-old-new-again Atom is featured in DC’s latest JLA reboot.
Evan Bevins is the writer of the webcomic “Support Group.”