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Saturday, November 05, 2011

DC vs. Marvel #2 - 1996

Comics Weekend "Round Two" by Peter David, Dan Jurgens, Claudio Castellini, and more.

The second issue of DC vs. Marvel (or Marvel vs. DC, depending on your company preference, I guess) with some "regular" young man who seems to have some connection to the vast forces that are putting the various heroes and villains in play.

We then get more crazy combos, with Captain America squaring off against Bane, Wolverine vs. Killer Croc, etc. We also meet two beings, brothers, born eons ago and locked in some eternal struggle to see who will survive. To achieve this, each being chooses its warriors:
Now aware of the stakes, different sets of heroes square off: Captain Marvel vs. Thor, Flash vs. Quicksilver, and...
In addition to all this, Darkseid takes on Thanos, and Wonder Woman manages to claim the power of Thor by picking up Mjolnir! To be continued!

This issue is a lot lighter in tone (though it still contains lots of mystical mumbo-jumbo), and you've even got bystanders placing bets on the fights. Here's the scorecard as it stands:
At the time, I remember hearing that Aquaman beat Namor, which, I have to admit, I thought was ridiculous, since Namor is one of Marvel's most powerful characters, and Aquaman is not. I assumed it was writer Peter David (who, of course, was writing Aquaman at the time) playing favorites. Of course, being the Aquaman fan I am, I was kind of okay with that!

But having since seen the fight (which is oh so brief!), I kind of buy it now: Namor is so full of himself that his overconfidence is his undoing, kind of like his relationship with Sue Storm. I also just like the comical visual of Aquaman dropping a giant whale on Namor's head and calling it a day.

Sadly, this issue is Aquaman's finest moment in the series; nevertheless we'll wrap up our look back at DC vs. Marvel next weekend!


Anonymous said...

Issues 2 and 3 we're Marvel vs DC and issues 1 and 4 we're DC vs Marvel. It doesn't depend on company preferance. That's what they are. Sorry for nitpicking, just saying.

David J. Cutler said...

A lot of these battles were voted on by the fans, so in a lot of cases the more popular character won instead of the sane man's choice. I'd take Wolverine over a dozen Lobos any day of the week, but seeing Logan him down so effortlessly was a bit much for even me to swallow. I can't remember if Aquaman v. Namor was one of the battles fans could vote on, but if so, Aquaman's 90s resurgence and the floundering of Marvel's non-X-men/Spider-Man properties around this time would have a lot to answer for it.

Caffeinated Joe said...

I was happy with Aquaman winning this battle, as I thought he was the better of the two. And yeah, I was biased. Would have hated it the other way around!

Anonymous said...

He.. Dropped... a whale on Namor's head... That is EPIC!

Scott Bryan said...

I remember this as well. It was one of the best things about the series. I really enjoyed the series a lot. I wish Marvel at the time didnt put so many characters in funky new costumes becuase it didnt resemble the matches we all dreamed of as children.
We only got to vote for half the matches; Wolvie/Lobo, Storm/WW, Hulk/Supes, Spidey/Superboy, Bats/Cap. Storm has a lot of power, true, but Diana has fighting experience. I know, so does Ororo, but I suspect Diana has more. Yet Storm won becuase like you say, people liked her more. Probably due to the animated series.
Any way, that was my personal grudge. I still loved the series. Are you going to feature Amalgam and the appearences of the Mariner?

Richard said...

Some of Aquaman's dialogue here is really atrocious.

Anthony said...

Yes, the billing for the series was split---two issues were "Marvel vs DC", other two "DC vs Marvel."

As for this fight, yeah, I was on Team Aquaman all the way, and it showed why I always liked Arthur way more than Namor... "insufferable" is a *nice* way of describing Mr. "Avenging Son." I like that Arthur's usually, well, a nice guy/has actual friends and such (including his JLA cohorts, the sea creatures, Mera, etc.)---who does Namor have as "backup" (that can stand being in the same room has him longer than the plot requires)? A married woman he stalks (the Invisible Woman)? :-p

And yeah, dropping a whale on him... classic. :-)

Hugo said...

I remember this comic fondly, because it was one of the first DC Comics in a long time to be published monthly in France.

It was my first exposure to the hook-n-beard Aquaman and a lot of other DC Characters (through their Amalgam forms, though).

I enjoyed this story quite a lot at the time.

(Even if I was 0__o by the WW/Storm fight. What ? She feels so outmatched that she has to use Mjollnir ?)

Do you plan to review the sequel - the "All-Access" mini-series - as well ?

Aquaman is present in the JLA/X-Men issue.

Count Drunkula said...

Y'know, Namor is my second favorite Marvel hero, as Aquaman is my second favorite DC hero. But for their respective similarity as rulers of the oceanic realms, I don't want them characterized at all alike.

I like Namor being the arrogant, anti-social, inch-away-from-outright-villainy ruler of Atlantis, while I like Aquaman being the sunny, classically heroic king of the seven seas. I don't want Aquaman written as a vengeful lord of the deep or a brooding monarch with a grudge against the surface dwellers. The things I love seeing in the Sub-Mariner I don't want to see in Aquaman.

Diabolu Frank said...

Not only wasn't the Aquaman/Namor fight voted on, but Peter David stipulated as a prerequisite for co-writing the book that Aquaman had to win. I don't know why Aquaman didn't take control of Namor's mind. Marvel Atlanteans are highly predisposed to mind control. They're not as useless as DC Atlanteans, but they're very dumb and easily manipulated. Just mutter "Serpent Crown" under your breath and they'll help you invade New York in their darling fish tank battle gear.

HollyH said...

While the rest of the series is atrocious, this particular moment is a real favorite of mine. I've run across people claiming that Arthur "cheated" here (i.e. he couldn't beat Namor on his own), but I rather thought it made an important point about the difference between Namor and Aquaman.

Namor is personally much more powerful. Aquaman can and does augment his power by being able to call upon the largest creatures on Earth. (He was doing Namor a bit of a favor here by "only" dropping an orca on him; though given Namor's abilities I imagine he could withstand a hit by a blue whale.) What this moment ought to have reminded people was that if you pick a fight with Aquaman, either in or near his element, you're facing a powerful army.

I always liked that Peter David recognized that. Though, him using his telepathic abilities against Namor would've been cool as well. But less spectacular.

Anonymous said...

One of my favourite Aquaman moments ever.