Poll Position: Dogfight!

Most of the "Versus" matchups we've thought about involved melee characters beating the snot out of each other with their fists. And I'm all for that. But the ranged specialists in comicdom have been sadly neglected, an oversight I aim to correct this week:

{democracy:140}

Discussion after the jump.

So hot you don't mind her kicking your ass.

A quick word first about what I am thinking here. First, to qualify a character's offensive arsenal had to be primarily ranged. Thus I didn't include the likes of Superman even though he has heat vision (a ranged power) because he's mostly a melee guy. Plus, come on, Superman.

Second, I wanted to think about an aerial dogfight, like a WWII Red Baron style machine gun airplane battle, only with super-powered individuals. Because that's just how I roll. So even though Green Arrow is primarily a ranged attack character, he doesn't qualify because he can't fly. Same thing with Bullseye or most of the other gun-toting people you might think of when it comes to combat at a distance.

Having laid the "ground" rules (ha ha, see what I did there?!), we can now proceed to our fanboi wanking.

  • Green Lantern: The versatility of the ring would play a huge part here. Whereas someone like the Human Torch is mostly centered around outright blasting power to do his thing, GL has all sorts of options from creating an air-tight enclosure to the always-popular giant hammer, bringing an element of blunt, direct physical trauma into play as well as a level of gamesmanship. On the other hand, Iron Man's armor is yellow, so nyah. (Yes, I know, they retconned that weakness out, but I'm old school.)
  • Human Torch: Like Starfire, Torch's main strength in this fight would be tactical. He's used to being the long-range guy, since that's pretty much his entire shtick. With a relatively paltry bag of tricks at his disposal, he's had to refine them to the point where he's extremely effective with them as well. Basically he's a "keep it simple" kind of guy, which might give him a leg up when confronted with someone like GL or Iron Man who have such a plethora of options at their disposal. I know that's a stretch, but then again, Johnny Storm is used to working with stretches.
  • Iron Man: Like GL, Iron Man has a lot of options built in to his profile, and that would be an advantage. And the suit was built with ranged, aerial combat in mind, so he's both nimble and fast. You can't overlook the importance of either of those attributes in a dogfight, where movement and positioning are so vital. In a hand-to-hand fight, you pretty much stand toe-to-toe and just duke it out, but combat in open air is a lot more tactical than that. Think Khan and two-dimensional combat in "Star Trek II".
  • Magneto: Right away, Iron Man is in trouble. But then again, so is everyone else, because Magneto is used to taking on entire teams of highly powered opponents and annihilating them.
  • Silver Surfer: One of the most powerful beings in the galaxy, the Surfer is also built for flight. The Power Cosmic arguably is stronger than anything anyone else on the list can conjure up, so he's got a huge firepower advantage.
  • Starfire: I admit, she's mostly on the list because of her costume. Hubba hubba! But mostly she's in the same category as the Human Torch.
  • Storm: Being able to control the medium in which combat is being waged is an enormous advantage. Can Iron Man's thrusters keep him stable and combat ready in the face of a hurricane? Can the Human Torch stay lit in a massive water spout? Can Starfire's top stay up in gale-force winds? She's nimble, fast, and can throw a huge monkey wrench into the ability of the others to stay airborne.

So having thought through the list, I'd say the strongest contenders are Green Lantern, Magneto, Silver Surfer, and Storm. Magneto's defeated Storm easily before (even when she was backed by the rest of the X-Men!), so you'd have to think he'd have an edge here as well. As far as I know, Silver Surfer and Green Lantern have nothing metallic for Magneto to glom onto, so I think they'd fare well against him.

Ultimately, however, I think this fight would come down to a willingness to do whatever it takes to win. Silver Surfer, for all his power, has always been a reluctant warrior, and I think the outright merciless intensity of Magneto would bring him down. Ditto for GL. At the end of the day, I just can't bet against Magneto almost not matter what the contest.

What about you, who do you think would come out on top?

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11 Responses to Poll Position: Dogfight!

  1. i say iron man due to the fact of his hi-tech suit he can use his homing missiles

  2. Surfer is fast enough to kill them all in the span of a nano-second.

    You don’t mess with a Herald.

  3. See, we have an issue here which I think needs to be assressed. Which GL do you have in mind? Are you thinking of a competant GL like Hal Jordan or Guy Gardner, or an incompetant one like John Stewart? Each one has advantages and limitations to bring to the table. If we’re talking about Hal Jordan GL. My money is on him, because not only does he have the ring, but he also has experience as an Air Force pilot, which means he ought to know aerial tactics and maneuvers (and as you say, no metal to glom on to). If you’re talking about Guy Gardenr GL, I think he may still have a shot (and it would be really entertaining to watch). If you’re talking about the John Stewart GL? Pfft!!! Magneto hands down.

  4. I voted for Silver Surfer. Anyone that can take on Galactus should have no problem with Magneto.

  5. Here’s the way I see this going down:

    Magneto’s first move would be to rip Tony’s armor from him. He’d then go for his second easy kill, Storm. The Torch and Starfire would probably choose to blast Magneto at this point, taking him out and, right after that, go head to head and take each other out. That leaves the Surfer vs GL. And as much as I like Hal Jordan (the GL that beat the whole rest of the corps) It would come down to time. The Surfer doesn’t sleep (or at lest I don’t ever remember him doing so) and even Hal has to sometime. After a 48h all out slug-fest that would devastate half the world Hal would fall down exhausted.

    Surfer Wins!

  6. At first I thought GL, since he could use his ring to knock everyone else out before anything’s started. On the other hand, the Surfer is the only one without the basic human needs of all the others, and he could just send his board to take everyone out in a second. So I voted for the Surfer.

  7. Surfer can fly through suns at warp speeds without a scratch, I don’t think repulsors or lightning bolts are going to slow him down

  8. Silver surfer would beat them all, because he can always kill each of the others by flying behind the curve of the Earth and make a near light speed charge from a random direction at the opponent. Any of the others would be mush before even noticing that he/she is under attack. Even Green lantern and Iron man have to actually think, what they are going to do with with their toys to fight back. Surfer just has to hit the target and do the surf board guillotine maneuver in order to score a kill.

  9. starfire out by surfer iron man out by magneto torch out by anybody storm out by magneto magneto out by surfer and then it will all end with a cosmic clash of gl and ss using their cosmic powers yes the gl ring is a cosmic power of sorts

  10. William A. Peterson

    Surfer’s got a good chance, but Hal could ground him just by grabbing the stupid surfboard…
    Everybody else is going to have problems with following Hal or Norrin, if they decide to move the contest up into orbit.
    Yeah, Tony has a built in air supply (short term), but he’d use most of his fuel just getting up that high!

  11. Surfer, hands down. A good GL could drag it out a while (the full recharge time of the ring if he flat out runs for his life) but that’s about it.
    And Hal Jordan would go down just as easily as any other GL. After all, The Silver Surfer has a blunt object to hit him over the head with.