Attack of the Attacks

By | Thursday, January 11, 2007 Leave a Comment
It's been a little while since I've done a "covers" post, and yesterday's post got me thinking about classic comic battles. Not so much the great moments in comic book storytelling, but the one-shots and limited series that splash a big "VS" on the cover and throw two names on either side of it. Readers know immediately what to expect from the title, even though, more often than not, the book does not deliver.

I expect many of you will recall some of the fanboy dream types of stories: Aliens vs. Predators, Hulk vs. Superman, Robocop vs. Terminator... Those are the ones that fans tend to clamor for because they've been argued/discussed informally by fans since the characters were created. Further, they're match-ups that -- in a general consensus -- simply won't happen because the characters are owned by separate entities. Much of the excitement is that legal issues were ironed out so that both characters could appear in the same comic. They're also very dangerous stories to work on because each side has its proponents (most notably, the characters' owners) and the writer generally has to take pains to not make one side too dominant over the other. Because of this, these fights tend to end in a draw, leaving neither side particularly happy.

The next type of match-up is also not terribly satisfying because readers have already seen the outcome in some form or another. Daredevil vs. Punisher or Jedi vs. Sith for examples. Even something like Fantastic Four vs. X-Men isn't wholly unexpected. The result is a story that isn't very surprising, and astute readers can probably figure out the ending fairly early.

Another set of match-ups that don't strike me as particularly interesting are the ones that simply aren't discussed by the fans. The characters aren't terribly well-known and fans of one side might not even have heard of the other character. These seem to exist solely for marketing purposes, as fans of one character are introduced to the other in apparent effort to give more visability to each other's audience. Further, since the creators still want to portray the characters evenly, these still tend to end in an unsatisfying tie.

The last type I'll mention are simply the absurd. Comics that are so out of left field that no one would've expected them. Dracula vs. Al Capone, Godzilla vs. Charles Barkley, Monkey in a Wagon vs. Lemur on a Big Wheel... The concepts themselves are simply too bizarre for many people to even consider and consequently, the stories have some innate qualities that are going to attract a certain type of person (like myself) regardless of who's fighting against whom.

Anyway, on with some "versus" covers...
Newer Post Older Post Home