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Dinsdale Piranha

CBUB Match Judges
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Posts posted by Dinsdale Piranha

  1. So Marvel has retconned their Callisto as being a master of most martial arts, huh? That has become such a lame cliche they (and DC) pull out for every street level character. I liked it a lot better when she was a bad-ass street fighter with mutant enhanced senses and reflexes. 

     

    Oh well...

     

    I like both characters and have used Callisto (Marvel) a lot in my big arc. Callisto (Xena) is (with Joxer) my favorite character from that series. When Lucy Lawless was injured and Hudson Leick took over as Xena's mind in Callisto's body, I thought she made a better Xena than Lucy ever did.

     

    Anyway, I think Callisto gives Callisto a good fight, but ultimately Callisto has this in the bag.

     

    Callisto (Marvel) is a very good fighter but she's far from Marvel's best. Storm was able to beat her in a hand to hand (or knife to knife) fight on Callisto's home turf in their first encounter. Storm is good. She's learned to be tough on the streets of Cairo and had the intensive hand to hand training all X-Men get. But Storm is no stronger or faster than an athletic woman of average size. Also, most of her X-Men training is in how to use her mutant powers most effectively. While she's certainly picked up a lot, that's never been enough of a focus to put her on the level of characters like Shang Chi, Black Widow, Batroc, etc. And if she can't fight at that level, neither can Callisto.

     

    Callisto (Xena) on the other hand is so good that she regular does things that defy the laws of physics. While Hercules/Xena are wildly inconsistent about their characters' levels of strength and skill, Herc, Xena, Callisto (and often Gabrielle) operated at clearly superhuman levels.

     

    Callisto wins!

  2. Robin vs. Gambit - I'd give Gambit the edge in agility because of his powers and Robin the advantage in fighting skill. Gambit the advantage of size and strength because this is a young, small version of Robin. Robin has lots of thrown weapons and is very good with them. Gambit has an unlimited number of explosive throwing weapons. Gambit is a sleazy jerk and in a just world he would never win a fight with anyone. Based on his powers, though, I think he has a slight edge on the pre-adult Robin but I don't see a decisive victory for wither of them right away.

     

    Raven vs. Mastermind - I don't remember anything about Mastermind's mental abilities form the cartoon, bt I don't think it's a good idea for him to messing around in Raven's mind. I think he's going to give her a rough time for a few minutes, then she's going to fry his brain.

     

    Starfire vs. Pyro - Pyro normally wouldn't stand a chance, but it looks like you're hinting that he can manipulate the fiery energy of Starfire's bolts, which makes this interesting. I see it as a good fight until Starfire realizes that she should stop using starbolts and overwhelms Pyro with her strength and flying powers.

     

    Cyborg vs. Colossus - I'm guessing that Colossus is a little stringer and quite a bit more durable. If Cyborg realizes this and uses his sonic blaster the fight's pretty even.

     

    Beast Boy vs. Sabretooth - Sabretooth in the cartoon was much stronger than a gorilla, and was able to thrust a car through the roof of a parking garage. Beast Boy is going to have to use a larger form like an elephant or a T Rex to overpower him. Fortunately, this version of ST doesn't have nearly as jacked up a healing factor. If BB uses his shape changing creatively, he can at least stalemate Creed.

     

    So, the boys are stalemated the first round but the girls win their battles. That allows some double teaming in round two and the Acolytes won't stand up to that. 

     

    But then Magneto will step in to help his weakened team. The Titans will put up a good struggle, but he's too much for them.

     

    Unless... raven goes full power again. Since you said this might happen, I'll assume it does. Magneto will give him a hard time but someone who can over Trigon can defeat Magneto too. So, after a long and difficult battle, Titans win.

  3. I'm probably underestimating Dwight because I haven't watched The Office very much.

     

    I was thinking that Sheldon could create something very marketable... like the I-phone app he and the others were working on. Now that you ask though, he would probably turn up his nose at anything that had a practical application.

     

    His design specs would also be impossibly stringent.

     

    And marketing would be hopeless (though he could do a commercial for it on "Fun with Flags.")

     

    No, you're right. Sheldon is much more self-defeating in this area than Dwight.

  4. This is part of an arc; the last chapter is at Catwoman, Wolf and Black Cat vs. Penguin, Jay Lark and raven, and Vulture.

     

    This is the wrap up for Fox and Moon Knight vs. Kai and Sora vs. Los Hermanos de la Luna and Kyle Abbott.

     

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    Moon Knight attacked the werewolves with silver throwing crescents and a grenade that filled the air with powdered silver. He landed among the stunned choking werewolves and began attacking them mercilessly with silver truncheon and silver spiked cestii. When the gargoyles swooped in, Moon Knight mistook them for more attackers, triggering a fierce three way battle.

     

    The gargoyles finished the weakened werewolves but before the fight between them and Moon Knight, Fox was able to let them know that they weren't enemies. She showed them the villains standing victorious over her protectors at the base of the cliff. Moon Knight and the Gargoyles decided to join forces against Whisper A'Daire, Kyodai Ken and the Silver Samurai.

     

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    The Steel Clan arrived at the warehouse just in time to rip open the storm drain and rescue Owen Burnett, the Question and the Creeper. Xanatos let the heroes live but left them trapped in the drain while he took Owen home.

     

    They were able to escape a short time later and Question promised to help Creeper pick up the Chameleon's trail again.

     

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    Question shared his information about Wayne Enterprises creating bat-themed weaponry with Thailog. The gargoyle decided to learn more about Bruce Wayne and told Chameleon to infiltrate the company again.

     

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    Luke Cage and the rest of the Manhattan clan joined Goliath and his group in Metropolis. A short time later, Max Loew and the Golem joined them as well. They discussed a plan to attack the Zoo, defeat Demona's forces, and free her prisoners.

     

    Max told them about a news bulletin he had heard on the way, about a hideous man-spider terrorizing the city. They found a television and saw the report. Lexington pointed out that the creature appeared to be wearing the tattered remains of a Spider-Man costume and they realized it must me him, possibly altered by Demona and Sevarius.

     

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    Christopher Chance was caught by half a dozen of Ra's al Ghul's assassins in a Metropolis alley. Wounded and unarmed, Chance was still putting up a good fight when his opponents suddenly began dropping under a barrage of plasma stun bolts. His rescuer was a motorcycle riding cowboy with a red bandanna. 

     

    The two conferred and discovered they were both allies of the Batman. Vigilante took chance back to the old abandoned high school building the League of Assassins was using as a base. They saw that the Metropolis SCU (called by the Steel Serpent after betraying the League) had the place surrounded.

     

    Vigilante and Chance conferred with Maggie Sawyer and Dan Turpin. Chance said that a frontal assault would be suicide because of Merlyn. Maggie confirmed that the deadly archer had already started taking a toll on her men. The group came up with a plan; under cover of a smoke screen, Vigilante would get into the building and take out the archer, then the SCU would attack.

     

    Using his lariet, Vig ascends to a fourth story window and enters. Prowls the floor for several minutes, taking out two of the League's killers. Hearing a slight noise, Vigilante spins around and sees an arrow flying at him. He just manages to shoot it out of the air, then the fight is on. 

     

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    Merlyn is the only assassin on this floor but he will use stealth, cover and every trick he knows to kill the hero. 

     

    Vigilante is hte version seen in Justice League Unlimited. He is armed with his lariat and two pistole that resemble old west six-shooters but are actually plasma weapons that fire stun bolts.

  5. This is part of an arc; the last chapter is at Robin, Jana of the Jungle and Jonny Quest vs. Jade, Turquesa and Obsidiana.

     

    This is the wrap up for Kairi Tanaga, Colleen Wing and Misty Knight vs. Whisper A'Daire

     

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    Colleen and Misty are bodyguarding Fox Xanatos and have hooked up with Colleen's old friend, Kairi in Japan. When they are attacked they send Fox up a stair on a sheer cliff and position themselves to guard the bottom of the stairs.

     

    Misty fires her pistol but the bullet is deflected by the Silver Samurai's heavy armor. Whisper uses one of her energy lashes to disarm Misty. Colleen moves in on her and Kairi attacks Kyodai while Misty goes after the samurai.

     

    Misty gets a couple of good shots in before the Samurai cuts her bionic arm off. Colleen does well against Whisper but Ken quickly takes care of Kairi then blindsides colleen, knocking her out.

     

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    Azrael contacts Batman who gives him a rendezvous point in Manhattan. Midnight overhears this and plans to be there also. 

     

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    Black Widow meets with Wildcat in Metropolis and the two begin investigating Talia's disappearance.

     

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    Greg Saunders is entering Metropolis when he hears a report on the police band about SCU moving in on a League of Assassins stronghold. He decides that his meeting with Wildcat and the Black Widow will need to wait while the Vigilante helps out the police.

     

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    Penguin is leaving the Iceberg Lounge at 2:00 am with his three bodyguards in tow when he is confronted in the bodyguard by Catwoman wanting "her diamond" back.

     

    "Selina," Penguin said. "Don't you remember what happened last time?"

     

    "Sure do," she replied. "That's why I cane with friends this time." She raised a hand and Black Cat and Wolf appeared out of the darkness."

     

    "I see," Penguin said. "Well, it's fortunate that I have friends also. Friends in high places, you might say."

     

    The Vulture swooped out of the night and the battle began.

  6. This is a part of an arc; the last installment is in matches at Steel Serpent vs. Macbeth.

     

    Here is the wrap up of Roger "Race" Bannon, Rufus "Super Midnight" Carter and Jezebel Jade vs. Batroc the Leaper, Red Claw and King Snake.

     

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    Batroc's Brigade has been hired by Demona to kidnap Curt Connors and his family. The team splits, with the main body heading into the jungles of Guatamala to catch Dr. Quest's party and Billy Connors. In the meantime, Batroc and two associates attacked the main camp where Connors and his wife were located.

     

    Red Claw attacked Jade and overpowered her very quickly. Race did surprisingly well against Batroc before the Leaper knocked him out. Rufus Carter did the best of the defenders and had King Snake on the ropes.

     

    Batroc warned his people off, wanting to deal with "zee so-great keekboxing champion" himself. After a fierce battle, Batroc emerged triumphant.

     

    Red Claw and King Snake went into the Connors' tent to get Kurt only to discover he had transformed into the Lizard. Shrugging the two off, he fled into the jungle.

     

    "Mes enfants," Batroc said, "Zis 'as just gotten tres complique."

     

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    Eddie Brock slips out of his quarters at the Zoo feeling unusually confident and strong. He moved to the section where the cells were and opened the cage holding Peter Parker. The hideous man-spider slammed him out of the way and fled through the building.

     

    "Good luck, bro," Eddie said. "Now, we need to see about getting ourselves out of here."

     

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    Mysterio and Chameleon reach a safe-house they established in in case their HQ was compromised. They come inside to find a big man waiting for them. He says that his name is Alexander Thailog and he has a proposition for them. If they agree to work exclusivelyfor him, he will make them rich.

     

    The two are intrigues, especially when they learn that Thailog has sources of information all over. He lets them know that Tinkerer was murdered by the Joker and they agree to an alliance.

     

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    The three Gargoyles are on patrol when they see the Quest group moving through the jungle toward the ruins where they live. Thinking the explorers may be a threat to the rainforest or their home the gargoyles attack.

     

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    This is Jade, Turquesa and Obsidiana only; Zafiro is in another part of the forest. This is midday but the gargoyles have special pendants that keep them from turning to stone as long as they wear them. They will not harm the humans if they can help it but will try to capture and disarm them. They will use the least force necessary.

     

    Jonny, Hadji and Jessie have all their skills but aren't carrying weapons. In this canopied forest the ground is clear of undergrowth so they don't even have machetes. Billy is also unharmed and is an active kid but doesn't have the fighting or wilderness skills of the Quests. 

     

    Dr. Quest is a pretty good fighter, though not in Race Bannon's league. He is carrying a hunting rifle in case of dangerous wildlife and has a sheathed machete.

     

    Montero is big (about 6'4") man who is powerful and a skilled fighter. He carries a staff which has the power to create a localized tremor when he strikes the ground. The tremor is potent enough to knock most people in a small area off their feet.

     

    Jana is extremely agile and much stronger than you'd expect from someone her size. She carries no weapons, but can throw her necklace. It is made of a mysterious, super-hard metal and is sharp enough to cut through vines, ropes, etc. It will also boomerang back to her when thrown.

     

    Ghost is an albino jaguar and is completely responsive to Jana's commands. For that manner, Jana can call on any animals in the area to help her.

     

    Tiko and Bandit are loyal but very small animals.

     

    Robin, Jana of the Jungle, and Jonny Quest vs. Zafiro, Jade and Obsidiana

  7. Here's another abbreviated match. Sorry for the brevity but everything's shutting down Saturday.

     

    This is part of an arc; the last installment is in Matches at Vincent vs. Sabretooth

     

    Here is the wrap up for the Question vs. Mysterio.

     

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    The Question has just defeated the Chameleon and he and Owen Burnett now move to the storm drain in the villain's warehouse HQ to free the Creeper, who is trapped there. Before they have a chance, Chameleon's partner Mysterio appears and attacks them.

     

    It's a tough battle, but in a warehouse filled with Mysterio's traps and illusions, the good guys ultimately have no chance. He tricks them into a trap that drops them into the storm drain with the unconscious Creeper and activates a level which begins to flood it with water.

     

    About then, the Steel Clan arrives at the building looking for Owen. Realizing he is outgunned, Mysterio takes Chameleon and flees.

     

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    Jean-Paul Valley slips away from the clinic where Bruce Wayne had put him to recover from the wounds he sustained fighting Demona and heads back to Gotham.

     

     

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    The Enforcers are kicking back at the Big Sky Billiards Parlor when a news report comes on describing the deaths of a number of men in the attack on Yancy Street. This really bothers Gladiator who says he thought he was signing on to fight heroes, not kill civilians. Montana tells him that he signed on to do as he was told. They argue a bit and Gladiator takes off.

     

    As he leaves, Constantine Drakon and the Russian see him from across the street. They've had their eye on the place, hoping to catch one of the Big Man's lieutenants alone.

     

    On a nearby rooftop, the prowler sees the two men attack the uncostumed Gladiator and thinks he's watching a regular mugging.

     

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    Thailog watches as Tala performs a spell on Coldstone. When the spell ends he asks the cyborg gargoyle how he feels. Cold smiles and tells him that the other voices (Othello and Desdemona) in his head are silent. There is only him (Iago) left and he is happy to serve Thailog.

     

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    Steel Serpent has split with the League of Assassins because he was not allowed to avenge his defeat at the hands of Batman. He has gone to the office of Dominique Destine to offer her his services in return for a shot at their mutual enemy. He is sitting hin her office discussing this when MacBeth bursts through the window, intent on killing Dominique, who is secretly Demona.

     

    Steel Serpent sees his chance and attacks MacBeth. Dominique grabs her laser rifle but is intrigued by the fight and waits to see who will win before using it.

     

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    Steel Serpant is the version who first appeared in Iron Fist. He is an immortal of K'un Lun and a martial arts master whose skill rivals Daniel Rand's. He does not have any magic or chi powers at this time.

     

    MacBeth has his energy pistol and his sword. His goal is to kill Demona. He understands that he will also die because of the curse that binds them together but considers it a fair trade. While he doesn't want to kill anyone else, he will use whatever means necessary to get Steel Serpent out of the way.

  8. I'm apologize in advance for the brevity of this but, with the forum closing Saturday, this is the only way I can get these matches up in time for anyone to comment.

     

    This is part of an arc. The last chapter is at Iron Man vs. The Lexo Skel-suit 5000 and Team Luthor.

     

    This is the wrap up for Silver Sable and Silvermane vs. Warhawk.

     

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    The Big Man hired Calypso to use her voodoo magic to control Warhawk and sent him after his rival, Silvermane. The assassin crashed through Silvermane's goons with little difficulty. He confronts Silvermane but the Maggia boss's cyber-armor (created by Lexcorp) allows him to hold Warhawk, for a while.

     

    Sable tried to help her father but realizes that her weapons are of limited use against Warhawk's steel-like body. She uses plastique to blow a hole in the floor, dropping Warhawk and Silvermane into the basement. Once there, she goads Warhawk into attacking her and ducks out of the way. He strikes the house's generator and the electrical jolt stuns long enough for Silvermane to wrap steel cable around him, restraining him.

     

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    On Yancy Street, the minyan (see last installment) has become more of a discussion group since two of their number left (Max Loew was called away by Elisa Maza who needed his Golem's help and Rory Regan skipped out to go to a costume party with a girl he likes.

     

    The group is discussing the protection racket the Big Man is running. They had hoped that the Golem, who had recently defeated Dr. Octopus, could protect them. Rabbi Luria had invited Rory, knowing that he controls the Golem. Since Rory is not there, the Rabbi reveals that he knows a cabalistic spell that may help protect them, though it might not work without a full minyan to chant it.

     

    The group decides to go through the chant anyway and mystic energy fills the room. Unfortunately, the Big Man has singled out Rory's father as an example of what will happen to anyone who refuses to pay. The Enforcers arrive at the Rags 'n Tatters shop and destroy it, Fang and Shocker blasting it and Gladiator cutting through support beams. It's only when the shop collapses that the Enforcers realize the minyan was meeting upstairs. They are all shocked and Gladiator feels especially bad for having men who had no choice to fight back.

     

    As the enforcers flee the spot, Rory returns from the party wearing the Ragman costume he had worn. Rabbi Luria tells him his father and several others are inside under some live wires and probably dead. Rory rushes in on the chance they are still alive. When he tries to free them from the wires, the electricity and the cabalistic energy combine to transfer some of the men's memories and abilities to him. He gains his father's compassion and commitment to the neighborhood, the strength of a former circus strongman, the skills of a heavyweight boxer, the training of a retired Mossad agent, the agility of a gymnast from the 1972 Munich Olympics, and the martial arts skills of a krav maga instructor for the IDF. When he comes out of his coma, Rory will become Ragman, the Tatterdemalion of Justice and will use his skills to protect his community.

     

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    Also in Manhattan, Hobie Brown in his Prowler costume goes on patrol for the first time. 

     

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    Bruce Wayne and Natasha Romanov have a heart to heart and Natasha decided she cannot reveal his secret to SHIELD. A news broadcast announces that the Joker and the Royal Flush Gang have robbed the diamond exchange. Bruce is torn between dealing with the Joker in Manhattan and tracking down the kidnapped Talia in Metropolis. Natasha offers to go to Metropolis and start the search. Bruce thanks her and calls two of Batman's allies: Greg Sanders (Vigilante) and Ted Grant (Wildcat) to help her.

     

    Midnight has been observing this, unseen. After defecting from the League of Assassins, he's decided to offer his services to Batman (Ra's al Ghul always spoke highly of his enemy's integrity.) Midnight doesn't know how to approach Batman and decides to follow him to Manhattan and help him deal with the Royal Flush Gang.

     

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    Sabretooth is leading a group of LexCorp thugs into the tunnels under Manhattan to capture any more of Dr. Sevarius' remaining mutates and to round up homeless people for further experiments at the Zoo. He is confronted in the tunnels by Vincent and Red Wolf. He sends his men on, promising to join them after he takes care of the two. 

     

    "You should have learned your lesson last time, redskin," Sabretooth said. "This time I'll make sure you stay dead."

     

    He lunged, only to be blinded by a handfull of powder that Red Wolf tossed in his face.

     

    Vincent charged in then, slashing his claws across Sabretooth's chest. The mutant thrust him away and bared his own claws.

     

    "Not bad, freak," he said, "but my healing factor... Hey! Why ain't I healing?"

     

    "A gift from the Owayodats, monster," the warrior said. "Your healing power is gone."

     

    "Won't make any difference," Creed said, and sprang at his foes.

     

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    Vincent is in berserker mode in this fight. While not as strong as Sabretooth, he is probably a little faster and more skilled (I base that assumption on the Beauty and the Beast episode "China Moon" which showcases Vincent's fighting ability against Tong fighters. He has several impressive feats. He ducks back into the fog to avoid one man's weapon, appearing behind the man a moment later showing inhuman stealth and speed. In another scene, Vincent faces one man while another silently appears behind him and throws a shuriken. Somehow sensing the shuriken after it is thrown, Vincent dodges it, allowing it to strike his opponent.)

     

    Red Wolf and Lobo are present and will help Vincent as possible. Since both Vincent and Sabertooth are in berserker mode, Red Wolf is only going to help out out if he is really needed.

     

    Sabretooth is the version seen in the animated X-Men Evolution series. His healing factor has been temporarily neutralized by Red Wolf's magic powder.

     

  9. I'm just going by memory, but I think Thanos is more consistently prepared than Doom. That has a lot to do with the fact that doom has been written by many authors while Thanos (for a long time anyway) was written exclusively by Jim Starlin. He was Starlin's favorite villain and was always thinking three steps ahead of everyone.

     

    Doom is way ahead of the game in many stories, but he's also been set up as a jobber to make some writers' pet heroes look good a lot.

  10. This is part of an arc; the last installment is Duncan MacLeod vs. Elektra

     

    Here is the wrap up for Morbius vs. the Ventriloquist & Scarface

     

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    Elisa Maza and Morbius have broken into Hugo Strange's clinic after hours. They are using Strange's mind reading machine to get information from him when Strange's ally, Scarface butsts in. Scarface is accompanied by his thugs Muggsy and Rhino and (of course) the Ventriloquist.

     

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    "Eat hot lead, youse mugs!" Scarface shouted. The mini-Tommy-gun the dummy carried chattered as it spat a storm of gunfire through the room. Elisa ducked behind the heavy oaken desk while Morbius launched himself up and toward the gangsters with greater than human agility. The bullets struck electronic equipment causing sparks to fly, and then shattered the overhead lights.

     

    "Get em!" Scarface shouted.

     

    Rhino lurched forward, interposing his massive body between scarface and Morbius. The Living Vampire smalled into him, causing him to stumble backward through the door.

     

    Elisa stayed under cover as an automatic pistol opened up in her direction. That would be the Ventriloquist's other man, she decided. Raising her head over the edge of the desk, she snapped off two shots at the muzzle flashes and was rewarded with a cry of pain.

     

    "Boss!" Muggsy shouted. "O'Hirn! She got me!"

     

    "Keep fightin' you pantywaist!" Scarface shouted.

     

    "I can't, Boss. I'm dying."

     

    "You'd better hope you're dyin'!" Scarface shouted. "If I find out she just winged you, It's curtains, Mugsy! Curtains!"

     

    The dummy let loose another burst that sent Elisa diving to the floor.

     

    In the outer office, Rhino had managed to catch Morbius in a bearhug that even his enhanced strength couldn't break. As the big man's muscles strained, the Living Vampire felt his ribs on the verge of collapse.

     

    I didn't want this, he thought, but I see I have no choice.

     

    Opening his mouth wide, he sank his fangs into the huge man's shoulder and drank deep. Gradually Rhino's grip weakened and he struggled to let go, but the re-invigorated Morbius continued to hold on. After a few minutes, the big man slumped to the floor and Morbius stood, staring down for a moment. He saw that the giant was still breathing and let out a sigh of relief. He'd managed to win a victory over his thirst… this time. Turning, he linged back into Strange's inner office.

     

    "I--I think you must have hit her, Scarface," the Ventriloquist said.

     

    "Head over there and check, Dummy!" Scarface replied. "She might be playin' possum. You can't ever trust a dame!"

     

    Elisa lay very still as the bizarre pair approached. She didn't want to shoot the Ventriloquist. He wasn't evil, just sick. Unfortunately, she might not have the choice. The compassion she felt for the man didn't make him any less dangerous.

     

    Then Morbius stepped into the room and Scarface fired a withering burst that drove him behind some filing cabinets. Seizing her chance, Elisa pounced from behind the desk to grapple with him. The little man fought with more ferocity than she had expected. Ventriloquist broke away, leaving her holding Scarface. He pointed the Tommy-gun at her before she could raise her pistol.

     

    "No!" Morbius cried, racing with superhuman speed across the room.

     

    "St-stop right there, monster," the Ventriloquist said. "One m-more step and I'll cut your f-friend down."

     

    Realizing he couldn't reach the man in time, Morbius did as he was told.

     

    "N-now, you're going to l-let me and Mr. Scarface g-go," the Ventriloquist said.

     

    "I don't think so," Elisa said. The Ventriloquist turned and saw that she had raised her pistol and was holding it to Scarface's temple. "Drop your weapon or your boss gets it."

     

    "Don't listen to her, Dummy!" Scarface said. "She won't shoot, she's a cop."

     

    "I d-don't know, Mr. scarface," the Ventriloquist replied. "Sh-she's crazy. I s-saw her in a cell at Arkham."

     

    "I don't care!" Scarface said. "No member of my mob is gonna' back down to a frail! Shoot her!"

     

    "B-but, I might h-hit you," the little man sobbed.

     

    "Dummy, I'm tellin--" Scarface's voice cut off with an inarticulate gurgle as Elisa shoved the muzzle of her weapon into his mouth.

     

    "You're right," she said. "I'm just crazy enough to shoot him, so drop your weapon. Nobody needs to get hurt."

     

    The Ventriloquist looked like he was about to collapse into tears. Suddenly he turned toward Morbius and began to fire. Only the Living Vampire's speed saved him from the storm of lead.

     

    Elisa fired three rounds and Scarface's head exploded into splinters.

     

    "NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!"  the Ventriloquist wailed. The gun fdropped from his limp fingers and he lurched toward the broken dummy. A moment later, Morbius caught and held him in an unbreakable grip.

     

    "That was… strange," he said.

     

    "Yes it…" Elisa said, then she remembered. "Strange!" she said. She moved to the device where Hugo Strange was strapped to the mind-reading machine. The scientist lay there, his eyes vacant, a line of drool coming from his mouth.

     

    "What happened?" Morbius asked.

     

    "When the bullets tore up his machine, I think it must have fried his brain," Elisa said.

     

    "He deserved it," Morbius said.

     

    "He deserved a lot of things," she replied with a shiver. "But I don't think anyone deserved that.

     

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    Hobie Brown slipped in the front door of the apartment he shared with his big brother. He really appreciated Abe letting him stay here instead of with Mom and his six other sblings. Abe wasn't at home and Hobie figured he was teaching classes at the kung fu school. that was good, because he needed privacy.

     

    He went into his bedroom. It was big, a lot bigger than you'd expect for an apartment in this neighborhood, which suited Hobie perfectly. Aside from his bed, the place was fixed up as a workshop, and all geared toward his master project.

     

    He put on the jumpsuit first. Hobie was a good student, especially in science, and had taught himself more than his teachers ever had. He'd treated the dark green fabric and made it really tough. It was close to impossible to cut it with a knife (he'd broken a lot of pairs of scissors making it into a costume) and he thought it might even resist pistol bullets. The boots came next; their soles that would grip better than anything on the market and were cushioned to allow him to drop from impressive heights. The writsbands came next, they were powered by a miniaturized air compressor of his own design. They could sire a variety of projectiles and even an air blast by itself was enough to put a grown man on his back. The cape, made of the same treated cloth, was ribbed and could allow him to glide for likmited distances. The gauntlets had powerful claws for climbing or cutting, and were tipped with a carbon compound of his own invention that could cut glass like a diamond. Finally, he put on the mask. He'd cannibalized an expensive camera to create the low-light lenses in it.

     

    He stepped back to look at himself in the mirror and drew a deep breath. Hobie Brown was gone; in his place stood an awe-inspiring creature of the night.

     

    He nodded, satisfied with the result and moved to the window. Spiderman had been missing for days and crime was getting worse. There were rumors of a gang way between the Maggia and some mysterious crime boss, and the garden variety crooks and violent offenders were getting bolder. If Spidey wasn't around to stop them, maybe the Prowler could do something!

     

    ---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

     

    "You wanted to see me, Mr. Luthor?" the little man said.

     

    "Indeed, Mr. Tetch," Lex Luthor said. "I have a project that could benefit from your specialty."

     

    "I don't know, sir," Jervis Tetch replied. "My parole--"

     

    "I didn't take you for the kind of person who would worry about such things," Luthor said. "Is that what you are, Mr. Tetch… a frightened little man?"

     

    "N-no, sir," Jervis said, cringing.

     

    Lex's face relaxed into a broad smile and he leaned over Tetch's chair.

     

    "I didn't think so," he purred. "You and I are rather similar, Mr. Tetch. We are men of vision; men of genius. The rules that constrain ordinary men are not for such as us, are they?"

     

    "Um… no sir," Tetch said, relaxing a little.

     

    "And you are a man of singular vision," Luthor continued. "Your mind-control chips are inspired. I've often thought of the great things your technology could accomplish in the right hands. It could bring an end to crime, to terrorism… why you and I could accomplish peace on earth. That is… if you don't think your parole officer doesn't mind."

     

    "Why, I…" Jervis Tetch paused, warkming to his employer's ideas. "I don't think there's any reason to trouble him with any of this, Mr. Luthor. He is a rather small-minded man."

     

    "I'm glad you understand," Luthor said. "Now, I have a project underway. It's being run by one of my vice-presidents, Ms. Destine. She's working to genetically engineer superior beings who can be used as laborers, soldiers, and so on. The problem is, some of these specimens have been proving difficult to control. Ms. Destine is working on a pheromone based solution, but I thought we might go with a proven technology instead."

     

    "My technology?" Jervis asked.

     

    "You read my mind, Mr. Tetch," Luthor said. "I'd like for you to report to her laboratories and get to work on this right away."

     

    "Of course, Mr. Luthor," Jervis said, rising.

     

    "There's just one more thing," Luthor said.

     

    "Yes, sir?"

     

    "I don't want Ms. Destine or her team to know about this."

     

    ------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

     

    Evening settled over Gotham, bringing heavy rainclouds with it. As the sun set, Goliath, Broadway, and Angela came alive to greet the night.

     

    "Goliath!" Elisa ran to him and held him tight. "I'm so glad you're alright."

     

    "The stone sleep cures many things," the big gargoyle said, "even gunshot wounds."

     

    "How did your mission go?" Broadway asked.

     

    "Well," Morbius replied. "We learned a great deal from Hugo Strange. We know where we need to go now, but we will need help."

     

    "I put in a call to Matt," Elisa said turning serious. "Goliath… I'm sorry but there have been some problems in Manhattan."

     

    "Is the rest of the clan alright?" Goliath asked.

     

    "Yes, but the clock tower was attacked. The damage wasn't too bad, but the whole precinct saw Hudson and the others. You can't go back there any more."

     

    "Father," Angela said. "Our home."

     

    "We shall deal with that in due time," Goliath said. "For now, we have more urgent matters. We must send for Hudson and the others."

     

    "I told Matt," Elisa said. "He said they're on the way, with a friend."

     

    "Good," Goliath said. "I sense this will take all of out strength."

     

    "In case that isn't enough, I was going to make another call," Elisa said.

     

    ----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

     

    Rabbi Luria sat with the eight others in the room above the Rags 'n Tatters shop on Yancy Street. Josiah Regan, who owned the place, shifted anxiously. Next to him his son looked just as uncomfortable, though for different reasons.

     

    "Relax, Josiah," Luria said. "He'll be here."

     

    "It's after sundown," Regan said, "Shabbat has started."

     

    "You're telling me?" the Rabbi raised his eyebrows and smiled. "He's been delayed; it's not the end of the world."

     

    "Aye," Regan said, and rose to look out the window again.

     

    Rabbi Luria let his gaze shift around the room. It was quite a minyan that had gathered, mostly middle aged or elderly, but more than a few of them had lived impressive lives. Joseph Shapiro was the olders and had served in the famous Easy Company in World War 2; Manny Goldberg had once been a heavyweight contender before losing a split decision to Ted Grant; Chiam David was a hand to hand combat instructor for the IDF, who was in Manhattan visiting relatives, George Cohen had been a circus strongman, Peter Goldberg had been on the Israeli gymnastics team during the tragic 1972 Olympic games, and the others had unusual lives as well.

     

    "There he is," Josiah said.

     

    A moment later they heard a ring tone, a snipet of a U-2 song.

     

    "He couldn't turn his cell off for Shabbat?" Josiah said, rolling his eyes.

     

    "I'll go and see what is going on," the Rabbi said.

     

    Moving out the door, he encountered Max Lowe on the stairs.

     

    "Yes, Elisa," the younger man said. "You can count on me." Then he closed his cell and pocketed it with a guilty look.

     

    "I'm sorry, Rabbi," he said.

     

    "An emergency?" Luria asked.

     

    "I'm afraid so. I really hate running out on you like this."

     

    "Don't worry," the Rabbi said. "It is permitted to break nearly any law of Torah if you need to save a life."

     

    "I appreciate you understanding," Max said.

     

    "Maybe you could send your golem to complete out little group," Luria said. "They say an artificially created being cannot be part of a minyan, but I think there is a good argument for allowing it."

     

    "I'm afraid the Golem is needed as urgently as I am," Max said.

     

    After Max had left the Rabbi returned to the upper room.

     

    "I'm afraid we don't have our tenth man," he said.

     

    "Great!" Rory said. "So I don't need to stick around either, right?"

     

    "Rory, show some respect," Josiah said. "It's still Shabbat."

     

    "I'm not going to work," the young man said. "Just to a costume party." Before his father could respond, Rory hurried out of the room.

     

    "I apologize for my son," Josiah said. "He's met a girl and… you know."

     

    ****************************************************************************

     

    "I'm glad you decided to come, Tony," Lex Luthor said. He and Tony Stark were walking down a corridor in one of LexCorp's facilities. Their bodyguards, Tsukuri and Shang Chi followed close behind.

     

    "How could I refuse?" Stark said. "A summons from the evil genius himself."

     

    "You will have your little jokes," Luthor said, forcing a smile. "Seriously, Tony, I find that I need you."

     

    "Is this the beginning of a beautiful bromance?" Tony asked. "Really Lex, I'[m flattered, but--"

     

    "I'm serious," Luthor said. "Are you familiar with the Lexo Skel-suit 5000?"

     

    "Your walking battle tank?" Tony asked. "Sure I am. It's the latest in weapons systems, all ready for you to sell to the worst regimes on earth."

     

    "Actually, I've been thinking of getting out of the armaments business," Luthor replied. "I was thinking of retasking the suit for deep space operations. With a little modification it could operate on the surface of the Moon, Mars, even Venus. Unfortunately, there's a design flaw that my people can't seem to correct."

     

    Tony stopped in his tracks and stared at Luthor. "And you want me to do it for you?"

     

    Who better?" Luthor said. "Actually, I was thinking of making this a joint LexCorp and SI project… maybe the first of many joint ventures in the exploitation of space."

     

    "Gee, Lex," Tony said. "As much as it gives me goosebumps to hear you say 'exploitation' I think I'm going to pass."

     

    "Could you at least look at the problem?" Luthor asked. "It's something in the neural interface and it's potentially deadly to my pilots."

     

    Tony sighed. "Sure, take me to it."

     

    As they reached the entrance to the testing lab, they heard explosions and a technician came running out, a terrified look on his face.

     

    "What's happening?" Luthor demanded, grabbing the man by the lapels of his labcoat.

     

    "The Lexo skel-5000!" the man said. "It's gone berserk."

     

    "Tsukuri, call for evacuation and notify Team Luthor," Lex said. "I'm going in."

     

    "I'm going with you," Stark said.

     

    "No," Luthor said. "It's my suit so it's my problem. You and your man should get out now."

     

    Luthor forced his way through the door shutting it behind him. explosions continued to sound from within the room.

     

    "Shang Chi," help Tsukuri. "I'm going to help that bald idiot."

     

    "That does not sound wise," Shang Chi said. "I should--"

     

    "You should do what I say," Tony said. "You're good, Shang, but you aren't Iron Man."

     

    ---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

     

    A moment later Iron Man burst through the door to find the five members of Team Luthor circling the ten foot suit of armor. He activated his boot jets and rocketed to join them.

     

    "Mills, you and your people distract that thing," he said. "I think I can--"

     

    "Sorry Stark," Corey Mills said. "That's not how this is going to work."

     

    One of the armored fighters, a woman, slammed into Iron Man, stunning him, then another blasted him with a grenade. He hit the ground and looked up to see the giant Skel-suit and the five members of Team Luthor converging on him.

     

    "Great," he muttered.

     

    ************************************************************************

     

    This is an early version of the Iron Man suit. It amplifies Tony's strength 25 times, has repulsors, uni-beam, magnetic rays, jet-skates and the power to generate several duplicate images of Iron Man. The armor is proof against small arms fire but heavy weapons including Gladiator's blades, Whiplash's whip, and the most powerful military rifles with AP rounds can damage it.

     

    Team Luthor consists of five armored fighters, none of whom have any super powers aside from their armor. They are: Corey Mills, Roxanne Sutton, Lester Buchinski , Robert Dubois  and Lyle Bolton. Each of them is wearing a suit with the powers of Mills' prototype suit.

     

    The Lexo Skel-suit 5000 is the battlesuit that fought Superman in "The Last Son of Krypton" the pilot episode of Superman, the Animated Series. It is being piloted by Major Clifford Zmeck.

     

    Just a couple of notes: For the purposes of this arc (though it won't ever really get used) Rhino is the same person as O'Hirn, Flint Marko's criminal partner in Spectacular Spiderman.

     

    Also, "It's curtains for you Mugsy!" comes from an old Bugs Bunny cartoon: Racketeer Rabbit.

  11. I think there's something to be said for both comments. If it's straight up power to power, I don't think Thanos can stand up to the Omega effect or the Agony Matrix. On the other hand, Thanos always has a plan. When he fought the Magus, he was physically overpowered, but the fight was just a distraction so that Warlock could destroy the source of the Magus' power.

     

    If he's in character, Thanos always has a plan. In fairness, though, there's nothing about a plan in the set up and we can't factor a plan in without having some idea of what it is.

  12. I did some estimates on those series. There's actually a He-Man thread and an Avengers: Earth's Mightiest Heroes thread with my reasoning.

     

    My estimate for He-Man's lifting capacity is about 10,000 tons. Pretty impressive but my estimate fro Thor is 100,000 tons. I'd also rate Thor as quite a bit more durable. He-Man gets knocked out by attacks (like the snake-possessed Man-at-Arms) that Thor would have shrugged off. (There's nothing the possessed MaA does that suggests his attacks are as powerful as those of Hulk, Red Hulk, Executioner, or others Thor faces in the series.

     

    I think it's fair to give him a skill advantage over Thor based on visual evidence. He-Man is very good at dodging and parrying attacks while Thor takes a lot of punches. Plus, the power sword has deflected some pretty potent energy blasts. It can probably handle lightning.

     

    IMO this fight is a little like Sugar ray Leonard vs. Mike Tyson would have been. He-Man is going to land more blows; nothing that can really hurt Thor, unless he runs him through with his sword. (IMO, if he tries, it will go badly. Thor's adventures in Asgard never show him getting badly hurt by skilled swordsmen.) He will frustrate Thor with his defenses but, once the Thunder gets in a few good shots, it will be all over.

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