Saturday Surprise Battle - The Results (and more)!
Hello my doves!
So this is primarily a wrap up post to discuss the results of Saturday’s surprise Subscriber Only #XMenWar vote — at the link you can check out all the final vote results.
I think the results are pretty expected.
My biggest surprises are not Domino beating Longshot, but beating him by such a large margin. Same for Magneto vs Jean Grey. And Cyclops vs Storm. But I also thought Wolverine would do better against Rachel…so what do I know?! ;D
Anyway, rather than just end it here (studies* show I definitely do not know when to shut up) we’re gonna keep going!
Someone suggested Team Ups on Twitter when this one went up — and I had already been thinking about doing teams. So I did a new shuffle and here’s a mini-game with Team Ups. I only cheated on ONE of these pairs…and I bet you can all guess which one. ;D
The great thing about this is that it introduced a whole new element — actually two. First of all — if the characters know each other/like eachother/have experience fighting together — that’s the kind of thing that can tip any battle one direction or another, especially if it’s close. And also I think “temperment” comes into it when we add the team element in a different way. It’s maybe not as important as all the other assets or disadvantages we consider, but suddenly Mystique (for example) being incredibly clever but also duplicitous and unpredictable in the way she weaponizes that cleverness…well, it’s still an asset…but it’s also now more of a potential liability. All very fun stuff to consider.
Okay, let’s go!
ROUND 1: DOMINO and DEADPOOL vs WOLVERINE and CERISE
Holy shit. This will be SO BLOODY.
Seriously. My god, what a way to start. Honestly, this is a GREAT fight. I know some of you aren’t as familiar with Cerise as I am, but trust me when I say again, HOLY SHIT.
BUT this is also a great illustration of what I was talking about as far as the added element. Wolverine and Cerise have (probably) never really worked together before. I think there’s MAYBE a small story crossover back in the old Excalibur days, but it’s brief at best. Meanwhile, Domino and Deadpool know each other well. Frequently as adversaries, sure, but I still think that’s better than not having experience with the other person at all. All that said, Deadpool’s unpredictability, while a huge asset to him on his own, can be a liability in a team up.
Okay, this is so fun. Why did we wait so long for teams?! I remain dum dum.
ROUND 2: STORM and NIGHTCRAWLER vs LILANDRA and PROFESSOR X
Lilandra finally has a chance!
I mean, I don’t know, I feel like Storm and Nightcrawler have ALL the advantages here — EXCEPT that mind control is incredibly hard to fight against for anyone other than a telepath and also, at least back in the day, Lilandra and Xavier had a psychic bond like Scott and Jean (I mean…they called to each other across a freaking galaxy…so…it’s sorta a big deal). So maybe they’re more formidable than we think, especially together?
ROUND 3: GAMBIT and ROGUE vs CANNONBALL and CAPTAIN BRITAIN (BRIAN)
I think this is pretty fun fight, but I guess at the end of the day I think Rogue can take either Brian or Sam. And Gambit can take Sam…and maybe Brian on a good day if things roll his way — he’s pretty good at wrassling with flying bricks — lots of experience ;D.
PLUS, Gambit and Rogue have a huge advantage of having fought by each other’s sides for years — they know each other’s moves and how the other thinks, and are highly motivated to protect one another whereas (I think?) Sam and Brian barely know each other.
ROUND 4: PHOENIX (RACHEL) and SUNSPOT vs BANSHEE and WARPATH
This is one of the least interesting pairings for me, because I just think Rachel and Roberto have too much raw power for Sean and James. I think this one is probably a blowout.
ROUND 6: SHADOWCAT and SHATERSTAR vs BOOM BOOM and SIRYN
So I definitely think Kitty and Shatterstar take this one as they’re the more skilled fighters and Kitty’s power is such a defensive game changer that Boom Boom and Siryn’s powers are basically useless against (in fariness that’s true of MOST powers against Kitty’s power). I think Kitty’s also the smartest one in this bunch, which is another edge. THAT SAID. Tabitha and Teresa have a huge advantage both in having been former teammates (and friends…sorta?) AND in Shatterstar having been their former teammate. The slightest hesitation in him not wanting to hurt a friend could mean a lot.
But even considering all that, I think Kitty and Shatterstar have got this, right?
ROUND 7: BEAST and DAZZLER vs MEGGAN and QUICKSILVER
Power-wise I totally want to give it to Meggan and Quicksilver. However, Beast and Dazzler certainly know each other better and have more experience together than Meggan and Quicksilver. And also, Pietro is a complete pain in the ass — which I’m not sure works to his advantage even on his own, but DEFINITELY does not work to his team’s advantage. So maybe that plus Beastie boy’s intellect is enough to tip the scales? Woof. I dunno. Meggan’s incredible power range PLUS a speedster is pretty fucking tough to beat.
ROUND 8: JUBILEE and ICEMAN vs COLOSSUS and BISHOP
Hey! Is my boy Colossus finally gonna win one? Hmmm. It’s fun that they’re all X-Men so they’ve all got a lot of experiences together…though on a hunch I feel like Jubes and Bobby are probably closer/know each other better than Piotr and Bishop? But I know I DO keep underrating the sheer strength and resiliency of Colossus. I gotta think about this one some more.
ROUND 9: MULTIPLE MAN and LONGSHOT vs KYLUN and WOLFSBANE
This is probably the other “least interesting” round for me — in part because I think readers just don’t have much familiarity with Kylun. Additionally, Wolfsbane (for good or ill, and much like Feral) tends to get sort of hand waved away as an impotent not-Wolverine, y’know? Which makes for the perception of an overall weak team up. I don’t think they’re THAT weak, but do I think Jamie and Longshot are pretty powerful together with weird powers and different strengths. And since none of them know each other super well, that sort of becomes irrelevant. Longshot COULD be a liability on a team in the predictability sense — but I think his good heart and luck tends to keep his unpredictability more positive than negative? So I think this goes to Jamie and Longshot pretty easily, but that’s maybe just because I rank Jamie’s power as criminally underused in the comics? Smart execution of that power is devastating.
ROUND 10: MAGIK and PSYLOCKE (KWANNON) vs JEAN GREY and MYSTIQUE
Well, holy shit. There goes the neighborhood.
I mean, my gods, what a fight!
I don’t even know what to say. So my Mystique example from the intro is very relevant here I think. Her cleverness and duplicitous-ness and do-anything-to-win-ness is not going to gel great with Jean, and I suspect they’re not terribly fond of one another either. So it takes one of Mystique’s greatest assets and turns it into a weakness. And you can’t have that when you’re going up against the absolute baller team of Magik and Psylocke. I also just think Magik and Psylocke…really seem like they’d be on the same page and a great team up? They trend a little dark, a little badass, a little “does whatever it takes in” — and with an incredible amount of power to back it up? Yeah, I think they take this, but it’s a helluva good fight.
ROUND 11: CABLE and CYCLOPS and WHITE QUEEN vs POLARIS and STRONG GUY and ARCHANGEL
So, we had uneven cards for this shuffle, which gave us an extra large team up for the final battle and what a draw! I feel like that Cable/Scott/Emma pairing is either super fun or hella awkward…or maybe both! But you definitely got the relationships here — maybe even running a bit too hot — maybe even becoming a problem? They all know each other well — but “sorta estranged father and son” and “on again off again lovers/polyamorous whatevers” can be complicated in a way that’s maybe not great? Really depends. Meanwhile, while Warren is a bit the odd man out in his team he definitely knows both Lorna and Guido and Lorna and Guido are such good friends she’s ON HIS CARD. lol
Anyway, I think I gotta give this to the team with the telepaths, even though Polaris is gonna LIGHT CABLE UP with all that metal.
Okay, so this one was really fun. I hope you guys enjoyed it as much as I did. I will do a super short post tomorrow, reminding you to check out the results and adding a minor bit of commentary.
In the meantime, show your work in the comments for who would win in these battles. And here’s this week’s question!
Of all the characters here — who are the two who have never dated, but you would like to see date?
I always sort of thought Polaris and Colossus could be an interesting match. They’re very oil and water in a lot of ways, but I feel like Polaris is always begging to really be seen — outside of her father’s shadow, the shadow of her powers and how those have been manipulated. And I feel like sensitive Piotr could maybe punch through shell and really see her and bring out the softness in her. By contrast, I think Lorna might be the strong bitch Colossus has always needed? Whenever we see brushes with romance with him, it’s always him as the sensitive artist — maybe picking the wrong woman? I’m not going to argue he doesn’t belong with Kitty, I know there are a lot of fans of that pairing — and if I ignore the age issue from when they were younger — I like it too. But that ship seems to have sailed for them. So maybe he needs something a bit different? And in an x-rated sense…their bedroom antics might be…intriguing?
Okay, on that scandalous note, back to work for me, I hope you guys are all enjoying your long weekend if you get it, and if not, that you enjoyed the weekend you did get.
*In this case “studies” is my partner Adam’s 20+ years of experiencing me. Highly scientific.
Round 11 was really interesting to me. Normally I'd give it to Cyclops, Cable and Emma. But I envisioned a more comedic-in-tone story where the three of them just start arguing with each other, with all three trying to take command and lots of old grudges coming out. Meanwhile Lorna and Strong Guy and Warren are able to come up with a slapsticky hail mary plan and execute it with perfect comedic timing.
I think Jean would hesitate in places where Psylocke and Magik wouldn't and that would be the losing factor.
[Smooth transition to the question of the week]
There's the moment in an Infinity War (the 1992 one) book (i think it MIGHT be one of the FF tie-ins, but i'm not positive) where Johnny Storm is walking around and he sees Psylocke and he thinks damn she's hot and then we see from her perspective that she totally heard that and she's like "too bad you didn't say anything that could have been interesting" and I don't know who i would want to date or whatever but i love moments like that and would love to have more near misses/"we're around all these people all the time, of course there are going to be casual crushes" sort of situations