MIDTOWN BLOGGERINOS! Raph here, with a sense of nostalgia. I happened to think about a list a few days ago, a list I didn’t like. In issue 70 of Wizard Magazine, way back in 1997, they had a list of the 10 toughest superheroes. At the time, I could understand some of their choices, but I was baffled by others. Normally, I try to be above the typical fanboy debates, because they can last forever without a clear cut winner. There’s plenty of reasons why Spider-Man loses to Iron Man, or Thor beats Wolverine… but I did happen to buy this issue of Wizard from our back issue bin, and thought, let’s have some fun! Here are the rules:
- For the sake of sanity I’m limiting this list to Marvel superheroes, doing Marvel vs. DC just makes my head explode.
- We’re limiting these to active superheroes: the dead and the villainous need not apply (Sorry Professor X, Sentry, Molecule Man and Ares…)
- We’re also limiting this to a certain degree of power: let’s leave Galactus and co. out of this one.
- This is a knock-down, drag-out fight to the death. No one is holding back.
ABILITIES AND POWERS: Tony Stark is the futurist of the Marvel Universe: he’s a master inventor, and is always looking to push the envelope. Tony has developed armor of incredible power, fueled by the arc reactor in his chest.
WHY HE’S #10: Tony’s armor is beyond what any man can achieve, but he’s just a man. He’s not a mutant, he doesn’t control magic, he isn’t a god, and he isn’t a giant green rage monster. He’d be a tough fight, but eventually, he’d get beat by forces no man was meant to face.
ABILITIES AND POWERS: Wolverine’s got one of the most ridiculous healing factors in all of comics, he’s been known to recover from having large chunks of flesh ripped off the bone. He also has bones and claws made of adamantium, an unbreakable metal. He’s also mastered multiple fighting styles over his very long life, and is probably the most lethal killer that you can call a hero. (Sorry Punisher).
WHY HE’S #9: Wolverine isn’t the strongest, but he can take a licking and keep on ticking. While that is great, it doesn’t overcome his lack of power, particularly when you get to the top 5.
VS. #10: Iron Man’s got that wondrous armor, which leaves Wolverine at a disadvantage, but Wolverine is a hunter. He’d find an opening and slice open Iron Man’s armor, and Tony Stark for that matter.
POWERS AND ABILITIES: Newly restored as the Sorcerer Supreme, Doctor Strange is the Earth’s Defender against mystical threats, and has recently mastered using Black Magic without it corrupting him. His magical arsenal is vast and can use spells to teleport, fly, attack or bind, amongst many other abilities.
WHY HE’S #8: He is vastly powerful, but he’s still human. He can shield himself, he can use immense power blasts, but he needs to rely on human senses, and that won’t always be enough. He could easily be #4 on this list, but for his mortality and normal reaction time.
Vs. #10: Tony Stark is a genius, but he’ll be too busy trying to explain how Doctor Strange is beating him, and Doctor Strange will beat him when he’s in mid-sentence. Or he’d pull his own hair out thinking about magic and just give up.
Vs. #9: Magically change adamantium into glass… or he can use the Crimson Bands of Cyttorak to bind Wolverine and toss him into space.
POWERS AND ABILITIES: Hercules is the son of Zeus, Greek God of Lightning and King, and a mortal woman. His divine heritage gives him immense strength and durability, as well as immortality. He’s also history’s greatest partier, and has had more alcohol in him than was imbibed in the US last year alone! (Fact not verified).
Why he’s #7: Hercules gets the nod over other powerhouses like Namor because of one thing: his immortality. Not only can he give a beating, he can take one and most likely not die. He’s also part of what I consider the “A-Minus” strength class… he’s super-strong, but he’s not quite at the top.
Vs. #10: Iron Man can fly, but if he gets close enough, Herc will just rip the armor off his body.
Vs. #9: Wolverine might bloody up Herc some, but Herc has even more fighting experience. Logan has decades, Herc has MILLENIA. He’ll get him eventually.
Vs. #8: This one is a toughie. I think Herc’s divinity plays a role. Maybe grab a magic shield slicing sword from Hephaestus? Doctor Strange isn’t immortal, and he needs concentration to cast spells. Hard to concentrate on attack when a dude is throwing tanker trucks on your shields.
POWERS AND ABILITIES: Super-strength, speed, flight… yeah, he’s basically Superman, but it’s all based on his self confidence. Still, if you could shatter an average Joe into splinters, or turn someone into paste in less than a couple of seconds, well… yeah, you’d have a pretty big sense of self-esteem.
Why he’s #6: Sure, Superman is probably #2 on this list, but having your massive powers based on… if you feel pretty? A song from West Side Story should not describe how you get your powers. It’s silly, until you realize the level of power you’re dealing with.
Vs. #10: Tony Stark in the armor is just tuna in a can, just with a different type of meat.
Vs. #9: Can’t hit what you can’t see. Gladiator would hit him so hard and fast, Wolverine’s brain would just shut down.
Vs. #8: Thought Doctor Strange had problems with Herc? Add in the flight and speed, and the good Doctor won’t even know what hit him, literally.
Vs. #7: Herc’s kinda grounded. I think Gladiator is just that tiny bit stronger.
POWERS AND ABILITIES: He’s Superman, except he’s an Eternal, so he’s immortal. Immortal Superman. Strength, flight, speed, enhanced senses, atomic vision. This is assuming this is the Earth 712 version. There are other versions? Yes… but let’s not go into alternate universe versions of heroes, because my alternate version of Darkhawk makes Thanos quake in fear.
Why he’s #5: Now we’re getting to differences being fractional. Could Hyperion beat Thor? Maybe. Can Hulk wipe the floor with Hyperion? Possibly. The differences between them is smaller than Ant-Man on a good day.
Vs. #10: What Gladiator did, except with more atomic vision.
Vs. #9: What Gladiator did, except much better.
Vs. #8: What Gladiator did, except cleaner.
Vs. #7: What Gladiator did, but with better hair. Who has a Mohawk nowadays?
Vs. #6: Gladiator is eventually going to have some doubts in his head facing someone like Hyperion, and that’s gonna make him cry. And there’s no crying in deathmatches.
POWERS AND ABILITIES: Very similar to the Hulk: Massive amounts of strength, able to leap great distances. Red Hulk can also absorb radiation, like gamma or cosmic, and he also heats up when he gets angry.
WHY HE’S #4: He’s kinda hit a ceiling. When he debuted, Red Hulk was an unstoppable, cunning Hulk. In Avengers vs. X-Men, Phoenix Five Namor snaps his arm like a twig and gives him a compound fracture. Nothing like that happened to Thor or Hulk… so he’s lost a lot of that initial power, if not literally, then in a story telling sense. He’s still a powerhouse, but he’s no longer as scary as the top 3.
Vs. #10: Tin Can analogy #6.
Vs. #9: Consider that Wolverine pulverized.
Vs. #8: Can he absorb magic? What would that mean? Really depends, if Dr. Strange decides to take a Hulk head on, he loses. If he tries to divert him? Maybe he stands a chance.
Vs. #7: Herc’s an A-Minus, Red Hulk is a solid A-Plus.
Vs. #6: I think the sight of a rampaging Hulk running right at you would make anyone pee their pants. Self-esteem be damned.
Vs. #5: This was a toughie, but you that energy/radiation absorption ability is a factor. Can’t he suck in enough power to overcome Hyperion? I believe so.
POWERS AND ABILITIES: The immortal Norse god of thunder, Thor is an ageless warrior, proficient with numerous melee weapons, and wields Mjolnir, one of the most powerful weapons in existence. Thor also controls weather, and can induce lightning strikes, hurricane force winds, torrential wind and freezing snow.
Why he’s #3: He is a GOD. Not like Hercules, half-god, but like a full on GOD. The guy can breathe in space, face down the Phoenix BY HIMSELF, and he’s battled Hulk to a stand still. Still, something about manipulating the Power Cosmic…
Vs. #10: Right when Thor came back from death, he hit Tony so hard with a lightning bolt he shut down his systems. Yes, Tony has updated his armor… so it’ll take 2 bolts.
Vs. #9: See Uncanny Avengers #3
Vs. #8: For all of Strange’s magical might, Thor is more experienced in dealing with the supernatural, and he also is familiar with magic.
Vs. #7: Hercules is Thor’s Robin. Every time they’ve encountered each other, Thor has owned him. He is Thor’s sidekick.
Vs. #6: If I were Thor I’d use psychological warfare: pound Gladiator with lightning until his mind cracked from the assault.
Vs. #5: This one is tough, because Superman has beaten Thor. Why shouldn’t Hyperion? Because Hyperion isn’t quite the same class as Thor. He never was.
Vs. #4: Red Hulk might be stronger, but Mjolnir is the game breaker, or the Hulk breaker. Take your pick.
POWERS AND ABILITIES: Hulk is the strongest one there is. From lifting mountain ranges, to becoming a World Breaker, Hulk’s power is limited only by his rage. And if this is a battle to the death, rage is going to go a long way in ensuring survival.
Why he’s #2: The number one guy can manipulate energy and destroy planets.
VS. #10: World War Hulk already shows us how this fight goes.
VS. #9: Yeah… Logan has never really gotten the upper hand on him.
VS. #8: See World War Hulk again.
VS. #7: Hercules is no match for the Hulk, everything he can do Hulk can do better.
VS. #6: For the same reason he can’t beat Red Hulk.
VS. #5: This is a tight one but when Hulk hits World Breaker… it gets scary.
VS. #4: Already seen how Red Hulk just can’t match him, especially when Red Hulk overheats when he’s mad.
VS. #3: The only reason I give it to Hulk is a scene from Fear Itself, where Thor admits to Hulk he never could beat him.
POWERS AND ABILITIES: Silver Surfer wields the Power Cosmic. Basically, he can travel faster than life, heal anything, survive black holes, destroy planets and wield power that is just ridiculous. If it weren’t for his curious, gentle nature, this guy could destroy entire planets.
Why he’s #1: Wizard had him at #1, and I begrudgingly agree. I’m a big Superman guy, but I can’t argue with a guy with this much power.
VS #10 – #5: Drop them in a black hole, transform their lungs into mush.
VS #4: Break him in a faster than light surfboard grind
VS #3: They always fight to a standstill, but I think Surfer can cause a sun to go nova and watch him flail away.
VS #2: Hulk needs to breathe. Surfer doesn’t.
Agree with the list? Disagree? Comment below!
Until next time:
“I was raised in the Bronx, Wesley. This is something *you* wouldn’t understand.”