June 20, 2024

Gabbing Geek

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So, What Would REALLY Happen If The JLA Had A Fight…To The Death?



Last week, Watson posted his thoughts on who would win in an epic, non-powered fight to the death between a number of Justice Leaguers, forced into combat by having a loved one’s life on the line.

But what happens when a similar scenario plays out and they still have their powers?


  • Superman, alias Clark Kent, superstrength, speed, invulnerability, heat and x-ray vision, superhearing, flight, journalistic skills.
  • Batman, alias Bruce Wayne, no real superpowers, but a master of most if not all forms of martial arts, master strategist, world’s greatest detective, master of stealth, armed with a utility belt currently full of his standard gear, billionaire industrialist.
  • Wonder Woman, alias Diana Prince, alias Princess Diana, superstrength, flight, resistance to injury but not quite true invulnerability, superspeed, super reflexes, armed with a magic lasso that forces those wrapped in it to tell the truth, ambassador and well-trained warrior.
  • Flash, alias Barry Allen, superspeed and lots of it, police forensics expert.
  • Green Lantern, alias Hal Jordan, equipped with a power ring that works off his will power and can do whatever his imagination can come up with against anything that isn’t yellow, completely fearless, trained fighter pilot, former military.
  • Aquaman, alias Arthur Curry, alias King Orin, enhanced strength, dense body to withstand the ocean depths, telepathic connection to sea life, superfast swimmer, ability to breathe underwater, armed with a mystical trident artifact from Atlantis, king, trained warrior.
  • Martian Manhunter, alias J’onn J’onzz/John Jones, superstrength, speed, invulnerability, flight, “Martian vision”, telepathy, shapeshifting, intangibility, expert tracker, police detective.
  • Green Arrow, alias Oliver Queen, expert marksman and marital artist specializing in the bow, former billionaire, bleeding heart liberal, and expert survivalist.
  • Atom, alias Ray Palmer, control over height, weight, and density with size-control belt formed from material from a white dwarf star, shrinking, nuclear physicist.
  • Hawkman, alias Katar Hol, Thanagarian wingman, armed with weapons of the past and Nth metal wings that allow for flight, tougher-than-human body that can briefly withstand the vacuum of space, paramilitary space cop.
  • Black Canary, alias Dinah Lance, martial artist, sonic “Canary Cry”, legacy hero trained by the Justice Society of America, florist.
  • Elongated Man, alias Ralph Dibney, elastic body, highly intelligent, gifted freelance detective.
  • Red Tornado, alias John Smith, android with power over wind, specifically tornados, wind elemental, mechanized body.
  • Hawkgirl, alias Shayera Hol, Thanagarian wingman, armed with weapons of the past and Nth metal wings that allow for flight, tougher-than-human body that can withstand the vacuum of space, paramilitary space cop.
  • Zatanna, alias Zatanna Zatara, can cause any magical effect by saying things backwards, stage magician, escape artist, can pull off the fishnets look.
  • Firestorm, alias Ronnie Raymond and Professor Martin Stein, composite being, flight, power over fire, control of nonorganic material, athletic star on the outside, physics professor on the inside.
  • Steel, alias Hank Henwood, cybernetic man, enhanced strength, resistance to injury, speed, tortured soul.
  • Vixen, alias Mari McCabe, Tantu totem grants her the ability of any animal, enhanced healing, supermodel.
  • Vibe, alias Francisco Ramon, sonic vibration and seismic powers, breakdancer.
  • Gypsy, alias Cindy Reynolds, illusion casting, invisibility, limited precognition, expert runaway.

The Scenario:

Once again, Mr. Mxyzptlk has cast the League into a football stadium with the word that he wants to see them fight to the death.  Once again, he has tied their lives to a special loved one, such as a spouse, sidekick, parent, or good friend.  Everyone must fight until there’s only one left standing.  No one can leave the stadium.  Just as he’s about to drop the stasis fields holding the Leaguers to the ground they each stand upon, it’s clear everyone is looking around to determine who needs to go down first and fast.

This guy again!
This guy again!

The fight begins:

The fields drop and after a few seconds of thought, many Leaguers spring towards Batman’s general direction.  But Batman’s no dummy, and he knows his own reputation as the guy who probably has a plan to take out each and every one of the others if he has to.  By the time even the fastest Leaguers arrive at Batman’s spot, he’s dropped a couple smoke pellets and disappeared.

Now it looks more like a free-for-all.  Flash hits his highest speeds, the Atom disappears as he shrinks down, Green Arrow and Black Canary get each other’s backs, the Hawks take flight, and Green Lantern whips up some constructs.  Martian Manhunter moves to protect Gypsy, who is like a daughter to him, and nobody likes Vibe anyway.

Zatanna might have a lot of clear advantages as she only has to speak to do anything.  Speaking is difficult to do when you can’t draw breath, and the Red Tornado creates a vacuum of high speed winds around her.  She can’t speak, or breathe, and goes down quickly.

First death:  Zatanna

Initial square-offs:

Hawkman and Hawkgirl are both fairly dangerous as both high speed fliers and individuals armed with all manner of weapons that only really skilled people can use without killing anyone.  As cops, they don’t generally have the same moral compunction against killing that Superman has, but the same is true of the Green Lantern as a former fighter pilot.  The weak point for the Hawks are their belts, where the Nth metal controls are.  The wings are mostly for steering.  Unfortunately for Hal, the belts are yellow, as are the wing harnesses.  What he can do is toss explosive pulses their way and throw the two off with concussion blasts.  He can’t directly affect their belts, but he can indirectly affect them while he thinks of a way to remove them from the fight.  The Hawks are battered around in the air, unable to do much more than stay aloft.

Vibe meanwhile sees Steel coming his way and directs his vibration powers at Steel’s feet, chewing up the ground and effectively immobilizing his erstwhile teammate.  He can’t seem to do anything to hurt Steel,  but he can leave him there for the time being and maybe hope someone else can do it for him.  Growing up on the streets taught Vibe a thing or two about surviving a brawl and he takes off rather than let himself get killed taking on a guy he knows he currently can’t stop.

Green Arrow meanwhile sees his buddy Green Lantern taking on Hawkman, who he never liked that much.  Drawing a standard arrow, he fires and removes Hawkman’s belt.  Katar plummets to the ground and hits at a bad angle, breaking his neck.  Hal turns to give Ollie a thumbs up when Aquaman’s yellow trident pierces his chest.  Green Lantern is down.  Hawkgirl, enraged that the smelly hippie has killed her husband, flies off and whacks Green Arrow upside the head with a heavy mace.  He’s down.  Black Canary then hits Hawkgirl point blank with the Canary Cry at full volume.  That doesn’t do her any favors.  The two romantic couples are mostly down.

Second death:  Hawkman

Third death:  Green Lantern

Fourth death:  Green Arrow

Fifth death:  Hawkgirl

Next moves:

The Flash never really stood still once Batman disappeared.  He knows he needs to take care of some of the tougher opponents first, since as the fastest man alive, even Superman can’t quite keep up with him.  He makes a move towards Firestorm, and grabs the nuclear man and starts vibrating like crazy.  The effect works and Firestorm splits into Ronnie and Professor Stein.  A quick move and Ronnie’s head snaps back.  Stein is left alone, since without Ronnie, there’s no Firestorm.

Vibe, meanwhile, finds Vixen pop up behind him after tunneling underground like a mole, and then using a lions talons, slashes through his neck.  A shadow falls upon her and she slashes back at the figure behind her.  That was a mistake, as it was Aquaman, and his skin is too tough for a lion’s claws.  She pulls on an ape’s agility, then swings at him with the strength of the biggest animal she can think of, figuring correctly that she might need to his the King of the Seas as hard as possible to hurt him.

That actually was her mistake.  Switching to a whale means Aquaman now has telepathic access to her mind.  He hits her in the section that causes unstoppable seizures.  While she’s on the ground, he carefully breaks her neck.  As a political leader, he knows in war people have to die, but you don’t have to be brutal about it.

Superman, meanwhile, has blasted the Red Tornado apart by flying through him at his top speed.  Superman doesn’t want to kill anyone ever, but the Tornado is a robot who can probably be rebuilt later.  He lands and finds himself face-to-face with the Martian Manhunter.

Sixth death:  Firestorm

Seventh death:  Vibe

Eight death:  Vixen

Ninth death:  Red Tornado

Wait, what?:

Flash finds himself face-to-face with Wonder Woman after he sees her pull the immobilized Steel’s head from his shoulders.  Flash knows he’s in trouble and runs back to grab a bunch of beer bottles from the concessions stand.  He throws a few and watches as Wonder Woman easily deflects each and every one.  Flash figured that would happen, but hoped the broken glass and beer spray would slow her down.  It doesn’t.

Wonder Woman then gets a really funny look on her face and falls over dead.  Flash is mystified.  Bianca Horkan is angry at me.

Tenth death:  Steel

Eleventh death:  Wonder Woman

Dogpile on the Man of Steel:

Superman has been fighting the Martian Manhunter, but its a total stalemate.  J’onn knows every move Superman is going to make before he makes it and has managed to block, counter, or just plain ghost through every attack.  Superman so far has only taken out the Red Tornado and wants to keep it that way.

Black Canary sees the fight and sends a concentrated Canary Cry at the two powerhouses.  She’s hoping to use her sonic powers to throw off their balance since balance is controlled by the ear.  J’onn goes intangible but forgot about Gypsy behind him.  She gets pushed hard and collides with Superman, who is staggering around.  Gypsy’s hitting Superman at high speeds takes her out.  J’onn, enraged, turns to the Canary but his telepathy picks up some weird mental static.  Then the turf around him catches fire.  Flash, moving at speeds that required high speed thought, has managed to make mental white noise while using high speed friction to set the grass on fire.  The fire does in J’onn.

Superman, meanwhile, straightens up.  Even though the Canary Cry is still hitting him, that wasn’t what was causing him to stagger.

Twelfth death: Gypsy

Thirteenth death:  Martian Manhunter

Fourteenth death:  the Atom

Wait, what, the Atom?  When was that?:

As a very tiny physicist, the Atom knows that size can be a real factor if an opponent can’t see a person until it’s too late.  He’s the one who took out Wonder Woman by shrinking down to a tiny level, entering her body through an opening, and then expanding once he got to a blood vessel that went into her brain.  He gave her a stroke.  Wonder Woman’s body isn’t completely invulnerable, so he can do this.

He then tried the same trick on Superman.  But Superman’s body was too tough inside and out, and he effectively drowned in Superman’s blood.  Superman had no idea what was happening.

Back to the fight:

Aquaman has been trying to pin down the Elongated Man for a few minutes now, and finally uses some of his aquatic telepathy to hit Ralph where some part of his brain has some similarities to a fish ancestor.  Ralph has a seizure, but his elastic neck won’t snap.  Aquaman decides to come back for him later.

Flash has since then come back to Superman, armed with Green Lantern’s power ring.  Hal didn’t need it anymore, but it may be the one thing that can down Superman.  Focusing all his willpower and all his drive, and even a bit of the Speed Force, Flash pushes a blast out that kills Superman, all while moving too fast for Superman to hit him.

Somewhere shadowy, Batman nods to himself as he has just proven a personal theory.

Flash then high speeds through Black Canary and Aquaman.

Fifteenth death:  Superman

Sixteenth death:  Black Canary

Seventeenth death:  Aquaman


Flash is left with the same problem Aquaman had, of how to dispose of his old friend Ralph.  But that’s not important.  What’s important is where Batman went.

After the fight started, Batman disappeared into the rafters, locker rooms, and other hidden places around the stadium, constantly moving while observing the fight as a whole.

Batman is well aware of his reputation as Resident Scary Dude, and he’s seen how completely fearless Green Lantern rolls his eyes at him for it, plus, he’s the guy who supposedly could take out the others with preparation.  The thing here is, he wasn’t prepared for this.  He could have probably removed Green Arrow, Black Canary, and the Hawks without too much trouble.  Aquaman, Elongated Man, and a few of the others would have taken some effort.  But he doesn’t generally carry kryptonite to stop Superman, and he knew he was no match for Wonder Woman having both skill AND power on her side.  The Flash and the Atom were likewise massive challenges since he couldn’t possibly keep up with one or stop the other.  He does carry a small cutting torch that could have removed the Martian Manhunter without too many problems, but that’s standard gear for him anyway.

He also knows that every member of the League knows how to kill with his or her powers, so they don’t do it accidentally.  Likewise, he knows some of them would have less compunction to kill than others.

The important thing to remember is Batman’s prohibition against killing is probably the strongest.  Even Superman will use lethal force on rare occasions against the likes of a General Zod or Doomsday.  Furthermore, Batman knows to be alert every ninety days or so because that’s when Mxyzptlk can come back.  And, one last thing he knows, he knows Superman isn’t the only one with a fifth dimensional pest.  The difference is, Batman’s pest is a fan.

“Bat-Mite,” he calls out once the superhearing users are gone.

“Here I am!” Bat-Mite says.  There was no way Bat-Mite was missing this one.

“I need your help,” Batman says.

“Really?!?  Wow!  Name it!”

“Where’s Mxyzptlk?”

“The control room.  Where else?”

“Thanks.  Can you coat my gloves with magic?”

Bat-Mite beams.  That was easy enough.

Batman knew early on the key to victory was not to fight the rest of the League.  He would have lost fairly early.  If you can’t win the game, change the rules.  He tracks down Mxy in the broadcast tower, kicks in the door, and punches the imp with his magic-coated gloves.

“Wait, that’s cheating!” Mxy screams.

“Like telling us this was a fight to the death when it isn’t?” Batman asks.

Mxy pauses, cocks an eyebrow, then asks, “What makes you say that?”

“If the heroes were dead, you wouldn’t have anyone worth pulling pranks on every 90 days.”

Batman neglects to mention that he knows the Green Lantern power ring can’t be used to kill, but he just saw Flash do so.  The whole thing is a scam.

“That’s true, Batman,” Mxy says, “If my own dimension was more entertaining, I’d stay there.  I simply put the ‘dead’ heroes into a magical coma.  No one was going to die.”

“No,” says Batman, “You were just going to completely ruin them psychologically for life knowing who was capable of what.  That’s actually far worse.”

“Yeah, so what?” Mxy asks.

“I think I’ll be showing you what I’m capable of.”

Mxy sees the large man looming over him, gulps, and shouts, “KLTPZYXM!”

With Mxy back in his home dimension for another 90 days, everything he did reverts back to normal.  The League is still alive, and fortunately, none of them remember the fight at real.

Except for Batman.  That’s probably why he built Brother Eye in some continuities.

And a number of people reading this get all kinds of pissed since the whole thing was a massive fake-out.