April 19, 2024

Gabbing Geek

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What Would Happen If The Marvel Cinematic Universe Had To Fight….TO THE DEATH?!?


Has it really been two years since Gabbing Geek published the greatest article the internet has ever seen? What… a… rollercoaster! Fan letters.  Press conferences.  The late night talk shows.  Groupies.  Oh the groupies!

It’s been a whirlwind.

No single article in Gabbing Geek history has been more debated, discussed, and admired than “What Would Happen If The Justice League Had To Fight….TO THE DEATH?!?

The debate rages on to this very day.  Friendships were shattered.  Families torn apart.  Trump was elected.  This article had consequences, people!

But we at Gabbing Geek like to stir the pot…

Time for…The Sequel! So without further ado, please enjoy (Oh, I know you will!), What Would Happen If The Marvel Cinematic Universe Had To Fight….TO THE DEATH?!?
As a reminder, back in 2012, I came across this amazing article by FaceInTheBlue detailing what would happen if all the U.S. Presidents across history were pitted against each other in a winner take all, battle to the death, KNIFE FIGHT. The participants were pulled from their healthiest presidential periods and pitted against each other on a level playing field.  A little bit of a Hunger Games meets U.S. Civics Class.

I wrote previously about the Justice League, but now let’s take it up a notch.  What if the popular heroes of the MCU (that means no Quicksilver!) faced the same challenge?

Who would win? Who would lose? Who would cower in terror? People demand the answers!

Since, we don’t want this to become a quick battle between Hulk, Thor, and Nick Fury, we at Gabbing Geek asked the Mxyzptlk of the MCU to step in and institute some rules to make it a battle to remember.

We all know Impossible Man doubles as Mr. Mxyzptlk in the DC

THE RULES:

  • No powers allowed! That’s how we avoid the “Hulk Smash!” syndrome. Via magical powers (and my keyboard), IMPOSSIBLE MAN removes all powers and weapons from the heroes.  This is a very human battle. Well, very much a human/alien/tree/synthezoid/etc. battle, I guess…
  • Equally, any vulnerabilities stemming from the powers themselves (there are fewer “kryptonite” weakness in the MCU, admittedly) will be removed from the heroes.
  • Any psychological or human weaknesses (E.g.- Starlord’s needs 70’s pop classics to get his pump on) will remain.
  • Our heroes, though their super abilities are removed, will still have the equivalent of a superior human abilities. For instance, Hulk would be very strong and Spider-Man would be very agile.  Robot/Tree Aliens such as Vision or Groot will be given only enough mechanization or density to replicate the equivalency of their human appearance/physique. For instance, since Vision has density powers, his cybernetic enhancements give him thick skin. And it is important to have thick skin when you are in a death match with your creators and closest pals.  (It also helps when hosting a podcast and enjoy writing superhero to the death fights! These assholes can be mean)  And Groot?  Well…the ladies say he has amazing wood…
  • The heroes are fighting in NRG Stadium in Houston, Texas. Really just because I know the inside of that stadium and can picture it in my head better.  Other previous rationales were window dressing.  The heroes must stay inside the stadium. The dome is closed and provides protection from the elements. The lights are on.

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  • Each superhero has only been given one 3.5 foot staff made of titanium alloy as a weapon (Vibranium is too expensive and Adamantiun still belongs to to Fox because that deal hasn’t closed as of this writing!). Their costumes have been replaced with tactical uniforms.
  • Players can fight, run, or hide. No matter the strategy, the battle doesn’t end until every hero BUT ONE is dead.  Alliances are allowed and even encouraged, but in the end there can be only one (cue Highlander music from Queen!)
  • Personal attributes of the character (moral prohibition against killing, compassion, humility, etc) remain intact. This will be hard for some heroes, but we will test their mettle when it is “do or die.”
  • All heroes will receive notice when someone dies but will not know who perished.
  • We are using the main heroes from the MCU films. There is some time travel employed so let’s say we pull the heroes from their peak.
  • ROSTER (roughly in order of appearance):
    • Iron Man
    • Hulk
    • War Machine
    • Black Widow
    • Captain America
    • Thor
    • Hawkeye
    • Scarlet Witch
    • Vision
    • Nick Fury
    • Winter Soldier
    • Falcon
    • Drax
    • Gamora
    • Groot
    • Starlord
    • Rocket
    • Ant-Man (Scott Lang)
    • Black Panther
    • Spider-Man
    • Dr Strange

Issue 1: LET’S FIGHT!

Impossible Man doesn’t wait for Thanos to pull the MCU characters together in a singular battle. He’s getting to them before Avengers 4: Infinity War Part 3.14159265359! All the heroes are again teleported into the home stadium of the Houston Texans (Side note: I hope their Rookie QB recovers, because that means my favorite team will be chanting WATSON! WATSON! WATSON!) simultaneously; equally spaced apart.

All are on the field level, and in plain sight of each other. The old Imp (who may or may not be Mr. Mxyzptlk is an alternate form) creates a clock made out of scary clown stuffed animals and it begins to tick down. The heroes, having read about the Justice League’s horrible battle from the noted written histories on Gabbing Geek, prepare for battle!  The clock strikes zero.  It begins!

Issue 2: MAD SCRAMBLE!

Remembering the carnage of the Justice League’s battle, everyone moves quickly away from the floor of the arena.   Thor, though known as a guy who likes his friends from work, has been alive for millennia and doesn’t plan on stopping now. He follows Vision and Scarlet Witch into the concourse as they flee together.  A shoddy substitute for his trusty (editor’s note: Watson does not know how to either spell or pronounce Thor’s hammer so please insert the word here in your mind), the titanium staff swings well.

Vision, noble to the end steps in front of Wanda and takes the blunt of the first salvo.  Despite his toughened exterior, Thor brings enough force to make quick work of him.

Wanda, though powerful as any with her magic, is just a bright young woman without it and goes quickly.  Thor does not relish his victory; there is no honor in it.

Even if he had reveled in the glory, it would have been short lived as Hawkeye had been lurking behind a nearby column and strikes swiftly from behind to take the first major player off the board.

FIRST DEATH: Vision

SECOND DEATH: Scarlet Witch

THIRD DEATH: Thor

Issue 3: Smash!

After the initial deaths, some time passes as the heroes scatter and temporary alliances form.  On the club level, Scott Lang cowers in terror.

He wasn’t even that tough WITH his powers.  Let’s face it.  He needed the help of Thomas the Train to beat the lamest MCU villain to date and was later bested by a 15 year old boy with zero experience fighting super-powered opponents.

So his heart sinks when the massive, snarling Hulk barges into the luxury box he was using as a hiding spot.  Though the Hulk was depowered, he remains larger, faster, stronger, and more ferocious than any other player.

The Hulk, having discarded his weapon in favor of his bare hands, comes crashing toward Ant-Man.  Lang is no fighter, but manages to bring his staff to bear at the oncoming beast.  Lang crushes the bones in the Hulk’s right hand; causing him to scream in pain.  Both the Hulk and Lang are temporarily taken aback by the fact that Ant-Man did damage to the Hulk in a battle.

Sadly, the pause is all the Hulk needs to show Scott Lang that the Hulk can go left hand on him as well; squeezing Scott Lang’s wind pipe until it is smashed.

FOURTH DEATH: Ant-Man

Issue 4: Book Report, December 16, 1991

Uncle Ben always taught Peter to balance bravery with restraint. He also said something about power and responsibility. Jeez. That old bastard really liked taking out a dictionary and crafting folksy dichotomies. A LOT of people are glad he’s dead.

But Spider-Man isn’t interested in joining his uncle, so he chooses caution over valor (note: not a Ben Parker original).

Sadly, he’s in a stadium filled with trained killers; one of whom, Bucky Barnes aka The Winter Soldier, has tracked him to the concession area on the Loge level.

I’d like to tell you, true believers, that our pal Peter held his own. But the fight between a science geek from Queens and the most feared assassin of the Cold War era ends before our friendly neighborhood Wall NON-crawler could say Excelsior.

FIFTH DEATH: Spider-Man

Issue 5: Iron vs Vibranium

Tony Stark and James Rhodes naturally pair off together. Both know that if it comes down to the two of them, Rhodey has the upper hand with his military training, but they silently agree to worry about that if they survive.

Stark, to bring something to the team, is furiously scavenging wires and fuses from a circuit breaker to craft a rudimentary weapon when he hears a snapping noise.

He turns to find a saddened Black Panther standing over Rhodey’s lifeless corpse. The gadget Tony had in mind would have delivered a shock large enough to stun even T’Challa, but sadly for Stark the pieces lay strewn around the concourse as Stark’s body falls to join them.

SIXTH DEATH: War Machine

SEVENTH DEATH: Iron Man

Issue 6: I’m A Doctor, Natasha.  Not a Death Match Participant.  

Stephen Strange knows he’s screwed. Relying so heavily on his magic, the good doctor barely paid attention to Wong’s martial combat training.

Instead of breaking into a run to try to avoid the inevitable, Strange breaks into the malt liquor Margarita kiosk and begins drinking heavily.

He would be found lying in the fetal position, his trousers wet, and a smile on his face. Black Widow, who comes across him, technically makes the kill, but the legends will tell that but for her, it would have been liver damage from a poor substitute for tequila that actually took that life.

EIGHTH DEATH: Dr Strange

Issue 7: Ain’t No Mary Poppins Here

Captain America had heard about what happened to Batman all the way across the multi-verse (I’m telling you… that Justice League story was hot!). He knew even with a group of pros like the Avengers, he was a target. But unlike Robin, Falcon was a worthy partner and helped Steve get off the arena floor.

The long time pair work the perimeter, hoping to figure a way out of killing their friends. Unfortunately, the come across the full cadre of the Guardians of the Galaxy.

Like Dr Strange, the Guardians also broke into a drink cart. But they can hold their booze a little better, so instead of being comatose, they are just angry drunk.

The Guardians attack and it makes things easier for Cap and Sam; the GotG being strangers and all.

Sam treats his staff as a blunt chopping tool and makes toothpicks out of teenaged Groot.

Drax becomes enraged and shoves his staff threw Sam Wilson’s ear canal. While he is cleaning Falcon brain off his staff, the noblest hero in the MCU loses his shit.

Cap grabs Rocket Racoon by the hind leg and beats Star Lord to death win him. Rocket dies shortly after, but first must endure the indignity of Cap asking aloud if he needs a rabies shot after touching such a filthy animal.

Seeing her opportunity, Gamora rushes Cap. Cap has plenty of time to rally a defense, but what Bucky Barnes was to the Cold War, Gamora was to every other war in the known Galaxy.

Cap lands some punches and does some serious damage, but Gamora ultimately prevails. As the two remaining Guardians catch their breath, Drax exclaims “IT WAS QUITE FUNNY WHEN THE MAN USED THE RODENT AS A CUDGEL!”

NINTH DEATH: Groot

TENTH DEATH: Falcon

ELEVENTH DEATH: Star Lord

TWELFTH DEATH: Rocket

THIRTEENTH DEATH: Captain America

Issue 8: Red In Her Ledger

Black Widow doesn’t feel good about strangling a defenseless Dr Strange. She’s long tried to make amends for her past and that just ads one more required act of atonement. But survival is the order of the day, and Natasha intends to survive.

Her prospects of survival diminish greatly when she happens upon the Winter Solider. At first no one strikes. Both silently assess the other in preparation for a well-matched battle.

Without any notice, both start swinging at the exact same time. Steel rods clash. Kicks and punches are thrown and parried.

The pair battle furiously for minutes, but Bucky makes a key mistake by thrusting when he should have parried and Widow catches his temple with a roundhouse kick.

Winter Solider is stunned for a brief second but in that amount of time, the greatest Russian spy ever can take a man down AND compromise the Trump Administration.

FOURTEENTH DEATH: Winter Solider

Issue 9: The Jolly Green Giants…Well….In the Comics Anyway…

Gamora is clearly wounded from her battle with Captain America so her an Drax try to move to a safe spot to regroup. Their path takes them in sight of the concourse floor, where Hulk, still full of rage, never has returned.

He charges the pair and runs into a support beam holding up the Mezzanine level above. Even with the damaged hand, the Hulk doesn’t fully understand that he is no longer powered. The Hulk thought he would crush through it and defeat his foes. Drax and Gamora have no problem beating the unconscious goliath to death.

FIFTEENTH DEATH: Hulk

Issue 10: He’s Everywhere…You Just Don’t See Him

Sadly, Drax and Gamora don’t see Nick Fury stalking their fight with Hulk. As they catch their breath, Drax draws his last because Fury is …um…furious.. in his attach (I apologize) and puts Drax away.

Gamora puts up a respectable defense but her injuries give Fury the advantage he needs to win…and Fury always takes any advantage he has.

SIXTEENTH DEATH: Drax

SEVENTEENTH DEATH: Gamora

Issue 11: The Penultimatest™️ Penultimate Issue Ever!<<<<<
Panther is a master of stealth, and as he moves his way across the stadium, he works the shadows.

Unfortunately for him, Hawkeye has two skills that work against the King of Wakanda.

First, Hawkeye is the world’s greatest hunter. Second, in Hawkeye’s hands, anything is a deadly weapon. Even without his trusty twelve arrows, Hawkeye is able to silently take out Black Panther with an airborne steel rod.

EIGHTEENTH DEATH: Black Panther

Issue 12: A Final Battle So Good, It Makes Me Wish There was a SHIELD TV Show!

Assuming only SHIELD black ops experts remain, Fury, Widow, and Hawkeye seek strategic advantage and the high ground. As a result, all three find themselves in the scaffolded walkways along the edges of Reliant’s retractable roof; 100 feet above the field.

“I had hoped to watch from up here as you two beat each other to death” quipped Barton.

“Well…I guess we did all have he same training, so here we are. Care to take this fight somewhere more open?” Fury replies.

“This is as good a place as any to end it” Natasha says as she attacks.

The walkway is a tight space, especially for three fighters, but the highly trained operatives of SHIELD are prepared for any situation.

A series of blows, almost too fast for the human eye to follow, blur wildly in the confined space even with the fifty yard line.

Fury is the first to go down as, by sheer coincidence, Hawkeye and Widow position him in the middle and prevent Fury from mounting an effective defense.

As Natasha advances toward Clint, both reflect sadly as she steps over the body of their fallen friend and mentor.

Hawkeye is not sure if Widow was sincere when she asked “do you think there is any way around this?”

Knowing her expertise in tradecraft and survival, Barton ignores every urge to make a choice based on friendship. Instead, he remembers his loving family on their farm and swings.

Natasha blocks and returns form. Given the cramped space of the scaffolding, the fight favors weapons instead of hand to hand, and Barton has the clear advantage.

Feinting a swing to her head, Barton course corrects and takes out his friend Natasha’s knee. Off balance, the Black Widow is pushed to her death by her best friend in the world.

To her credit, Black Widow doesn’t scream as she falls to her death on the floor of NRG Stadium.

Hawkeye may not be much in a fight against Ultron or the Chitari, but in a battle of human performance, the stealthy archer prevails in a battle to the death between the heroes of the MCU!

NINETEENTH DEATH: Nick Fury

FINAL DEATH: Black Widow

WINNER: HAWKEYE

This guy… Seriously…