DC vs. Valiant Universe 1: Archer & Armstrong vs. Batman & Robin

The top hero and sidekick teams of the two universes are pitted against each other.  In the Valiant case, the hero is the immortal Armstrong (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Archer_and_Armstrong) but he often acts like petulant child compared to his teenage partner.  Archer is the sidekick but the relationship between Archer and Armstrong is much more complex than the relatively simple Batman and Robin one.  Batman is the omniscient father figure and leader to Robin’s apprentice role.  In many ways Archer is more mature than Armstrong despite his youth and perhaps is not really a sidekick after all.  Archer’s name is after all first in the title and perhaps not just due to alphabetical conventions.  Archer and Armstrong represent the postmodern parent/child relationship were the child often has to take care of the parent with addictions and/or human frailties.  Did I mention that Armstrong is a lush?  This was by far the strongest title in the Valiant line and had a great deal of black humor and irony in the title.  Irony is a rare commodity in comic books.


Armstrong, as mentioned, is immortal and thousands of years old. Armstrong has super human regeneration but nowhere near Wolverine levels.  Armstrong is freakishly strong but not Spiderman strong. I would say slightly over the limit of a human at peak performance.  Armstrong is also a lover not a fighter as opposed to his elder brother, the Eternal Warrior. Armstrong will not seek out evil as he has made clear to his older brother. 


Fortunately for the reader, evil seeks him out mostly in the form of a conspiratorial sect that sees him as a sort of Anti-Christ while the leadership of the organization has figured out that actually killing Armstrong removes the organizations reason for being and try to make a deal with Armstrong and Armstrong is not totally opposed to the idea. Complex motivations of this sort for both hero and villain are very rare in comic books, unfortunately.


Batman (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Batman) not be as strong as Armstrong but he’s a fighter not a lover although he pretends otherwise as Bruce Wayne.  I might add that Armstrong would probably know about Batman’s rep and might very well run away!  We have to assume that for this fight to even happen both fighters live in a common universe.  Anyway this is the assumption I will make in all “What if fights” since the whole how they meet write up via interdimensional travel is repetitive and tiresome.  Armstrong hasn’t survived for thousands of years by making futile last stands.  For a big guy, Armstrong has proven himself very adept at running away in the past but Batman is a master tracker and always, always gets his man.  might


There are probably a dozen ways Batman can take out Armstrong.  Perhaps Batman tosses a batarang (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Batarang) to the head of Armstrong.  Batman could also toss a vial of knockout gas from his utility belt.   Defeating stronger but less skilled fighters is kind of Batman’s trademark, the Blockbuster comes to mind, but how will Batman fare against Armstrong’s older brother, the Eternal Warrior?  What about the battle between the sidekicks?


Archer has a type photographic memory that is sometimes referred to as photographic reflexes, like the current Batgirl (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cassandra_Cain) and Marvel’s Taskmaster (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Taskmaster).  If Armstrong sees a martial arts move, or any movement actually, he can mimic that move instantly and perfectly.  This is a major super power.  I would put it in the top ten of super powers.  Persons with this power can take on the likes of Batman, as Batgirl does, and Spiderman, as the Taskmaster does, much less sidekicks. 


Personally I have never understood why the characters with this power don’t take up golf.  Golf requires almost zero fitness as opposed to martial arts and is far more lucrative than being a crime fighter and a lot less risky than being a super villain.  The Taskmaster opened a school to teach villians.  Why oh why did he not become a sports trainer to sports super stars.  I am sure the likes of Michael Jordan have deeper pockets than the villians and such activity does not put you on a collision course with the Avengers as his henchmen school did.


Batman finishes off Armstrong and arrives just in time to see Armstrong take out Robin with a perfect sequence of kung fu moves.  Batman observes the action and realizes exactly what power Armstrong has and takes him out with one of his many toys from a distance.  Batman is a strategic thinker and you don’t close in on fighters with this particular power.  Armstrong has fought skilled martial artists but not one with the plethora of toys Batman has and has no memorized moves to fall back on. Anyway, how do you memorize a move to counter knock out gas anyway without a gas mask? 


That’s why the Taskmaster carries his own set of toys including a duplicate of Captain America’s shield and Hawkeyes bow and arrow, the Black Knights sword, etc.  Armstrong with a shield could throw the shield to knock the vial back at Batman or use an arrow to shatter the vial before the vial came to near to be effective.  Archer might even be able to use the sword to swat the vial or batarang or whatever away.  Hey, wait a second! Archer often carries a hand held cross-bow.  Archer shoots the vial of knock out gas in mid flight and then is conked by a batarang before he can reload.  This is why an assault rifle with an extended clip is preferable to a hand held cross-bow.


An alternative ending is that Batman looks at Robins sorry a** , this is a PG blog, kids after all still read comic books, thank you, on the floor and offers Archer a job as a side kick.  Archer might very well accept.  Did I mention Armstrong is a lush? Besides that, Archer is a consummate martial artist and Batman is the foremost teacher of the martial arts while Armstrong has nothing to teach Archer in this area.


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11 responses to “DC vs. Valiant Universe 1: Archer & Armstrong vs. Batman & Robin

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  2. Pingback: DC vs. Valiant Universe 5: Eternal Warrior vs. Batman « Hugh Fox III Weblog

  3. scathingbookreviews

    LOVE the comment about taking up Golf. Why don’t we have a golfing hero or villain for that matter? The Hero could have a name like “Tee Shot” and the villain could be “Mulligan”…

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