I probably own every issue of the short lived Valiant Universe (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Valiant_Comics) and in my view the demise of this line was a sad day in comic book history. The Valiant line was conscious attempt to make a better super hero for reasons I will outline in the introduction.
One way to arrange comic book universe battles is to match up opponents that are more less doppelgangers of each other. This is what happened in the DC vs. Marvel miniseries (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/DC_vs._Marvel)
that matched up such doppelgangers as Aquaman (DC) and Namor the Submariner (Marvel). The advantages of the doppelganger approach are many. The main one is you get contests between more or less equal heroes. Secondly, you can keep a score card. Maybe universe X has the strongest hero but Universe Y has the fastest one. DC may have more heavy hitters in the area of magic but Marvel has more heavy hitters in the area of the power cosmic. You put the top mage of the DC Universe, Mordru, against the top mage in the Marvel universe, Dr. Strange, and of course Mordru wins but in another category such as the power cosmic, DC wins. The Silver Surfer, for example, easily defeats the Black Racer. I did not apply the doppelganger approach to my earlier D&D vs. Marvel post and am trying to do this with a future post, DC vs. D&D.
I have tried to apply this logic to the DC vs. Valiant post as much as possible. The problem is that many of the DC characters were created in simpler times when the one gimmick rule applied. The Flash was the fast guy. Green Lantern had a power ring. If they had any other talents or weapons then this never came up. Thanks to Stan Lee (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Stan_lee), at Marvel, heroes starting having something resembling characterization and DC followed suit but not to the same degree as Marvel.
This use of characterization meant that psychological stuff could impact the fight not just their super powers. This so called Marvel Revolution started with the Fantastic Four. The Thing (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Thing_%28comics%29), of the Fantastic Four, is not as strong as the Hulk or Thor but he is a disciplined fighter. When the Champion (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Champion_of_the_Universe), an Elder of the Universe, challenges the “strongest” heroes of the Marvel universe to a boxing match, the Thing wins not the Hulk or Thor. The Thing wins because he follows boxing protocol. The Hulk just goes nuts and is dismissed from the ring. Thor pulls out his hammer and is also dismissed for breaking the rules. In Secret Wars II (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Secret_Wars_II), the Thing single handily stops and army of evil doers from touching the Beyonder through sheer will power rather than strength. Ben Grim, the alter-ego of the Thing is a tough New York from the wrong side of the tracks who never gives up. Daredevil (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Daredevil_%28Marvel_Comics%29) has gone up against the likes of the Hulk and Namor and his determination to keep fighting to the end have enabled him to achieve pyrrhic victories against both these Marvel powerhouses.
Later still, heroes started carrying weapons! This makes total sense to me. If I was the Green Lantern I would still carry a 45 to shoot those giant yellow eagles that seem to be all over the place when you are a Green Lantern. The Green Lantern ring is helpless against yellow colored objects. Interestingly 45’s don’t share this weakness. Green Lantern could have just plugged any number of yellow colored menaces during his career. Better yet why not get one of those nifty utility belts from my buddy Batman? If I was the Flash I would definitely grab some shrunken and knifes that I could hurtle at super speed like the Whirlwind, of the Marvel universe, eventually did. Ok the Flash is a good guy and can’t use bladed weapons that kill but how about rubber balls that he throws at varying levels of super speed for different levels of lethality?
The Valiant universe is a later more complex universe than DC and Marvel and this complexity makes doppelgangers harder to find than between DC and Marvel. The Batman aversion to guns, a prime example of the weapon monomania that plagues comic books, does not exist in the Valiant universe. Most of the Valiant heroes will grab and use weapons as opportunity allows. Being a martial arts enthusiast and big fan of weapons of opportunity I like this characteristic of the Valiant universe. The X-O Manowar, a Valiant hero for whom a post will be written, is a barbarian that understands swords and does not fully understand super armor, when abducted by Aliens, but understands a weapon is a weapon and you might as well grab a good one when you can.
Also, I have noticed that Valiant heroes, inherited from the Gold Key Comics (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gold_Key_Comics)
line, often have a category of villain they go after rather than just fighting bad guys in general and this is characteristic is hard to match in the DC or Marvel universe. There will be 22 posts in this series including this one. In comic books there is a fashion to start a series with zero rather than #1 and I like to be fashionable. Anyway, this is the numbering system of the major arcana of the Tarot and therefore good enough for me.
The Valiant heroes covered in the series will include:
1) Archer & Armstrong (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Archer_and_Armstrong)
2) Armorines (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Armorines)
3) Bloodshot (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bloodshot_%28comics%29)
4) Dr. Mirage (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Second_Life_of_Dr._Mirage)
5) Eternal Warrior (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Eternal_Warrior)
6) Geomancer (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Clay_McHenry_%28Valiant_Comics%29)
7) H.A.R.D. Corps (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/H.A.R.D._Corps)
8) Harbinger (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Harbinger_%28comics%29)
9) Magnus, Robot Figher (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Magnus,_Robot_Fighter)
10) Ninjak (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ninjak)
11) Outcast (http://www.valiantentertainment.com/wiki/index.php/The_Outcast)
12) Psi Lords (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Psi_Lords)
13) PunX (http://www.valiantentertainment.com/wiki/index.php/PunX)
14) Rai (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rai_%28comics%29)
15) Secret Weapons (http://www.valiantentertainment.com/wiki/index.php/Secret_Weapons)
16) Shadowman (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Shadowman_%28comics%29)
17) Solar (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Solar_%28comics%29)
18) Timewalker (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Timewalker)
19) Turok (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Turok),
20) Visitor (http://www.valiantentertainment.com/wiki/index.php/The_Visitor)
21) X-O Manowar( http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/X-O_Manowar)
I have about 100 plus “What if fights” planned for this blog so stay tuned. We have to assume that for these fights 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 thing is repetitive and tiresome. The same assumption will be used in the “What if dates” post the second major category of this blog site.
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