Saturday, April 19, 2008

mk v. dc = awsm

I've always strongly believed that Batman could take Robin Hood, but Sub-Zero? Quite the conundrum for my inner 14-year old.

Addendum: After extensive rumination and analysis, I believe that I can effectively evaluate the outcome of an altercation between the Caped Crusader and Frosty the Ninjaman. As with any true scientific analysis, I would like to submit this exposition to peer review. Mr. Horn, a foremost MK expert, I hope will inspect my findings as regards Sub-Zero. Mr. Taylor whose knowledge of things DC trumps my own (I'm something of a Marvel guy) will hopefully approve of my Batman approach.

The neophyte may be tempted towards an over-simplistic approach: Sub-Zero has super powers whereas Batman does not. Let us not be so hasty. I am not inclined to qualify Sub-Zero as "super-human". His signature ice blast maneuver I believe qualifies him as a "metahuman" (in DC parlance), but I believe nothing more. Batman routinely dispatches of metahumans, as well as super-humans, and anyone who can claim a few rounds over Supes deserves a fair shake in any hypothetical duel.

The primary obstacle to this analysis is the stark variations in the narrative arch of their respective combat patterns. By this I mean thus: Subway deals with his opponents in the span of 15-40 seconds, whereas Batsy might enjoy a more contemplative 4-6 issues. In fighting games such as MK, you've either definitively won or lost after best 2 out of 3 rounds. In comic books, there is a rigorous convention dictating against this sort of thing. The hero commonly goes up against the bad guy, loses, retreats to figure out Plan B, and then triumphs. This is nothing against Batman's combative abilities; it is merely the stricture of his media. So I will account for this as best I can.

I would have to say Round 1 to Sub-Zero. Batman is an expert hand-to-hand fighter, but let's face it - it's not his bread and butter. He's a detective. He's at his best thinking his way out of problems, not slugging them out. However, on a 1 to 10 scale of hand-to-hand combat, Bats is probably a 7.5. However, Sub-Zero is at least 8.5 - maybe 9. So he may get the jump on Batman.

You may be tempted to say that Sub-Zero would certainly get the best of him because of his ice blasts. Batman would be ill-equipped to deal with this, you might say. But, you would be forgetting one of Batman's long-time canonical villain... Mr. Freeze. Ice-based attacks and their ilk are nothing new to Batman. I would venture to argue that he can deal. I don't think he would win the fight, but I'm sure he would escape to fight another day - in the classic comic book style.

So how would he follow up? I believe he would rely on the classic billionaire vigilante solution: rig up some manner of mechanized armor. Batman did it in The Dark Knight Returns (I think... or maybe that was in The Dark Knight Strikes Back... it's been awhile), and even more fabulously, Tony Stark did it in World War Hulk. Hulkbuster armor... 'nuf said. Anyway, Sub-Zero may be a crafty and cunning ninja metahuman, but Bats is freaky smart. He'll throw together some manner of cold-resistant mechanized enhancement, track Sub-Zizzle down using his peerless detective skills, and dispatch him with all due haste.

I doubt all of that will make it into the video game.

And don't even get me started on Yoda and Vader showing up in Soul Calibur IV...