Hollywood loves Marvel.
With Iron Man 2 set for release next year and Thor gathering momentum, the film industry seems to be in a constant state of Marvel movie hysteria.
It's not surprising, given that Marvel superheroes are ever-so screen friendly. Not to mention freakin' awesome .
We're pitching the finest Marvel heavyweights against one another in the ultimate superhero showdown.
And no, Howard the Duck's not invited. FIGHT!
Blade (Wesley Snipes) - Blade (1998), Blade II (2002), Blade: Trinity (2004)
Blade really is a bit of an all-rounder.
As half-man, half-vampire, he's got the best of both worlds: not only does he have all the superhuman capabilities of a vampire (mega strength, speed, and senses) but he can also walk in sunlight.
We're pretty sure that's cheating, but whatever.
He uses a specially modified sword to chop up vampires with. As swords go, this one's a beast.
It's going to take someone pretty darn special to square up to this Daywalker.
Land of Leather: 10
Slicing Capabilities: 10
Healing Abilities: 8
Gets cut to ribbons by...
Wolverine (Hugh Jackman) - X-Men (2000), X2 (2003), X-Men: The Last Stand (2006), X-Men Origins: Wolverine (2009)
Wolverine (A.K.A. Logan, A.K.A. James Howlett)'s main power is the ability to heal uncommonly quickly. This ability means that he is nigh-on impervious to attack, and has an enviable lifespan.
However, there's a downside: the healing factor doesn't prevent him from feeling pain. Which means that every time he unsheathes those Adamantium claws, he's effectively being stabbed through the knuckles.
That must f**king cane.
Land of Leather: 7 (unfortunately, screen-Wolverine traded in the spandex for a leather jacket. Less glam -ro ck , more Hard Rock .)
Slicing Capabilities: 10
Healing Abilities: 10
Blade chases Wolverine down to his hide-out in a snowy forest in Canada.
Wolverine who, coincidentally, is trying to read the final book in the Twilight series, and is feeling particulary emotional, is disgruntled at being pestered and rises to Blade's challenge. He gets his claws out.
Blade starts going at Wolvie with his special sword. But, silly Blade! Titanium's no match for Adamantium! Wolverine hashes the sword into a hundred glittering shards and Blade has to rely on his superhuman strength and reflexes alone to win the fight.
No amount of superhuman strength, however, can protect him from those claws. Wolverine gets to work, slicing away till he's Daywalker Julienne . Very soon, there's nothing left but purée. Because Wolverine's the susperstitious sort, he also slices a branch off a nearby tree and shoves it into Blade's still-beating heart.
Try wisecracking your way out of that , Blade.
Spider-Man (Tobey Maguire) - Spider-Man (2002), Spider-Man 2 (2004), Spider-Man 3 (2007)
When Peter Parker is bitten by a genetically-modified spider (radioactive in the comics), he undergoes a transformation from Puny Parker to Super Spidey.
He's most commonly seen swinging from building to building through Manhattan's labyrinthine streets with the aid of sticky web-stuff he shoots out of his wrists.
This only seems to happen when he does a two-finger-and-thumb 'rock' hand sign.
He can scale huge walls and jump really far.
Costume: 100 (for pyjama appeal alone)
Gets tangled up with...
Elektra (Jennifer Garner) - Daredevil (2003), Elektra (2005)
The only individual female in the battle, Elektra first appeared in cinemas as Daredevil's love interest. She was later awarded her very own movie. Unfortunately, it was turd.
Elektra herself, though, is a force to be reckoned with. She slinks around in some tiny little clothes, wielding some formidable weapons (notably, her trademark Japanese Sai) and showing off her incredible martial arts skills.
Her main powers are her extraordinary agility and astonishing reflexes.
She's very bendy.
Agility: 9 (perhaps Spidey's genetically-modified powers give him a slight edge here)
Stickiness: We couldn't possibly comment.
On a rooftop somewhere, Elektra is busy practising with her Sai.
Spidey attacks, forming a web to entrap her. She uses her wicked skills to hack herself out in seconds.
He attacks again, this time wrapping her up into a tight, sticky bundle. She doesn't care for this.
She summons an armoury of blades concealed in various folds of her skimpy suit and wriggles free.
Then, she stabs Spiderman repeatedly. That Spidey-suit is made of some damned flimsy material, you know. And that woman has knives .
Finally, Elektra swipes a newspaper from a passing New Yorker. She uses it to flatten Spider-man's lifeless corpse. Because that's how you deal with spiders.
Iron man (Robert Downey Jr.) - Iron Man (2008)
Hooray for Robert Downey Jr.! For it was He who truly brought Tony Stark to life.
The billionaire playboy devotes all his energy and resources to the development of a hugely powerful, metal suit of armour.
Not only does it make Tony hard as nails, but it powers an electro-magnet to stop shrapnel getting to his heart. Yikes.
Plus, it allows him to whizz around all over the place. In the air.
That's right. It flies.
Brains: 10 (It's all controlled by clever computers, see. Impressive.)
Fear Factor: 8 (those glowing eyes are pretty menacing.)
Crumples like a can in the hands of...
Hulk (Eric Bana) - Hulk (2003), (Edward Norton) - The Incredible Hulk (2008) [pictured below]
The Hulk is a bit incredible in the comics and a bit shit in the films.
His first assault on cinema screens came in 2003, in Ang Lee's Hulk , though Hulky was re-claimed in 2008 with Leterrier's The Incredible Hulk .
The films have their good bits and their bad bits. Mostly their bad bits.
Both feature the unlucky Bruce Banner, who experiences something of a scientific faux pas.
Bruce's transformation into The Hulk isn't within his control - it just seems to happen when he gets angry, scared or excited. That puts him at quite a massive disadvantage; though when he is all hulked-up, Heaven help whoever stands in his way...
Fear Factor: 10
As prep, Bruce gets Iron Man to throw things at him so that he gets nice and riled up.
Once he's big and green enough, the fight can begin.
Iron Man zooms into the air and does a wide arc so he can gather speed in his attack. He streamlines his body into a bullet shape and streaks towards The Hulk at lightning speed.
He hits The Hulk with about as much impact as a shuttle-cock hitting a hedge. Hulky immediately grabs Iron Man in one hand and flings him into the sea, where he sinks like a stone and has to slowly walk out.
Unfortunately, by the time he makes it onto the beach, he's gone all rusty and has to forfeit the fight.
Hulk, however, doesn't really abide by the rules of forfeiture, and walks over to Iron Man, grabs him, and squeezes until all the human meat has oozed out of the packaging.
Ghost Rider (Nicolas Cage) - Ghost Rider (2007)
In the comic, Ghost Rider is Johnny Blaze, a motorcycle stuntman who sells his soul to the Marvel demon Mephisto and becomes an awesome hellfire-burning biker who can ride up the sides of buildings and things.
In the film, he's Nicolas Cage.
Granted, he's Nicolas Cage with all the cool stuff on top, but he's still, unequivocally, just Nicolas Cage. With a daft haircut and a leather jacket.
We'll see how he fares in the ring.
Skull Factor: 9
Stunt Factor: 10
Being On Fire Rating: 10. He's quite often on fire.
Barely singes the eyebrows of...
The Punisher (Dolph Lundgren) - The Punisher (1989), (Thomas Jane) - The Punisher (2004) [pictured below]
One of Marvel's best-loved antiheroes was given the Hollywood treatment, most recently, in 2004, and by gosh, was it a fearful sight to behold.
The sheer volume of violence that took place during the film's 2-hour running time was enough to make you squirm in your seat and make sick-faces at the screen. Watching the film is a kind of punishment in itself.
But it's not bad bad. It's captures the fury and incredible punishing expertise of marine-trained Frank Castle quite well.
What was bad was the 1989's ill-informed decision to omit Punisher's trademark logo. Where's his frickin' skull?!
Skull Factor: 0 (it still hurts)
Stunt Factor: 8
Being On Fire Rating: 7 (figuratively, that is)
Ghosty spends a lot of time revving his bike. It seems he's out for intimidation, but he's picked the wrong guy to be intimidatin'.
The Punisher goes in for the kill. As he's unloading his sawed-off 311A right into Ghosty's skull, he yells, "I eat hellfire for breakfast!"
Ghosty, head all smashed up, careers straight into The Punisher, knocking him over and setting him on fire.
This just gets him even madder. Punish grabs Ghosty on the way past, flings him off his bike and stamps on him until he's nothing but cinders and kneecaps.
Finally, The Punisher reaches down and scoops up Rider's head-ash, smearing it on the black tank top he's wearing to create a basic skull design. "Ah, that's better," he says.
Captain America (Dick Purcell) - Captain America (1944), (Matt Salinger) - Captain America (1990) [pictured below]
God bless Captain America. He's the superhero who embodies all that is just and good in the world, by virtue of his unyielding American-ness and staunch disapproval of anyone who dares deviate from democracy.
In the (low-budget) 1990 film, Steve Rogers is a polio-stricken weakling who is transformed into a superhero with a special formula.
In the 1944 serial film, America is played by slightly pudgy Dick Purcell, who huffs and puffs his way to justice.
Also worth a mention was Peter Fonda's "Captain America" in 1969's Easy Ride r , though we don't think this has anything to do with the Marvel superhero. Though he is a bit super.
Keep your eyes peeled in our general direction for The First Avenger: Captain America 2011 updates...
Goody-Goody Factor: 10
Clingy Costume: 7
Super-Sensory Capabilities: 2
Goes head to head with...
Daredevil (Ben Affleck) - Daredevil (2003)
Ben Affleck? BEN AFFLECK??
Yes, we, too, spat coffee right across our computer screen when we heard the news of writer/director Mark Steven Johnson's casting choice.
However, the proof was in the pudding, and Affleck's pud shaped up well, though the film was a bit too soppy to get hugely excited over.
When Matthew Murdock's face is covered in toxic waste (better explained as a radioactive substance in the comic), he is blinded, though, somehow, all other senses are razor-sharp. We're talking Gillette Quattro sharp.
He has a bat-like radar and awesome martial arts skills. And some cute little horns poking out of his mask.
Goody-Goody Factor: 7
Clingy Costume: 9 (it would be 10 if it were tighter around the pouch)
Super-Sensory Capabilities: 10
The Captain is busying himself with a blow-up globe and a red marker-pen. He's scribbling out all the countries that aren't the USA, and humming Yankee Doodle.
Daredevil, incensed by the sound (which to him is deafening ), lands C.A. a Taekwondo chop right in the middle of his face.
C.A. retaliates with much muscle-flexing but very little impact - Daredevil is too quick. He finds a launch-pad and dives head-first into America.
He manages to finish off C.A. in one blow.
Don't worry, we're still talking combat.
X-Men - X-Men (2000), X2 (2003), X-Men: The Last Stand (2006)
It's Round Two for Wolvy as he joins his pals in a final brawl.
X-Men are mutants, who have honed their crazy skills under the guidance of Professor Xavier (Patrick Stewart).
Individually, each is a master in their own field. Collectively, there is nothing they can't do.
With storm-summoning, wound-healing, ice manipulation and optic-blasting (not to mention telekinesis) under their belts, they're quite a team.
We wouldn't want to rub them up the wrong way.
Suits: 9 (there's not as much yellow as there is in the comics)
Love Triangles: Seemingly hundreds.
Skill Range/Absurdity: 8
The Fantastic Four - The Fantastic Four (1994), Fantastic Four (2005) & Fantastic Four: Rise of the Silver Surfer (2007) [pictured below]
You probably won't remember the low-budget 1994 version, because it was never actually released. The 2005 reboot was only marginally more memorable.
Fantastic Four was far from fantastic. Silver Surfer was a bit better. But it's all been a bit disappointing, really.
Nevertheless, the heroes in question are no less heroic. There's the brainy Dr Fantastic, the see-through Invisible Woman, the fiery Human Torch and brick sh**-house The Thing.
And you get to see Jessica Alba in her undies.
Suits: 6 (they leave very little to the imagination. Is that a camel-toe, Jessica?!)
Love Triangles: 1 (once the Silver Surfer muscles in)
Skill Range/Absurdity: 10
The two teams meet on Brooklyn Bridge, and the Human Torch gets the ball rolling by setting fire to everyone.
Iceman does his thing and turns the flames into a pretty sculpture, which The Thing smashes through. Things start getting ugly.
The Invisible Woman appears out of nowhere and rips off Cyclops' visor. He wrecks everything in sight and the bridge starts to fall apart.
Storm whips up a whirlpool and Jean Grey pulls the paving from under the Four's feet as if it were a rug.
They fall to their doom. The X-Men head back their Westchester mansion for a jolly old knees-up.
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