So, here's the big question: who'd win in a fight? Superman or The Hulk?
I'm out-of-sorts this week. As I get older, I find that a fever is followed by a cough, then a swollen ear. I can only hear good with my left and I'm watching for sudden gusts of wind.
I was asked the above question on Monday at the library, after I had returned their copy of Justice League Vol. 1, Origin. I thought it was okay, a bit of an obvious attempt at offering a blueprint for anyone producing a live-action film adaptation, including timely bits of characterization (I think Geoff was counting on the Green Lantern film to be a hit, because Hal has a lot more screen time than he ever did in an average issue of JLA). The librarian, a dark-haired and cute, if slightly overweight (Carolyn Keene's unfortunate description of George Fayne & Bess Marvin forever stayed in my head) wanted to know what I thought:
"Superman. Because he has all these powers and ... actually the Hulk fights dirty, so he'd win it."
I can't help thinking that I've been poisoned by 20-30 years of bad comic book writing. Of course Superman could take down the Hulk - he could toss the green giant into space. He could combine his x-ray vision and heat vision and perform laser surgery on ol' jade jaws. He could use his ice breath to give Hulk frostbite. He could run fast enough to make him dizzy. And he's STRONG. He used to be able to move PLANETS! And that's when he's not "holding back", as if we're even sure what that's supposed to mean..
"Used to". That old chestnut of showing how tough a bad guy is by punching out Supey with one blow has done a lot of damage. His rogues gallery is actually better than the Hulk's - one of the few examples in which you can say it is so. Okay...you know what? Hawkman and The Atom's rogues gallery is pretty weak. Daredevil's is even worse. Does Ant-Man even have a rogues gallery? And then there's that cruel YouTube fan film - a lovingly made, knock-down, drag-out, cgi brawl between the Hulk and a comparatively frail Superman that vaguely resembles Christopher Reeve (talk about pouring salt on an open wound). I'd rather let you guys search for this all-too-convincing brouhaha than offer a direct link. The last few seconds will made even the most hardened fan hide behind the sofa. Hey, if you didn't see it, it didn't happen.
So, for the record, Superman wins. We're just not likely to ever see it. Same thing with a Superman vs. Wolverine brawl - I recall Wolverine slammed The Vision against an ice cream truck once ... isn't The Vision one of the few characters that could kick his ass? Guess not. Hey, is anybody interested in a crossover where Lex Luther replaces Wolverine's adamantium skeleton with a kryptonite skeleton and brainwashes him to go after Superman? Well, I guess that's just me, then...