The superhero Hunger Games
The year 2016 flipped the script on the comic book formula by pitting superheroes against their allies. Whether it was Batman up against Superman, Captain America vs Iron Man, or Suicide Squad against film critics, audiences witnessed many of their favourite caped do-gooders duke it out on the big screen. All this begs the question: who would win if all the superheroes fought each other in a Hunger Games-esque death match?
First up, Captain America and Spider-Man can sit at the kiddy table and gab all day about what borough of New York City they’re from, because this heroic rumble is for heavyweights only. The only criteria is that they must have starred in their own solo film, or soon will.
Here’s our run-down of the 10 most epic superhero battles.
Brilliance and infinite resources aside, it’s safe to say even Batman doesn’t have the core strength to lift his utility belt full of all the advanced gadgetry he’d need to beat every other superhero simultaneously. He’s still human after all, and virtually did nothing against Doomsday in the climax of Batman v Superman. Before fanboys point out that Batman defeated Superman, let’s remember that Superman chose restraint when engaging with Batman. It’s doubted a rage-monster like Hulk would hesitate to pummel him.
Not just unstoppable thrashers, Wolverine and the Hulk have regenerative abilities, making them fiercely competitive in the battle royale. But equipped in his specially designed Hulkbuster armor, Iron Man could airlift these foes and zip ’em into outer space. Sure, it’s a bit of a stalemate to simply launch these characters into the nebulous abyss of space, but they frankly have no powers to combat such a manoeuvre.
Tony Stark’s got the tech to hold his own, but if he could get beat by Captain America and the Winter Soldier he’ll surely struggle against the upper echelon of the superhero hierarchy. The Flash, for example, could mangle Iron Man’s entire armor faster than Tony can blurt out one of his quippy one-liners.
The Flash possesses unfathomable speed so advanced that he can pass through walls or even travel through time. It would take something unearthly to best him. Make way for Green Lantern, who could summon a myriad of inventive devices to vanquish The Flash.
With his magical ring, Green Lantern can use his imagination to conjure up a robust repertoire of weaponry. Green Lantern is mighty, but not without susceptibilities. His ring drains of power over time, requiring a recharging period, and he’s only as strong as his will allows. Heaven forbid he lose his willpower after contracting a crushing case of the Mondays at his Green Lantern Corps meetings.
After outlasting the battery life of Green Lantern’s ring, Superman could easily trounce his fellow Justice League pal. With super speed, flight, laser vision, and just about any other power you could want, Supe’ would be a favourite among your office’s fantasy death-match bracket. Although all-powerful, Superman’s also a big, gooey sweetheart. When push comes to shove, it’s doubtful he’d pull the trigger on actually fighting anybody to the death, and that’s where he loses the upper hand.
Wonder Woman could hold her own in a straight-up brawl against Superman, but she also wouldn’t shy away from exploiting his weaknesses. After reaching a pugilistic impasse, kryptonite and cunning would serve Wonder Woman well as a finishing move against the Man of Steel.
Wonder Woman becomes weakened when her mystical bracelets are woven together, and with long locks of golden hair, you better believe Thor knows how to braid. After crippling Wonder Woman’s power source, rendering her defenseless, it’s hammer time. (Note: That’s an early 1990s reference if you’re too young to remember MC Hammer. It also explains why there’s a dusty pair of parachute pants in the back of your parents’ closet). Thor has very few vulnerabilities and also wields an indomitable hammer with an impossible to pronounce name. In fact, there’s really only one way to kill the Norse God of Thunder.
Superman, Wonder Woman, Thor, and, well, all of these superheroes have one glaring deficiency: they’re all powerless against magic. Sorcerer Supreme Doctor Strange has a seemingly endless armament of mystical abilities, such as manipulating time, resurrecting the dead, spirit possession, and shaping energy fields. He’s also a board-certified physician, which means he has potent abilities for condescension. Of course, he’s human and therefore has all the vulnerabilities of a man, but his superpowers could counteract practically any attack and more than qualifies him to leave a pile of subdued heroes in his wake.