Friday, October 24, 2014

"Is That Tough Enough?"


Okay so I was reading a random Wizard from back in the day, #70 to be exact, and re-read an interesting Top Ten list. This list was all about the top ten toughest characters around back then.

Here's who they listed as their top 10 and why:

10). The Incredible Hulk

-Despite being the strongest there is, Wizard felt that compared to the rest of the combatants on the list, the Hulk would be easily out-matched and out-powered. I'm not saying I agree, because I don't. That's just how they felt at the time.

9). Firestorm

-Yeah they really put ol' Ronnie ahead of the Hulk. The reasoning was that due to the nature of his powers, all Ronnie would really have to do is whip up an Adamantium cage out of nowhere and imprison the Hulk in it.

8). Professor X

-Apparently the Wizard staffers felt that despite arguably being the most powerful telepathic mutant alive, those same powers would not help him out once it got into dealing with Spawn's fucked up mind, magic, and a super-speed/super-strength combo.

7). Spawn

-Al was pretty powerful in his own right, but also had a very finite limit to those powers. Up against super-speed, more powerful magic than his, and the rest of the top, Al didn't rank too-too high. And I agree with that.

6). Dr. Strange

- He's up a good ways, as it should be considering his power and experience level. I just don't agree with Wally beating him, even with his considerable super-speed.

5).The Flash(Wally West)

- I'm kinda' surprised they placed Wally ahead of Dr. Strange, but otherwise I have to agree with his placing. Well I'd probably have him trade slots with Strange, but Wally did good.

4). Wonder Woman

-No surprise here that Diana ranked this high. I totally agree, as I'm sure would Karl;)

3). Superman

-No doubt this was the main hotly contested debates amongst the Wizard staffers that put this list together. You could easily make a case for why he's ranked behind Thor, as much as you could that he should be ahead of him.

2). Thor

-They said he edged out the rest due to his sheer power and combat experience. I have to agree. He is a god after all.

1). Silver Surfer
-Yeah I know. The friggin' Silver Surfer got the number one spot. I was surprised too, but once they laid out their case and explained what his powers would do to the rest of the combatants on this list, I came around to their way of thinking.

So that was how it stood back in 1997. Kyle Rayner was the Green Lantern back then, and considered too green to rank. The Thing and She-Hulk were considered a step below the Hulk, and he wind up in the #10 spot. And so on.

Now, thanks to the miracle of non-time-travel, here's my revised list, 2014-style.

10). Spawn
-It's probably because I don't think as highly of him as I did back then, but I just don't see Al beating anybody on this list. Maybe Firestorm if he can capitalize on a moment of weakness, but not likely. And I don't buy the rationale of Spawn beating Xavier due to the professor being fucked up from reading Al's mind. This is Prof. X we're talking about; he's seen war and unimaginable horrors. I just don't see Al getting he drop on him at all.

9). Firestorm
-Ronnie's got the powers and skills to be a major player. But against the rest of the guys(and gal) on this list? I don't see him getting any father in the rankings than where he is now. Sorry Firestorm.

8). Professor X
- He's the world's most powerful telepath, and yet he only ranks 8th overall. I guess if Xavier really was the heartless and cold bastard later writers have tried to portray him as, he'd rank higher. Certainly you'd think so given the range and depth of his powers. Maybe he could really put most of these guys to sleep via the power of his mind. If so, then he'd move up the ranks super-fast. Maybe he'd edge out the Hulk and Wally; maybe he wouldn't. I think I'll keep him here for now.

7). The Hulk
- Yeah I know; I normally wouldn't think of ranking Hulk this low either, but if you're ranking them in order, I don't see The Hulk getting past Wally. WW, yes. Dr. Strange? Not if the good doctor simply banishes him away. Superman? Interesting fight, but I have to give it to Supes. Thor too if Thor was played up as an actual god who kills. Poor Bruce.

6). The Flash(Wally West)
-I think this is a pretty good spot for Wally. True, he was probably destined to surpass his mentor Barry, and I believe he did speed-wise until Barry came back. Still, as powerful as he was in manipulating the Speed Force, I just don't see him getting past the rest of the pack on this list from Dr. Strange on.

5). Dr. Strange
- Like I said earlier, I'm good with the Doc placing 5th overall. Unlike Wizard that thought Dr. Strange couldn't undue the magic of the Gods, I think he could give Diana a hell of a fight. I just see his human stamina being his downfall. His body would give up before he did, thus giving WW the win. But it would't be easy, and the battle insanely long.

4). Wonder Woman
- Despite really wanting to move Dr. Strange up, I think in the end, Diana just edges him out. She's a god/part-god, so I imagine her god-like stamina(along with her other famous powers and lasso) helps her out enough in these battles to justify taking the #4 spot.

3). Superman
-I have to agree with his #3 ranking. I know a lot of his fans and supporters will be like "oh bullshit", but I betting that  JLA/AVENGERS aside, Thor just edges out the son of Krypton in combat.

2). Thor
-He's a god. A true, living, breathing god. Not just mere mortal , Thor's had millenia upon millenia of combat experience. Not to mention all of the powers and tools/weapons that were bestowed upon him by his father Odin. You're not taking him out very easily.

1). Silver Surfer
-Despite not having the strength level of the Hulk, Superman, WW, or Thor, Surfer does have the power cosmic and and nigh-indestructible body, He can play the long game long no one's business, and that's what will help him in the end; even gods can tire out, but not the Surfer.

That's my list based off Wizard's. I'd have definitely used different characters for my own tough top ten(What no Wolverine? Lobo? Captain America?)
Maybe later on someday....

Let me know what you guys think, and who you're top ten would be based of the same list of characters.

Have a good weekend guys and gals;)


Dan W said...

I'm surprised Spawn wasn't number one. For along time Wizard was a monthly fan letter to Todd for Spawn and Turner for Witchblade, so one of them had to make the list (I think your job was in danger if one didn't).

Of the ten I'd put Professor X at the bottom. He's the worlds most powerful mind, but he has to see your approach to know you're coming for him. Wonder Woman would remedy that quickly and Hulk would leap in from miles away and before Prof can speak Green Genes would clap his hands together Charles's head making like a bottle of coke in between.

Oh yeah, I'm just not a Charles fan :)

Wonder Woman could never loose to Superman for the simple reason she is a warrior, she can make the harsh calls only one trained for a battlefield can. Clark would take a lot of pushing to get to that point, for Diana it's a natural state.

My top three of those chosen are Silver Surfer, Wonder Woman, and Dr Strange.

Like you most of 'my list' aren't here. I mean no Jean Grey? Spectre? Martian Manhunter? Crazy! :)

Dale Bagwell said...

@Dan: Sigh of the times mate, sign of the times. Just looking at who the staffers picked overall kinda' tells you that.

Prof.X at #10 huh? I'm not sure if I see Hulk outright taking him, but then there's also ways he could as well. Would Xavier read his thoughts from far way on a whim because they're that strong, or would he have to already be thinking about him to for the Hulk to register? Good question.

Me neither these days, or really ever other than as a teacher and mentor. Those ret-cons did not do him any favors.

I hear you on WW, but I still maintain Supes takes her. She may be a better fighter, or at least better trained in the art of warfare, but Superman's stronger, faster, and if you're talking about Morrison's All-Star Superman, definitely smarter. I think he's overall tougher and outlasts her.

Nice top 3 picks.

Right? No Dr. Fate, Magneto, Wolverine or Phoenix?
I believe the criteria was no super-villains or near omnipotent beings with redonkulous power scales.

One of these days I'll be brave enough to construct my own top 10 list, but I'll probably divide it into a Marvel list and DC list.

What about you as far as a top ten?

karl said...

I have to agree totally on WW, Dale, as shes the only worthwhile female I the superhero pantheon that can hold her own.
Thor has his power levels ramped up big time lately and surely deserves perhaps even the top spot - Silver surfer spends so much time off world his power levels aernt that easily well placed for me as he rarely now comes up against anyone we know.

Dale Bagwell said...

@Karl: True dat in Surfer. Outside of Thanos, Terrax, or Doom, Surfer is very rarely featured in battles against individuals like the others on the list. His power set is pretty vast and not as clearly defined....unless you look on the back of his trading card;)

The King of Thessaly said...

Thor over Superman? No... just... no. Not at all.
Flash, Spawn??? Clearly this list was made to include what characters had great stories and/or were super-popular at the time.
No Spectre? No Plastic Man??? Just like Firestorm- they can pretty-much do ANYTHING.
I totally respect Silver Surfer at the top of the list... and even though I'm a HUGE fan- I don't necessarily buy it.

A fun waltz down memory-lane, though. Wizard is SUCH a time-capsule.

Dale Bagwell said...

@King: For me, the outcome of the fight between Thor and Superman will come down to different factors, and probably go either way.
I know Busiak had Superman win, and probably Morrison too.
Again, I can see it going either way, especially considering the fight experience Thor has.
But I know you're super biased so.......:)

Supernatural and other cosmic characters were excluded. So why Surfer wasn't, Idk.

I did love me so me wizard though. Still do. You can obviously tell the influence from my skits.

The King of Thessaly said...

You can throw in a million different factors, man- Thor can't beat Supes...

Still, correct regardless!

Oh, okay- no supernatural guys... but that still leaves Plastic Man. He and Firestorm could destroy EVERYONE if they wanted to. They are unstoppable. -If only Ronnie wasn't such douche, and Plas wasn't such a spaz.

Dale Bagwell said...

You know king, if you were talking about the evil Flashpoint version of Plastic man, then I could see it.
That mini showed his potential as being a formidable, sadisic killer.
Even then I don't see him taking out someone likea Thor or Dr. Strange.

Firestorm could also be a massive headache for the combatants on this list, except again a Thor or Dr.Strange and Silver Surfer.

The King of Thessaly said...

DKR2 showed us even the goddamn Batman fears Plastic Man, and what he is capable of.

Firestorm is an elemental- he can create matter! If he was in Marvel- he'd be Omega-Level. A freakin' External.

Man, if Firestorm, Plastic Man, and The Spectre teamed up- they could rule the world... FOREVER.

Dale Bagwell said...

Did it? I'll have to go back and re-read DKR2 again then.
Maybe so though.

I know Waid utilized his Ell O'Brian side pretty well, and we all saw how vicious the Flashpoint Plas was. So yeah, he could go far, but I don't see him being as totally unbeatable as you think he might King.

No argument on Firestorm, but I doubt Marvel would make it that powerful or utilize in that good of a way. Maybe he'd ended up like Nova; he does good for himself every few years, but not someone that can maintain a monthly. Could still be a solid addition to a team though.
I'll say Surfer still beat him though. He un-makes whatever Ronnie can make. Or at least that's what Wizard said;)

Finally, hell of a team pick. They'd go far.

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