Monday, 25 March 2013

FIGHT! FIGHT! FIGHT! #24


This week's FIGHT is written by Colleen Cheetham-Gerrard.

On a cold night, lit only by the moon, a wolf howls.

This is considered to be one of the most dramatic openings in any kind of 'dark' fiction. Wolves, however, with their differing tastes (Philip Roth is typical), consider it clichéd, sterile, and racist.

Who cares about stupid wolves though? Wolves fight only when they have to, over sensible things like food, mates and territory. Humans have evolved beyond the need to fight only when essential. Humans fight because someone looked at them funny, or because they felt sad that day or simply for the love of the smell of the blood.

Our Fighting Choices are what make us human.

Fighting is what makes us better than wolves.

(Fighting wolves is what makes Liam Neeson better than you, but that's a different argument altogether.)

Some of us can't fight very well. That's okay. We can read about other people fighting, and that's just fine. Wolves can't read. Wolves suck.

Look, see; further veracity for my entirely sound comparison.


FIGHT #24

 


EDWARD CULLEN
vs
COUNT DUCKULA


WHO THEY THEN? 



Edward Cullen is a vampire. Fear not, mortals! He's a good vampire, sworn to eschew tasty human blood in order to sparkle in the sunlight and go to high school again, and again, and again. Because that's definitely what we all aspire to with eternal life. He calls himself a vegetarian, and like all good vegetarians instead slakes his bloodlust by hunting animals in the woods. His love for Bella Swann – and his excellent hair – define his life. For more information on Edward Cullen, see the Twilight books. Or the Twilight films. Or Fifty Shades of Grey



Count Duckula is a vampire. Fear not, mortals! He's a good vampire, sworn to eschew tasty human blood...well, sort of. When he was resurrected, a bottle of tomato ketchup was used for the spell instead of the traditional blood. This means that Count Duckula is:

A. A duck, and:
B. An actual vegetarian. 

Rather than be obsessed with a rather drippy human, Count Duckula craves fame as a light entertainer. For more information, see the classic Count Duckula TV series.

There is no erotic fan-fiction spinoff of Count Duckula that we are aware of. Please don't write one.




THEY PACKING MUCH HEAT?



Edward Cullen is a deadly vampire. As he will tell you himself, he's the perfect killing machine. His sexy looks, sexy voice and sexy smell is designed to lure in the human for an easy kill. To compound that, he's impossibly fast, impossibly strong, and never ages. Unlike the traditional vampire, Edward can go into houses uninvited, has no problems with crucifixes, and sunlight merely makes him sparkle. He's also telepathic. The only way to kill him, in fact, is to dismember him and then set him on fire.

Count Duckula is the 17th in a line of deadly vampire ducks. Unfortunately, his botched resurrection means that he is without the traditional fangs enabling him to slaughter dozens of puny humans. He can, however, vanish in a puff of smoke and has no reflection, and can stroll around quite cheerfully in the sunlight.

Edward Cullen wins.


THEIR BACK: WHO HAS IT?



Edward has the primary support of his family, a group of similarly vegetarian vampires turned, married and/or adopted by his 'father', Carlisle Cullen. His family share many of the same super-strong traits as Edward. Many of the members of his family also have superpowers, including a 'sister' who can see the future and a 'brother' who can influence the emotions of those around him. In need, he can also pull together group of vampires who more than anything else resemble the most egregious X-Men ever, with handily coincided superpowers and a frequent desire to slaughter all homo sapiens in the surrounding area.

Count Duckula has two loyal servants, Igor and Nanny. Igor is a dedicated and elderly servant, always willing to resurrect the most recently deceased Count, and despairs of the current Count's propensity towards carrots. Nanny is a rather stupid hen, but one possessed of super strength and overwhelming loyalty. Both have managed to defend the castle of pitchfork-bearing mobs of peasants in the past, and keep up with all of the cleaning and maintenance in a decrepit Transylvanian castle. I can barely clean my flat once a week.

Count Duckula wins.

NUANCES AND WHATNOT



Edward Cullen, for better or for worse, is a representative from one of the biggest cultural phenomena of the last decade. Sure, some might say he's a thinly veiled Mormon and the worst boyfriend role model adored by young women since Chris Brown, but a cultural juggernaut is not to be ignored. He is adored by teenage girls the world over, enough for them to buy three copies of the same book just to get a free poster. Depressingly, he gets the girl and by all accounts lives happily ever after. He's played by Robert Pattinson, and you may have recently read a book full of interesting facts about him.

Count Duckula should probably be a cultural juggernaut, but just doesn't quite have the sex appeal. It's worth noting, however, that the character has his origin as a foe of Dangermouse. Surviving several encounters with the greatest secret agent of our times has to say something in his defence. He has the ability to be reincarnated, depending on whims of his loyal but occasionally stupid servants.


IT'S CLOBBERING TIME


For reasons that probably have something to do with his love life, Edward Cullen finds himself in the dark, misty mountains of Transylvania. He stalks through the paths, unafraid of anything in this perilous place, for what could be more deadly than him? Still, the sun would rise soon, and if the locals see his glittering skin, they might guess his deadly secret. These mountains and people have a history with some of his more bloodthirsty relations, and he doesn't want to face the pitchforks this time around.

Fortunately, a castle looms ahead, just through the mist. Running at a frankly needless high speed, scrabbling over branches like a spider-monkey, Edward arrives at the castle and knocks on the door. “Let me in!” he commands.

The door swings open by itself, but unperturbed by normal vampiric lore (and basic etiquette) regarding invitation to other people's houses, Edward strolls right in. Suddenly, there is a small explosion in front of him. When the smoke clears, a small duck in evening dress stands in front of him. “Oh hi!” says the duck, enthusiastically raising a wing in a cheery salute. “I'm Count Duckula! Who are you?”

My name doesn't matter,” mutters Edward dramatically, as he tried to read the Count's thoughts. “I'm just here to save my love.”

Oooh!” exclaims the Count, clapping his wings together. “You're an American! Have you ever been to... Hollywood?”

Sensing nothing but good wishes and a bizarrely large amount of sparkles in the mind of the Count, Edward nevertheless recognised a fellow vampire so instinctively lashes out, quickly trying to launch himself on Duckula. “Argh!” squawks the Count, disappearing and re-appearing in a small cloud of smoke. “There's no need for that! I would just love to go Hollywood, find an agent, maybe appear in a few movies...”

You want to advertise us? You want the Volturi and the world to see our EVIL?!” Edward roars, and lunges again for Duckula, who disappears and re-appears, now looking slightly more flustered.

Well, I can't be seen in the camera but I think we could overcome that, maybe... argh! Nanny! Igor!”

By this point it has all descended into farce, with Edward trying to run at Duckula at improbably high speeds, and Duckula always remaining just out of reach. Edward isn't quite sure why jaunty and oddly British music seems to be playing in the background, and definitely isn't sure how he ran into the waiting fist of an oversized hen with one arm in a sling.

Momentarily stunned and down for the count, Edward overhears the Count talking quickly to what seem be his servants. “He's a vampire from America, Igor!” he hears, still feeling dazed from the mighty blow. “I'm hoping he can get me a screen-test once he calms down.”

An elderly vulture leans down, looking at Edward. “A vampire? This one? Master, he's sparkling in the sunlight, that's no vampire.” He sniffs. “Unless he's like you. A...” Igor shudders. “A vegetarian.”

What?” Edward looks up properly, the haze beginning to lift. “I am too a vegetarian. I only eat deer, and mountain lions. Not horse, though.”

Well, that's a start,” mutters Igor. “Still, we can't have another vampire in this house. Nanny, fetch the impaling stake.”

Panicked now, Edward looks around desperately for an exit, deciding to risk the wrath of the mob and their pitchforks. This place was worse than the fourteenth time he'd gone to high school. Count Duckula flaps wildly in the background. “Igor! Come on! This is my BIG BREAK!”

Sensing an opportunity with the servants distracted, Edward lunged forward using his superhuman strength once more and grabs the Count by the opera cape. “Let me go or the duck gets it!” he shouts wildly, before suddenly remembering how hungry he is, and how he hasn't eaten duck for years...

Igor debated stopping the bloodbath as Edward tore and ripped at the young master, but suddenly realised there was a better solution to this problem, one that would make Igor's life significantly more like the good old days. Making sure to take the correct ingredients this time, he went to prepare the resurrection room. The Age of Asparagus surely couldn't be far away, now...

***

Edward never talked about his time in Transylvania to Bella. He felt that she would never need to know about his odd encounter with the vampire duck. One dark and stormy night, he was suddenly startled by a pillar of flame in his front room, which died down to reveal a familiar duck in an opera cape.

Hello, Edward,” the duck lisped, showing off his new set of fangs, dark red madness showing in his eyes.

Count Duckula?” Edward gasped. This wasn't normal. The deer never returned, particularly never with a more pronounced and comedic lisp. The duck stepped out of the shadows.

Yeth. Me.” Count Duckula smiled, but there was no humour in it. “You thould have got me that thcreen tetht...”

The screams of Edward Cullen as the enraged duck ripped him limb from limb could be heard through Washington state.

No-one made a joke about being hoisin by his own petard, because they're classier than that.

Hell hath no fury like a duck seeking celebrity.



AND THE WINNER IS...

  

  COUNT DUCKULA





Arguably, the loser is possibly Bram Stoker, weeping over what became of his creation in just over a century.

FIGHT! FIGHT! FIGHT! will return in:


"IT'S ON DAYS LIKE THIS THAT MORTALITY SEEMS A BOON."

If you have any suggestions for who you'd like to see square go each other in future FIGHT! FIGHT! FIGHT! articles, please mention them below.

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