Monday, 17 June 2013

FIGHT! FIGHT! FIGHT! #36



This week's FIGHT is written by Your Mum.

The final weapon is the brain, all else is supplemental”John Steinbeck

It is said that fighting is about the use of the brain almost as much as it is of the body. Granted it is likely only said by people who aren’t particularly muscular and don’t get into a lot of fights themselves, but it sounds like a good opener, and I got to use a quote.

I'm feeling pretty damn intellectual right now.

So when two geniuses go head to head in combat for no good reason, the results can only be a synapse-shattering Battle Royale with cheese, or a couple of professors getting their tenure revoked for wrecking a perfectly good set of laboratory glassware during a petty scuffle about Bromine.

This is the former.

Anyway, Steinbeck only won the Pulitzer because he ripped Ernest Hemingway's nuts off.

    
FIGHT #36

 


BATMAN
vs

SHERLOCK HOLMES



WHO THEY THEN? 



Batman’s personality changes wildly between eras and writers, including stints as a campy adventurer, the world’s greatest detective, gothic creature of the night, and chunkily-drawn thuggish reactionary ultra-right-wing psychopath. Since the latter (also known as The Dark Knight Returns/All-Star Batman and Robin) is quite possibly his dumbest and most aggressive incarnation, it makes perfect sense that that’s the Batman we’re running with here.

Batman’s tragic origin began with a young Bruce Wayne watching his parents being shot outside a movie theatre, before spending the next decade obsessively training to perpetuate the cycle of escalating violence tearing apart the city.

Bruce honed his body into what would be a killing machine if it wasn’t for the fact that his tragic past means that he refuses to kill criminals, preferring to dole out savage pummellings, twistings and snappings that will leave them hospitalised and crippled for life. He donates to hospitals and clinics, though, so it all evens out. Who says philanthropy doesn’t really work?

While on this punishing physical regime, Bruce also learned all of science through intense study and experiments, mainly because it was back in the 20th century, so he couldn’t learn all about science the real way: liking memes on Facebook.


Much like super-sleuth Jessica Fletcher, Sherlock is a freelance (or “consulting”) detective and high-functioning sociopath with little regard for police protocol. He lives in London at 221b Baker Street with his partner and biographer John Watson. There’s a cheap joke about the word partner in there somewhere, but making it would just demean us all. Again.

A true genius, his deductive abilities and capacity for retaining information appear to fill so much of his brain that he no longer has space for things like basic social skills, except for those required for expert manipulation. As world-weary as he is egotistical, he is easily bored and solves crimes mainly as a way to kill time rather than out of any particular sense of altruism, much like Jessica Fletcher.

His line of work often leads him into danger, so Sherlock has become more than proficient in armed and unarmed combat against individuals and small groups. In terms of style, he has adopted the misspelled discipline of Baritsu, a very English style of martial art which surprisingly has nothing to do with working behind coffee shop counters.

He would totally waste Jessica Fletcher if it was necessary. And possibly if it wasn't.


THEY PACKING MUCH HEAT?




As the majority shareholder, CEO, and Chairman of the largely ill-defined mega-corporation Wayne Enterprises, Bruce is equipped covertly by resources siphoned off the top-secret R&D division in the sort of corporate governance scandal that would shock even Ken Lay. Wayne Enterprises shareholders unknowingly fund the development of the sort of tank-like supercars that would make Jeremy Clarkson wet himself with whatever-he-has-for-joy, armour that somehow protects like Kevlar but clings to well-toned abs like spandex, and more gadgets than the result of Inspector Gadget somehow impregnating Q (because everything has to be sexy these days, hoisting by your own petard may as well be).

Batman’s definitely-not-dangerous-at-all-honest arsenal includes but is by no means limited to: Batarangs/shuriken, explosive charges, a grappling hook, a car and motorbike with machine-guns on them, a sonar device that summons a swarm of bats, and Bat-Shark-Repellent spray.

In short, Wayne Enterprises’ accountants and auditors have a lot to answer for.

Sherlock has a gun sometimes.

The winner is obviously Batman.

THEIR BACK: WHO HAS IT?




Much like how noted lone wolf Wolverine is a member of just about every Marvel super-club going, Batman growls a lot about how he can’t let people get close to him, but spends most of his time doing team-ups with the likes of Robin, Nightwing, Red Robin, Batgirl, Batwoman, Superman, Wonder Woman, the Green Lantern, as well as eternal B-listers Aquaman and Cyborg. TO NAME BUT A FEW. Like all good friendships, these revolve around mutual respect, camaraderie, shared experiences, and the knowledge that he’s used a lot of his spare time working out plans to defeat all of them in combat.

Aside from the slightly confusing loyalty of military veteran and blogger Watson, Sherlock has no friends because he’s either a total and utter dick to people deliberately or by accident. The few people who tolerate his behaviour for some totally inexplicable reason include middle-aged tea provider Mrs Doyle Hudson, a nurse who puts up with too much even for a nurse, grudgingly helpful policeman Lestrade, and his older and less practical but smarter and somehow even smugger brother Mycroft.

Unless Mrs Hudson has heretofore-unknown hand-to-hand combat abilities, Batman is the winner.


NUANCES AND WHATNOT




Another indicator of Batman’s remarkably physical prowess is that fact that while he has taken to swing around on grappling line in a way that is totally not like Spider-Man at all, he is capable of surviving the sort of arm-socket-tearing strains that other superheroes can only deal with due to having enhanced strength. He has just. That much. Willpower.

Despite his uncaring nature, lack of interest in human beings in anything but an academic manner, and general dickish behaviour, Sherlock has a slightly perplexing legion of internet fangirls, giving hope to lonely assholes with superiority complexes everywhere. Indeed, his legion of internet ladies obsessed with an obvious candidate for the “worst boyfriend ever” award is almost on par with those of Rorshach, Sephiroth, and Chris Brown. As a muscular and macho juvenile male power fantasy, Batman is likely to have more support from fanboys than fangirls, but any female Batman readers who don’t prefer the Joker would be advised to stay away because almost every woman who goes near him dies or is crippled or is fictional. Of those, only a few were lucky enough to own a Lazarus Pit or enjoy the chiropractic benefits of a universal reboot, and even then only because DC was starting to run out of refrigerator space or because an artist had discovered a new way to draw boobs.

On the basis of a comparison of the number of rule 34 images that come up when you Google Image Search for each combatant, Sherlock wins by a mile.


IT'S CLOBBERING TIME



In a shocking display of continuity, Fight! Fight! Fight!’s pool of simian typists have been instructed to mash the keyboards with their paws until they have something resembling a sequel to the recent Moriarty/Joker bout. What follows is the best of the results, but only because in defiance of all statistical probability, most of the chimps ended up typing out the complete works of Charles Dickens.

No animals were harmed in the making of this fight except for that one room full of gorillas who used the typewriters to bludgeon each other to death and the others, who were sent to PETA to be despatched in ice cream tubs and sent floating down the river with little sails made out of rainbows.


Web-slinging Zip-lining from building to building, Batman hunts for clues for the murder he never expected to be investigating. Who killed the Joker? The clown’s grisly trail had led him to London, where it had gone cold. Cold like the bodies of his long dead parents.

Totally not doing whatever a spider can, he swings towards a dockland warehouse that had somehow escaped gentrification and was therefore still likely to be full of the sort of information-rich warehouse-dwelling thugs that masked crime-fighters have taken to using like a version of Wikipedia where the search bar is replaced with punches and yelling.

Peering through the skylight, he saw a figure skulking below. He knew that the element of surprise was his, and he savagely flung himself through the panes and upon his prey with all the intensity and glass-smashing force of a 300lb man hurling himself through the closed doors of a McDonalds in the knowledge that he had only seconds left before the breakfast items came off the menu for the day.

But this was no ordinary prey. The great detective Sherlock Holmes who stood below had noticed the slight noises coming from the roof and the strange horned shadow that had been cast upon the floor from the skylight moments earlier. In an instant he deduced that a man of around 6’2” weighting about 210lbs and wearing a ludicrous costume was about to descend dramatically through the glass, and leapt aside as the black mass descended with an unearthly roar, like a comedy Welshman doing a hardman voice.

Doing that cool slow-motion thing that he had stolen wholesale from the Downey Jr film, in a split second Holmes anticipated his assailant’s next move and considered his contingency plans. But Batman had contingencies for this exact scenario, and assessed his options. The split-second option-considering reached fever pitch, with each combatant considering considerably more and more effective and brutal ways to outdo the consideration that their opponent was considering.



Batman threw a punch, which Sherlock dodged, attempting to counter, only to be countered by Batman, whose counter he subsequently countered, leading to more counters than an IKEA kitchen showroom hosting a Tiddlywinks championship.

Although uncommon for Sherlock, this pointless brawling was par for the course for Batman. In keeping with superhero tradition, meet-ups between unacquainted heroes should always begin with a punch-up. This is mainly because superheroes are by and large reactionary, developmentally-stunted thugs whose idea of helping to keep the peace is to take a swing at the nearest guy in a similarly stupid outfit in the hope that he’s a bad guy.

Not having the defensive advantages bestowed upon him by a suit of high-tech armour, Sherlock’s arms tire first, letting Batman land a punch that resounded with neon onomatopoeia. Sherlock reeled, holding his bleeding nose, and spat out the words “Ugh, that hurt like a motherf-“, interrupted by the loss of a couple of teeth and a memo from the BBC insisting on nothing offensive ever happening.

In an instant, he observed Batman’s pupils and breathing changing in reaction to the half-uttered parent-related oath, and deduced that the man was likely an orphan suffering poorly-repressed trauma expressed through acts of extreme physical violence. He also noted that the costumed thug’s fake growly Clint Eastwood voice betrayed too much elocution to be a commoner’s. A wealthy orphan with the sort of technological and financial resources needed for that outfit and utility belt could only mean one person: famous American businessman and household name Bruce Wayne.

Although a brilliant deduction, this moment of thinking proved a fatal distraction, as Batman landed a fist in Sherlock’s face. Fueled by a haze of oedipal rage he mercilessly pounded Sherlock as if he was The Joker and Joe Chill rolled into one, before realising just how lifeless the sleuth’s body had become. Batman reeled, realising that he had crossed a line he said he’d never cross except for all those times in the 1930s and 40s and that time he crossed it when he blew up those corrupt cops with the Batmobile after saving Robin and would maybe cross again with a giant machine gun in a dystopian future. His moment of existential terror was halted by a sharp click, and he turned to see Sherlock behind him, realising that the body he’d been pummelling was a cunningly disguised corpse that must have somehow got switched when that woman on the bicycle rode through the warehouse for a second or two about half an hour ago ASSUMING YOU WERE PAYING ATTENTION.

The click signified that Sherlock had cocked the hammer on Watson’s service handgun - in the unnecessary way that people do because it sounds badass on TV - and pointed it at the caped figure.

As Sherlock's finger squeezed the trigger, Batman's hand moves. The gun explodes from the barrel, and a bat-shaped shiruken falls from the twisted metal, clanging once and settling upon the ground. Sherlock dropped the remains firearm from his bleeding stump and realised that he was now significantly less able to deal with hand-to-hand combat, just as the encroaching black mass hit him.

And then hit him again, and again, and again, mostly in the handsome parts.

One savage battering later

AND THE WINNER IS...

  BATMAN




Tune in next time for the epic battle:


Bruce Wayne Vs Wayne Enterprises’ Other Shareholders

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.

If you wish to take issue with our verdict, please post a well-informed and reasoned explanation as to why below, as is the style of the internet.

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