Monday, 19 August 2013


This week's FIGHT is written by James Clayton.

I am not and never have been your friend.

I will now inflict war crimes upon your person.





Khan Noonien Singh is played by Ricardo Montalbán. Yes that is his actual torso. He first appeared in the episode of Star Trek: The Original Series titled 'Space Seed' and was so bitter about the events of said episode that he returned with bigger, brighter platinum blonde hair for the feature film Star Trek: The Wrath of Khan 15 years later.

The product of genetic engineering, Khan is superhuman and thus has mental and physical capabilities superior to those of a regular homo sapien. He used to rule over many of those Earth-based humans and reigned as benign dictator of an Asian empire. After the Eugenics Wars of the 1990s (they were even more violent than the Britpop Wars) Khan had the misfortune to find himself deposed and sentenced to death along with all the other genefreaks that unexceptional humans no longer cared for. He escaped with 72 of his fellow superfolk into the cold of outer space, cryogenically frozen on a ship named SS Botany Bay.

Upon waking up the 23rd century, Khan & Co. encountered Captain James T. Kirk and the crew of the Starship Enterprise and came out the losers. By the end of the episode, Khan had found himself and his brethren marooned on the inhospitable planet of Celti Alpha V. With nothing to do but breed ceti eels and read the provided copies of Paradise Lost and Moby Dick, Khan turned his mega-mind to payback plans.

He is now an iconic living embodiment of revenge with a higher libido than you'd normally expect in a man who is being played by a 61 year old. Way to go, Ricardo!

Khan Noonien Singh is played by Benedict Cumberbatch. Yes that is his actual torso in-the-shower-scene-unfortunately-removed-from-the-final-edit, only to be seen by viewers of the Conan the Unconvincing Barbarian Show. He first appeared in the film Star Trek Into Darkness though he was introduced to audiences as John Harrison because J.J. Abrams, Damon Lindelof and their cohorts like trying to screw with people. It didn't work. Everyone knew he was Khan - not the English clockmaker who invented the marine chronometer in the 18th century - and everyone accepted that Star Trek Into Darkness is a remake of The Wrath of Khan that needs a colon in its title. As in Star Trek: Into Darkness, not Star Trek Into Colon Darkness.

It's not that sort of film.

Khan is also the fruit of genetic engineering and has the same backstory as the dude we've discussed above. The difference this time round is that Mr Noonien Singh and his frozen superfellows were found by a paranoid Starfleet admiral who forced Khan to make superweapons for an anticipated conflict against the Klingons. Nuh uh. "Not cool," sayeth the Khan. Commence rebellion and an outbreak of rage as the offended special one turns terrorist and attacks London and Starfleet's headquarters in San Francisco. More upset, more dead people, more scheming and machinations in the Federation and we've got some plot to hang the action on for this sequel/remake.

Khan is now in space brooding and burning with rage as he watches over the 71 frigid comrades still in stasis. He is waiting for trouble to come to him while thinking about making trouble himself. Benedict Cumberbatch plays 'troubled' so well. Way to go Benedict!


Superhuman Khan is a perfect paragon of intellectual, physical and psychological excellence. He has outstanding strength, a supreme strategic mind and an intimidating dominant aura. He thus doesn't really need weapons and his ruthless ambition, compelling villain charisma and Wrathful Vengeance Power make him an almost insurmountable nemesis. He will beat you up, physically, mentally and emotionally.

Superhuman Khan is a perfect paragon of intellectual, physical and psychological excellence. He has outstanding strength, a supreme strategic mind and an intimidating dominant aura. He thus doesn't really need weapons and his ruthless ambition, compelling villain charisma and Wrathful Vengeance Power make him an almost insurmountable nemesis. He will beat you up, physically, mentally and emotionally.

No. I did not copy and paste that. I'm not a slacker. I wrote it out twice and I am appalled at your low opinion of me. Tsssk.

Anyhow, the difference between the Khans comes in their fighting style and modus operandi. This is dictated by the filmmakers according to what they figure will be popular with contemporary audiences. Khan of Star Trek Into Darkness is a hands-on guy who likes to get into dirty fisticuffs whenever he can whereas Wrath of Khan Khan generally prefers to hang back and play mindgames with his foes. Still, they both do both and do both very well and with a certain flair so, yeah, they both win this round. Yes, I Khan have my cake and eat it.


Khan is the assumed leader of the superhumans who escaped with him aboard the SS Botany Bay and endured the exile on Ceti Alpha V. Their numbers may have dwindled over the years but their devout fanaticism and loyalty to Khan hasn’t. What Khan has here is a band of beautiful brothers and sisters who rock barbarian chic, provide extra brawn and act as an aesthetically-pleasing entourage.

Khan (other Khan. Keep up.) is the most important member of the 72 remaining genetic superhumans simply because he is the only one not currently frozen in suspended animation. It's assumed that his similarly-enhanced brothers and sisters are a steadfast, rock hard band who'd help turn the tides of a tough fight should Khan find himself floundering. They're locked up in torpedo missiles so we figure they must be pretty dangerous.

We can't be sure about his fellow eugenes, but Khan has another significant source of support. Because of his acting abilities and handsome visage Benedict Cumberbatch has attracted an intense cult following and become something of a pop culture phenomenon. Whole sections of Tumblr are devoted to exalting the former Tibet-based English teacher and passionate geeks eagerly identify themselves as 'Cumberbitches'. They dress up in overcoats, make shrines and shadow him when he's shooting Sherlock in secret locations in hope that he'll turn around and kiss their erogenous zones before inviting them back to smoke jazz cigarettes in his Mind Palace. Cumberbitches is wild, yo.

But then the story wouldn't have happened.

Khan the First should win this round because his homies are all conscious and look way cooler than sedate non-speaking characters kept in suspended cryostasis. It ain't to be though and Khan the Second comes out on top though because Cumberbitches is wild, yo.


If you're looking for the fight between Shere Khan, Amir Khan and Chaka Khan you've come to the wrong place. Go down the hall, turn left and follow signs for the Genghis Suite.

Readers who are pregnant or are close to their next pon farr ritual are advised to proceed cautiously. Furthermore, those with nut allergies, heart conditions, epilepsy, irritable bowel syndrome and a history of memory loss are encouraged to seek the advice of a doctor before engaging with this affair. We wouldn't want anything really, really bad to happen.

Readers are also advised that revenge is a dish best served cold and we recommend Gino D'Acampo's recipe over Jamie Oliver's because it eliminates fuss, contains no pious lecturing and can be achieved easily by those with limited skill, limited kitchen space, limited time and limited budgets.

Furthermore, it should be noted that this feature contains spoilers relating to several Star Trek motion pictures and if you hadn't already noticed you are entitled to a commemorative gold 'IGNORANT AND PROUD' pin-badge and access to your own personalised downloadable Twitter avatar. If you don't have a Twitter account you get a free digital copy of Jamie Oliver's newest cookbook, 'The Naked Chef's Great Space Omelette'.

As for questions about how Khan Noonien Singh can fight himself, it's because he's the same person but he's different because the new Star Trek reboots take place in a parallel timestream that was generated when Romulan Eric Bana unleashed some red matter and created a black hole and awww, damn it Jim, just forget about it and enjoy the action...


This is the point where we run all the above information through our highly sophisticated computer system to establish the ultimate victor. Our computer's favourite colour is 'opera mauve' which was voted Most Sophisticated Colour in the Visible Spectrum by the readers of Modern Hues Magazine for six years running before 'gamboge' took the title last month (though there are whispers that the poll was fixed). Regardless, the point is that our computer is a sophisticated and discerning entity and it can't wait to give your living room a tasteful makeover.

Space. The Final Frontier. (Actually it's not the Final Frontier but your feeble human minds ain't ready for that knowledge yet.)

We are in orbit over Earth in the future. For the inhabitants of Earth in the future it is Earth in the present.

It is a planet with no currency, no humpback whales and no tolerance for hammy TV actors who enjoy delivering melodramatic monologues. It is a planet that Khan regards with considerable resentment. The feeling is mutual for the other Khan.

Both men - nay, supermen - now float in orbit over Earth, for they are the kind of melodramaticals that the intolerant future planet sends beyond the stratosphere where there's more space for their delicious thespy turns.

Khan has commandeered a stolen Starfleet spacecraft. Other Khan, likewise. They both take a break from glaring at Terra and face each other across the vacuum.

Open communications on subspace frequency for Khanversation...

"Don't you just hate them?" inquires one Khan.

"Yes... yes, I do..." replies the other Khan, vaguely.

Now we're going to get close-ups so the viewer can tell which Khan is which, thus eliminating all traces of ambiguity, spoonfeeding the audience to circumnavigate any possible complaints that "it's too confusing".

Khan - The Wrath of Khan Khan - pulls himself up in his throne-like Captain's seat and smiles a tigerish grin. Tiger would be his spirit animal. He laughs like a tiger. He pounces like a tiger. He dances like a tiger. He plays table tennis like a tiger. Now he growls like a tiger and licks his teeth with tigerish glee.

Khan - Into Darkness Khan - stands right up out of his chair and pouts a pantherish pout. Panther would be his spirit animal. He glowers like a panther. He lurks like a panther. He makes love like a panther. He conducts amateur kitchen chemistry experiments like a panther. Now he sighs heavily like a panther and exhales with pantherish ire.

"I want to destroy them all," the pantherish Khan announces with palpable aggression. "Are you with me, Khan, or against me, Khan? Simple choice: will you join me or are you going to stand in my way? Choose the latter and you will be destroyed as well."

"Ha! Daring and bold!" replies the tigerish Khan with a wily nod to the viewscreen. "I find you intriguing, Khan. Your proposition is a compelling one worthy of my deep contemplative consideration..."

He twitches around, very expressively gesturing as he makes up his mind to show that this is a dramatic moment on which the narrative hinges.

"Should I, the eminent and high-princely Khan Noonien Singh, ally myself with a shade of myself to pursue a vengeance plot that is not my own to the detriment of my own vendetta? It could perhaps be stimulating, Mister Khan, but you see I have my crew here to think of..."

He waves a muscular arm around and his bevy of Chippendale models dressed in steampunk caveman costumes come forward on the bridge.

"Surely, you would not have me disappoint them? We have our own objective and I fear that your plan would undermine our end goal and, actually, not be as enjoyable."

The other Khan huffs loudly and frowns at the monitor.

"Yes, you intrigue me," continues the first Khan, "but you are quite honestly inferior. I don't want to waste my time with you. Joachim! Let him eat static!"

A handsome henchman pounds at a control panel. Khanversation lines are closed and the other Khan pouts, insulted by the snub.

"Fine," he growls before commencing to activate his ship's shields and fire phasers at his opponent's vessel.

Distracted as he is by his buddies, the other Khan is caught unawares and doesn't have time to put up his craft's shields. As he and his brethren receive shocking heavy bombardment he springs to action and dances around the bridge whilst excitedly urging his crew to reply in kind with "FULL POWER!"

Those phaser ripostes are deflected and underneath the constant pounding Khan's vulnerable vessel rapidly racks up damage. The bridge becomes a hectic scene of blaring sirens, sparks and smoke. Out of the elevator a couple of hulking henchman emerge and they deposit a series of charred corpses at the feet of their leader before sighing pathetically "They're dead, Khan! Dead, Khan, dead!"

Wide-eyed Khan surveys the burned bodies of his comrades and howls an anguished howl. "No! Nooooo! Joachim! Red Sonja! Mavis! I SHALL AVENGE YOU!"

He bounds back into his hotseat and re-opens communication lines. As the other Khan comes into form on the viewscreen, this Khan puts on his 'assertive and sophisticated diplomat' face and goes about renegotiating.

"Khan. Khan, Khan, Khan. Cease your fire. Save your strength. Surely we can come to some arrangement."

"I'm listening..." comes the cool response, flavoured with a dash of smug.

"I ask that you spare my crew and graciously offer my hand to you. We share a common enemy. We are both one and the same and we are superior beings. There is little point in is fighting each other while that common enemy goes unpunished, free to impudently live long and prosper..."

"Agreed, Khan. Start beaming your men over to me and together let us bring darkness down upon Earth." His demands made, Cumberbatch-Khan closes the link and goes down to the transporter room to greet his new allies.

Montalbán-Khan complies as instructed, though his social niceties are only warfare concealed. He picks out his three least-favourite henchpeople and fits them up with semtex abs. The trio are then teleported directly onto the other craft, all of them wired and packing plenty of plastic explosive in their undergarments.

With his strategic sense and Harrow education, however, Khan sees Khan's trick coming. He meets the arrivals with a colourful array of violent moves, making like a live-action replica of Ryu from the Street Fighter videogames. With a few shouts of "Hadouken!" and a flurry of fiery punches and kicks he easily incapacitates two of the unwanted guests.

The other one, however, wriggles away and runs straight to the docking bay where Khan has stashed the torpedoes containing his 71 sleeping comrades. The underwear bomber blows her load and in a blaze of kamikaze glory kills 'em all, burning up slumbering superhuman bodies while simultaneously disabling the ship from within.

Khan is devastated. Torn apart by a tumult of emotions he cries out for vengeance.

"I WILL AVENGE ALL OF YOU!" That right there is his cry for vengeance.

The spacecraft crumbling and breaking up around him like so much battered stellar garbage, weeping Khan fixes his resolve and launches himself out of the airlock. He flies across the void and smashes right through the hull of Other-Khan's ship. Feeling nothing but the fury and fanatical drive for retribution, Khan the Second speeds up to the bridge to face his alternate timeline adversary.

"KHAAAAN!" he yells.

"KHAAAAN!" the other Khan yells.

And then they both yell and dive at each other for a great big dirty brawl on the bridge. The Chippendale models all stand back to enjoy the scintillating spectacle.

Khan pulls Khan's platinum blonde hair. Khan ploughs knuckles into Khan's perfect pouty lips. Khan yanks Khan's nipples. Khan shoves a knee in Khan's groin. Khan headbutts Khan's mighty chest and drops a dropkick on his spine. Khan puts a boot through Khan's shin then stamps down on Khan's toes.

The Khans continue to pummel each other and the brutality of the action escalates. As they trade bruising punches and elbow blows the bridge gets battered as collateral damage. Khanage spills out all over the place, machines, computers and control panels smashing and malfunctioning as the wrestling combatants crash into and through them.

Alarms sound as the ship's systems go haywire but Khan and Khan care not. Consumed by rage, they carry on scuffling completely oblivious to the fact that the spacecraft is now out of control and no longer maintaining a stable orbit.

It drops through the Ozone Layer and plummets towards the planet's surface. In cinematic style and with plenty of lens-flare it smashes through the Hollywood sign and comes down with a crash in the centre of Los Angeles.

All aboard are shaken and stirred but it'll take more than that to stop a superhuman with the bit between his teeth. (And at this point, both Khans do indeed have bits of the other between their teeth.)

Khan and Khan emerge from the wreckage, help lift the other surviving genefreaks from beneath warped metal and promptly get back to the battle. In the midday California sun they start to smack each other up again as if the last ten minutes were simply an intermission.

The fighting isn’t allowed to continue uninterrupted for long, however. It's barely any time at all before Hollywood Boulevard is awash with people flocking from afar, all drawn to the spot like iron filings to a magnet.

The Cumberbitches have come to town. A crowd of crazed gooey-eyed devotees - most of them young tech-savvy women, though not exclusively - charge upon the space and swamp the pair. While such violence is not expected of Benedict, whoever it is in the rough and tumble looks awfully like him.

Fighting isn't possible when you're buried under a mountain of maniacal fans. In the midst of the scrum, Khan and Khan face each other. They gaze into each other's eyes. Both find pain written into the other's sad pupils. It's a poignant moment of empathy and both opponents find a fresh understanding.

Maybe it's ESP. Maybe it's simply the fact they're the same soul manifest in two different physical forms in two separate timelines. Regardless, it's a revelation.

"No more..." they both utter at precisely the same time.

Shrugging off a few Cumberbitches for some breathing space, they hold onto each other and find their feet.

They both smile warmly, clasping forearms in one of those handshakes which is more like an armshake.

Glancing around they register the surrounding, adoring throng. Upon seeing the remnants of Khan One's barbarian band and a few highly attractive Cumberbitches, Khan grins like a tiger and other Khan grins like a panther.

"Old friend, I am weary after our futile war," declares tigerish Khan. "I have an idea. Come. Follow me and, please," he licks his teeth as other Khan pouts at his admirers, "bring your followers..."

In barely any time at all both Khans are naked, their impressive torsos bared and their superhuman bodies totally available for the voyeuristic enjoyment of everyone. They intimately embrace and become one with each other then make their way down into an oversized outdoor jacuzzi. (We've relocated to some film director's mansion in Beverly Hills, by the way.)

Waiting in the pool are the similarly nude surviving superhumans and a special selection of Cumberbitches. The water bubbles, the bodies slide over each other and an orgy more exhilarating than anything seen since the decadent zenith of the Roman Empire occurs.

Khan, Khan, Khan-tourage and Cumberbitches move and flow together in a steamy sea, waves of love, orgone and pure sex energy erotic splashing through the aether. Pheromones emanate and invigorate and all in attendance bask in the phenomenal surging power. It flares and the atmosphere crackles, ablaze with electricity and potent vibes generated by the free-lovin' frenzy.

Boom. (Oh, sorry. I meant BOOOOOOOOOOOOOM!)

The Earth cannae take it, Captain. It's too much for this sober planet to stand. The orgy sparks a sexplosion that engulfs the entire city and subsequently sends shockwaves out across the Great American continent. Babylon burns, the San Andreas Fault twists and tremendous seismic shifts spread out in a ripple effect right round the globe

The tectonic plates of the planet collide and pull apart. Mountains tremble and collapse. Earthquakes break out everywhere, tidal waves and tsunamis flood solid landmasses and volcanoes erupt, their molten gushes swallowing the clouds and soaking the helpless metropolises in torrential firestorms.

Earth ravages itself as its surface buckles and rips irreparable rips, the molten core splurging out from the centre in a cataclysm that no one could possibly survive.

The apocalypse. Total meltdown. The Ultimate Perishing. The End of Days. Someone's best friend dies and it's a very upsetting moment.

Earth disintegrates and its smouldering fragments float out and away into the Solar System. As the once proud planet experiences its unexpected, unlikely death a single echoing sound defies the laws of physics and rings out through the reaches of the Final Frontier (not actually the Final Frontier). It sends a chill through the minds of all sentient beings who manage to catch its dastardly timbre.

It is the sound of laughter - the zesty laughter of a driven, deranged superhuman enjoying himself immensely after years of anguish.




FIGHT! FIGHT! FIGHT! will return in:

"The Bleeds of the Many Outweigh the Bleeds of the Few

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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