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X-Men vs. Avengers

by Sean Curry

A few articles back, I took a look at Marvel's upcoming summer event, Avengers vs X-Men. It was an honest attempt to avoid fanboyism and examine what makes for good superhero storytelling. Today, I'm reversing hard and going at full burn in the opposite direction. Today, I embrace my inner fanboy.

This summer, the Avengers and the X-Men face off in mortal combat. Here's a few of the potential match-ups I'm most excited about.

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Cyclops VS Captain America

This one is what I'm most seriously anticipating, but not for reasons that may seem immediately obvious. While both are formidable hand-to-hand to combatants, Cap's decades of experience, enhancements, and military training, along with his indestructible shield, will easily outstrip and neutralize Cyclops' battlefield prowess and laser eyes. Direct combat isn't where these heroes will test each other; their match will be one of wits and strategy, as generals marshaling and sending their uniquely-abled troops into battle.

Cyclops has proven himself a tactical master, fighting off waves of sentinels, bigoted humanity-first crusaders, and anti-mutant death androids from the future with an ever-diminishing pool of mutant soldiers. Even with the entire planet turned against his endangered species, he still leads and defends Utopia as a fully sovereign and independent nation of mutants. His methodology is a study in making incredibly efficient use of dwindling resources.

Captain America, on the other hand, is certainly no stranger to battlefield strategy, having led men into the gaping maw of evil since the '40s. The difference is that Cap has nearly always had the full support of the United States Army, SHIELD, and the federal government behind him, and has rarely had to make do with not having enough. While Captain America has the resources to throw wave after wave of troops at his problem until it goes away, Cyclops has a tenacity and cunning honed by years of being underestimated, outmatched, and hated nearly unanimously. Their match-up will be the story of the entire arc.



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Iron Fist VS Gambit

Here's a fight of straightforward Power versus Power. Gambit's ability to infuse matter with an powerful charge of kinetic energy up against Iron Fist's explosive kung fu fist. Who can utilize their power better? What training lends itself best to this ability? Gambit came up through New Orleans' criminal underworld, living by a thief's code, constantly one step ahead of the law. His has been a life of thinking on his feet, improvisation, and routinely giving in to his instincts. Iron Fist has been trained and schooled in the mystical extra-dimensional city of K'un L'un, hardening his fists by plunging them into the fiery dragon heart of Shou-Lao the Undying and emerging with the power of the Iron Fist itself. His life has been one of hardship and discipline. So, when armed with explosive fists, what proves the better background? A thief's intuition, or a ninja's self-control?



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Armor VS Luke Cage

While Iron Fist and Gambit's match-up would be one of offense, this one is all about defense. Luke Cage's unbreakable skin usually provides an unmatched advantage in a fight, but against Armor's impenetrable psychic shielding, he'll find himself without the advantage. His super strength is formidable, to be sure, but Armor's ability to shape her armor at a whim and project it forward will balance that out. This one’s about as even a match as I can see.

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Deadpool VS Whoever He’s Trying To Team Up With

If there’s one thing that defines Deadpool’s relationship with the other heroes in the Marvel Universe, it’s his utmost desire to be accepted, and he’s applied to be a teammate, sidekick, lackey, and peon with pretty much everyone: the X-Men, the Avengers, Spider-Man, the Fantastic Four. And if there’s one thing that defines everyone else’s view of Deadpool, it’s that no one wants him, to the point of fighting him to make him go away.

The X-Men briefly took him on, but within one issue he killed the very man they were trying to protect, and he thought he was helping. Whichever side Deadpool tries to sign up with (and let’s be honest, he’ll try to end up somewhere as there isn’t a Marvel event anymore that he doesn’t find a way to insert himself into) will do all they can to keep him away. I’m excited to see his flat out rejection by both super teams, and for how he reacts.

It’s important to indulge our inner fanboy/girl/other from time to time, and I welcome you all to unleash your own dream match-ups in the handy Facebook comments below. If the teaser posters coming out are any indication, the match-ups have already been decided, but who would you like to see if you had the chance to write it?

Image courtesy of ADB Designs

Sean Curry is a writer, funny guy, and terrific dancer. He is 26 and a quarter and next year he gets to walk all the way to the store by himself. He resides in New York City with his wife and eleven dogs, and he even has a website: