Sunday, February 19, 2006

Challenge of the Super Friends

I always thought the show Challenge of the Super Friends ignored one important fact - that without Superman they were just slightly more effective than the local police. Or at least that's how I remember the show. I mean, was there anything anyone else could do that Superman couldn't? Now with years of perspective behind me, I'll determine if any of the good guys would have a chance to defeat Superman in a fight. Of course we're leaving out the Kryptonite factor unless it's used ingenously - I'm assuming real fighting and not WWF style fighting.

Are You Kidding Me?
This group includes everyone who doesn't have a prayer. In fact, I don't think they'd have a prayer if their uniforms were made out of Kryptonite. These are the characters who were just along for the ride, to round out the cast. Someone needed to be Skippy on Family Ties just as someone needed to be Robin.

Robin: I've yet to discern anything that Robin brought to the table. I guess his belt and expertise makes him a danger against low level bullies. It just doesn't translate well into the field of super heros and super villians. He's the guy that would run away or quit before the fight even started.

Aquaman: Let's see - his major power was an ability to communicate with sea creatures. Well, that doesn't translate well to a fight in a non-water environment. And I believe Superman would be smart enough to stay away from water. What a useless super hero!!!

Batman: I'm almost inclined to move him up a group so he doesn't get lumped in with Robin. But I'm trying to be objective so he has to be here. While smarter, stronger, and more resourceful than Robin, he still is limited by human strength and his belt. Is there really anything in his belt that could stun Superman yet alone defeat him in a fight (not counting Kryptonite)?

Black Vulcan: He shoots lightning bolts. I bet Superman spends many nights worrying about those coming his way. Think about it this way. If Superman got hit by a lightning bolt during a storm, would he even notice? Then why would you expect Black Vulcan's lightning bolts to do any damage? Plus, he could always move out of the way with his speed.

Samurai: Boy were these super heros lame. Samurai could create whirlwinds. I would actually expect Superman to help people trapped in a whirlwind. Hence, a whirlwind would not really affect him. It would be similar to me walking down the street during a strong wind - I might find it a little annoying but it doesn't stop me from getting the job done.

Hawkman: His powers are strength and communication with birds. I may be wrong but I never saw anything that lead me to believe that Hawkman's strength was close to Superman's strength. So he's at a disadvantage here. How about the communication with birds? Well, I never thought of a scenario where Superman would be taken out by a bunch of birds. I guess if they were to peck out his eyes or something but that doesn't seem likely to me. I bet Superman would wear goggles and an athletic supporter in this fight and it would be over in less than a minute.

Only if Superman is Dumb
These super heroes have a very slim chance. They might be able to somehow fool Superman if he's not as smart as he appears. But I don't believe Superman would be that dumb.

The Flash: He's very fast but so is Superman. Unlike Hawkman's strength though, he appears to be as fast as Superman if not faster. Therefore, he has a power equal to Superman. If I were The Flash I would make the fight all about speed. I would run around really fast getting Superman to chase me and try to wear him out. I would also cautiously pick my spots to land some blows on Superman. The whole strategy would revolve around me being in better shape than Superman, so I would need to train exceptionally hard. The other hidden secret is that The Flash can move his atoms very fast, take them apart, and put them back together. This would be invaluable when Superman inevitably grabs him. However, I believe Superman would fight patiently and not get sucked into a fight dictated by speed. He may not knock out The Flash, but it's hard for me to see the judges giving The Flash a victory on their scorecards.

Wonder Woman: Her only chance would be to use her sexuality to neutralize Superman and then land a knockout blow. Now, Wonder Woman was hot and since Superman is still a man deep down inside, I think she would have a real chance to get him to let down his guard. However, I'm troubled by the knockout blow - how would this happen? The scenario I envision is one where she tries the knockout blow, it stuns Superman for a moment. But it really just wakes him up and causes his anger to come through. He'd then snap her into a thousand pieces.

On a good day
The final two might have a fighting chance. I still think Superman would win most of the time but on the right day, if the ball was bouncing their way, Apache Chief or Green Lantern could shock the world. It's no more imporable than Buster Douglas beating Mike Tyson.

Green Lantern: He would definitely need to come in with a good game plan. If he had the right combination of moves planned out with his ring, he just might be able to take down Superman. But it all depends on getting the most out of his ring. The key is to make the fight take place away from himself, as Superman would overpower him if it became about hand to hand combat. As long as he keeps Superman at a distance, he could land multiple blows that may eventually overtake Superman. At the very least, he would force Superman to work in this fight. I envision Superman being forced to use all his powers - shooting fire, blowing cold air/ice. At the end of the day Superman would win, but he's finally had to break a sweat.

Apache Chief: This one intrigues me. Because by all indications Apache Chief should have a fighting chance. I mean, he can grow to be 100 times bigger than Superman, which means he'd always probably be much stronger than Superman. So this would require Superman to fight against type and focus on speed. And I think ultimately that's what would do in Apache Chief. Superman could use his speed to tie up Apache Chief Gulliver style. Now, Apache Chief could constantly get out by getting smaller or bigger, but at this point Superman's getting in all the shots. The judges would have to award the fight to Superman. Then again, all it would take is one slip-up by Superman. If Apache Chief ever grabbed him in his hands while big, it would be over for Superman. I still think Superman would win, but Apache Chief poses the biggest threat.

So there you have it - Superman really has no peers amongst the Super Friends. Now if we explored the other 10 Super Friends and the game plan they could use working together to fight Superman. But that will have to be left for another day. As will an analysis of The Legion of Doom. Here it's a lot more close, since so many of the villians are Superman's enemies. But that will require much more research. Until then...


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