30 June 2013

But Who Would Be More Insulted by “Blind as a Bat”?

At Comic Vine, Gregg Katzman summarized last month’s discussion on the all-important question: Who would win in a fight, Nightwing or Daredevil?

Even current Nightwing scripter Kyle Higgins weighed in:
In my opinion, it all depends on how quick (if at all) Nightwing can figure out that Daredevil relies on heightened senses/radar. If he can deduce that, he’s a few gadgets away from screwing with DD’s navigation system enough to make it a fight. Of course, there’s also the variable of “what kind of mood is Mark Waid in while he’s writing this” (come on, is there ANYONE else you’d rather see write this fight?!?). I’m pretty sure he could come up with sixteen clever ways to take down either character without the other breaking a sweat.
Higgins’s comment acknowledges the dirty little secret of superhero battles: the fix is always in. The outcome of the fight depends on what’s necessary for a compelling, satisfying narrative. Early in a story, we’ve seen the Condiment King take down Robin and Black Canary together. But at the end of a rousing tale, and given the right circumstances, Jason Todd can conquer Mongul.

Adding fan popularity to the question further complicates the issue. In 1996 DC and Marvel collaborated on a miniseries that pitted a number of their brands against each other. The outcome of the major battles was determined in advance by readers’ votes. That resulted in the extremely popular Wolverine and Spider-Man beating the extremely powerful Lobo and Superboy.

That miniseries didn’t include Nightwing or Daredevil, but it did feature Tim Drake as Robin. He was set against Jubilee, a young mutant in the X-Men who could generate fireworks. Despite having no powers, Tim sneakily managed to pin Jubilee down without hitting her (he has trouble hitting girls), and they ended up making out, thus satisfying nearly all readers. Simpler times.

(Photo at top by Osvaldo Eaf 2, via Flickr.)

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