Besides creator rights, diversification of genres and broadening fan base/providing increased retail and creative opportunities for the medium, is there anything more important in comics than hypothetical “who would win?” battles between different franchises?
Of course not!
Now, with the JLA due to fight He-Man and the Masters of the Universe this August, we decided to devote an inordinate amount of time to deciding how different MOTU characters would stand against the DCU, which mostly involved playing with action figures.
We decided to dis-include many of the major major major major characters in both universes, as A) we might see these in the miniseries, and B) there were already a bunch of Toys R Us two-packs detailing these encounters, specifically He-Man vs. Superman, Skeletor vs. Lex Luthor, She-Ra vs. Supergirl, Hawkman vs. Stratos, Green Lantern vs. Zodak, Aquaman vs. Mer-Man, and our favorite, Bizarro vs. Faker.
To add some street cred to this analysis, we brought in our friend Daniel Benedict, who has contributed to the actual He-Man canon by winning the “Create a Figure” contest last year with his creation Castle Grayskullman. He’ll have some color commentary throughout these as we explore potential match-ups between the DC Universe and Masters of the Universe…universe, along with answering the timeless question: Who would win?
NOTE: You might want to listen to some opera or go on a date before reading this article. It may cause Level 7 Nerd-Regression.
1. Beast Man vs. Animal Man: Well, this is simple enough. Sure, Beast Man has superhuman strength and agility and the ability to mentally control any number of terrifying creatures…but Animal Man can absorb the ability of any creature. No matter what Beast Man throws at him, Animal Man can throw it right back. Plus, Beast Man’s not too bright, which gives Animal a strategic edge. Any way you slice it, he’s the winner.
Daniel Benedict: “I agree. Animal Man could basically just become Beast Man as far as his powers go. Screw Beast Man.”
2. Roboto vs. Cyborg: Hmm, this is tricky. It would be determined whether Cyborg’s tech could override the Eternian technology of Roboto, who never got used much in the original series. Roboto has superior strategic tech, but he’s mostly a training-bot, so I’m giving this to Cyborg.
Benedict: “Neh, Cyborg is still part man. Roboto is all Robot. Mutilate Roboto?... Just put him back together. Mutilate Cyborg… Well, you just have a pile of guts and gears.”
3. Ram-Man vs. Bane: Two of the biggest muscle-men in either franchise against each other? We’re going to go with Bane, because he combines muscles with strategic edge and the ability to talk all poetical. A friend of mine wanted to see what would happen if you “triple-teamed” Ram-Man with Fisto and Bueno Excellente from Hitman. That’s inappropriate!
Benedict: “Who wants to see Ram-Man fight Bane when we could have the latter bout?!”
4. Evil-Lyn vs. Zatanna: Hmm! Tough one! Lyn is ultra-tricky, but Zatanna has mad JLU skills. Edge goes to Zatanna on sheer experience, but Lyn could make a comeback.
Benedict: “I disagree. I say Evil-Lyn turns Zatanna into a rabbit. Then she could just pull herself out of a hat.”
5. Orko vs. John Constantine: The outcome of this might be skewed depending on whether Orko’s Trollian majiks would function properly in the DCU, but two things are clear: 1) Constantine has outwitted the devil himself on multiple occasions, and 2) Orko sucks. It’s not a matter of whether Constantine wins; it’s whether the results could be shown in an all-ages comic.
Benedict: “Constantine definitely has the upper hand, BUT Orko also has his last ditch effort line of, ‘Please… Work…’ That always saves the day.”
6. Draego-Man vs. Lobo: Cheating a bit with this 30th anniversary original figure from the Four Horsemen being in the conflict, but could Draego-Man take out the Main Man? Yes. Yes, he could. Maybe not permanently, but he could set Lobo on fire long enough to throw him into the sun. I’m sorry, but Lobo hasn’t been good since 1992, with the exceptions of his mocking animated appearances. Maybe if DC finally printed that Frank Quitely Lobo story, or the one by Bill Wray, he’d regain some cool. Well, here’s an image of Frank Quitely drawing the MOTU characters anyway!
Benedict: “Yeah, Draego-Man. He’d just bite Lobo’s head off or something. Too easy.”
7. Trap-Jaw vs. Frankenstein: Despite Trap-Jaw being one of my favorite MOTU figures in any capacity, I’m giving this one to Frankenstein. He’s a stone-cold bad dude, with or without the agents of S.H.A.D.E., and Trap-Jaw’s metal mouth would barely be able to take a scoop out of him before the sword comes down.
8. The Sorceress vs. Pandora: On the one hand, I always found the Sorceress incredibly irritating when I was a kid. On the other hand, she’s still not Pandora. On the other other hand, she’s apparently dead in the current MOTU comic, which makes things a bit moot. Even dead, though, she’d still take Pandora.
Benedict: “Pandora’s basically a God. She’d just alter some timeline of some universe and easily win.”
9. Jitsu vs. Karate Kid: This depends on whether Karate Kid can make it back from the Legion of Super-Heroes’ time for the battle, but if he does, Jitsu’s giant golden pimp hand has no chance. In his first appearance, Karate Kid took out Superboy with his mad skills, and though Jitsu is a bad dude who looks like Toshiro Mifune, he doesn’t have the extra centuries of techniques Karate Kid would know.
Benedict: “I don’t like either character. I hope they both lose. Ralph Macchio comes in and crane kicks them both.”
10. Man-at-Arms vs. Batman: Okay, going with the majors despite our earlier promise, as this could show up in the comic. These are the two master strategists of their respective worlds, so we’re talking a tough match. Batman should win just because he’s Batman; all he’d have to do is find a way to disable Duncan’s armor, reducing this to sheer hand-to-hand.
Benedict: “Filmation Man-at Arms? Alfred could take him.”
11. Batros vs. Man-Bat: Despite the fact that 99 percent of the people reading this will have no idea who Batros is, we’re mentioning this one-off villain from the cartoon because he’s getting his own figure from Mattycollector later this year, and he sort of balances out with Man-Bat. It depends on whether Man-Bat has his human-level intelligence, but we’d actually give Batros the edge as he was one of the few competent villains on the cartoon, and also has the ability to generate laser-snakes. An army of ninja Man-Bats, though, and Batros’ bat ass is grass.
Benedict: “I think they might stop fighting, fall in love, and get married; as long as the senate passes legislation allowing for man/bat creature marriage equality.”
12. Tri-Klops vs. Deathstroke: Can an assassin with one eye take out a villain with three eyes (or two blinded eyes and a three-eyed visor)? Yes. Yes, he can. Though Tri-Klops would likely have superior knowledge of the terrain if he employed his Doomseekers, Deathstroke would be sure to disable those first, along with Tri-Klops’ visor. It would then come down to sword-on-sword, and Deathstroke’s superior skills and armor – along with his healing factor absorbing any blows – would leave Tri-Klops in the dust.
Benedict: “I had no idea who Deathstroke was until I just looked him up on Wikipedia. Just based alone on the picture that comes up, he definitely wins.”
13. Catra vs. Catwoman: Hmm, Catra does have the forces of the Horde and the ability to turn into an actual panther on her side. But Catwoman can adapt to about any terrain, and if this fight takes place in Gotham City, she’ll be able to use the back alleys and secret traps to take down Catra faster than you can say “Animal Control.”
Benedict: “Nope. Catra. Because I said so.”
14. Sir Laser-Lot vs. Shining Knight: Another original character from the 30th anniversary line, Sir Laser-Lot actually has a lot in common with Shining Knight, with both being time-displaced figures from another era and a knowledge of medieval fantasy worlds. On the other hand, Sir Laser-Lot sucks. Hard. We don’t care that he was created by Geoff Johns, he’s an Easter-egg-blue knight named “Sir Laser-Lot.” Shining Knight will have him down in two blows. Period.
Benedict: “It would be like this.”
15. Stinkor vs. Brother Power, The Geek: One is a dated, awkward concept that reeks of patchouli. The other…is Stinkor. #ohnohedidnt #yeshedid We could also pit Stinkor against Ragman if you want to keep this on a similar note, but no matter the case, anyone who saw the 2002 cartoon version of Stinkor knows that he’s a BAD DUDE who was only defeated because Roboto lacked a sense of smell. Put him in the DCU, and Stinkor is pretty much Nazi Death Gas Man. Fear him.
Benedict: “Fartman might be more formidable for Stinkor.”
16. Moss Man vs. Swamp Thing: Swamp Thing has superior abilities and a connection to the Green, but we suspect this would end less in conflict than in the two of them sitting around shooting the breeze and eating psychedelic tubers, or something.
Benedict: “They would both just make each other flowers.”
17. Scare Glow vs. Deadman: The “evil ghost of Skeletor”…which Mattel has since taken many, many pains to explain actually means “evil ghost who SERVES Skeletor” has dark magic and fear-inspiring abilities on his side, but we dimly recalled that in Challengers of the Unknown #74, Deadman defeats an evil ghost by using his possession-powers on the undead, which drives the ghost crazy. Hence, the edge here goes to Deadman, whether Scare Glow’s got his cool scythe or not. Yes, we’re embarrassed we remembered that.
Benedict: “Yeah, Deadman. Scareglow wets himself too much.”
18. Leech vs. the Parasite: This raises a variety of questions, specifically whether Leech would steal the Parasite’s powers or his life force, or if the Parasite would steal Leech’s power-draining powers, or if Leech’s Horde-mate Mosquitor would also get in on the action, or whether this would result in a massive circle of power-draining that would result in a black hole and obliterate everything. Yep, we’re all confused now. We’re gonna go watch “Arrested Development” on Netflix and try to forget about this.
Benedict: “They both suck.” [Editor's Note: insert rimshot here]
19. Kobra Kahn vs. Kobra: More logically, it should be King Hssss vs. Kobra, but either way, we feel the superior Snake Man genes give an edge. Kahn could be beaten by an army of Kobra’s followers, but if Hssss shows up, Kobra’s going to wind up as snake food.
Benedict: “Serpentor! Serpentor!”
20. Man-E-Faces vs. Clayface: Here’s how we imagine this going: Man-E-Faces: “I’m going to change my face to look like a lizard!” Clayface: “I’m going to turn into an actual T-Rex.” CHOMP. End of battle.
Benedict: “Manny could turn his face into Clayface’s mom, and tell him to go to his room.”
21. Teela vs. Wonder Woman: Another battle between the majors that is pretty much too close to call. Amazonian strength might overcome Eternian fighting, but if Teela is able to access the mystical powers of her mother the Sorceress, that might be enough to at least neutralize Diana. Still, Wonder Woman’s sheer might means that Teela would have to use every last ounce of her cunning to stay in this fight.
Benedict: “This is like pitting Filmation’s Lizard Man against Superman. We all know who would win.”
22. Sy-Klone vs. Red Tornado: Would Sy-Klone’s ancient Gar technology be a match against the Red Tornado’s…possibly Earth-2-based android body fused with a Rannian living tornado tyrant/wind elemental? Yes, Reddy’s origin, no matter what reboot we’re dealing with, is way too complicated. But one thing is certain: All his battles end with him tragically sacrificing himself and having to be reassembled. Sy-Klone all the way.
Benedict: “Red Tornado looks cooler.”
23. Hordak vs. Darkseid: Darkseid. Wait, we need more material? OK, well, if it was the monosyllabic New 52 Darkseid…eh, still Darkseid. What if it was Buzzsaw Hordak, Hurricane Hordak or even Horde-Prime, ruler of the Horde Empire? …still Darkseid. Okay.
Benedict: “Buzzsaw Hordak. I’m biased because that was the one figure I never owned.”
24. Clamp-Champ vs. Steel: Steel has superior armor and…wait, we just realized we’re only doing this battle because Clamp-Champ is literally the only black character in the MOTU line. Wait, there’s also Man-At-Arms’ mentor Dekker in the MOTU Classics line, but that’s still pretty sad. Fix this. Yesterday.
Benedict: “I want a Malaktha figure.”
25. Castle Grayskullman vs. Doomsday: Well, there’s absolutely no question on this: Castle Grayskullman’s dual swords, fire breath and connection to Castle Grayskull means that Doomsday would go crying home to his momma. It’s that simple. NOTHING BEATS CASTLE GRAYSKULLMAN.
Benedict: “OK, does anyone really want my opinion on this one?”