Welcome my legion of readers back to the round of Sweet Sixteen of HESSET64FCBHV, or March Madness as the alliterative folk call it. Let’s check out this round’s results.
From Bludhaven, the first match was between #1 seed Superman and #4 Green Lantern (not Wonder Woman as erroneously reported by the wire service.) The battle of the exceptionally well-endowed with superpowers took place mostly in the air as the alien and test pilot jockeyed for advantage. Green Lantern’s strategy seemed to be to simply overpower the Big Boy Scout. Superman’s endurance and fortitude prolonged the battle for so long the green ring began to lose its charge. At the first sign of weakness, Superman’s freeze breathe enclosed the Green Lantern in ice.
Seed #2 Batman and #3 Wonder Woman become reacquainted in the second DC Hero match. The ever-resourceful Batman brought a variety of new tricks and gadgets to match, but they were no the match for the Amazon. The peak of human physical fitness, strength, and athleticism were no match for her either. Diana, a warrior trained by gods and hardened by battle with mythological beasts was the superior warrior, and overtook Batman. Out of honor and tradition, Bruce asked for supplication and the match was over. Wonder Woman and Superman will battle for a spot in the final four.
Metropolis is home of the Marvel Hero match where #1 Black Bolt and #13 Spider-Man faced off. Learning from the earlier matches, Spidey first tried to shut Black Bolt’s mouth with webbing, and was successful for a brief while containing the fearsome voice of Bolt. As he speaks very little, Bolt has very weak jaw muscles and it took some time to free his mouth, and he was unable to use his hands as they were mittened by Aunt’s May’s nephew. Spidey, on the offensive, was able to get in a series of shots, but soon the King of the Inhumans was able to speak just one word – “Pest.” Spider-Man is out.
The #2 seed Iron Man and #6 Wolverine faced off, and Tony’s technology proved too much for the ageless savage. Rather than trying to battle Wolverine toe-to-toe, which has proven fruitless innumerable times, Iron Man brought out a concussive force field. Drawing inspiration from Sue Storm and Spider-Man, Iron Man spun a “container” out of plasma waves to first contain Wolverine and then slowly constrict him. Unable to escape or counteract, Wolverine was declared the loser and Iron Man the victor.
In Gotham City, top seed Cassandra Nova faced the upstart #12 Purple Man. The battle was something akin to a quick-draw. Whoever would access the other’s mind first should win – and Cassandra Nova was faster than Killgrave. Without so much as a whimper, Purple Man exits the tournament and Cassandra Nova moves on.
The second Marvel Villain battle pitted Magneto and M.O.D.O.K. against each other. Magneto had planned on manipulating M.O.D.O.K.’s ride, but the big-headed dude had converted his body to fiberglass in preparation for the match. That and the lower weight gives him better mileage. The number of bystanders killed during the fight looked like a scene out of Marvel Zombies. Although temporarily blinded by the variety of forks, spoons, and sporks that Magneto threw at him, M.O.D.O.K has the match in hand, however tiny they may be. But Magneto countered with an electromagnetic pulse that obliterated M.O.D.O.K. Nova and Magneto clash again in the round of 8.
Would Shade’s remarkable fortune continue outside of his adopted hometown of Opal City? No. In Fawcett City, #11 Shade took on #2 Brainiac. Shade was outmatched on every element, and his darkness was snuffed out by a blast of ultraviolet light from the android.
And here is our opportunity to make several clever quips about baldness, as top seed Lex Luthor clashes with #4 Sinestro. But let me by honest – I’m not reading or following Blackest Night, and although I know Sinestro becomes this uber-potent guy, I have no idea what that means for the character. And Lex is Lex – the most diabolical, resilient, obsessed guy in the universe. Outside of stopping Superman permanently, what hasn’t he been able to accomplish? Lex over Sinestro. Write your congressman if you disagree.