Avengers/JLA # 2 (SPOILERS!!!!!)

Please note, spoilers below.

Ok, so I went to my local comic store and picked up Avengers/JLA # 2. I haven’t read a comic book in 5 + years until I picked up #1. What to say really…I hated it, that’s the phrase I am looking for.

Firstly, they treat the Marvel characters as bascially cast-offs, not worthy to grace the same pages. The Marvel heros are seen as weak and secondary to the DC heros and aren’t really considered to be on the same level. I never understood this notion that the DC heros were more powerful. I thought it was a silly argument to begin with so why play it out here so clearly?

Secondly, what a convoluted plot. My god, do they need to get that intricate?

Thirdly, the Batman/Captain America thing was awful. It was like some bad 70’s cross-over. Batman admiting that CA might beat him is the one crumb of comfort to the Marvel reader?

Fourthly, a Green Lantern/Iron man fight would rock. Give it some air time!

Lastly, Superman beats Thor (truth be told, this is what probably has me most upset). Thor is the one Marvel hero who can go toe-to-toe with Supes and win. He didn’t use lightning, he didn’t go berserk. Very short fight. It was really awful…and then the fight further by throwing in that line from spinal tap (why bring such a good movie into this drek?). Issues 3 & 4 will be about them teaming up and saving both universes…sorry, but I won’t be buying. Very dissapointed indeed.

Um, doesn’t Busiek write Avengers? They’re his boys. He hardly treated them as cast-offs. He just admitted that they’re not as powerful (for the most part) as the JLA. That’s Marvel Canon, really, even their most powerful (Hulk, Thor) could only lift 100 tons at times when Superman and Green Lantern could juggle planets. Hell, it’s a selling point for them! They’ve always been martyrs, underdogs, hated by the people they would protect, while DC was straight up superpowers and fantasy. The Avengers were just as well developed and treated just as respectfully as the DC boys, and they got their licks in (Flash was everyone’s bitch, poor Wally). They tied the contest before Cap and Batman intervened on the League’s behalf.

Yes. Superman can beat Thor. He would beat Thor unless Thor knew to keep his distance and use ranged thunderbolts and hammer blows. Of course, since Thor never read Kingdom Come, he doesn’t know that, and thought he could take Superman on raw strength (and nearly did!). Superman came off as a bit of a jerk. It seems now that the hints that Supes and Cap were mind controlled were red herrings, but Superman would be more reasonable, one would think.

As for the Batman / Captain America fight, honestly, it’s one of the best and most subtle fights I’ve ever seen. The fight starts when Batman stands on Cap’s shield. They feint against each other until Cap forces Batamn off of it. Like a master chess player, Batman knows when he’s beaten (or at least in trouble) several moves before he actually is, so he changes the situation. A brilliant nod to Cap’s fighting skills, and Batman’s superior intellect. How else would you end a fight between two characters who both have the power to never lose? See DC vs. Marvel for a poorly done Cap/Bats fight.

As for the plot, it’s Byzantine as all hell. Just the way I like it. It’s in the style of teh days when comics were epic (but not “events”), especially the old JLA/JSA team-ups.

Excellent response Menocchio! I didn’t look at the Cap/Batman fight that way but I see where you are coming from and I think I was mistaken. It really is an excellent way to end the fight.

That said, I totally disagree with you vis-a-vis the Thor/Superman fight. Any reader of Thor (which I was once an avid reader) will tell you that he will use the lightning as soon as it appears his opponent is anywhere near as strong as he is. He’s been doing it since Journey into the mystery! I think the fight was handeled very poorly. Thor is, literally, a god who has been fighting for thousands of years. Superman would be merely another super-human to him and nothing more. As soon as it appeared to be too close to call Thor ALWAYS calls down the lightning and, in the case of Superman, it’s game over. Sorry, but this fight was wrong, wrong, wrong. As for the plot…bah you make another good point :slight_smile:

Except that that highest strength class is just listed as “100 tons or more”. If you made any categories higher than that, they’d be too sparsely populated to be useful. But hasn’t Big Green been known to lift entire mountain ranges? Still not on the planet level, but I’d prefer to ignore any story with a single character moving planets, anyway.

There are lots of “tips of the ol’ hats” to old Englehart mega-teamups. The Avengers/Defenders fight (featuring the Evil Eye as a Maguffin, in a cornfield with Iron Man and Hawkeye; She-Hulk flirting a little with Aquaman like Hellcat did with Amphibian, etc).

Ditto: On the Batman/Captain America fight, Menocchio. It was understated and quite elegant.

On the other hand, while I agreed with the outcome of the Thor/Superman fight, I didn’t like its execution at all-- especially the cheesy dialogue mouthed off by Supes and Thorsie at each other in the middle of it. But having five Avengers jump Supes immediately after he put down Thor was just hilarious.

Yeah, Superman seems like a self-righteous, judgmental and elitist jackass in the series – and I’m actually kind of amused by the personality change.

With Grandmaster, Kronos and Galactus and all the cosmis shenanighans going down, I have no idea what’s going to happen next – and that’s a good thing.

George Perez rocks.

l don’t see how you can agree with the outcome of the Thor/Superman fight. Thor didn’t use his best weapon (one that he uses all the time). He uses it once and it’s lights out for Superman. Who knows, there might be a plot twist in there somewhere vis-a-vis Supes attitude.

Lochdale. I’m one of those fans who thinks that Superman can whip Thor’s butt any day of the week and twice on Frigga’s Day. But THIS fight, while having that outcome, nonetheless had it come down to ‘who can punch out whom the hardest’ and I found that to be a trite resolution. Neither Superman nor Thor fought their best fight, used their skills or weapons in new and different ways, nor was their dialogue particularly memorable. So i wasn’t surprised when Superman won.

But the fight confirmed what I long believed was true about Superman’s ‘worthiness’ to handle Thor’s hammer Mjolnir – and the fact that Mjolnir is a ‘magic’ hammer does not really mean it would automatically affect Superman because the spells on the Uru hammer explicitly affect 1) One’s “worthiness” to wield it 2) Dimensional travel 3) Weather changes and 4) The fact that it is supposed to return to Thor’s hand and 5) It enables Thor to be propelled by it in the air – to “fly.” and 6) Thor can use it to discharge a big destructive burst of magical energy.

Only 2) and 6) pose any real threat to Superman. That Mjolnir is unbreakable is due to the nature of Asgrdian Uru metal, not any spells cast on it.

I don’t know what caused Superman’s chnage in 'tude, but i wish he’d keep it. Here’s more interesting as a jerk.

Completely disagree with you Askia. Thor is more then an equal to Superman and is indeed his superior. Thor’s hammer is innately magical insofar that any weapon with such enchantments is magical. Superman is vulnerable to magic thus any hit from Mjolnir should cause significant issues to Superman. One must ask, what is a magicl item if it isn’t something that has been enchanted or magically created? Under your definition, no item is truly magical once you break-down its uses. Moreoever, forgetting about the properties of Mjolnir we need to look at the most basic tool in Thor’s aresenal:

He is the God of Thunder! He uses lightning all of the time. One bolt of lightning and Superman is staggered. This would allow Thor to, if I may, whale on him to his heart’s content. Thor could also just call down 20 bolts of lightning in a row and that’s all she wrote for Supes. Evidently Captain Marvel did this to Superman in Kingdom Come (forgive me but I haven’t read it) and he beat Superman with this technique?

Lastly, Thor is thousands of years old. He has fought many, many more battles then Superman. He is significantly more experienced then Superman and I would regard him as the better fighter. As soon as he figured out that Superman was as strong as him he would change strategy (see his battles against the Hulk) and start reigning down the lightning or shooting energy bolts at Superman (he could even throw Superman into another dimension). I think this was a very, very poor fight and I don’t think Superman should have or could have won (stopping the hammer with his hand, please, Thor has fought the Juggernaut who stopped the hammer with his hands and Thor revised his strategy accordingly). Sorry, Thor’s experience, greater arsenal and Superman’s vulnerability to magic make this fight a tough, but inevitable, win for Thor (evidently Wizzard magazine agrees with me as their July 2003 article shpws…my god, I actually looked for this reference…I need to go to bed!)

Toss me on the side of Thor should’ve murdered Superman. Askia, your reasoning behind why Thor’s hammer wouldn’t affect Superman was kind of convoluted, it’d be like saying Wonder Woman’s sword shouldn’t have been able to cut Superman in Kingdom Come because the sword was enchanted to be sharp and wasn’t just generically magical. Thor’s hammer, among its other enchantment’s, is designed to be dense enough for Thor to beat the crap out of anything with it. Superman’s worthiness aside, when he put his hand up to catch Thor’s hammer he shouldn’t have caught it, it should have broken his hand. And let’s not forget that Thor is a god, and to me that means “magical being”, at least as far as gods have been treated in comics goes. Thor might as well be made out of kryptonite when it comes to fighting Superman.

Also, a quick nitpick, Superman, Green Lantern, et al, haven’t been able to toss around planets since COIE, as their extreme power levels made them difficult to write (or so they claim). IIRC, I heard that Superman could lift a mountain if pressed, which would seem to put him in Thor’s strength class.

Mind you I don’t necessarily think that Superman isn’t more powerful than Thor, it’s just that Thor’s stock in trade is one of Superman’s Achilles heels. If this was the pre-Crisis Superman, however, I’d be with big blue all the way: he wouldn’t have to get close to Thor, he could just fry him from orbit with his heat vision that burns with the power of a billion suns or whatever.

As for my opinion of JLA/Avengers: Eh, I’m let down. Busiek drives me nuts, one minute putting out stuff I love like Astro City or his early Avengers run, the next he puts out stuff that is a bit over the top and cheesy like his late Avengers run, and unfortunately JLA/Avengers falls into the latter category. The story jumps around far too much and is a bit too cosmic on top of being done before (I expect cosmic in a book like this, but so far the plot has been a close rehash of DC vs. Marvel), and I thought that a lot of the characterization was a bit off. Unless they can come up with a reason for Supes to be such a prick, even the lame plot device known as mind control would do, I find it completely ridiculous that he’d spend five minutes on a planet and decide its heroes suck. Not the attitude I’d expect of someone worthy of wielding Mjolnir.

I’m also disappointed in Perez’s art. Although the pencils are as crisp and clear as you’d expect from Perez I found his storytelling confusing. Normally he’s an excellent storyteller, with one each panel flowing logically from the previous one, but with all the extra panels he’s throwing in on the sides I find my myself wondering where to look next and losing track of what’s going on.

On the plus side I’ve loved individual panels and splashes Perez has done, Thor’s hammer and the Rodney King style pile-on of Superman by the Avengers being particularly pleasing. I’ve also dug how (for the most part) Busiek gets most of the fights happening about how I think they should, with She-Hulk giving a whuppin’ to Aquaman (I’m still bitter that he beat Namor, a guy with Hulk level strength, in DC vs. Marvel) as a prime example, plus I love the twists he tosses out on the heroes powers, like Flash losing connection to the speed force in the Marvel U, or Quicksilver trying in vain to access the speed force in the DC U. And the “They’re just a bunch of Squadron Supreme wannabes” line was classic.

Overall I think there have been some enjoyable bits in the series so far, and honestly I’d say that the series is worth my money, but unfortunately I’d say it’s worth about two dollars of my money and not five.

I’m sorry, but the thread title still makes me think of Jennifer Love Hewitt in an Emma Peel outfit.


I’m willing to bet that Supe’s personality change has to do with the Medusa Mask. Note that Cap’s personality changed vanished in #2, but he was acting the same sort of psycho as Superman in #1. Isn’t “Checkhov’s Law” that "If you introduce the Medusa Mask in Act One, someone must have his emotions screwed with by Act Three? "

Chronos, keep in mind that the word “Tons” in the Marvel handbook doesn’t actually mean “2000 lbs”, it means “a big hunk o’ weight”. I don’t have the volumes handy, but IIRC, the guy doing it didn’t understand how much a ton was: he had normal humans (like Nick Fury (but not Nick Fury)) able to lift a “ton”. As an aside, the “Hulk lifts a mountain range” thing was in Secret Wars and was stoopid.

I have no problem with the JLA being more powerful. They are, IMO. What the Avengers have is training. Almost every story arc, you see the Avengers training as a team in their gym. I don’t think I can think of a single occasion back to Brave and Bold #28 where the JLA trained together. Yeah, individual JLA members can whump on indiviual Avengers members, but the Avengers can act far more effectively as a team, IMO.

I’m loving this series personally.


Who needs training when you have four people capable of moving faster than thought and a Martian telepathically coordinating your teammates’ every move?

Interesting call on the Medusa Mask, Fenris.

Lochdale and Asylum, you two are perfectly entitled to your woefully misguided and borderline fanboy psychosocial delusions. Consider the following 10 points.

  1. JLA/Avengers, (#2, page 38, panels 4-5) If you look at the two panels closely, Thor was holding his hammer midstaff, just over his head before he struck Superman. I submit it’s entirely possible to reach out and grab a short, heavy blunt object on such a shortened swing with one arm from a similarly strong opponent without breaking your hand.

  2. Thor’s powers as a thundergod are moot. There’s no Earthly weather phenomenon Thor can summon that can affect Superman.

  3. In Kingdom Come, (pages 174-179 in the trade) Captain Marvel’s magic “magic lightning attack” worked because it was actually clever use of a transformation spell, which manifests itself as lightning. He stood close to Superman, said, “Shazam!,” and kept leaping out the way at super-speed so that only Superman was struck. The damage to Superman was pretty severe: bleeding from his ears and nose. But Thor’s lightning is just magically-induced electricity. Most likely wouldn’t have the same effect. When Batman channeled electricity from his battlesuit to take on Superman is Dark Knight Returns #4, Superman shook off the effects immediately.

  4. Thor cannot fly unaided. Superman, on the other hand, is the original flying superhero who can execute all sorts of aerial maneuvers that can evade that stupid hammer. (Except, apparently, the one where he flies right into the damn thing head-on.)

  5. Thor’s top speed is only slightly faster than escape velocity. Superman can move much faster than that. If a bullet can punch a hole through the wall of an average home due to its speed, imagine what Superman’s entire body weight can do to Thor from say, suborbital impact at Mach-7.

  6. Thor has enhanced senses. Superman has super-senses, including (roughly) six separate vision powers and superhearing. I can think of roughly five scenarios off the top of my head how he can use his powers to do some serious damage to Thor if he didn’t have that oath against maiming people or taking sentient lives. Consider the effect of a few superspeed punches directed at Thor’s sternum in between the thundergod’s heartbeats (using superhearing) to disrupt cardiac rhythm and induce a heart attack – or stop his heart beating altogether.

  7. Superman is worthy to wield Thor’s hammer. The thundergod would be a fool to try and throw it at Superman. How’s the inscription go…? “Whosoever holds this hammer, if he be worthy, shall possess the power of Thor?” The only thing worse than Superman vs. Thor is Superman with Thor’s powers added to his own and Mjolnir vs. a hammerless Thor.

  8. Speaking of Thor’s hammer – I notice Thor likes to throw it by its leather straps. (Leather straps??) Granted they were enchanted by Odin, but that was thousands of years ago. A quick microscopic vision scan might catch any wear and tear on the straps that might be further degraded with precision use of his x-ray and heat vision. Snap them things!

  9. I notice I didn’t even add Thor’s on-again, off-again, 60 second separated from his hammer rule. I don’t follow Thor closely enough to know if this is the case now, but if it IS, Superman can keep Thor away from his hammer for 60 seconds.

  10. If I were Superman, I’d flick my fingers and thump Thor real hard right dead center in his forehead. Isn’t that the spot where Thor – God of Thunder, Prince Lord of Asgard, The Son Of The Morning – was shot with an ordinary rifle and fell down bleeding and unconscious back in Black Panther Vol. 2, #8? (Let’s see you Marvel Comics continuity freaks get outta that…)

While I agree that Superman could, and probably would, take out Thor in most concievable scenearios, Askia, you’re simply assuming too much on your list.

See, just as Thor has no way of knowing that Magic hammer and lightning may be more effective than punches against Superman, Superman has no way of knowing that he can steal Thor’s powers if he takes the hammer, and that separating Thor from his hammer is a crippling blow (rather than simply taking the hammer from the fight).

You’re also using Superman’s powers incredibly creatively and to their fullest potential. Good for you. Superman doesn’t. He never takes to high orbit and nukes his opponets with heat vison. He doesn’t kill or maim (as you stated), and won’t risk doing so (especially to someone he knows is a hero, albeit an ineffective one in his view), or use his supersenses to find microscopic weak spots. Hell, he hardly ever fights at superspeed.

When making these arguments, we have to assume that both parties do not have priviliged information on the opponent, and fight in their accustomed styles.

But if an ordinary bullet did take out Thor, then no way he loses to Superman. One punch and it’s over.

I think you are grasping at straws here Askia. Using your interpertation of magic, Excalibur would just be an ordinary sword with no magical properties what-so-ever. Once we realize that it is just an unbreakable sword forged by the lady of the lake we eliminate its magical properties. Er…no. Magic is usually something out of the bounds of normal comprehension. Put another way, magic is usually in the eye of the beholder and, to Superman, Thor’s hammer and indeed Thor himself are magical creations. Superman is a creature of science so to speak. He gets his powers from a biological reaction to sun. If Superman knows all about Thor then let’s have Thor know all about Superman. A quick dimensional portal to another dimension or a place without a yellow sun and it is game over.

Further, seeing as Thor is a magical being this means that certain derivatives of Thor’s power are also magical such as lightning and the energy bolts he can summon from his hammer. Moreover, Thor’s power over the lightning is huge and he can call down more then one lightning bolt (he once pierced a hole in the enforcer celestial’s armour by basically calling down the largest recorded lightning bolt ever! Thor can turn his hammer into one huge energy conduit which should kill Superman instantly. Lastly, it really is unclear just how powerful Thor can be. He usually holds back in the Marvel Universe as he is afraid of accidentally killing someone. He is also getting continually more powerful as he is slated to take-over from Odian (absent Ragnorak). Thor is a god, Superman is a man who derives power from the rays of a “yellow” sun. The fight was handled poorly and the result was even worse.

Superman’s magic vulnerability has always been rather unclear. Spells directed against him (like mind control or transformation) definitely work, he has no more defense against them than a normal human.

But what about straight up magical, physical attacks? Mystically summoned elemental bolts (fireballs or Thor’s lightning)? Magically amplified strength? Magic weapons?

There’s no clear consensus. Sometimes he has no more trouble against them than he does against attacks derived from “scientific” means. Sometimes he has no defense whatsoever, as he does against specific spells.

Most of the time, however, it’s somewhere in between. Magic attacks do more to Superman than equivalent non-magic attacks, but he still has some measure of protection. Captain Marvel’s thunderbolts hurt Supes in KC, but they would’ve fried you and me. Thor would do better against Superman than, say, a calm Hulk with Storm’s powers and Steel’s high-tech battle hammer. But it’s not a guranteed win.

Thor’s a god, yes, but gods in comics get their asses smacked around all the time. I have no problems with teh fight.

I am not saying that Thor wouldn’t have problems I just think he has enough to beat Superman. Calling down the lightning would, at the very least, weaken and/or Superman enough to allow Thor to get a clear shot at him with his hammer. I have just read Kingdom Come (that’s not true, I skimmed it and will give it the attention it looks like it deserves this evening) and it seems that Marvel’s lightning almost kills Superman. Add an enraged Thor with a magical hammer following up on the lightning and I think Thor wins. If nothing else, the fight was poorly executed as I expected so much more.


Well, to be fair, Hulk didn’t actually lift up the mountin range, he merely kept a portion of it from falling down. It’s not at all the same thing, and no “stupider” than any other depiction of the Hulk’s strength in Marvel comics.

As for JLA/Avengers, I’m loving it. The Batman-Captain America encounter was perfect, IMHO…you just know that in the hands of a lesser creative team, the scene of Cap looking at Jason Todd’s costume would have had him giving a long-winded expository oration about Bucky, rather than the subtle hint of it that felt so much more like normal conversation. I love Iron Man’s inventiveness and his fascination with the Mother Box. I love Quicksilver’s desire to access the speed force and his delight at beating the Flash when in Marvel’s universe. I loved Wonder Woman’s righteous anger at Hercules. I loved Steel’s flailing away at the super-dense Vision, acting out the part of a modern-day John Henry. Busiek really gets to the heart of both companies’ characters.

And what can be said about the artwork but…wow. George Perez’s depiction of the Grandmaster’s pad is worth far more than a thousand words.

And imagine, there’s two more issues to go.

and/or stun Superman (left the stun out of there…).

Also, the dimension/portalling thing is also another interesting way for Thor to cause Supes all sorts of problems. We know, however, that superheros don’t use their powers in the most efficient manner. Given Superman’s vulnerability to magical attacks, Thor’s power and command of lightning I would tip the balance in Thor’s favour.

For the record, I am still pissed at how Superman has been treated in Miller’s Batman. I am not anti-Superman I just think that this fight was poorly done and the result was incorrect. Who knows, there might be a re-match if Superman continues to act like such a prick…or worse, something silly like Captain America beating him.

Oh, I agree that one-on-one Thor is the best Avenger to send against Supes (actually, no, that would be Scarlet Witch, probably). He could win if he kept Superman at a distance, too.

But that’s easier said than done when we’re talking about a guy who could race the Flash.

And it’s highly debateable that Marvel almost killed Supes in KC. He was still pretty active when it was all over. Besides, Marvel’s lightning is different than Thor’s, as Marvel’s isn’t really lightning, but the manifestation of the power of Shazam.