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Messages - The Shuruku Demon

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1
ICT / Re: Deathstroke vs Fandral The Dashing
« on: November 21, 2017, 10:10:12 AM »
You're comparing apples with oranges here, because in Fandral, we have a character whose skill has been said to be unsurpassed within Asgard, an entirely plausible statement which has never been contradicted. And in Taskmaster, we have a character whose skill has never been said to be unsurpassed, and one who's been outfought by others on more than one occasion. You're acting like they're in the same boat, but they clearly aren't, at least not demonstrably so. The most you could say is that they theoretically could be in the same boat; that Fandral's skill might be overhyped.

I never claimed Taskmaster's skill was overhyped.  I'm not sure any characters have ever remarked on his skill in terms of being better than everyone.  If they had, I certainly wouldn't give it much thought.

I wouldn't either, if he still had all the losses he has. But if he was undefeated, that's a different kettle of fish.

You're not following my argument in full then. I'll list the various reasons or evidence for why I think Fandral likely wouldn't lose a straight swordfight with Slade. Most if not all of these will have been mentioned or alluded to already.

• Fandral is more of a sword specialist than Slade, both in the sense that he relies on his sword more, and in the sense that he faces sword-wielding opposition more frequently.
• He has centuries of experience Slade lacks, a point which was cited as a reason why Slade lost a swordfight to Ra's al Ghul.
• Fandral has at least matched Taskmaster in a swordfight, and Taskmaster is not obviously beneath Slade in swordsmanship.
• Slade's loss to Ra's al Ghul proves he's not the best there is, whereas we have no such proof concerning Fandral.
• Slade clearly isn't the best there is in HtH skill. His success against skilled streets is heavily dependent on his stat advantage, which is nonexistent against Fandral.
• Slade's success against superpowered opponents is usually based on him having a skill advantage, knowing their weaknesses, and using a variety of weapons. Slade won't have a skill advantage against Fandral to the extent that he does against a Flash or Green Lantern, nor will he have any weaknesses to exploit, and he can't use other weapons if we're talking about a straight swordfight.
• Fandral is a god with 30 ton level strength, and while that may not necessarily be a deciding factor in a swordfight, it's not hard at all to picture it being portrayed as an advantage.

Most of those things you've only said in passing with the exception of the one Taskmaster hsowing, but ultimately, it all comes down to Fandral's untested rep.

By the way, have we seen concrete evidence of that even in the comics?  A handbook said it once, and I'm sure Thor has said it probably, but have we actually seen him in sword fighting tournaments on Asgard or anything?  Again, I keep asking for feats and you haven't brought any.  I've looked myself and it seems that there are no Fandral respect threads to be found (I found one for the movie versions of the Warriors Three only).

Thor's definitely said Fandral is the best with a blade among the Warriors Three and himself. I don't know of any swordfights between Fandral and other known Asgardians. He doesn't obviously have much serious competition amongst known Asgardians though, with the exception of Balder.

How'd it go?

Does it matter?  What if Ra's beat Batman?  You'll say "Well Batman's main weapon isn't a sword".  If Batman won, it'll be "Well, Batman is a swordfighter, so that means Ra's is terrible" while ignoring the fact that Batman makes it a point to be skilled at everything.  Honestly, the fact that Ra's has always been a major Batman foe since the 70's should be enough to give an idea of his skill.

Then again, Deathstroke has at least one hth win over Batman, so whatever,

If Ra's lost a swordfight to Batman, I think that'd hurt Slade's case, since it'd mean he lost to a guy who wasn't actually the best swordfighter around. If Ra's won, it wouldn't move the dial much in either direction, since I'm already giving Ra's credit for being a top-tier swordfighter. The only way I could give him more credit is by saying that he's completely out on his own as the single best swordfighter, period... but I don't think you could justify that conclusion based on a win over Batman.

So, with all that said, how did the swordfight between Ra's and Bruce go...?

I think you're overstating the extent to which I'm portraying the loss to Ra's as a "low showing". No one's suggesting losing to Ra's makes Slade a rubbish swordfighter. Ra's is likely a top-tier swordfighter, possibly the best, or equal to the best. That's why I just nomated Ra's vs. Black Knight as a BoTW, because it seems like it'd be a great match-up. I've only used Slade loss to Ra's as evidence that he's demonstrably not equal to the best when it comes to swordfighting, and furthermore as evidence that centuries of experience can be a factor in such a fight.

But an argument could be made that Ra's could also beat Fandral in a sword duel, so it doesn't really matter that much.

Not based on the evidence of Slade/Ra's fight itself. The reasoning given for Slade's loss there favours the case for Slade losing to Fandral.

Perhaps, but I don't think writers are as feat-obsessed as battleboarders. And since the writer made a thing of Ra's having centuries of experience over Slade, it follows that he'd also consider it a factor in Fandral's favour. In fact, he'd have to contradict his own logic not to portray it as such. Fandral not only has the experience edge over Slade, he's also way more powerful than Ra's physically. It'd be downright weird if Fandral lost a swordfight to Slade under that writer, given what was shown and said in that scene.

That writer might have Fandral winning, maybe.  So does that writer have the final say on this board now?  Do no other writers exist in the comics industry?  What point are you even making?

I think this is one of the most relevant showings that's been brought up, since it's an actual swordfight between Slade and a legit master swordsman; moreover, a master swordsman with centuries of combat experience.

I don't think we can be too definitive about how good a showing it actually is, due to Taskmaster's inconsistency

Yeah, that's what I've been telling you.

You were preaching to the choir on that point.

and the fact that it wasn't clear whether Fandral merely matched him, or gained the advantage in the end

Again, I have pointed out that it was unclear.  Any statements about winning were theoretical.

Wasn't critiquing any of your points there. Just making clear that I'm not presenting Fandral's showing against Taskmaster as a definite win.

But what I would take away from it is that Fandral at least matched a character who bases his sword skills on one of the best, and who hasn't (to my knowledge) been outfought sword-to-sword to the extent that he has been fist-to-fist.

So more vagueness?  Essentially Fandral's only known sword fight on panel is looking less and less impressive due to a whole ton of questions.  The argument for Fandral is looking worse.

It's not an especially strong piece of evidence either for or against Fandral. Luckily, my argument doesn't hang on that reference. If you look at the list of reasons I offered for Fandral not being an underdog against Slade in a swordfight, most of it has nothing to do with the Taskmaster showing.

Taskmaster doesn't generally get the shit kicked out of him in swordfights though, does he?

I honestly don't know of any sword fights the guy has been in.

He's relatively untested as well. Legit swordfights are pretty rare in comics, since not many heroes or villains use swords. The point I was making is, you shouldn't conflate a character's overall formidability with how they'd fare in a sword duel. It's a different kind of fight, and should be judged separately.

Nor does GA's success generally come via swordplay. You seem to keep conflating overall formidability with formidability in a swordfighting context.

Green Arrow has been a swordsman since the 80's.  That's why I bring it up.  He knows how to use it.

Haven't disputed any of that, but Ollie being skilled with a sword doesn't make him a master to the extent that other characters are.

If we were determing this strictly by who has more decent sword-related feats, Deathstroke would win this hands down. I grant you that.

I would hope so!  Considering this board has been feats-based since it started, this should not come as a surprise.  I mean, you could go the CBR route and just go by raw power, but you know very well we don't do that.

I don't believe in going solely by raw power or feats. Maybe the majority of people on this board are more feats-focused than I am, I'm not sure. I was probably more feats-focused myself in the past, but over time, I've come to the view that writers don't care as much about feats as battleboarders. As such, I don't think you can reliably predict fight outcomes by obsessively focusing on feats.

I actually think writers give more credence to stuff like character concepts, and yes, even Handbook entries (!), than you're allowing for. In part, I think Marvel produces it's Handbooks and related material for writers, not just the readers, and I know for a fact that some writers do use them as a reference source.

Bringing this back to swordplay feats, there's a very obvious reason why Deathstroke might have more or better swordplay feats than Fandral, without being a genuinely better swordsman: he gets way more page-time, and has had way more of his fights shown in full and on-panel. The problem for Fandral is he isn't a main character like Slade, who typically serves either as a primary villain in stories, or the protagonist in his own books. Fandral is merely a supporting character, and not even a prominent supporting character, but a relatively minor one who pretty much only appears as part of a trio, and usually only when numerous other Asgardians are present, in which case he's just one face in a crowd of godly types. All this serves to deny Fandral even one tenth of story focus Slade gets. And as if that wasn't enough, Fandral rarely visits Earth, so when he does appear, he almost never interacts with established martial arts types like Slade does.

Sucks to be Fandral, but that's reality.  If a character doesn't have feats, he doesn't have feats.  There's nothing to go on.  The most you could say is, "who knows".  I could point to some obscure character and say he's stronger than Superman but if we never see the guy do anything, then I'm just talking out my ass.

You're contradicting your own position now, because your take on Fandral isn't one of neutrality based on a lack of data. It's a positive assertion that he's below Deathstroke in swordsmanship.

I thought the replies were getting lengthy enough without me responding to even more points than I already was. But I'm happy to discuss Rose if you like. Why am I not that impressed by Slade beating Rose? Well, Rose is basically Deathstroke-lite, a weaker, less experienced version of himself. And I don't regard Rose as an A-lister in skill. I think she's heavily reliant on enhanced stats, like Slade is.

You wanted trained sword fighters who have fought Deathstroke.  I gave you instances of trained sword fighters who have fought Deathstroke and you keep claiming they aren't skilled for whatever reason.  You keep demanding to see feats from Deathstroke but every time I ask for feats from Fandral, you more or less say feats don't matter.

The reason I challenged you to post feats for Slade is because you specifically said he had better feats with a sword than Fandral. I never made a reverse claim about Fandral having the better feats of the two. I openly acknowledge that Fandral lacks feats.

So which is it?  Do feats matter or do they not matter?  You can't have your cake and eat it too.

Feats matter, but they're not the whole picture, and the importance of a given feat depends on it's relevance and quality. The strongest kind of evidence is head-to-head showings, but we don't have any of those. Perhaps the next strongest kind of evidence is ABC comparisons, but we don't have any of those either.

Most of what you've posted is a very indirect form of evidence. It's enough to tell us that Slade is a skilled swordsman, which is taken as read, but it's not enough to establish that Slade is a top-tier swordsman. And it's not enough to tell us that he's above a character from another company who happens to be a relatively unknown quantity.

You said earlier that it sucks to be Fandral, with him having so little in the way of feats. But that's a also problem for anyone insisting that Slade is above Fandral, since you can't establish that X is above Y without knowing the value of Y. You also can't establish the reverse, so it's a double-edged sword, if you'll pardon the pun.

But I didn't make an equivalence between the Punisher and Slade. I made an equivalence between the Punisher and the female Vigilante.

That's even more asinine.

I actually misread what you said at the end there. Rereading what you said, a more on-point response would be that, of course, there are differences between a Fandral/Punisher fight and a Deathstroke/Punisher fight, since Fandral has a much bigger edge in sheer physicality. But if you agree that Fandral would beat a knife-wielding Punisher, I don't get why you think he'd lose to the female Vigilante, or fare worse against her than Slade did.

2
ICT / Re: Deathstroke vs Fandral The Dashing
« on: November 21, 2017, 05:53:11 AM »
Has Taskmaster ever been stated to be unsurpassed as a fighter?

Not that I know of, but it wouldn't matter if he were.

You're comparing apples with oranges here, because in Fandral, we have a character whose skill has been said to be unsurpassed within Asgard, an entirely plausible statement which has never been contradicted. And in Taskmaster, we have a character whose skill has never been said to be unsurpassed, and one who's been outfought by others on more than one occasion. You're acting like they're in the same boat, but they really aren't.

And you think I'm doing that?

That is exactly what you are doing, yes.  You have yet to bring up any argument aside from "Well, Fandral is supposed to be the best".

You're not following my argument in full then. I'll list the various reasons or evidence for why I think Fandral likely wouldn't lose a straight swordfight with Slade. Most if not all of these will have been mentioned or alluded to already.

• Fandral is more of a sword specialist than Slade, both in the sense that he relies on his sword more, and in the sense that he faces sword-wielding opposition more frequently.
• He has centuries of experience Slade lacks, a point which was cited as a reason why Slade lost a swordfight to Ra's al Ghul.
• Fandral has at least matched Taskmaster in a swordfight, and Taskmaster is not obviously beneath Slade in swordsmanship.
• Slade's loss to Ra's al Ghul proves he's not the best there is, whereas we have no such proof concerning Fandral.
• Slade clearly isn't the best there is in HtH skill. His success against skilled streets is heavily dependent on his stat advantage, which is nonexistent against Fandral.
• Slade's success against superpowered opponents is usually based on him having a skill advantage, knowing their weaknesses, and using a variety of weapons. Slade won't have a skill advantage against Fandral to the extent that he does against a Flash or Green Lantern, nor will he have any weaknesses to exploit, and he can't use other weapons if we're talking about a straight swordfight.
• Fandral is a god with 30 ton level strength, and while that may not necessarily be a deciding factor in a swordfight, it's not hard at all to picture it being portrayed as an advantage.

Have Ra's and Batman actually had a swordfight?

Yes.

How'd it go?

Aside from that, we have a good idea of Ra's skills in general as well as his physical prowess.  Deathstroke losing a match against him is not a low showing by any means.  I'm kind of surprised you are unaware of Ra's abilities.

I think you're overstating the extent to which I'm portraying the loss to Ra's as a "low showing". No one's suggesting losing to Ra's makes Slade a rubbish swordfighter. Ra's is likely a top-tier swordfighter, possibly the best, or equal to the best. That's why I just nominated Ra's vs. Black Knight as a BoTW, because it seems like it'd be a great match-up. I've only used Slade loss to Ra's as evidence that he's demonstrably not equal to the best when it comes to swordfighting, and furthermore as evidence that centuries of experience can be a factor in such a fight.

Even if I grant you that Ra's has better skill showings that Fandral in general, you're still not on the same page with the author of the Ra's/Slade fight, because he clearly put stock in a character having centuries of experience, while you dismissed that as meaningless.

So what?  He has the showings to back it up.

Perhaps, but I don't think writers are as feat-obsessed as battleboarders. And since the writer made a thing of Ra's having centuries of experience over Slade, it follows that he'd also consider it a factor in Fandral's favour. In fact, he'd have to contradict his own logic not to portray it as such. Fandral not only has the experience edge over Slade, he's also way more powerful than Ra's physically. It'd be downright weird if Fandral lost a swordfight to Slade under that writer, given what was shown and said in that scene.

They often are; not always. It's hard to be sure what level Taskmaster was supposed to be at there, since he's pretty inconsistent, but I'm inclined to think he was nearer the top end of his range than the bottom, since he was one of the leading characters in that book, and not a villain-of-the-month turning up to take a loss.

So then what do we have?  Fandral might have beaten Taskmaster on one of his better days.  That is a good showing.  Going by averages, he's still a very lackluster character.

I don't think we can be too definitive about how good a showing it actually is, due to Taskmaster's inconsistency, and the fact that it wasn't clear whether Fandral merely matched him, or gained the advantage in the end. But what I would take away from it is that Fandral at least matched a character who bases his sword skills on one of the best, and who hasn't (to my knowledge) been outfought sword-to-sword to the extent that he has been fist-to-fist.

Beating GA and BC is clearly a better feat of overall formidability, but it's not necessarily a better feat of swordsmanship, since only GA and Slade were wielding swords, and I don't know any reason to put GA on or above Taskmaster's level as a swordsman.

Well, GA certainly hasn't been humiliated as many times as Tasky.  Again, averages mean everything.  Taskmaster has about one good showing every few years, otherwise, he's one of those guys who get the shit kicked out of him while the hero is tracking down the mastermind villain.

Taskmaster doesn't generally get the shit kicked out of him in swordfights though, does he? Nor does GA's success generally come via swordplay. You seem to keep conflating overall formidability with formidability in a swordfighting context.

Even if it were a better feat of pure swordsmanship, it's one showing amongst a range of showings Slade has, which therefore needs to be averaged with the rest of them. And we shouldn't be so simplistic as to conclude that whoever has the single most impressive feat is necessarily the guy who'd prove to be better in a head-to-head fight. Head-to-head fights often contradict the result you'd draw from feat comparisons.

I agree, but you are in complete contradiction of yourself as you claim that Fandral MAYBE beating one guy with a spotty record once proves he is better than a guy who has won more blade duels with named characters.  I mean, obviously we are going by averages.  I brought in multiple instances of Deathstroke dueling with a sword or at least a knife.  You have yet to provide a single showing for Fandral.  Even the Taskmaster bit was brought up by other posters.

Think about this for a second.  Fandral is, what, twenty years older than Deathstroke, give or take?  He has only one kinda-sorta good showing in a sword fight despite his entire character revolving around being a swordsman.  That's it.  Deathstroke, meanwhile, has a handful of good showings involving sword fights despite the sword being only one of many weapons he knows how to use.  Hell, we were talking about Batman's sword fights earlier and I wonder if Batman doesn't actually have better feats when it comes to swordsmanship.

If we were determing this strictly by who has more decent sword-related feats, Deathstroke would win this hands down. I grant you that. But that's a simplistic way of looking at this in my eyes. It reminds me of a point I first made about a decade ago regarding strength feats. I don't don't believe in judging who's the strongest between two characters by who's lifted the heaviest object, or who's lifted heavy stuff more often. We've seen too many instances of characters with major strength feats being overpowered by characters with lesser ones. Plus, there are a variety of contextual reasons for why some characters may "underperform" in terms of feats, relative to others. For example, it's hard to destroy planets, if you're a hero who doesn't want to kill loads of people, and you're never on a planet that isn't populated. And it's hard to move planets if you can't fly.

Bringing this back to swordplay feats, there's a very obvious reason why Deathstroke might have more or better swordplay feats than Fandral, without being a genuinely better swordsman: he gets way more page-time, and has had way more of his fights shown in full and on-panel. The problem for Fandral is he isn't a main character like Slade, who typically serves either as a primary villain in stories, or the protagonist in his own books. Fandral is merely a supporting character, and not even a prominent supporting character, but a relatively minor one who pretty much only appears as part of a trio, and usually only when numerous other Asgardians are present, in which case he's just one face in a crowd of godly types. All this serves to deny Fandral even one tenth of story focus Slade gets. And as if that wasn't enough, Fandral rarely visits Earth, so when he does appear, he almost never interacts with established martial arts types like Slade does.

There's a well-known saying in boxing: "You can only beat what's put in front of you", i.e. you can't judge a fighter's upper limits based on what he hasn't achieved yet, particularly if he hasn't been in the ring with the people he could really prove his worth against. For understandable, contextual reasons, Fandral hasn't been "in the ring" with established fighters to anywhere near the extent Slade has. But if they were to meet head-to-head in a comic next month, Fandral could match or beat Slade in a swordfight, and it wouldn't contradict their previous showings in any way.

Also, why are you so afraid to talk about Deathstroke's fights with Ravager?

I thought the replies were getting lengthy enough without me responding to even more points than I already was. But I'm happy to discuss Rose if you like. Why am I not that impressed by Slade beating Rose? Well, Rose is basically Deathstroke-lite, a weaker, less experienced version of himself. And I don't regard Rose as an A-lister in skill. I think she's heavily reliant on enhanced stats, like Slade is.

Why?

Really, you don't understand the differences between a Punisher/Fandral fight and a Punisher/Deathstroke fight?  Are you purposefully being obtuse?

But I didn't make an equivalence between the Punisher and Slade. I made an equivalence between the Punisher and the female Vigilante.

3
ICT / Re: Sabertooth vs Spiderman.
« on: November 21, 2017, 12:35:51 AM »
Yeah, those are the only two fights they've had in canon. There was another fight they had in one of those Drake's Cake mini-comics, which I assume is non-canon.

The first fight took place at a time when Creed didn't appear to have a healing factor, and hadn't yet been pushed as an arch villain worthy of Wolverine.

And if you read the dialogue in the second fight, Spidey and Punisher actually hindered eachother's efforts there. You might think having a partner would help, but it's not always the case. Characters are often more impressive alone than when they're operating as part of a team. Hand ninja effect et al.

If Spidey and Creed were to have a one-on-one fight now, I think it'd most likely be somewhere between those two showings, rather than a duplication of either one.

4
ICT / Re: Deathstroke vs Fandral The Dashing
« on: November 21, 2017, 12:19:05 AM »
Sure, I agree that Taskmaster doesn't seem as impressive as his power suggests he should be. But we arrive at that conclusion on the basis of the defeats he's suffered. We don't just assume it, like you seem to be doing with Fandral.

Well, with Fandral, it's more of a matter of never being tested, but the outcome is the same.  They are two characters with reps that they've never earned.

Has Taskmaster ever been stated to be unsurpassed as a fighter?

And I agree that Fandral being an unsurpassed swordsman within Asgard doesn't necessarily make him unsurpassed on Earth as well. But it's a noteworthy distinction, something to be given due consideration when comparing him to Earth's finest swordsmen.

It's something to take note of, but I would never base my entire argument on it.

And you think I'm doing that?

And we shouldn't assume the "centuries of experience" thing will always be ignored. It often is, but it wasn't when Slade fough Ra's.

The difference being that we see evidence of Ra's skill in the various fights he's had against Batman.

Have Ra's and Batman actually had a swordfight?

Even if I grant you that Ra's has better skill showings that Fandral in general, you're still not on the same page with the author of the Ra's/Slade fight, because he clearly put stock in a character having centuries of experience, while you dismissed that as meaningless.

There is a feat on the table, in the form of him at least matching Taskmaster. It isn't outright proof that Fandral is a better swordsman than Slade, but it is pretty decent evidence against him being inferior, since Taskmaster's sword skills are based on those of the Black Knight, who is arguably Marvel Earth's finest swordsman.

And see, we go back to what Taskmaster SHOULD be versus what he is.  It's just like when clones of various characters are not as powerful as the original.  Or when one person mimics the powers of another but doesn't quite match up.  Comics are like that and you know it.

They often are; not always. It's hard to be sure what level Taskmaster was supposed to be at there, since he's pretty inconsistent, but I'm inclined to think he was nearer the top end of his range than the bottom, since he was one of the leading characters in that book, and not a villain-of-the-month turning up to take a loss.

It might be lesser in number, but that doesn't make it lesser in quality, which is the most important thing. Who has Deathstroke matched or beaten in a swordfight, that is at least as good a swordsman as Taskmaster?

I would absolutely say beating GA and BC combined in a sword duel is better than beating Taskmaster.  If those were the only fights we would have to go on, Deathstroke comes out much better imo.

Beating GA and BC is clearly a better feat of overall formidability, but it's not necessarily a better feat of swordsmanship, since only GA and Slade were wielding swords, and I don't know any reason to put GA on or above Taskmaster's level as a swordsman.

Even if it were a better feat of pure swordsmanship, it's one showing amongst a range of showings Slade has, which therefore needs to be averaged with the rest of them. And we shouldn't be so simplistic as to conclude that whoever has the single most impressive feat is necessarily the guy who'd prove to be better in a head-to-head fight. Head-to-head fights often contradict the result you'd draw from feat comparisons.

How would you compare Slade and Ra's in general combat feats?

It sounds like you're saying that Slade needs to employ more skill against street levellers than Fandral would, because he lacks Fandral's overwhelming strength advantage. Isn't this an admission that Fandral is more physically formidable than Slade, and that he can match the results Slade achieved against the female Vigilante with less effort?

What I'm saying is Punisher vs Fandral is a massive false equivalency.

Why?

5
ICT / Re: Vision VS Rouge
« on: November 20, 2017, 11:17:36 PM »
But even if that's true (and it's not a given), that would never happen in an actual fight. Vision would either become intangible, or max out his density, at which point he could no-sell a standard She-Hulk's attacks, and potentially those of a Wonder Man level Rogue as well.



6
ICT / Re: Vision VS Rouge
« on: November 20, 2017, 09:58:45 PM »
As an android, Vision is immune to Rogue's power absorption; that was established in her very first appearance. (Admittedly, it was also established that she couldn't absorb Wonder Man's powers, which has since been contradicted, but so far as I know, she's still never absorbed the power of an android/robot.)




That being so, Vizh is an overwhelming favourite against '90s Rogue IMO. He's more experienced than her and likely smarter, more versatile, and plain stronger and tougher at maximum density. In fact, he could probably no-sell her attacks at maximum density, and can certainly do so at minimum density. I reckon '90s Rogue would be lucky to win even 1/10 against him.

I'd give Rogue with Wonder Man's powerset the edge against the Vision, since Wonder Man himself has shown one. But that's a closer fight in my mind than Vision going up against '90s Rogue.

And here's the scene where an enraged She-Hulk ripped the Vision in half. As you can see, he was already damaged at the time and unconscious, thanks to Ultron screwing with him. So Jen ripped apart a standard density Vision who was putting up no resistance whatsover, and that's aside from whatever strength increase she got from Hulking out physically (apparently she wasn't that uber, since Iron Man KOed her with one flying punch, but this was all written by Bendis, and fights aren't his strong suit).

https://imgur.com/a/JkfjI

7
ICT / Re: Battle of the Week: Nominations
« on: November 20, 2017, 07:28:40 AM »
Black Knight vs. Ra's al Ghul

8
ICT / Re: Deathstroke vs Fandral The Dashing
« on: November 20, 2017, 07:02:03 AM »
Handbook stats clearly are wrong sometimes, but we're not discussing Handbook stats in general, we're discussing one specific statement about Fandral's swordsmanship being unsurpassed within Asgard.

I thought you were accepting that statement, but now you seem to be saying it's an exaggeration. On what basis do you believe it's an exaggeration? It isn't enough to say that it hasn't been proven. An unproven statement isn't automatically an exaggeration.

It's a simple matter of what a character is meant to be versus what he actually is.  Taskmaster is a similar character.  He's supposed to be able to mimic every move after seeing it performed once.  He should be at the top of the street level crowd due to essentially being a combo every major MA in Marvel, but he's had a lot of bad showings that don't gel with what he was originally meant to be.  You've read enough comics to know that sometimes a character will be created with a particular vision, but over the years, it's not realized in the stories.

Sure, I agree that Taskmaster doesn't seem as impressive as his power suggests he should be. But we arrive at that conclusion on the basis of the defeats he's suffered. We don't just assume it, like you seem to be doing with Fandral.

Additionally, Fandral being the best swordsman in Asgard might still mean he can be beaten by someone not from Asgard.  Again, on paper, the concept of a warrior race where each person is thousands of years old seems like they would beat any mortal in skill due to their old age, but comics don't work that way.  Daredevil is likely a better hth combatant than Thor or Hercules even though they have been fighting for centuries.  You know all this.

Oh sure. And I agree that Fandral being an unsurpassed swordsman within Asgard doesn't necessarily make him unsurpassed on Earth as well. But it's a noteworthy distinction, something to be given due consideration when comparing him to Earth's finest swordsmen. And we shouldn't assume the "centuries of experience" thing will always be ignored. It often is, but it wasn't when Slade fough Ra's.

We don't know that Fandral has any superiors as a swordsman, like we do with Slade. We've certainly no reason to think he'd lose to Ra's al Ghul, other than a flat-out assumption.

It's also a flat out assumption that he could beat Ra's.

But I'm only allowing for the possibility that Fandral wouldn't lose to Ras' as easily as Slade did. Stating that something is possible, or plausible, isn't the same as assuming it.

Or Slade for that matter.  You have yet to provide a single feat for Fandral.

There is a feat on the table, in the form of him at least matching Taskmaster. It isn't outright proof that Fandral is a better swordsman than Slade, but it is pretty decent evidence against him being inferior, since Taskmaster's sword skills are based on those of the Black Knight, who is arguably Marvel Earth's finest swordsman.

I'm not sure, I don't think he's been tested against established swordsmen. But the fact that he's untested doesn't prove he's below anybody in particular, even the best swordfighters you could name. It just means he's untested. You're making a leap from him being untested to him being below specific characters by default. That's unsound reasoning.

Unsound reasoning is assuming he'd win based on his character concept.  It's a great start, but we need solid feats.  You know this is how HC functions.

I understand that many here won't be convinced of anything without feats. But in actual comics, who wins a fight isn't always determined by who has the best feats. I'm pretty sure Deathstroke had better combat feats than Ra's al Ghul before they fought, but Ra's won regardless, and the reasoning offered in the dialogue applies just as much to Fandral as it does to Ra's.

Possibly a stalemate. If you look at the scan again, Taskmaster is being knocked back in the second panel, and no longer has his sword. Also, Fandral said Taskmaster's skill was increasing with each passing stroke, which suggests Tasky wasn't as good as him when the fight began.

So Fandral might have had one solid win in a duel.  That is still less than Deathstroke.

It might be lesser in number, but that doesn't make it lesser in quality, which is the most important thing. Who has Deathstroke matched or beaten in a swordfight, that is at least as good a swordsman as Taskmaster?

There's a difference between a character having a feat another may not have matched on-panel, and having a feat that truly suggests they're superior to another. It isn't as if Fandral has taken on similar characters and fared worse than Slade did. He's just untested in that regard (with the exception of the Taskmaster fight), as I acknowledged above.

And I can't believe you seriously think Fandral -- a seasoned warrior god with 30 ton level strength -- wouldn't beat a female Punisher analogue under the circumstances that Slade did. Would you make Fandral an underdog against Frank Castle if all Castle had was a knife?

Slade beating a human in top physical shape is different than Fandral beating a human in top physical shape.  If a 30 tonner fought a Frank Castle-level fighter, all skill goes out the window.  Meanwhile, a near peak human has the potential to at least compete with Deathstroke on a physical level.

As we know, Deathstroke has some degree of super strength and is capable of fighting people who are far stronger than him so him fighting a character who is class 30 is more of a fair fight.

Not sure if I follow you here. It sounds like you're saying that Slade needs to employ more skill against street levellers than Fandral would, because he lacks Fandral's overwhelming strength advantage. Isn't this an admission that Fandral is more physically formidable than Slade, and that he can match the results Slade achieved against the female Vigilante with less effort?

9
ICT / Re: Deathstroke vs Fandral The Dashing
« on: November 20, 2017, 04:44:29 AM »
Double post.

10
ICT / Re: Deathstroke vs Fandral The Dashing
« on: November 20, 2017, 04:36:14 AM »
You previously said the statement wasn't wrong. Now you're saying it's hyperbole, i.e. an exaggeration? So which is it? I can't address your position if it's two different things at once.

Handbook stats aren't wrong.  People claiming one guy is the best at anything is hyperbole unless we see evidence.

Handbook stats clearly are wrong sometimes, but we're not discussing Handbook stats in general, we're discussing one specific statement about Fandral's swordsmanship being unsurpassed within Asgard.

I thought you were accepting that statement, but now you seem to be saying it's an exaggeration. On what basis do you believe it's an exaggeration? It isn't enough to say that it hasn't been proven. An unproven statement isn't automatically an exaggeration.

But it is proof that he's not the best there is with a sword... whereas we've yet to establish that Fandral has any superiors in that respect. Is there any reason to think Fandral would lose to Ra's? Ra's mentioned his centuries of experience as giving him the edge over Slade, but that reasoning doesn't apply against Fandral.

Does Deathstroke have to be the best swordsman to beat Fandral?

Possibly. We don't know that Fandral has any superiors as a swordsman, like we do with Slade. We've certainly no reason to think he'd lose to Ra's al Ghul, other than a flat-out assumption.

And what swordsmen of note has Fandral beaten?

I'm not sure, I don't think he's been tested against established swordsmen. But the fact that he's untested doesn't prove he's below anybody in particular, even the best swordfighters you could name. It just means he's untested. You're making a leap from him being untested to him being below specific characters by default. That's unsound reasoning.

In the 60+ years he's been around, there seems to be exactly one instance of him fighting a named opponent and it was a stalemate.

Possibly a stalemate. If you look at the scan again, Taskmaster is being knocked back in the second panel, and no longer has his sword. Also, Fandral said Taskmaster's skill was increasing with each passing stroke, which suggests Tasky wasn't as good as him when the fight began.

In response to the sword feats you posted for Slade, the GA/Canary showing is impressive, but are you seriously arguing that the other stuff you posted is beyond the ability of Fandral? They show Slade to be skilled with a sword, which is a given, but they're nothing exceptional by the standards of skilled swordsfighters.

I think the GA/BC fight is superior to what we've seen from Fandral so far.  As far as the other examples go, I'm not 100% sure Fandral could beat Ravager.  Especially if he's fighting a team of superheroes while doing it.  Ravager is no slouch and has gone toe-to-toe with Cassandra Kane.  I'm not sure how tough Vigilante was, but Deathstroke beating her is still above Fandral who we have yet to see beat a named opponent.

There's a difference between a character having a feat another may not have matched on-panel, and having a feat that truly suggests they're superior to another. It isn't as if Fandral has taken on similar characters and fared worse than Slade did. He's just untested in that regard (with the exception of the Taskmaster fight), as I acknowledged above.

And I can't believe you seriously think Fandral -- a seasoned warrior god with 30 ton level strength -- wouldn't beat a female Punisher analogue under the circumstances that Slade did. Would you make Fandral an underdog against Frank Castle if all Castle had was a knife?

11
ICT / Re: Deathstroke vs Fandral The Dashing
« on: November 20, 2017, 03:15:31 AM »
I don't see how the statement that Fandral is unsurpassed in swordsmanship within Asgard is useless information, if it's accepted as accurate, and the point in contention is how he'd fare against Slade in a swordfight. I haven't presented it as proof that he's better than Slade with a sword, or even equal necessarily, but it's surely worth mentioning as part of the conversation. Of course showings count too, but where are the showings that would supposedly outweigh what the bio had to say?

Because hyperbole only takes you so far.

You previously said the statement wasn't wrong. Now you're saying it's hyperbole, i.e. an exaggeration? So which is it? I can't address your position if it's two different things at once.

And did you see the scans I posted of Ras' al Ghul besting Slade in a swordfight?

I did.  Losing a swordfight to Ra's isn't exactly embarrassing.

But it is proof that he's not the best there is with a sword... whereas we've yet to establish that Fandral has any superiors in that respect. Is there any reason to think Fandral would lose to Ra's? Ra's mentioned his centuries of experience as giving him the edge over Slade, but that reasoning doesn't apply against Fandral.

In response to the sword feats you posted for Slade, the GA/Canary showing is impressive, but are you seriously arguing that the other stuff you posted is beyond the ability of Fandral? They show Slade to be skilled with a sword, which is a given, but they're nothing exceptional by the standards of skilled swordsfighters.

12
ICT / Re: Deathstroke vs Fandral The Dashing
« on: November 20, 2017, 12:17:03 AM »
Why? Do we have any reason -- at all -- to believe the official bios are wrong in this case?

They're not wrong but there's a big difference in what characters look like on paper and how it all plays out in comics.  Fandral is stronger than Deathstroke, has more experience than Deathstroke, and the idea of "best swordsman in Asgard" sounds much more impressive than "a super soldier".  The thing of it is, Deathstroke has probably had more appearances over the years despite Fandral being older and he's much more of a fan and creator favorite, which means he's been given better feats.

I don't see how the statement that Fandral is unsurpassed in swordsmanship within Asgard is useless information, if it's accepted as accurate, and the point in contention is how he'd fare against Slade in a swordfight. I haven't presented it as proof that he's better than Slade with a sword, or even equal necessarily, but it's surely worth mentioning as part of the conversation. Of course showings count too, but where are the showings that would supposedly outweigh what the bio had to say?

Are you actually reading what's being typed, AP? The point in contention is not who's more formidable overall, but whether Deathstroke would beat Fandral in a straight swordfight. And BTW, I haven't actually tried to put Fandral over Deathstroke, even in that regard. If I were to rate one over the other in swordsmanship, I would pick Fandral, but all I originally said was that I don't see Slade beating Fandral in a straight swordfight. That's the point Oats chose to dispute in a rather obnoxious fashion, and so that's what I'm now focusing on.

Right.  And Deathstroke has better feats with a sword whereas Fandral doesn't have a lot to show for himself.

Such as (responding to the part in bold)...? And did you see the scans I posted of Ras' al Ghul besting Slade in a swordfight?

https://imgur.com/a/46Zm8

13
ICT / Re: Deathstroke vs Fandral The Dashing
« on: November 19, 2017, 11:10:22 PM »
I’m on my phone, so it’s way too annoying to cull all of that to answer the last part

“Definitely beats him in a sword fight” is my final say

So we're back to the original question I posed to you: what makes you think that? I.e., is there any coherent reasoning or evidence behind that position?





This is one of those instances where the handbooks are useless.

Why? Do we have any reason -- at all -- to believe the official bios are wrong in this case?

Fandral simply does not have the showings to put him over Deathstroke.  Stalemating Taskmaster for one page is the best thing he's done and even then, Taskmaster is also one of these characters who's often not as good as he's supposed to be.  For every uber showing he has, there are about three more where he's treated like a henchman.

Are you actually reading what's being typed, AP? The point in contention is not who's more formidable overall, but whether Deathstroke would beat Fandral in a straight swordfight. And BTW, I haven't actually tried to put Fandral over Deathstroke, even in that regard. If I were to rate one over the other in swordsmanship, I would pick Fandral, but all I originally said was that I don't see Slade beating Fandral in a straight swordfight. That's the point Oats chose to dispute in a rather obnoxious fashion, and so that's what I'm now focusing on.

14
ICT / Re: Deathstroke vs Fandral The Dashing
« on: November 19, 2017, 09:02:17 AM »
I have zero issues with conceding the Balder point, I just thought he was worth mentioning, and the debate on that still isn’t closed

PS you love Handbook stuff for no reason, and too much

I love evidence, and if I can't find it in a story, I'll look to the Handbooks as my next port of call, since some evidence is better than no evidence in my view. It's certainly more objective than going with gut feelings or assumptions.

Deathstroke is an A+ street leveler, same as Cap, Fandral being a nobody and stalemating Taskmaster isn’t the best shot in the arm for him beating someone who can defeat someone like Batman,

You're moving the goalposts now. The specific point we were discussing was who'd come out on top in a swordfight. We're agreed on who'd win overall, and I picked Slade before you did.

Besides, Slade didn't beat Batman with skill alone, he beat him with a combo of inferior skill backed up by superior stats, and you just got done arguing that superior stats won't matter in a swordfight. So I don't see how any of Slade's HtH wins over Batman advance the case for him outmatching Fandral in swordplay one iota.

and swords are Slade’s thing

As much as they are Fandral's? Fandral relies exclusively on his sword, whereas Slade mixes it up between his sword, guns, power staff, and other gear. Also, how often does Slade get into actual swordfights? For Fandral, that's his bread and butter, whereas for Slade, it's a rarity.

Here's one example of Slade in a swordfight though.

https://imgur.com/a/46Zm8

Glad you mentioned the physically not at all superhuman Black Knight before I did

I think Fandral vs Deadpool is a better fight
This is a good fight, but it’s Slade all the way

I’ll retract “dismantles” to “definitey beats”

Your full statement was "Deathstoke dismantles him in a sword fight"... so are you now saying he "definitely beats" Fandral in a swordfight instead? Or are you just dropping the swordfight part altogether?

15
ICT / Re: Deathstroke vs Fandral The Dashing
« on: November 19, 2017, 06:44:24 AM »
Strength not meaning much in a comic sword fight and if this is true

I don't necessarily disagree that Fandral's superior strength may not be factored into a swordfight. And sure, Taskmaster appeared to proved himself a rival to Fandral in swordfighting skill. But neither of those things corroborates the statement that Slade would dismantle Fandral in a swordfight. You haven't posted any evidence that Slade is a better swordsman than either of these guys. You haven't posted any evidence that he's as good as them, for that matter.

Although I’d have to point out that Balder is probably supposed to be the finest swordsman in Asgard

He is? I'm not aware of any in-story statements of either Balder or Fandral being the finest swordsman in Asgard, but Fandral's Encyclopedia Mythologica bio says he's "unsurpassed in his mastery of swordsmanship", while Balder's entry merely says he's a "superbly skilled warrior, highly proficient in hand to hand combat, swordsmanship and horsemanship".




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