Wednesday, October 3, 2012

Not Exactly The Panther's Prey

Comic book matchups that had you scratching your head--
but still made you curious about how the fight would turn out.

Welcome to another installment in a series of posts we could only call:

The Black Panther vs. the Hulk.


I think the Hulk sums up how this is going to go:

You'll notice the Panther isn't exactly arguing the point. His options for rebuttal are, well, nonexistent. "Don't be so sure, Hulk! My kicks will eventually wear you down!" or, "I'll do so many acrobatic flips around you that you'll become so dizzy you'll pass out!" Look at how well that's working for Quicksilver. Or not.

I suppose the Panther is just too honorable to try something like kicking him in the crotch. Now that I think about it, no one's actually tried that. Not even Wolverine, who would certainly have no qualms about it.

I had higher hopes for the Panther, to be honest--after all, this is the same Panther who ensnared the Fantastic Four. Of course, that was because he laid carefully planned traps for them, using the technology available to him on his own turf. But the Panther we've come to know is both canny and resourceful, and I think he'd be bright enough not to go up against the Hulk one-on-one and expect to make any headway using just strength.

Unfortunately, when the Panther was with the Avengers, writer Roy Thomas limited his abilities to his strength, agility, and stealth. The thing about stealth, though, is that, once you've snuck up on your target, you've got to have a plan to capitalize on it. And, well:

For what it's worth, the Panther was in a good tactical position here, even against the Hulk. How about sticking his claws into the Hulk's eyes? Pounding his fists against his ears? Dropping a knock-out pill down his throat? Or what about this old trick:

Yet, even the Hulk is unable to convince the Panther that fists just aren't going to win the day for him:

Heh. "Hardly" feels his attack. I'm sure the Hulk was just trying to give him a pity compliment. "Is this human attacking me?" he's probably thinking. "What's he using for fists--nerf balls?"

Now if you're a brilliant ruler like the Panther, you're eventually going to come to your senses and try a different approach. Luring the Hulk into a trap? No. What about that gas idea? Nah. Then that leaves...

Sigh. His feet.

Some rulers are just slow on the uptake.

No, I don't know how he bent back a piece of lumber, either. Have you ever tried to bend a thick piece of lumber? You might as well try to tackle the Hulk. But, back to the business at hand--explain the Panther's thinking here. He admits that he can't match the Hulk in raw power. So he concludes that the next thing to try against him is--raw power. No wonder the Panther brooded so often about sticking around with the Avengers--look what they did to his fighting edge.

To add insult to injury, Hawkeye shows up and takes the Hulk out with--wait for it--a sonic arrow. Gee, there was a time when the Panther used to know the value of technology. Still, we have to give him credit for drawing the short stick and even going up against the Hulk--who, let's be realistic, probably doesn't even recall the Panther landing a single blow.

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