In the black corner... it's Batman and the Deadman, written by Bob Haney and drawn by Jim Aparo, Brave and the Bold #104, Second Chance for a Deadman?
In the orange corner... we have the Thing and Matt Murdock, written by Marv Wolfman and drawn by Ron Wilson and Pablo Marcos, Marvel Two-in-One #37, Game Point!
... DING DING DING!
This is a story in which Batman pulls a gun!
Do you ever have the feelings someone's just over your shoulder? It might be Deadman, who reads the newspaper like that all the time, apparently. You can also think of him as the gremlin on the wing of your plane.
All sorts of criminal types come and go in the Brave and the Bold story, guys like Waxey Doyle, who likes to juggle his gun between hands before firing it. But the big bad is Lilly Lang who though she sounds like a Superman love interest, runs the Spa of Crime (not its real name) where your couples groupon likely won't allow you in to the high-security massage facility on the other side of the river. That's where they have the face-changer machine (or surgeons, whatever) and can manufacturer all the fake papers you'll ever need to get into bars and/or embassies. But I gotta tell you, the Spa may be a den of vice, it still has a zero tolerance policy on alcohol.
Who's the villain in the Thing story? Well, obviously there's a sniper who can make Ben reflexively destroy stuff. And there's the one witness against him who has read all of the FF's back issues and inserted himself into every story where Ben has caused wanton destruction in New York. But the real evil is the legal system.
Odds vs. Ends
From Brave and the Bold:
From Marvel Two-in-One:
-Here's the thing about this competition. There's a fine line between STUPID and ZANY, and while B&B usually falls on the Zany side, 2-in-1 more frequently falls on the Stupid side. I don't know how to explain it; is it just my perception of the writers? Bob Haney is an "anything goes" kind of writer, and I like that. Marv Wolfman, on the other hand, isn't known for this, and when his stories take strange turns, they seem the result of laziness instead. So do I take points OFF for the mishandled representation of the American justice system (stuff like the defense's witnesses going first, for example), or do I embrace it as zany lunacy? I think I'll call this the latter, if only because much of it plays out as a comedy. I mean, how else do you interpret this ridiculous police line-up?
Farewells and Scoring
17 to 16, advantage Matt Murdock! He didn't have to take his shirt off (or sleep with the bad guy using another dude's body) to beat Deadman. Life is for the living, I guess. That's the battle; the war has Ben Grimm inching a little closer to Batman who maintains his lead 7 to 5. Next up, Matt sticks around to fight another round, so Bats better call in one of DC's biggest guns.