B&B 2-in-1 Round 14: Green Arrow vs. Vision

Category: BnB 2-in-1
Last article published: 7 July 2015
This is the 40th post under this label
I kind of left you hanging for 3½ years and for that I'm sorry. But these are long posts, and sometimes you lack the energy, start something new, forget about them... Anyway, we're towards the tail end of what we called Match 3 between Batman and the Thing. Batman leads the Thing 7 to 6, and Benjy just divested himself of editor and co-plotter Marv Wolfman, which COULD BE HELPFUL according to rounds past. Let the match end today, one way or another. So grab your green costumes, because...

In the black corner... it's Batman and Green Arrow, written by Bob Haney and drawn by Jim Aparo, Brave and the Bold #106, Double Your Money -- and Die!

In the orange corner... we have the Thing and the Vision, written by Roger Slifer, and drawn by Ron Wilson and Pablo Marcos, Marvel Two-in-One #39, The Vision Gambit.

... DING DING DING!

The Stars
Batman is Batman, deep diving into the Stygian waters of Gotham River (it really is hell there) to get a dead body out of a car wreck, playing fireman at the retired actors' home, breaking up illegal casinos, flip talkin' check check check in the Bob Haney manner, and generally being a good detective while most everyone else just cannot be bothered to believe the deaths of shareholders in the trust fund of a socialite could be anything but a coincidence. Commissioner Gordon is especially incompetent. And you know what, Batman's a Bond-level skier too.
He and his guest star go skiing for about a week as Gotham and Star City fall apart, but what else can you do? The one thing Bats ISN'T particularly good at is air traffic conducting.
So points off there, but generally, a good jet-setting showing. +7 Bat-points

When we last saw the Thing, he'd been gassed by the Mad Thinker and was helpless to save Daredevil from indentured servitude. In THIS issue, he lets himself be hypnotized by the Thinker and spends most of the story thinking the villain is a pretty cool dude actually (he MAY have been primed to like mad scientists by Reed Richards, I'll admit). Off he goes on a mission to steal the Vision from Avengers Mansion, and it won't be Yellowjacket who'll stand in his way!
Bonus points for Finger Flick Attack, of course. But aside from that, way to play the stooge when it counts, Ben. +2 points

The Guests
Looks like Green Arrow is a sucker for "way-out investments" and bought one of the five coins/shares that could double the million it cost him. He's on the "it's all a coincidence" train too, a train that almost gets him run over.
After learning his lesson, he's soon on a ski trip in Switzerland with Bruce Wayne and socialite Salome Starr, his secret identity protected by an inflatable Oliver Queen dummy that can "take the fall" for him.
Man, you'd think that with that trademark beard, he'd at least try not to wear green in public. And does Black Canary know about this trip... on Christmas week, no less? +2 Bat-points

The Vision may be named on the cover, but I dare say Daredevil and Hank Pym have a lot more to do. In fact, winning the day really falls to them. We're approaching Silver Age greatness when they explain how they confounded the Mad Thinker:
DD massaging YJ on pressure points to make him come to. Switching costumes. Filling Yellowjacket's uniform with form-fitting ants. Hiding inside a super-illuminated casket, turning a weakness into a strength. Hank even de-hypnotizes Ben in time for the final round of punching. Not so great is Daredevil trying to convince himself maybe he IS psychic like the Thinker believes, and of course Hank getting the crap beat out of him in every encounter.
Meanwhile the Vision is the Mad Thinker's object of affection - he's an android expert, so that has to count for something - and makes up fo his defeat by disintegrating his lesser cousins with his optic blasts. All in all, I think the guest stars deserve +9 points.

The Villains
Two-Face only unmasks at the end, but he was playing the long game, posing as a lawyer who convinced an impatient socialite to sell her 10 million dollar trust fun to 5 millionaires for half the price, on the condition the coin-share was nontransferable, but in the advent of all their deaths, would go to a Swiss plastic surgery clinic to pay for his face. Uhm. Well, he does manage to trip Green Arrow in the subway without getting caught. He did arrange for various accidents that snowed (ha!) the police, including firing an avalanche cannon at a helicopter, and he's a real good biatholonist too.
On the minus side, Harvey gives himself away when Batman flips a coin at him and he FREAKS OUT! Haney kills him at the end, making him ski into a ravine. Batman estimates it'll take 20 years before the glacier melts and we can send someone to check on the body.
With 20/20 hindsight, I estimate Two-Face will be out in 15 months at the most. +7 Bat-points

The Mad Thinker is still under the mistaken impression that Daredevil is psychic because his psychic computer told him so. Now that he HAS a psychic, what he really wants is a Vision (oh, I get it!) so he can improve his fake-Vision army. Points for having all the tech required to make heroes do his bidding AND nullify Vision's abilities, but points off for being wrong, wrong, wrong in his initial premise.
Dude, you just told him where your novelty glasses were! +3 points

Odds vs. Ends
From Brave and the Bold:
-Gotham archives are massive. I bet they can't wait for the digital revolution. +1 Bat-point
-You know I'm a sucker for Shakespeare's Hamlet, so when an old stage actor burning to death still has the wherewithal to do a few lines as a clue to his murder, that's worth... +1 Bat-point
-Ultimately though, I've got to take points away for Gordon's obtuse laziness. Dude just doesn't want to work! -2 Bat-points

From Marvel Two-in-One:
-Except for the supers, the Marvel Universe is our world, right? So who are these hockey teams the Vision is watching on TV, and on which Ben Grimm has bet? The Hornets and the Corsairs?! Are New Yorkers really into what sounds like junior high teams? I feel bad for the Rangers and Islanders, and I NEVER feel bad for those guys.
At least Vision doesn't need to have "off-side" explained to him. -1 point
-Irony of the month: The kid who's been following Ben was the psychic all along! Of course! Yeah, not a big surprise. And the heroes are quick to say it's really just a knack, something anyone might have. Or as Ben calls it, an X-Factor... Quick! Enroll this kid at Xavier's School! +1 point

Farewells and Scoring
Friendly farewell: The editor cuts down on the letters' page and gives Bruce and Olie almost half a page extra to say goodbye. They don't per se, but seeing as GA ends up with a million more in the bank, I'd say that was pretty "happy". +2 Bat-points
Unfriendly farewell: The Mad Thinker is a villain who says "Bah!" Ben is a hero who lost 20 bucks. Daredevil is a hero who literally lost his shirt (and pants). And can somebody take the shackles off Psychic Sidekick? +2 points

Not gonna lie, a part of me wanted Ben's team to tie all this up, but even with all the extra help, it's Green Arrow over Vision 18-16. And so Batman wins the match we started back in 2015 8 to 6. Come back in three years for Match Number 4!!! (I guess!)

2 comments:

tomg said...

I used to love this feature! It was great to see it again, even if it isn't going to be a regular event. Thank you!

Siskoid said...

I love writing it too, but it's hard to keep the fight going sometimes on account of the length. As soon as you have too little time to write it, it goes into hiatus.

 

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