Friday, January 10, 2014

The Top Tenth of the Month: Street Fighting Man

Top 10 Contenders in a (mostly) human bar brawl

The Concept: When you get a bunch of tough guys together and then fill said tough guys with booze something bad is bound to happen. But these aren’t the super powered toughs they’re just the regular Joes looking to blow off some steam and have a cold one. No one’s packing weapons or gimmicks it’s just a down and dirty brawl with the weapons at hand: bottles, bar stools, table legs and pool cues.

10) Jesse Custer-

--Who They Are: The Preacher himself, trained by the man who killed his daddy Jesse learned the art of street fighting from hardass hick Jody. Nothings fair or off limits to Jesses, eye gouges, bottle bashing, using said broken bottle to stab someone, jamming his fingers up their nose or just straight kicking them in the groin. The only thing that’s off limits is using his Word of God to make someone do whatever he tells them. It’s not about finesse with Jesse, it’s about doing damage and causing pain.

--Why They’re 10: Because it’s not about finesse with Jesse, he’s just a straight up brawler and probably the most human person on this list. Jesse can take punishment but it’s not going to do much against the guy who makes dying a major part of his life.

9)  The Spirit-

--Who They Are:  Denny Colt has the ability to survive death, after his first apparent death he established a base of operations under his tombstone from which he fights crime in Central City as The Spirit.

--Why They’re 9:  Denny can take being stabbed (or shot), that’s just another day for him.  He can also brawl with the best of them having been trained in hand to hand combat, first as a Policeman and then in the course of being The Spirit.  So Denny can take whatever Jesse can throw at him and give it back just as good.  The difference is while Jesse has experience in mostly taking out scrubs (with a couple of a exceptions in the form of the guy who trained him and a vampire) for The Spirit taking out scrubs is just the warm up for full on super villains and crime bosses.  But the problem is going to be after that he has to face guys with brute strength on their side, the guys who’ll swing right through him leaving him to recover from his latest death.

8) Marv-

--Who They Are: Marv is Basin City’s resident tough guy. You need something dirty and nasty done and you don’t care about the noise or the blood then you call in Marv. He’s a one man gang, an unstoppable juggernaut of man shaped violence willing to fight anyone at any time and able to keep his cool as long as he keeps up with his medication. From fighting the giant man servant of Sin City’s rich crime lord, and taking the giant's eye for a souvenir, for a friend to finally defeating a silent super killer on his path to revenge Marv beat them all before finally being put to rest by the Sin City legal system but only because he wanted them to.

--Why They’re 8: Marv is good at what he does but he’s a brute. He’ll go right through lesser brawlers and even finesse guys if given the time to prep. Jesse isn’t about finesse and Denny doesn’t have enough finesse to beat Marv. Marv will rip a fire extinguisher off the wall and use it as a one handed club to bludgeon you until you stop moving. You can’t defend against that as a mere mortal. He’s only the best until he comes across someone better, someone who can out brute even him, someone used to fighting the supernatural.

7) The Goon-

--Who They Are: The Goon is the heavy of Lonely Street who spends his time collecting money and offing mooks for the presumably alive (but actually dead) crime boss Labrazio. In the course of doing business The Goon also fights his fair share of other worldly menaces such as zombies and vampires along with the normal weird things that inhabit his neighborhood.

--Why They’re 7: The Goon can out brute Marv, that’s really the only thing he has going for him. While Marv is used to fighting normal, albeit at times highly trained, people, The Goon is used to fighting things that Marv has no concept of. Things stronger and scarier than Marv, once you’ve fought the undead and a dragon some street tough isn’t going to be much of a challenge but how will this brute stack up against guys who have been trained by the best? Trained to take out guys twice they’re size? Who have speed and endurance on top of this training? These brutes and brawlers don’t stand a chance against guys like that.  The Goon is the top of the bottom but now we enter the next level of fighter.

6) Moon Knight-

--Who They Are: Chosen by Khonshuu, the god of vengeance, Marc Spector is pretty much Marvel’s version of Batman except more mystical and less stable.

--Why They’re 6: Because he’s fucking crazy. While his training combined with his mental state gives him unpredictability it’s also his biggest problem. It will give him the edge against the brawlers and the brutes but when it comes to facing the power players it’s going to be a weight that will drag him down.  He will no doubt pick a fight with too many guys at one time letting his, at times, irrational mindset will have him start a fight with more people than he can handle and then anger will drive him to focus on just one guy.  Soon all his finesse will be wasted on him swinging wildly just to survive and when it comes time to take on the other members of this upper echelon he won't be expecting a throat jab by the next on the list.

5) Daredevil-

--Who They Are: Matt Murdock is the blind lawyer from Hell’s Kitchen by day and radar sensed vigilante by night.  Using his enhanced senses Daredevil can see just as well if not better than a normal sighted person.  Trained by Stick master of The Chaste.  Stick was considered so dangerous The Hand wanted him dead and Daredevil was his best student.  Not mention that Daredevil took out a berserk Wolverine with one knife edge blow to the throat.

--Why They’re 5: His heightened senses and the fact that he was trained by not just a mystical ninja clan but THE mystical ninja clan on top of being trained by the aforementioned blind master will give him the edge over captain crazy pants.  The fact that he can know where everyone is at all times gives him the edge over the brutes and brawlers who’s only advantage would be sneaking up on him while he's engaged in a protracted battles with the guys better then him.  Just using his martial arts and senses DD would be able to flip and attack with precision making the other fighters each others worst enemy as they become victims of the cross fire.  Then DD will come in at the right time with the right strike to keep everybody off balance.  While DD has a lot of training to back him up he doesn't have ALL the training like the next guy on the list.

4) Batman-

--Who They Are: He’s the God Damn Batman.

--Why They’re 4: He’s the God. Damn. Batman. Trained not just by mystical ninjas but by masters of every discipline The Batman doesn’t need gadgets to beat guys. But he does use a lot of gadgets to beat guys. There’s no gadgets or gimmicks here so it’s all hand to hand and he’s got to be able to do it on his own. The biggest thing that separates him from the rest of the list is also what makes him the most noble: his refusal to kill. While there are guys lower down on the list who aren’t afraid to get their hands bloody from here on out we’re dealing with stone cold killers. Guys who aren’t afraid to use brutal, bloody, nasty, dirty violence to kill whoever they need to in order to get the job done.

3) Rorschach-

--Who They Are: Walter Kovacs became a vigilante after being hearing about the Kitty Genovese murder. Donning an ever changing mask of white with black spots Rorschach beats the shit or straight up murders every criminal who has the misfortune of meeting him.  He may or may not even be opposed to killing other "heroes", that part is kind of vague.  What is known is he has a very strict set of values that he clings to and if he feels you violated them there's no telling what he might do.

--Why They’re 3: He has a simple but elegant brutality about him. He can creatively use his environment to pull an advantage out of thin air, he is a master of improvised violence. He doesn’t appear to feel pain and has a single mindedness to him that makes him incredibly dangerous. While Batman is duking it out with Daredevil in a martial arts clinic Rorschach will wait until there’s a clear advantage (like when the Dark Knight is catching his breath after finally putting Ol’ Horn Head down) and calmly stab him with a broken pool cue. Rorschach will observe, pick his spots, find where he can do the most damage and be there with the thing he needs to do it. But how will he fare against a man with nothing left to live for but also fights like a savage animal.

2) The Punisher-

--Who They Are: Frank Castle lost his family in the crossfire of a mob hit. After the death of his family Frank went on to punish all those that commit crime.  Frank has shown an ability to put any hero in checkmate and gone up against some of Marvel's worst and baddest villains all while killing scores and scores of organized crime thugs.

--Why They’re 2: Frank will go to any lengths to win. He will bite, gouge, claw and kick you where it hurts. Anyone who’s read the recently concluded PunisherMAX will know the lengths Frank will go to win a fight.  Nothing will stop him.  He's been stabbed, beaten, shot and bludgeoned with every imaginable thing you could hit a human being with and he's met every single fight with a undying ferocity that will not allow him to be beat.  He will always have the advantage because he wins either way, he’s motivated to win because he wants to continue his war but he doesn’t care if he dies because he’ll finally be at rest with his family. He is the embodiment of punishment and the unstoppable bloodshed that it represents. He’s got everybody on this list beat because of the lengths he’ll go to ensure he continues punishing the guilty and he’ll go to these lengths because everyone on here with the exception of Daredevil and Batman (who will be taken out by someone else) all are guilty and deserve to die. But what happens when the embodiment of punishment comes up against the embodiment of justice?

1) Judge Dredd-

--Who They Are: Well at some point in this brawl for it all someone was bound to call the cops and He’s here to break it up and send people to jail. Megacity 1’s best street Judge.

--Why They’re 1: He murdered a Dark Judge (an supernatural, god like being) with a single punch. A Dark Judge who was an incarnation of fear. He looked at the naked face of fear and his reaction was to put his fist through it. That’s fucking hardcore. If anyone could fight harder than Frank Castle it’s Joe Dredd, he not only is driven by the desire to punish evil but he has nothing waiting for him on the other side. He has no real friends, no real family, no real loved ones of any kind, and no faith that would make giving in tempting.  He just has Justice and compulsion to make sure justice continues to get done, by him, because no one does it better. He can out fight Frank, he can out brutalize The Goon, he can out violence Rorschach and he can out wit Batman. He is the perfect, human, brutalizing, killing machine and that’s why he’s the last man standing at the end of the night Judging the survivors and sending them off to the Iso-Cubes.

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