We try to teach our children that fighting is wrong, so every time a Marvel hero fights another Marvel hero for no good reason, they earn a “No Prize.” That’s going to be the new rule from here on out.
Marvel Comics has great power over the minds of young readers, yet they don’t seem to want to exhibit great responsibility. Instead, they want to show their heroes punching each other! Settle differences with your words, kids, not your fists!
Alas, all those wordy dialogue boxes wouldn’t make for good comic reading, unless they were in the hands of the legendary Chris Claremont, with his purple prose. So, let’s let it be what it is. Let’s also not pass up an opportunity to take a look.
Marvel Heroes Constantly Fight Each Other
First, some ground rules. If a hero is drugged, brainwashed, or an alternate goateed evil version of a hero from an alternate Earth-12396 or whatever, then it doesn’t count. Otherwise we’d be here all day.
Even with those rules established, the history of Marvel Comics is rife with confrontations between the so-called “good guys,” such as when Thor and Iron Man meet in the first Avengers movie. Listen, if I pop over to drop off a hot dish for my new neighbor in town, I don’t think first to punch him in the face, even if he is cosplaying Mister Sinister, but I’m not trying to entertain the masses with my blockbuster action movie, so there is that.
So Iron Man and Thor need to cool it, but which hero is most prone to fight with a fellow superhero? Well, that’s Captain America, of course! With a WWII background and literally injected with the Super Soldier Serum in order to be made into a weapon, Cap is a hammer, and everything looks like a nail to a hammer.
While other heroes such as Iron Man might make suggestions like wrapping the planet in armor as a preventative measure to avoid having to fight, Cap merely plants himself like a tree and declares that he can fight all day if need be. This is something we’ve explored in depth, so I’ll point you there if you want more on Cap v Tony.
I’m being a little facetious, of course, as there is more to it than that. Plus, comics and movies really are meant to be fun and dynamic, so throwing a punch or two is a great way to ratchet up the entertainment. Still, can’t we agree that Marvel heroes jump a little too quickly toward fisticuffs?
Just Don’t Make Them Angry
We haven’t even talked about the Hulk, who commonly fights all the heroes, all at once. He gets a pass because of his anger issues, but should he really? Maybe he should earn multiple No Prizes instead.
Or maybe a time-out, which is something the Marvel heroes attempted when they shipped Hulk off to “boarding school” on a far away planet, but Hulk ended up becoming a gladiator and started World War Hulk. So much for a non-violent solution, huh?
Make Way for the Anti-Heroes
Let’s not forget that many Marvel heroes aren’t really heroes in any agreed upon sense of the word. Take Deadpool, for example. Seriously, take him, because he not only has fought every hero, but didn’t he in fact kill them all at some point?
Maybe that wasn’t Earth-616 proper and was Earth-3948gq8 or whatever, so he doesn’t receive a No Prize per our rules. Besides, he a farcical character anyway, so no one expects him to know better.
That brings us to Punisher, a very popular Marvel hero, although he’d be labeled a serial killer by any sane person. So Punisher doesn’t earn a No Prize because he’d hardly be considered a hero and the fights he gets into are often with other heroes who are pushing back against his ethos of killing. So that might be a good thing, although I’m really not sure.
Why fight a friendly neighborhood type?
Outside of Captain America, the Marvel hero who has fought the most other heroes is likely to be Spider-Man, although with Marvel having published tens of thousands of comics, Nerds on Earth doesn’t have the research budget to really tally these things up.
Why do the other heroes fight with Spidey so much? Well, I blame J Jonah Jameson, for one. JJJ is always bad mouthing the Web-Slinger. Still, you’d think that cooler heads would prevail occasionally and every time a hero meets Spider-Man they wouldn’t think first to fight him.
What have we learned here?
- Fighting is wrong, kids.
- But action sells comics and movie tickets, so give it to us, Marvel!
Ultimately, it’s a BIG number if we’d painstakingly tally the times Marvel heroes have fought, so there’s no way to really know. But to be perfectly honest, I daresay that every hero has fought every other hero at some point in Marvel Comics history. In fact, it’s a wonder they have any energy left to fight the actual bad guys.