The purpose of this draft is to identify the best hand-to-hand combatants of the comic book universe. This excludes chemically (Capt America, Deathstroke) or technologically(Midnighter, Deathlok) advanced. It's a 6-round snake draft, which means the order reverses every other round. This took place over the course of a weekend, alcohol was consumed at various points, and a LOT of the chatting between picks didn't make the cut.
Kevin had the first pick, and the draft goes 6 rounds. We'll open with the first two rounds to get a good sense of how this worked, and on Friday we'll have a poll to vote on whose team YOU thought was best!
Kevin - Team Awesome Pants
Emily - Team Throat Punch
Droo - Team Classy Kick Assy
Ben - Kraven Some Raven
Grant - Groin Annihilators
For the first overall pick in the Hand-to-Hand-to-Draft-Column I choose:
1. Karnak – Karnak (Earth – 616)
Kevin: Karnak hails from Attilan, a country with no fixed locale as it keeps moving, depending on whose writing about the Inhumans. He’s the cousin of King Black Bolt, and therefore royalty. He was raised in a martial arts academy and was never exposed to the Terrigen mists like all the other Inhumans (which, lets be honest, after what it turned his brother into, who needs that?).
Karnak’s abilities stem from his rigorous training: He has extrasensory ability (achieved through meditation) to perceive stress points, fracture planes, or weaknesses in objects or persons (suck it Byakugon). He has complete voluntary control of most of his autonomic bodily functions (He can fart at will). Every surface of his body is like chiseled man flesh (you can cut diamonds on his abs, yo). He is also capable of shattering substances just by finding their weak spot (hope Wolverine has been drinking his milk).
Sure he looks the aliens from “This Island Earth,” but he will knock you out with a pebble for even mentioning Brak’s forehead. He is clearly the best overall hand to hand fighter… just don’t sneeze on him…
2. Hamato Yoshi - Splinter -- IDW Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles
Emily: Since there are multiple comic versions of Splinter, I had to go with the IDW version, where he IS Hamato Yoshi rather than his pet. Yoshi is a master of ninjutsu, a martial art that is the exact opposite of well-known, as well as knowledge of various other martial arts. Being the sole teacher of the turtles, it's to be assumed that he is a master of every weapon and skill they possess and more. His rat attributes add speed and agility that human opponents would not possess, even in his old age.
3. Daniel Rand - Iron Fist (Earth-616)
Drew: At age 19, having trained in the martial arts for only 10 years, Daniel Rand BEAT A FUCKING DRAGON. Even without the power of the immortal Iron Fist gained from the dragon's glowing heart, Rand is a force to be reckoned with.
To train his hands, he began by sticking them into hot sand, followed by gravel, and finally rock. Trained by Lei Kung the Thunderer, Rand learned the martial arts in the mystical city of K'un L'un. He earned the Crown of Fu-Hsi, king of the vipers, at just 16 years old. Who needs to drive when you can win the crown of the KING OF VIPERS??? Other kids dealt with acne, Danny dealt with the ritualistic Challenge Of The Many, defeating four opponents. Daniel Rand is a certified living weapon which makes him my first round pick and worthy of both the Iron Fist and the #3 overall pick.
4. Sergei Kravinoff - Kraven the Hunter (Earth-616)
Ben: Not because our names are similar, but because he is so deadly in hand-to-hand that he refuses to kill you with a weapon. He's a survivalist, a badass, and he buried Spider-Man alive for goodness sakes. The only man to defeat Kraven is Kraven.
He's a big game hunter who kills with his hands (Suck it, Ted Nugent). He lives by a code of honor, which is slang for 'he's tougher than you.'
He's been described as an Olympic athlete, tactician, so essentially the excellence of execution. He's an expert of pressure points of both humans and animals.
He's a mix between Bret Hart, Chuck Liddell, BJ Penn, The Rock, Brock Lesnar and Bear Grylls.
5. Val Armorr - Karate Kid of the Legion of Super Heroes
Grant: Val hails from the 31st century, and coming from the future he just so happens to be an expert in every form of martial arts. Y'know, even the ones that HAVEN'T BEEN INVENTED YET. Val also has the Karnak-like ability to sense anyone/thing's weak spot and strike it fatally (or not, since he's a heck of a nice fella), and his fighting ability is so spectacular that he can simulate super-strength with a single blow. Val also happens to be the youngest appointed samurai (up to the 31st century, at least), and although he's a master of all melee weaponry he chooses to use his bare hands because WHY THE FUCK NOT.
Number 6. Gamora - the Deadliest Woman in the Galaxy
Grant: The single last of her species (the Zen-Whoberis...THANKS BADOON), Gamora was raised by Thanos the Mad Titan to assassinate the Magus, Adam Warlock's evil persona and freakishly powerful being. She has an accelerated healing factor and knows so many forms of intergalactic fighting techniques that she earned the moniker of Deadliest Woman in the Galaxy. I mean sure, Thanos beat her to near-death and she had to be restored via cybernetics BUT BEFORE THAT she still earned that mantle...as a teenager
Did I mention that she's a stone-cold fox that can use her allure to get fighters of the male persuasion off their game? Oh. Oh yeah, that.
(K - I wanted Gamora)
(E - DAMMIT I wanted her too)
7. Matt Murdock - Daredevil (Earth-616)
Ben: Bruce Wayne wishes he was Matt Murdock. Batsy would be too busy playing with his fancy high tech thermal night vision goggles to stop Daredevil's onslaught of super precise striking and accuracy.
You don't need an introduction when you're the baddest dude from Hell's Kitchen.
While he has boxing in his blood, it's his radar which makes him the most dangerous. You can't sneak up on this dude. It's nearly impossible to pull a fast one at him. You've got to take him head on, and good luck with that.
While loud noises and textures can e a bitch, Daredevil has overcome these weaknesses time and time again.
He's a martial arts master. A gymnast who knows boxing, jujutsu, Kung fu, capoeira, wrestling and judo.
Daredevil is a mix between Georges St. Pierre, Rain Man, Bruce Lee and Floyd Mayweather.
(D: STEAL OF THE DRAFT!)
8. BRUCE WAAAAAAYNE - Batman
Drew: Are you kidding me? I landed the fucking BATMAN with the 8th pick??? Grant goes hipster on 5 and 6, Ben makes 2 picks with his heart not his head and I get the Dark Knight? Hells yeah.
League trained. Feared by all. Master of all the martial arts. Trained how many other heroes? Defeated how many bad guys? Beat death through time travel? Survived being played by Clooney with nips? Bruce Wayne aka Batman is the steal of the century right here.
Take away the gadgets, take away the sidekicks, Batman will STILL kick your ass. And thanks to Convergence making everything canon (thanks DC!), that makes EVERY VERSION of Bruce Wayne the most epic badass in the DCU without powers.
(E - Sunuvabitch)
(G - Dammit. Steal of the draft.)
(D - I mean, BMAA yo: Best Martial Artist Available.)
Pick número 9: Mantis
Emily: Um, Grandmistress of the martial arts?
Yeah, probably gonna do all right in this battle royale.
She's not only a master of pretty much every form of combat on earth, but she's hip to a bajillion or so alien ones, too. She's only been beaten twice (once by Moondragon, once to her own daddy, Libra). She instinctively picks out weaknesses and pressure points and has been know to put Thor into nappy time.
Add in a mastery of meditation and self-discipline to the point that she can control basically every bodily function including awareness of pain, and you basically have a woman that can kill you with a touch while not giving a flying fuck if every bone in her body is broken.
(G - Mantis is the Cosmic Madonna...whatever that means)
(K: Filling out slot two we are going with none other than Чёрная вдова
What? Don’t read Russian? You might know her as:)
10. Natalia Romanova – Black Widow (Earth 616)
Kevin: I’m going with the retconned, “Red Room” version of Black Widow. Her coolness factor is subzero which matches the amount of remorse she conveys while dispatching an opponent. She was trained under the Winter Soldier and has moves that rival that of Steve Rogers, without the drug induced advantage. He will seduce you in one moment and slit your throat the next. She’s an assassin, and she’s damn good at it.
The only down side is she might be a deep cover operative sent by Droo to undermine me.
Which is why I choose my next hero to keep tabs on her… and maybe more.
Check back in later this week for the next few rounds!