ByMike Charest, writer at
Mike Charest

Our second half of the second Round is here, bringing Superhero March Madness paragraphs away from its Sweet 16. Here are today’s matchups:

1. Thor vs. 8. Rocket/Groot

I always felt this would make for a great crossover movie. They’re all cosmic beings that could theoretically overlap as they travel from one galaxy or realm to the next. The Thor series’ humor would finally feel more natural and appropriate for the film. This fight might be less enjoyable, unless you enjoy the killing of both cute little animals and trees. We saw what gunfire does to Asgardians in The Avengers and, while Rocket’s firepower is vastly superior to your average SHIELD agent, it still won’t be enough to put a dent in the God of Thunder. As for Groot, Thor hits a lot harder than the spaceship crash that “killed” him. Thor triumphs again.

4. Vision vs. 5. Iron Man

I suppose the cinematic Vision is an Android grandson of Tony’s, in a twisted sense. Either way, we’ve been granted arguably the most competitive match in this entire second round. On one hand, Vision can theoretically hack systems and disrupt Stark’s technology. On the other, comic book Iron Man has complete “technopathy” and mental control over his own tech, making it virtually immune to this easy win. Vision is also immune to Stark’s control because he’s a sentient technological being that makes his own decisions. What we’re left with is a fair fight between the two based on their physical abilities. Iron Man is faster, but Vision can teleport. Iron Man hits harder, but Vision can intangibly pass through attacks. Iron Man is one of the smartest people in comic book history, but Vision is equipped with the intelligence of a top notch AI system. For me, the difference maker here is Iron Man’s army. Stark can summon one suit after the next, attacking in formations or just rebuilding himself in more powerful forms. He’d likely bring the Hulkbuster into any tough fight. Vision’s ability to go right through Iron Man’s armor to destroy it is a lot easier said than done. Even if Stark’s suits have no form of deterrent to defend against that, you’d have to catch him and hold him still long enough to get in there. These aren’t Ultron bots, so that’s a tough task. And once you’ve done that, he’s already ejected and is hammering your face in with Veronica, the deep space armor, the stealth armor, the Bleeding Edge armor that you’ll never do any real damage to unless you can hit like a meteor. Iron Man’s sheer adaptability and resourcefulness win him a wildly entertaining battle.

6. Deadpool vs. 14. Mr. Fantastic

Mr. Fantastic slithered his way into the second round through the systematic and scientific undoing of a far more powerful hero. He is again unmatched in this fight. The physicality gap between these two is roughly similar to the gap in quality between each of their last movies. This time, however, there is no real scientific password that serves as the key to defeating Deadpool. Wade Wilson can shake off almost any damage, repairing himself faster than Reed Richards would ever be able to take him apart. The Fantastic Four leader’s weird abilities give him considerable defense as well, but this fight eventually ends with a severed head, a conversation with the audience, and a Chimichanga. Deadpool moves on with style.

2. Shazam vs. 7. Psylocke

This is another highly competitive showdown between two of the most underrated characters in these universes. Shazam has speed and strength that rivals Superman, alongside an array of lightning powers that are equally dangerous. Psylocke, also underappreciated, is yet another powerful, original, and interesting female character brought to life by the X-Men comics. They really do know how to erase the wall between genders. If Psylocke takes all of her many psychic powers and uses them all together in one giant clash against the boy wonder, we may actually have an upset on our hands. However, a large majority of Psylocke’s appearances don’t feature all powers at once. In fact, according to most storylines, Psylocke’s abilities transition from powerful telepathy to the energy-blade wielding, telekinetic ninja we’re more used to. She is almost never both telepathic and telekinetic at the same time. While I do believe this combination would be enough to defeat Shazam, I don’t believe either half of Psylocke’s history is enough to do so. Assuming she’s running around with the psychic Katana throwing objects around, her most well known depiction, Shazam would be able to take her down and win a fun-filled fight.

1. Silver Surfer vs. 9. Starfire

Starfire is a fast and powerful cosmic being that used flight and energy based attacks to earn her ticket to this second round. The Silver Surfer is a faster and more powerful cosmic being that used superior flight and greater energy based attacks to earn his ticket to this second round. Starfire suffers a matchup here in which she carries no distinct advantage in any category. She is a lesser version of her opponent, with impressive abilities but not nearly enough to make this fight very competitive. Silver Surfer beats the Teen Titan at her own game.

5. Captain Marvel vs. 13. Moon Knight

Yes, I would’ve loved to see the Captain Marvel vs. Scarlet Witch matchup. Moon Knight may have robbed us of another great fight. Don’t blame me; the guy is immune to psychic powers. Wanda was handed some bad luck. Anyway, Moon Knight’s convenient perks and hand-to-hand prowess won’t do much against the artist formerly known as Ms. Marvel. Her overwhelming power, speed, combat knowledge, and overall rating on the scale of awesome would prove too much for the cult favorite to handle. I hope to see you on Netflix, Moon Knight, but we won’t see you in our Sweet 16. Captain Marvel wins easily.

3. Doctor Strange vs. 6. Wolverine

Wolverine is relentless, extremely dangerous in closer quarters, and can heal from virtually any physical wound. These are all great attributes that are completely useless against Doctor Strange. The Sorcerer Supreme could win this one in a hilarious variety of ways, ranging from banishing Logan from existence all the way to summoning a giant magnet and then dropping it in the ocean with the helpless mutant attached. Strange’s powers are incredibly elaborate, encompassing all magic in the Marvel Universe’s existence. With respect to one of the coolest superheroes of all time, even the fierce Wolverine is thoroughly outmatched.

2. Wonder Woman vs. 7. Batman

If we were to conduct some kind of fantasy draft, building teams of heroes, Wonder Woman is the first DC character I’d take. I’ve always been a huge fan, so there’s your disclaimer. Batman, however, can beat just about anyone. Even though I may not agree with his ability to actually beat the guy, I’ll even admit he can take down Superman under certain circumstances (some of which may be in theaters today). After all, he does have a plan to theoretically take out any Justice League member if need be. As genius as Batman is, let’s really examine his Tower of Babel plan to defeat Wonder Woman. It involves placing some strange nanotech in her ear, which creates a hallucination of a perennially occurring fight that she cannot win. She more or less just tires herself out. How was Bats ready to take out Martian Manhunter? A compound that bursts into flames when exposed to the sun. Superman? That green plot-convenience mixed with some special sauce to create an even more potent Kryptonite. Even in a story based on the concept of Batman’s elaborate plans to defeat his opponents, the plan for Wonder Woman is pretty lame. The odds of that actually working or happening are pretty far-fetched. Aside from an obsessive will to win, which would be most useful in this tournament, she really has no weaknesses for the world’s greatest detective to take advantage of. For that reason, alongside her endless physical advantages, Wonder Woman wins.

And just like that, we’ve wrapped up Superhero March Madness’ second round. Wonder Woman puts an exclamation point on our latest series of fun matchups, and we’re all set for the Sweet 16. Next time, we’ve got a full round in store with the eight fights that will guide us to the Elite Eight. See you then!

Check out the Sweet 16!

Here's the first half of our second round for anyone catching up:


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