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Battle of the Week RESULTS: Cyclops vs. Ninjak

Valiant's swift spy or Marvel's powerful mutant? The votes are in and the winner is...

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Our latest Character of the Month, Scott Summers, a.k.a. Cyclops, is doing pretty well in our weekly battles. He took a small edge over Wolverine and then he put up one hell of a fight before losing against Nightwing & Robin. He's faced someone from his own universe and he's encountered a Dynamic Duo from DC. Now, it's time for the X-Man to go face to face with one of Valiant's deadliest characters: Colin King, a.k.a. Ninjak.

Cyclops is a quite an obstacle to overcome. His optic blasts dish out massive doses of concussive force and he knows how to use 'em well at a distance and up close and personal. He's not only accurate, but he also knows how to ricochet the shots. Meanwhile, Ninjak is one of the most lethal assassins in the Valiant universe. He's a master of close quarters combat, nimble, and has a variety of weapons and technology at his disposal. So, who wins if these two got into a fight? According to the voters, Cyclops wins.

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Ninjak went down fighting, earning 40% of the votes. Cyclops took a respectable lead, receiving 56%. Just 3% thought this one is too close to call and think this encounter has a good chance of going either way.

Ninjak is one of the most formidable characters in Valiant's universe, but it looks like the voters believe Slim's mutant power will grant him the edge. Yes, Ninjak has a praiseworthy amount of gear and this most definitely won't be an easy win for Cyclops, but at the end of the day, one good connect with his optic blast could turn the tide in his favor and it seems like that's a big factor for many voters. Seeing as he has dozens of examples which support his impressive accuracy and sharp, tactical mind, it's not far-fetched to believe Summers could eventually tag Colin or even resort to using a more powerful blast -- one which covers a wider area. That's not saying he'd take off his visor -- the situation just doesn't call for it and it would be out of character -- but he's not against unleashing bigger blasts against challenging opponents. And Ninjak? He's absolutely a challenging dude to face.

Even though Cyclops took the lead in the poll, the most detailed and convincing posts made during the week were in Ninjak's favor. We know why Cyclops could win, so let's see why some of the voters decided to side with Ninjak.


"I give this fight to Ninjak.

Both fighters are excellent tacticians and have a wealth of experience against both regular and super-powered opponents. In this area I don't think either one has an advantage over the other.

Ninjak definitely has an agility advantage over Cyclops. As has been shown already, he's able to dodge laser blasts at point blank. Especially since this is an urban environment, (presumable with alleys, fire-escapes, etc) Ninjak is going to have a huge mobility advantage and should have no problem dodging Cyclops' projectiles. On the other hand, Ninjak is not a super-human, which means if he does get hit by one of those blasts it's going to hurt quite a bit, so he's definitely going to have to stay on his toes and spend more of his efforts avoiding Scott's attacks than counter-attacking.

I think Ninjak also has an advantage in his weaponry. Cyclops can come up with all sorts of interesting ways to blast lasers from his face, but Ninjak is going to figure out how best to avoid them very quickly. Even with no prep time, Ninjak has a variety of tools at his disposal including katanas, shuriken, poison, flashbang grenades, EMP devices, limited cloaking, etc.

Basically I think this fight ends with a decapitated Cyclops who managed to do far more damage to the city than he did to Ninjak."

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"Both guys are going for different goals here. Cyclops' objective is to blast Ninjak from a distance and keep the fight that way for as long as possible. Ninjak's objective is quite the opposite - he wants to close the gap and eliminate Cyclops as quickly as possible. Due to the fact both characters are very good at what they do, there's a case to be made for either side utilising their distinct advantages to gain a victory. A few people have been saying "how can Cyclops beat Wolverine but lose to Ninjak?" - this is an example of ABC logic not working. Yes, Wolverine would beat Ninjak in a fight. But Ninjak and Wolverine are two different fighters, and so is Scott. Wolverine has no options for range, or anything gear-wise to remotely compare to Ninjak, so Scott can safely keep Logan at a distance for a victory and blast him into unconsciousness. If Ninjak fought Wolverine, he's mostly rocking with piercing damage, which wouldn't work due the healing factor. But it would work on Scott, and Ninjak has a lot of equipment which can give him an advantage over Scott which Wolverine doesn't have access to.

The main thing I'll be proving is how Ninjak can to Scott. He needs to be fast, he needs to be smart, and he needs to make use of his environment intelligently. I believe he's capable of all of these things. Speed-wise, no, Ninjak has not ever dodged projectiles from as skilled a marksman as Scott. But that doesn't instantly mean he'll be an easy target, because from the limited showings we have to go off of, Ninjak has shown himself to be up there with the fastest street levellers in comic land. To cite some feats, he regularly weaves between energy projectiles and bullets, sometimes from multiple shooters, other times from powerhouses like X-O Manowar. But past the stick-standard bullet timing feats, Ninjak has other examples of speed. During X-O Manowar's series early on, Ninjak literally disappeared in front of four military helicopters. Too fast for any of them to track. That was at night, and so is this fight. Ninjak has also leaped over an Armor Hunter and took off running before the thing could comprehend it, and turn it's head to look. It's safe to say that Scott will have an extremely hard time tagging Ninjak - but that's not to say it's impossible, because of Scott's penchant for setting up nigh-impossible ricochet shots, and using his own tactical mind to gain the advantage at range.

Now, if this was just an open field, Scott would blast Ninjak every time. But Ninjak has two things helping him here - darkness, and cover. Ninjak can combine his speed with his incredible stealth abilities, which have allowed him to bypass the incredible sensors of the X-O Manowar armor even while it was on high alert. Ninjak has also snuck into Toyo Harada's base in an attempt to secure the X-O Manowar armor, and he succeeded by getting to it. He performed the former feat using his "Mini-Photo-Reflectors", which allow him to become nigh-invisible, blending in with any environment almost perfectly. I believe if he has no success getting to Scott directly, he would use his smarts and activate this device. Once invisible, he could take off into a building and flank Scott. Or, use his smart boots and gloves to run along the wall, and come at Scott assassins creed style.

Now, if Ninjak was to take the direct approach, it would require him to weave in and out of cover, getting closer and closer to Scott until he finally closes the gap. His speed should allow him to do this, but what also helps is that he's packing numerous projectile weapons, namely - shuriken. He can throw multiple shuriken at one time, making it even harder for Scott to avoid. Could Scott shoot them out the air? Quite possibly, but then he'd catch some of the impact of a flashbang, which could provide just enough of a distraction for Ninjak to throw another shuriken (tranquiliser, explosive, homing, ect) which could kill or maim Scott. And even if none of them land, they serve as an invaluable decoy. As shown with the helicopter-disappearing feat, Ninjak can really move, and 25 feet (just 8 yards) is actually a very short distance to cover. That's four yards less than the distance of a penalty kick! It'd be unreasonable to suggest that Ninjak wouldn't be able to drop numerous distracting trick-shuriken on Scott and close the gap, at least five times out of ten scenarios.

When Ninjak does close the distance - it's game over. The guy doesn't mess about. He's packing two katana, the occasionally pair of sai, palm spikes protruding from his armor, and knuckle-gauntlets with their own blades. He also has knockout gas at the flick of a wrist, which is yet another option for subduing Scott. And that's what my argument is all about - options. Ninjak can do any number of things to break Scott's rhythm, forcing the mutant to fight his fight. For examples of Ninjak's prowess in martial combat - he's been noted as being the world's foremost weapons expert, one of MI6's top agents, a master martial artist, and one of the most cunning beings in the Valiant universe. He went toe-to-toe with the skilled visigoth warrior Aric of Dacia, while he dawned the metahuman X-O Manowar armor, and even landed a killshot on his neck before being grabbed and pinned against a wall (due to the fact they were fighting in a cramped corridor). Ninjak has killed numerous metahuman armor hunters, sporting bulletproof physique, superhuman strength as well as lethal energy attacks. Even with his bare hands, Ninjak is no joke, having killed a man in a single strike to the heart. Scott can certainly hold his own, but he will be cut down in any scenario where Ninjak gets close.

For that reasoning, I'm giving Ninjak a 7/10 win, due to how close they start, his impressive speed, the myriad of victory-options available to him, his incredible intelligence, and lethal CQC ability. However, while I believe Ninjak takes a majority, Scott can win some of the time by catching Ninjak cold with a well-placed blast, or by letting loose his full power when he knows there are no options left."

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"Finally checked out the Ninjak respect thread, and I gotta say it did its job, it gave me a good sense of what he can do and made me a lot more interested in the character. I feel like Ninjak could at the very least win 5/10, and I'm leaning toward a majority.

The starting distance is key. 25' is not too far. Even a normal person can run that in a second or two. Sure, Cyke can react with an eye blast within that time too, no problem. But he may not get many shots off and Ninjak may dodge. I am firmly of the opinion that Cyke is happy to open up with wide-angle shots that would not be dodgeable, but he probably won't do that within the first 2 seconds. Still, the closer Ninjak gets, the easier it is for Cyke to hit him. He can just release his blast continuously, and from 3' away that's hard to miss. There are many instances that show Cyclops's ability to shoot a beam off quickly, and at a wide angle, such as against this debris that started falling right above his head, which would take very quick reactions to stop:

However, Ninjak's armor does seem pretty good--near the top of the respect thread there's a pic of him getting slammed by some giant dude with a mace that is said to be a 5-10 tonner, and Ninjak seems pretty OK afterwards. This is probably close to a normal level optic blast's concussive force. (The fire resistance of his armor doesn't matter since the blasts are concussive, not penetrating/heat.) Scott can do much more powerful blasts, but he's likely to start off lower until he gauges his opponent's resistance. Of course, Scott can blast him away into the air with one of these blasts, and thus gain himself more time even if he doesn't hurt him. But given Ninjak's stealth that may be an issue. The optimal solution for Scott would probably be the same I advocated for Wolverine--blast him a distance away on the ground, then topple a building down on him. However, he knows Wolverine and would have thought about options like this head of time, while he knows nothing of Ninjak, and this probably isn't going to be his first tactic.

Ninjak has tech coming out of his wazzoo, and it seems like this will give him a pretty big advantage. He has screens that tell him about his opponents, he has instant recall of similar past situations, he has gas/explosives/etc. that could certainly help a lot.

He also seems to have a "hologram-belt," which isn't explained in huge detail but seems to make multiple holograms of himself so it looks like he's vibrating. He uses this to dodge a point blank strike by Aric, and I would think this would be very helpful against Cyke too--at least at first when Cyclops is starting off with targeted beams and before he opens up to wide angle beams.

So over all, I can see Ninjak using tech/explosives/gas/poison, his armor, his hologram belt, and his instant recall to take several wins, especially from this close. But Cyke can certainly win too, he just needs to blast him a short distance away, then start to use wider-angle and more-powerful blasts against him."

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That's it for this week, readers. If you still have something to say about this match, feel free to keep the debate going in the comments below.

Next week will be Cyclops' FINAL Battle of the Week! So, if there's someone you really want to see him battle, suggest it in the comments section.