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Scott Summers, a.k.a. Cyclops, has been voted as our latest Character of the Month. With that title comes his very own edition of Best Covers (which will hit the homepage later today!), Best Battles, and Must Read Comics. It's not all love and support for Mr. Summers, though. We're also going to put his abilities to the test each and every week as he's forced to square off with a formidable challenger. So, why not come out of the gate swinging, right? Scott's first battle is against one of his longtime allies and one of the most dangerous characters in the Marvel universe: James Howlett, a.k.a. Wolverine.
Wolverine's advantages: enhanced senses, a high level of durability, impressive physicals, a vast knowledge of hand-to-hand techniques, commendable stealth abilities, an accelerated healing factor, and, of course, six very pointy claws.
Cyclops advantages: accurate optic blasts which dish out major concussive force and can even be ricocheted, an incredibly gifted tactical mind, and praiseworthy melee capabilities which focus on countering and throws.
Both bring very specific advantages to this fight and, given the match's location and starting distance (city at night, 30 feet apart), there's definitely a lot to think about. Well, the Comic Vine community had since Monday to think about how this brawl would go down and they've finally selected a winner. The poll went back and forth for quite some time, but in the end, Cyclops is taking the win!
Wolverine didn't fall without giving Cyclops a fight, though. Logan received a very respectable 46% of the votes and victory was just out of his reach. Summers just barely took the edge, earning 48% of the votes. It was a ridiculously close race and 5% understandably voted for "too close to call." Even though it isn't easy to keep Wolvie down and the environment is beneficial to his stealth options, a slim majority of the voters think Cyclops knows his opponent well enough to handle anything that'll come his way. He may not land the first blast or keep his target down after hitting him the first time, but in due time, Cyclops' tactical abilities and mutant power can grant him a well-earned win.
Now, there was a lot of solid debating this week, but there were a couple posts that truly stood out. So, we'll go ahead and give those Viners some love because they've most definitely earned it. Let's go see what they had to say. Oh, and I'll put my two cents in, too.
"In my opinion for this battle, a Wolverine vs Cyclops engagement with both Scott and James running at 100% capacity will always be determined by distance and environment. This is primarily due to the fact that one combatant in Cyclops is mostly limited to and specializes in range combat whereas Wolverine's entire power set with his top tier martial talent, healing factor, and adamantium skeleton are built for making him a melee combat based machine.
In general, I wouldn't give Wolverine a a majority win over Cyclops in a well spaced and open environment where Wolverine will essentially have to straight line face forward to break down the distance between the two of them. Cyclops has shown before that he has extensive knowledge of his teammates (Which has allowed him to do things like come up with 42 different plans on the fly to utilize his team mates specific skills and abilities, along with fighting teams of X-Men while injured using his knowledge of his team mates to his advantage) and he knows Wolverine and how his power set matches up with his. Scott will not willingly let Wolverine get up close if there an environment that makes it hard for him to do so. He's going to stick to range and bomb away. Wolverine's shown himself capable of dodging Cyclop's optic blasts before and has an added edge that most fighters won't against Cyclops in that his enhanced senses allow him to somewhat predict incoming optic blasts from Scott, but I still wouldn't give him a majority in a well spaced battle especially considering that Scott has feats with his optic blasts like being fast enough to perfectly time them to hit speedsters like Quicksilver and Northstar, shut off bombs by hitting them precisely, etc.
Open environment gets Wolverine blasted away for a majority more often than not. That said, I do think that the environment specified for this battle works to Wolverine's advantage, and I think Wolverine is smart enough and knows about Scott thoroughly enough as well to take advantage of the environment. Wolverine knows Cyclops optic blasts and how much of a punch they pack. He's been blasted point blank in the face with them, been blown away into nigh incapacitation by one of them, and even compared them to being hit by a mountain IIRC. He knows he can soak one or two of them, but he also knows he can't pick up a majority win by standing around and getting blown away. Wolverine knows he needs to be up close to pick up the win, and the environment can help him in that.
The street the two of them are positioned on is supposed to be set at night and have decent amount of cover in the form of cars and such between the two of them. Combatants are also allowed to use the whole environment like alleys, roofs, and such, so this does work in favor of Wolverine more if he picks up on such. Wolverine has feats of stealth like being able to appear and reappear in front of Nightcrawler out of thin air, ghost around and vanish on Nuke while in an injured state working with a taxed healing factor, and he actually broke into the United Nations for Cyclops in Schism. The smartest way for him to go would be to try use stealth to maneuver through things like cars so that he won't have to soak gratuitous amounts of damage in the form of optic blasts before he closes up on Scott. He already has an advantage of being able to somewhat predict the optic blasts due to his senses, stealth will just further up his chances. If he can get to melee, the ball is in his favor. Granted, Scott does know how to use his optic blasts in melee pretty well, but Wolverine stands head over heels in comparison to Scott in the martial department and his damage soak is an X factor as well.
Given the environment and if Wolverine uses it to his advantage like he should, I believe Howlett should get a 6/10 majority when it's all said and done."
"For my take on this fight, I originally thought Wolverine would win in regards to the scenario, but the more I thought about it, the more I have to say it's a little too close to call. When you weigh their respective advantages against each other, either can gain the edge over the other. Wolverine's advantages are his enhanced physicals, damage soak, and vastly superior fighting skills and stealth edge. Given this is a night time setting with some street lamps and plenty of cover, including things like alleys and such to slink away into the shadows. If Wolverine can get away from Scott or gets blasted back far enough, it gives him an edge in that regard. Wolverine has disappeared to bullet dodgers before and snuck up on people with enhanced reflexes, his stealth is his best weapon here.
As far as Scott's advantages go, he has his spatial awareness, versatile and powerful blasts, incredible aim, and his greatest advantage is his tactical abilities and adaptability. I say this is his best advantage because it does allow him to analyze the situation quickly, develop counter measures, and even use the environment to his advantage. Scott has shown he can deal with teams of his own members since he knows their strengths, weaknesses, traits, and mannerisms. There was a reason Wolverine admitted why he followed Summers at one point before the atrocity that was Schism. Anyway, Scott has used the environment when he had broken ribs and the X-Men were tricked into thinking he was the Phoenix. He has blasted holes in the ground to deal with the Juggernaut or form an escape route. He dropped a roof of a mini-mart onto a bunch of mercenaries that attacked him, and he found out they were using synthetic ruby quartz suits, and he used a pin-point beam on shelf items to cut them caused a weird chemical reaction, not to mention he was using his glasses at the time. He blasted a hole in a frozen pond to sink the Juggernaut in. He has also pushed cars around against gunmen to gain distance. So it is quite possible he can take chunks out of buildings or push cars around if he manages to blast Wolverine right off the bat and get some distance. That way he can get some of Logan's advantages out of the way. And Scott can take out plenty of cover using a ricochet blast. He did manage to destroy all the flying demonworld cars in a single go. A bunch lined up on the side of the streets is no problem in a single blast.
Now how I see this playing out comes to down to who really slips up first, but I think what needs to be established is they are in character. People posting Scott doing his lawn blast or blasting Sinister aren't helping their case. Yes, it shows his power, but that would be like me posting Wolverine cutting into Thanos or beheading Sabretooth. Just because he can doesn't mean he will. Scott has one hit KO'd Wolverine before without having to nuke him, but on most occasions, he hasn't done so in his fights with Wolverine and has resorted to multiple blasts, so hey, that is in character for him. And a stab sequence in the right area or a pressure point attack can drop Scott, despite Scott's high pain tolerace. So with 30 feet of distance, yeah, it gives Logan a very small distance for him, but with his usual tendency to tank hits, he can get blasted back quite far or hard enough to give Scott an opening, and Scott has shown to tag people as fast or faster than Logan, and given he knows Logan's tactics, it makes a hit likely. On the flip side, Wolverine has shown he is capable of dodging Scott, though. Once he gets close, it becomes Wolverine's game unless he tries to wrestle with Scott and that gives him an opening to blast him, but that has happened before.
I believe that both have a chance to get the win over the other because in this scenario, what one does for tit gives the other a possibility for an advantage for tat. Wolverine charges in and gets hit or Scott Judo flips him again to get an opening and then blasts him. Well if it was the former option, Wolverine went far, now he could be in shadows. Scott doesn't know where he is, so what might be his next move? Possibly getting rid of areas to hide or cover because he knows Logan is great at stealth. Now he could start leveling building tops to cut off access to alleyways or from Logan ninjaing his way across rooftops. What does that create? Plenty of dust and debris, and with Logan's skill, senses, and reflexes, he is capable of dodging or jumping out of the way off a falling building top. And we have seen Logan fight in smoke screen, so that would be his edge there. But if Logan is jumping across rooftops, what now? He could fall in and is now incapacitated, or jumps off and lands in the middle of the street and there goes Logan's chance at victory when Scott finds a post to shoot from since he knows Logan has to get in close. Now as the fight progress, and say it does last a little while, then the people who posted the Sinister blast or such aren't entirely in the wrong because Scott will eventually bust out stronger blasts if he hasn't been taken out. I don't want people getting confused with me by saying he will because he knows Logan can heal. That is only partially true because he does know Logan can heal, but at the same time he has never just unloaded on Wolverine without their being special circumstances like Brood possession or Logan as Death, but Scott didn't know he was Death at that moment. But overall that was bs since Logan shouldn't be strong enough to walk through a massive blast like that unless Scott really put on the brakes power wise but made it huge. It just isn't in his character to do that to a friend or ally, even if he can heal. He can eventually get in a one shot blast, but he isn't nuking the area. To be fair, I don't think Scott has ever seen Logan heal from bones, so there is that to consider.
So that is my take. These guys know each other so well, but that edge goes to Scott. Even though he does have the tactical edge and means to really mess Logan up from early on, character wise, I don't see it happening. And vise versa, Logan is faster, but Scott has tagged as fast of people and Logan's tendency to take a hit has become prevalent in his character before he starts using his skill, and that is something he would most likely need right away. But on the flip side, Logan has chances of dodging, closing a small gap, and then it becomes more his fight with a good struggle because Scott can fight in h2h in conjunction with his powers pretty well. Scott can end up one shot blasting him, but mostly not right away, and if I throw a bone, maybe once or twice he would do that. And he could given Logan's character trait, but you have to consider Scott's too. Since he hasn't just nuked Wolverine, I won't find it likely he does. It's not him being stupid, it's just how his character operates. And because of that, Logan does have a shot here at majority. But it really comes down to who can exploit an opening first as the battle progresses a bit and take it."
Gregg "k4tz" Katzman, Comic Vine Writer
"This one's a coin toss. Scott and James know each other so well by now. They've faced off multiple times and they've fought side by side. We know Wolverine can take a number of generic optic blasts and we know he even has the reflexes and agility needed to dodge some of them, but we also know know Scott is one of the most tactical characters on the X-Men and he knows how all of his teammates act in combat extraordinarily well.
Given a more open setting, it's obvious that Cyclops would eventually take the win. However, taking place in a city at night gives Wolverine a variety of cover and different methods of closing the gap. His impressive stealth abilities, enhanced senses, and swift nature (too many seem to think he's slow when he's anything but) will keep him in the game. There's no doubt Scott's a gifted hand-to-hand fighter and could counter and toss Logan if he gets within reach, but -- assuming he isn't jobbing -- Wolverine definitely has the edge when it comes to hand-to-hand combat.
If you made me pick, I'd give a trivial edge to Scott because he holds the potential to win at range and close range; he can still utilize his optic blasts in close proximity. He has the potential to use a ricochet shot or judo toss Logan to give him a breather -- just enough time to follow-up with a powerful blast. Still, I can see both having what it takes to earn the win. It won't be easy for either character, though. Not by any means."
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