Welcome to the second Comic Vine Battle of the Week! Last week, Daredevil and Nightwing faced off and the hero from Hell's Kitchen took a fair lead. This week, we had two insanely badass characters go head-to-head: Deathstroke and Ultimate Captain America. Both are physically superior to peak human characters, gifted tacticians, unbelievably skilled and sporting all kinds of gear. DC's mercenary has the durability edge thanks to his Nth metal armor, but Captain America has the slight edge in various physical departments and that shield is certainly not easy to overcome. The Comic Vine crowd had 5 days to vote for a winner and the results are in. Deathstroke takes 56% of the 572 votes!
Ultimate Steve Rogers went down swinging, though. The super soldier earned 38% of the votes and 6% thought the fight was too close to call. I can't say I'm too shocked by this verdict, but I gotta admit, I thought it would be closer. Yes, Deathstroke's received a large popularity boost as of late (which unfortunately wasn't enough to save his series) and he is a truly formidable character, but Ultimate Captain America is... well, he's a total boss, man. While the Terminator is disputably more skilled and smarter, I think Ultimate Cap has the raw physicals, drive and talent to keep in the game long enough to overcome Slade's advantages. The guy had the striking power to temporarily drop Ultimate Hulk in close range (without his shield), the reflexes to block projectiles from Ultimate Hawkeye, and is a essentially a harsher and physically superior version of his 616 counter-part. I think he has everything needed to take the edge over Slade in a very prolonged, brutal and fantastic brawl, but alas, the people have spoken!
Viner Argument of the Week is by Alak
"I think a lot of people who are voting are underestimating the other side (either by downplaying feats or casually dismissing arguments). Both Ultimate Cap and New 52 Deathstroke are forces to be reckoned with. They have actual military training, they've received superhuman augmentation through their respective military branches, and they've continued to train and fight long after their wars (WWII and Vietnam, respectively). Both are capable of wrecking full superpowered teams all by themselves, and both are willing to finish their fights to the death. They've conquered opponents who are physically superior to themselves in every way. I should vote for the third option since this fight could easily go to either combatant, but since I view draws as cop-outs, I'm going to force myself to pick (and debate) a winner.
I choose Deathstroke. His feats, in my opinion, are better than Ult. Captain America's (which are still incredible). While Steve is easily a bullet dodger, perhaps even a timer, he's always seen taking on crowds that are shooting everything they have at him. Slade, however, has some showings of him wiping out crowds before they can even pull the trigger (Issues #1 and #2 are probably the best examples). His durability seems to edge Steve's out and I attribute it to his new Nth metal armor. Surviving a submarine that easily weights tens of thousands of tons isn't a bad feat. Surviving (and winning) an encounter with someone who shrugs off nuclear warheads is an even better feat that also illustrates his physical strength.
Captain America's shield is obviously his greatest weapon. Nothing else in his arsenal can do anything to Deathstroke anyhow. Yet, nothing in Deathstroke's arsenal can get past Steve's shield. This has the potential to play out as the proverbial "Unstoppable Force vs. Immovable Object" scenario. I don't believe it will, because Cap uses his shield in an offensive manner in all his fights. As soon as he initiates an offensive maneuver (shield strike, shield toss, shield bash, etc.), he no longer has a defense. Deathstroke does have the luxury of going on the offensive without worrying much about consequences due to his body armor. All it takes is one opening, and he can tag Steve with his sword. It may take hours to find that opening, but it will eventually happen."
I disagree with the poll and think Ultimate Captain America wins, but what about fellow Comic Vine staffer, Corey 'Undeadpool' Schroeder?
"Ultimate Cap VS Deathstroke is the ultimate stalemate potential battle as Ultimate Cap has been shown to be far more ruthless and take-no-prisoners than his more fair-minded 616 counterpart, and I think that, combined with simple logistics, is going to win him the day. They both have comparable enhanced abilities and their skills are neck-and-neck, as are their fierce mentalities, so it comes down to armament. While Slade has a veritable arsenal on his personage, Cap has the literal ultimate defense in his shield and that's why I think it's Slade's to lose: he HAS to come at Cap, while Cap can just play a waiting game. Slade's been shown to be a great many things, but limitlessly patient and armed for defense isn't one of them and the moment he goes on the offense is the moment that he's lost the fight. Cap breaks his fancy cutters, gives him two or three good thwacks in the throat or temple with that shield, Slade crumples."
And what does Justin Jordan, the latest DEATHSTROKE writer think of this?
"I think the edge here is probably going to have to go to Slade. I think Ult Cap is stronger, but Slade has loads more experience and is very, very smart. And I think old age and treachery is going to win, most of the time. Now having said that, it's going to depend on the fight. If it's just Slade versus Cap with no prep, Slade is probably going to have to cut and run."
Lastly, here's a hint for next week's battle. Check the homepage on Monday to see who's facing off next!
Gregg Katzman is a freelance writer for Comic Vine and IGN Entertainment. This is the part where he shamelessly plugs his Twitter page in hopes of getting a new follower or two.