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Comic Vine Battle of the Week Results: Venom/Scarlet Spider vs. Luke Cage/Iron Fist

Team Spider goes face-to-face with the Heroes for Hire. Who's left standing? The Comic Vine community has voted and the winner is...

Can raw power overcome skill and teamwork? According to the Comic Vine community: yes, it most certainly can! This week, the anti-heroes of the Spider-Man family took a respectable lead over the Heroes for Hire, earning 58% of the votes. Iron Fist and Luke Cage didn't go down without a fight, though! The badass duo took 38% of the poll and 4% thought this fight was just too close to call.

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After a week of thinking it over, I find myself in agreement with the majority. Danny's a massive wildcard thanks to his more than impressive level of skill and formidable chi abilities -- there's simply no denying he could make either struggle big time. However, seeing as everyone is in character and this is a random encounter, I don't view him pulling a swift victory over either -- and that's assuming he'd win at all, of course. I think the sheer physical nature and brutality of his enemies is a factor which is more likely to come into play right away and one clean connect from either has the ability to serve as a game changer (in control, Venom knocked out Captain America with a single strike and Kaine is stronger than Spider-Man, after all).

While Cage is absurdly durable and a ridiculously tough fellow, I do ultimately view him as the weak link in this battle. Sure, he could give either a difficult time thanks to his ability to soak blunt-force trauma quite well and he definitely has commendable strength, but in the end, I can see Flash or Kaine taking him due to their speed edge and they fact they do indeed have the strength required to faze him. If all else fails, both have the means to temporarily incapacitate him as well. Cage has the strength to eventually break free, but every little factor counts.

Yes, the Heroes for Hire will give them all kinds of trouble and their teamwork could increase their odds the longer the fight progresses. Furthermore, the longer the fight continues, the more probable it is for Danny to utilize some of his more devastating chi attacks. However, I view the combination of Flash and Venom's speed, strength and aggressive minds to be the biggest factors here (not to mention Venom's own exceptional durability to standard strikes).

Even though the outcome is apparently clear to many out there, this is absolutely a fight which would be a real blast to watch. Sadly, it appears Flash wins this battle, but not the war. Yesterday, writer Cullen Bunn announced VENOM will conclude with #42. We share your pain, Viners. At any rate, let's move on and see some additional arguments for this one.

Viner Argument of the Week in favor of Venom/Scarlet Spider is by Deranged Midget

"Initially, I'd state that this is a relatively easy win for the Spiders. Taking a second glance, I'd still side with the Spiders but the Heroes for Hire are potentially going to pose more of a problem than some might first believe.

First off, it's evidently clear that the Spiders have a moderately larger physical advantage over Danny and Luke in almost every category. While Luke may still possess the highest degree of strength to a certain point, it will only help him so much considering he's severely lacking in speed and versatility. As seen recently, Kaine is a significant degree stronger than Peter Parker/Ock is as he managed to deck Superior Spider-Man in a single hit and genuinely surprise the Jackal himself, a foe almost entirely knowledgeable on Peter's genetics and capabilities.

Venom(Flash) has been shown to be even stronger than Kaine and even over-powered him, thrusting fear into Kaine's eyes for the first time in his life as he "Vulked out" and nearly killed him as he lost control of the symbiote. Add on to the fact that both Kaine and Venom could easily be described to be in Luke's strength range (or even greater) takes away any initial physical advantage that he may have had, resting his only saving grace to be his "invulnerability".

On the other hand, Danny is considered to be one of the greatest martial artists in the Marvel Universe and the coupling of his Iron Fist makes him a threat to be reckoned with, even to the Spiders. Now to why I believe the Heroes for Hire may pose a greater threat than first appearances may give. Their camaraderie and experience working together is nearly second to none in the Marvel Universe. Working off of each other's strengths and weaknesses only makes them the ever more troublesome and that's the most notable advantage they carry over the Spiders.

As seen previously, Kaine doesn't work well with anyone really and Flash absolutely wasn't an exception. He's a boyscout, praising Spider-Man at any given moment as his inspiration which disappoints Kaine even further as he presents his disgust for his "brother". Flash is known to work in a team environment and adapts well in those situations. Kaine on the other hand, is largely reluctant to do so and even when he does, he continues on selfishly with absolute disregard of his teammate.

In that sense, the Spiders are at a massive disadvantage but due to their physical superiority and greater variety and capabilities with their powers, I'd still edge out their victory."

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Corey Schroeder, Comic Vine Staff Writer

"The Heroes for Hire against the ultimate Spider Rivals? Now that's a surprising result! One might think it's pretty clear-cut, the Spider and Venom have a ruthless streak and military training, but there's something to be said for mysticism and invulnerability. And while Flash may be trained as a soldier, he hasn't really received any formal training with the symbiote. Of course Cage isn't actually "Mr. Regimen" himself, but indestructible skin means neither Kaine's claws nor Venom's slashing/guns will do much.

I see it playing out with neither team having any time for subtlety. Yeah, Flash has shown to go covert ops sometimes, but they both see each other and there's no time for that! Iron Fist and Power Man don't even need to say it: Cage takes point, going for Venom, Danny hangs back and tangles with Kaine. Problem is: Danny underestimates the more ruthless, vicious Spider and takes a poison shot to the neck, which puts him quickly out of commission. Now it's Luke in a handicap match, and while neither Scarlet Spider's poison nor Vemon's symbiote slashing does much, both of them have plenty of pummeling power punches and kicks. Too bad they forgot Danny's a master of the Iron Fist and Shou Lou, which includes a lovely meditation for purging poisons from the body. Rand's eyes shoot open and he's on his feet, lunging forward while charging the move that gave him his name. Kaine realizes something's gone wrong and turns, only to take the Iron Fist straight across his jaw, knocking him into next week.

Now the odds are just as bad, but in the other direction and, as good as Venom is and as careful as Danny has to play it, Luke has next to nothing to fear from Venom's repertoire as long as his buddy's got his back. Too many hits eventually knocks out Flash so the two teams can work out exactly HOW this misunderstanding took place, maybe even uniting against a common foe?"

Lastly, feast your eyes on a tease for next week's battle. Here's a big hint: they're comic book characters. Remember to check the homepage on Monday to see who they are!


Previous 'Comic Vine Battle of the Week' results

Want to suggest a battle? Feel free to comment below or send it to Gregg via Twitter.