CaV: Omega Red (Veshark) vs. X-O Manowar (HigherPower)

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#1  Edited By Veshark

Omega Red (Veshark) vs. X-O Manowar (HigherPower)

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Conditions

  • In-Character, Random Encounter
  • Win by KO, Incap, or Death
  • X-O Manowar is VEI Relaunch
  • Debaters will have four rounds to make their case, after which it goes straight to voting

Battlefield

Abandoned Siberian Pipeline
Abandoned Siberian Pipeline
  • Combatants start in visual range

Arkady vs. Aric! The Soviet Super Serial-Killer vs. the Visigoth Warlord! Who will triumph?

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#2 TheWatcherKing  Online

T4V

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@higherpower Thread is live! Let me know if you want to add anything or change the stipulations. Also, let me know if you'd like to start first too.

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@veshark: Awesome, thread looks great.

It actually might take me a while to get my opener up, so if you finish before me, you can go ahead and kick things off.

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#5  Edited By Veshark

Round One

Arkady Rossovich
Arkady Rossovich

Primer

Omega Red is undoubtedly one of the scariest X-Villains in the Marvel Universe. He was already a vicious serial-killer with zero empathy before the Soviet experiment turned him into a carbonadium-enhanced super-soldier. He's one of the few villains that Wolverine genuinely fears, and Sabretooth himself once referred to Arkady as "the strongest mutant in Russia." With a killer instinct that stems from a complete lack of morals, a cunning and tactical mind borne from years of operations with the KGB and various supervillain organizations, plus his mutant talents and super-soldier enhancements...Omega Red has consistently proven himself to be a top-tier threat, capable of taking down entire teams of trained X-Men and other superheroes far above his weight-class.

With that introduction out of the way, I'll start my opening post by highlighting Omega Red's superhuman capabilities. Besides his psychopathic intelligence and incredible fighting skills (as stated in multiple Marvel Handbook entries, and the various issues where he's trounced Logan--one of Marvel's finest H2H combatants), Omega Red's powers will play a huge role in my argument for why he defeats X-O Manowar.

Arkady's powers can be divided into two categories, each with an offensive powerset, as well as a defensive powerset:

  1. Death-Factor & Life-Absorption
  2. Carbonadium Coils & Armor

Death-Factor & Life-Absorption

Omega Red's deadliest ability--and the main reason why he's historically been able to combat opponents with far superior physicals--is his death-factor; Arkady's mutant ability to secrete pheromones that kill anyone within a certain proximity. His death-factor is able to eliminate most foes in mere seconds, but what makes it so potent is the fact that it's undetectable to the naked eye. Omega Red's pheromones are odorless and invisible, and most of his victims don't realize their life-force is being drained until it's too late. You can't fight a poison that you can't see, touch, taste, or otherwise sense.

It's a silent and deadly killer, as Jubilee and Beast learned when Omega Red ambushed them in his first appearance. Note that Beast also has an enhanced physiology, but even he was knocked out immediately by the death-factor:

No Caption Provided

It's important to note in the above showing that Omega Red was under orders from Matsu'o Tsurayaba (then-leader of the Hand) to capture the X-Men alive, which is why he limited the severity of his death-factor. At higher-levels, his death spores have been shown to be extremely effective, even against enemies with accelerated healing factors. There's no better example of this than Omega Red's nemesis Wolverine himself:

Note: This is the next page from the first feat--so Omega Red is still secreting his death-factor here.
Note: This is the next page from the first feat--so Omega Red is still secreting his death-factor here.

Remember this is Logan we're talking about; he already has one of the best healing factors in the game. This is a man whose healing has allowed him to resist a Brood infection, a vampire infection, a werewolf infection (twice!), as well as almost every disease that's ever existed when he was tortured by Contagion (a mutant with the ability to create any viral infection).

And yet Omega Red's death-factor is so deadly that he can still KO Wolverine in seconds, and despite the countless battles these two have fought, Logan's healing factor has never been able to adapt to/overcome the death spores. Think about that.

But as deadly as the death-factor is, what makes it truly overpowered is the fact that it also boosts Omega Red's performance in battle. His death-factor not only steals life from his opponents, but also transfers their "life-force" to Arkady, amping his already-impressive power levels. As Omega Red himself explains to Jubilee in Panel 4 of this page:

No Caption Provided

Omega Red at his baseline is already a multi-tonner superhuman (thanks to his Soviet enhancements); with enhanced durability and a healing factor of his own, and with speed-levels of at least bullet-reaction time...but he becomes even stronger when his death-factor steals the life-force from his enemies and powers him up. It's also important to note that Omega Red does not require physical contact to amp his powers, and that the effect is seemingly instantaneous.

Now, his mutant abilities alone would make Omega Red a legitimate contender for X-O Manowar, but that's not all that Arkady is bringing to this matchup...

Carbonadium Coils & Armor

For the uninformed, carbonadium was the USSR's attempt to recreate adamantium. It's not quite as indestructible, but it's about as close to indestructible as you can get--as evidenced by the fact that, despite all the times they've encountered Wolverine's claws and other 100-tonner superhumans, Omega Red's coils have never been damaged. The strength of carbonadium has also been proven by other characters who use the metal such as Moon Knight or Doctor Octopus.

The two coils that Omega Red has are basically unbreakable weapons possessing incredible strength and range...

Gallery image 1Gallery image 2
Coils penetrate multiple concrete floors up a parking deck, grab an est. 3-ton van, and then pull it down to ground level.

As well as impressive speed and accuracy...

Gallery image 1Gallery image 2
Coils independently/accurately disarm both Domino and Warpath simultaneously. Neither of whom have low reflex speeds.

As if being indestructible, fast, and having a far reach wasn't enough, Omega Red's carbonadium coils are also inherently poisonous. Carbonadium has radioactive properties (as fellow Wolverine rogue Cyber once put it, carbonadium "eats you alive"), and it's also able to disrupt healing factors and prevent them from working entirely. As Wolverine explains to his son Daken, who got a carbonadium slug lodged in his brain, courtesy of the Winter Soldier...

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But wait, there's more!

In addition to all these ridiculously dangerous superpowers that make Omega Red a walking viral outbreak, Arkady also wears an armored uniform that provides him with additional defense. Now, to my knowledge, it's never been explicitly stated what metal his armor is made out of (I've heard fans speculate secondary adamantium or whatever, though). But based on multiple sources of strong evidence, I think it's fair to conclude that Omega Red likely wears some form of carbonadium armor as well.

In this next showing, Wolverine appears to have made minor cuts in Omega Red's armor during an extended fight, but it looks like cosmetic/superficial damage at best (see the shoulder pads), so Omega Red obviously isn't wearing something generic like steel. Logan has also never succeeded in damaging Omega Red's armor beyond this in any of their past encounters before, so I think carbonadium is the most plausible explanation for the armor's properties.

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The theory is further enforced in a similar showing, when Omega Red is slashed right in the chest by Lady Deathstrike (who also sports adamantium claws), and there is no discernible damage to his costume for the rest of the issue:

Pure conjecture, but the
Pure conjecture, but the "SHANG!" SFX makes me think of metal-on-metal contact.

In another one of their past encounters, Wolverine also notes that it's far easier to damage Omega Red since he's not wearing his armor during this particular battle, further implying that Arkady wears an armor that even Logan's claws have trouble getting past. Read the last panel:

No Caption Provided

And finally, the creme de la creme of my carbonadium armor argument, we have an actual panel where Omega Red states he wears carbonadium as he shrugs off gunfire! Now, granted, this is a nightmare that Maverick (a member of Team X, the black-ops squad that Logan and Sabretooth were on) had about a past mission where he encountered Arkady--this never actually happened per se. But I think all of this still provides pretty convincing evidence that Omega Red wears close to unbreakable armor:

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Why Omega Red Wins?

To summarize: Omega Red possesses extremely destructive offensive and defensive capabilities. In terms of offense, his death-factor is an AoE stealth attack that can defeat even characters with powerful healing factors, and allows Omega Red to effortlessly KO/kill his enemy without any physical exertion. Arkady also possesses his twin carbonadium coils, which he wields with superhuman precision and power, and these coils are not only indestructible for all intents and purposes, but are also radioactive and can neuter healing factors.

In terms of defense, Omega Red has life-absorption powers that allow him to steal the life-force from the victims of his death-factor. This effect is instantaneous, requiring no physical contact, and grants him a power-boost for his baseline superhuman physicals and healing factor. Arkady will always be getting stronger while his opponent gets weaker. Think: the Hulk, but worse. In addition, he also wears (presumably) carbonadium armor, which as previously discussed is nigh-impregnable, and guarantees that he can take an incredible amount of punishment from opponents far above his weight class.

Omega Red was designed to be the perfect killing machine, and you can see how his offensive and defensive powers have a symbiotic relationship, where they complement and augment one another. Given this information, I'm arguing that Omega Red will take a definitive majority over X-O Manowar.

Aric has no knowledge of Omega Red's capabilities, and given that it's a random encounter, I'm confident he'll rush headlong into the battle expecting overwhelming brute force to win the day. What makes this dangerous is that X-O will be easily beaten by Omega's first line of offense: the death-factor. Again, it's a stealth weapon with no warning and an almost-instantaneous effect. Omega Red only controls his death-factor with Logan because he enjoys toying with him (or against the X-Men, because his masters want them alive), but against an enemy with no shared history, there's really no reason why Omega Red won't amp up his pheromones. With no knowledge of Omega Red's powers, X-O will likely charge into the range of Arkady's spores, and before he realizes it--he'll be depowered and defeated.

You could argue that X-O Manowar's armor has countermeasures for the death-factor, but I'm arguing that Omega Red's element of surprise, coupled with Aric's personality, is what ensures Arkady will take this fight. With no knowledge of Omega Red, Aric is going to fall right into Arkady's trap, and be poisoned before he can respond. I understand Aric has mellowed a little since his At War With Unity days, but an in-character Aric will always take the "let's blast and stab the enemy until he drops" approach to battle as his first choice, especially if he's unfamiliar with his opponent. Aric's confidence in his armor and warrior capabilities will be his downfall.

In addition, don't forget about Omega Red's other myriad of powers. His life-absorption abilities guarantee that he'll constantly get stronger and more powerful as the battle goes on, while his undetectable death spores suck the life-force from Aric before the armor can sense it. Plus, Omega Red is also packing carbonadium coils and carbonadium armor--an arsenal that will definitely be able to hurt the Manowar armor. X-O's enhanced strength, energy sword, laser beams and missiles etc. will not be able to destroy Omega Red's ability to hurt Aric, while Arkady's armor and coils make him a real threat to X-O.

Now, I'm well aware that counterarguments could be made for my points (and believe me, I've got counters for all your counters too, buddy!), but for now my argument rests on 1) X-O Manowar's lack of knowledge of Omega Red's silent and speedy death-factor, 2) X-O Manowar's in-character tendency to get up close and personal during combat, 3) Omega Red's ability to constantly boost his physicals and heal himself via life-absorption, and 4) Omega Red's unbreakable offense and defense in the form of carbonadium.

And with that, I'll pass the mic over to you @higherpower.

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@veshark: Fantastic post, I'll try to follow suit.

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T4V, excellent opener

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Veshark is back? Awesome.

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Veshark debating in a CAV again against HigherPower?

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Definitely tag for votes!

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T4V.

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#13  Edited By HigherPower

Aric of Dacia — Champion of All Worlds

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I think I speak for all Battle Forum aficionados when I say this: Every once in a while, you stumble across that character. Someone complete with a stunning character design, an awesome power-set, an intriguing backstory, and to top it all off, their fair share of jaw-dropping visual feats. For me, X-O Manowar was that character. I was infatuated simply with the way his name rolled off my tongue. His combat prowess and conflicted outlook on life resonated deeply with me. So in this debate, I'll try to do Aric justice against the behemoth known as Omega Red, and hopefully persuade those who were kind enough to take their time and read this match as to why. Now, let's get a bio out of the way.

Aric of Dacia was a 5th century Visigoth warrior—a race of people subjugated to oppressive Roman rule. After a sound defeat in battle against the Romans, he launched a retaliatory campaign that was aimed at the rescue of Visigoth prisoners of war (among of which was his wife). Instead, Aric and his men were captured by a mysterious race of Aliens known as The Vine, and they were subsequently forced into slavery for several years. After planning a rebellion and stealing the sacred Shanhara armor of the Vine people, Aric became X-O Manowar and traveled back to Earth after 1600 years had passed on it.

Shanhara

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Shanhara is the name of the sentient suit of armor that Aric wears. It boasts formidable offensive capabilities and unassailable durability. The suit's versatility can not be overstated either. All in all, it's a box of tricks. Valiant Entertainment rebooted their entire universe in 2012, and started a new line of comics beginning with the Robert Venditti's X-O Manowar run.

One of the Shanhara armor's earliest feats in this run was X-O Manowar (2012) #3, where the armor was literally unscathed after tanking re-entry and a fall from orbit at above mach 10 speeds.

Gallery image 1Gallery image 2Gallery image 3Gallery image 4

The impact alone would have delivered way more force than any attack I've seen presented from Arkady. But let's pretend that's not enough. In addition to no-selling the heat of re-entry, Aric was able to fly straight through the heart of a red dwarf star with temperatures of 5800 kelvins (hotter/more energy than our Sun's surface). So heat and energy based attacks aren't working here either.

Gallery image 1Gallery image 2Gallery image 3Gallery image 4
X-O Manowar (2017) #14

Let's keep going. In another instance, we see Aric completely no-sell a missile from a Eurofighter Typhoon Military Jet and effortlessly one-shot said jet by bull rushing it.

Gallery image 1Gallery image 2Gallery image 3Gallery image 4Gallery image 5
X-O Manowar (2012) #4

The encounter ended with Aric actually destroying two of those jets.

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When you think about it, a bulk of Aric's feats inside Shanhara consist of no-selling heavy artillery and destroying aircraft or armored fighting vehicles. Like that time he nonchalantly one-shot a helicopter by flying through it...

X-O Manowar (2012) #4
X-O Manowar (2012) #4

..Or crushed a tank with a single punch.

X-O Manowar (2012) #19
X-O Manowar (2012) #19

Or destroyed not one, but two tanks with a single blast. Said blasts which he can spam.

Unity (2013) #1
Unity (2013) #1

And Aric is no slouch in the speed department either. Being bulletproof naturally means he opts to let people shoot at him, but every once in a while, he completes a cool feat like in Dead Drop #1 where he slices a bullet in half point blank after it was fired.

Dead Drop #1
Dead Drop #1

Speaking of slicing... Shanhara's energy sword is a handy asset that Aric consistently uses. With it, he's able to cut clean through reinforced steel cockpit doors like butter. Cockpit doors are completely bulletproof, by the way.

X-O Manowar (2012) #6
X-O Manowar (2012) #6

Unfortunately, Omega Red being clad in carbonadium armor kind of renders the butchering argument null. But Aric has plenty of other ways to put him down. Which leads me directly into my

Precursory Counters

Arkady's mutant ability to secrete pheromones that kill anyone within a certain proximity. His death-factor is able to eliminate most foes in mere seconds, but what makes it so potent is the fact that it's undetectable to the naked eye. Omega Red's pheromones are odorless and invisible, and most of his victims don't realize their life-force is being drained until it's too late. You can't fight a poison that you can't see, touch, taste, or otherwise sense.

I'm pretty sure Shanhara is more than capable of detecting lethal pheromones that have been excreted into the atmosphere. But even ignoring that, Shanhara was able to remove lethal poison (resulting from radiation) from Aric's system in seconds.

Gallery image 1Gallery image 2

And it's safe to assume this radiation was contracted both from Aric's trip through a star and from when he flew through a black hole using it's gravity as a slingshot pages before.

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So needless to say, it wasn't meager levels of radiation poisoning. I'm positive most of the people Arkady has affected with his death factor would immediately die if there were in this same condition (like Beast). Wolverine is the only reason your poison argument holds an ounce of weight. But at this point, death spores definitely aren't one-shotting Aric, and the moment Shanhara realizes the danger of being in close vicinity to Arkady, Aric will put some distance between them. Taking to the skies effectively makes death spores useless in their entirety, since their range has never been shown to affect anyone who can attack his opponents while hundreds of meters away.

But as deadly as the death-factor is, what makes it truly overpowered is the fact that it also boosts Omega Red's performance in battle. His death-factor not only steals life from his opponents, but also transfers their "life-force" to Arkady, amping his already-impressive power levels. As Omega Red himself explains to Jubilee in Panel 4 of this page:

Aric's abilities come from the Shanhara armor, which doesn't have a life-force. I mean, has Omega Red ever stolen "life" from inorganic objects? If not, I'm not seeing how this would even make sense. Not to mention, the Shanhara armor can counter-drain energy, and in much larger quantities. Even with an incompatible host (Gafti), Shanhara drained an entire fleet of Vine ships and no-sold the explosion that destroyed said fleet. Keep in mind there were over a dozen ships in that fleet, and all of them were larger than planes. So this doubles as a durability feat for the armor, another one of which proves that Arkady can't even hurt him based on the feats you've presented.

Gallery image 1Gallery image 2Gallery image 3Gallery image 4
X-O Manowar (2012) #10

despite all the times they've encountered Wolverine's claws and other 100-tonner superhumans, Omega Red's coils have never been damaged.

Coils penetrate multiple concrete floors up a parking deck, grab an est. 3-ton van, and then pull it down to ground level.

These are... pretty underwhelming. Shanhara should be tickled by the raw force of Arkady's carbonadium coils if this is their upper limit.

As if being indestructible, fast, and having a far reach wasn't enough, Omega Red's carbonadium coils are also inherently poisonous. Carbonadium has radioactive properties (as fellow Wolverine rogue Cyber once put it, carbonadium "eats you alive"), and it's also able to disrupt healing factors and prevent them from working entirely.

I think I've already given a viable counter for radiation and poisons, but regardless, Aric will eventually go aerial making both of Arkady's means of offense unavailing.

Aric has no knowledge of Omega Red's capabilities, and given that it's a random encounter, I'm confident he'll rush headlong into the battle expecting overwhelming brute force to win the day.

Red flag number one. I'm sure you could cite plenty of instances where Aric does exactly what you said he'll do and rush into CQC without forethought, but he was only prone to this kind of rash behavior while he was still a hot-blooded Visigoth warrior. Before getting accustomed to Shanhara, Aric was a primitive fighter. By his 2017 series, after growing to work in tandem with Shanhara, Aric wised up and rarely does this when encountering new opponent (unless they're fodder).

Furthermore, there are also plenty of instances where Aric doesn't... do that. Seriously though, what's stopping Aric from standing at a distance and just opening fire on Arkady when he sees him like so?

No Caption Provided

You don't actually have any proof to argue that Aric is more likely to rush into CQC and try to overpower Arkady than he is to just spam him down with blasts from the starting distance. Because he's done this quite a bit of times. So, the real question is, how many multi-tank busting blasts to the face can Arkady handle? Which I might add isn't even Shanhara's top damage output.

Now, I'm well aware that counterarguments could be made for my points (and believe me, I've got counters for all your counters too, buddy!), but for now my argument rests on 1) X-O Manowar's lack of knowledge of Omega Red's silent and speedy death-factor, 2) X-O Manowar's in-character tendency to get up close and personal during combat, 3) Omega Red's ability to constantly boost his physicals and heal himself via life-absorption, and 4) Omega Red's unbreakable offense and defense in the form of carbonadium.

Here's to hoping your counterarguments will be good enough (which I expect them to be).

  1. Both combatants have no knowledge here, so I'm assuming death spores are a starting move in all of Arkady's battles considering how hard you're pressing it. In the case that they are, it should be duly noted that the death spores can't one-shot Aric when we take into consideration Shanhara's natural countermeasure for poison and Aric's exposure to extremely lethal doses of poison and radiation already. I'm not arguing that Aric can resist it, but at best, it would take a few seconds for the spores to KO him, which is more than enough time for a supersonic-hypersonic character like Aric to withdraw a couple hundred meters into the sky at which point both spores and carbonadium coils are ineffective.
  2. After reading all his appearances after the relaunch, I can confidently say that the likelihood of Aric going into CQC is about as much as it is for him to blast Arkady. I don't think you should stake your chances of winning on a 50/50 chance. Because while Aric could try to beat him down up close, he could also just... not do that. And you'll pretty much be screwed if he keeps his distance, so you need a far more substantial argument because this one is hanging on a thread as it is.
  3. The armor can absorb energy from Arkady in turn.
  4. As pictured above, Aric can just blast you in your face, which doesn't seem to be protected by armor.

I have a pool of feats waiting to be brought to the light, so this is really just a sample of what X-O Manowar can do. I'll bring out the big guns accordingly as the debate progresses and try to back you into a corner, since I have an inkling that one of your trump cards (death spores) have already been used up. With that said, the floor is yours@veshark.

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Here's your routine tag that I've started to notice in all my CaVs :)

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#15  Edited By Veshark

Round Two

No Caption Provided

Aric’s Fighting Style

I’ll start my counterargument by addressing X-O Manowar’s fighting style, since that appears to be the first point of contention and will determine how the rest of this battle goes. Let me begin by saying this: Aric is a Visigoth. No matter how much experience with Shanhara he has gained, at the end of the day, he is still a warrior who values honorable combat over a clean and easy victory.

Which means his first combat option will always be going to the ground and starting with close-combat. I’ve also read (almost) all of X-O Manowar’s appearances since the VEI relaunch, and I can say with some degree of authority that this is an accurate assessment of the character.

Blades and open fields” are literally the Visigoth modus operandi of battle. I.e. close-quarters combat on the ground. Or, to quote X-O Manowar himself, “The ground is a Visigoth’s domain”:

Panel 5
Panel 5

Or, look at what Eternal Warrior (Valiant’s most-experienced fighter who has been fighting since the birth of humanity, who has trained Aric, and is familiar with Aric’s fighting style) has to say about X-O: “You’re used to fighting battles on a flat plain.”

Panel 2
Panel 2

Also:

Gallery image 1Gallery image 2

1. You say that X-O Manowar has “wised up” but this isn’t an issue of intellect, it’s an issue of fighting style and personality. In his first encounter with Ninjak, Aric repeatedly expresses his disdain for Ninjak’s use of stealth over direct combat, thinking it cowardly and dishonorable.

2. Or let’s listen to X-O Manowar’s opinions on archery, a.k.a. long-ranged combat and keeping your distance from the enemy (Panel 4, specifically).

CQC is how Aric has always fought his battles since the 5th century, and how he continues to fight today. Now, I realize that all those instances are pre-2017 Aric, and you claim that Aric doesn’t start with his CQC “by his 2017 series, after growing to work in tandem with Shanhara,” and that “Aric wised up and rarely does this when encountering new opponents.”

These claims are demonstrably false.

First off: Current Aric has been extremely reluctant to use Shanhara since the 2017 series. He lost faith in the armor (due to its radiation being a possible cause for his child’s death), and has used it sparingly throughout his 2017 series, showing open distrust for Shanhara. Aric doesn’t even use the full armor until eight issues into his series, so to suggest that current Aric somehow fights smarter because of increased combat synergy with Shanhara is inaccurate.

Secondly: Your claim that Current Aric fights differently and rarely starts with CQC when encountering new opponents is also untrue. Literally, in #8 of his ongoing, when he puts on the full armor for the first time in the 2017 series, how does he fight his new opponents? Does he keep his distance and beam-spam his enemies until they’re dead? No, X-O does what he always does: create a giant energy sword and charge for the closest bad guy.

Note how after charging straight for the war elephant, Aric goes straight to the ground--it's his natural instinct.
Note how after charging straight for the war elephant, Aric goes straight to the ground--it's his natural instinct.

Your feat of X-O shooting the Captain (who, by the way, is an entirely featless fodder character who lasts for all of four pages) doesn’t exactly disprove my point either. Does X-O take to the air and beam-spam the Captain from a distance? Or does he stay on the ground and remain in CQC range? Look at your feat: at that range, do you really think Aric is safe from Omega Red? Arkady can still evade or tank (superhuman durability, carbonadium armor, healing factor) the blast at that range; how many seconds do you think it’s going to take his death-factor to start affecting X-O Manowar with that minor gap between them?

With all the overwhelming evidence I’ve presented, can you really argue that an in-character X-O Manowar is going to keep his distance from the battle’s start, and simply fire on Omega Red for a safe range? Do you genuinely think that there’s still even a 50% chance X-O will “spam [Omega Red] down with blasts from the starting distance?”

X-O Manowar will not “keep his distance,” especially since he is not aware of Omega Red’s death-factor and has no idea of the threat that CQC with Arkady presents. It's just in the Visigoth's nature/character and innate fighting style. Aric will start off with ground-based close-ranged combat because that’s (almost) always his first move, and the death spores will take him out before he even has time to consider switching tactics.

The question isn’t “how many multi-tank-busting blasts to the face can Arkady handle?” The real question is: “How many seconds before X-O Manowar dies from Omega Red's death-factor?”

Which brings me neatly to my next counterargument…

Shanhara: Your Misconceptions

I’m going to begin countering Shanhara's capabilities by addressing the most glaring flaw in your argument; which to be frank, is a huge reach. Simply put:

Shanhara cannot absorb Omega Red’s life-force. Energy is not the same thing as life-force.

You argue that Omega Red has never stolen life from inorganic objects? I can easily flip that argument and ask: has Shanhara ever absorbed energy from organic objects? Is there a single showing where X-O Manowar uses the armor to steal the life from organic opponents the way that Omega Red does?

I can readily answer that: there isn’t, because the life-force of an organic lifeform is not the same thing as the energy source of a mechanical object. X-O has shown the ability to drain the energy from alien vessels and powered armor. He has never shown the ability to drain powers or energy from living opponents. This is X-O Manowar; not Rogue or Parasite we’re discussing.

I really don’t see why you would even claim this as a viable tactic for Aric. Now that I’ve already disproven three of your four concluding arguments, it's time to dismantle the last one:

Shanhara is not an inorganic object.

Omega Red’s death-factor is hardly my only trump card. Once more, with feeling! Shanhara is NOT an inorganic object.

Primer for the uninformed: Shanhara started life as an alien girl, who bonded with the Hara Vine plant through technology:

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In other words, Shanhara is a techno-organic hybrid of plant and technology with a sentient, living consciousness, as repeatedly noted throughout X-O Manowar’s various appearances:

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Shanhara is definitively stated to be composed of “plant, consciousness, and machine” and a “flora/fauna/machine hybrid.”I.e. the armor is not inorganic, i.e. the armor is a sentient being with a life-force, i.e. the armor itself can be drained by Omega Red.

And to really put the nail in the coffin: Omega Red’s death-factor has been proven to work against techno-organic hybrids. Here is Arkady sucking the life out of M.O.D.A.M., a hybrid of woman and machine. Note that M.O.D.A.M. explicitly states: “Organic functions failing" in Panel 4:

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In short, not only will Aric himself be drained of his life-force, but Shanhara itself will also be drained of its life-force. How will the armor use any countermeasures or protect Aric, when its own life-force is also being sucked away?

Don’t forget the kicker too: Omega Red’s life-absorption. Arkady will only get more powerful as Shanhara’s life-force is being drained (and judging by the plethora of feats you’ve posted, it’s a lot of power to gain). It takes only seconds for Omega Red’s death-factor to start working, so do you really think Aric can survive for long while his and his armor’s life-forces are both being drained, and he’s being pummeled by an amped Omega Red with indestructible coils?

Just to get a sense of what an amped Omega Red can do, let’s look at this encounter with Colossus:

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Colossus is a legitimate 100+ tonner who is absolutely dangerous in CQC, and he’s also bloodlusted/enraged in this encounter. But once Omega Red absorbs Colossus’ life-force, he’s able to penetrate Colossus’ skin with his bare hands.

This is Colossus we’re talking about: someone whose skin has tanked repeated hits from the likes of Juggernaut, Gladiator, and World War Hulk. With that context, what’s stopping Omega Red from doing the exact same thing to Aric and Shanhara?

Plus, Colossus’ life-force being drained also causes the X-Man to lose control of his powers. Omega Red not only possesses the capabilities of hurting the Shanhara armor through pure strength, he can also potentially turn off the Shanhara armor, making Aric even more vulnerable:

Note the last two panels
Note the last two panels

Don’t forget that unlike Colossus and Logan (both characters that Arkady enjoys toying with, and has individual shared history with), Omega Red has no reason to limit his death-factor with X-O Manowar. Plus, this showing features a starved and weakened Arkady who had been kept in captivity for an extended period of time, so Omega Red’s powers and fighting skills obviously weren’t at their peak here.

Also, don’t forget: no carbonadium armor here, either. This isn’t even Arkady in his combat prime!

Omega Red’s Capabilities

I think I’ve pretty much definitively proven that Omega Red’s death-factor possesses the power to not only affect Aric, but to also affect Shanhara and neuter the armor's capabilities as well. I’ve also shown that Omega Red’s life-absorption will grant him the power boost necessary to hurt X-O Manowar. But, just for emphasis, I want to reiterate that Arkady can hang with X-O long enough for his death-factor to kick in (which is what, a second or two at best?).

Now obviously, Omega Red can’t match X-O in pure physicals and brute force. No one’s saying that baseline Arkady is going around blowing up tanks and fighter jets. That said, let’s look at what baseline Omega Red can accomplish without using his life-absorption:

Strength: Knocks out Beast in a single hit, someone whose durability took a blow from World War Hulk without, y’know, dying instantly.

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Speed:

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1, 3. Fast enough to block bullets with his carbonadium coils.

2. Tags bullet-dodging Daredevil with a kick.

Stamina: Omega Red fights Wolverine for seventeen hours plus mileage with no apparent signs of fatigue.

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And as for durability, of course Arkady has his carbonadium armor in this battle, so showing any durability feats right now would probably be redundant. X-O Manowar’s weapons will be unable to penetrate the unbreakable carbonadium armor, a point that you yourself conceded in your opening post.

Oh, and as for your headshot argument:

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Yup, Omega Red—before his super-soldier enhancements—healed from a bullet to the head. So, that’s that.

Again, this is what Omega Red can do without using life-absorption. Considering that he’ll be absorbing Aric and Shanhara’s life-forces here, which will result in a massive stats increase while X-O Manowar is depowered and weakened, how long do you think it’ll take him to win this battle?

Why Omega Red Wins?

In summation:

  1. Close-Quarters Combat: I believe I've successfully proven that an in-character X-O Manowar is far more likely to begin this battle by engaging Omega Red in CQC on the ground. First, because it's not in-character for Aric to keep his distance, especially when combating non-flying opponents, and second because he's not aware of the danger of being in Arkady's presence. Which leads directly into the...
  2. Death-Factor: Omega Red's death-factor will be primed from the moment the battle starts. Again, essentially undetectable and instantly-effective; the death-factor will take mere seconds to affect Aric as well as Shanhara. Aric could be killed immediately, while Shanhara is depowered and unable to effectively defend its wearer. Omega Red's baseline physicals, fighting skills, and unbreakable coils/armor will be more than capable of combating X-O, long enough to buy the second or two Arkady needs for his death-factor to neuter Aric. In addition...
  3. Life-Absorption: There's still the final line of offense; assuming the death-factor doesn't already finish X-O Manowar off, an amped Omega Red will have more than enough time to kill Aric through brute force means before X-O can even think about getting some distance, or switching tactics. If he can hurt someone on Colossus' power-level, I have no doubt Omega Red will take a majority in this matchup.

And with that, I'll pass the mic back to you, @higherpower.

Also, tagging @lanternbatman, as requested.

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#17  Edited By HigherPower

Round 2 | The Comeback

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Great post, Veshark. I'll need to up the ante to match that quality, so this post will be divided into the following sections.

  1. Dissecting the Debate - Here I'll analyze the debate and the arguments used in order to set up my rebuttals.
  2. Exposing Falsehoods - In this section, I'll counter the relevant points discussed in the match and reassert my advantages.
  3. Conclusion - This will be a conclusive summary of the debate.

1.0 - Dissecting The Debate

So far, there have been three major things discussed in this debate.

These three topics were disclosed from the get-go. They are Aric's fighting style, Arkady's Death Spores, and Arkady's Life Absorption.

My opponent has argued these three things very well, but the problem is, they are not the only factors that will decided the match. These advantages were pressed because the specific scenario that my opponent laid out is the only feasible one where Omega Red has a chance of victory.

What do I mean by this? Well, no feats were posted for Omega Red in the departments of strength, destructive capacity, durability, or speed that compares to the showings presented for Aric. And the posted feats for Aric only reveal a fraction of his total capabilities. X-O Manowar is just way better on paper.

So here's the main point: My opponent has stressed that he thinks it's far more likely for Manowar to start the battle with CQC than anything else, which is fine, I'll concede that point to him. Mostly because I stated this in my opener-

I'm sure you could cite plenty of instances where Aric does exactly what you said he'll do and rush into CQC without forethought

-and my mistake was simply underestimating the amount of times Aric has actually done that. It is of no consequence in the actual debate at hand, and there are multiple reasons why-

  • X-O Manowar is faster than Omega Red. Aric can fly at supersonic-hypersonic speeds, so at the default starting distance, he will close the gap between himself and Arkady faster than the latter can perceive. Once within CQC range, Aric can decapitate Arkady with his sword (his armor does not protect that area) or drop him with energy blasts, beat him to a pulp physically like we've seen people do to him before.
  • Speed matters here because Omega Red does not always start fights with Death Spores or Life Absorption. The spores are not excreted ability passively (if it was then people would just be passing out left and right around him all the time), meaning he needs to consciously activate the ability for it to take effect and release the spores. I'm not arguing Aric blitzing since Arkady is a bullet timer (though I would argue that cutting a bullet in half point blank requires better speed, accuracy, and precision than blocking them from meters away), but I don't think Arkady can "hang" with Aric long enough for death spores to kick in, since the time-frame will be more than 1-2 seconds and Aric can effectively one-shot him.

Even when Aric is in CQC range, it is actually not out-of-character for him to open fights by spamming energy blasts. This was one of the first things he did when he donned Shanhara for the first time on the Vine ship.

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You posted zero energy durability feats for Arkady, and Carbonadium is nowhere near as indestructible/durable as Adamantium per Arkady's own statement...

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So you can't scale the two effectively at all, even if you think they're comparable. I've already showed a single one of Aric's casual, nonchalant blasts one-shotting two tanks. You are legit going to get blasted here and killed, which I will have an ample opportunity to do because of my third bullet point:

  • Like I said previously, there are numerous instances that show Arkady's opening move is NOT his Death Factor. This truth alone seals your fate. Your entire argument is dependent on Arkady OPENING this match with his Death Factor, when he does that FAR less than he opens with his Carbonadium coils. I want to capitalize on something you said in your post:

But, just for emphasis, I want to reiterate that Arkady can hang with X-O long enough for his death-factor to kick in (which is what, a second or two at best?).

A second or two? Seriously? The only time I've seen Arkady take out an opponent in a second using Death Spores (on a random encounter) was against complete fodder. As a matter of fact, let's run down the list of notable fights Omega Red has been in where Death Factors weren't activated as an opening move, much less "a second or two".

1. X-Men Vol. 2 #18 - A Skinning of Souls Part Two: The Crops Mature

The beginning of this issue sees Omega Red take on the Skinner of Souls, a Russian mutant with psychic powers. After resisting a mental probe from SoS, Arkady combats him, and the first thing he does is attack him with his tentacles. This is confirmed by what we literally see on-panel and Arkady saying himself, "Perhaps a taste of my Carbonadium coils will shut you up".

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Judging from the dialogue alone (and taking into account how easily Skinner of Souls TP'd him after Arkady's advances) I'd say more than one second passed after the match started, and Arkady opened with Carbonadium instead of Death Spores.

But that's not all. Later in that issue, Arkady encounters Cyclops, Jubilee, Psylocke and Wolverine and he opens the fight again by attacking them with Carbonadium tentacles. The scene then cuts to Red Square Moscow where officials are playing "games of chance" per narration, before cutting to Nyoirin ancestral home outside of a suburban prefecture in Tokyo, and then finally cutting back to OR's fight with the X-Men. Arkady only deploys his death factor after the appearance of Ice Man, so this was well after the match had begun.

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Everyone, do yourselves a favor and actually read these scans... In both of these fights, was Death Factor secreted immediately when the match started? Did his opponents get GG'd and drop like flies before even having a chance to attack once? Not even close, but wait—there's more!

2. Generation X #10 - Death Wail: Part 1

Here Arkady ambushes Generation X, attacking them with his coils. This was also the first thing he did, as we see him do it and he said "Greetings, Generation X" moments after wrapping Chamber with it.

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Arkady eventually used Death Spores to down the other members of Generation X, but I think I have once again proved that it wasn't deployed within a second, nor was it his opening move.

Remember, Aric only needs to blast Arkady once to win here.

3. Cable #9 - The Killing Field, Part 1: In Humanity

Towards the beginning of this issue, we see Magneto's Acolytes searching for Omega Red in the sewers of London. After following a trail of his victims, Katu calls out for Omega Red, and surprise surprise, Arkady's opening move was to ensnare Katu in his tentacles. He did not secrete Death Spores in one or two seconds after laying eyes on him.

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And I know what you might say. "But later in the issue Arkady opened with Death Spores when he met Cable". He did secrete it immediately, but it wasn't for Cable, it was for Moira the genetics expert, who—as far as I'm aware—is a regular human. Remember how you tried to imply Manowar's feat of immediately shooting someone in the face wasn't worth much because it was against the Captain, a fodder character? Yeah, that logic doesn't feel so nice on the receiving end does it?

And now that we're on the topic of his encounter with Cable, let's see how Arkady actually fights him...

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*Pretends to be shocked*

Yup. Omega Red abused his tentacles and went for h2h the whole time, despite the fact he was literally shown using Death Spores to down someone a page earlier.

4. X-Men: Gold #10 - En'kane Part 1

In the first couple pages here, we see Arkady open with his coils against a poor victim...

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I like this next one because Arkady basically doesn't use Death Factor at all.

5. X-Men: Gold #11 - En'kane Part 2

Omega Red surprise attacks Old Man Logan and Kitty Pride, opening with his Carbonadum coils.

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They are then reinforced by the other X-Men, including Storm and Prestige, and all four of them surround Arkady and attack him at the same time. Their positions presented a perfect opportunity to secrete Death Spores, but all Arkady used against them was his coils.

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Even when he went toe to toe with OML later, literally all he does is abuse his tentacles.

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Then Arkady just got pounded by Logan.

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Arkady losing to Old Man Logan in a straight-up brawl is actually a pretty hilarious anti-feat for him, considering he was amped on Magik's energy at the time. (I acknowledge that this is a low showing so don't get your panties in a twist :P)

6. X-Men Vol. 2 #6 - Further Still

Arkady opens with a punch against Beast the moment he sees him, then attacks Scott with Carbonadium coils before then releasing his Death Spores. This again shows that he starts with something other than Death Spores.

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7. Weapon X Vol. 3 #17 - Sabretooth's In Charge: Part One

At the beginning of the issue, Omega Red opens with Carbonadium tentacles when he ambushed two Russian mutants named Lev and Tamara.

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Later in the issue however, Warpath and Domino walked into a room with mutants hanging suspended from the ceiling, and soon thereafter they were weakened by Death Spores.

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But there is a major problem that invalidates using this as a counter instance. That is Warpath's statement.

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"Omega Red's pheromones have infected this place".

This means one of two things.

  1. Arkady deployed death spores before anyone walked into the room, acting as a trap. It wouldn't apply here since he has no prep or knowledge and this is a random encounter.
  2. Arkady deployed death spores after Warpath and Domino entered, but also after he surprised attacked them with Carbonadium, which falls in line with everything I've been saying that Death Spores aren't deployed within a second nor are they an opening move.

This will also make the second time that I'm acknowledging Death Spore pheromones were used to affect people pretty much on sight in one of the issues I've cited, so I don't wanna see jack about cherry picking instances. Unfortunately for you, you can't use either of them to corroborate your argument.

8. Wolverine: Origins #36 - Weapon XI, Pt. 4

Omega Red ambushes an off-guard Logan, and instead of using his Death Spores to weaken him beforehand, he decides to confront him with Carbonadium coils straight up.

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The fight was pretty extensive, and now that I think about it, he didn't secrete Death Spores at all.

9. Uncanny X-Men (1963) #498 - 'X-Men Divided: Part Four

Arkady starts with Carbonadium coils as he approaches Logan and Piotr down a corridor.

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10. Uncanny X-Men (1963) #499 - 'X-Men Divided: Part Five

In the issue immediately after, Omega Red fights Wolverine and Colossus together, starting the match strictly with Carbonadium coils.

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11. Wolverine: Origins (2006) #7 - 'Savior Part Two'

Can you guess what Arkady opens up with against Wolverine in this issue?

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A few issues later in the comic he does it again. Strictly tentacles.

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Wolverine Origins (2006) #12

12. X-Factor #138 - Fear Walks Amongst Us

Sabretooth's match with Omega Red in this issue was an infamous one most have committed to memory. Of course, the relevant thing here is that Arkady opened the match with Carbonadium coils.

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But his Death Factor was also pretty much no-sold and he got bodied physically. Victor sent Arkady running with his tail between his legs.

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13. Iron Man Vol. 1 #296-297 'Trade War' and 'Whipsaw'

Opens with Carbonadium coils when he sees MODAM, making this a big one because he was out to get her for revenge based on a betrayal many years ago.

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He had another encounter with MODAM and Iron Man later in the issue, and he again chose to open that confrontation with his tendrils.

14. Maverick #11 - Red Reign, Part 2: Raising The Stakes / Exposed

Arkady yet again opens with his Carbonadium coils against Chris, while searching fervently for the C-synthesizer.

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15. Quicksilver (1997) #8-9

Opens with his coils against The Knights of Wundugar in Quicksilver #8.

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In the following issue, he opens with coils again and fights with them strictly without even using life drain or spores.

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16. Wolverine Vol. 2 #174 - The Logan Files Part 2

Opens with Carbonadium against Logan, despite the fact he knows Death Factor works, and Wolverine yanks his coils to pull him down.

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I think I'll wrap it up here for now, because-

The focus of the debate has shifted.

Before, I was scrambling to try and find counters to Death Factor (which I have plenty of, by the way) but I think I have proved beyond a reasonable doubt that Arkady is more than likely to open the match with Carbonadium coils here.

I have cited more than 20 instances across 16 comics that disprove the notion of Arkady secreting his pheromones within "one or two seconds" of the match. And there are several more that I could bring up.

I'm not saying that Death Factor isn't in-character for Arkady to use. Don't get it twisted, he uses them quite frequently. I just think the way Veshark described the progression of the battle to be very unrealistic.

In order to prove that Arkady is more likely to secrete Death Spores as an opening move (before absolutely anything else) and take out an opponent in a second or two than he is to use his Carbonadium, you'll need to cite more instances than I have of him doing just that. And if he has preparation, you already know it wouldn't count.

Additionally, Veshark stressing the fact that Aric is more likely to go for CQC at the beginning of the match has worked terribly well against him.

Aric decapitated a man without hesitation in his first appearance after the relaunch, during a Visigoth battle with the Romans.

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And as Veshark said himself in his opener:

Aric will always take the "let's blast and stab the enemy until he drops" approach to battle as his first choice, especially if he's unfamiliar with his opponent

And then said this in your rebuttal post:

X-O does what he always does: create a giant energy sword and charge for the closest bad guy.

So you literally can't argue against the fact that Aric slicing and dicing with his sword/firing blasts being a pretty consistent first move for him. If Aric cuts his head off like he tried to do to Ninjak (or straight down the middle from the crown of his head) and has done to an opponent, Arkady will die.

A single energy blast would also suffice. Some of his feats are pretty ludicrous.

2.0 - Exposing Falsehoods

In terms of defense, Omega Red has life-absorption powers that allow him to steal the life-force from the victims of his death-factor. This effect is instantaneous, requiring no physical contact, and grants him a power-boost for his baseline superhuman physicals and healing factor.

This is blatantly false. As far as I can remember, Arkady's life absorption requires the physical contact of his Carbonadium coils. There are multiple instances of this. Like when he drained this girl in X-Men Gold #10 (re-posted for convenience)

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And when he drained another guy later that issue.

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Also when he was draining Sabretooth.

In addition to when he drained Colossus...

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..and pretty much every time he's drained someone's life force.

Aric has no knowledge of Omega Red's capabilities, and given that it's a random encounter, I'm confident he'll rush headlong into the battle expecting overwhelming brute force to win the day. What makes this dangerous is that X-O will be easily beaten by Omega's first line of offense: the death-factor.

Aric can stomp Arkady based on the durability feats you've presented, and Arkady's first line of defense is not consistently his death factor. Unless, of course, you can prove he releases spores to open matches more often than he does his tendrils.

Plus, Omega Red is also packing carbonadium coils and carbonadium armor--an arsenal that will definitely be able to hurt the Manowar armor.

Based on what though? In terms of raw force, Shanhara has been shown delivering and withstanding more than 100 tons of power. Like when Aric bullrushed through a commercial plane, one-shotting it and coming out unscathed.

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Unity (2013) #7

Do you think Arkady can deliver more force than the impact of something that weighs several hundred tons and is moving at supersonic speed? If so, you certainly haven't shown the feats to support it.

The question isn’t “how many multi-tank-busting blasts to the face can Arkady handle?” The real question is: “How many seconds before X-O Manowar dies from Omega Red's death-factor?”

No, the question is still the former. Aric is still starting with either a blast or his sword, while Arkady isn't starting with the death-factor.

So can you answer the question? How many can he take?

Shanhara cannot absorb Omega Red’s life-force. Energy is not the same thing as life-force.

You argue that Omega Red has never stolen life from inorganic objects? I can easily flip that argument and ask: has Shanhara ever absorbed energy from organic objects?

Alright, I'll give this to you because Shanhara has never actually done that to someone in a match. And my mistake for saying she was inorganic. That being said, it's not needed to win here.

And to really put the nail in the coffin: Omega Red’s death-factor has been proven to work against techno-organic hybrids. Here is Arkady sucking the life out of M.O.D.A.M., a hybrid of woman and machine. Note that M.O.D.A.M. explicitly states: “Organic functions failing" in Panel 4:

In short, not only will Aric himself be drained of his life-force, but Shanhara itself will also be drained of its life-force. How will the armor use any countermeasures or protect Aric, when its own life-force is also being sucked away?

Just to get a sense of what an amped Omega Red can do, let’s look at this encounter with Colossus:

Colossus is a legitimate 100+ tonner who is absolutely dangerous in CQC, and he’s also bloodlusted/enraged in this encounter. But once Omega Red absorbs Colossus’ life-force, he’s able to penetrate Colossus’ skin with his bare hands.

This is Colossus we’re talking about: someone whose skin has tanked repeated hits from the likes of Juggernaut, Gladiator, and World War Hulk. With that context, what’s stopping Omega Red from doing the exact same thing to Aric and Shanhara?

I think this is where I'll elucidate my counterargument for Death Factor in general.

Death Factor is inconsistent.

Death Spores are generally the bigger culprit in how they affect Wolverine and people who have comparable healing to him like Sabretooth (who ignored it). They also have a few weaknesses I'll go over.

1. In the same issue where Omega Red's vaunted showing against Colossus took place, Arkady was knocked out by being dropped from mid air by Nightcrawler, AFTER having already drained Piotr and gaining his amp.

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For comparison, the very first feat I posted for Aric in my opener was him no-selling a fall from orbit and landing at over mach 10 speeds...

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2. Monet ignored Arkady's life drain.

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3. Maverick was able to fight back effectively despite being ensnared in Arkady's coils which were draining him.

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In conjunction with Monet, this supports my theory that stuff like Life Drain is really only an instant one-shot against fodder. I mean look at those scans. A few pages earlier, Arkady was one-shotting people on contact with his coils' life drain. But Maverick was able to hold onto them extensively and actually threw him over a cliff using it, defeating him. Monet did the same thing. Colossus was able to move after it was used on him as well (the main takeaway from the encounter with Colossus was Arkady's buff and the fact it worked so well against Piotr at all) , as was Cyclops, Katu, Cable, Sabretooth, Wolverine, MODAM, Iron Man, and a shitload of other characters I can name drop to prove my point.

So Arkady definitely isn't winning this match the way you portrayed, and Omega Red's high showings are balanced out by multiple inconsistenties and his low showings.

4. Death Spores can be countered by a simple gas mask.

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5. And the spores are highly flammable.

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These two things spell really bad news for you. Aric can breath in space using Shanhara, and him firing a blast causes explosions. Even when it doesn't, look at the scan where he shot the head off the Captain and you'll see the flames.

6. Arkady's life drain was stated by Wolverine to only be temporary and effective only when he has ready access to large amounts of people.

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7. As far as combat is concerned, this isn't an inconsistency nor is it necessarily a weakness (and most people with knowledge of Arkady know this) but Arkady's abilities are very detrimental to him. I'll let Chamber explain.

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I think I've proved that for one, Death Spores aren't doing jack shit here (if Arkady even chooses to use them before getting blasted), and while Life Drain from Arkady is consistently very lethal, there are a plethora of instances where characters who been touched by Arkady's coils while they were draining weren't instantly one-shot.

Even in situations where the ability does work right away, characters are still conscious and capable of moving. The magnitude of the buff Arkady gets from Life Drain varies greatly as well, even though it's supposed to be proportionate with the character he's affecting.

The showing with Colossus is an undoubted high end, one that is called into question further when you realize that pages later, Nightcrawler knocked him out by dropping him from meters in the air, something that shouldn't even be conceivable since he gained a proportionate strength + durability boost from draining Colossus.

So that showing is definitely inconsistent, and subtracting that, Veshark doesn't have anything in his arsenal capable of taking X-O Manowar down before Aric fires a blast/cuts his head open.

Knocks out Beast in a single hit, someone whose durability took a blow from World War Hulk without, y’know, dying instantly.

You really couldn't find another durability showing for Beast to at least make it look like you aren't comparing Arkady to WWH? You sense of consistency seems very off.

X-O Manowar’s weapons will be unable to penetrate the unbreakable carbonadium armor, a point that you yourself conceded in your opening post.

I said Aric probably wouldn't be able to cut through the armor. Arkady has been damaged with physical force below what Aric can dish out plenty of times through his armor.

Shall I run down another list?

Yup, Omega Red—before his super-soldier enhancements—healed from a bullet to the head. So, that’s that.

All that scan said was he survived his execution, and people have survived bullet shots to the head before. There's no time-frame for how long it took to heal (if he did on his own), so this isn't really a combat applicable showing. As far as I'm aware, an energy sword going through his face would still do the trick.

3.0 - Conclusion: Why Omega Red Wins? Dies.

Everyone, take a second and look at Veshark's conclusion.

He basically views this to be a three step match. 1) Aric closes the distance, 2) Arkady releases Death Spores and downs him, 3) Life drain gg.

Veshark stated in his opener that "Aric will always take the "let's blast and stab the enemy until he drops" approach to battle as his first choice, especially if he's unfamiliar with his opponent" so that's exactly what I'll argue him doing here.

If Aric fires a blasts at Arkady like he's done so many times before, the highly flammable Death Spores will be taken out of commission, as would Arkady who doesn't have the energy durability feats to suggest he can tank this barrage.

As for Life Drain, it is inconsistent and many characters have swung the coils like ropes to do damage to Arkady. X-O Manowar is also at least a multi-dozen tonner in terms of lifting strength, seeing as he was able to lift part of this enormous alien ship.

Gallery image 1Gallery image 2

Arkady has a crap ton of showings against blunt force that prove beyond a reasonable doubt that Aric can do some serious hurt to him.

All in all, I think Veshark backed himself into a corner by overplaying his strengths. He knows full and well what Aric and Shanhara are capable of having read all their apperances after the relaunch, but now that I have read a majority of Arkady's showings, I have more than enough evidence saved to prove that Death Factor's many inconsistencies and bad track record work against him here.

Death Spores being flammable and unable to bypass a simple gas mask is honestly an extremely fatal blow for Veshark. Life Drain is cool when he uses it against complete fodder and whatnot, but the instances with Monet, Cyclops, Katu, Cable, Sabretooth, Wolverine, MODAM, Iron Man +numerous others don't help your case here. In fact, they hurt it.

I think the scenario you've laid out for Arkady winning is wishful thinking. He is NOT opening with Death Spores, and he's never, ever taken out anyone near comparable to X-O Manowar in a matter of seconds, while Manowar on the other hand has the firepower to do so, and you pretty much argued he'd attempt to.

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@lanternbatman: @veshark: Sorry for the long wait, my post is finally complete.

I'll make a few minor edits here and there for grammar and formatting, but other than that, the floor is yours.

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#21  Edited By Veshark

Round Three

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1: Dissecting the Debate

1.1: X-O Manowar’s Speed

To allow our voters to follow the debate more easily, I’m going to use the same format to disprove your points. To clarify, I’m not arguing for a specific scenario where Omega Red has a chance of victory. I’m arguing for the most-likely scenario based on Omega Red and X-O Manowar’s powers, as well as their fighting styles and personalities—and that’s a scenario that Arkady wins with a solid majority.

No one here is disagreeing that X-O Manowar is better physicals-wise. He’s obviously stronger with greater damage output etc. But what I am saying is that given Omega Red’s unique powers—which have historically allowed him to fight and defeat physically-superior opponents—as well as X-O’s tendency to rely on CQC and brute force, Arkady holds all the key advantages in this battle.

If Omega Red was fighting an opponent with a non-biological armor that was immune to the death-factor, or someone who knows how to fight smart and keep his distance (e.g. Tony Stark), then Arkady would be screwed here. But this is X-O Manowar we’re discussing: a literal barbarian in techno-organic armor.

Not to use ABC logic, but given Omega Red has out-fought opponents with similar or superior physicals to X-O Manowar such as Colossus, Iron Man, and Luke Cage—why would Aric be any different? To state that “X-O Manowar is just way better on paper” is an empty statement that adds absolutely nothing to your argument. Colossus is technically “way better on paper” than Omega Red (or even X-O, for that matter), and yet Arkady has trounced him more than once.

You've already conceded that X-O Manowar will begin this battle with CQC, which I will stress again is an immediate advantage to Omega Red, given the undetectable close-range nature of his death-factor and life-absorption. To state that this is a fact of no consequence is a flawed argument, and if your only counterargument is speed, then I’m afraid I have news for you, buddy.

Fact: X-O Manowar is not faster than Omega Red. Granted, Aric has superior travel speed with his flight, but he does not move or operate at that level in combat. You’re making it sound as though X-O can close the gap faster than Arkady can perceive and one-shot him, but multiple opponents with far slower speed than Omega Red have kept up with Aric. That’s before I even point out that Aric is not a combatant who relies on superior speed to win.

Now, before you mention X-O cutting a bullet in half again (which, for the record, is a massive outlier for Aric), allow me to remind you that in that very same issue of Dead Drop, Aric spent the entire issue unable to catch a fleeing teenager with zero superhuman abilities:

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X-O came close several times but he still failed to catch the girl before Neville (head of MI6, think: Valiant's Nick Fury) told him to stand down. You could argue there were complications that slowed him such as civilians, but those should hardly be obstacles to someone as powerful as Aric. And in that same issue, said teenager was also able to snatch a vial containing a virus from a distracted X-O Manowar’s grasp before he could even react:

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So, to suggest that X-O somehow moves faster than Omega Red is a laughable argument when he could barely keep up with an unpowered child using parkour. If you want to use X-O’s high showings, you can’t just ignore his low showings from the same issue either. Also, you seem to be forgetting that this is Omega Red we’re discussing, aka a Wolverine villain.

Logan is a highly-experienced combatant who regularly fights at FTE speed, and a bullet-timer who is arguably in the Top 10 most-skilled fighters in the Marvel U. And Omega Red keeps up with him and kicks his ass on a regular basis. This is before I even bring up the fact that Omega Red has tagged and tangled with opponents with far superior reflexes to Aric, such as Sabretooth and Daredevil.

To suggest that X-O Manowar is fast enough to one-shot Omega Red is a ridiculous notion (you're basically arguing for a speedblitz, frankly), and to suggest that Aric can one-shot Arkady in the 1-2 seconds before the death-factor kicks in is an illogical lowballing of Omega Red’s capabilities; as well as his combat speed, fighting skill and overall intelligence.

X-O Manowar is stronger and has greater damage output, but to state that Aric is faster than Omega Red is an inaccurate claim. Arkady is not just going to stand there and allow Aric to decapitate, blast, or strike him unchallenged.

1.2: Omega Red’s Durability

I won’t bury the lead here: Omega Red is strong enough to take X-O Manowar’s energy blasts. The only reason why I didn’t post any energy-durability feats for Arkady is because I didn’t think that would be the sole crux of your argument, but since you’re asking, I’ll oblige:

Here is Omega Red taking a full-power blast from a bloodlusted Chamber:

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And here’s Omega Red doing the exact same thing again, later in the issue:

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Not only was Omega Red able to endure these attacks, and that Chamber needed to essentially BFR Omega Red in order to win, but Arkady's carbonadium armor remained entirely undamaged. For those unfamiliar with Chamber, this is someone whose energy blasts were able to stand up to the freakin' Juggernaut:

Gallery image 1Gallery image 2

Now granted, he didn’t stop the Juggernaut, but 1) considering just how much more powerful Juggernaut is compared to X-O Manowar, and 2) considering Chamber’s energy blasts were not only able to make Cain yell in pain (Page 1, Panel 5) but also able to make Cain exert physical effort and admit that Chamber's output was “not *pant* bad”—I’d say that’s miles ahead of anything you’ve shown for Aric’s energy output so far.

And while we’re discussing carbonadium, allow me to address your point on Omega Red’s armor too. While you are right that it’s not as indestructible as adamantium (a point that I mentioned repeatedly in my posts; to not misinform voters), it has shown greater durability than anything X-O Manowar’s attacks have penetrated. Not to mention that it's literally never been seriously damaged throughout Arkady's entire publishing history. I’ve already shown the armor’s durability against energy-projection…

And here's its durability against blunt-force versus Iron Man, an opponent with far greater strength feats than anything X-O Manowar has ever displayed…

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And against bladed attacks from weapons far sharper than X-O’s energy sword (not to state the obvious, but adamantium blades obviously have far greater piercing output than anything Aric can feasibly replicate)…

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Again, I just want to stress that the carbonadium armor has never sustained any outstanding damage if any of these encounters. Barring a few minor cosmetic scratches from Logan’s adamantium claws in their Vutluga prison fight (see: my first post), Omega Red’s armor has never been harmed. You're right that it's not as strong as adamantium, but hey, it's definitely strong enough to protect Arkady from Aric.

Or, to quote your own opening post: "Unfortunately, Omega Red being clad in carbonadium armor kind of renders the butchering argument null."

With that information in mind, can you still sincerely argue that X-O Manowar can “effectively one-shot” Arkady? Are you really going to argue that a tank’s armor is even comparable to near-unbreakable carbonadium? I’d even argue that Omega Red’s armor grants him comparable durability to X-O, given that Shanhara breaks apart against far less impressive damage output…

Bloodshot blasts him with a makeshift bazooka, and Shanhara falls apart and needs time to
Bloodshot blasts him with a makeshift bazooka, and Shanhara falls apart and needs time to "repair"...

…While Arkady’s carbonadium armor has never sustained any significant visual damage in any of his appearances.

1.3: Omega Red’s Opening Move

The gaping hole in your argument here is the fact that you’re blatantly ignoring the context for most of these showings, which betrays your lack of knowledge of Omega Red as a character. You’re basically making an argument of confirmation bias here, e.g. only including the facts that support your point, rather than looking at the showings objectively.

Allow me to break your arguments down one by one:

X-Men Vol. 2 #18:

You urge our voters to read the actual scans, but have you even read the actual issue yourself? I’ll state the obvious here since you clearly haven’t: Omega Red is being mind-controlled by the Skinner of Souls here.

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Read the pages again—carefully, this time. Cyclops explicitly states that, “That’s not Arkady! He’s being controlled by whatever force [The Skinner] has co-opted this town!” Not to mention, when Psylocke tries to TP Omega Red, she finds that her TP doesn’t work as “there’s no mind left to slice open.”

Given this is a mind-controlled Omega Red who is not in control of his body or his abilities, with no active consciousness of his own, are you really going to use this as an instance of what an in-character Omega Red would do in a random encounter?

Oh, and as for Arkady’s battle with the Soul-Skinner, there are two obvious points that you’ve failed to mention:

1: The battle did not start with that first page. In the previous issue (#17), the Russian officials specifically note that Omega Red has been missing for 48 hours. I.e., the battle has been going on for an indeterminate amount of time, and Arkady could easily have used his death-factor in the beginning. You can’t use this showing as proof that the death-factor isn’t Omega Red’s first move, if you can’t even show me how the battle began.

Panel One
Panel One

2: What further supports my counter-point is that Omega Red’s battle with the Skinner is a psychic battle. The Skinner of Souls does not have the physical capabilities to fight Arkady; his green form is merely a psychic manifestation, and he’s just an ordinary Russian man in the real-world. This entire fight is in Omega Red’s head, ergo Arkady could have used his death-factor but found that there was no effect on a psychic hallucination.

Look at the next issue, when the Skinner fights Colossus. Again, that’s not a physical manifestation of Skinner overpowering Piotr; it’s all an illusion. In short, why would Omega Red use his death-factor against a psychic illusion?

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Generation X #10:

I don’t see the point you’re trying to make here. This is a terrible example for an argument that Omega Red doesn’t use his death-factor as an opening move. Again, you’ve neglected to assess the proper context of the showing.

Arkady starts the battle by grabbing Chamber with a carbonadium coil because he knows his death-factor can’t affect a being of energy. Not the entire Generation X team, as you falsely claim. He eliminates the only opponent that his death-factor can’t touch by throwing him into the nearby river as his first move, because he already has knowledge of his opponent's capabilities from stalking the team for weeks:

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And after that, what does Omega Red do? He proceeds to immediately use his death-factor and knocks out the entire Generation X team in seconds:

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Note what Omega Red specifically states here: “Still alive, Chamber? I’d hoped the river would have done what my mutant death spore virus could not!” Omega Red knew that his death-factor would not affect Chamber, and that’s the only reason why his opening move was to use his carbonadium coils to throw Chamber into the river, thus essentially BFRing him.

Again, your interpretation of this scan is wrong and misleading. And again, X-O Manowar cannot one-shot Omega Red. Let’s move on:

Cable #9:

I want to point out that I’ve mentioned multiple times throughout both of my previous posts that Omega Red does not start with his death-factor against opponents that he has past history with, whose capabilities he has preexisting knowledge of, and whom he enjoys toying with. X-O Manowar is none of these things.

The only reason why Omega Red didn’t bother to use his death-factor on Katu Kath is because he knows that the Acolyte is not a threat. The last time they fought, Omega Red ripped both his arms off with zero effort:

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So why would he instantly use his one-shot ability when it’s hardly a battle, against an opponent that he enjoys toying with because of past history?

As for the Cable fight, again: read the scans. Why would you fail to point out that Omega Red is clearly toying with Cable here, and is not taking this fight seriously? What does Arkady specifically say in the first scan you posted:

Panel Five
Panel Five

“There will be no fight, stranger. For such an encounter can only occur between equals. And you are not mine.”

Omega Red is not taking this fight seriously, he is clearly toying with Cable. Not to mention that Cable was bed-ridden and already in a weakened state, a fact that Omega Red readily acknowledged. So, again I ask, why would he bother using the death-factor against an opponent that he can easily crush in H2H?

Also, your comparison of Omega Red's Moira instance to X-O Manowar's Captain instance is entirely disingenuous. You used your feat to argue that X-O Manowar could just “blast [Arkady] in the face,” as if comparing a featless fodder character to someone with Omega Red’s speed and fighting skill was equitable.

I not only did not bring up the Moira showing, but if you want to use that as an example of Omega Red’s death-factor, you’re also willfully ignoring all the far superior showings I’ve already posted, such as Arkady knocking out Wolverine in seconds with his death-factor.

In short, your logic is flawed and those two are not remotely the same thing...

X-Men Gold #10/11:

Same thing here: it’s a defenseless Russian civilian girl, and Omega Red enjoys toying with his victims (y’know, being a serial killer who takes pleasure in killing little girls). Why would he bother using his death-factor against an unarmed, unpowered, untrained child again?

Not to mention, I could just as easily flip your argument and use this showing as proof that Arkady does use the death-factor as his opening move. After all, he's only attacking the girl with his coils in order to...absorb her life-force via his death-factor.

As for the fight in #11, what’s there for me to debunk, you’ve acknowledged in your own post that this is a low showing for Omega Red. Not only is it a low showing, but I’d go as far as to label it a clear case of PIS. If you look at the plethora of feats I’ve already provided, you can objectively tell that this is just poor writing.

You’re telling me that Omega Red, who has repeatedly used his death-factor against teams of mutants while boasting about its potency, is going to fight the X-Men (most of whom he has never encountered before, e.g. Storm, Shadowcat, Prestige etc.) and not use his death-factor even once?And you’re going to agree that Old Man Logan can trounce Arkady, when Omega Red has already beaten the far superior 616-Wolverine multiple times? Right.

And you’re saying this is good/accurate writing and legitimate proof for your point that Omega Red does not start his battles with the death-factor? I’m confused as to why you even thought this showing was worth mentioning.

Not exactly strengthening your argument there, buddy.

X-Men v2 #6:

I’ll be brief with this one since it seems rather self-explanatory:

1: Omega Red’s fought these particular X-Men before: Arkady knows that they’re not a threat and he’s just toying with the X-Men. He's not treating this as a serious battle. Again, he has preexisting knowledge of their abilities, so why would he rely on his death-factor when he knows he can crush them easily in H2H? Even then, he still uses it eventually...

2: Omega Red already opened with his death-factor in this same storyline: Like, literally two issues ago, Omega Red used his death-factor to knock out the X-Men as his first opening move. It’s literally the first Arkady feat I posted in this debate (where he knocks out Logan).

3: Omega Red wants them alive: It’s clear from the exchange with Matsu’o that the Hand wants the X-Men alive. Not only is he toying with them, but Arkady has no excuse to kill them, unlike this encounter with X-O Manowar. Anyway, here’s the proof from later in the issue:

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Weapon X #17:

I genuinely don’t see the point you’re trying to make here. Omega Red is actively using his death-factor and draining the life-force of his victims. The only reason why Omega Red didn’t immediately kill Warpath and Domino with his death-factor is because:

1: Omega Red is in a weakened state: He has been held captive in a Siberian gulag, and he can’t live for extended periods of time without life-drain due to the radioactive nature of carbonadium and his own powers. Which leads to…

2: Omega Red was using Warpath and Domino as bait: To lure Sabretooth, who has a healing factor (AKA a powerful enough life-force) that will sustain him when he escapes the gulag and treks across the frozen, lifeless tundra:

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Note what Arkady specifically states: “You are rations. Precious little life force in tundras.” Again: Read the issue. You can’t just make arguments without understanding the context first.

Wolverine Origins #38:

You have the wrong issue here, it’s #38, not #36. Again, read the issues before you make an argument. I realize that this is a debate, but I feel like I’m wasting my time debunking self-explanatory arguments that even the casual observer would catch. Nothing that I’m saying is all that revelatory, you can easily glean this information if you just read the actual issue:

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“I am in no hurry.” These are Omega Red’s words about this battle. Again, he has a long-established history with Logan, and he enjoys tangling with Wolverine as opposed to just ending the battle with his death-factor. This is quite literally established in Arkady’s first appearance, which I've already shown in my last post, when he battles Wolverine for seventeen hours straight simply because it’s entertaining.

Also, your claim that Arkady doesn’t use his death-factor in this showing is also false. The issue explicitly mentions that Omega Red is draining the life-force of the prisoners, he just isn't using it on Wolverine because he wants to prolong their battle:

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Once more, with feeling: Read the issues.

Uncanny X-Men #498-499:

See above. I explicitly mentioned in my earlier posts that Omega Red toys with Wolverine and Colossus because of their shared history. And again, Omega Red enjoys playing H2H with foes that he knows beforehand that he can easily overpower, because he’s already aware of their capabilities.

Arkady only resorts to his death-factor when he starts struggling, and even then he only does it because he’s already in a weakened state, having been imprisoned and drained of life-force for an extended period of time prior to this battle (as I mentioned in my first post).

Wolverine Origins #7:

Again: Context. Omega Red needed Wolverine alive and conscious, so he could extract the location of the Carbonadium Synthesizer from Logan, which Arkady needs to prolong his life. As for the S.H.I.E.L.D. agents, again, why would he use his death-factor against non-powered agents who obviously pose zero threat to him?

You've also failed to mention that Arkady has another reason to not use his death-factor in this encounter. He has henchmen accompanying him in an enclosed space (it's in a homeless shelter). This is the page before the one you posted:

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X-Factor #138:

Yes, this is clearly a reputable source for Omega Red’s fighting style and capabilities, and clearly not an example of terrible writing, given that Sabretooth is shown to be entirely immune to Arkady’s death-factor, defeats him in physical combat, and is so intimidating that he makes Omega Red flee the battle.

Yup, this is the same Omega Red who fodderizes Sabretooth…

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…The same Omega Red who, in the first time they fought, beat up Sabretooth enough to make Creed flee their battle

Panel Four
Panel Four

But we can just ignore all the proof that Omega Red’s death-factor has worked on Wolverine (who has far superior healing feats than Creed), and simply acknowledge that this is an accurate depiction of Omega Red’s in-character behavior during a battle.

Totally legitimate proof for your argument, that one.

Iron Man v1 #296-297:

What are you talking about? You’re really going to avoid posting the next page in that sequence?

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Yes, Arkady starts the battle by snagging M.O.D.A.M. with his coils, but what's his next immediately move? Omega Red instantly proceeds to use his death-factor to drain her organic functions. Why are you making it sound as though Omega Red can’t multi-task and do both? Or as if the split-second before Arkady activates his death-factor is enough for X-O to effortlessly one-shot Omega Red?

Maverick #11:

Again, self-explanatory. Arkady needs Maverick alive/conscious for the location of the C-Synth, and he’s desperate/not thinking straight. Omega Red is also extremely familiar with Maverick’s abilities, having encountered him before various times during Maverick’s tenure with Team X. In addition, Arkady also erroneously believes that Maverick is depowered here (read the final panel), aka he doesn't view Maverick as a potential threat at all.

Why would Omega Red open the battle with his death-factor here, again?

Quicksilver #8-9:

Out-of-character writing. Omega Red acts like an incompetent in this entire story-arc; you’re telling me that Arkady isn’t going to use his primary mutant ability at all? If he used the death-factor later in the battle, I could still accept this showing, but can you honestly argue that an in-character Omega Red will fight for an extended period of time without using his death-factor? His most powerful ability, as well as the spores that will kill him if he doesn't release them? The only logical explanation I can think of is that Omega Red didn't want to hurt his fellow Acolytes, but even that's a flimsy excuse for a flimsy showing.

Wolverine v2 #174:

Not a valid showing, and I’ll get into the why later in my post. Just remember these two words: Frank Tieri.

So, what’s the final tally here? You’ve shown (cumulatively) fourteen different instances to support your claim of Omega Red not opening a random-encounter battle with an unknown opponent with his death-factor, and I’ve debunked all of them. All the showings you’ve listed are either:

1.Obvious instances of PIS/WIS that are not in line with Omega Red's established history, be it his personality traits or power-levels.

2.Clear misinterpretation of scans where you’ve either missed or neglected to mention pertinent context that explains Omega Red’s actions, e.g. mind-control or the C-Synth. This is misleading information for the voters.

3.Encounters with Wolverine and other opponents with shared history, and I’ve also repeatedly mentioned in earlier posts that Omega Red enjoys toying with opponents whom he knows he can defeat without his death-factor. None of which fits our debate's conditions of random encounter with zero knowledge.

So unless you can show me fourteen more instances of Omega Red not starting with his death-factor when encountering an opponent for the first time, with zero knowledge and no ulterior motives or circumstances, without any plot-induced out-of-character writing that violates established continuity, what exactly is your argument here?

The focus of the debate hasn’t shifted. You’re just trying to move the goal posts of the argument because you’ve realized you can’t counter Omega Red's death-factor. You can bring up more instances if you wish, but as tiresome as this process is, I promise you that I already have preexisting counterarguments for all of Arkady's appearances.

This is your argument's downfall: X-O Manowar will not defeat Omega Red before the death-factor/life-absorption kicks in. You claim that you have “plenty of counters” for the death-factor, and yet you’ve not brought a single one up in both of your posts, beyond an entirely false argument about X-O’s “life-absorption," or your poor claim that Shanhara is immune to life-drain, both of which I’ve already thoroughly debunked and you've conceded.

Meanwhile, all of my posts have been extremely focused on Omega Red’s offensive and defensive capabilities, and how his death-factor and near-impenetrable carbonadium armor have historically allowed him to fight opponents who are far above his weight-class. If your only argument against Omega Red is that X-O Manowar has superior physicals, then I’m afraid that it’s not worth much, because a dumb, brute force fighter like Aric is exactly who Omega Red’s powers are designed to defeat.

Even if the death-factor isn’t Arkady’s absolute first move, the few seconds is not enough for X-O Manowar to instantly defeat Omega Red, and if you think so then you’re seriously ignoring all of the showings I’ve already posted for Arkady. Not to mention, you’ve also failed to address my most significant point:

Omega Red has no shared history with Aric, no knowledge of his capabilities, or any extenuating context here that would prevent him from using his death-factor.

Your argument about X-O’s CQC doesn’t really detract anything from my argument either. Your feat of Aric decapitating a Roman soldier is just like the Captain scan—a showing against a featless fodder character who is hardly comparable to someone of Omega Red’s skill-level.

Even if you’re using this as a showing that Aric goes for decapitation as his first move, and even if we ignore that Omega Red has the combat speed to prevent that, I could just as easily do the same thing as you and list the countless showings where X-O, y’know, doesn’t do that. But I won’t, because you know as well as I do that X-O Manowar doesn’t always go for the head, and I would just be wasting my time making a rather obvious point.

The only reason why I brought those feats up was simply to point out that X-O Manowar’s tendency to go straight to CQC is a huge disadvantage here, because that puts him immediately within range of Omega Red’s death-factor. Which was a point that you were vehemently arguing against in your opening post, that I've thoroughly proven in my last post. Whereas, you’re making it sound as though I'm agreeing that Omega Red is completely helpless in close-combat.

To suggest that “a single energy blast would also suffice” is just a baseless claim without anything to back it up. What about Omega Red’s superior combat speed? What about the fact that Omega Red’s death-factor will continually amp him up, while depowering both Aric and Shanhara's power-levels? What about the fact that Omega Red has impenetrable carbonadium armor and coils? What about the fact that X-O’s energy sword can’t even slash through Eternal Warrior’s weapons, which are far less durable than carbonadium:

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Or the fact that Aric has historically struggled against opponents with superior combat skill? Again, no one’s saying that Omega Red can outpower Shanhara with sheer physicals, but to make it seem that he can’t hang with X-O long enough with near-unbreakable coils and armor, superior combat speed, and superior fighting skill before his death-factor kicks in is wildly inaccurate.

Even if, for the sake of argument, we say that Omega Red doesn’t start this battle with his death-factor…are you really suggesting that X-O can effortlessly one-shot Arkady before he wises up and starts using the death-factor?

So, nope, the argument still isn’t how much Omega Red can tank. It’s simple: what can X-O Manowar do against an undetectable, instantaneous weapon that will depower both him as well as his Shanhara armor? What are your counters for Omega Red's death-factor and life-absorption?

You’ve tried to argue that I’m only considering one possible scenario as opposed to all potential ones, so here’s me giving you a potential scenario to counter: what will Aric do if he doesn't stop Omega Red before the death-factor activates; a silent AoE attack that he has zero awareness of, and zero defenses against?

2: Exposing Falsehoods

2.1: Life-Absorption and Physical Contact

Nope, you’re wrong. Omega Red often uses his carbonadium coils as a conduit for life-absorption, but he does not require physical contact to make them work. His coils are a preferred method to use his death-factor and life-absorption, but he does not need them. It’s an option, not a necessity. If you read any of the showings that I’ve already presented, it’s readily obvious.

From his first major battle with the X-Men, when Arkady explicitly tells Jubilee, “the sicker you get, the better I feel,” as he absorbs her life-force while not touching her with his coils

Panel Four
Panel Four

Or when Omega Red drained the life from M.O.D.A.M., explicitly stating, “Your ebbing mental powers, which grow ever more as I drain the life from your grotesque body,” while clearly not touching her with his coils again

Panel One
Panel One

Or the aforementioned Vutluga prison fight, where Logan explicitly points out that Omega Red is stronger because he’s draining the life-force of the prisoners, again while clearly not touching any of them with his coils

Gallery image 1Gallery image 2

And for the final nail in the coffin, you can read Arkady’s very own Marvel Handbook entry:

No Caption Provided

You can pore through the details yourself, but there’s absolutely nothing there about Omega Red needing physical contact for his life-absorption to work. All it states is that Arkady “can also drain the life forces from the victims of his pheromones in order to sustain his own.” Absolutely no mention of the carbonadium coils or physical contact being necessary for life-absorption to work.

2.2: Death-Factor’s Consistency

1: Nightcrawler

As I’ve already mentioned, Omega Red was starved and weakened in this showing, having been kept in captivity for an extended period of time. Neither his powers nor his fighting skills were at their peak here. In addition, you’ve also neglected to point out that Arkady lacks his carbonadium armor here.

Given Omega Red’s weakened state (i.e. his powers aren't at their peak-levels) and the lack of his greatest durability asset (y'know, the near-indestructible armor), are you really going to use this as an argument against the life-absorption's potency?

2: Monet

This was “full-potential Monet” with a vaguely-defined amp from Mentallo/Stryker. It hasn’t been defined what degree of power she gained with this amp, as this storyline is still ongoing. Monet also appears to have been amped by demonic energies as well; i.e. magic that could have sidestepped Omega Red’s death-factor.

Not to mention, it’s easy for me to make an argument that Arkady was limiting his death-factor’s potency, given Monet is an X-Man under mind-control and he wasn’t trying to kill her. Regardless, I fail to see the argument you’re making here. You’re going to compare one instance of Monet to countless showings where the death-factor works? Especially since this is X-O Manowar, who has no established defenses against the death-factor?

3: Maverick

You’re blatantly ignoring a key line of dialogue from Maverick here: “What’s the matter, Arkady—I’m not as tasty now that I’m infected with the Legacy Virus? Or is it that you’re afraid you’ll catch it yourself if you keep draining my life force?”

Omega Red was clearly not using his full death-factor, because he was afraid of catching the Legacy Virus. Which, for the uninformed, was a viral contagion that kills any mutant.

Your theory has zero merit. All of the examples you’ve listed I’ve already debunked; all of them had extenuating circumstances that you’ve either missed out or consciously chosen to ignore and dismiss. In short: You can’t defend X-O Manowar’s blatant weakness against Omega Red’s death-factor, and so you’re trying to undermine/discredit the death-factor’s capabilities instead.

These aren’t inconsistencies. These are stories. And plots with writers and character and context. I suspect that you haven’t actually read the issues, which is why you keep making the same mistakes.

4/5: Frank Tieri

Oh, I knew it was only a matter of time before you brought this argument up.

Do you want to know why I’ve been very careful about the feats I’ve chosen for my arguments, and why I haven’t used a single feat from Frank Tieri’s The Logan Files storyline, even though Arkady has some damn good feats in those? Because I consider both the high and low showings of a character, as well as their portrayals under certain writers, before I construct my posts.

And because Frank Tieri never did his research and doesn't know jack about Omega Red’s powers.

The death-factor cannot be countered by a gas mask. This is literally shown in Omega Red’s very first appearance, when his death-factor allows him to kill and drain the Hand scientists who were wearing impermeable hazmat suits specifically designed to filter out the pheromones:

Panel Seven
Panel Seven

Omega Red’s death-factor does not attack his victims via the respiratory system. This is proven in his encounters with Colossus, whom as we all know does not even breathe in his metal form, as all his organs are transmuted into organic metal. This is further supported in the page above, when we see that the death-factor literally burns physical flesh.

As you yourself have noted repeatedly, Omega Red can also activate his death-factor by using his carbonadium coils as a physical conduit, so why would his death-factor work via physical touch if it needed to be inhaled via the respiratory system? Secondly:

The death-factor spores are not flammable. This, much like the gas mask, was a bullshit excuse that Frank Tieri used to justify Wolverine being able to solo Sabretooth, Lady Deathstrike, and Omega Red during his run. Which, if you know anything about Wolverine's villains, you'll realize the absurdity of that previous sentence.

This claim that the death-factor spores are flammable has literally never been mentioned or proven in any of Omega Red’s other appearances. Not to mention Omega Red has already tanked multiple explosive weapons while using his pheromones, and was never inadvertently set on fire:

Gallery image 1Gallery image 2Gallery image 3Gallery image 4

Think about it: it’d be pretty damn stupid if Omega Red’s primary mutation caused him to spontaneously catch on fire, right?

6/7: Life-Drain

I don’t see what your point about the nature of Omega Red’s life-drain is. He needs to absorb the life-forces of his victims or his powers/carbonadium will kill him, which is why he’s constantly hunting for the aforementioned Carbonadium Synthesizer.

If anything, you highlighting this point only strengthens my argument that Omega Red will use his death-factor/life-absorption as his opening move: If Arkady knows that his own mutation kills him if he doesn’t use it, why wouldn’t he use it as his opening move, AKA as soon as humanly possible? Especially if he's fighting an enemy whom he has no desire to prolong a battle with?

I’ve beaten the point to death at this point, but I’ll reiterate it one more time: all of the instances where you’ve shown claiming that the death-factor doesn’t one-shot Omega Red’s opponents have external circumstances and context. You can name-drop as many characters as you want, but none of that matters when I've easily countered every last showing that you've presented.

Which brings me to my closer…

Conclusion

I’ll finish my post by asking you a simple question. All you need to do is provide an answer:

What can X-O Manowar do to counter Omega Red’s death-factor/life-absorption?

1: We’ve established that Omega Red will use his death-factor as his opening move. X-O Manowar is an opponent that Arkady has no shared history with, and no knowledge of his capabilities. He has no reason to toy or lengthen the battle with Aric. In addition, Omega Red’s death-factor consumes him if he doesn’t release it, giving him all the more reason torelease the death-factor as early as possible in the battle.

2: We’ve established that Omega Red’s death-factor is a highly-effective weapon. The spores are undetectable with no visual cue. Their effect is instantaneous. They are an AoE weapon, which is doubly-effective given X-O’s tendency to stay on the ground and remain in CQC. They can knock out opponents with superior healing factors like Wolverine in seconds.

3: We’ve established that X-O Manowar has no counters for Omega Red’s death-factor. The spores aren’t flammable or only effective via inhalation. Aric not only has zero defenses himself, but his techno-organic armor Shanhara is extremely susceptible to the death-factor as well. In addition, Aric’s fighting style also means that he’ll get in close with Arkady, which is a huge disadvantage for X-O Manowar.

So, again I ask, what can X-O Manowar do to counter Omega Red’s death-factor? You’ve tried arguing that Arkady won’t open with his spores—I’ve countered that. You’ve tried arguing that the spores aren’t effective and are inconsistent—I’ve countered that. You’ve tried arguing that Arkady doesn’t have the durability to take X-O’s attacks—I’ve countered that.

As far as I’m aware, you’ve said nothing to disprove my initial conclusion. You can’t discredit Omega Red’s abilities, and you’re welcome to provide more showings, but as I said, I promise you that I already have counterarguments planned for them.

All you have to do now is answer my simple question, and if you don't address it in your next post, then I genuinely don't know what we're even debating here.

With that said, I'll hand the floor back to you, @higherpower.

Also, tagging @lanternbatman and @crazychemist887 as requested.

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Jesus, this is Great.

Tag after every post , please and thank you

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blackspidey2099

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T4V

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