A Review of Avengers: Endgame; The Rights and Wrongs

A Review of Avengers: Endgame; The Rights and Wrongs

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It's been 2 months since A4's release, and I think we've all been able to jump off the high train and be as objective as possible, bringing in the perfect opportunity for our genuine thoughts on the film, hence this blog. As you've probably suspected, I'll be listing the positive and negative aspects, and close with the end result of the pop culture phenomenon that was the final part of Marvel's cinematic adaption of the Infinity Saga. Keep in mind that this is my subjective opinion and mine alone, and wether or not you agree with it doesn't really matter. There's nothing more subjective in the world than the entertainment value of art in any of its forms. And as a final note, I think we should all know by now that this won't be a spoiler-free review.

Avengers 4: The Rights

Where to start here? As a whole, the film was a fantastic experience with a majority of high points. The technical aspects were undeniably worth their salt, from the writing and directing of the Anthony and Joe Russo, who have yet to let us down after 4 great films, to the brilliant acting from some of the biggest names in Hollywood, to the beautiful visual effects in each and every scene. Here's a list of what we're going to briefly break down and judge (positively) below:

  1. The General Concept
  2. The Character Arcs
  3. The Emotional Scenes
  4. The Action
  5. The VFX
  6. The Humour
  7. The References and the Cameos
  8. The Epilogue

1. The Concept

We all know the idea behind Endgame. A3 ended with half the population of the universe turned to dust by the Decimation, so the remaining Avengers, spread across the galaxy, attempt to reverse the effects of Thanos' snap. With direct tie ins to Avengers: Infinity War, Ant-Man and the Wasp and Captain Marvel, the movie centers around the heroes planning a comeback, travelling through history and searching for the Infinity Stones throughout a number of different timelines. This is basically the entire plot of the movie, but what's important and should be appreciated here, is the way it was executed on-screen in relation to the characters. The film focuses on the original heroes, the 6 founding members of the Avengers, and in large part, it serves as a quality goodbye to them - or most of them. I believe the writing and the direction doesn't get enough credit for this; this is virtually 8+ different franchises coming together in the closing part of 10 years worth of cinematic history, there is so much to show, so many potential aspects to explore, but let's face it, it is and will always be an Avengers story, and who's more representative of the Avengers than the old generation of the team? Spider-Man, Captain Marvel, the Guardians of the Galaxy; powerful allies, heroes with potential and fan-favourites, yet the film manages to not take the spotlight away from Captain America, Thor, Iron Man, the Incredible Hulk, or Hawkeye and Widow. Keep that in mind, the story could easily center around the New Avengers, but it doesn't.

2. The Character Arcs

Moving on to the individual arcs of each hero, particularly the original six Avengers. I feel like half of it could be done better, so here I'll focus on the most satisfying ones: Tony, Natasha and Steve.

"I love you 3,000."

Let us begin by what I consider the most developed character in the Marvel Cinematic Universe, Tony Stark, A.K.A. Iron Man; when we first meet Tony, he's nothing but a genius-billionaire-playboy-philanthropist, he's created one of the most efficient weapons on the planet and he struggles to control it, often clashing with the government and even his very own people, like Pepper as a result. After he's recruited by Fury, he proves himself more of a hero than ever before, willing to sacrifice himself to undo the mistakes of the U.S. government while contributing to the defeat of Loki and the Chitauri, and scoring the first victory against Thanos. Even then, he's still struggling to feel at home with the Avengers, and he keeps on being his usual, eccentric self. The fact that he very often gets himself on the verge of death comes with backlash from his personal life, and not just Pepper. Being an Avenger and having a family is difficult, and we see that Tony does not even begin to discuss marriage or children until 3 years after Ultron's invasion, where things seem to be going well. Unfortunately, Thanos attacks and prevents a safe and sound environment for a family. When we first see him A4, he's still stuck in outter space, waiting for his death when the oxygen and the supplies run out. Nebula does whatever she can to keep him alive, but it won't work. After Carol rescues them and drops them off to earth, a devastated and guilt-filled Tony makes a quick attempt to end Thanos and reverse the effects of his snap, but to no effect. The Infinity Gauntlet is destroyed, and the world must come to terms with the new order of the universe. During the 5 year gap between this moment and the Avengers' second attempt, we see that Tony has found himself fortunate enough to build a family with Pepper by his side. He has Morgan, a beautiful, healthy daughter and he lives in peace and quiet with his the woman he's in love with. This is the peak of Tony's growth as a character; up to A3 we see that he's come to terms with the responsibility of being one of the Earth's Mightiest Heroes... just not enough to let go of his ego, not even when the world is at stake. He characteristically decides to put his phone away and not contact Rogers in the last film, but now we see that he's put all this behind him, he's accepted the burden of a hero, he lived failure and he saw the results of his mistakes with the wiping out of half the universe. He's as mature as he could ever be, and he's in the time of his life where he can make the right choices, and so he does, by assissting to Thanos' defeat. It takes more than enough courage to set aside such scarring differences, put your happiness, which you so long waited for, and your life at direct risk and finally sacrificing yourself for the cause. If you watch Avengers: Endgame, and then you watch Iron Man I and II, it's far from difficult to spot the differences on Tony's character. A4 provided him with a phenomenal character arc and a great goodbye.

"It's okay."

Another beloved character, Natasha Romanoff, A.K.A. the Black Widow. We all know what's the deal here; her dark past, she was not given a choice. She was taken in by the russian government and brainwashed into becoming a living, breathing weapon. When we meet her in Iron Man 2 and A1, Natasha is just a spy, who is there to do the job. She is asked to infiltrate, she does it, she is asked to fight aliens, she does it, no second guesses, she does everything she can to escape her past. Natasha had a lot of red on her ledger, years worth of blood on her hands, and she was not going to forget this any time soon. She had accepted that she's a lesser soul, one that did not deserve more chances than the ones she had been given, and that is why she seizes every opportunity to make up for her assassin status. The real character arc of hers was fleshed out in Captain America: The Winter Soldier, where we slowly and subtly see her transformation from a cold-hearted spy to a hero. Rogers played a major role in her development, he is the one who gave her the nod she required to open up on her emotions and let go of her job, focus on herself and her own relationships. Steve needed a friend, and she gave him that all the while gaining a better understanding of herself, she's not worthless and she's not unforgivable, she's just another human being forced to make mistakes. She thought of herself as a monster, she believed she had nothing and then, with the Avengers, she finally found the home, the family she was looking for. Natasha would go out of her way to keep this family together, and we saw some of those attempts in Captain America: Civil War, where she supported that staying together, on either side of the coin, was more important than anything. It is this same family that turned her to who she was now, wether or not she realised it, a fully fleshed out superhero. When we see her in Avengers: Endgame, after the initial, failed attempt to take down Thanos, she's highily involved in the remnants of the world affairs. She's taken over the Avengers Facility and she's looking to fix the new world, still falling apart 5 years after the Decimation. She's searching for old allies and clinging in hope. When the Avengers finally find a way to reverse the snap, Natasha finds herself alongside Barton on Vormir of 2014. One of them has to sacrifice themselves in exchange for the Soul Stone and, as expected, they are going to fight over this. At the end, Natasha makes the ultimate sacrifice, she falls to her death, saving Clint and giving him the second chance he deserved to live his life, as he himself once did for her, indirectly saving half the universe too. This scene is important because it's the "endgame" of Natasha's own arc, she has wiped out all the red in her ledger and some more. She's a true, proven hero, not the assassin they tried to force her to be. It's a very bittersweet feeling, she has achieved her goals, she's free from her past and she now rests.

"Well... after I put the stones back, I thought, why not try some of that life Tony was telling me to get."

Finally, there's everyone's favourite soldier, America's ass, Steve Rogers, A.K.A. Captain America. To this date, Cap remains one of the standard characters to have faced struggles in the past, in his case the need to adjust to an entirely new world to the one he grew up and fought in, but remains pretty static afterwards. A4 did him well however, giving Steve the ending he deserved. We've seen the lengths he's willing to go to in order to protect others from Captain America: The First Avenger already, and he's proven himself a valuable and a more than selfless hero throughout his time as an Avenger. So much that he seemingly did not even regret the fact that he woke up one day, 70 years later and was recruited to fight aliens. Well, in this film, he's finally given his due. After he ensures that the universe is safe and returns the Infinity Stones, he takes the initiative to live his life in a timeline where he was never put on ice, where he grew old with the love of his life, Peggy Carter, and they finally had that dance they owed to one another. Steve virtually lived a perfect life, his dream, after he succeeded in all his goals as a superhero. Let's face it, there's no ending mroe satisfying than this.

3. The Emotional Scenes

Not once has Marvel released a film before that came close to touching me as much as this one. Throughout the 3 hour course, almost every character gets their due in terms of emotion, and no doubt they're all fantastic scenes. Firstly, let's put aside the 2 major death scenes, the sacrifices of Tony and Natasha respectively. Robert Downey Jr and Scarlett Johansson gave it their all in these scenes, and their performances were nothing sort of phenomenal. Gwyneth Paltrow and Jeremy Renner couldn't have been better, and the overall result was me reaching for tissues twice in one comic-book movie. I'll put Tony's funeral in this same category too, the one shot of so many characters in black, paying their respects to Iron Man outside his house, is too obvious to explain further.

Now, there's a whole other number of noteworthy scenes, some short, some long, but all very powerful. Many of them revolve around our heroes revisiting past allies. For instance, take Thor's visit on Asgard in an attempt to retrieve the Aether back in 2013. He meets with Frigga, minutes before her death in the hands of the Dark Elves. Apart from entertaining, the scene is very touching. Thor is still guilt-driven and feels like a failure, afterall he made the final mistake that led to Thanos' victory in A3, by not going for the head. He is physically and emotionally devastated, and the touch of his mother is the turning point of his character in this film. He only regains his confidence after Frigga sits by him, assures him that he's not a failure and gracefuly strokes his hair while sharing her wisdom. Before leaving, he lets her know he's missed her, retrieves his lost-in-the-hands-of-Hela-4-years-later hammer, and heads off to save the universe.

Meanwhile, Tony and Steve travel back to 1970 in Camp Leigh, to retrieve Pym Particles and the Tesseract. Before Tony can leave the facility, he gets confronted by Howard Stark, his own father. The interaction is interesting to say the least, esspecially with the inevitable irony going on, with Tony making up a fake identity on the spot and looking at a reflection of himself, the man he never truly got to meet in his time. While on the family discussion, Howard finally tells Tony that even though his child wasn't even born yet, there's nothing in the world he wouldn't do for him - remembering Tony's issues about how his father never told him he loved him, not even that he liked him, is a key aspect of this scene. On the other end of the scene there's Steve, coming across Peggy, standing a few feet away from her, with a wall right in the middle. The symbolic setting of this scene put together with the theme makes it all the more touching that he's standing right next to her, yet he needs to hold himself together and not come out, no matter how easy it'd be.

Another scene that's worth a mention is the opening, a scene that takes place during the Decimation, at the very end of Avengers: Infinity War. In a quiet, peaceful setting, we see Renner's Hawkeye lose his family, Laura and all his children while outside the farmhouse. They vanish right before they're about to have lunch, with Clint looking for them, right after we see how happy he finally is to spend time with his kids, even teaching them archery. The lack of any theme in the background makes the scene all the darker and more intense.

Finally, there's absolutely no way you could dismiss this last scene; Thanos has seemingly put down the toughest of the Avengers, he's called in his entire army and he's getting ready to annihilate earth, which he was going to enjoy very, very much. The Leviathans are coming from above, Thanos' followers arrive, Rogers' allies are all down and his indestructable shield is broken in half. He still stands up, he stands against the most powerful army of the universe, he stands against all odds and he is ready to go down a soldier's death. And then, "On your left", the portals open, the Avengers arrive, the sorcerers, the army of Wakanda, the Guardians, Asgard, everyone is here to defend humanity, and by extension the universe alltogether. The Avengers assemble.

4. The Action

One of the key aspects of every Marvel film are the action sequences, and you'll struggle finding a single action scene as iconic as the Battle of Earth. Once the Avengers have assembled, the armies charge at each other, he forces of earth against the army of the Mad Titan. It's nothing but spectacular watching all sorts of different character, with different powers and abilities, different fighting styles blending in together and teaming-up from ground and air as one. From the Valkyrie's Dragonfang, to Spider-Man's webs, to Iron Man's repulsor blasts. As always, the Russo brothers designed a battle to the smallest of background detail and did a great job setting up exciting combat and whatnot interactions throughout the entire sequence. A few spotlights include Captain America battling against Thanos right after he's lifted Mjolnir, Scarlet Witch forcing the Mad Titan to rain fire with her immense power, Black Panther defending the Infinity Gauntlet and the entire female cast coming together to open path for Danvers. I do think some aspects like the Black Order were underutilised, but nothing too serious. The movie also offers a few other good, well choreographed but more grounded sequences, like Ronin taking on the Yakuza and an undercover member of the Hand, the initial attempt to reverse the Snap or Cap fighting his past self in the Avengers Tower.

5. The Visual Effects

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What is there to say here? The CGI in the final battle with Thanos being a highlight as usual, capturing the most subtle of expressions on his face and giving him more humanine traits, such as when he realises and accepts defeat, taking a seat and waiting to be dusted. The well designed aliens and beasts on both sides... the most impressive part though is probably the cinematography. Not even A3 was so visually impressive, the shots of Clint and Natasha on Vormir speak of their own. Titan and Thanos' farmhouse also stand out as beautifully designed settings.

6. The Humour

As usual, a noticable portion of the film was comedic scenes. To be fair, I much preferred the balance between comedy and story-telling in A3, but that doesn't mean Avengers: Endgame didn't do a good job with this too. They overdid it in some aspects, which we'll get to below, but it was overall well put into the story, with some quality humour too. The references alone were very entertaining, but the silly stuff like "America's Ass", Peter describing Doctor Strange's powers as "the yellow sparkly thing that he does all the time" or the entire first scene with overweight, drunk Thor playing fortnite... come on, it's the MCU, we needed that scene.

7. The References and the Cameos

Avengers: Endgame is the final part of the Infinity Saga in the Marvel Cinematic Universe, it's the epilogue of a long story. One of the things I always appreciate in finale stories, is the summary of the whole thing, Endgame did this well using not only the time travel, but dozens of references and past characters. When Steve travels back to 2012 to retrieve the Tesseract, he finds himself in an elevator with Brock Rumlow and his S.T.R.I.K.E. operatives, who question Steve transporting the Tesseract himself, quite familiar? "Hail Hydra"... and because that wasn't enough, moments later, Cap took a taste of his own medicine; "I can do this all day". While travelling to Vormir alongside Natasha, Clint makes an exciting remark, "We're a long way from Budapest", as another reference to their adventures during their time as S.H.I.E.L.D. agents, something that happened in the Battle of New York as well. The movie is filled with this as well as very entertaining cameos from the Ancient One, Alexander Pierce, Frigga, Loki, Jane Foster, Agent Carter, Howard Stark; great talents, but most importantly, for a good number of people at least, Edwin Jarvis. Yeah, we got to see what his physical form is like, and it's James D'Arcy's Jarvis, the Jarvis fans of Agent Carter have learned. I watched the show last year and I found it brilliant, so seeing the cinematic side of Earth-19999 recognise it, all the while we were so sure at this point that Marvel TV does not exist for Kevin Feige, was more than satisfying. This scene marks the first time Marvel Studios has included a character from Marvel TV in the films.

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And who could forget the cameo of the legendary Stan Lee, before he passed away. Unfortunately, this is more than likely the last Marvel movie we'll see him in, but it will be a long time before someone forgets his name. It's quite bittersweet seeing him driving that 1970s car, but at least he was here for the MCU till the final film.

Lastly, a very strong theory (that to my knowledge hasn't been confirmed yet) suggests that the entire final part of A4 was a direct reference to Tony's vision in Avengers: Age of Ultron, where he sees the Leviathans descending to earth, Natasha lying in the same position as in Vormir (granted facing the other way) and Captain America's shield broken just like in Endgame. He could've saved them, and he did.

8. The Epilogue

More than anything, A4 is the epilogue of 10 years of storytelling, a goodbye to 3 Phases of films and a very small, subtle introduction to Phase 4. At the end of the movie, we see each arc's end result individually, we see Steve Rogers growing old and passting the mantle of Captain America to Wilson, all the while Sam is interacting with Bucky, opening the path to Falcon & The Winter Soldier, we see Spider-Man returning to his old life with his family and friends, setting up Spider-Man: Far From Home, we see Romanoff learning the name of her real father for the first time, plausibly linking to Black Widow, we see Wanda indirectly mentioning Vision, setting up WandaVision, we see Thor leaving with the Guardians and leaving Valkyrie to rule Asgard. The whole ending basically works as a way of introducing the limitless possibilities of Phase 4.

Avengers 4: The Wrongs

Really there isn't too many things I'd change about this film. It was a success because it was good, but it's also expected that something this big is going to have some flaws. I'll only briefly analyse each one because there isn't much to say here:

  • Time travel: I think the means of the plot moving forward has been rather obvious ever since A3 to many of us, and while they did try to undo the cliche nature of time travel using unique aspects of the Marvel Cinematic Universe in the Quantum Realm and even set up some new rules about it, which was a major point I might add, it also made things a little too complicated at points. It's easy to be confused about several scenes like Cap's ending after he returns all the Infinity Stones and a number of plot holes people are fighting over.
  • The funeral: Really, as beautiful as this scene was, something was missing - yeah, Natasha didn't get a proper goodbye from the public. I understand that there's a very good chance we'll see her 2023 self again in Phase 4, but in-universe, they're not supposed to know that... and on a meta level, they just didn't feel like her death was as important as Tony's, despite it being both vital to the plot and a big deal. They could have at least put her tomb stone, or picture or a flower next to Tony's. That was a big turn off, and the writers coming up with excuses like "it wouldn't be in character because she wasn't as much of a public figure" or "it could have happened off screen" really didn't help.
  • Thor as an overplayed gag: As entertaining as it was during the first few scenes, they really did overdo it with "fat Thor" at some point. Seeing the mighty King of Asgard, the physical perfection that is Chris Hemsworth, being all drunk, depressed and overweight was so weird that it was good, just... not for over half the movie. This was one of the mindsets he could have overcome earlier on.
  • Thor leaving Asgard to the Valkyrie: Don't get me wrong here, Thor and the Guardians have chemistry, and I really like Thompson's Valkyrie, it's just that it felt like a very weird choice. It's out of place that Val is all of sudden a "born leader". She spent years away from Asgard as a bounty hunter, she's forgotten was a kingdom is like, Thor's barely interacted with her even as fugitives; it wasn't well set up. Not necessarily a bad choice, more like something out of the blue. Plus, I was kinda disappointed that Thor won't get to save his people personally.
  • Ronin and Professor Hulk: Two of the founding members whose arcs in Endgame has a lot of potential, but they didn't live out to it. I liked the bits that we saw with them, we got a brief explanation of their motives for taking on these new identities, and we saw some good scenes with a rogue Hawkeye and and a Banner who has come to terms with his alter ego and has created the perfect combination of brains and brawn... but still... how did those happen? What exactly initiated these choices? It's not fleshed out enough, and it felt like a disservice.
  • The world post-Decimation: One of the most interesting parts of the movie is the world 5 years after the snap, we see the tombstones for the genocide, we see Steve attending support groups, also acting as a reference to Sam Wilson's previous job, and Natasha with the remaining world leaders explains that governments are still falling apart by the day. I don't think we saw enough of this, maybe in deleted scenes? Another thing to note is that the writers thought of having Natasha run an orphange instead of the Avengers Facility, further exploring the loss humanity had gone through during that time.

These are just some secondary changes I'd make, but I don't really mind most of them. It would also be nice to see some cameos of classic characters like Quicksilver, Heimdall and Lady Sif, but I guess we're fine.... frickin Wong with his attitude though... Overall, I'd rate the film with a solid 7.5/10 - it has its flaws and some weak scenes, but it's a very enjoyable story, packs a huge punch of emotion and in the grand scheme, let's face it, it works perfectly fine as the finale of Phase 3.

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The Black Order (MCU) Respect Thread

This might initially look somewhat unorganised, but instead of separating their feats on each category listed, I'll show each of their fights and analyse the feats shown below, both because their showings are not many and because they tent to utilise all of their advantages simultaneously in combat. I also apologise for the decent quality of the GIFs, this is the best quality I could download the movie in.

The Black Order

"Hear me, and rejoice. You are about to die at the hand of the children of Thanos. Be thankful, that your meaningless lives are now contributed to the balance..."

The Black Order, or the 'Children of Thanos', are a group consisting of some of the most dangeous individuals in the universe. They were handpicked by the Mad Titan himself to serve him in his raid of different worlds in search for the Infinity Stones. In the second part of the 'Infinity War' taking place in Earth-19999, the Black Order, alongside Thanos, slaughtered a horde of Asgardians led by Thor, Heimdall and Loki outside of Asgard's ruins, and retrieved the Space Stone. Afterwards, Ebony Maw and Cull Obsidian were assigned to acquire the Time Stone from Dr Strange, while Corvus Glaive and Proxima Midnight headed in Scottland to retrieve the Mind Stone from the Vision. By the end of the vital part of the War, all 4 members of the Order were dead, Maw being flushed out in space by Iron Man, and the rest killed during the Battle of Wakanda, Corvus Glaive taken out by his own weapon wielded by the Vision, Proxima Midnight shredded down after being sent onto the giant Threshers by the Scarlet Witch and Cull Obsidian imploding in conduct with the 'Hulkbuster's' gauntlet after crushing onto Wakandan shields by Banner.

Despite, at last, failing to retrieve the Infinity Stones themselves, the Children of Thanos served him well and managed to compete with and overcome the most powerful of the Avengers in battle.

Ebony Maw

"Your powers are inconsequential compared to mine."

Ebony Maw is the Leader of the Black Order, and arguably the most powerful member of the group. During the clash in New York, he faught and defeated Dr Strange in 1 on 1 combat, incapacitating and capturing both him and Spiderman through his highily versatile telekinetic powers.

Abilities

  • Superhuman Strength
  • Superhuman Durability
  • Superhuman Speed
  • Telekinesis
  • Levitation

In the first encounter with the Black Order in New York, Ebony Maw faced off against the combined efforts of Dr Strange, Wong, Spiderman and Iron Man for a good while and managed to pressure all of them.

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Effortlessly hrows aside a Cull launched by Iron Man at high speeds. Based on that, my take is that Maw can control the bodies of others at will if they're weakened enough to be unable to resist.

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Ebony was highily skilled in abusing the environment around him using his telekinetic abilities, adding great versatality and battlefield control in his powerset. Here, he sends the Mark L flying several stories up in the sky by manipulating the ground right below him, and then proceeds to attack Wong and Dr Strange with trees from around the street, projecting at high speed.

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Attempting to prevent Tony from closing in, Ebony used the debris from around the streets to great scale, notice how those pieces are all-around comparable to small building level, landing with force good enough to tremor the streets and cause small explosions, and that he's not particularly trying.

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Attacks Wong and Strange with a car at high speeds. Countered and thrown back at him at high speeds from Iron Man's repulsons, he slices it in half from further away and remains untouched in the middle.

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Lifts several small pieces of debris, tears them to tony pieces and attacks Wong and Steven with an incredible amount of bullet-like projectiles at huge volumes and fire rate.

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Tanks a super sized car mirror projected by Wong in his head, retaliates by quickly incapacitating using debris, overpowers Strange's magical whip, corners and encases him inside the surface of a building.

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Floors Strange and quickly incapacitates him by, once again, manipulating the ground below him to constrict him with vines. The contriction quickly knocked Steven unconsious by strangling him out, and then Maw lifted him up in the air by dispatching a large piece of the ground's surface. Notice how impressively Ebony outdrew Dr Strange by binding him before he could make use of the Time Stone.

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After Peter grabbed the unconscious Strange with his webs and attempted to get him as far away from Maw as possible, the latter used his levitation to get in a race with Spiderman and even managed to land hits on him without looking. He manipulates everything in the path to Thanos' spaceship and manages to almost grab Strange's body, until Peter leaves the cape back and keeps going.

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Achieving his objective, Maw removes the streetlight Peter was hanging from to not get sucked into the spaceship and captures the both of them.

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During Thanos' raid of the Statesman departing from Asgard, Maw and his siblings assisted in slaughtering the group of fugitives. After Thanos took down the Hulk, Thor attacked the Mad Titan but Ebony quickly encased him in dberis. Thor showed just how physically imposing his was later in the movie, and he showed that he still had strength left in him by charging at Thanos, making this an impressive showing of force applied by Maw's attempts.

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Lastly, while torturing Steven to give up the Time Stone, Maw demonstrated enough precision to manipulate several dozens of specialised needles without making the slightest of movement.

Corvus Glaive

"I thought you were a formidable machine, but you die like every man."

Corvus Glaive is an incredibly physically imposing being. Armed with the Glaive, his weapon of choice and one of the most dangerous weapons known in the universe, Corvus proved himself a capable fighter and powerful individual, fighting against the likes of the Vision and Captain America.

Abilities

  • Superhuman Strength
  • Superhuman Duability
  • Superhuman Speed
  • Skilled Fighter

Weapons

  • The Glaive
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Opening the Battle in Scottland in an attempt to retrieve the Mind Stone from Vision, Corvus stabbed him from behind with the Glaive. As Vision himself described, the blade canceled out his phasing abilities, something normally impossible, and damaged his vibranium body to the point of significant weakening.

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Immediately afterwards, Corvus proceeds to retrieve the Stone and take it out of Vision's body using the tip of the Glaive. Him and Proxima are stopped by Wanda's psionics, which they tanked, and again, even a shot powerful enough to send him flying through the glass window several stories below.

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Even though Vision was weaken, he could still travel in the air at high speeds and slammed Corvus around the buildings and towers of the streets creating holes on the surfaces, which Corvus tanked while grappling with the Vision himself. At full health, the latter is capable of grappling with the likes of Ultron and Thor, establishing Glaive as an exceptional physical beast.

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Later in the fight, he deflects a Mind Stone beam from the Vision with the Glaive, after it's been fired. Notice the precision involved here, as Corvus mantains the force of the beam and leads it back to Vision himself hitting him and knocking him down.

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After Wanda and Vision are shot out of the sky and into the train station by Proxima, the latter and her husband land from several stories up from the roof of the building, and they take the fall like nothing happened.

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When Cap's team arrived in Scottland to rescue Wanda and Vision, Sam attacked Corvus with a baragge of about 5 missles, with the latter deflecting every single one of them. At the end of the fight, a wounded Corvus showed that he's capable of calling the Glaive back at him at will, in a similar manner Thor can summon Mjolnir.

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Opening their second fight with the Vision, Corvus infiltrated Shuri's lab in Wakanda, taking out Ayo, second in command to Okoye in the Wakandan army, and several Dora Milaje soldiers in quick succession, deflecting beams from Shuri's weapon and taking her down too. Afterwards, Vision bullrushed him from behind and knocked both of them out the window forcing a fight in the forest.

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Corvus ended up gaining the upper hand once more, kicking Vision back, outmaneuvering him and impaling him with the Glaive. It's worth noting that in the end of his fight with the Captain, the Glaive impaled Corvus himself as well.

Corvus was clearly a better fighter than the Vision, managing to quickly outpace and tag him repeatedly. This is noteworthy as the Vision was capable of tangling with the likes of Thor in hand to hand combat, proving his skill. Even in this weakened state, it's still very impressive that Glaive could outperform him so well.

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When Steve opened the fight against Corvus rescuing the Vision, he repeatedly striked him in the face with his new Wakandan shields. This is impressive as it shows excellent piercing resistence on Corvus' part, as the shields themselves are partly blades, which Cap used to downright gut Outriders beforehand.

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After an exchange in which Corvus was disarmed, he proceeded to overpower, ragdoll and manhandle Captain America in a matter of a seconds, almost choking him to death before Vision stabbed him from behind giving him a taste of his own medicine. It's also notable that while Steve clearly outfaught Glaive, the latter kept up well enough that he was not awfully outpaced by "the greatest soldier of the modern era". Cap has proved both his skill and his physical abilities, injected with the Super Soldier Serum and fighting on par with world class assassins like the Winter Soldier and beings physically superior to himself like Spiderman.

Proxima Midnight

"We have blood to spare."

Proxima Midnight is the most skilled combatant in Thanos' Army. A superb martial artist with physiology similar to that of her husband, Corvus Glaive, and armed with her specialised Spear capable of projecting energy blasts and slicing through the most powerful of opponents, she has proven herself through her duels with the Scarlet Witch, or pairs of Avengers and high level fighters, such as Captain America, Okoye and the Black Widow.

Abilities

  • Superhuman Strength
    Superhuman Durability
  • Superhuman Speed
  • Master Combatant

Weapons

  • Midnight's Spear
  • Sword
  • Retractable Gauntlet Blade
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Proxima was assigned with fighting the Scarlet Witch while Corvus used the Glaive to retrieve the Mind Stone. Here, we see Proxima tanking a high fall from a building and landing on her feet like nothing, proceeding to attack Wanda with her spear and shattering concrete just by swinging the edge around.

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It's worth noting that Wanda's powers can operate so fast that she stopped an explosion going off back in Lagos, yet Proxima managed to pressure her and keep up with her powers incredibly well in close combat, and even prevented her from using her higher end raw power.

Here, Proxima also showcases extraordinary physique, making a leap launching herself about 100 ft. off the ground towards Wanda, in the span of a single second, whose psionics she overpowered using her spear's energy projection. Not even elite Asgardian warriors like Loki or the Valkyrie have demonstrated such high amounts of body strength.

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After the initial exchange, Wanda managed to get ahold of Midnight, and after hearing Vision yelling in pain, she sent her flying inside a large fiery truck, lit up by Vision's beam, which exploded in conduct with her body and launched her back, breaking the truck itself in half. Proxima injured the core of the explosion without any injuries and was back on her feet attacking Vision and Wanda seconds later.

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Proxima got back up and launched an energy sphere from her spear. She managed to tag Wanda and Vision departing, from over 10 stories down and sent them flying backwards landing inside the train station. Afterwards, she got inside the building alongside her husband landing from the roof. Also notice how fast her blasts are, covering such distance in no time.

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After Captain America and his team's arrival, Proxima took on both Widow and Cap, armed with the Glaive, and managed to hold her own remaining untagged until disarmed and BFR'd by Falcon running interference. Fighting a pair of top notch martial artists combined and exchanging blows with them is not something many could do.

It's worth noting that the Avengers proved themselves extremely dangerous witht he Order's weapons, as Natasha made short work of Corvus wielding Proxima's spear right beforehand, yet she took on both her and Cap armed with her husband's weapon and was never actually put down. She would also have to look out for not damaging the Glaive, which might explain how Steve was able to hold his own in a strength contest against her, but still visibly trying while she wasn't.

In the same sequence, Proxima, like Corvus, showed herself capable of calling back her own weapon from further away, while it also proved strong enough to cut clean through Glaive, a very imposing physically opponent with excellent piercing resistence against material such as vibranium.

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Upon leading the army of Outriders in Wakanda, Midnight examined the outer shields and showed that her sword, created by Thanos himself, was powerful enough to go right through the shields. In battle, Okoye and Romanoff attempted to save Wanda from Proxima, who was about to kill her, and after about a minute of fighting 2 on 1 with Okoye and the Black Widow, she managed to overpower the both of them, abusing the opening of the shredders passing by. It's worth noting that this throw took down Okoye for the count, and Okoye is armored with vibranium weave covering her entire torso, showing by how she took a point blank kinetic blast from Killmonger's Black Panther suit.

Also worth noting that Proxima once again remained untouched in a 2 on 1, at least by Okoye, the general of the Dora Milaje and 'the best warrior in Wakanda', at least besides T'Challa himself. When the Winter Soldier took on a double team effort of Widow and Agent 13 back in the CIA Base, he struggled to keep up at all and took repeated clean hits. Meanwhile, Proxima kept up well enough with both of them, granted she has a stat advantage on them.

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Eventually, after being pressured and disarmed 1 on 1, Proxima still overpowered Natasha unarmed, pinned her down and use her retractable gauntlet blade to overpower her. Notice how she does that using only 1 arm against what's likely Natasha's entire body strength. At this point, it's worth noting that Nat appears to be the only fighter who managed to land hits on Proxima, making her performance against the likes of Okoye and Captain America very impressive in regards to her combat skill. Proxima also handled Widow easier than the Black Panther could handle the lesser Hawkeye.

Cull Obsidian

"*growling sounds*"

Cull Obsidian is the muscle of the Order. He has shown himself capable of fighting and defeating not only incredibly powerful physically individuals, but also skilled and versatile ones too, such as Tony Stark's most advanced armors in the Mark XLIV and even the Mark L, proving he's more than just a mindless beast.

Abilities

  • Superhuman Strength
  • Superhuman Durability
  • Superhuman Speed
  • Skilled Fighter

Weapons

  • Multifunctional Axe / Hammer
    • Shield Function
    • Chain Function
    • Claw Function
  • Prosthetic Arm
    • Retractable Blade
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In the Battle of New York II, Cull faught Tony Stark's new armor, based on nano-technology. He utilised his highily versatile weapon of choice and excellent speed to keep pace with Tony and overpower him. Here, he uses the chain function of his hammer to attack from range and then shield from Tony's laser beams.

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Cull's axe could be used at such levels of striking that he almost overpowered Tony's shields, bashing him to the ground and then keeping him at bay. The Mark L suit was impressively competing with Thanos on Titan.

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Later in the fight, even without using the shield function of his axe, Cull blocked Tony's beams without damage, tagged him mid-fight and overpowered him. Such ability to keep up with and tagged a highily maneuvering, fast and skilled opponent mid-flight and pin him down while switching from different weaponry to another shows that Obsidian is more than a brick.

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Once again, blocking Iron Man's lasers while the latter is trying to outpace him from above, tags Peter with the claw function of his weapon before he can land in quick succession. it only becomes more impressive when Spiderman attempt sto attack him from behind again. Cull throws a car at him several stories up in the air, Peter counterattacks and throw it back at Cull, but he dodges.

Such clear display of skill, keeping up with incredibly is very uncommon in large, beasty bricks of Cull's weight class. Immediately afterwards, he managed to grab Iron Man within his claw's grip, launch him onwards and fully incapacitate him, proceeding to finish him off with a gauntlet blade similar to Proxima's.

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In Wakanda, Cull once again deomnstrated excellent efficiency with his weapons, using it as a chain to take out many members of the Dora Milaje before smashing them up close and personal.

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Banner entered the Hulkbuster amor before fighting off Cull Obsidian. Above we see that they're a physical match for one another, getting in a grappling contest and slamming several stories away from their starting position. Bruce's wit was his only advantage in this exchange, as shown above when he grabbed the shield after tricking Cull by using his repulsors.

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Eventually however, Cull proved more than a match for the armor physically. Here, he grabs an upper limb of the suit, uses the axe to slice it down, and finishes it off with an efficient takedown where he pulls it on a different direction to dispatch it. Banner managed to overcome Cull's superiority using the suit's advanced tech that tricked Cull, however he made it clear just how powerful the suit Cull was about to fight was before engaging, "this suit already kicked the crap outta the Hulk".

This is pretty much it for the Children of Thanos, 4 incredibly imposing beings, great side-villains, and physical obstacles with highily diverse skillsets for the Avengers to overcome.

60 Comments

MCU: Peak Humans vs Super Soldiers (H2H)

So, anyone who knows me well, knows by now that I'm quite a nerd when it comes to my favourite fictional universes, and I tend to hyper-analyse stuff all the way. There's something that's been bothering me since I joined the discussions regarding the MCU/Live Action parts of the battle forums. Apparently, there's the general notion that a couple of pretty popular and known street level characters get undersold while another couple, or so, get oversold through some kind of weird double standard and misinterpretation of the fight scenes.

The claims I'll hopefully debunk below are:

  • Black Widow or Hawkeye cannot hold their own against Super Soldier level opposition in CQC (which also results to the below notion)
  • Peak human fighters in general, cannot hold their own against Super Soldier level opposition in CQC

So, let's analyse the scenes and sequences that lead into those flawed perspectives of the dynamics between these characters. First of all, let's establish that Widow and Hawkeye are comparable in CQC. As shown in their fights, Natasha's superior on that department, but not by this much. In TA, she's fighting and defeating him while at a health and morality disadvantage, and in CW, they have a friendly, less credible stalemate where they're both holding back. Regardless of the outcome, they're close. With that in mind, let's skip into some showings for each respective fighter that demonstrate their ability go toe to to toe with opponents above the level of Captain America or the Winter Soldier.

Hawkeye vs Black Panther (CA: CW)

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At one point of the airport fight scene, Hawkeye was pit against the Black Panther. After a while of Clint shooting at him at medium range, they engage in close quarters, with Clint using his bow/staff. In the first on-screen part of the fight, we see them trading blows, blocking and countering evenly. Next part, we see Clint having briefly restrained T'Challa, and the latter taking him down. Now, let's clear some things up about their fight:

1.T'Challa was practically bloodlusted, or at least dead serious from the get-go, since Clint was the only obstacle between him and Bucky, who was going to escape the airport; T'Challa had to end the fight as quickly as possible. The "I don't care" comment might as well mean he didn't care about introductions and had to rush into the fight.

2. Nobody intervened, since every single fighter was busy with their own battles. The following breakdown includes where everyone else was at the time of the melee exchange between Clint and T'Challa:

  • War-Machine, Vision and Spiderman are fighting An-Man and Wanda
  • Cap and Bucky are running away
  • Black Widow turned up at the garage Cap and Bucky were running at
  • Iron Man was fighting Falcon

Obviously, Wanda and Flacon are the only allies of Clint that were involved in the battle ATM, and therefore the only people that could have attempted the slightest to assist Clint, but clearly, they had their hands full with their respective opposition. Furthermore, when the exchange ends, we see that Clint and T'Challa are all alone in the general area of the battlefield. And let's face it, no one fighter would really be interested in interfering with lower level opponents like street levellers.

3. Nothing generally happened to interfere with the fight. Obviously, th hiere's's no actual way for me, or anyone, to confirm this, but the same can be said for the opposite idea, and to a much larger degree; assuming that someone interfered or something happened because there's not 100% evidence of it is like assuming that a flying cow that farts gold is sleeping on the roof of my house right now because there's not 100% evidence that it isn't. What are the chances? The perfectly plausible explanation for the scene is to basically accept what's shown to us. Frankly, the rest is headcanon and utterly baseless.

4. It was not a stomp by any means. Clint clearly couldn't win this exchange, but he was up against an enhansed individual, trained to the highest levels and covered in vibranium head to toe. However, he respectfully held his own. First part of the fight we see Clint straight up trading and blocking hits from T'Challa while retaliating with his own. The choreography and the sound effects are very clear with that. Yes, it was simply 5 seconds while the rest 40+ took place off-screen. That's the best you can do with a secondary hero in a battle with a dozen of other, more important matchups. What we are shown here on-screen, is an even exchange between Clint and T'Challa, as short as it is. We know he faught him for another 40 or so seconds seconds off-screen. If the scene was meant to imply that T'Challa was toying with him, that's what would've been shown, but T'Challa was clearly in for a fight. On the last part of the fight, we see on-screen for a split second, that Clint managed to get T'Challa within his bow's grip, an extremely advantageous position in hand to hand combat, similar to a chokehold. Even if, for whatever reason, someone wants to imagine that Clint didn't do that by himself, through his own skill etc, which I'm confident I've already debunked, there's no denying that he traded blows with an opponent above the Super Soldiers (Rogers, Barnes). Lastly, if anyone thinks he got taken out in these 2 on-screen hits, it's just a testament to his great performance that he remained untagged for the rest of the fight.

The duel between Hawkeye and Black Panther is legimate and happened, and it's nothing outside of Barton's consistent potential and portrayal.

Black Widow vs Proxima Midnight (Avengers: IW1)

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In the battle of Wakanda, Black Widow faught one of Thank' children, possibly the third most powerful one too. After she threatened to kill Wanda, she was approached by Widow and Okoye in a fight. Proxima Midnight is an Elite member of the Black Order possessing extremely advanced physical abilities and extremely impressive fighting skill. As shown here, she is matching Scarlet Witch's Telekinetic powers with brute force. The same Scarlet Witch could move several dozens tons through her advanced powers. Proxima could match Captain America's strength while holding back to not destroy Corvus Glaive's (her partner's) weapon. It's worth noting that this is more than likely why Steve grabbed this weapon to counter her in the first place. Another testament to how advanced her physiology is, is Proxima's effortless, multistory leaps. Steve or Buck can barely match 1/3 of this height with their best leaps. In terms of durability, Proxima tanked several of Wanda's blows that sent her flying yards away, and even tanked getting thrown inside a fiery truck and blown up directly. It's objective to say that she's well above any Super Soldier in terms of stats.

Proxima's combination of speed and skill is very notable. She was the most fluid fighter out of the Black Order and it showed, by the way she could exchange blows with both Captain America and Black Widow from 2 different angles, before Falcon intervened, or by the way she could keep up with Okoye and Black Widow in a 2 on 1. While trading blows with 2 different people does no put someone on a higher skill level than the outnumbering opposition, as shown by Midnight's last fight with Natasha, such fights allow for direct comparison with other fighter, like Bucky, a Super Soldier in question. In CW, Bucky faught the double team of Black Widow and Sharon Carter. While he could react to and counter Sharon's attempts 1 on 1, the moment Natasha came in, he failed to keep up. Sharon dodged his attempt, Natasha landed 2 clean, focused hits, Sharon landed another solid one before going down, and Natahsa only gets pinned down/tagged because she wanted to (jumped on him), she basically lands another direct blow. We'll get more into this fight next, but it's worth noting how Proxima could keep up with and trade blows with the team of Okoye and Natasha, without getting fully overwhelmed at all, while Bucky could barely react to an inferior duo (Sharon and Natasha). Furthermore, there aren't many fighters who could even attempt to trade blows work Cap and Widow the way she did, and Bucky apparently can't (Steve's barely above Bucky too).

Now that we've established Proxima, it's worth noting just how impressibe Romanoff's performance against her was. She faught and staggered her for a few seconds before Okoye came in, by landing a kick on her. Then, they both fight her for a while until the giant killer blades that were maneuvering around the battlefield allowed for an opening to downright overpower the both of them. The rest of the fight happens off-screen (around 40-50 seconds), until the scene cuts back to Widow fighting her 1 on 1. She is still seen blocking all her attempts, even disarming her and putting up a defence against an attempt from Proxima to finally overpower her. After Wanda regains consciousness and kills Proxima from behind, we see that Okoye has still not gotten up from the very same spot she was dropped on before. Natasha was legimately fighting Proxima 1 on 1 for almost an entire minute.

So with this scene, we've established how both Hawkeye and Black Widow have faught with and performed impressively against opponents superior to the likes of Captain America or the Winter Soldier. Yet, somehow, Natasha gets repeatedly manhandled by Bucky. Let's get into that immediately.

Black Widow vs The Winter Soldier (CA: TWS/CW)

The most important aspect of the subject, as it is the center of any argument revolving around the Super Soldiers bodying Natasha, Clint or any peak human in h2h. It's the total of 2 times where Romanoff has failed to defeat Bucky in melee exchanges and didn't last more than handful of seconds,despite having important advantages aiding her each time. Each encounter will be broken down individually:

  • Battle at the Highway (TWS)

After an interesting gunfight, Natasha tricks Bucky into thinking she's hiding behind a remote car on the street, drawing his attention on the opposite of the field. This allows her to get the jump on him from behind, disarm him and attempt to strangle him with her fiber wire. He stops her by placing his arm in between his neck and the wire last second and immediately overpowers her and throws her away. She then doesn't attempt to go in close quarters with him again, just like she didn't attempt to fight him head on before.

-› Why didn't she initially approach him head on?

It isn't because she couldn't possibly fight him for a prolonged amount of time (content with him) head on. She didn't attempt to do so because she didn't have to. Put anyone fighter with decent reasoning skills in that situation. She was up against someone she knew was incredibly powerful physically, in a life or death situation, with only one way to put him down; strangling him to death with the garotte she was carrying. She had the chance to get the jump on him, why blow it? She made the best out of the options she had available at the moment. The objective was to kill the Winter Soldier, not have a flashy fight with him for the audience to enjoy (they left that to the protagonist like they should've).

-› Why didn't she approach him head on afterwards, if she could really fight him?

Because there's litteraly no reason to do so. She knew what she was up against. She tried her best to put him down and she couldn't, so why would she try to delay the inevitable? It would be much more clever, in-character and practical to get the civilians to safety and find a way to escape herself while the Winter Soldier was stunned.

-› Why didn't she stall until Captain America came in to fight the Winter Soldier?

For all she knew, Steve was dead. He had just been hit by an RPG and shortly afterwards had all of Bucky's armed mercenaries to worry about. If anything, it would seem like Natasha attempted driving Bucky aeay from Steve as much as possible. Furthermore, in no small part, it was kind of personal too.

  • Battle at the C.I.A. Facility

Right after Bucky, in HYDRA mode, takes down Tony, Sharon and Natasha attempt to stop him. Sharon keeping Bucky busy helped Natasha land clean hits on him and then get him in an extremely advantageous position to land repeated elbow strikes on his skull, while simultaneously choking him between her thighs. It is also very likely that she did that as an attempt to snap Bucky out of mind control like she'd done with Hawkeye under Loki's mind control back in TA (which would also explain the "You could at least recognise me" line). Regardless, she failed to cause any significant amount of damage on that part of the fight, so he promptly overpowers her and begins choking her out on return, with his enhansed strength clearly winning him the contest until T'Challa came in to save Natasha.

-› Why didn't Widow fight him 1 on 1, or didn't attempt to trade blows with him head on, if she could?

Because there's absolutely no reason to. She had another high level agent there to assist her, why be a diva about it? Esspecially given Natasha's knowledge on Bucky, facing him unarmed alone would be reckless or pointless at best. Once again, the objective was to put Bucky down, not have a cool, prolonged exchange with him. Double teaming the Winter Soldier would allow her to land clean, strong hits easier.

-› Why didn't she just stall until someone who could take him down came in?

For one, she had just seen Rogers been taken down. She had no business knowing about T'Challa's enhansments or training, or even know where he was. For all she knew, she was the next most dangerous person in the facility, and the ideal one to apprehend Barnes, or snap him out of it.

-› Was either of these fights a stomp? And even if they were, would it matter?

Looking at the subject from a length perspective, when a fighter loses to the other very promptly, it's generally considered a stomp. However, it's not just about quantity, rather than mostly about quality. This logic applies to most scenarios too. Focusing on the difference between Natasha's fights with Bucky and actual stomps, such as Batroc getting his sorry ass handed to him beaten by Captain America, the difference is clear to someone who objectively applies the quality > quantity logic. Even though Batroc lasted longer against Steve than Natasha did against Bucky, he did not perform nearly as efficiently. The entire sequence is Cap blocking every single one attempt from Batroc and the moment he finally decides to make the first offensive movement, Batroc gets beaten up and KOed, unable to do the slightest about it other than stay alive through his damage soak. You can equalise the stats between them and nothing would change, because Steve would still downright counter everything and beat him up. On the other hand, when you equalised the stats in both of Natasha's fights with Bucky, you get an entirely different outcome. In the first sequence, he gets strangled and killed in seconds. In the second, his guts get splattered, his leg gets crippled, he gets choked out and end up with a broken skull. The problem with calling these fights 'stomps' is that Bucky was in actual danger and under threat of getting killed.

To get in better examples, Natasha got him in advantageous positions that, say, Daredevil did not come even close to getting the Black Sky in. Yet, Matt's particular fight with Elektra is widely considered as 'close', while Natasha's fights with Bucky are 'stomps'. If everything, however, stayed the same, Elektra and Matt would still go at it in a quit close exchange, which leads me to the final and most important point here - the problem with comparing Widow's fights with Bucky to Daredevil's fight with Elektra is that they are 2 completely different scenarios and mindsets. If Matt could get the jump on Elektra and attempt to choke her out with his own fiber wire, he probably would have taken the chance. Upon realising just how tough Elektra was, he would be a fool to attempt to fight her the way he did again, exactly what happened with Natasha's case. So, had that been the case with Matt's encounter with Elektra, then that encounter would be considered a 'stomp', because there's a very thin line between 'lasting' and 'not lasting' long against a superior opponent when we compare 2 cases like those, and the same fighter can last or not last long against the same opponent depending on how they approach the fight. Basically, Natasha skipped the fancy part of the fight and went to the part where she attempts to put him down with the most heavy hitting moves she can pull off. She did so, and those moves just weren't enough.

**Hawkeye holding his own against Black Panther / Black Widow holding her own against Proxima Midnight - Inconsistent or outliers?

Let's look back at the comparison between Daredevil's fight with Elektra and the Black Widow's fight with the Winter Soldier. As established, it's 2 different mindsets, 2 different scenarios, 2 different things. You can compare Clint's fight with Panther or Natasha's fight with Proxima to the fight between Matt and Elektra, but not Natasha's fight with Bucky. And exactly because you cannot compare them, as 2 different things, the idea that once makes the other look inconsistent or that it allows us to simply dismiss it, is invalid. Natasha not having to last, or fight head on with Bucky and ultising much better options in the encounter does not equate to her being unable to last or fight head on with Bucky in h2h.

It's no wonder how we cannot determine Widow or Bucky's actual ability to exchange blows in unarmed combat looking at their fights. That's because they never exchanged blows. It's always Natasha hitting him from behind with her strongest hits and being unable to put him down. Those fights are mostly physical contests, more than anything, unlike with the Black Panther/Proxima Midnight fights.

To sum this up, Clint and Natasha are Avengers for a reason, and not being fodder to low level metahumans is part of it. Both of them being that good make sense;

  • from a feats perspective, because both of them have traded blows with opponents considerably or significally superior to Super Soldiers
  • from an in-universe perspective, because both of them are indirectly compared to several high caliber fighters such as other SHIELD agents, who have their own showings of trading blows with beings superior to the Super Soldiers

In order to put all arguments involving Clint and Natasha to rest, I'll lastly address the latter's fight with Crossbones in CW. After everything I've said till now, I'd just say this fight is, weird. Not in the sense of 'inconsistent' or 'difficult to understand'. It's just not worth bringing up. Firstly, Crossbones grabs Widow from behind and pulls her on top of his truck. Then, he barely bothers to counter her attempts because he knows he can shrug them off without trouble, and then, she gets surprised after seeing that the Widow's Bite won't work on him at skin level and he finds an opening to BFR her inside the truck.

Well, honestly, with actual knowledge on his newly acquired pain tolerance and stats, and with plenty of open space to fight him on (such as the area Steve faught him in moments later), that could've been a more entertaining sequence.

Regardless, this particular encounter doesn't change anything of what's been said till now, so.

-› Peak Humans vs Super Soldiers

Lastly, one of the reasons I wanted to post this analysis, was to ensure that everyone understands, a Super Soldier is not 'stomping' high level peak human fighters, even in unarmed combat. Apart from Natasha or Clint, the likes of Daredevil or Agents May and Morse etc. all have showings against opponents every bit as powerful as any Super Soldier. Using Bucky's fights with Widow to justify calling such matchups "stomps" does not work, something I believe and hope I've covered.

At the end of the day, no one needs to prove that Romanoff or Barton etc. can hold their own against Cap or Bucky head on, they have everything to suggest they can. On the other hand, the Super Soldiers have never stomped anyone highily skilled peak human in a head on, close combat exchange.

So that's basically it, and I can't believe I pulled this off on mobile. Anyway, I apologise to the Cap fanboys in advance and feel free to discuss any of the points with me here and share your thoughts on the topic (noting that for anyone who hasn't watched IW, that's all I can do about Proxima's feats, there are barely any leaked fight scenes from the movie yet).

56 Comments

A:TLA / LoK: Tier List

So, since everyone's been doing it, I guess it's time to settle how I think the Avatarverse is split into my unofficial tier list. Everyone's allowed to debate here on the positions by the way. Conditions for the placing are same as in this thread, unless specified otherwise.

"Water. Earth. Fire. Air. Only the Avatar can master all four elements and bring balance to the world."

Tier 1 (God Tier)

These are the semi-unbeatable beings of this universe. The best Avatars in the Avatar State, which we've seen can effortlessly deal with high level spirits and have incredibly versatile options that can take on small armies of master benders at once.

  • Avatar Aang (Avatar State)
  • Avatar Kyoshi (Avatar State)
  • Avatar Roku (Avatar State)
  • General Old Iron
  • Avatar Yangchen (Avatar State)
  • Unavaatu
  • Cosmic Energy Korra
  • Avatar Korra (Avatar State)
  • Avatar Wan (Avatar State)
  • Raava
  • Vaatu

Tier 2 (Demigod Tier)

These are the top benders of the food chain full of hax capabilities and options, including Yakone's family tree, as well as enhansed benders that might just be powerful enough to instantly knock out any other character if they're fast enough on the draw.

  • Yakone
  • Amon
  • Tarrlok
  • Katara (Full Moon)
  • Hama (Full Moon)
  • Azula (Sozin's Comet)
  • Iroh (Sozin's Comet)
  • Ozai (Sozin's Comet)
  • Avatar Aang (4 elements)
  • Aang (airbending)
  • Avatar Roku (4 elements)
  • King Bumi
  • Zuko (Sozin's Comet)

Tier 3 (Grandmaster Tier)

These are the best regular master benders in the world, with the most versatile, fast and powerful sets of skills. They can challenge the best fully realised Avatars, and they're considered the best of their elements.

  • Tenzin
  • Azula
  • Katara
  • Toph Beifong
  • Ming Hua
  • Lin Beifong
  • Suyin Beifong
  • Kuvira
  • Avatar Korra (4 elements)
  • Uncle Iroh
  • Firelord Ozai
  • Jeong Jeong
  • Unalaq
  • Korra (waterbending)
  • Master Pakku

Tier 4 (High Tier)

These fighters are quite capable of more than holding their own against the benders of the above tier. This includes some high level masters and the most skilled, experienced, non-benders in history.

  • Aang (earthbending)
  • Korra (airbending)
  • Huu
  • Zaheer (flight)
  • Ty Lee
  • Mai
  • Suki
  • Master Piandao
  • P'Li
  • Zuko (S&S)
  • Ghazan
  • Desna & Eska

Tier 5 (Mid Tier)

These are some of the greatest fighters and benders in the world, with excellent showings of skill and power, good enough to pose a large threat to the best circumstancially, but nothing more.

  • Dai Li Agents (DoBS)
  • Zaheer (pre-Void)
  • Kya
  • Bolin
  • Zuko (Blue Spirit)
  • Wei & Wing
  • Tokuga
  • Asami Sato
  • The Lieutenant
  • Jet
  • Mako
  • Korra (firebending)
  • Combustion Man
  • Hama
  • Tonraq
  • Korra (earthbending)
  • Jinora
  • Tarrlok (waterbending)
  • Aang (waterbending)
  • Amon (no bending)
  • Iroh II

Tier 6 (Low Tier)

These are rather inexperienced and mediocre benders and fighters with potential that hasn't thrived yet. They can be overwhelmed by small groups of fodder level opposition, and overall lack showings on par with expert combatants.

  • Earth Empire Soldier
  • Zuko (Book 1)
  • Bumi
  • Meelo
  • Opal
  • Kai
  • Zhao
  • Sokka
  • Xin Fu
  • Dai Li Agent
  • Equalist Chi Blocker
  • Republic City Police Officer
  • Yuyan Archer

Tier 7 (Fodder Tier)

These are some of the worst nameless soldiers or named fighters, that can pose a challenge on large groups but overall fail under the category of incompetent compared to the best.

  • The Boulder
  • Viper
  • Ikki
  • White Lotus Sentry
  • Fire Nation Soldier

- Will be updating repeatedly, more than sure I've forgotten several characters -

88 Comments

Black Widow (MCU) Respect Thread

Black Widow (A.K.A. Natasha Romanoff)

"Fury designed this himself. He wanted a Lie Detector Romanoff couldn't beat." - Eric Koenig

Natasha Romanoff is the world's single best espionage expert and a lethal assasin trained since childhood in the Red Room program. Some time after her graduation, she got into S.H.I.E.L.D.'s radar for her abilities and had to be taken out. Agent Barton decided to give her a chance in the organisation instead, and after recruitment she became one of the most accomplished agents there are. Having already evaluated Tony Stark for the Initiative, the Black Widow was asked to partake in Director Fury's plan herself, to assemble the Avengers, a group of the greatest being on earth to fight against world threats, such as Ultron or Loki's army. Two years later, she faught alongside Captain America to take down the remnants of HYDRA and the Winter Soldier, an assasin she had encountered before in the past. At last, Natasha participated in the 'Civil War' between the Avengers on Stark's side, though at the end she betrayed him and let Rogers and Barnes escape the Airport, and get to safety.

Equipment

  • Collapsible Staff
    • Battle Staves
  • Dual Handguns
  • Fiber Wire
  • Widow's Bite
    • Taser Disks
    • Electrical Discharges
    • Wrist Discharge
  • Flashbangs
  • Dual Knives
  • Hand Grenades
  • Widow's Line

Strength & Durability

""At long last" is lasting a little long, boys."

In spite of her size and build, Natasha is likely one of the toughest peak human fighters out there, consistently contenting with superhumans, and while her lifting strength is not on par with the best, she knows how to use it well enough to hit harder than most.

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After jumping on a high speed Chiaturi jet grabbing it with 1 arm, she cuts down the steel chains with a knife and kicks the Chiaturi soldier away, sending it flying. Worth noting that the Chiaturi are capable of no selling heavy hits such as extremely high falls. This scene demonstrates exceptional physical capabilities, with Natasha performing repeated feats that require high levels of strength, despite being exhausted from being chased down by the Hulk, fighting Hawkeye and the armies of the Chiaturi on the ground.

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In the final fight against Ultron's army, Natasha was limited to a handgun and her bare hands, forcing back the Ultron Bots, holding them in place in order to headshot them to take them down or hold them off. Ultron Sentires are highily superhuman, being able to lift cars and no sell gunfire.

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Here, Widow kicks away a HYDRA mech suit accelerating at high speeds towards her, and in the process she displaces the door of her vechile.

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After overwhleming Clint, Natasha hit him on a steel bar and then took him down with a punch, and while he was hurt, so was she and Barton is surprisngly durable, for instance he could tank a punch from Vision that sent him flying some feet back,

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Here, she knocks out one of Crossbones' men just by kicking him on the celling, impressive because he was wearing a helmet.

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Here she send a woman of her size flying several feet back with a kick.

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Against the Winter Soldier in the S.H.I.E.L.D. facility, Widow managed to visibly damage him, momentarily, forcing him back with a knee and following up with an extremely strong punch on the leg that made a cracking sound and hurt him (and it was not on the croch, it was on the leg, more specifically his knee, it's clear where she landed the hit and when the cracking sound begins, hit's already been made on the third frame).

Widow's best strikes hit considerably harder than Steve Rogers' regular ones, which is pretty impressive.

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Here, Natasha sends an armored HYDRA soldier flying.

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Using her signature leg wrapping moveset, she can easily take large men out, choke them or even break their necks - or at seriously injure them, is what the sound effect implies - or KO them by slamming them hard enough on the floor. She can do it to pretty tough individuals, for instance the Hammer Security she faught were durable enough to get in a boxing match with Happy, who is a highily proficient boxer and Tony Stark's personal bodyguard.

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The Winter Soldier flung her a few feet on a car, she landed directly with her face and she tanked it. Bucky was strong enough to stick Steve's shield into a van moments later, with his bionic arm alone.

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Here, Natasha casually tanks a pretty high fall from landing alongside the Hulk, she gets hit repeatedly on the ground for a few seconds and perfectly balances herself afterwards.

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Widow could take a bullet on the shoulder after Bucky shot her and stay relatively fine, conscious for several minutes and even shoot at Bucky afterwards.

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After Abomination smashed his way out of a building, Natasha was burried in concrete and survived, getting out after tanking the heavy injuries.

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After Bruce Banner lost control on the Helicarrier and chased down Widow, he finally managed to land a hit on her in the highway, sending her flying several yards away on a neaby wall. Despite that, she remained conscious and was even able to fight immediately afterwards. It's worth noting that we hear the direct sound of his hit on her back. The Hulk is an incredibly strong metahuman, capable of pulling off multitoner feats rather casually, such as sending Ultron flying more than a hundred of yards away with a punch.

Speed & Agility

"I'm sorry. Did I step on your moment?"

Natasha is very nimble, she's highily acrobatic and her reactions and combat speed are top notch for a street leveller.

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Here, she is maneuvering too fast for Hawkeye to tag her with his arrow. This is even more impressive than arrow timing, as it does not only show how Natasha is quicker than Clint, since she was moving in a telegraphed enough manner for him to normally predict her position (like he's effortlessly done with Chiaturi jets before), but it's also impressive considering Hawkeye's extrardinary precision.

Worth noting that Clint could keep up with Black Panther, the single fastest street leveller in the MCU, and perfectly keep up with all his movements 1 on 1.

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Natasha was fast enough to recover from being hit, draw a taser disk and throw it at the Winter Soldier before he could properly aim and shoot at her with the riffle he had already picked up. Bucky is very fast, fast enough that he can go toe to toe with Captain America and decently keep up with or even tag Black Panther 1 on 1.

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Here, she somersaults away from several energy blasts coming from Ultron Bots, and she has reacted to them after they've been firedtoo.

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After Falcon's Redwing shot down the first mercenary, Natasha shot the other one and grabbed the biological weapon from more than 6 ft. away, all in the time it took for it to fall on ground level.

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First page, she is dancing around lasers to get out of the building, second one, she's outpacing automatic machine gunfire from multiple angles.

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Here, she performs a somersault and lands on a Hammer security guard, having also gained enough monmentum in the air to one shot him.

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Apart from quick thinking and tactical ability, this also takes great level of reaction and movement speed - Natasha sees the Winter Soldier getting on the roof with a handgun, she gets out of the way before he can shoot her, then gets Steve out of the way and also pushes Sam back with her leg, saving everyone inside the speeding car.

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She could deflect Clint's arrows at point blank range.

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Lastly, when Bucky attacked them in the highway, Natasha could react to his grenade launcher twice, after it's been fired, the second time being her going through a small speed gauntlet than not many could replicate - She jumps out of the grenade's way, evades a speeding car, maneuvers too fast for 5 shooters to tag and gets out the street before Bucky can pull the trigger for another shot.

Close Quarters Combat

"This isn't gonna end well..."

Romanoff is one of the most skilled unarmed fighters in the MCU. She wields several black belts, wins over established opposition and ultises very precise movements in combat. In addition to that, she is an expert in several melee weapons.

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In the airport fight, Black Widow was initially paired against Ant Man, with Scott being manhandled for the majority of the fight. It's pretty impressive how she could completely outskill an opponent who does not only have versatile abilities through size manipulation (on the second part of the fight, we see him trying to blitz her, but she kicks him precisely enough to force him into regular size again), but it's also impressive that a less experienced Ant Man could go toe to toe with and pressure Falcon with the same moveset that did not work on Widow.

Falcon is no master fighter, decent as he is, but he's still good enough to hold his own against Rumlow in h2h for an extented period of time and hours before they faught, the latter was maintaining a clear skill edge over Captain America 1 on 1, evading and blocking all his strikes while landing more. This is a fight that Steve wouldn't have survived without his massive stat edge. For the most part, Natasha was ragdolling someone who can hold his own against expert combatants like Crossbones.

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Wrapping around an opponent with the legs, repeatedly elbow striking them and simultaneously choking them (this part apparently worked on Bucky too) is an advanced move that acrobatic fighters like Natasha has the ability to attempt, and while it wouldn't work on him because of his superhuman stats, meaning Widow's regular strikes would be no sold, this technique would deal devastating damage to a peak human fighter, to the point where it's an automatic win.

I'd like to note that both times she faught against Bucky, she was taken down rather quickly because of the way she apprached him - through her hardest hitting moves available at the time, going for the choke, getting him to the best possible position for her to accomplish a KO or a kill - instead of going head to head through martial arts skill, more than likely because she knew what she was up against and knew that she would either take him down or not, which she just couldn't. At the end of the day, if she was willing to stall or have a more evened out hand to hand fight with the Winter Soldier, she logically could have, but there was no point in this.
Here's a decent analysis I posted on a thread a while ago.

In the highway fight, Widow gets the jump on Bucky from behind and gets him into a position that almost allowed her to choke him with her fiber wire. Bucky overpowers her and throws her away. First of all, this does not mean that she couldn't fight him head on and stall/have a prolonged fight with him in h2h (Clint, someone inferior to Widow, gave T'Challa, someone superior to Bucky, a tough fight up close that laster almost a minute / we've also seen other peak humans on Widow's tier giving good fights to metas just as or more impressive than Bucky). They do it through superior skill, and Natasha is much more skilled than Bucky, it shows from her fights with Clint.

Widow knew what she was up against - a Super Soldier with an assualt riffle aiming at her that couldn't be taken down by anything but her strongest moves - she had to approach him that way in order to take him down. By geting the jump on him, she managed to disarm him and almost kill him, but it turns out she just couldn't kill him, in any way there. He was too physically imposing to take down in melee with the tools she had available.

She had no reason to approach him head on to have a flashy exchange with him for the audience to enjoy. She would either take him down or not take him down. She just couldn't - that doesn't mean that she wouldn't last much longer if she wanted to, and it doesn't mean that she cannot take him down with standard equipment. Both times he faught her she was in civilian clothes, with no guns left (Bucky cannot tank bullets, and in their sniper fight he had the high ground and cover + 5 more shooters and an assault riffle vs Widow with 2 regular pistols, she still almost killed him), no fully charged Widow's Bite (the one that stunned the bulletproof Black Panther for a good while) and virtually no way of putting him down.
In their fight at the S.H.I.E.L.D. Facility, she had nothing - it was pure unarmed combat, and the only way to put him down would be through her most heavy hitting moves, the ones she did use. Again, not sufficient enough, but she can fight the Winter Soldier if she's willing to.

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Fights against groups of people are a good way to measure skill, as something very common among fighters, and she excels on that part. One of Black Wdow's most impressive showings of unarmed combat, and one of the most impressive showings against fodder in the MCU as well, would be her fighting 3 russian mercenaries while bound on a chair after being visibly tortured physically. She throws them off, trips them up and deals some good damage while taking them down one by one, all while her movements are heavily restricted. Noting, she has to fight these people with a wound (probably a stab) on the knee and while carrying extra weight, also forcing her in a crouching position. This significally does not only significally slow down the fighter, it also puts more pressure on the legs and hinders their balance and leg endurance, the knee in particular is the worst there is for such injuries, and she still took them down in a rather casual manner. On the final part of the fight, we see that she can effectively fight people twice her size grabbing her, through small joing manipulation.

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In another impressive showing, though off-panel as it is, Widow took down 10 armed security guards, while restricted on a steel bar several yars above the ground inside a construction zone, and implies that it's rather casual for her too.

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Black Widow often ultises her superior agility and incorporates acrobatics in her fighting style, throwing off opponents this way is something she very usually goes for, such as walking right on a man's body and kneeing them to make them lose balance. In the last part of the sequence, she slides through one guard and takes down the other, to finish it off with casually blocking a strike, twisting the guard's arm and turning him over.

This kind of throwing off opponents through small joint manipulation, poking techniques or twists allows for opening to get them on winning stances like a leg lock, such as she did to Happy Hogan. This works esspecially well when she has a speed edge, which she often has against peak humans.

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Here, she takes on Crossbones' top men in a 2v1 and remains untouched while she lands numerous hits. It's a good showing of choreography, showing her blocking their efforts, twisting their arms, abusing openings all while keeping both of them from grabbing the handguns off the ground - which is an extremely difficult thing to do since she has to get from one side of the area to the other and gradually beat them down. At last, she grabs one with her legs and corners the other controling the fight.

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And against Crossbones himself, Widow proved much more skilled, despite being overall outmatched because she had no way to put him down atm. He grabbed her from behind, and she still managed to escape while dodging his attempt. She also landed 4 hits of her own, compared to the 1 of his, and would've quickly won via electrocution if it wasn't for his newly acquired pain tolerance, which caught her off guard.

Rumlow was arguably not trying this much to defend against her efforts, given he could easily shrug off everything, but he was clearly trying to tag her and he tried blocking her kick too, so I think it's clear he was trying well enough. At this point, it's worth noting that Rumlow was overwhelming Steve by a skill perspective (landing more hits than him) before the latter abused the openings the gauntlets gave him and outskilled him back.

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Here, she takes down 3 of Klaue's mercenaries in 5 seconds whlie unarmed showcasing great strength and crowd control.

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And here, Natasha takes down 5 armed mercenaries ambushing her.

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During the battle at the Triskelion, Widow in disguise took down a STRIKE team of HYDRA, 4-5 high level agents, armed and surrounding her, shocwcasing impressive speed and skill in disarming and takedowns.

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Widow's most impressive showing of unarmed combat is likely her win against Clint on the Hellicarier. She opened the fight by initially trying to disarm him but couldn't overpower him, then she dodged all of his attempts and landed a head on kick he couldn't stop, to land another one afterwards using superior stealth and combat speed.

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Next part of the sequence, Natasha is still controlling the fight, dodging all of Clint's attempts, grabbing his bow, landing 2 hits on him and eventually disarming him.

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After he pulls out a knife, Natasha grabs his arm and twists his arm. Clint switches arm and tries to slash her, but she dodges and corners him entering more of a strength contest at last. At the end, he manages to get the better of her by grabbing her hair, she retaliates by biting him and throwing him off to finally abuse her agility, flip and gain monmentum enough to hit him on the steel bars and take him down.

This fight is an exceptional showing of establishing Widow's skill level as she overcomes a reach, morality and health disadvantage to take on an agent this skill. She also shows how she can be advantageous of her smaller size rather than hintered.

Hawkeye is a top tier melee combatant in the MCU, he could fight Black Panther 1 on 1 and hold his own for more almost a whole minute, which given T'Challa's combination of enhansed speed, strength, skill and on top of it all, full body vibranium suit, puts the latter above most if not all street level fighters in this universe. It's worth noting how Black Widow faught and edged a bloodlusted Clint out while holding back in return. It's also worth noting that Clint's skills would logically not be hintered by Loki's mind control, as he made one of his most impressive shots, close to superhuman, under this effect.

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Here, Widow takes down around 7 of Crossbones' armed mercenaries spread around the area, and remains untouched for the entire fight. She took down 2 more through her Widow's Bite.

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Lastly, on Batroc's ship, Black Widow rather casually took down 3 of his mercenaries, without any of them landing a hit on her, demonstrating highily precise moveset disarming one of them with kicks and catwheels, throwing them off with poking motions and arm twists and finishing them off using her legs once more. It's worth noting how Steve, the best soldier in the world and a master martial artist himself, was caught off guard by one of them pointing a firearm on his face at point blank range just by fighting 2 more people than Romanoff.

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Widow is a master of various melee weapons, including her new signature pair of Tonfa, or batons. While taking down Ultron Bots with her uniquely electrified batons, we see how she uses them instead of her hands while keeping her exact unarmed fighting style, just more efficient since the weapon helps fight off a stat disadvantage, such as physical strength, which the Ultron Bots had over her; using them for poking motions, she throws it off from the legs, blocks an attempt by hitting the neck and puts it down via electrocution.

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With her standard Tonfa, that she used in the Airport battle, she faught Hawkeye once again, this time mostly on equal grounds (she seemed to be edging him out right before Wanda interfered however). While this rather friendly match is not as credible as their fight on the Hellicarier, it shows them consistently going toe to toe in a closer match with excellent choreography of them grappling each other with ther respective weapons, breaking out and escaping each other's grips while also using hand to hand simultaneously. This is also minutes before Clint faught Black Panther.

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Lastly, Widow seems to have at least some knowledge on larger weapons like a staff, similar to several other agents like Grant Ward and Melinda May, seeing as how she could easily fight off and kill numerous Chiaturi soldiers from different angles simultaneously using one of their weapons, spinning, blocking and attacking back.

Weaponry

"I've got red in my ledger. I'd like to wipe it out."

Apart from hand to hand combat, the Black Widow is a weapon specialist and her gear is large part of her combat efficiency, having mastered several melee and ranged fighting tools, making her one of the most versatile combatants.

Handguns

Widow includes a standard pair of handguns in her arsenal with which she's incredibly skilled on all aspects.

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Natasha is fast enough on the draw to get her hand under the table, pick up the gun, load and aim to shoot, all in a matter of a single second while also being caught by surprise from Banner (who was messing up with her).

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Even a much younger Natasha Romanoff, still in training at the Red Room, was proficient enough with her handguns that she could effortlessly switch from one to another in much less than a single second and still show pinpoint accuracy in hitting her target.

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Against the Winter Soldier, Romanoff achieved an extremely impressive shot, pinpointing his eye (he was wearing bulletproof goggles) from several yards away, while directly below his position. Being below your target alone is enough to hinter a gun user, being directly below them is even worse. She also hit him on her first attempt, though she was trying to shoot him down again afterwards.

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Here, she headshots an Iron Man suit while moving her head around, not looking directly at the target. It's also very impressive because the suit was in motion.

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Widow shot down several of Batroc's men on the ship, hitting all of them while descending with a wire. Last part of the scene is very impressive as she shoots down the 2, on her first try, through those tiny small holes on the level she's standing on. It's worth noting how her handguns allow for higher volume and fire rate than regular handgun users, since it's basically 2 of them in 1.

Fiber Wire

Natasha also carries a garotte with her, an extremely strong wire that can directly cut through human skin or strangle someone by crushing their windpipe.

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Here, she ties up and incapacitates 2 mercenaries while evading gunfire from them.

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Here, she uses it to tie up 2 Hammer security guards simultaneously while also fighting off another one charging at her, and it shows how she can combine her hand to hand with it, blocking their attacks, going for the legs and incapacitating both of them.

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Natasha attempted to take down Bucky by strangling him with the fiber wire. Even if she ultimately failed, this is an excellent demonstration of how she can easily overpower the opposition this way, seeing as how quickly she managed to force someone as physically strong and durable as him back, despite his attemt to stop the wire with his arm - she would've possibly suceeded in choking him out if the car wasn't in the way, most, if not all, peak human fighters wouldn't have survived this attempt.

Widow's Bite

Her signature weapon, the Widow's Bite that S.H.I.E.L.D. developed, allows for excellent output of 3 types.

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Natasha carries taser disks with her, which she can throw and deal a good amount of damage, enough to knock out humans in one hit and faze opponents enhansed at Super Soldier level. As shown when she attacked the Hammer security with them, they don't require to directly touch the target, but only to get near them to releash the discharge.

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The radius of the discharge is also very good, as shown above where she electrocutes 3 people with a couple of disks thrown around their position.

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Additionally, she can electrocute opponents in conduct using the bracelets themselves, which she can do even more efficiently since the Bite is applied to both her wrists. It packs force good enough to send Ant Man flying so hard he dents a van in landing.

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Here, she takes down a Chiaturi soldier using it, who we've established above are superhumanly durable.

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The most recent version of the Bite demonstrated massive outputs of electricity, enough to visibly faze and slow down Black Panther. Without the suit, T'Challa is already at least as durable than the likes of Rogers and Barnes, with his vibranium suit he is bulletproof head to toe. For Widow's Bite to affect him this much, it needs to carry extremely high amounts of power.

Flash Bombs

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Last but not least, Romanoff carries miniature flash bombs with her that can momentarily blind the opposition giving her opening to end the fight quickly.

Overall, Black Widow is a very solid and experienced fighter with a highily versatile skillset both at range and up close.

64 Comments

Hawkeye (MCU) Respect Thread

Hawkeye (A.K.A. Clint Barton)

"Agent Barton was sent to kill me, he made a different call" - Natasha Romanoff

Clint Barton is one of S.H.I.E.L.D.'s most accomplished agents and the best marksman in the world. At a relatively young age, he was handpicked by Nicky Fury to join the organisation and train to eventually become one of the best on the field. Afterwards, he was asked to join the Avengers Initiative, and upon escaping Loki's mind control, he faught against his army alongside his teammates. Sometime afterwards, he resided at home with his family, who no one other than Fury and Romanoff initially knew about, and was assigned into helping fight the forces of HYDRA and later Ultron, only to retire afterwards. At last, Hawkeye partook in the 'Civil War' between the Avengers after helping Wanda Maximoff escape the New Avengers Facility, where she was held by Stark, and fight alongside Captain America's team. He got apprehended for his actions and imprisoned until Rogers freed him and the rest of his team. Clint has returned to retirement ever since.

Equipment

  • Recurve Bow, Staff & Quiver
  • Conventional & Trick Arrows
    • Explosive Arrows
    • Shockwave Arrows
    • Taser Arrows
    • Smokescreen Arrows
    • Grappling Hook Arrows
    • Hacking Arrows
    • Burst Arrows
    • Scatter Arrows
    • Thermal Arrows
  • Specialised Combat Knife / Dagger
  • H&C P30 Gun

Strength & Durability

"I knew I should have stretched."

Clint does not have many showings of sheer strength, however he's still proven a match for tough fighters, such as Black Widow, while also being surprisingly durable and able to fight and overwhelm superhuman opposition at times.

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Clint could effortlessly pierce through a HYDRA mech suit outside their secret base.

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More impressively, he could pierce Ultron Sentries with regular arrows and his bare hands. Ultron Sentries have been shown to be bulletproof more than once.

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Clint was durable enough to tank a speedblitz from Quicksilver, and while the latter was not going all out, he's still strong enough to tear apart small armies of Ultron Bots with his stronger bullrushes, so it's respectable enough.

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Clint also tanked a punch from a holding back Vision that was still strong enough to send him flying a few feet back.

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Lastly, Clint could tank a direct hit from Natasha's newly programmed Widow's Bite, which might not be as powerful as her recent one, but still packs enough electricity for a large discharge.

Speed & Agility

"Just can't seem to miss."

Clint excells in reflex and combat speed, and has kept up with some of the fastest people in the entire MCU.

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Clint has proven much faster than Director Fury, being able to shoot him before he can react or evade his own shot. Fury might not be a speedster, but he's still fast enough to casually aim dodge gunfire while driving at high speeds. Also, the second one can be argued to be bullet timing, although I personally disagree with such showings being so.

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Clint's surprisngly acrobatic, and fast enough to aim dodge War Machine's weapon and jump out of the way while perfectly balancing himself on the landing.

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Clint has shown himself capable of not only dodging, but also getting Fury out of the way from Loki's scepter's energy blasts.

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With a combination of stealth and reaction speed, Clint noticed Scarlet Witch coming from behind him and electrocuted her with a specialised arrow before she could attempt to use her TP on him. This same strategy worked on Thor.

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Even while heavily injured, Clint could evade repulsor beams, the second time being him jumping after the shot's been made.

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In a most impressive showing, Clint moved too fast for Tony to tag with his repulsors. Moments later, the latter was shooting multiple of his arrows out of the air.

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Clint can be highily acrobatic offensively too, here he somersaults over an Ultron Bot and headshots it.

Lastly, being able to keep up with Black Widow, who can react to grenade launchers, and even Black Panther, a casual bullet timer who sliced a bullet in 3 after it's been fired, puts him on the low level bullet timing tier.

Close Quarters Combat

"Really? I retire for, what, like 5 minutes? And it all goes to shit."

Barton is heavily trained in unarmed combat as well as melee weaponry, and has repeatedly proven to be one of the MCU's most skilled fighters at close range through his fights against master martial artists and enhansed beings.

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In the first showing, Clint casually takes down 2 Chiaturi soldiers by headshoting one at point blank range, disarming the other, throwing it off and kicking it out of the building. In the second one, he easily takes one down by tripping it with his bow and piercing its head with an arrow. The Chiaturi are no joke, physically they are capable of tanking extremely high falls like nothing and their strength is on Captain America's and Iron Man's weight class.

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Using his combat knife against Natasha Romanoff on the Helicarrier, Clint showed himself proficient enough with it to casually throw it from one hand to another and attempt a slash, and despite Natasha getting him on a hold, he still managed to point the knife directly at her face. Even in unarmed combat, he's been able to trade blows with her for a while.

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Their fight on the airport, where Clint ultised his upgraded bow as a staff against Natasha's tofa, was much more even and he even managed to get a momentary advantage and floor her. They're grappling each other, trading and evading attempts ultising both weapons and their hands to go toe to toe.

Black Widow is an amazingly skilled fighter on her own right, she's an assasin trained since she was a child, with several black belts under her name and impressive showings to go by, such as casually taking down 3 mercenaries while bound on a chair after being visibly 'tortured' physically.

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Even more impressively, Clint managed to fight on par with Black Panther for more than 40 seconds - for almost a whole minute - through his skill alone. Notice how they are trading blows with each other, with Clint blocking, dodging and retaliating T'Challa's attempts, have it be slashes or kicks and the like.

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Next thing we see on-screen, is Black Panther on a hold of Clint's grip, using his claws to slice down the staff, taking down Clint in a couple of hits and get away. The fact that Clint was good enough to get someone like him on a hold is impressive enough. He only lost the fight through sheer, absurd stat and striking disadvantage.

This is a top notch showing that not many peak human fighters could replicate. Not only is T'Challa a physical powerhouse far above Clint's weight class, being able to overpower Bucky's bionic arm, wielding a head-to-toe vibranium suit and having the single best reaction feat of any street leveller in the MCU - he's also a master martial artist trained in 'the highest levels to fight'. This makes for a nearly unmatched comination, and Clint proved much more skilled than someone as skilled as Black Panther, which speaks miles of his level of training and close quarters combat skill.

T'Challa's skill also shows, by the way he could repeatedly come close to manhandling the Winter Soldier - who really didn't do much better than Clint, if at all any better, against Panther. And despite what some might want to believe, Panther's mindset was practically bloodlusted against Clint. He saw Steve and Bucky getting away, and he had to end the fight as quickly as possible, he couldn't hope to let them escape - that's about as serious as it can get. And at last, the off-screen part of the fight couldn't have been intervened by the rest of the combatants in the Airport, mostly because (a) we see them fighting far away from anyone else while T'Challa runs to Steve and Buck after he drops Clint and (b) everyone was busy with their respective matchups in the meantime.

Marksmanship

"The city is flying, we’re fighting an army of robots and I have a bow and arrow. None of this makes sense."

Clint's keen eye gave him his code name, and it'd be underselling to say that he's an incredible archer and ranged fighter.

Draw Speed, Volume & Fire Rate

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Clint's extraordinarly fast on the draw with his recurve bow. In training to not miss his spot on the Avengers, he is seen shooting 3 arrows in 1.9 second(s), much less than 2 seconds, and even implies that he can do better than that.

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Through his amazing draw speed combined with accuracy, he could quickly destroy several Ultron Sentries with relative ease at range, all surrounding him.

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And he was also fast enough to draw an arrow, set and shoot before Vision could reach him from a 5ft. distance away.

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He even managed to pressure someone as fast as Black Panther at range and keep him from closing in for quite a while. Lastly, it's worth noting that Clint can fire plenty of arrows at once, up to three the least. Moreso, it's worth noting that there's a chance his arrows travel at higher speed than most, given how he, for instance, can instantly take out grown men through standard protecting vests.

Accuracy & Precision

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In one of the most impressive shots you can make, Hawkeye managed to curve an explosive arrow and target specific part of the Helicarrier, likely by calculating the amount of force he had to put and let the wind handle the rest.

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Here, Clint headshots 2 Ultron Bots at once, showing exceptional ability to precisely pinpoint multiple targets in 1 throw.

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Clint can easily land headshots on people, from huge distances away even while being shot at.

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In the Battle of New York, Clint showed himself capable of hitting a speeding Chiaturi jet without looking, just by estimating the time it would take for it to circle around his location.

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One of Clint's most impressive accuracy showings would shooting down a wildly speeding Ultron Bot out of the air, maneuvering at high speeds - and doing so with little effort at that.

Trick Arrows

Clint carries an extremely wide arsenal of trick arrows, including the useful grappling hook arrow, the hacking arrow and the smokescreen arrow - esspecially useful for Special Ops.

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Clint's signature explosive arrows pack quite the punch. On HYDRA's base, he used them to blow up an entire warehouse.

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In the final fight against Ultron's army, Clint took numerous of his sentries down with explosive arrows. This also shows how he is able to use them up close without risking himself.

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Spamming them, he caused numerous explosions that sent several agents flying and KOed from the radius alone.

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Clint's weaker explosive arrows could visibly damage Tony's suit and force him backwards going off.

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Outwitting Loki, Clint blew up his Chiaturi jet and sent him flying visibly hurting him. Loki's an Asgardian durable enough to survive a brutal beating from the Hulk, and he's completely bulletproof.

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His most powerful ones are absurdly potent, enough to blow up and destroy large part of the Helicarrier.

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Clint also carries arrows that burst and fire thermal projectiles around the area they land on.

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Clint used his taser arrows twice against Vision, once in the New Avengers Faciity, and second in the fight at the airport. Vision is superhumanly durable, enough that he can fight Ultron, the semi-immortal android, 1 on 1. We later see how he treats peak human weaponry when Clint's baton breaks in conduct with his body so stunning him for this long is a very notworthy showing of output.

In regards to the discharge, they releash a powerful wave of electricity like a projectile, long before the arrow even lands.

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Clint has trick arrows that can releash a 360 degree shockwave that immediately takes out everyone on the field.

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Against Tony, he used an arrow that can turn into 6 projectiles in a single fire, surrounded and wildly manevuer around him.

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Last but not least, Clint carries thermal arrows that upon landing on a target, the target virtually starts burning and melting, like the Chiaturi jet above.

Agent Barton is one of the most impressive street levellers out there in terms of combat efficiency by all means, he is a master up close and at range with enough experience under his belt to give just about anyone a run for their money.

67 Comments

Batman (DCEU) Respect Thread

Note that this is not going to include any Anti-Superman suit feats.

Batman (A.K.A. Bruce Wayne)

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Bruce Wayne is a Billionare at day and a Superhero at night, known and feared in the criminal underworld of Gotham as the Batman. After witnessing the death of his parents at a young age, Bruce attempted a life of fighting against the unfairness of the world and protect his home city from suffering as he did. Throughout his years of fighting, he has apprehended some of the most dangerous individuals in the world and has faught against or alongside demi gods and metahumans of a high calliber.

Equipment

  • Bulletproof Armor & Gauntlets
  • Grappling Gun
  • Explosives
  • Batraangs
  • Smoke Grenades

Strength

Bruce is in peak human condition and has demonstrated excellent physical strength throughout his fights with superhumans and whatnot.

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Flips a grown man above his head and breaks his arm.

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Sends a parademon flying with a regular kick. The parademonds are obviously superhuman, as they could take out Steppenwold just by dogpiling him.

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All around, Bruce has shown himself capable of physically competing with parademons. Individually, a parademon is strong enough to dismantle something as large and durable as the batmobile.

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Breaks through a thin wall.

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Throws a grown man hard enough to break the same wall.

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Once again, overpowers a grown man with 1 arm and then grabs a large wooden box with his grapple gun, lifting some feet above ground level and sending it flying towards another guy, who gets KOed immediately.

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In what's probably his most impressive striking showing, Bruce litteraly punched through a large brick.

Durability

Bruce's body armor establishes him as bolderline superhuman. It can withstand massive amounts of blunt force damage, though parts of it are vulnerable to piercing output.

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Bruce's gauntlets are completely immune to piercnig output.

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Bruce also tanked a direct stab on the shoulder. I'd like to note here that getting tagged a couple of times trhough cheap shots against a group of 25 armed opponents attacking simultaneously is not a bad showing at all, given Bruce had just gotten out of a long-drawn fight with Superman himself.

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Here, Bruce tanks a throw from a parademon, who we've established are incredibly strong, hard enough to litteraly destroy the steel bars he was thrown on.

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Here, bracing himself, Bruce takes a hit from Superman. Now, Clark was pissed off and he had no trouble of crippling Bruce, he didn't want to kill him as he wanted to give a speech before so, and I won't argue as if Bruce tanked the hit. However, he took it, survived with rather unserious injuries and the hit was still strong enough to cripple the police car he was thrown on. Hours later, Superman proved strong enough to effortlessly move around multistory buildings.

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As shown, his gauntlets are also bulletproof, as shown more than once.

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While saving Martha, Bruce no sold an explosion with his cape alone.

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Bruce's helmet is also highily bulletproof, apparently.

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The gauntlets were also strong enough to easily defend against the parademons' plasma attacks.

Gear

As any version of Batman should, he carries a wide variety of weponry that is extremely effective in combat and grants him a highily versatile fighting style.

Grappling Gun

Batman uses his grappling gun very effectively in combat, usually to incapacitate the opposition and take them out afterwards.

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Guts a mercenary, draws him up close and knocks him out. On the bottom scan, he does the same to a superhuman parademon.

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The grappling gun also holds very large nets, extremely hard to dodge and strong enough to completely incapacitate something as strong as a parademon.

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Overall, Bruce has demonstrated great skill on using the grappling gun in h2h. Ultising his large cape to blind the opposition, he can swiftly draw the gun and bind them for a quick incap.

Batraangs

Batman carries around numerous small, pointy batraangs.

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He has shown enough precision with them to pinpoint the hold of a gun from a distance. It's worth noting that these batraangs can pierce concrete.

Smoke Grenades

Bruce regularly ultises smoke bombs along with stealth to evade opposing attempts.

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He's used them against Doomsday.

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And he's used them against Clark too. Notice how he disappears from one side of the roof and appears behind Superman, Bruce is a master of stealth when he needs to.

Explosives

Lastly, Batman carries explosives that he can throw at his opponents, and implode in conduct.

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He took down a parademon with it.

Skill

Despite being a physical beast, Bruce relies a lot on his martial skill too, and has demonstrated exceptional unarmed skill through his fights against large groups of opponents or his sheer choreography and moveset. He is known for fighting experience of over 20 years in the streets of Gotham, taking on individuals who have been described as some of the most dangerous in the world.

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Despite being stabbed and lying on the floor, Bruce swiftly takes down 2 of Luthor's mercenaries. Notice how he uses his legs to throw them off balance, getting up while kneeing the second one, while blocking all of the other one's attempts and hitting him on the legs to take him down.

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Disarms a thug and effortlessly thows him off (noting that he did not want to take him down, he had to use him to lure a parademon).

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In what's probably the most impressive part of Batman's fight in the warehouse, he took on 4 of Luthor's mercenaries attacking him at once, from 4 different angles. This is a skill showing not many could replicate, and perform similarly, at all, he's litteraly going back and forth in 4 different angles, as unlike most fodder fighters, these guys attack simultaneously and surround him.

In the first part of the gif, he remains untouchable by all of them at once, in the second, he grabs one of them armed with a knife and counters the blows of the rest using his arm.

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Against the physically superior parademons, Bruce demonstrated excellent unarmed skill, stomping an attempt, redirecting the armed hand, disarming the creature and finishing it off with a slash on the gut.

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Once again, Bruce takes on a large group of opponents charging at him simultaneously. Blocking and deflecting attempts from all ways, overcoming the mercenaries' reach edge, he manages to take down every single one of them without getting tagged once.

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Lastly, against Deadshot, Bruce quickly overwhelmed him up close. Blocking all of his attempts, misdirecting the arm with which he fired and breaking his leg with a kick. Particularly a great showing of precision, as in oder to avoid getting shot by someone as accurate as Floyd at point blank, who had just drawn a surprise gun mind you, you're going to need excellent skill in stopping incoming attempts or manipulating your opponent's ones.

Speed & Agility

Bruce is surprisngly fast as well. He's well above your average human and has dealt with high speed projectiles efficiently before, ultising his high level combat speed up close too.

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Reacts and evades a thug attempting to surprise him with a gunshot. He kept on evading the guy afterwards.

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Similarly, in his first scene, Batman easily outpaced a cop's gunfire. Both of those instances are most impressive because he's not running or jumping around, he's doing something as slow as crawling on a surface. Yet, he's still much faster than any human.

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While blitzing several parademons in the final battle with Steppenwold, Barry tripped (again) and almost fell. Bruce proved fast enough to not only percieve him fine and move in sync with his final movement, he even tagged him with the grapling gun. Now, I won't act as if Bruce caught a supersonic Flash in mid air, but this showing puts him at least on a casual arrow timing calliber.

The Flash was moving at massively supersonic speeds while fighting Superman, even this much slower, Barry is a lot faster than many projectiles street levellers often deal with. Percieving, moving in sync with and tagging him, is an exceptional showing of speed.

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Using his grappling gun, Bruce could aim dodge Doomsday's supersonic attacks.

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Dodges the parademons' plasma attacks after they've been fired.

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Dodges Harley Quinn's attempt to surprise him after acting KOed and attacking with a fast paced knife slash, hidden knife I might add, and one shots her afterwards. This is an excellent speed showing itself, as Quinn has proven fast enough to take down 2 armed soldiers, with far slower movement, before a dozen of other armed guards could properly aim and shoot her - with laser weapons to aid their aim. Outreacting her like that is not something many LA street fighters can replicate,

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Lastly, while, by word, the heavy batsuit does not allow for high end acrobatic capacity and evasion, Bruce is still capable of achieving great balance and timing with his body. Here, he backflips directly on the thug's head.

All around, the Batman of the DCEU has proven himself an excellent fighter, with highily versatile skillset, capable of challenging the best.

43 Comments

A:TLA Non-Benders Respect Thread

Time to respect the best fighters in the Avatarverse, putting many street levellers to shame with their amazing fighting skillz. I have an old Mai/Ty Lee RT but whatever, this one's better and updated and includes 2 additional characters.

Suki

"I am a warrior. But I'm a girl, too."

Biography

Suki was raised in the island of Kyoshi, a remote island in the east waters of the Earth Kingdom. Named after Avatar Kyoshi herself after her birth there, some hundreds of years ago, it is the homeland of the Elite Fighting group known as the Kyoshi Warriors, and has always been under their protection. Suki is the leader of said group, and she along with the rest of the village were honored with Avatar Aang's visit in the beginning of his journey. This inspired them to find a way to help more people around the world, and so they were assigned with escorting Earth Kingdom refugees into Bang Sing Se, the capital and safest city in the entire world. When Suki and the Kyoshi Warriors were ambushed by Princess Azula, she was captured and sent in a high security prison in the Fire Nation. After a few months, Zuko and Sokka attempted to break out both her and Hakoda, Sokka's father, and so it happened. Suki became an official member of Team Avatar and in the day of Sozin's Comet, she contributed into taking down Firelord Ozai's fleet of Airships before they could burn down an entire quarter of the world. Currently, Suki and the Kyoshi Warriors are Firelord Zuko's personal security team, assigned to defend the palace and stop any asassination attempts against him.

Equipment

  • Kyoshi Armor
  • Kyoshi Fans / Shield
  • Kantana Sword

Skill (martial arts, stealth, incapacitation techniques)

"It's not about strength. Our technique is about using your opponents' force against them."

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Suki is an elite fighter who's been training half her life every day. She has 10 years of martial arts training, even when residing on Kyoshi Island in peace, she, and the rest of her team, can be seen practicing continuous forms every day to stay in shape and perfect their technique.

Above we can see those years of experience. Stimulating an opponent in fornt of her she's training in a form that combines both offence and defence, without a single movement going to waste, ending with a surprise, head on kick that gives her a good chance of reach. Notice that it's also a very "high" kick, which is fitting given Suki's small size.

Suki began her Kyoshi Warrior training at the age of eight.

Avatar Extras: Book 2: Earth, Secret of the Fire Nation: Part 1: The Serpent's Pass

As the older of the warriors, Suki also tutors new recruits around the world in their fighting style, which has been described as using the opposition's force against them. Due to this, physically superior opponents can often be overcome by redirecting the energy behind their strikes to them. This could easily be seen when Sokka attempted to (hillariously) charge at her. She grabbed him and used the monmentum he had already gained from the attempt, to casually toss him around. Such action did not require any notable strength advantage on her part, exactly because Sokka's own force was more than enough.

And exactly because Suki's style is also based on waiting for the right moment to strike and take one down, she has good showings of counterattacking, where she incorporates her agility to throw one off-balance. For instance, when the guard leaved himself open by kicking at her, she immediately grabbed his leg and tossed him over. Her mindset is basically turned into performing defensive / counterattacking actions to throw off the opposition before anything, which is partially why seeing her style in comparison to Ty Lee's more aggressive one was a beatuful sequence.

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Suki's most impressive showing in hand to hand combat would be her fight with Ty Lee, an ex circus acrobat and skilled combatant / martial artist, aboard a gondola when they attempted to escape the Boiling Rock prison. At last, the fight turned out as a dead stalemate for more than a few minutes.

As a testament to her advance, Suki managed to block all of Ty Lee's attempts to tag her, while retaliating with her own stikes which includes both fists and surprise kicks. Normally that wouldn't be too impressive considering Ty Lee worked around them in her own right. However, we need to remember just how quick and evasive Ty Lee is in close quarters combat, exactly because of her master acrobat status. The fact that Suki repeatedly forced her to resort into blocking / deflecting instead of dodging is a noteworthy enough accomplishment. (I'll be talking more about Ty Lee's skill and fighting style in her own section below).

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Speaking of Ty Lee, she also joined the Kyoshi Warriors at the end of the war, and tutored the team in the art of "chi blocking", commonly known as nerve strikes. By targetting the pressure points of the human body, Suki can paralyze one's limbs or entire body on the spot (and in the case of benders, take away their bending for a short period of time).

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In addition to her hand to hand skills, Suki is also trained in ultizing small cords, also included in her uniform, to tie up and incapacitate opponents. She can do is extraordinarly fast. She could tie Sokka's arm and foot in a knot in 0.00.80 second(s) (by timer) and tie both hands of the prison warden in a knot, in 0.00.60 second(s). This is exceptional combat/movement speed and combined with Suki's abilities of small joint manipulation, incapacitating the opponent can prove less challenging that expected.

Lastly, Suki is skilled in stealth. Combining speed with fast paced, cautious movements, she can sneak on a target and incapacitate them before they knew what hit them.

I'm an elite warrior who's trained for many years in the art of stealth.

Suki, The Ember Island Players

When Aang, Katara and Sokka first visited Kyoshi Island, the Kyoshi Warriors ambushed and stealth'd them. In Aang's case, it's exceptionally impressive because of his superhuman senses. Airbenders can feel the air currents behind their back and know it when someone attempts to attack from behind, most people would fail to sneak on them. This is explored more in Korra's era but Aang has excellent showings of ultizing this ability too. For instance, he could sense the assasin Combustion Man breathing from almost a hundred of feet away behind his back in an attempt to blow him up. Suki and her warriors could sneak up on him, so that's highily impressive.

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At the end of the day, Suki is also extremely aware of her surroundings in combat, capable of reactnig to surprise attempts such as Ty Lee sneaking behind her or Azula's fireballs (not aimed at her, but aimed at her way).

Strength

"Sorry, warden. You're my prisoner now."

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Suki is also surprisngly strong. She could easily send Sokka flying with 1 arm and even when she was sitting down. Notice that she did not even push him, she just grabbed his chin and threw him away.

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And she could easily kick down one of Toph's earth structures. This is esspecially impressive because of how powerful of an earthbender Toph is. For instance, with her largest earth walls she can block explosions, from bombs strong enough to destroy submarines. For context, Team Avatar were in training at the moment, so Toph could arguably not be using her best earthbending, but this is extremely impressive regardless, esspecially considering the structure was directly coming out of the ground, stuck in it.

Gear

"The silk threads symbolize the brave blood that flows through our veins. The gold insignia represents the honor of the warrior's heart."

As the leader of the Kyoshi Warriors, Suki is equipped with the armor, shield, kantana sword and metalic fans representing Avatar Kyoshi, whose style roots from the Asian Samurai warrios. Suki is an exceptional user of the fans, and has been using them against both benders and non-benders alike. The fans' length seems to be around half Suki's arm in size, which offers a good bit 50% more reach.

Think of the fan as an extension of your arm. Wait for an opening.

Suki, The Warriors of Kyoshi

Suki ultizes her weapon of choice, the fans, for defence and offence. They are highily versatile weapons in combat. Her options include disarming an opponent wielding a blade or a spear, dispatching their, already limited, reach advantage in battle, gaining a quick advantage.

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Notice that even this simple Kyoshi Warrior is highily trained in the use of the weapon, she waits for the opening, grabs the spear, in a grip, and gets a monmentum by turning around, throwing it away and making the jump on the soldier. Once again, not a single movement goes to waste.

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Suki's most impressive use of the fans would be getting through attacks, closing the distance and finding an opening, an opening means hitting them before or while they're in a striking stance, as we see above - common technique among high level blade users, also known as Riposte* - then, throwing the opponent off balance by using poking motions or straight up attacking them, (just by getting hit by the fan, a soldier was KO'd, with the blunt force going right through his steel helmet).

Riposte, by definition is an attack made immediately after a parry of the opponent's strike, it goes straight from the parry position to the target. Person that performs riposte pretty much exploit the fact that his opponent has to put foward his weapon in order to attack, to swiftly turn defense (parry) into an offense (riposte) when his foe is still in attacking position, not prepared to defend himself.

Credit to fellow viner, Foxerdes

Virtually, Suki is negating attacks with her fans, forcing an opening to strike in the other fighter's body. This is excellent against not only benders, but mostly close quarter combatants too and it surprisngly requires no speed or strength edge, seeing as how it is based on the previously disscused fighting style of the Kyoshi Warriors, using the opponent's force and monmentum against them.

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In addition to this, the fans can also turn into a powerful shield on the spot, capable of defending Suki against plenty powerful strikes. Azula's firebending could not go through them, even if it did pressure them. Azula has some insane feats of power, even if those were obviously not her strongest ones. Still, she decimated a tree on her way to fight the Kyoshi Warriors, so it wouldn't be fair to assume those fireblasts were weak, esspecially when lower force of kinetic energy can be no sold by the shield. It should be noted that the shield is directly bound on Suki's arm, so she has both hands free to attack while also having a kind of "automatic" protection if needed.

Lastly, Suki is equipped with a 60cm long Kantana Sword. She doesn't have any noteworthy swordsmanship feats however. It's still a good tool for finishing off "Goliaths" with impossible blunt force durability.

I will say though, that given they could deflect a high-volume attack from a marskwoman as skilled as Mai, it's great precision and good suppoort against ranged fighter, though Suki should mostly be capable to replicate similar or better feats using her bladed fans.

Speed & Agility

"This is a rematch I've been waiting for."

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Suki has demonstrated excellent body control, acrobatic capacity and balance. She could easily run on a small army's heads and make her way through a prison riot, moving perfectly and not getting thrown off even a litle despite the prisoners fighting with each other from below.

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In training with Team Avatar, Suki could easily go through the Melon Lord's attacks, here she is seen somersautling over a flaming boulder.

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Even a Suki long before she primed, could easily dodge Zuko's fire blasts and get the jump on him (the Rhino slammed her away though). And when I say jump, I mean a 10+ ft. leap. Dodging attacks from Zuko should not be taken for granted either, he's surprsingly precise. For example, he has tagged decently unpredictable targets before, and he is extremely accurate, to the point where he can light numerous dozens of tiny candles all around himin rapid succession.

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Even Suki's raw travel speed was highily impressive. By sliding on the floor, she easily crossed close to 20 ft. in less than a second.

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Once she had made her way on the first balcony, she dodged a guard's fire blast, jumped on the bars, leaped 10 ft. up on the wall, crawled her way in the second one and somersaulted off of the bars.

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Crawls her way up on the first floor, balances on the bars and somershaults in mid-air to immediately catwheel and take down one of the guards. Suki's consistent showings of blitzing the guards in the Boiling Rock prison are noteworthy, as these guards are, in fact, above fodder level reaction speed wise, capable of reacting to a surprise attack from Zukoat point blank range. Characters like Suki being able to handle them like nothing here is very impressive, Zuko was capable of reacting to and blocking explosions at point blank range for one and he has reacted to lightningbending numerous times, which has repeatedly being reffered to as electricity. And while decently dubious, Suki has also reacted to Azula's lightning at point blank range before.

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Suki could react to a surprise shot from Azula and right after that, keep up with her every movement in a head on assault. Azula has always been capable of more than matching both Aang and Zuko's combat speed while also having showings of moving at FTE speed such as when she first faught Aang.

Master Piandao

"Let's find out together how worthy you are."

Biography

Piandao was born to two firebending citizens in the Fire Nation, but despite the heritage, he wasn't gifted with bending abilities and so he was left early in an orphange, as his parents were ashamed of their only-born being a regular. In order to contribute in a militaristic society that was the Fire Nation, he was taught the ways of the sword, making the best of his natural talent in a boy's camp at the age of ten, and later joined the army. Over the years however, he grew tired of fighting inoccent people just so the Firelord would satisfy his thirst for power and retired. It is said that for his act of "treason", the army attempted to arrest him, but failed. Master Piandao travelled around the world in search of englightenment throughout the years of his resignation, honing his skills and, eventually, opening a school to train certain men, worthy of his knowledge, including a young Prince Zuko. When Team Avatar had set camp near the capitol of the Fire Nation, Sokka felt like he was good for nothing other than doing the "planning" and "thinking" in comparison to his bending teammates, and so decided to look for a Master to train proffesionally under the art of fighting, the man being none other than Master Piandao. Afer testing him, Sokka was deemed worthy of his own sword and since then, became a capable warrior himself. Master Piandao was never seen again until the day upon the arrival of Sozin's Comet, where he, along with the rest of the White Lotus Grandmasters, contributed to the liberation of Bang Sing Se. Currently, he is residing in the small town of Shu Jing, in his old training academy.

Equipment

  • Jian Blade

Swordsmanship

"The way of the sword doesn't belong to any one nation. Knowledge of the arts belongs to us all."

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Master Pindao has at least 30 years of experience, studying and training with the sword. It is said that throughout his years of travelling around the world, he himself studied under other warriors, perfecting his skills until he was recognised as a swordsman of the highest order.

Piandao is considered the greatest swordsman in Fire Nation history.

Avatar Extras, Book 3: Fire, Sokka's Master

Beginning his training at the age of 10, Piandao was stated to have never lost a single one of his countless fights in a lifetime. Above, we can see his skill with the blade while tutoring Sokka in the art. The fluency with which he wileds the weapon is perfection, taking different stances, switching from unpredictable offensive to defensive stances, incorporating various different styles of martial arts, mostly Kung Fu and Southern Shaolin Styles, which bending is based on, in his movements.

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Similarly, Piandao was extraordinarly precise with the blade. He frequently uses his hand as a means to aim and time his slashes right on point, in order to not let a single one go to waste. Such an assault would make it next to impossible to get close, while simultaneously leaves little to no room for reliably defence on the opponent's part.

A great demonstration of said precision was when Sokka used some dozens of bamboo sticks to slow Piandao down, but the latter was not phased the slightest. While closing the distance, the master was slicing down all dozens of the falling sticks around him without any single one of them even touching him, doing so with his eyes pointed right on the target and target alone.

Even Zuko, his student, was capable of similar precise showings against the skilled fighter, Jet. Jet's mastery over the Dual Hook Swords allows him to ultize quick maneuvers to trip up or grapple the opposition in ways, normally impossible for general sword users. He used this technique against Zuko in their swords duel, who quickly adapted to it and coutered the move, demonstrating fine control over it, and freeing himself from the grip.

The sword is a simple tool, but in the hands of a master it becomes the most versatile of weapons. And just as the imagination is limitless, so too are the possibilities of the sword.

Master Piandao, Sokka's Master

In action, the Master's words became facts, as he demonstrated an impressively diverse skillset while testing Sokka, combining hand to hand combat with the blade to throw off the opposition and abuse an opening, in a very uinque way. The great balance with which he wields the Jian is partly the reason he can do so, freely.

As far as head on defence goes, Piandao is both capable of replicating such, basic defensive techniques as well as countering them, extremely efficiently. When Sokka immobilised both their weapons to prevent Piandao from keep on attacking, the master easily went through his defence, using the monmentum of his entire body strength, focusing it on the high tip of the blade to not only break free of the grip, but also force Sokka back, throwing him off balance, creating another opening.

Master Piandao excells in the area of head on duelling, until one of the two swordsmen in play, is disarmed. After the test was over, and Sokka had proven how tactical of a fighter he is, Piandao decided to end the fight. While completely blinded, he disarms Sokka in a matter of 2 seconds, as a testament to his level of skill.

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It's worthy of note that Sokka laster longer against Zuko, Piandao's student, who has also being reffered to as a master swordsman, in the same type of contest. Clearly, Zuko was also on another level, but not so much that he could take him down in 2 seconds, let alone in a pure swordsmanship skill contest (the firebender's superior stats are obviously a factor).

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Master Piandao has made a comment on his sheer acrobatic capacity being inferior to that of younger opponents, such as Sokka. But when he was talking about versatile weaponry, he was most certainly not lying. Ultizing his skill, Piandao makes up for agility gap against opponents, using his very unique, optional style.

Above, we can see how uses his sword as a means of sliding on hard surfaces, such as Master Pakku's ice. This is esspecially impressive because of just how powerful of a waterbender Pakku is. He trained Katara in the art, and she has some insane showings of power, such as blocking attacks from the spirit, General Old Iron, the same multitonner spirit who went toe to toe with Avatar Aang's elemental giant while in the Avatar State.

I'd like to note that Piandao is essentially maneuvering around the battlefield this way, not limited by anything. His sheer draw speed allows for swift switching between this technique and offence, as he easily slices down the soldiers' spears, 4 of them in different directions with a single fling of the sword. Lastly, the monmentum he gains from slicing down each spear is impressive, as he uses it to leap high up in the air and land next to the other, right on the position he wants to.

Gear

"The first thing you must learn is that your weapon is an extension of yourself. You must think of it as another part of your own body."

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Master Piandao's Jian Blade is about 80cm long, even longer than his arm, offering a huge reach advantage in combat. With his incredible skill over the blade already established, it should be noted just how lethal each slash could prove.

Piandao is not only the best swordsman in the Fire Nation ...

... But he's also the best sword maker.

Avatar Extras: Book 3: Fire, Sokka's Master

With his status as the best sword maker in the world, Piandao's blades are as lethal as you can get. Not only did he repeatedly pressure Sokka and his meteorite sword, with which he can effortlessly slice down hard steel surfaces, but he himself could easily pierce large brick walls with casual slices and dices. Additionally, he has proven capable of deflecting small rock projectiles from the powerful earthbender, King Bumi (which were likely not aimed at him however).

Speed

"We're all part of the same ancient secret society. A group that transcends the divisions of the four nations."

Despite his old age, Master Piandao is extraordinarly fast, and even posseses enhansed senses. Apart from his direct showing of outspeeding the swift fighter Sokka, who had just gained a monmentum by using the wall to get the jump on the master, yet Piandao could get his sword in position to swat him aside in the time it took for Sokka to reach him from near-point blank range, Piandao has a few other testaments of his raw combat speed.

Piandao was once in a legendary battle where he alone defeated a hundred warriors.

Avatar Extras: Book 3: Fire, Sokka's Master

Taken from various sources, including his official backstory in Nickelodeon's Official Analysis, Piandao was capable of decisively winning against a hundred of Fire Nation soldiers, firebenders and whatsnot, simultaneously. Given that the battle is repeatedly being entitled "legendary", it is clear that the Army was not fooling around. We have seen fighters soloing entire groups, dozens of different soldier and/or benders before, yet none of them were considered legendary, mostly just scenes to prove the single fighter's threat level.

It's fitting to say that the fact that Pianda could keep up with a hundred of trained fighters, presumably firebenders with strong ranged capabilities too, is an excellent showing of not just his skill, but his speed as much.

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In the last part of his "fight" with Sokka, Piandao crossed about 50 ft. at high level FTE movement speed. This is nothing but exceptionally suited for his style of fighting, which revolves around abusing opening to throw the opponent off balance, making it easy to straight up blitz them.

Moreover, as stated earlier, Master Piandao seems to posses a superhuman, or at least accute, sense of hearing, tot he point where he can pinpoint exact, precise images of his surroundings while blinded. Precise enough to directly tag Sokka's sword with his own without even being aware of his general position beforehand, and well, do this.

Mai

"There really is no fathoming the depths of my hatred for this place."

Biography

Mai was born in the Fire Nation to a noble citizen and political leader. Due to her childhood limitations of not being allowed to express emotions or opinions unless asked to, she grew up to become a dark and enclosed person, not amazed by any situation. At an early age, she attented the Fire Nation Royal Academy for girls, where she met Princess Azula and her closest friend, Ty Lee. Years after their graduation, the Governor was still followed by his daughter until their army finally conquered the famous Earth Kingdom City of Omashu. Princess Azula was tasked with hunting down her brother and uncle, entitled as traitors, as well as the Avatar himself, entitled as the only real threat to the Nation. On her part, Azula recruited Ty Lee and Mai to contribute on her mission. The trio chased down Team Avatar until the last phase of the Hundred Year War. Having captured the Kyoshi Warriors and taken over Bang Sing Se, ensuring the fall of the Earth Kingdom, all on their own they returned to the Fire Nation, where Mai was enjoying her life with Prince Zuko once again. With the eclipse upon the world and with Zuko realising the truth about his story, Mai was left behind and was only to be seen when she, at last, saved him in the high security Boling Rock prison. Having betrayed Azula, she and Ty Lee were sent in prison as well and were realeased some days later, by the end of the war and the Firelord's defeat. Currently, Mai's residing in the Fire Nation Capitol.

Equipment

  • Spring shooters w/ handarrows
  • Daggers concealed in her robes
  • Miniature Sai

Marksmanship

"Victory is boring."

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Mai is an exceptionally skilled markswoman, skilled in throwing knives and arrows with incredible accuracy.

In my mind, her training came from boredom. It's more or less self-taught. She's our interpretation of a stereotypical goth teenager or something and I just imagined her in her dark bedroom throwing stuff into the wall. It just grew out of this boredom.

Bryan Konietzko, an Avatar Springbreak with Mike and Bryan

Mai has been training since she was a child in the technique and has developed it into a fighting style, efficient in taking down virtually any opponent from a distance. As a projectile specialist, Mai has superb control over not only daggers and arrows, but any pointy object as it is. She is skilled enough to to pierce an ice spike through a fish, which takes plenty force on its own part, while not allowing the fish itself to move an inch. She can ricochet a spinning dagger to slice down large wall carpet while directly in front of it, without the daggers bouncing off the wall, but instead changing its direction. Lastly, she has demonstrated that she can determine the exact position of where and when her projectiles are going to land after she throws them upwards. Her immense control and precision also allows her to choose wether or not she's going to cut down or launch clothing away with her knives.

Sheer accuracy wise, Mai's dead precise. As demonstrated above, she could pinpoint wall carpets topping only an inch or 2 above the surface level of the wall, using a spinning dagger, and slice them down without even scratching the wall itself. Throwing her knives, she can disarm armed fighters. Similarly, she can pinpoint multiple tiny small targets at once, such as when she pinned down the Kyoshi Warriors' uniform without touching their flesh tagging about 6 or 7 points at once. As shown before, she appears to be very skilled at ricocheting, as she could throw a spinning dagger to get through a falling debris and on Aang's (head) position while he was running away, even though she couldn't see him.

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Even against highily unpredictable targets, Mai's demonstrated perfect ability of pinning them down. When up against the prison guards at the Boiling Rock, she could pinpoint their lower sleeves even when they changed their stance long after she launched the daggers. She could also pinpoint Katara's, 1mm above skin level, armbands and pin her on a tree, which is more impressive due to the waterbender moving her hands up and downwards in an unpredictable manner to bend a wave. Despite all that, Mai pinpointed both of them simultaneously. And when up against a small army of the New Ozai Society, Mai quickly disarmed 5 people running at hersimultaneously, all of them moving at different speeds and attacking from different angles, all while dodging a fire blast.

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In her latest encounter with Azula in the royal graveyard of the Fire Nation, they had a brief 1 on 1 confortation. Azula dodged Mai's first attempt and kicked her to the ground, but Mai abused the opening of Azula's landing, and tagged her cloak unmasking her for the first time. Hours before, Azula proved fast enough to briefly dance around and hit the combined efforts of Ty Lee and Suki before they could react, at point blank range. Azula has also proved an amazingly difficult fighter to tag while evading, not even Aang, the fastest fighter in the world, could tag her with his singe-targetairblasts, noting that she was too quick even before her upgrade in Smoke & Shadow. This is also a good demonstration of how Mai can pin down opponents significally faster than her.

Gear

"You're so colorful, it's making me nauseous!"

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Due to the nature of Mai's projectiles, she is capable of including impressive feats of veratality and surprising speed in her skillset.

Mai uses darts and daggers to fight.

... the spring loaded projectiles are hidden in her large sleeves.

Avatar Extras: Book 2: Earth, Return to Omashu

Mai's 4 limbs are armed with spring loaded, mechanical shooters, each of them carrying 10 handarrows automatically launched at high speeds. Through these shooters, Mai achieves impressive fire rate. Her opening shot against Aang, included her launching over a dozen of handarrows in not more than 1 second. High volume attacks are also applicable, as Mai can use up to a dozen of knives in a single throw.

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Because of her shooters being concealed in all parts of her body, she frequently incorporates evasive movements and offence simultaneously, such as her fight with Katara in Omashu, above, and her short trade with Sokka near the Nan Shan River.

Projectile speed wise, Mai's arrows are very fast, considerably above regular bow and arrow, but not too fast. As they are thrown by the spring shooters, the force is not as great as when she throws knives herself, abusing her all around movement/combat speed and throwing strength in every move.

For instance, a Kyoshi Warrior was fast enough to time her arrows, but they couldn't react to her knife blitz. Furthemore, Sokka could time her arrows, yet Katara, in the same condition, couldn't react to her knives. Lastly, a solid comparison would be how the different projectiles performed against certain materials; while her arrows are not strong enough to pierce hard steel from a distance, and instead bounce off of the surface, Mai can easily launch grown men away and pierce said hard steel in the process, and so with barely any effort as well. On a sidenote, penetrating hard steel like that with knives, requires the projectile to be at least comparable to the speed of an average bullet.

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It's worthy of note that, as a testament to the sheer speed behind the attempts, benders such as Katara and Toph, could barely react to Mai's thrown daggers every time they faught her, and almost got killed, even while at a good distance away. Toph herself is more or less reacting at the speed of sound in each and every of her fights ultizing Seismic Sense*, so pressuring her that way is highily impressive. Also noting that Katara wasn't confident she could block her knives using her situationally limited icebending and that penetrating Toph's own earth barrier is also very impressive and shouldn't be taken for granted.

Lastly, Mai's draw speed has been stated to be extremely fast;

So we decided that she (Azula) would have basically picked out two people who had certain skills that she did not have. Ty Lee with her acrobatics and Mai with her super pin-point accuracy and quick draw skills.

Michael Dante DiMartino, An Avatar Springbreak with Mike and Bryan

Her being faster than Azula, draw speed wise, is very notable due to Azula's own notable draw speed. For instance, she could easily outdraw Zuko, despite visibly warning him of opening the 3 way dueal at Tu Zin, and despite his immense awareness and precision of the sourroundings. Similarly, she could throw double the amount of fireballs Zuko could in the same amount of time and he's demonstrated excellent speed himself before. Considering all these people ultize pyrokinesis that requires no litteral draw, but just fire, this says a lot about how fast Mai can pull out a knife.

*Here's a small analysis on Toph's seismic sense as proof of her amazing reaction speed

Toph, a blind master earthbender in A:TLA invented a technique known as "Seismic Sense" in order to be able to see. She feels the vibrations of the ground and uses earth manipulation to build a nigh-perfect image of everything around her that touches the ground. It works like Daredevil's Radar Sense, meaning that apart from allowing her to "see", it also offers a 360 degree view on the environment. Anyway, the important thing is, the technique is actually based on "Echolocation", a way blind people in RL have to percieve their surroundings. However, unlike people in RL, Toph's technique is so advanced and precise that it's ridiculous. She can see things that others cannot, such as the tiny ants on the surface of the ground or even underground. This type of precision, allowed her to become a master combatant using echolocation and reacting at the very, very, exact moment a vibration is made, the clearest moment being when they explained how it works through a combat situation from her vs The Boulder, another earthbender (that she pretty much blitzed). Watch 0:06 in the video below:

  • https://vimeo.com/233882099

This is essentially reacting to sound waves = reacting to sound = reacting at the speed of sound = reacting to bullet speed. Let me remind you that Toph does it all the time, it's her way of life, her way of percieveing the environment and her way of fighting. Aang and Toph's daughters from LoK also used Seismic Sense plenty of times BTW.

Close Quarters Combat

"How are you gonna to fight without your bending?"

The impressive projectile and draw speed behind Mai's every attack allows for pressuring opponents even at close range. In fact, it would make it harder to actually react to the projectile itself up close.

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Mai does ultize this advantage in close quarters, and at the same time we see that she's surprisngly strong, being able to stick this miniature sai into hard steel, to incapacitate the guard, with her bare hands.

She can easily grab and turn over or throw away grown men, and was even capable of casually kicking away the large steel bar preventing the line of the gondola of moving onwards.

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What's notable is that the bar was stuck in so deeply that it was launching away sparks digging in.

Speed & Agility

"You miscalculated. I love Zuko more than I fear you."

Mai has demonstrated impressive speed and notable evasive capacity in combat. She has shown herself capable of great feats of balance in her fight with Katara and skirmish with Sokka, as shown before, as well as the ability to slide on surfaces with ease, whilepinpointing all her targets in the process.

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Mai could react to, and dodge (instant/non charged) lightning from Azula in close quarters. Aim dodging shouldn't be an option here due to this being a surprise shot in a non-combat situation as well as Azula being significally faster than Mai all around, so the feat would go against the principle behind aim dodging (She should be more than capable of reacting to lightning, scaling wise, anyway).

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Against the guards at the Boiling Rock, Mai showed great travel speed. She quickly blitzed 2 of them and then covered a distance of 25-30 ft. in a matter of 2 litteral seconds. Furthermore, just blitzing those high level prison guards is notable, as I showed before one of them could react to Zuko cheap shotting him at point blank.

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She also dodged an attack from Toph in their short fight in the Earth Palace that way.

Mai can also make some very strong leaps. She could immediately jump on a 10 ft. tall rooftop from ground level to rescue her brother from the Kerumikage Spirits. When Azula opened the fight with the Kyoshi Warriors, she covered a distance of about 20 ft, jumping onwards and in her first encounter with the Gaang, she easily went over Katara's ice wall, which was even taller than Katara herself.

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Lastly, in the fight against the New Ozai Society, Mai easily reacted to and one shotted a guy with a bola cannon that was fast enough to incapacitate Zuko, despite the Firelord even looking directly at him (he was worried and surprise so that must've played a factor, but it's notable nonethless).

Ty Lee

"My aura has never been pinker!"

Biography

Ty Lee was born in the Fire Nation along with 6 twin sisters, as part of the highest class in the country. Growing up, she was feeling unspecial and not different than her identical siblings, and so, after graduating from the Royal Fire Academy for girls, where she met, Mai and Princess Azula, she ran off and joined a travelling circus. There, she became a world class acrobat who people would come to see from all around the Earth Kingdom and the Fire Nation. During the last quarter of the hundred year war, Azula visited Ty Lee in search for recruits to join the mission on capturing the her brother, uncle and the Avatar. Azula manipulated Ty Lee into following her and together with Mai, they chased off Team Avatar and Zuko all over the Earth Kingdom. Throughout their mission, they captured the Kyoshi Warriors and used them as cover to secretly enter Bang Sing Se and organise a coup to take over the city. After the Earth Kingdom's fall, Ty Lee returned with her teammates in the capitol where they lived as royalty. Upon the arrival of a solar eclipse, and an organised invasion at the Fire Nation Capitol, she trained Azula in agility and balance so she could stall the Avatar and prevent him from facing a vulnerable Firelord Ozai. After Prince Zuko betrayed the nation, Ty Lee along with Azula and Mai tracked him down in the Boiling Rock where the Gaang members almost lost their lives. Ty Lee went against Azula's wishes that day, and betrayed her to save Mai from execution, later being imprisoned for doing so. Throughout her few days in prison, she bonded with the inmate Kyoshi Warriors and trained them only to join the group afterwards. Currently, Ty Lee is residing in the Fire Nation Capitol serving as one of Firelord Zuko's personal guards to prevent any assasination attempt that might rise.

Equipment

  • Kyoshi Armor
  • Kyoshi Fans / Shield
  • Kantana Sword

Skill (nerve strikes, martial arts)

"I want to join you on your mission."

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Ty Lee's signature use of the pressure points technique is her greatest asset in a fight. Also known as chi blocking in Aang and Korra's era, the user hits the weak points of the human body to incapacitate the target for a short period of time. Above, we can see the effect just a few quick jabs can have on someone.

It's a very common notion in traditional Chinese martial arts...actually throughout all martial arts. It's very real, not some 'hocus pocus'. Kids don't try this at home, but there are nerve clusters in the body which can be used for healing using certain techniques or you can use them to interrupt body cycles and systems. I'm not an expert, but from what I've been taught most martial arts spend a fair amount of their curriculum regarding striking pressure points. They talk about interrupting the flow of chi. Benders are only as strong as their chi flow, they need this chi to flow from the breath, and then extend it past their body and manipulate or manifest the element. So as the chi is going from the breath and to the muscles, someone can interrupt that flow and they then can't bend. But it would work on a non-bender too because everybody needs chi. Chi can be translated as 'breath', the energy you get from breathing and oxygenation. So yeah, we thought it would be cool. We're always looking for some variety in skills and style. We thought it would make a cool character.

Bryan Konietzko, An Avatar Spring Break with Mike and Bryan

Through hitting those pressure points, Ty Lee can effortlessly take down men far above her weight class. In the bending world, it's esspecially dangerous as it can briefly take away one's abilities to perform the art.

Ty Lee. She doesn't look dangerous but she knows the human body and its weak points. It's like she takes you down from the inside.

Katara, The Drill

For most of the part, the technique bypasses durability, and Ty Lee has managed to easily incapacitate incredibly durable individuals ultizing it. When Azula attempted to attack Mai in the Boling Rock Prison, Ty Lee quickly took her down with 2 jabs.

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Quite a few things are notable here. For one, Ty Lee hit Azula's steel armor and went through. And even without nessecarily being hit in the armor, Azula's clearly superhuman in terms of durability. In her Agni Kai with Zuko under Sozin's Comet, she tanked a large fire blast from him that sent her a few yards away and immediately got right back up. Without the comet, Azula's firebending is far above the early multitonner class, being able to vaporize a tidal wave from Katara, who on her own right could send a large warship a litteral thousand of feet away with a slightly larger wave*. Zuko's firebending was obviously as powerful and potent as Azula's at this point, so tanking something this powerful is very notable.

Sozin's Comet is almost upon us, and on that day, it will endow us with the strength and power of a hundred suns. No bender will stand a chance against us.

Ozai, Sozin's Comet p1: The Phoenix King

But what's more notable is the fact that she tanked much higher output than that, when her bending was at its peak under Sozin's Comet. Firelord Ozai stated how the comet gave firebenders the power of a hundred suns, meaning it boosted their level of power by a very significant margin. It's therefore impressive how Ty Lee can get through some of the most durable individuals you'll find.

*Here's a small analysis on Katara's showing

Judging by how big these Fire Nation guards (should be around 6 ft. tall, average) seem in comparison to the ship's length (horizontally), the ship's back should be about 100 ft. long. And as we see in the gif, the ending result is the ships going from about 100 ft. distance to 10+ times more distance.

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Above, is a detailed showing of every pressure point Ty Lee has hit. The green parts being hit paralyse one limb with the red ones instantly taking down one's entire body. Ty Lee's demonstrated her abilities plenty of times, against Katara, Sokka, Toph and Azula. It should be noted that the shoulder strike can instantly put someone unconscious. It's also worth noting that Ty Lee can use nerve strikes with kicks as well, making for an amazing asset in a hand to hand contest.

Aside from her mastery over this particular technique however, Ty Lee is also a notable martial artist and close quarters fighter. Impressively enough, she faught on par with Suki on top of a moving gondola in the Boiling Rock Prison, blocking and evading all her retaliating attempts (it's also rather arguable that Ty Lee underestimated her, but I wouldn't go this far). Suki is an incredibly skilled warrior herself, trained for more than 10 years and has demonstrated an excellent amount of skills, both in hand to hand and combat in general.

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Against the other Kyoshi Warriors, Ty Lee used a common technique known as "misdirection", with which she tricks the opponent into thinking she'll attack from a certain angle but quickly charges from another last moment. At the same time, Ty Lee abuses her sheer size in combination with her flexibility to take a stance dodging and attacking from below, not only making her a far more difficult target but also giving her precious moments and letting for more openings to attack.

Lastly, since she joined the Kyoshi Warriors, she has been training with them in their own forms and has therefore upgraded her skillset (at least a tad bit).

Gear

"The girls and I really bonded in prison. And after a few chi blocking lessons, they said I could join their group. We're going to be best friends forever."

Ty Lee is also equipped with the armor, sword and shield of the Kyoshi Warriors. While, she has demonstrated the same skill evel with them as Suki, her fans can turn into a powerful shield on the spot, capable of defending Ty Lee against plenty powerful strikes. Azula's firebending could not go through them, even if it did pressure them. Azula has some insane feats of power, even if those were obviously not her strongest ones. Still, she decimated a tree on her way to fight the Kyoshi Warriors, so it wouldn't be fair to assume those fireblasts were weak, esspecially when lower force of kinetic energy can be no sold by the shield. It should be noted that the shield is directly bound on Suki's arm, so she has both hands free to attack while also having a kind of "automatic" protection if needed.

Ty Lee is also equipped with a 60cm long Kantana Sword. She doesn't have any noteworthy swordsmanship feats however. It's still a good tool for finishing off "Goliaths" with impossible blunt force durability.

I will say though, that given they could deflect a high-volume attack from a marskwoman as skilled as Mai, it's great precision and good suppoort against ranged fighter.

Strength

"Look at that dusk cloud. It's so... poofy... Poof."

Ty Lee is surprisingly strong physically as well, being able to balance her entire body weight on 2 fingertips.

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And in her team's first encounter with Team Avatar in Omashu, she effortlessly sent Sokka flying several yards away just by lightlypunching his foot.

Speed & Agility

"I joined the circus because I was scared of spending the rest of my life as part of a matched set."

Ty Lee's extraordinarly agile and flexible. From a young age, she had demonstrated great control over her body and after training for the circus, she was unmatched. Her amazing balance and acrobatic capacity allowed her to outmaneuver almost any fighter, creating openings to ultize for quick icnapacitation or evasion.

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Ty Lee regularly showed ehrself capable of maneuvering around platforms, easily moving from one side to another. Smilarly, she could somersault from chandelier to chandelier while wrecking Chant's beach house as well as parkour from tree to tree or thin wooden poles.

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Clearly, Ty Lee's excellent agility makes her an amazingly difficult target to pin down, not only up close, but at range too. Above, we can see Katara is incapable of hitting her with continous efforts of fast paced water disks. Katara herself is pretty accurate with her bending, for instance she could pin Jet on a wall without touching anything but his clothing.

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High leaps and somersaults are large part of her agility. She could regularly leap more than 20, 30 and even 40 ft. up in the air. Furthermore, her great balance and flexibility allowed for similar impressive showings such as balancing on a volleyball net, performing circus acts, effortlessly touching her head with her feet, climbing steel pillars, walking on her 2 arms or running on thin tightropesmultiple stories above boiling water.

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Sheer speed-wise, Ty Lee is insanely fast in all aspects. When Toph found out she wasn't a real Kyoshi Warrior and attacked her out of nowhere, she reacted to environmental earthbending and in a non combat situation. It's even more impressive because the projectile speed behind Toph's attacks is highily impressive too, too fast for Sokka to percieve for instance.

And speaking of Sokka, Ty Lee's most direct showing of speed was blitzing a tired Sokka, who was still fast enough to be above casual arrow timing level, deflecting arrows from Mai's shooters with his club. Noting once again, Mai's spring shooters launch tiny small arrows with enough force to penetrate Toph's earthbending. I could list an entire collection of Toph's insane raw power feats, but I'll just say that far lesser earthbenders can support several tons falling with small earth constructs. Now, Ty Lee was a litteral speedster compared to Sokka in this condition, she could flip and somersault upwards, get behind him and all while he was still focused on her starting position only realising she got there once she hit him.

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While penetrating Bang Sing Se's outter wall with the drill, the general of the city sent a large group of elite earthbenders known as the Terra Team to take it down. Azula sent out Ty Lee to retaliate, and she effortlessly danced around their attacks taking down more than 2 dozens of people separated on small groups in a few seconds.

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Lastly, Ty Lee could effortlessly cross 25 ft. in no more than 00,00,68 second(s) as well as outdraw Katara in the process. In their fight at Omashu Katara equipped with her water pouch could keep up with Mai's own speed, so that's highily impressive in its own right. While Katara was in fact surprised to see Ty Lee, Mai and Azula in the Earth Palace instead of the real Kyoshi Warriors, so that might as well be a factor too, both her and Ty Lee started moving the exact same moment.

Ultizing her agility, balance and perfect body control, Ty Lee can walk through opponents "like a leaf in the wind" even in close quarters.

So, that's just about it. If anyone wants any of these sources for the quotes and info I gathered just ask.

7 Comments

15 Best Benders in A:TLA / LoK Respect Threads

The 15 Best Benders in A:TLA / LoK Respect Threads (!)

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I've been working on this for quite some time now, and I think it's finally time to start (kinda slowly since I have huge RL responsibilities still). This is going to be a list of respect threads for those who I personally consider to be the most powerful benders in the Avatarverse. It's going to include benders from both Aang and Korra's era. Now, why don't I just make respect threads spread all over the place and have to bore you with all these ranking nonsense? At the end of each respect thread, I'm going to include reasoning for each bender's position above and below the others.

Again, this is only my opinion and my personal opinion alone. You might agree, you might disagree. I need to make that clear in order to prevent anyone from getting salty or taking things too seriously, honestly you should never do that (though I know it's hard sometimes). Anyway, if you disagree with any of the points I happen to raise during the list, make sure to call me out and debate me. I've chanegd my mind dozens of times before reaching a final decision, not just in this, in anything. Other than that, make sure to read the argument carefully and keep an open mind. If you can't do those, this thread is not for you sir.

Now, what is this going to include. Each individual post will include 1 bender and will have sections dedicated to:

Bending

  • Raw Power (scale, potency) -> How much of their element can the bender manipulate, with how much effort and with how much force?
  • Versatality -> How many different options does bending offer to the bender?
  • Bending Speed (attack speed / draw speed / fire rate / projectile speed) -> How fast is their bending? How fast can they attack? Can they spam?
  • Skill / Control / Precision -> How precise is the bender with their element. This doesn't mean how accurate they are, it means how precisely they can manipulate it. This means different forms, shapes and complex ways in which they bend. Skill is pretty self-explanatory and it includes showings of pure skill, meaning detecting their element nearby without seeing it, bending with little to no movement (psychic bending) etc.

Physicals

  • Speed (reaction speed, combat speed, travel speed) -> Possibly the most important stat of them all. How fast can a bender move around? How fast can they react to attacks? Most of them are very well balanced, but some benders do stand out notably.
  • Agility, Balance, Flexibility -> Second most iportant aspect. In bending battles, balance is surprisingly important. Attacks from virtually most bender have things like radius, shockwaves, tremors etc. 1 wrong step, and the opposition takes you down. Agility and flexibility are there for evasion mostly.
  • Durability -> Not too important considering most of the time, if you get tagged it's over, but still important when it comes to bender with perfect body control since they can save themselves last minute if something happens to go wrong.
  • Strength -> Bolderline unimportant, but I'm still going to include it anyway. It helps in CQ for instance I guess.
  • Endurance -> How easily does the bender tire out? How much can they fight effectively? Since benders ultize their chi energy a lot to fight and since many of these benders are roughly even with each other, this is a considerably important factor.

General Combat Related Traits

  • Accuracy / Speed -> Refers to how well the bender is at tagging fast and agile people. Stuf like those can be included in the bending and physical section too.
  • Experience -> How many notable opponents has the bender encountered, conforted or outright faught?
  • Environmental Awareness -> How aware of their sourroundings are they? Does the bender make good use of the environment? Can they handle those pesky, tricky attacks?
  • Tactical Ability -> Both in and out of combat feats, strategic mind and stuff. Can be directly related to environmental awareness and experience.
  • CQC -> Extremely important factor in bending battles too. We've got swordsmen, martial artists, very fast people or benders simply trained to use their bending efficiently in a point blank exchange

Reasoning

Rasoning for the bender's position on the list. Why do I rank them where I do, what are the best options they have in battle?

What benders am I going to include?

For starters, the list will include only 15 benders. All of them are masters. There are more master benders to choose from, some of them arguably even better than the ones presented on this list, however I won't include:

  • Bolderline of plainly featless benders (don't expect Iroh and Ozai in here)
  • Benders with little noteworty feats (pretty much don't expect too much of the White Lotus as a whole in here)
  • Daylight bloodbenders or Avatar State Avatars (plain hax)
  • 4 element Avatars (too many disscusions and arguments can be made for them, plus I haven't really made up my mind on them yet, Avatars are only going to be included with 1 element)

About the feats I'm going to include

  • Feats from every single appearance these characters had in either canonical series and comics (this does not include completely different versions such as Kid Toph and Old Toph)
  • Scaling will be used a lot to determine many things from speed to power
  • I couldn't care less about track record. I don't care who the bender faught, who they beat and who they lost to unless it's an outright battle between 2 of them included in this list under the conditions I'll state below. For me, what they do in their fights matters a lot more than who they did it to.
  • With all that said, many of the benders included here have trained other benders that might or might not be included on this list. The feats from their students are going to be included as their own in different sections. Wether or not they can replicate all of them is debate material.

Do I think these benders would consistently beat any bender not included in this list (apart from the categories stated above) one way or another?

Yes.

Conditions under which the benders get ranked

In order to rank these benders with each other, I used the conditions below and thought about who of them would prevail over the other:

  • Morals Off / Bloodlust On: Willing to kill, fighting to their fullest of abilities, can be out of character
  • Basic Knowledge: In the sense that Azula knows Kuvira is a metalbender and Kuvira knows Azula is a lightningbender. Maybe some general stuff like Azula is royal Fire Nation family, Kuvira is the Great Uniter or whatever.
  • Starting Distance between them is 45 ft.
  • All metal equipment not owned by a metalbender is turned into platinum so the metalbenders can't manipulate it
  • Winner by KO or Death
  • All battles take place on the most neutral location I could think of. Here's the garbadge map I made. Some info:
    • The black dots are 2 benders and how far from each other they begin the fight
    • The blue thing is supposed to be a river (for waterbenders) and it has a nigh-unlimited amount of water to use as it is suposed to end as a small waterfall (imagine a slightly smaller version of one of the rivers in the Crystal Catacombs)
    • All these light brown stuff are pre-existing earth constructs shaped like that (helps both earthbenders, and primarly agile benders to make the best of their physicality)
    • The green stuff are plants, bushes and vines for waterbenders and firebenders respectively
    • The grey stuff are metal constructs that offer the right amount of metal for metalbenders to use. For the sake of this, imagine that the metal there is of the same quality as the metal in Zaofu
    • There's no roof but the place is surrounded by walls made of pure earth, those sharp, triangle-shaped stuff come out of the walls like spikes on the sides
    • All constructs (earth or metal) are about 12 ft. tall to give you an idea

All around, I think this map gives all benders everything they need to have at their disposal for the fairest possible ranking.

Glossary

  • Environmental Attacks: non-straightforward attacks that come from different directions, below, above, behind etc. Very important, tricky and potentially lethal
  • Scale =/= Potency: scale refers to the size at which the character bends, but potency (which is even more important) refers to the force and power behind the attack, for example a tiny fireball from EoS Zuko can go right through any of Zhao's large fire blasts
  • * -> I'm going to include a (*) right next to a bender's name on the list to show that they are dead even, stalemate to death, with the bender below or above them. This might happen a couple of times or more.
  • Level: Just to locate you on where I think these characters stand in-verse, I'm going to separate them in different groups (like tiers, but not tiers. All of the people on this list are on the same tier imo (excluding the very last and the very first), this is just to point out the "power level" difference between them) and I'm going to include a few comments on each group that refer to what I think they can do. Tldr: I'm going to say "this wave can solo Mako and Bolin", "this wave can defeat any non-bender 1 on 1" etc.

Before everything else, I'll ask for 4 things:

1. Excuse my nerdiness (like PLEASE, that's who I am, my love and interest for this is overwhelming lol plus I swear I have a life really)

2. Please don't derail this thread. Your comments are more than welcome believe me, but don't start spamming and off-topic desscusions and stuff. The main posts are going to be for the RTs and I'll try to make them stand out as much as I can.

3. Check out other awesome RTs for Avatar from fellow viners

4. I'd like to give special credit to:

That's pretty much it, if you have any questions just ask and let me know if you wanna get tagged in the future for new additions.

52 Comments

Ranking the Top 15 TMNT (2012) strongest characters

I plan on bringing the TMNT of Nickelodeon on the spotlight of CV, and I think a good start would be to discuss the characters' abilities and the in-verse tiers with every fan of the series we can find in here.

Here's my list for example:

1. Master Splinter
2. Shredder
3. Hattori Tatsu

______________________

4. Alopex
5. Tiger Claw
6. Newtralizer
7. Leonardo *
8. Karai *
9. Shinigami
10. Fishface
11. Snakeweed
12. Rahzar
13. Bebop
14. Hun
15. Rapahel

* I think Leo and Karai are dead even though. Keep in mind that my list has the most neutral envornment possible and bloodlusted as the combat conditions.

There are characters like April, Rockwell, Super Shredder, Kavaxus, Muckman and Armaggon that are either too hax to put in or too inconsistent to rank or just don't have enough feats and are pretty cirumstancial. All around tricky. Of course that's why we have disscusions anyway. I'm also not sure about Newtralizer compared to TC or Alopex and Snakeweed vs Shinigami given his regenration so I'm open to arguments there too. Also, things could change by the time since new episodes keep on coming.

Ask for reasoning on my list if you may and tell your own. And if I see interest, Imma make some battle threads with in-verse battles too so we can have more proper debates.

27 Comments
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