My Predictions for Season 4 of Arrow

Disclaimer: Before anyone prepares to go at me with a knife or a verbal onslaught, this post is not meant to be malicious or bitter in tone or intent, but rather more playful mockery. I actually do like the Arrow show, this is simply my own special way of making clear my main criticism of the show, nothing more, nothing less.

So, with Season 3 already halfway done, I thought I’d take the time to predict what will happen in the fourth season of CW’s superhero show, assuming it gets renewed of course:

  • Arrow will get his own spiff car with built-in weapons that he will drive recklessly and cause a lot of collateral damage with.
  • The main villain of Season 4 will be Bane, who’s fight with Arrow will be a scene-for-scene cut-and-paste copy of Batman’s fight with Bane in TDKR that will end with Bane breaking Arrow’s back over his knee. Arrow will then have to get a person of questionable mental stability to replace him and defeat Bane before then having to defeat his psychotic would-be successor. This temporary successor will be Azrael Connor Hawke.
  • Roy will get the crap beaten out of him by Deathstroke with a crowbar and then killed in an explosion. Arrow will keep his costume framed in his hideout and refuse to take on a new sidekick until Mia Dearden gets introduced. Roy will later come back via Lazarus Pit as the violent vigilante Red Hood Arrow.
  • Mia will discover Ollie’s secret identity and then become his new protégé after saving his life from Two-Face Brick. Her father and Captain Boomerang will later kill each-other.
  • Count Vertigo will return, and try and douse Starling City’s entire population with his drug with help from the League of Assassins (may happen in Season 3, in which case Ollie will fight Ras al Ghul on a train).
  • Felicity will get shot by Slade and be confined to a wheelchair forever after. She will then form the Birds of Prey with Laurel and Huntress. Slade will also try to psychologically break Quentin Lance to prove that all it takes is "one bad day" to make someone go evil like him.
  • Arrow will be trapped in a labyrinth by a secret society that has been running Starling City from the shadows since it’s inception, temporarily goes crazy, and then has to fend off this secret society’s seemingly unkillable assassins.
  • New villains introduced in Season 4 besides Bane will include Copperhead, Maxie Zeus, Killer Croc, Black Spider, Zsaz, and Clayface. Arrow will also face a new villain who is psychotic, homicidal, obsessed with chaos, and tries to goad Arrow into killing him as a means of compromising his morality.
  • Arrow will develop contingency plans to neutralize Flash, Atom, and Firestorm, in the event that they ever become evil. These plans will then be acquired by Ras al Ghul and used against the heroes, turning them against Arrow (may happen in Season 3).
  • Arrow will learn that he has a psychotic, spoiled, and belligerent son with Nyssa after being drugged by her and takes this son as a protégé to keep him away from his crazy and villainous mother. His son will become his new Arsenal.
  • Arrow will get cloned by Amanda Waller. The clone will come to have a sleek black and red costume and will be mentored by an older, retired, and bitter Oliver Queen, which will transition into a sequel show called “Arrow Beyond”.

What do you guys think? Do you think my (sardonic) predictions will come to pass? Anyone have any else they want to add?

Oh, and on an unrelated note: Happy New Year everyone!

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My Thoughts on the Fantastic Four Reboot

I doubt I'm the only person who's done a blog post to this effect, but nevertheless here it is:

Now, with some new information on the upcoming Fantastic Four reboot being released, most people have gone up in arms over the supposed ludicrous changes. Now, before I go on and give my own personal thoughts on the recently revealed developments, I feel I should stress that some of the information released concerning the film was actually taken out of context. For instance, when they said that the movie would be more "down to Earth", by that they meant more down to Earth in relation to the movies made by Fox, which were garbage anyway. So that's not necessarily anything to get worked up over. And besides that, the MCU films try to lean more towards realism than the comics, and they're still good are they not? Just something to remember.

However, that being said, I do definitely still have some problems with the movie based on what's already been released, and I just thought it best to put my thoughts into words here. So ultimately, having looked at what both sides of the argument have to say, my opinions on it are thus:

Yes, a direct page-to-screen translation has never happened in a Marvel movie before, and would probably be impossible for a couple different reasons, but that being said, there is a difference between taking some creative liberties while still staying true to the fundamental aspects of the characters and their stories, and having something that is "in name only". And honestly, this seems like more of the latter. Besides the Doctor Doom as a computer programmer (which I'll talk more about later), you also have:

  • Problem #1-Reed Richards and Ben Grimm as convenience store clerks: This is not as much of a problem for Ben, since his career is not a defining part of his character, but for Reed I think this is. Let's all be honest here: what Mr. Fantastic is most well known for is not his stretchy powers but his immense intellect, which is frankly a superpower unto itself for him. Reed is the ultimate scientist pretty much, and so to have him be a convenience store clerk, a profession that has absolutely nothing to do with science and doesn't do much to foster a sharp intellect, feels like something that badly undermines one of the core aspects of who Reed Richards is. His being younger I don't mind as much, but his not being in a profession that speaks to one of his defining character traits is something I really do mind. The only way I think this will work is if they make it a sort of "Good Will Hunting" kind of thing, where Reed has this job because he wants to avoid doing something fit for his high intelligence, which would be valid. Otherwise though, this is a problem.
  • Problem #2-Lack of interest in source material: With both one of the main actors and the director both admitting to have never read any Fantastic Four comics and also going out of their way to avoid doing so, I can't help but feel nervous. Do we really want to trust the success of the movie on people who don't care about the source material at all? Look at Joss Whedon's Avengers and Brian Singer's X-Men films: with those movies the directors actually are comic book fans and care about the mythos. Yes, creative liberties were still taken, but the fundamentals were also maintained and the characters treated with respect (mostly). While that could still happen with people who essentially "go in blind" (IE: Warren Ellis and GI Joe Resolute), I think it's a lot less likely to happen, and I feel that once the director makes clear their apathy for the source material and by extension their unwillingness to do their homework on the characters they're doing a movie of, I think it really does hurt the film's chances of doing well with the fan-base, and honestly I think that's the most important thing. While ideally a movie can appeal to everyone, some films still have a target audience, and a comic book movie's target audience should be people who actually care about the characters and their world. If we feel like the film failed to do that, then that is a problem. And let's be honest: that's why the last couple Fantastic Four movies failed, precisely because they just did not do an adequate enough job respecting the mythos. And of course the acting wasn't all that great either.
  • Problem #3-Human Torch's "race lift" and being adopted: This I don't actually have a problem with. After all, Nick Fury got a race-lift in the MCU, and the Ultimate Marvel Universe before that. What I do have a bit of a problem with is the fact that he's adopted rather than being Susan's biological brother, which to me comes off as cheap, and even a little cowardly on the part of the writers. Why can't they have it so that Johnny and Sue come from a mixed-race family, which do exist? Why does he have to be adopted, and thus introduce a whole sub-plot that really isn't necessary and probably won't be very interesting? Why can't it just be that one of their parents was Caucasian and the other was African American? This isn't the 1950s and 60s. That should be possible to show in a movie, especially since the most likely reason Human Torch got a race-lift was to be more progressive. Is a mixed-race family not being progressive?
  • Problem #4-Doctor Doom as a computer programmer/blogger: this obviously is the one everyone's up in arms over, myself included. Now, before I go into anything on this, I feel I should point out that there was an earlier rumor about Doctor Doom being a woman, and that was proven false. Of course, with the actor himself saying this I suppose that pretty much confirms it. In which case, on to the rant. First off, as I made clear in an earlier comment, this aversion to Doctor Doom that Hollywood seems to have really puzzles me. What is it about Doctor Doom that makes his character so unacceptable for the silver screen? Is it because of his armor? Iron Man wears hi-tech armor, so I don't see how that's an issue. His cape perhaps? Not really seeing that either. Thor in the MCU, Magneto in the X-Men movies, Batman in the Nolan films, and Superman, Zod, and Faora in Man of Steel all had capes. And Zod and Faora had both capes and armor, so I don't see how Doctor Doom's appearance is any kind of issue. Is it his personality? There have been grandiose and over-the-top villains in superhero movies before (MCU Loki, Nicholson Joker, etc.) so once again I fail to see the problem. Doom's intellect and backstory are also interesting facets to his character, and I fail to see how either of those should keep him out of a movie. The more mystical and dated elements of the origin can easily be altered without throwing out the whole origin story altogether. In all, I just cannot understand why they felt so compelled to turn Doctor Doom into a computer programmer, which just isn't interesting. Yes, an earlier comment pointed out that Doom does have some similarities to a blogger, but I know I (and clearly many others) don't want to see a team of superheroes be forced to do battle against a...blogger. What's he going to do? Troll them to death? And the fact that this hasn't been done to numerous other movie versions of Marvel villains, many of whom have actually had their basic natures and premises retained, makes the decision to do this to Doom disingenuous and absurd. The only way I see this working, is if this is merely how Doom starts out, and then he becomes the supervillain we all know and love during the course of the film, which I would be willing to accept. Otherwise, this is for me pretty much torpedoes the film, And so, with all of that out of the way, I now go to the last problem I see, which is...
  • Problem #5-In Name Only: Really, this just kind of sums up everything I've already said, and what others have also already said. Again, creative liberties are not wrong, and actually to an extent kind of necessary, but something as extreme and drastic as this is definitely off-putting. And especially when this is one of the most radical examples of it I've seen from Marvel to date, the other big offenders being the 1989 Punisher movie (where he didn't have the skull logo) and the 1990s Captain America movie. While I doubt (and hope) that this film won't fail as hard as those two did, I can't help but fear that it is still going in that direction. And really, what's the point of even doing the movie when it bears next to no resemblance to the source material, including in fundamental ways? You could argue that it's to attract audiences who aren't already fans of the comics, but what happens then? Those people aren't going to become any more likely to get into FF comics precisely because those comics won't resemble this movie. So I don't see much of a long-term gain here. Any sequels that get made I doubt too many hardcore comic fans will see if the first film turns us off so much, and in the end the film loses as many fans as it gains. And the comics probably won't get any. So ultimately, I disagree with the "in name only" approach.

So ultimately, having gone through all of that, I think my views on the film should be pretty clear at this point. Obviously there will be people who will tell me that I should wait until I see the film and then form my own opinion, and to that I will say this: if something new comes along to suggest that the film will be good and worth seeing, then I will change my views accordingly and maybe, just maybe, go see the film. But as of right now this is my stance on the matter, and I do not consider it to be a wrong one since I have looked at the information given about the film and from that information come to a conclusion. I don't see that as being all that unreasonable.

Not demanding that people agree with me though. If anyone wants to see this movie, that's their right. I won't judge. I'm just putting in my own two cents on the matter and seeing what other people think.

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My thoughts on the proposed Star Wars matchups posted by Jensaarai1

There is a user on Youtube by the name of Jensaarai1 who has posted a couple different Star Wars matches. I thought I’d give my thoughts on them and see what people think.

Darth Vader Vs. Qui-Gon Jinn

Vader should win this just as soundly as Darth Maul did, if not moreso. First off, Vader is at worst as good a lightsaber duelist as Darth Maul but is actually probably better, given that he fought evenly with an amped up version of Darth Maul, fought evenly with RotJ Luke, who is comparable to both Mace Windu and Count Dooku, and also fought evenly with a version of Obi-Wan comparable to the one Darth Maul fought evenly with. But even if he’s Maul’s equal, that still makes Vader more than capable of besting Qui-Gon in a saber duel for obvious reasons. In terms of the Force there is no contest. Vader has uprooted trees and destroyed cathedrals. Qui-Gon never accomplished anything to that effect with the Force. Strength also goes to Vader, who has supported the weight of a dozen stormtroopers. Once again, Qui-Gon has done nothing to compare and even worse is prone to fatigue as of TPM, which would work against him. In terms of speed however, the two are even. Qui-Gon's physical power was sufficient to repeatedly run invisibly fast, fight fast enough to form shields out of his lightsaber blade, deflect torrents of blaster fire, and strike with enough force to stagger Maul. Vader meanwhile has moved faster than thought, produced afterimages from the movements of his lightsaber, and like Qui-Gon has formed shields out of the movements of his blade and deflected torrents of blaster fire.

So in all, while the two are comparable in speed, Vader outclasses Qui-Gon in strength, force ability, and saber dueling. Really I see Vader only having a ton of trouble here in a straight-up saber duel and even there he wins. If Vader makes good use of his Force ability the fight ends all the more quickly, though I wouldn’t quite say its a stomp given how Vader usually struggles with his opponents even when he wins.

Darth Tyranus Vs. Darth Maul

People almost invariably say that Tyranus/Dooku wins, and looking at the evidence its true. In terms of saber skill, Maul is marginally below Mace Windu by virtue of being equal to a version of Obi-Wan who is marginally below Mace Windu and killing someone who once stalemated Mace Windu. Dooku meanwhile has stalemated Mace in the past and the two have also beaten each other before, showing that they are equals. Dooku has also beaten both General Grievous and Sora Bulq, two lightsaber duelists with comparable skills to Maul (both have stalemated Mace Windu twice each).

In terms of the Force, Tyranus is at least as powerful as the Clone Wars iteration of Darth Maul (the TPM version of Maul lacks Force feats) but is likely even more powerful. Tyranus collapsed a ceiling, Maul collapsed a small cave. Tyranus used Force Choke to kill Weequay Pirates, and while Maul has yet to use Force Choke to kill anyone, his usage of it on Satine, Bo-Katan, and others shows that he would have been more than capable of doing so if he desired. He has also force-choked Obi-Wan, something Tyranus has also accomplished. But while their telekinesis and force choke are comparable to even, Tyranus has something Maul does not: Force Lightning. While Tyranus is not among the most powerful practitioners of Force Lightning, his usage of the ability is still solid, as he has used it to beat Anakin Skywalker and Asajj Ventress among others.

Strength does pass to Maul, and this might give him the edge in a saber duel, but it is unlikely that this would be enough to guarantee Maul an outright victory, especially since General Grievous has also demonstrated better strength feats than Dooku and yet he has still lost to him. In the end, Tyranus does indeed win, though the fight itself is a lot closer than some people might think.

Yoda Vs. Darth Plagueis

This is a close one. Plagueis has demonstrated some truly incredible force feats, not the least of which would be force lightning capable of turning people to dust. Yoda struggled to hold off Palpatine’s lightning and in one instance failed to stop it, and while Plaugueis’ lightning isn’t quite as powerful, its not too far below based on what has been shown, as Palpatine too has used lightning to turn people to dust. Yoda for his part has demonstrated decent telekinesis feats, namely redirecting a senate pod tossed at him by Sidious, stopping and moving a collapsing pillar, and (my personal favorite) lifting up an army of droideaks.

Speed-wise Plagueis has run so fast that his lightsaber appeared as a blur, and also fought off an army of Kursid Warriors without being touched. Yoda however, was able to fight Palpatine as a perfect equal, whose speed feats transcend those demonstrated by Plagueis at best and equal them at worst. So Yoda can keep up here. Strength-wise, Yoda is deceptively strong, among other things having bested Depa Billaba, Saesee Tiin, and Ki-Adi-Mundi simultaneously without any weapons. Plagueis to compare has kicked armored individuals so hard their torsos went flying. Those three Jedi Masters Yoda bested are certainly more impressive than generic non-Force Sensitives, but Plagueis’ strength feats are still noteworthy.

In terms of saber dueling this is where Yoda shines. He has Plagueis completely outclassed in this arena. Plagueis has never beaten a notable lightaber duelist, merely sparred with a version of Palpatine who had not yet displayed any feats and beaten Darth Venamis, who is as featless as they come in terms of saber dueling and is only impressive in terms of speed. Yoda meanwhile has fought a vastly superior version of Palpatine as a perfect equal, beaten/overwhelmed Dooku multiple times, beaten Mace Windu, beaten those three aforementioned Jedi Masters, two of whom are only marginally below Mace in saber dueling, etc. There is no comparison between the two whatsoever here.

In all while Plagueis can easily match and possibly surpass Yoda in the Force department, and the two are comparable in strength and speed, Yoda’s vastly superior dueling skills and the fact that he’s at least approachable to Plagueis in the Force and raw strength both give him the edge needed to win in my opinion.

Darth Vader Vs. Exar Kun

The thing with Exar Kun is that he is one of those Star Wars characters who should be way better than he is. But alas, his feats just don’t reflect his lofty reputation and as such Vader wins handily against him.

In terms of lightsabers, the disparity between the two is not as great as it is in other arenas. Exar Kun killed Vodo-Siossk Baas, who was good only by reputation. Vader killed The Dark Woman and Roan Shyre, both of whom were only good by reputation. So there’s no real disparity there. Where Exar Kun has stalemated Ulic Qel-Droma, Vader has stalemated an amped TPM Darth Maul, a version of Obi-Wan that is technically inferior to his RotS incarnation but still capable, and a version of Luke comparable to Mace Windu and Darth Tyranus that would go on to stalemate Flint while holding back and hold his own against Lumiya while holding back (and being unfamiliar with her Light Whip weapon). This is what tips the scale in Vader’s favor and makes him Kun’s superior in terms of dueling. But Exar can at least give Vader a fight here.

Regarding the Force though, its not even a contest. As has already been stated, Darth Vader has uprooted trees and destroyed cathedrals, not to mention he has utilized other Force Powers as well such as Force Scream, Dun Moch, Alter Environment, and of course Force Choke. Exar Kun meanwhile, has only manifested Force Drain within the confines of his Temples which radiate with a dark side aura that bolsters his powers, rendering it ineffective in a duel on neutral ground. Exar Kun’s Force Blast when not amped by his temple’s energies was unable to kill Aleema Keto (a featless being), and he has shown no proficiency in either Dun Moch or Alter Environment, and his Force Lightning is sub-par. What makes Exar Kun’s mediocre Force showings here especially pathetic is the fact that all of them were done when wearing a Sith Amulet that supposedly boosted his Force ability. When the above was all he could accomplish with it, that’s pretty damning ability wise. Vader wins a Force fight in a stomp or near-stomp.

The advantage in both Strength and Durability goes squarely to Vader. Kun has few if any showings in either arena, whereas Vader has dented bulkheads, supported the weight of a dozen stormtroopers, and continued fighting after losing an arm and suffering other injuries. I'd even argue Vader is better in terms of agility considering he was able to make his way through a ruined Star Destroyer floating in space. Really Exar Kun is pretty badly outmatched. While a lightsaber duel will at least be a solid fight, in an all-out fight or force fight Vader wins with much less trouble.

Obi-Wan Kenobi Vs. Vodo-Siossk Baas

This is the kind of mismatch that is pitting one of the best lightsaber duelists the Jedi Order ever produced against a featless (or near featless) individual. To sum it up: Vodo-Siossk Baas lost to Exar Kun and has no other dueling showings outside of this. Not a one. Obi-Wan meanwhile has beaten/stalemated Asajj Ventress, beaten Savage Opress, and stalemated Darth Maul. He also has Force feats, which Vodo is lacking in. So in the end Obi-Wan beats him just as easily as Exar Kun did, it not moreso.

Kit Fisto Vs. Ulic Qel-Droma

For Kit Vs. Ulic, while Kit Fisto’s lightsaber form Shii-Cho is less useful against a single individual with a single lightsaber, his objective showings (such as doing well against General Grievous and also elite Mangaguards, ones that gave Obi-Wan a challenge) are still such that he is more than capable of holding his own. Qel-Droma's main claim to fame is stalemating Exar Kun, which is pretty good, but not enough on it's own considering Kit would beat Kun more often than not (Shii-Cho advantage among other things). And as with Obi-Wan Vs. Vodo-Siossk Baas, Kit Fisto has decent Force showings that Qel-Droma is lacking in. Even granting that Kit's best Force showings are probably not something he could do on dry land, he has still (alongside Plo Koon) shielded him and his men from an avalanche caused by Asajj Ventress and also moved large machinery with his TK. The one thing I will say to this effect though is that it doesn't seem to be Kit's style to rely heavily on Force attacks, and thus it may not make much of a difference in the end anyway. One thing that might make a difference though is speed, Kit's being such that it astounded Obi-Wan, who has speed showings of his own (such as running in a blur). In all, I think this is a closer, better fight than the above one, but as of right now I think I'll favor Kit Fisto for a majority.

Darth Tyranus Vs. Darth Malgus

While this is not as much of a mismatch as I initially thought it to be, Tyranus still wins a solid majority against Malgus. For starters he destroys Malgus in a saber duel. While Malgus is objectively stronger than Tyranus, so is Anakin, and that didn’t stop him from losing to the Count on Geonosis. Tyranus’ actual dueling feats are also objectively better. Beating the likes of Obi-Wan, General Grievous, and in one case Mace Windu, far exceed beating Kao Cen Darach, Ven Zallow, and Padawan Satele Shan, not to mention losing to the Emperor’s Wrath and Kallig (or alternatively the Hero of Tython and Barsen’thor).

In terms of the Force the two are more comparable, but there is still a clear gap in Dooku’s favor. Malgus’ Force Lightning took down three Jedi Masters who had their lightsabers up, but Dooku’s took down Asajj Ventress backed up by two Nightsisters, all three of whom had lightsabers. There’s no great disparity there. Force telekinesis though Malgus never showed much, certainly not enough to match Tyranus’ collapsing a ceiling or causing a large metal pillar to fall. So while the two are at least comparable in the Force, Dooku is still the superior here, and coupled with his being a vastly superior lightsaber duelist ensures that he wins handily against Malgus. As has already been stated, the only realm Malgus surpasses Dooku in is in strength, and this by itself is not enough to get him a win.

Kit Fisto vs. Darth Maul

With this one it depends largely on which version of Maul we’re talking about. TPM Darth Maul is lacking in Force feats, whereas CW Darth Maul has collapsed a tunnel and made liberal use of Force Choke. Kit Fisto’s best Force feats were mostly accomplished when underwater and thus may not be applicable to a fight on dry land. Having said that, the two are still comparable in the Force arena if we use CW Maul. It not, Kit comfortably surpasses him in this arena.

Speed-wise, Kit has run in a blur, deflected blaster bolts, shaped fans out of his lightsaber blows, and moved fast enough to astound Obi-Wan with his speed. Maul, to compare has disappeared in a blur, sprints five times faster than a human being can run, and travels by leaping distances so quickly that footage from recording devices would have to be slowed down to display him.

But where the two are comparable in both speed and the force, strength passes soundly to Maul, who has broken durasteel binders and thrown spydrs, among other showings. In terms of dueling, the two are comparable. Kit was overwhelming Grievous and also fought Ventress, and Maul is only a marginally better duelist then them if at all. Also of note is that Shii-Cho is useful against multiple blades and multiple opponents both, though the latter is not present and Maul can circumvent the former by simply not having both of his lightsaber blades ignited, though it might take him a few moments to realize that his opponent’s style is Shii-Cho, which could give Kit all the time he needs.

In the end I say Kit beats TPM Maul more often than not due to 1: Shii-Cho (even though again, Maul can circumvent this obstacle) and 2: having Force feats that Maul is lacking in. CW Maul however beats Kit more often than not due to having superior strength feats and being able to match Kit in every other arena. Not to mention that CW Maul's dueling feats are also arguably better than Kits.

Darth Vader Vs. Yoda

Even moreso than some of the TotJ Characters Vs. RoE Characters fights this is to put it simply, silly. Because I’m too lazy to elaborate on this one, and honestly I think most people are intelligent enough to guess why this is one-sided on their own, I’ll just have a bit of irrefutable ABC logic and be done with it: Vader knew he was not strong enough to beat Palpatine by himself and therefore never bothered to challenge him alone. Yoda fought Palpatine as an equal in saber dueling and though he still lost to him at least put up a fight. With this in mind, who do you think wins?

Darth Malgus Vs. Sora Bulq

Changed my verdict with this one. While Sora has fought evenly with Mace Windu, who is a far better lightsaber duelist than Ven Zallow and Kao Cen Darach, the reason for this was Sora's knowing the fighting style Mace uses very well because it was his own. Outside of that fight, Sora has beaten Quinlan Vos, was beating Quinlan Vos when he was in a Force-Rage, and only lost due to assuming him defeated and lowering his guard, which allowed Vos to kill him, and beat Master Tholme. So in all, I see little disparity in skill here. Malgus does have better strength and force feats though, which should probably be the scale-tipper he needs to win. His pain tolerance is also substantial, though I would actually argue that won't mean as much in the end, since lightsabers tend to do their job as far as putting people down goes. Still, with comparable dueling skill and superior strength and force ability Malgus can probably win this.

Qui-Gon Jinn Vs. Asajj Ventress

Ventress should win this almost as soundly as Darth Maul did, if not just as soundly. Ventress is pretty comparable to Maul in saber dueling, and if either one is better than the other, its not by a wide margin, assuming we’re using Ventress later in the Clone Wars that is. The version of Ventress that lost to Dooku, Padawan Anakin, and General Grievous in that order loses to Qui-Gon, but even this iteration of the character still puts up a fight. But the Ventress who has consistently given mid to late CW Obi-Wan and Anakin trouble and was only barely bested by Mace Windu wins handily.

Regarding the Force, Ventress has Qui-Gon beat here no matter which version it is, as Qui-Gon has never done anything close to collapsing a ceiling or causing an avalanche. That said, Ventress rarely uses the Force to any substantial degree in fights, as its not in her character. Its still noteworthy though, as in the event that Force Powers do enter the equation, Qui-Gon is outclassed. So really between that and superior dueling ability, Ventress’ fight with Qui-Gon ends the same way his fight with Darth Maul did unless its Ventress at the very beginning of the Clone Wars, who loses to Qui-Gon after a fierce duel.

Qui-Gon Jinn Vs. Sora Bulq

Another close fight for Sora. Granted, both have stalemated Mace Windu before, but the time at which Qui-Gon did this is ambiguous and it is likely that Mace was not yet in his prime. Bulq conversely has fought evenly with Mace Windu both before and during the Clone Wars and in the second duel while Mace did beat him it was by using the Force, not by virtue of being more skilled (though Mace is in fact more skilled, just not by a large margin). Outside of this, Sora's feats are decent, but Qui-Gon's got showings to rival them (beating the Dark Jedi Xanatos and giving TPM Maul a fight namely). So they're probably pretty close in respects to dueling skill. As of now I'm seeing little if any disparity.

Neither opponent has any force feats of note that I know of, but Qui-Gon does have some pretty good speed feats. Now the one thing to note is that Qui-Gon is quite prone to fatigue as of TPM, but this is largely due to the physically demanding nature of the form Qui-Gon specializes in, namely Ataru. Nowhere does it say that Qui-Gon's skills decreased at all. Nevertheless, lower stamina could conceivably cost him in a duel against an opponent who is roughly his equal as a duelist. Ultimately, I'd say this could go either way. If either one is better than the other in dueling, it's not by that large a margin. Qui-Gon seems to surpass Sora in speed but fails in terms of stamina. So in all, a pretty even match-up. Not sure who wins this one.

Darth Malgus Vs. Darth Vader

Despite Malgus being in many respects a shameless nod to Vader and seemingly being a lot more flashy, in the end Vader outclasses Malgus in literally every single arena. In dueling, Malgus has not ever defeated terribly noteworthy opponents. Vader for his part has again, stalemated his son as of RotJ, Obi-Wan as of ANH, and an amped TPM Darth Maul, all of whom surpass Kao Cen Darach, Ven Zallow, and a featless iteration of Satele Shan (and frankly probably Grandmaster Satele too if we're only talking about lightsaber skill). In the Force Malgus has never accomplished anything on the level of Vader's uprooting trees, destroying walkways, throwing massive droids around, and destroying a cathedral. Many of Malgus' best feats, such as breaking a person's bones with Force Push and using Force Choke to kill someone have either been replicated by Vader (Choke) or just straight up exceeded.

Strength, speed, and even knowledge all also pass to Vader. Malgus' strength is decent, but Vader has supported the weight of a dozen stormtroopers, a feat Malgus has never surpassed or replicated. In terms of speed Vader has moved faster than thought, produced afterimages from the movements of his lightsaber, and has formed shields out of the movements of his blade and deflected torrents of blaster fire. Malgus has replicated some of these feats, so this is one arena where Malgus is more approachable to Vader, but all this means is that Vader will not blitz Malgus. But when Vader's demonstrated TK and dueling are both superior there will be little Malgus can do to challenge him. Furthermore, Vader has demonstrated numerous Force powers that Malgus to my knowledge has never displayed, such as Dun Moch, Alter Environment, and others. Malgus has not even displayed Force Deflection, which Vader has frequently employed.

Honestly aside from speed the only arena Malgus is approachable to Vader in is durability. Vader has continued to keep fighting even after losing limbs and has withstood assault from all manner of heavy weaponry. Malgus to compare survived a close-range grande blast followed by a massive force push (though this was able to put him down and he needed to have a breather mask akin to Vader's own afterwards). So honestly Vader likely surpasses him here too.

So in the end Vader wins this one handily, though not quite effortlessly. Malgus is decent enough, but he simply cannot compare to Vader where it counts.

Vodo-Siossk Baas Vs. Darth Plagueis

Not even close. I've already listed Plagueis' feats above. Vodo-Siossk Baas is literally feat-less. This is a horrific mismatch. Moving on.

Darth Zannah Vs. Shaak Ti

While both are largely pathetic lightsaber duelists, Zannah has demonstrably better Force power. And while her telepathy will not be able to effortlessly overwhelm Shaak Ti due to the fact that like most Jedi Shaak Ti has some TP resistance, I would not put it past Zannah's Sith Sorcery to be able to overwhelm Shaak in the end.

Saber-wise the two are equally abysmal. Neither Zannah nor Shaak Ti has ever defeated a noteworthy lightsaber duelist (and no, Galen Marek, who Shaak was overwhelming in their duel is not noteworthy, quite the opposite). The only half-decent feat of Zannah's is stalemating a bloodlusted Darth Bane twice and for Shaak Ti soloing an army of Magnaguards, whose skill levels are so inconsistent it's kind of ridiculous. Honestly, between that and Zannah's using the defensive style Soresu, I'd actually favor Zannah in a duel, but not by a large margin.

So in the end, between slightly superior saber skill and her Sith Sorcery (considered by Darth Plagueis to be some of the best there ever was) I see Zannah ultimately prevailing. Shaak Ti, cool as she is is simply not among the better duelists or Force users of the RoE Jedi Order.

Kit Fisto Vs. Obi-Wan Kenobi

This is a very close one, in fact I'd say it's the closest fight out of all of these. Dueling-wise, the two have both done well against Grievous, though in both cases they had their specific lightsaber forms (Shii-Cho and Soresu respectively) giving them an edge (in fact, Obi-Wan was sent after Grievous precisely because his Soresu would be a good counter to GG’s insane attacks).

Outside of that, the two have also both fought Ventress before. But whereas Kit has never defeated Ventress to my knowledge, Obi-Wan has beaten her, though at the same time he has also lost to her before, and stalemated her other times, which basically means they’re about even. Kit for his part lost to Ventress, but his Shii-Cho is ill-suited to Makashki, which did give Ventress an edge that she would not have had against Obi-Wan. Ultimately, looking at their saber skills, I’d say there’s little if any disparity to be had, though since Kit’s form is less useful against a single opponent with a single lightsaber blade, he is at a bit of a disadvantage, and therefore I might favor Obi-Wan in terms of who is the superior duelist.

In terms of the Force, Obi-Wan's power levels that I am most familiar with are Obi-Wan c. End of Clone Wars to Revenge of the Sith. At this point in time Obi-Wan has moved Durge's ship and used lightsaber throw. To compare Kit Fisto has lifted and moved a massive cylindrical tank and helped Plo Koon shield themselves and clone troopers from an avalanche. So looking at that I'd say their TK is about even to very slight edge in favor of Obi-Wan.

Physically, Kit has run in a blur, deflected blaster bolts, shaped fans out of his lightsaber blows, and moved fast enough to astound Obi-Wan with his speed. As for Obi-Wan himself, he has run in a blur, moved his lightsaber fast enough to create a shield out of the movements of his blade, and flown straight at Anakin while their ships moved at sublight speeds and yet reacted fast enough to veer away from one another. Obi-Wan has also deflected blaster fire from entire armies at once (to be fair though, he did utilize the terrain for cover also). Once again, I'd say it's close, as the two have accomplished many of the same speed feats (such as both running in a blur and making fans out of the movements of their lightsabers). And yet once again I'd say Obi-Wan is the superior by the slimmest of margins on the account of his reaction feat that Kit to my knowledge has not matched. Though at the same time Kit's speed has astounded Obi-Wan...

All in all, this will likely end in a stalemate, but if I had to pick a single winner, I'd go with Obi-Wan simply because while he is only marginally better than Kit in pretty much all arenas that still means he is better, if again, only by a slim margin. So therefore I judge this to be either a perfect split or slim majority for Obi-Wan.

Exar Kun Vs. Starkiller

Ah yes, these two. Exar Kun and Starkiller are two excellent examples of Star Wars characters who everyone THINKS are good but in fact really aren't anywhere close to top-tier.

In saber dueling at least there is no contest. Exar Kun has actually defeated opponents in a lightsaber duel by virtue of being better, which is something Starkiller has NEVER done in the Canon Novel (the video game is largely N-Canon, including the alternate ending). Starkiller was losing to Rahm Kota, Kazdan Paratus, and especially Shaak Ti and Maris Brood. He did not beat a single one of them by virtue of being a better duelist, and even worse, none of them have any feats except for Shaak, who is little better. Granted, no one Kun beat has any feats either, but at least he actually won. Kun was also able to produce after-images from the movements of his lightsaber, which to my knowledge Starkiller has never done. And no, he did not defeat Darth Vader in a lightsaber duel either, rather he bested him via the Force. Before that he held his own against him courtesy of being intimately familiar with his master's unique fighting style. But he did not beat him in a duel and frankly his victory as was is pretty much PIS/CIS.

Now in terms of the Force both of them are frankly rather pathetic. Contrary to popular belief Starkiller did not bring down a Star Destroyer. What he did accomplish was redirect a Star Destroyer that was already falling. And moving this Star Destroyer just a small amount took everything he had and he fainted from exertion afterwards. This does nothing to prove Galen's strength in the Force and in fact actually shows how weak he is more than it does his "strength". And no, he didn't beat Palpatine either. The novel makes it clear that Palpatine allowed Galen to win in the hopes of goading him to the Dark Side as he had Anakin. Having said that Starkiller was able to hold Palpatine's lightning at bay for a time with his bare hands, which is a good feat, especially since RotJ Luke was only able to do that for a short time before being overwhelmed (though it is worth mentioning of course that Galen would have ultimately been overwhelmed too had he not chosen to sacrifice himself).

Having said all of that, Kun's own Force feats are pretty pitiful, especially considering that his Force strength was supposedly being enhanced by a Sith Amulet the entire time. His Force Blast when not enhanced by his Massassi Temple's DS energy was not able to kill a featless individual, and his other Force feats are little better, and to my knowledge he could not ever kill anyone with his Force powers. While Starkiller's feats are nowhere near as good as the title of his story would lead you to believe, he has at least caused far more damage with his Force powers, so I would put him above Kun in this arena, but honestly not by much. Kun can keep up with him here.

Speed-wise, Starkiller is decent, but not the best. Kun was, again able to create after-images from the movements of his lightsaber, so he has that to his name. Neither one has any noteworthy strength feats that I can recall. Ultimately, this could go either way, but I still favor Kun simply because Galen is so abysmal in saber dueling and while he is better in Force ability, Kun can at least keep up with him to a degree. He can also match him in physical arenas.

Qui-Gon Vs. Ben Kenobi

Giving it to old Ben here. His dueling skill may have deteriorated by this point in time due to age and lack of practice, but he was still good enough to fight evenly with Vader, who though not yet in his prime (which was c. RotJ) had still stalemated/defeated an amped TPM Darth Maul...who had killed Qui-Gon when NOT amped. With that bit of ABC logic in mind, I see Ben still being the superior swordsman by a fair margin, not to mention that his excellent defensive skills (Soresu is a defensive form) could allow him to hold firm while Qui-Gon tires himself out due to using a much more physically taxing form (and indeed Qui-Gon is much more prone to fatigue as of TPM).

Force-wise neither one has too many feats to their name that I can recall, and I don't see either one having much to give them any kind of edge over one another, though I do think that Qui-Gon may still take it here.

Speed-wise they're about even, as Ben's being able to hold his own against Vader can match any of Qui-Gon's speed feats. That said, I still feel Obi-Wan ultimately takes this just by virtue of being a better swordsman and being able to outlast Qui-Gon. Beyond that though I have to admit that the two mavericks seem evenly matched in most other respects. Of course given that Qui-Gon's kind of based off of ANH Obi-Wan I suppose that's kind of fitting.

Darth Vader Vs. Plo Koon

This one's a pretty solid win for Vader. For one there's superior dueling feats. Plo's only showing here is doing a decent job against Ventress while having a broken arm, but Vader has stalemated duelists of comparable to greater skill (Amped TPM Darth Maul, ANH Obi-Wan and RotJ Luke). Plo simply hasn't done anything to compare to these showings and in fact lost to Savage Opress. Furthermore, Plo does not have the physical strength to match Vader either, as the Sith Lord's strength showings are far better. And given that Savage beat Plo because he was stronger than him and thus ripped off his breather mask, that doesn't portend favorably to Plo in a fight against another physically stronger opponent.

Speed and TK are more comparable, but the latter still goes to Vader, whose best known feat (destroying a cathedral) surpasses Plo's best feat (collapsing a cave). In all there's just not much else to say about this one. Vader wins by virtue of surpassing Plo in just about everything of note.

And that's all of the fights I saw him post that I feel I can effectively answer. I may do more later if he ever posts more fight ideas. In the meantime I hope you enjoyed my analysis of the various duels.

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Did the CG Clone Wars show really make General Grievous weaker?

This is a truly, truly heated topic, and one that I got tired of debating again and again on the Battle Forums, to the point that I now straight up refuse to use Grievous in a battle ever again.

I am of the opinion that the CG Clone Wars show did not make General Grievous “weaker”, but nobody else has ever agreed with me. However at the same time, no one ever bothered to give me much of an argument for why. So I decided to take matters into my own hands and explain why I personally do not believe that the CG Clone Wars show made Grievous “weaker”. Now I understand if people still don’t agree with me, but at least see what I have to say.

Let’s start with General Grievous’ big feat in the original CW show, which was his duel with five Jedi on Hypori:

Now, a common misconception is that GG defeated five Jedi Masters here. He did not. The only two masters here were Ki-Adi-Mundi and Shaak Ti. K’kruk, Aayala Secura, and Tarr Seirr were Jedi Knights, not Masters. And in any event, rank means less than actual feats. AotC Anakin is a better lightsaber duelist than Mundi and Shaak because he did better against Count Dooku (who has trained and beaten Grievous) than Mundi and Shaak did against the not so good general (Anakin’s pressing Dooku was stated in both Most Precious Weapon and the Attack of the Clones novelization.) And yet in spite of not being a master, Anakin is already their better.

And the thing is, none of these Jedi Grievous bested are terribly impressive. Tarr Seirr is as featless and bottom-tier as you can get, and the other four’s lightsaber feats are few and far between. Aayala’s best feat would be beating Aurra Sing, and Shaak Ti’s single-handedly facing down an army of Magnaguards. But beyond that, the Jedi GG beat on Hypori have few showings other than their collective loss here.

Finally, it is worth noting that GG’s entire showing on Hypori has been judged by Silver (a leading SW expert on this site) to be inconsistent with his other showings, which hurts the credibility of the “he got weaker” argument even more, since the piece of evidence that is always used is not even consistent with his actual showings. But let’s just assume for one moment that the showing is valid, even though it is not. It still fails to prove anything for reasons that will be described below. First though, let's look at GG's track-record with Asajj Ventress. Now, pre-CG Grievous beat Ventress (alas, I have no scans to show). In the CG clone wars show on the other hand, Grievous lost to Ventress on Dathomir:

Most people use this as proof that Grievous got weaker. But there’s a counterargument to be made. Namely that Ventress got better.

Think of it this way: Ventress lost to what was for all intents and purposes AotC Anakin. Barely, yes, but she still lost to him all the same:

And yet later in the Clone Wars she was able to repeatedly keep up with a better version of Anakin, as well as Obi-Wan.

How then can we say Ventress didn’t get better? She’s fighting against a better version of Anakin than the one she lost to on Yavin. If her skill levels had remained static then Anakin would have never struggled with her in any of his post-Knighting encounters and just beaten her more and more easily. Granted, Anakin post-Knighting did beat Ventress several times, but Ventress was usually able to keep up with him all the same and in one of their duels in the comics gave Anakin the scar he had up until his immolation on Mustafar:

No Caption Provided

The version of Ventress Grievous beat was the same as the one who lost to Anakin on Yavin. The one he lost to has lost to a better version of Anakin and stalemated him other times. Why do we automatically assume Grievous got weaker when instead we can say that his opponent got better? Besides that there is also the fact that the duel Grievous lost took place on Dathomir, a planet strong in the Dark Side. Ventress could have easily been drawing on the planet's Dark Side energy to improve her own performance, though this at least is more speculative.

But either way from where I’m standing there is no inconsistency here. Grievous beat a version of Ventress inferior to the one he lost to later.

Now for Kit Fisto. He dueled with Grievous once in the CG Clone Wars show, yet Grievous has also dueled with Mace Windu. Now because Mace is better than Kit, people jump on this and say that it proves Grievous got weaker. But let’s first look at the fight between Kit and Grievous...

Kit definitely does well here, but he did not “beat” Grievous. He disarmed him of one of his sabers true, but Grievous had three more to spare. Kit knocked Grievous down, but he just got back up and kept fighting. How does that constitute a win for Kit?

Furthermore, Kit Fisto is not exponentially below Mace Windu, only marginally. Kit was struggling against Ventress, but so was Windu. He was able to drive Ventress off, but only barely. So he’s better, but not by a huge margin.

Gallery image 1Gallery image 2

And one last point: Shii-Cho is particularly potent against both multiple lightsaber blades and multiple opponents. Grievous had four lightsabers, and then three when Kit disarmed him of one. Either way though, its multiple lightsaber blades, which gave Kit an edge. So considering this, and the fact that he did not in fact beat Grievous whereas Mace did (albeit via a BFR), I see no great inconsistency in skill here. He fought evenly with Grievous due to his form giving him an advantage and also how he’s only marginally below Mace anyway. And for completeness’ sake, here’s Mace’s fight with Grievous:

Kit's bulging black eyes indicated Palpatine. "They want to take him alive."

The words had scarcely left his mouth when something hit the train with sufficient force to whip everyone from one side of the car to the other, then back again. The Red Guards were just regaining their balance when the roof began to resound with the cadence of heavy, clanging footfalls, advancing from the rear of the train.

"Grievous," Mace grumbled.

Kit glanced at him. "Here we go again."

Hurrying into the vestibule between the two lead cars, they launched themselves to the roof. Three cars distant marched General Grievous and two of his elite droids, their capes snapping behind them in the wind, pulse-tipped batons angled across their barrel chests. Farther back, clamped by animal-like claws to the roof of the train, was the gunboat from which the frightful trio had been released.

Without pausing, Grievous drew two lightsabers from inside his billowing cloak. By the time they were ignited, Mace was already on and all over the cyborg, batting away at the two blades, swinging low at Grievous's artificial legs, thrusting at his skeletal face. The lightsabers thrummed and hissed, meeting one another in bursts of dazzling light. In a corner of Mace's mind he wondered to which Jedi Grievous's blades had belonged. Just as the Force was keeping Mace from being blown from the mag-lev's roof, magnetism of some sort was keeping the general fastened in place. For the cyborg, though, the coherence hindered as much as it helped, whereas Mace never remained in one place for very long.

Again and again the three blades joined, in snarling attacks and parries. Grievous was well trained in the Jedi arts. Mace could recognize the hand of Dooku in the general's training and technique. His strikes were as forceful as any Mace had ever had to counter, and his speed was astonishing. But he didn't know Vaapad—the technique of dark flirtation in which Mace excelled.

To the rear of the car, where Grievous's pair of MagnaGuards had made the mistake of pitting themselves against Kit Fisto, the Nautolan's blade was a cyclone of blazing blue light. Resistant to the energy outpourings of a lightsaber, the phrik alloy staffs were potent weapons, but like any weapon they needed to find their target, and Kit simply wasn't allowing that. In moves a Twi'lek dancer might envy, he spun around the guards, claiming a limb from both with each rotation: left legs, right arms, right legs...

The speed of the train saw to the rest, ultimately whisking the droids into the canyon like insects blown from the windscreen of a speeder bike.

The loss of his confederates was noted by whatever computers were slaved to Grievous's organic brain, but the loss neither distracted nor slowed him. His sole setting was attack. Successful at analyzing Mace's lightsaber style, those same computers suggested that Grievous alter his stance and posture, along with the angle of his parries, ripostes, and thrusts. The result wasn't Vaapad, but it was close enough, and Mace wasn't interested in prolonging the contest any longer than necessary.

Crouching low, he angled the blade downward and slashed, guiding it through the roof of the car, perpendicular to Grievous's stalwart advance. Mace saw by the surprised look in the cyborg's reptilian eyes that, for all his strength, dexterity, and resolve, the living part of him wasn't always in perfect sync with his alloy servos. Clearly, Grievous—onetime courageous commander of sentient troops—realized what Mace had done and wanted to sidestep, where General Grievous—current commander of droids and other war machines—wanted nothing more than to impale Mace with lunging thrusts of the paired blades.

Slipping into the gap made by Mace's saber, Grievous's left talon lost magnetic purchase on the roof, and the general faltered. Mace came out of his crouch prepared to drive his sword into Grievous's guts, but some last-instant firing of the general's cybersynapses compelled the cyborg's torso through a swift half twist that would have sent Mace's head hurtling into the canyon had the maneuver prevailed. Instead Mace leapt backward, out of the range of the slicing blades, and Force-pushed outward, just at the instant of Grievous's single misstep.

Off the side of the car the general went, twisting and turning as he fell, Mace trying to track the general's contorted plunge, but unsuccessfully. Had he fallen into the canyon? Had he managed to dig his duranium claws into the side of the car or grab hold of the mag-lev rail itself?

Mace couldn't take the time to puzzle it out. One hundred meters away, the gunboat retracted its landing gear and rose from the roof on repulsorlift power. Reckless shots from one of the pursuing gunships obliged the Separatist craft to skew, then dive, with the gunship following close behind.

-Taken from Labyrinth of Evil

Now that we’ve gone through these different character showings, let’s compare: Kit has fought evenly with Grievous and is one of the best lightsaber duelists in the order. Shaak Ti and Ki-Adi-Mundi both lost badly to Grievous and while all three have few other showings besides their fights with Grievous and his Magnaguards, Shaak herself has more or less acknowledged that Kit Fisto is her superior:

Shaak Ti felt him coming before she could see him. The infra-and ultrasound-sensitive cavities in the tall, curving montrals to either side of her head gave her a sense analogous to touch: the texture of his approaching footsteps was ragged as old sacking. As he rounded the corner to the landing deck door, his breathing felt like a pile of gravel and his heartbeat was spiking like a Zabrak's head. He didn't look good, either; he was deathly pale, even for a human, and his eyes were raw.

"Anakin," she said warmly. Perhaps a friendly word was what he needed; she doubted he'd gotten many from Mace Windu. "Thank you for what you have done. The Jedi Order is in your debt—the whole galaxy, as well."

"Shaak Ti. Get out of my way."

Shaky as he looked, there was nothing unsteady in his voice: it was deeper than she remembered, more mature, and it carried undertones of authority that she had never heard before. And she was not blind to the fact he had neglected to call her Master.

She put forth a hand, offering calming energies through the Force. "The Temple is sealed, Anakin. The door is code-locked."

"And you're in the way of the pad."

She stepped aside, allowing him to the pad; she had no reason to keep him here against his will. He punched the code hungrily. "If Palpatine retaliates," she said reasonably, "is not your place here, to help with our defense?"

"I'm the chosen one. My place is there." His breathing roughened, and he looked as if he was getting even sicker. "I have to be there. That's the prophecy, isn't it? I have to be there—"

"Anakin, why? The Masters are the best of the Order. What can you possibly do?"

-Taken from Revenge of the Sith.

Mundi didn’t really do much better against Grievous than Shaak Ti did, so I have no reason to believe that Kit is not superior to him as well, and in fact after posting a battle between the two on this very site, the universal consensus was that Kit would indeed beat Mundi. And again, why does one showing where Grievous did less well prove he got weaker? This is like saying because Maul can’t definitively beat Obi-Wan in a lightsaber duel during the Clone Wars (as he did not defeat him in a saber duel on either Maul's ship or Florum) but beat him in TPM it means Maul got weaker. But CW Obi-Wan is better than TPM Obi-Wan the same way Kit is better than Shaak Ti and Ki-Adi-Mundi and the Ventress Grievous fought on Dathomir is better than the one he fought previously.

So I see no inconsistency here. Kit Fisto is better than the Jedi Grievous beat on Hypori. And given that a fight against those same Jedi on Hypori would mean both multiple lightsaber blades and multiple opponents, no, I do not find it unreasonable to believe that Kit could beat those Jedi on Hypori almost as soundly as Grievous did.

Granted, as Mace is above Ventress, there is a seeming inconsistency there. However it should be noted that Mace fought Grievous on Coruscant near the tail-end of the Clone Wars. That is chronologically AFTER the CG Clone Wars show, suggesting less that Grievous got “weaker” in the CG Clone Wars show but rather got BETTER by the time he fought Mace on Coruscant. Again, one happens after the other.

And now with all of that out of the way we come to the elephant in the room. Ahsoka Tano. Grievous has fought the polarizing padawan twice now, and once again people use this as proof that Grievous got weaker. It doesn’t work. To start, let’s look at GG’s fight with Ahsoka in Season 1:

Ahsoka got stomped in mere seconds, with GG knocking her back and temporarily knocking her out. She recovers in time to save Captain Rex and then duels him again. They fight evenly. Ahsoka is not beating him and then retreats. What follows isn’t even a duel. How does any of this translate to Ahsoka beating Grievous? It does not, and in fact in the opening parts of the duel he beat her as swiftly as he did K’kruhk. Yes, Ahsoka disarmed him...when he was distracted. Before that GG had her dead to rights. So that proves nothing as far as saying Ahsoka beat Grievous. She did not. And in fact, I could say that her choosing to retreat and then play hide-and-seek was a silent acknowledgement that she couldn’t beat him in a saber duel. If she could, why did she run? Especially considering that Ahsoka, especially at this stage, is cocky, aggressive, belligerent, and relishes fighting. And yet for all of that she ran from Grievous. Hmmm…

Also, is Ahsoka’s disarming someone who had her dead to rights makes her better, than by that logic Obi-Wan beating Maul via a lucky blow when Maul had him dead to rights on Naboo proves Obi-Wan’s superiority when in fact it does not.

Now let’s look at round 2.

Once again, Ahsoka does not beat Grievous. She holds her own, true, but there are several points where she’s clearly struggling against him, such as when Grievous broke the saber lock and downed Ahsoka pretty brutally. And though she did recover from this, she was still unable to beat, disarm, or even overwhelm Grievous and was ultimately forced to retreat. I don’t see how this makes Ahsoka GG’s better.

Now granted, Ahsoka did better against Grievous on Florum than Shaak Ti did on Hypori or Coruscant, but I fail to see how this proves Grievous got weaker. Ahsoka is just better than Shaak. The only reason people can’t accept that is because people hate Ahsoka. But I’m afraid that feelings on a character are irrelevant when discussing feats and power levels. To give an example of that I hate the story Dark Empire but that does absolutely nothing to undermine Palpatine’s excellent showings in that comic or for that matter Luke Skywalkers. When discussing who wins we need to put personal hatreds aside. Ahsoka is better than Shaak Ti based on objective feats. She also, when fighting alongside Luminara, stalemated Asajj Ventress, and this was very shortly after her first fight with Grievous (You'll want to skip ahead to near the end of the video, as most of it is Luminara by herself against Ventress)

So no, those fights with Ahsoka do not prove that Grievous got weaker, because neither one suggests that he would be incapable of besting her. She ran both times and was getting overwhelmed in their second duel. In the one before that she got temporarily knocked out in seconds. How is he incapable of besting her? Granted, I do wonder why on Florum he didn’t do to Ahsoka what he did to Tarr Seirr, since he had her head in his foot, but I’d chalk that up more to PIS or CIS than Grievous getting weaker.

CG Clone Wars’ Grievous’ only other fights are against Eeth Koth and a Gungan Army (yes you read that correctly). Let’s look at the first one:

Now while it’s true that Eeth Koth lost due to the Magnaguard’s intervention, before that he was not winning. He was fighting evenly with Grievous. He knocked him back true, but then GG just got back up and kept fighting. Grievous did not lose to Eeth Koth, nor was Eeth Koth overwhelming him. They were fighting evenly. Eeth Koth has no feats besides this, but is this not a good feat for him? Why is it proof that Grievous got weaker and not instead proof that Eeth Koth is better than the Jedi Grievous beat on Hypori? Admittedly this is more a matter of opinion and definition, but it is still worth mentioning. And again, the whole thing becomes moot anyway given that Grievous’ Hypori showing is inconsistent with his other pre-CG Clone Wars showings, but...

Now one area where I will say Grievous did noticeably get weaker was in his ability to fight off multiple opponents at once. As we saw with his duel on Hypori, he did quite well against five Jedi simultaneously. Other pre-CG Clone Wars showings have him doing well against large numbers of opponents also, but usually more clones or other blaster-toting foes.

By contrast, in the CG Clone Wars show he struggled more against Gungans.

This is yet one more encounter that people use to “prove” that Grievous got weaker. But let’s consider a few things. First off, GG beat all of the Gungans that attacked him, including Captain Tarpals. The Gungans dogpiled him at the end after Grievous was stabbed and electrocuted (which was shown to short-circuit him) after being distracted by his own gloating. This is the same as when Obi-Wan bested Maul in TPM even though Maul had him dead to rights in that the victor won via a lucky blow and an opportunity to land it that was presented to them as a result of the winner’s own stupidity. Those Gungans did not beat Grievous by virtue of being more skilled, rather they beat him when Tarpals electrocuted Grievous while he was distracted and then dog-piled him when he’d been weakened and disarmed. Having said all that, Grievous is indeed still struggling more here than he did against the Jedi on Hypori and that is sufficient to show that his ability to fight off multiple opponents at once got worse, but by the same token I wouldn’t say its by that large a margin. Again, Grievous beat all of the Gungans that attacked him, including Captain Tarpals, and his Hypori showing is inconsistent anyway.

Concerning speed, Grievous is notably less impressive here than in the original CW show, but that is also true of everyone in the CG Clone Wars show due to its having a very different animation style than the original and also not wanting to have the same over-the-top theatrics that the original show had. Anakin and Ventress are also less fast and flashy in the new Clone Wars show, that doesn’t mean they got weaker or even slower. Vader doesn’t move faster than thought or produce afterimages of his blade in the movies but that’s because its a human actor in a live action movie, where you simply can’t do the same things you can do in animation or a comic. It doesn’t change the fact that Vader can canonically move faster than thought.

Having gone through all of this I think my opinion on this is obvious. Grievous did not become less skilled in the CG Clone Wars show for all of the reasons I have listed above. He is inferior to the version of Ventress that bested him on Dathomir (obviously) but superior to the version that fought Anakin on Yavin (who at the time was less skilled than when Ventress fought him later on). He was struggling against (but did not lose to) a Jedi Master who is a highly reputed swordsman and also possessed the advantage of Shii-Cho. Now granted there is a disparity in skill between losing to Ventress but then fighting evenly with Mace, but given that the latter happened after the former, I see no reason to not just assume that Grievous as of LoE was simply better than he had been during the events prior to that, which by the way includes both the CG show AND his battle on Hypori, which, as I’ve now stressed several times but will again, is not even consistent with his other pre-CG Clone Wars showings.

Now again, if people disagree with me, that's fine. But if so do give some kind of counterargument supported by evidence. Merely saying I'm wrong, stupid, an idiot, or some other demeaning claim will tell me nothing. As it stands, this is my view on the matter for now, but that could change if I am presented with a worthwhile counterargument.

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DC Reboot-The Time has come

OK.  With the summer having reached its close and DC's reboot kicking in, I guess I'll be deciding which titles I'm definitely going to be checking out, the ones I won't, and finally, the maybes.
 
Let's start with the "Justice League" Titles...
Justice League: A part of me just really does not want to see the Justice League's origins AGAIN, but, it is Geoff Johns, one of my top 3 DC writers, and Jim Lee, my favorite comic book artist of all, and not to mention its more or less required reading for the DCnU, so...I'll be looking into it.  I can probably stomach whatever changes Johns sees fit to give the JLA's backstories.  DC sure lied through their teeth about a more diverse DCU though.   Verdict: Yes
 
Justice League International: My hopes for this one are not as high considering how, 1: this book does not seem to be trying to capitalize off Justice League Generation Lost at all (where's Captain Atom and Blue Beetle?) and 2: None of the redesigns are really doing much for me.  I mean in the case of Booster Gold and Vixens, they're OK, but the outfits they had previously were fine.  So it seems unnecessary to me.  Still, I want to like this book, I do, so I'll see what other people think.  Verdict: Maybe
 
Aquaman: Oh yeah.  Again, Geoff Johns.  Not to mention Ivan Reis, who is rapidly becoming my second favorite comic book artist of all time.  That and how these two have already worked on Aquaman together in Brightest Day, and his was the strongest of the Brightest Day stories.  Admittedly, the "Trench" don't sound like the most impressive of villains, but Johns has earned my trust, so we'll see.  I hope we'll see more of the new Aqualad too.  Verdict: Yes
 
Wonder Woman: I like JMS when it comes to Spider-Man and Thor, but his turn with Wonder Woman was a disaster.  This has nothing to do with the costume either.  It was just such a convoluted mess and it didn't help that this Wonder Woman was being forced into other books where she had no place.  Since Diana has not been doing well lately, I definitely hope that the reboot gets her back to her old glory.  I wouldn't mind seeing a Diana that has more emphasis on the pragmatic warrior and less of the super-loving and compassionate person, but by this point, I'll take what I can get.  Verdict: Yes
 
The Flash: Unfortunately while I like Barry, he just isn't interesting enough to carry his own series.  At least that's just from what I've seen and heard.  I gotta say its pretty pathetic what they've done to Wally West these last few years, first sweeping him under the rug and then Didio blatantly admitting that Wally won't have a place in the DCnU.  Sad.  Verdict: No
 
Fury of Firestorm: And now we come the second of my three favorite DC writers: Gail Simone!  I love Gail's work, and Fury of Firestorm looks like it could be something interesting.  Hopefully Gail will treat Jason Rusch better then Brightest Day and Flashpoint did.  Not much else to say.  Verdict: Yes
 
Captain Atom: I'm sorry, but that flaming hair is just ridiculous.  The cover art looks quite awesome beyond that, and I do like Captain Atom...I'll will myself to like this, but only if I hear that its good.  Too bad they couldn't get Greg Weisman to write Captain Atom again... Verdict: Maybe
 
Green Arrow: OK, so J.T. Krul's Brightest Day run on Green Arrow was terrible, but that's more Brightest Day's fault.  I'm willing to give Krul a second chance, especially since the idea of a more "Punisher-esque" Green Arrow could be good...its just that those covers for issues 2 and 3 are pretty painful to look at.  Verdict: Maybe
 
Savage Hawkman: Hawkman's not my favorite, and I don't think I'd be able to invest myself in an ongoing series for him.  And then there's the fact that Tony Daniel is writing it.  Verdict: No
 
DC Universe Presents: I simply don't have any interest in this.  Even with Deadman in it.  Moving along.  Verdict: No
 
Mr. Terrific: I do like Mr. Terrific, but that new white costume of his is lame.  I miss his old look.  The premise sounds OK, and it would be interesting to see how Mr. Terrific fares as a solo hero, but...I just don't know.  I might give it a look.  Verdict: Maybe
 
Well, that's all the Justice League titles.  Current Score: Yes: 4 Maybe: 4 No: 3.  Pretty Evened out so far.
 
On to the Superman titles.  Well, if there is any one justification for the DC reboot, I'd say the Superman franchise is it. It has been an awful mess for the last year or so at least.  What with Grounded, Reign of Doomsday, and a few other stories I could otherwise mention.  I'm really, really hoping that at least Action Comics is worth something again.  Its Grant Morrison, and he's a wild card as far as I'm concerned.  It could be awesome, or it could be another one of his "failed experiments"  Between the fact that Superman is having a terrible casual redesign of his classic look, he and Lois's marriage is being undone (sigh, do any couples ever stay together in comics?) and the fact that this could easily just be Grant trying to repeat his success with All Star Superman, its hard not to expect the latter. Still, I'm playing the optimist here.  Superman has to be cool again...he just has to.
Verdict: Yes
 
Superman: This seems to be another case of DC having an artist be a writer, and we all know how well that's worked with Tony Daniel and Scott Kollins.  Still, its hard to say how this might go besides that, and again, Superman is in dire need of some good stories, so I'll think about this one.  Verdict: Maybe
 
Supergirl: With that outfit?  Sigh.  And she'd been doing so well lately too...Verdict: No
 
Superboy: Unfortunately that art just does not look appealing, and the premise doesn't sound too good either.  That and I'm just not sure a Superboy series is for me.  Verdict: No
 
OK, before we move on to the Batman stuff, lets bring up the score again: Yes: 5 Maybe: 5 No: 5.  Wow!  Now its completely evened out.
 
And now to Batman.  Well, Batman is being written by Scott Snyder, who has really proven himself lately as a fantastic Batman writer.  And he's writing Batman's book. And there's going to be a villain who looks like Owlman, who I'm a fan of.  Yeah, this one's a no-brainer.  Verdict: Yes
 
Unfortunately though, Detective Comics gets Tony Daniel, which is a really poor choice for relaunching the original Batman title.  This would have been a yes if it had been anyone else, but alas...Verdict: No
 
Batman, the Dark Knight: I was going to give this a look because of David Finch, a rare example of an artist being turned into a writer who isn't completely terrible, but now that they're replacing him with a writer who really IS terrible...my interest has disappeared  Verdict: No 
 
Batman and Robin: Father and son as a dynamic duo together is interesting, and a good premise, but, the solicitations make it sound almost like Jason Todd robin all over again.  And now I quote: "...Batman’s fears about Robin’s tendency to dish out more pain than necessary are growing!" Sound familiar?  Verdict: Maybe
 
Batwoman: I think a lot of people have been looking forward to this one.  And it's been in the works for a while now too.  I'll definitely be looking at this myself, though it is a bit disappointing that Kathy is going to be seeing someone other then Renee...Verdict: Yes
 
Batgirl: I don't get it.  I love Gail Simone, and the art looks amazing.  So why am I flatly refusing to read this book?  Oh right, I do know: Barbara as Batgirl again is stupid.  There is no justification for it.  DiDio claims its for accessibility, but if that were the case, Damien would not be Robin, and Flash would not be Barry.  Robin and Flash would be Dick Grayson and Wally West.  So that's a lie.  No, its because DiDio is likes Barbara the best as Batgirl.  Ugh.  Barbara is going from where she was at her most interesting to a time when she was one of the dullest of heroines.  Honestly, I can not think of a single story of her as Batgirl outside of Batgirl: Year One that interests me.  Cassandra Cain is the best Batgirl, with Stephanie as an instant second.  Barbara as Batgirl is not interesting, and unless Gail Simone does something really good (which she just might) I'm not touching this one.  Verdict: No
 
Batwing: Now this is the complete opposite.  More then even Batman, this is the one DC title I will definitely be buying.  For one, its Judd Winick, the final of my top three DC writers, (the others being Johns and Gail), who has done some of his best work with Batman and his supporting cast (like say, Jason Todd).  Second, its one of the more interesting characters to come out of Batman Inc.  This character is finally getting development.  Between all of these things, its a must.  Here's hoping we get an issue of Batwing kicking Quaddif's ass.  Verdict: Yes
 
Nightwing: Where to begin?  Where to begin...?  First of all, Nightwing's new look is awesome, but completely unnecessary.  Nightwing's black and blue was a perfect costume.  It did not need changing.  And honestly, the new look makes him look like a villain.  What with the red pupil-less eyes and stuff.  If this was an outfit for a "Nega-Nightwing" or what have you, then it would make perfect sense.  But this is Dick Grayson.  This outfit is not necessary for him.  And then there's the fact that one of his enemies has Wolverine claws.  And yet, the premise is good, and I do love Dick Grayson, so I haven't completely sworn this one off yet. Verdict: Maybe
 
Catwoman: As I said previously, Judd Winick is one of my favorites, and the art looks fine.  But seeing Catwoman be catapulted back to square one is just a little disappointing.  I get that that's the whole point of the reboot, but I always liked Catwoman better as an anti-hero then as a villain.  She is fun as that too, and I trust Judd to do something good.  I'll be reading this, and I will likely be enjoying it, its just that its not quite the Catwoman I would have wanted you know?  Ah well.  Lets just hope her becoming a hero again doesn't take 60 years this time.  Verdict: Yes
 
Red Hood and the Outlaws: I really, really, want this to be good.  But...my hopes are not high.  One, no non-Judd Winick writer has been able to do anything good with Jason Todd since Judd brought him back.  Two: The risk of JasonxStarfire, and three: Roy's hat.  You know, Jason falling in with two other people and the three of them having to work together was already explored in Countdown to Final Crisis, and honestly, theirs was a much more interesting premise.  And Kyle and Donna were a better two characters to pair Jason with.  And they completely mishandled it.  Now we're trying again, with a weaker premise and two supporting characters who are not the best choices in the world.  And then there's the hat.  And yet...in spite of all of that, I'm checking this book out anyway.  Yeah, I'm that desperate for a Red Hood series.  I'm just gonna have to keep my fingers crossed and hope for the best.  Verdict: Yes
 
Birds of Prey: I'm not looking at this one because it is not the Birds of Prey.  Oh yeah, that's the title but it ain't the Birds of Prey.  Not when the only members on the team that I am even remotely familiar with are not bird-themed at all.  Thus, they are not the Birds of Prey.  No Barbara, no Huntress, no Black Canary, no BoP.  Its as simple as that.  
Verdict: No
 
Phew!  That's all the Batman titles.  Lets see the current score now: Yes: 10 Maybe: 7 No: 9.  Wow, the "Yes" has doubled.  
 
On to Green Lantern!
 
Green Lantern: This is the same book Johns has been writing for years now.  Sinestro has always been the real star of John's run.  Him being a Green Lantern in place of Hal does not change a thing.  Verdict: Yes
 
Green Lantern Corps: Between Guy being the star, and Peter Tomasi writing it, this just seems like the same as "Green Lantern: Emerald Warriors" which I didn't care for.  I'm going to have to call this one a pass, unless Pete Tomasi really steps up his game.  I haven't ruled that out.  Verdict: Maybe
 
Green Lantern New Guardians: And this just seems more like Tony Bedard's run on GLC.  Anyone but me notice a pattern?  These GL titles really aren't changing much.  I've enjoyed Tony Bedard's work, and I do like Kyle Rayner and the New Guardians, so this is another no-brainer.  Verdict: Yes
 
Red Lanterns: I love the Red Lanterns.  Atrocittus is one of the most interesting (if not the most interesting) of all of the new characters Geoff Johns has introduced into the Green Lantern mythos.  Those covers are pretty messed up though.  Hope this doesn't get too gore-porn.  I really want this to be good.  Verdict: Yes
 
Well, that was quick.  Yes: 13 Maybe: 8 No: 9 I think I'll save the Dark and Edge stuff for last and go straight to the Young Justice offerings...  
 
Teen Titans: You know, i actually don't mind Red Robin's redesign.  Kind of reminds me of Batman Beyond's look.  Kid Flash's isn't terrible either.  But the other outfits, Superboy and Wonder Girl's especially, are truly awful.  I'm not going to be looking at this one anytime soon.  Shame.  Teen Titans was doing so well...Verdict: No
 
Static Shock: The brainchild of the late and great Dwayne McDuffie.  He probably should have gotten his own series sooner.  They had better do this one right.  Verdict: Yes
 
Hawk and Dove: The only reason I'm checking this one out is to see what they do with Dove and Deadman's relationship, one of the only interesting things that happened to Boston in Brightest Day.  If they don't do anything interesting with what could be a potentially good, tragic romance, then I'll be dropping this one quickly.  Verdict: Yes...for now
 
Blue Beetle: Everyone loves Jamie.  I do too.  And I like Tony Bedard as I mentioned earlier.  This one's obvious.  Verdict: Yes
 
Legion Lost and LoSH: I'm grouping these two together because I already know the answer to both: No.  I don't like the LoSH.  They simply have never really done anything for me beyond their appearances in Superman: TAS and JLU.  Verdict: No for both
 
OK, one last check before we finish up with The Dark and the Edge: Yes: 16 Maybe: 8 No: 12
 
And finally, we come to The Dark and The Edge.  Now, I have to admit, most of these are just not my thing, and I'm writing them off simply because of that.  So I think I'll just mention the ones that do interest me:
 
Justice League Dark: This looks like an interesting group, and I wouldn't mind the idea of a Justice League meant to deal with supernatural threats.  I am disappointed that they gave Zatanna a much more boring outfit then the outfit she had in her ongoing series, but the art itself looks pretty good, and I do like Deadman and Zatanna, so,  I'll give this a look.  Verdict: Yes
 
Demon Knights: I like Etrigan, and I'm also a history nut who happens to know a thing or two about the Dark Ages, so done right, this could be a real winner for me.  Or they could give me a completely boring and generic fictional take on the Dark Ages. I'm hoping its the former.  Verdict: Yes
 
Stormwatch: I have never been into Wildstorm Comics before, so this will be something new for me.  And I do like Martian Manhunter.  They may mishandle the integration of Wildstorm into mainstream DC, and Apollo and Midnighter don't look as cool as they used to (I haven't read their stories but I have seen their actual costumes and they're way more impressive!) but if DC is serious about this, they might just make it work.  If nothing else, I'm curious to see how Stormwatch and the Justice League will interact with one another. Verdict: Maybe
 
Grifter: The guy with Deadpool mask!  Well, I'm all for DC having its own Deadpool, and I'm curious to see what they do with Grifter.  I know absolutely nothing about the character though, so I won't be able to tell how badly or severely DC is changing him.  And that in of itself may hurt my ability to review it...ah well.  I'll still give it a try.  Verdict: Maybe
 
All-Star Western: I like Jonah Hex, and he's definitely in dire need of something good after that s***t-stain of a movie, so I'm really hoping that this will be good.  It does have a very interesting premise, and so long as they don't write it like the movie, it should be fine.  Verdict: Yes
 
Blackhawks: I chose not to look at Men of War because it seemed too "Call of Duty" to me.  This, on the other hand, intrigues me.  Definitely an interesting re-imagining of the Blackhawks, but in making them some hi-tech soldiers instead of pilots, DC does run the risk of stripping them of their distinctive qualities. So there is that.  It still might make for some good mindless fun though.  Verdict: Maybe
 
And that's everything!  Praise to anyone who actually stuck with me this long!  Lets see what the final tally is:
 
Yes: 19
No: 22 
Maybe: 11
 
Well, that evens out nicely!  And obviously this list is subject to change.  I'm not ruling out the possibility that some of my "Yeses" and "Maybes" might disappoint me and become "Nos" or even a few of the "Nos" defying my low expectations, but for now at least, here's where I stand on the DCnU's new 52.

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