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Thursday, August 13, 2009

The Marvel Mediumweights

Two years before The Official Handbook of the Marvel Universe stated precisely how much each character could lift/press, Amazing Spider-Man Annual #15 (1981) included a lighthearted back-up feature ranking many popular heroes by their physical strength.

Here's a list of the characters who fell at Spider-Man's strength level and below, along with some of their retorts to the web-slinger. It wouldn't take long for Marvel to establish that Colossus and She-Hulk truly belonged among the Heavyweights.

Colossus: I am still a teenager, Tovarisch. You wait until I am grown.
Ghost Rider: Blazes to you all!
Giant-Man/Black Goliath: I may not be the strongest hero in town, but I am the biggest.
Power Man: Jiminy Christmas--I've got better things to do than stand around posin' with these turkeys.
She-Hulk: Wait until you know me better, Spider-Man. You'll change your mind about my power.
Silver Surfer: I need not rely on super brute strength, for mine is the power cosmic.
Spider-Man: This is my strength class folks.
Valkyrie: I am the foremost warrior-goddess of Asgard--and you presume to mock my might by ranking me here?

Aquarian: The greatest strength of all is the strength to refrain from violence.
Beast: (looking at Spider-Woman) Hubba-Hubba.
Captain Britain: As the embodiment of the fighting spirit of ancient Britain, my power is many times human level.
Nighthawk: By night I'm twice as strong as any human--by day, I'm an invalid.
Spider-Woman: Spider-Man, you have some nerve putting me in a class beneath yours.
Tigra: I'll show you my strength if you'll show me yours.
Werewolf by Night: Grrrr.

A final category included heroes at peak-human strength: Black Panther, Captain America, Daredevil, Falcon, Hawkeye, Iron Fist, Ka-Zar, Moon Knight, Shroud, Wolverine, and Ant-Man (Scott Lang).

This back-up feature carried the title: "Just How Strong Is … Spider-Man?" Script and Layouts: Mark Gruenwald.

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