Batman vs. Superman. The Hulk vs. Professor Xavier. Spider-Man vs. Iron Man. Any superhero super fan has wondered what would happen if their favorite comic protagonists faced off against one another. But debating those battles is almost too easy. Instead, what if each superhero in battle was to suffer a significant mental disadvantage? How would Superman fare against Thor if he were distracted by Daily Planet layoffs? How would The Hulk fare after having just listened to Radiohead’s “Creep” against Magneto, who’s teary after watching The Notebook. Today, to continue Hollywood.com’s Superhero Week, we wonder what what would happen if Spider-Man was suffering tummy troubles courtesy of some questionable chinese food while facing off with an emotionally crippled Batman, fresh off a breakup with his lady love?
The Battle: Spider-Man vs. Batman
In the right corner: Spider-Man, whose stomach isn’t particularly happy after some bad chinese food.
In the left corner: Batman, whose girlfriend just left him in the dust.
Inside Spider-Man’s day: They say you can’t get tired of eating pizza, but those people were never pizza delivery boys in New York. After eating so much Big Apple style slices that he could practically build makeshift furniture out of the boxes, Spider-Man was feeling a little restless. But after a fruitful night of web-slinging and crime-fighting, he was far too exhausted to be bothered to actually leave his apartment to find something to satisfy the rumbling in his tummy. “To the delivery menu folder!” he thought.
Thanks to the endless menus filled with claims about the “Best Pierogies in lower Manhattan!” and “Sushi so fresh it will add 10 years to your life!” or the ever-present, but always uninformative “New York Times recommended American-Thai Fusion specialities,” Spider-Man was feeling overwhelmed as his hunger mounted. He needed to pick something, and soon, or his stomach was going to start consuming other essential organs for fear of starvation. In a moment of panic, he settled on the classic New York alternative to pizza: Chinese food.
Unfortunately, he couldn’t remember which Chinese restaurant had failed all those health inspections. He played menu roulette and ordered his essential sustenance, sealing his fate with a single phone call. When the Beef with Broccoli arrived, he ate so fast, he couldn’t even recall if it possessed any flavors actually found in nature. But by the time he chucked the plastic carton in the trash, he knew he’d gambled and lost. His stomach was gurgling, his temperature was rising, and the beads of sweat were dripping down his face. But before he could remember to extract the restaurant’s menu from his delivery menu folder, a stomach pain reached out from the depths and seized him as he fell upon the couch in the fetal position. “Curse you, Red House Noodle Palace!” he groaned as he wallowed in the living room and the delivery menu lay in wait for the next time Spidey would forget and endure the whole ordeal again, Duh-duh-duh.
Inside Batman’s day: Batman doesn’t exactly have a great track record with women. His daytime alter ego, Bruce Wayne, has no trouble finding luscious ladies to serve as fleeting company, but since he’d tragically lost Rachel to the Joker’s vicious scheme, he’d been unable to find someone who deserved his whole heart. And that’s why this morning was so amazing. Bruce had been seeing Sally for almost four months, and he knew it was early, but he was ready for the next step: Moving in together. And if that went well, maybe he’d even tell her about his secret affinity for bat-shaped disguises and nighttime vigilantism.
Bruce strutted around his palatial mansion, and with a quick “Alfred, gimme some Frank!” every cleverly hidden speaker in the house started blasting “I’ve Got You Under My Skin.” Dressed in only a robe, Bruce was so happy he didn’t even bother to fix his hair or remove the sleep from the corners of his eyes and he waltzed through the hallway towards the dining room. Today was that day!
Then, the music stopped abruptly. “Sir, I have Miss Sally on the phone for you,” said Alfred. Bruce ran across the room, sliding in his socks on the wood floor to meet Alfred and take the phone with a goofy grin across his face. It was only a matter of seconds before that grin vanished. “What? What are you saying? … Well who is he?” Bruce demanded, struggling to keep his Batman growl at bay. “Where did you meet him? … You’ve been seeing him for two months? … I don’t know what to say … I see.” A hopelessly droopy Bruce handed Alfred the phone as he lay down on the floor with arms and legs sprawled every which way. Sally was leaving him for another millionaire.
“Alfred?” whispered Bruce.
“Yes, sir?” said Alfred.
“I need Bill.”
Without a word from Alfred, the mansion that had been buzzing with bouncy Frank Sinatra tunes all morning was instantly filled with Bill Withers’ lament “Ain’t No Sunshine.” On repeat. All day. Until the iPod dock finally broke in revolt.
The Battle: Convinced that his is no normal case of food poisoning, Spider-Man decides he should probably seek medical attention. He stumbles down the stairs from his fifth floor walk-up apartment, and careens down the street towards the hospital.
Finally tired of singing “Only darkness when she’s away” at the top of his lungs for the past 12 hours, Batman decides to get dressed and fight some street crime, just to get his mind off of the whole ordeal. Unfortunately, he doesn’t bother to shave, so the stubble is peeking out of his mask, and despite Alfred’s insistence that he leave it at home, Batman insists on wearing his crimson gentleman’s robe over his teflon body suit.
Just then, Spider-Man comes swinging around the corner, flying low on account of his unending internal pangs, and smacks right into Batman, knocking him to the ground. Normally, Batman would shrug it off, but he’s heartbroken and his breath is rife with Glenfidditch 1937. He doesn’t have the patience for this nonsense. He whips around, grabs Spider-Man by the neck and holds him up against the side of a nearby building. Spider-Man struggles to fight back, but every time he attempt to use his webs, his stomach thwarts him with a sudden kick or gut-wrenching growl.
Batman continues to use Spider-Man as his emotional punching bag, throwing him into a nearby pile of garbage with the accuracy of the village drunkard, but Spider-Man is already in such pain, it doesn’t take much to take him down. As he struggles to get up out of the trash pile, Spider-Man sees the tears welling up in the increasingly angry Batman’s eye-holes. “Hey man, are you okay?” inquires Spider-Man.
Batman charges toward him, but stops short, incapacitated by a sudden wave of tears. “No. Everything is horrible. She left me. I’m all alone,” he growls through the barrage of crocodile tears. Distracted from his gastrointestinal issues by the new pain of Batman-inflicted cuts and bruises, Spider-Man sees a chance to make a connection. There was a time when Mary Jane had rejected him. He knows the feeling. He reaches out his hand to the Batman and says, “I’ve been there, man. Why don’t you let me buy you a drink?”
Winner: Spider-Man, on a technicality. Everyone knows a grown man’s tears are an automatic forfeit.
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[Images: WB, Sony]