#1 Edited by Owie (3740 posts) - - Show Bio

A battle between obscure Demons of Darkness!  (Even though Null is technically not a demon.)
 
The Dweller in Darkness vs Null the Living Darkness 
 
Battle takes place on Earth, 100' above the Las Vegas Strip.
 
In character.  Neither one is amped in any way.  Win by causing the other one to no longer be able to fight back. 
 
Who wins and why? 
 
 

The Dweller in Darkness 

Null the Living Darkness
#2 Edited by fondofpacman (572 posts) - - Show Bio

@Owie: Damn, just looked up Null--I need to get that old Defenders arc with Null in it if it's got both the original Ghostrider and the Overmind from the Eternals in it. I dunno who wins since i know almost nothing about Null.

The Vegas Strip is populated correct? Then I assume DiD will get some nice power from all the freaked out gamblers and such, but if the wiki on Null is correct, it says he has near unlimited control of magic and massive intellect, so whether he takes DiD depends on what "control of magic" means...Null might be enough to take out even a pumped up fear-lord if he's that dirty with "nulling" out DiD's mystic attacks or something.

#3 Posted by Owie (3740 posts) - - Show Bio
@fondofpacman said:

@Owie: Damn, just looked up Null--I need to get that old Defenders arc with Null in it if it's got both the original Ghostrider and the Overmind from the Eternals in it. I dunno who wins since i know almost nothing about Null.

The Vegas Strip is populated correct? Then I assume DiD will get some nice power from all the freaked out gamblers and such, but if the wiki on Null is correct, it says he has near unlimited control of magic and massive intellect, so whether he takes DiD depends on what "control of magic" means...Null might be enough to take out even a pumped up fear-lord if he's that dirty with "nulling" out DiD's mystic attacks or something.

The Vegas Strip is populated, so you're right, that should help the Dweller.
 
Basically we're dealing with a very powerful fear lord, who was, if I recall correctly, way more powerful than Dr. Strange in their classic confrontations, although I don't recall the exact details, versus a being who is the collective power of an entire race, who again was way more powerful than Dr. Strange in at least one incarnation.  However, in that incarnation he was amped by sucking power from the Overmind--who is a pretty powerful guy himself.  I was just reading an old Overmind story and he was definitively beating the Stranger in a one-on-one battle before the Overmind's paranoia made himself lose.  So even being amped by Overmind, it shows he's more powerful than Overmind.  In that amped incarnation, Null was really only beaten by being shown that he had some goodness inside and defeating himself; otherwise he wasn't able to be defeated by Strange, Arcanna, Scarlet Witch, Surfer, a powerful aggregate being of Earth telepaths, and others.
 
On the other hand, in previous incarnations, while he was still evolving, he was beaten by Gargoyle's biomystical bolts, which put positive energy into him, and by Ghost Rider.
 
I don't know who would really win.  I think the Dweller might have been implied to be higher up on the food chain, but might not have feats that are quite so specific in terms of direct battles.
 
That Defenders arc with Null is pretty awesome though, I do recommend it.  Lots of craziness with Null, Overmind, the Squadron Supreme, and Nighthawk. Just so you know though, Ghost Rider isn't in that, he fights Null in his own series.  That whole era of Defenders is really interesting to me.  On the one hand it has all this metaphysical, magic-related stuff, it has really interesting character-based writing, it's very complex.  But then on the other hand, it's straight up silly in a way I like, but maybe not everyone does.  For instance, at the conclusion of the Null story, the issue's 1st 6 pages wrap up some really complicated and personal stuff about Nighthawk, and then the rest of the issue is a parody of Dr. Seuss!
#4 Posted by fondofpacman (572 posts) - - Show Bio

@Owie: Yeah, I wanna get that arc now. I have 0 defenders comics, I was always scared to buy them since I thought they'd lame-up Dr. Strange to make the rest of the team relevant, but I part of me felt like I was missing out.

And it's really hard to say exactly where the Dweller is in comparison to Null, but if Null absorbed the Overmind, who's above the Stranger, then he's pretty high up there. And one more time, neither one is amped, so does that mean Dweller has average fear across the world (minus the strip), so he's slightly stronger than baseline power, and Null has NOT absorbed Overmind's power?

I remember Dweller was really strong at some point in the fear-lord arc, but I don't remember how strong he was before he got his widespread fear plan into action. I kinda think of him as a semi-prep-type character like Nightmare though, but still stronger than Nightmare since he was ruling the team of fear-lords or something (but at the same time he lacked Nightmare's power to attack sleeping people's astral forms in his own dimension). When I first read the Dweller vs Strange story, I remember having some preconceived notions that the Dweller's power was relatively underwhelming at the beginning...but I think that was only because the story (i think) followed some crazy dramatic arc with Dormammu or someone almost destroying the universe, so obviously its hard to follow stores like that and have them feel relevant, but after a while Dweller was starting to look comparable to Chthon and the likes, and the story ended up being pretty good. Does that sound about right to you to place Dweller's average power (maybe some people scared) to be a little below Chthon's level?

I think I'll reread the old Dweller in Darkness vs Strange arc to get a better bead on Dweller's power...then get back to this thread. I love battles with complex and under-appreciated characters...especially ones that have at least a couple feats to make comparisons practical.

#5 Posted by Owie (3740 posts) - - Show Bio
@fondofpacman: Yeah, I think I'm going to go back to those old Strange issues too.  Somewhere below Chthon sounds right to me. I was actually thinking Elder God-style in my own mind as I was trying to think how to characterize him.  But I'll check.
 
The Defenders was such a fun series to me.  I picked up most of the issues between about 100 through 152 at some cheap sales, and there's a real unique writing style.  JM DeMatteis was on it, then Peter Gillis, and they both had some wacky ideas, involving leprechauns and all sorts of stuff.  Then it gets serious and has the Dragon of the Moon arc towards the end, which was interesting too.  Very different from, say, the Avengers at the time, it had a real flavor.
#6 Edited by fondofpacman (572 posts) - - Show Bio

@Owie: So I'm mostly preoccupied with real-life sorta stuff at the moment, but I got some time to myself to grab some of the Dr. Strange issues with the Dweller in them, I'm nowhere close to having the whole arc though (I can only find Strange #35, 37, and 41 ATM...and I'm not even sure if Dweller's in 41). Random aside, Strange #45 oddly enough has a guy called "the demon in the dark", who sorta looks like a combination of Null and the Dweller.

Anyway, here's an interesting little Dweller feat. Here, from the safety and anonymity of his own realm, he possesses a fear stricken guy who was almost hit by a car, and turns the guy into a giant smoke demon monster to fight Strange and Clea. So not only does he gain power from fear, but he gains power over those who experience fear.

It's sorta interesting how, when he gets desperate for more stuff to throw at Strange, he actually asks Umar to serve him...it doesn't work, but it's impressive that he'd even consider the possibility that Umar would think to serve under him at his base power level.

#7 Edited by fondofpacman (572 posts) - - Show Bio

@Owie: So I looked the Dweller up finally, and apparently that's one of his classic tricks, he possesses someone to commit suicide and turns them into a Shade-Trall, which is a demon that serves him.And apparently, Dweller nearly broke the M'Krann crystal and all of the omniverse in an alternate reality that was hinted at being the precursor the 616Universe Adventures of the X-Men#11 and 12. I also have scans here of the dweller saying that he could beat Strange physically, but I've heard that before...all in all, I think Null takes this one as Dweller doesn't have prep or his Great Fear in full effect.

#8 Posted by Pokergeist (22351 posts) - - Show Bio

I give it to DiD due to the Scenario and the fact the Weakest Series (First Series Run) GR beaten Null as well.

#9 Posted by fondofpacman (572 posts) - - Show Bio

@CadenceV2:I think this version of Null absorbed the Overmind though. And what was the context behind Ghostrider winning in that story, was it PIS?

#10 Posted by Pokergeist (22351 posts) - - Show Bio

@fondofpacman: No, I belive Null was simply really Weak in that. Ill re read it to make sure.

#11 Posted by Pokergeist (22351 posts) - - Show Bio

@fondofpacman: I was wrong. The Null wasnt in any of the GR Original Comics. Maybe the Champions or Marvel Spotlights?

Either way it was either PIS or the Null had weak showings to lose against Old Classic GR. It could be becuase GR Burns Souls via Hellfire and the Null is a Collection of a entire Race of Souls?

#12 Posted by Owie (3740 posts) - - Show Bio

@CadenceV2 said:

@fondofpacman: I was wrong. The Null wasnt in any of the GR Original Comics. Maybe the Champions or Marvel Spotlights?

Either way it was either PIS or the Null had weak showings to lose against Old Classic GR. It could be becuase GR Burns Souls via Hellfire and the Null is a Collection of a entire Race of Souls?

Null was in Ghost Rider 71. I haven't read it though.

@fondofpacman: That's weird, somehow I missed your comment from a couple days ago. I'll read all this and go back through my issues tomorrow.

But I do know that the Null that was beaten by Ghost Rider was still growing in power and not fully mature. On the other hand, the example of the mature Null that we saw also happened to be amped by Overmind, so it's hard to fully know where his power level is.

#13 Edited by Pokergeist (22351 posts) - - Show Bio

@Owie: @fondofpacman: LOL Just Read it.

Null possessed a Human and focuse his power thru the eyes.

GR Hellfire cant touch Null. Null Shrinks GR. GR Regrows with Anger (Zarathos at time). Null Blast GR. GR said it hurts and that is all.

It was a stalemate. Null couldnt harm GR and GR couldnt harm Null till the Human felt love for this Chick thrown in danger which left him open enough to have (the Human part) Soul Burn by Hellfire. Null then was Banish with no Mortal Form where the Hellfire then drives Null MAD with PAIN!

Good Read.

DiD should win at any rate in this scenario.

#14 Posted by fondofpacman (572 posts) - - Show Bio

@CadenceV2: @Owie: Some more relevant stuff from that Adventures of the X-Men #12, not much but all I could find. A potentially interesting Dweller feat here is that he might have been able to prevent the Living Tribunal from detecting him.

#15 Posted by Owie (3740 posts) - - Show Bio
@CadenceV2: @fondofpacman: I just checked through my old Strange's that have Dweller (30, 32, 33, 35, 36, 37).  pacman, I agree with you that the two points that stuck out at me as indicators of his power level where when he said he could crush Strange physically, and when he asked the various demons/evil sorcerers to serve him.  But I also kind of discount both.  Saying he could crush Strange is different than actually being able to do it.  I would guess that he would be above Strange in power, but I'm not totally willing to take his word on it.  Also, during the part where he asks the demons to serve him, Umar practically laughs at him, and Tiboro (among the others, most of whom I don't recognize) turned him down too.  All he could get was Ningal and Ludi, who weren't very powerful.  So I actually see that scene as being an indicator that he isn't as powerful as I had originally thought.  He also went to visit Nightmare and get help from him.  Nightmare is sort of low on the totem pole of demons, I think, so if he had to go to him for help, that's not saying much.  I thought I remembered some narrative caption saying that he was essentially on Elder God level, but I don't see it now that I've gone back through, so I think I must have been imagining it.  He mostly used his power, as you said, to cause fear and absorb power, not much direct beyond that.  He probably is reasonably powerful--sub-Mephisto and maybe Nightmare level, I would guess--but based on his servants/offspring like D'SPayre, Ningal, and Ludi, I am now leaning toward Null.  The fact that Null took over Overmind is pretty impressive, and he had actually not fully absorbed his power when he fought the Defenders, so I think maybe he would have the edge.
 
The recent Journey into Mystery arc with the whole group of Fear Lords also made me think that none of them are extraordinarily powerful on their own, and they all seemed to be portrayed at about the same power level.  (This group also included Nightmare).
 
I can see Null being approximately equal to Zarathos in his earlier form, but I think he'd be above that level after he fully matured.
#16 Posted by fondofpacman (572 posts) - - Show Bio

@Owie: Yup, Nightmare is a little insulting to him in that final scan I posted, which leads me to believe he's not terribly afraid of the Dweller, whereas someone like Shuma was able to make Nightmare his little bitch with (assumably) little effort. I still put the Dweller above Nightmare on raw power and standings amongst other Fear Lords, but probably not by all that much, maybe he just has more potential than Nightmare or something. And the Amazing X-Men scans I have that show the Dweller trying to screw with the previous 616 Universe don't impress me much either, firstly because his plans failed, second because his lackey D'Spayre turns on him in the one scan, and finally because lots of different extradimensional Dr. Strange villains existed in other dimensions before the current 616 Universe was created, so that's nothing special.

And if we place Dweller alittle above Nightmare, although I consider Nightmare to be an amazing prepper (with his feats where he put Eternity to sleep and such), Nightmare is still someone Strange could generally always beat under his own power, especially in the first battle they had after Doc officially attained the mantel of Sorcerer Supreme, Nightmare looked like he wasn't even worth the Doc's time, and Nightmare ALWAYS uses prep when going against Strange. I'm guessing the Dweller thinks he's a little tougher than he really is (as evidenced by the fact that he though Umar and other high-level entities would serve him), so his boasting that he could "crush Strange physically whenever he desired" is probably semi-BS.

@CadenceV2: You'll have to take this from Owie and not me as I haven't read this Defenders arc, but I think the version of Null in this battle is the one that was handedly beating all the Defenders and the Overmind, which makes him a pretty tough customer--and looking at how Null was beaten, it sorta looks like a plot device, one that the base-powerd Dweller in Darkness, especially with no prep, should not be able to pull off.