This is the final round of the Fan-Fic Versus Tournament. Originally, it was supposed to be a three-way between Batkevin74, Razzatazz, and Wildvine, but Wildvine forfeited. Each contestant was given the choice of any hero they want to write about. Once chosen, the losers of the semi-final round would then choose the antagonists of the stories.
Vote for the story you think is best. Anyone can vote except for Razza and Batkev. Please post who you vote for here, or PM it to me if you wish to remain anonymous. Please read both stories before voting. Let's begin!
RazzaTazz - Rogue vs Doctor Jonathan Crane
(This story is based roughly in the early modern age of comics, when Rogue had Miss Marvel’s powers and Nightwing was leader of the Titans)
Rogue scanned the skyline. It was like nothing she had ever seen before. It was like something out of a nightmare. She was here by a weird twist of fate after her colleagues from the Institute had been visited by the strangest of interdimensional travelers. At first they had thought them to be some villains launching a surprise attack but instead they were a group of heroes from another dimension, a team known as the Titans. One of their members, a mysterious woman named Raven had led them there by accident and after some trials she had figured out the way back, even if it was by way of some hellish dimensional travel. Rogue had felt a connection with the leader of the Titans known as Nightwing. He was Remy in a way, but more like who Remy would be if he weren’t Remy. It was not so much attraction as a feeling that when he talked to her that he understood her torment even if he was not a mutant.
After having said goodbye to their interdimensional peers Rogue noticed a strange fluctuation in her powers. She must have brushed up against the woman known as Raven, because after standing near the portal which had been opened, she could still feel its power and she was unwillingly pulled through. She was now a stranger in a strange land, after passing through the hellish dimension she thought that she could see nothing more to torment her, but the fact that this dark city seemingly aspired to the same atmosphere was even scarier to her. This was the city known as Gotham.
She assumed that this city was somehow analogous to New York City in her world, and she reckoned that if it were that it would have a group of heroes the same as her New York City did. It was just a matter of finding them. She scanned the streets below her as she flew. She was looking for the type of petty crime that might draw the interest of a hero, and with that she might find someone that could help her get home.
There! She saw a small group with a strangely garbed individual at it center trying to fight off the others.
These were the moments when Crane thought to himself that maybe he wasn’t deserving of being an arch-enemy of Batman after all. He had planned an intricate bank robbery, and all had seemed to be going as he had intended. As they left the van though, one of his henchmen had stumbled and dropped a fear serum grenade and the others had succumbed to its effects. Now instead of a robbery Crane was fighting off his own men, each of them drawn to a frenzy by their inner fears. He was dodging them and trying to run away, but they kept surrounding him and he did not know how to break through being encircled by them. As he watched himself being closed in on, he saw one fall, then another. He was not sure what was happening because all he could see was a blur. This was not good, he could barely handle Batman, what if this was the Flash or even Superman? He turned to run away but before he could get far a voice called out to him from behind.
“I took care of them for you sugah,” she said. Crane looked back and saw a woman hovering there a few feet off the ground. He did not recognize her, but it was not uncommon for new heroes to show up out of nowhere and try to prove themselves in Gotham. He knew because he had killed a number of them himself. He was not sure what to do, but it seemed as though she had mistaken him for a hero, despite his grim appearance.
“My name is Rogue,” she said, “I was wondering if you might lead me to someone named Nightwing.” Crane thought of how ridiculous this scenario was. He was no more going to help her find Nightwing than he was going to try to join the Justice League. He saw an opportunity here though. Something about her, something which was fundamentally fearful, though he did not know why.
“I am the Scarecrow,” he said, “scaring away the crime of the city.” He couldn’t believe that he had just said that, but if his ruse was going to work he needed her to get closer.
“Can you help me find him?” she asked.
“Certainly,” he answered, “I am actually a member of the same group of heroes as him, here take my communicator. Don’t be scared, it is based on alien technology.” He took one of his fear serum grenades and threw it to her. She looked at it for a second and then pressed on the release only for the grenade to blow up in her face. Before she could react she had breathed in a lungful of the mist. She did not know what was coming over her. She could see before her eyes Remy. She was not sure how he was here but it was him.
“Hello Marie,” he said.
“Hello,” she replied.
“I have been looking for you,” he said.
“What for?” she asked.
“For us,” he said, “we can finally be together. I figured out how to finally circumvent your powers.”
“So we can …” Rogue started to ask.
“Yes,” he said, “we can kiss.” He walked up to her and hugged her and pulled her body in close to his. He leaned in towards her and their lips met in a denied passion for them both. Rogue was not sure what to feel, but she knew that her heart wanted this. She felt like she wanted the moment to never end, and she remained there with her eyes closed kissing her deepest desire. She did open her eyes though to her own horror. She saw Remy in front of her, slowly wasting away from her draining his powers. What was worse was that she could not seem to pull away. She could see the life seeping out of Remy, but she could not do anything about it, and she watched his face dwindle from that of healthy human to a skeleton. She could finally release him but it was too late. All that now remained of her love for him was the lifeless corpse that lay in her arms. Why had he promised her that they could be together when they could not? He had just killed himself for a foolish dream.
“What have you done Rogue?” she heard the familiar voice say from behind her. She turned to see the Professor with a stern look on his face. This was what she feared most, not only to lose her control of her power but to do so in a way that she lost others, either their approval or more gravely with their lives. Something didn’t make sense all of a sudden for her. What were Remy and the Professor doing here. She looked down at Remy’s lifeless corpse but she could in her heart that it wasn’t him and the professor could not have so easily gotten here either. There was something in common here – fear! The fear of those things had overwhelmed her, but whoever had done so had not counted on her own personal torment providing a greater fear than anything she had ever had thrown upon her. This was child’s play next to that, and as she looked at Remy lying in her arms, he slowly dematerialized from her fear induced state until all that was left was her sitting on the ground staring at the pavement exactly where she had been.
“Damn,” Crane said aloud, so perturbed that his thought had been spoken. Rogue looked up and with a look of controlled anger in her eyes flew straight towards Crane. She knew that she could kill him easily, especially with his slender frame, so she would have to be careful, but now it was time for the doctor to get some of his own medicine. She grabbed him by the collar and flew straight upwards, going high past the clouds. She stopped there and turned him around and stared him straight in the eyes.
“Fear is not your friend now,” she said and dropped him. The bravest people faced such a death with some resolve, but even they would always scream. And Rogue waited to hear the Scarecrow’s screams before flying down to fetch him merely fifty feet above ground. She did not stop there though, she threw him back from the way that he had come in a parabolic arc over a nearby freeway. She flew in behind him and caught him over top of the traffic holding him upside down by his ankle. A fall from here would not be deadly, at least not at first, not until an oncoming car invariably hit him.
“Where shall I drop you first?” Rogue asked, “in front of the tractor trailer?” The panic stricken look on his face was satisfaction enough for her. She did not even have to pretend to drop him. She could see though a different look come over his face as he looked at something behind her. This was not a regular fear it was something else, she turned and saw an illuminated bat symbol being shined onto a nearby cloud. Her actions before had scared him but this seemed to be his biggest fear, and so she flew straight towards it. She could see that the beam was coming from a rooftop nearby and once she had identified it, she flew down to its source. She unceremoniously dropped the Scarecrow onto the roof. Standing there was who she had been looking for.
“I hoped that would have gotten your attention,” Nightwing said.
“I have been looking for you,” Rogue said.
“Here I am,” he answered.
“I came along here as an unexpected visitor,” Rogue explained, “and I need the help of Raven to get back.”
“That should be no problem,” Nightwing said, “I see you were trying to teach the professor a lesson. How can we thank you?”
Rogue looked at him with a smile on her face.
“With anything but a kiss,” Rogue replied.
Batkevin74 - The Lone Ranger vs Jonah Hex
Silverheels, Missouri, 1881
The saloon doors swung open with a creak. The piano played went silent first, the patrons followed suit as the masked man in blue with the white hat stood surveying the den of inequity, villainy and scum. Slowly he walked down the small trio of stairs into the bar.
“I am looking for a man!” he declared as he unravelled a wanted poster “A man named Jonah Hex!”
“He ain’t here lawman!” came the direct, yet sultry reply from the upper balcony. The saloon slowly returned to activity as he strode up the staircase to the young lady.
“Ma’am” he tipped his hat.
“Lilah” she cooed, fluttering her eyelids “If you take your mask off, I’ll let you ride for free”
“I appreciate the offer ma’am,” he smiled “But if you could just tell me where Jonah Hex is, I’ll be on my way”
“Try Gotham.” she sighed as she turned and headed away. Gently, he reached out and took her by the hand and slowly turned her towards him. He took a step up and leant in to her ear.
“Lilah. I believe that all men and women are created equal, and that everyone has within themself the power to make this a better world.” He looked her in the eyes “You can be so much more, than this”
Lilah’s eyes twitched, holding back tears as the masked man nodded and walked down the stairs “What do you want Hex for?” she cried.
He marched out of the saloon, flinging the doors open. His companion, an Indian, sat proudly upon his brown and white Pinto horse holding the reins to a beautiful white stallion.
“We have a long ride to Gotham, Tonto” he said as he mounted his horse “"Hi-yo, Silver! Away!"
Clayton’s Saloon, Gotham City
Jonah Hex sat quietly at the card table, watching his opponents as they studied their cards. He knew he had a hand full of bull dust but the pot was nearly six hundred, not including the deed to some mine in Colorado. Jonah took a shot of whiskey, upended the glass and added it to the ever growing pyramid of glass that almost made a wall around him.
“Any time ladies”
Colonel Nathan Cobblepot scowled across the table at the scarred man in the Confederate uniform. It really jammed his craw that he had the audacity to wear it; in public AND proudly, but Hex’s reputation proceeded him by miles. “I’ll see your wager,” Nathan threw in and then muttered into his cards “You no account grey back”
Nathan looked up to see Jonah pointing his Colt directly at him “Now I reckon you either best be repeating yurself loudly you peacock, so we all can hear. Or we take this outside, and I put an end to yur bellyaching”
Nathan slowly raised his hands “I got no row with you Hex”
Jonah scowled and rested his revolver on the table “We’ll see…”
The Lone Ranger and Tonto rode east, Silver and Scout carrying their masters.
“You should not do this kemosabe” said Tonto solemnly “He has the mark of the demon on him. Nothing good comes from him”
“All men must settle with the world Tonto” the Ranger gripped the reins “To make payment for what they have taken. Jonah Hex has taken more than his fair share. He has warrants outstanding in Arizona, Virginia, Texas!”
“Nothing good will come of this” warned Tonto and they continued the ride in silence.
Jonah awoke with a start, his hand grabbing the revolver under his pillow as he searched for an intruder, that wasn’t there. The two prostitutes in his bed grumpily moaned at the commotion. The bounty hunter untangled himself from the pile of limbs and washed his face in the basin, catching his reflection in the smoky mirror. Jonah grunted at himself in disgust and got dressed; he’d wasted enough time in Gotham waiting for Arkham to sort himself out, uppity bookworm! Hex tossed some notes onto the bureau as he left.
The Lone Ranger and Tonto rode into Gotham, a sprawling city with several buildings at least five storeys high. Tonto shuddered like death had run her fingers across his spine.
“This place…much evil”
“People can be evil Tonto,” said Ranger “Not cities”
“Look!” Tonto pointed to a flock of owls flying across the sky harassing a small bat “We should not be here” He reined his horse to a halt.
The Ranger did a circle with Silver and stopped beside his friend “I am going to get Jonah Hex, with or without you. I do not discount your beliefs my friend, but I also have a duty to uphold”
Tonto looked into the masked man’s eyes “I will go with you to meet death”
“You’re a lyin, cheatin’ varmit Hex!” yelled Cobblepot as he pistol-whipped Jonah across the back of the neck as he exited the saloon, rolling into the dirt. “Been waiting nearly a week for you to pull your head of out cooch to get my money back!” Jonah shook his head, grabbed Cobblepot by boot and upended him.
“You lost! Now you’re going to lose more than your money!” Jonah leapt onto Nathan and began pummelling him in the street like a dusty rug. Nathan gave as good as he got but it was like fighting a tiger. Jonah got to his feet, pulling an Apache tomahawk from his waist and grabbed the bleeding Cobblepot by the collar.
“If yur gonna hit a man with a piece of wood” growled Hex “Do it properly!”
The bounty hunter squinted out of his damaged right eye to see a man in blue with white hat walking towards him, a scroll of paper in his hand.
“Little busy” sneered Hex as he swung the axe at the helpless man in his grasp. A shot rang out and the tomahawk flew from Hex’s grasp. With reflexes like lightning Hex had drawn his revolver as he dropped Cobblepot like a bag of rotten fruit and fired, sending the warrant in the Ranger’s hand flying into an explosion of confetti.
“Next one goes through your head mister!” growled Hex, his finger hovering over the trigger. “Who’r you? Texas Ranger?”
“Of sorts” replied the Ranger “Jonah Hex, I am placing you under arrest for the murder of Bartholomew Cavendish in…”
“He was scum!” spat Hex “And don’t think I don’t see you there chief” Hex stared right at Tonto “Keep your hands above the belt”
“Scum he may have been, but you murdered him in cold blood” replied The Ranger “I also have warrants from Virginia and…”
“Anything from Virginia has the stink of Turnbull and not worth the paper it’s printed on!” Hex’s eyes darted from Ranger to Indian and back again “Head back to the plains Sherriff”
“I can’t do that Jonah”
“Well then, we’s got ourselves a problem” Hex slotted his revolver back into his holster.
“Not if you come quietly” replied the Ranger.
“More chance of hen growing teeth”
The Ranger holstered his revolver and walked slowly towards Hex “Please, reconsider Jonah”
“Stop jawing like you know me!” snapped Hex “Yur just another deluded corrupt official, roped in by Turnbull’s money!”
“I don’t know this Turnbull you speak of,” said the Ranger “I do know you murdered a man on a false warrant. By the laws governing Arizona Territory, you are to come with me for your trial which if found guilty, you’ll hang”
"I’ll hang for a good many things Sherriff” sneered Hex “But not today. I did kill Cavendish, hell’s I killed a tonne of folks, all deservin’! But if that warrant is signed by Turnbull or Albano, then you can stick it where the sun don’t shine!”
“This is your last chance Jonah”
“You call me Jonah one more time…” warned Hex, his hands drifting to his belt.
The Ranger looked the bounty hunter dead in the eye, his hand following suit. The words formed in the back of his throat and slowly escaped his lips.
Hex drew like lightning, the Lone Ranger also, followed also by Tonto. Four shots rang out and the streets of Gotham were silent. Hex dropped his revolver in his right hand, though keeping the left one still pointed at the Ranger, and clutched the wound that had clipped him in the shoulder. The Ranger looked himself up and down unscathed, then watched as Tonto hit the floor. He began to run towards him when a bullet hit the dirt before his feet.
“Don’t rightly know how you or I are still standin’” grimaced Hex, blood seeping through his fingers “But your Indian needs help. Aint gonna get it if you come after me”
“If he dies, I’ll pursue you to the gates of hell and back!” stated The Ranger defiantly stepping forward raising his pistol.
“That’s what I thought” Jonah levelled the gun, the bounty hunters eyes locked on the masked man. Several tense seconds ticked by, almost an eternity before Jonah holstered his weapon, picked up his other revolver, turned and walked off. The Ranger ran to his friend and cradled him.
“Place...of death” groaned Tonto as blood soaked into his tunic.
“You’ll pay for this Hex!” he roared as he pointed his weapon at the departing man.
“Don’t strike me as a man who’ll shoot an unarmed man in the back Sherriff” chuckled Hex as he lit up a cigarette and got on his horse. The Ranger started after him when Tonto’s bloody hand grabbed him by the sleeve.
“Kemosabe!” gasped Tonto “Let the demon go…only death…comes from him”
The Lone Ranger stood in the Gotham street as his old friend slipped quietly into death, as his quarry rode off down the street. Tears welled in his eyes soaking his black mask which he quickly wiped away. As he stood there contemplating his destiny, a glint of silver caught his eye. There in the dirt was his silver bullet, merged into a ball with Hex’s bullet.
Slowly the sun set.
Notes: Original Jonah Hex art work comes from here: http://jasonpal.deviantart.com/art/Jonah-Hex-Wanted-Poster-168500304
Colonel Nathan Cobblepot IS a relative of Oswald Cobblepot aka The Penguin.
Silverheels & Clayton’s are tributes to the actors who played Tonto & The Lone Ranger (Jay Silverheels and Clayton Moore)
Jonah Hex created by John Albano and Tony DeZuniga and is property of DC.
The Lone Ranger & Tonto were created by George W. Trendle &/or by Fran Striker and is now possibly owned/managed by Dynamite Entertainment