One eternal question spans almost every kind of pop culture: “Who would win?”
Whether it’s a literal comic book battle (Could Batman beat Superman?) or the mechanics of a game (How could a Soulcalibur fighter take on Yoda?) or a Reddit-invented thought experiment (No really, who wins, one horse-sized duck or 100 duck-sized horses?), the notion of “who would win?” isn’t just a fun lark in the year 2022 — it has reframed the conversation about beloved characters, modern storytelling, and how people think about “their faves.”
That’s why we’re dedicating an entire week to how these debates have shaped comics, movies, TV, and games, and how they’ve challenged creators, over the years. Throughout Who Would Win Week, we’ll explore fictional competition from all angles: Do rigid power levels help or hurt comics creators? What happens when “Who would win?” becomes toxic (ship wars), commercialized (console wars), or an identity unto itself (Marvel vs. DC)?
We’ll also get back to the root of the question, and why it’s so dang fun to imagine the possibilities. It wouldn’t be a celebration of the “versus” thought experiment without a few highly debatable matchups of our own, a Twitch stream dedicated to tier rankings, and an entire March Madness tournament pitting icons from across the internet cosmos in a 32-seed showdown.
Ready for Polygon’s Who Would Win Week? [Super Smash Bros. voice] 3 ... 2 ... 1 ... go!