Sunday, December 11, 2011

Reader Request: Cable vs. Dracula

In the comments section of my Avengers vs X-Men classic post, Shatterstar88 (great name) asked, “Can you do a post about who would win in a fight between Dracula (marvel version) and Cable?”

Indeed I can, Shatterstar88, indeed I can.

I like this matchup, because while there’s a case to be made on the surface that it would be a blowout either way if you look only at each individual combatant (“He’s the Lord of all Vampires!” “He’s an uber-powerful mutant messiah!”), once you line them up next to one another you see they’ve got more than a little bit in common and would counter each other quite nicely.

Both Cable and Dracula usually draw heavily upon their respective battlefield knowledge and fighting experience, given that one is a time traveler who has been fighting in wars since he was a boy and the other is an immortal despot who has led countless campaigns for power and land. Neither guy is a rookie by any means and thus both would be deprived of the chief edge they typically hold in other fights.

Nathan was trained from childhood by Blaquesmith, the Askani and others in forms of fighting that don’t even exist as of the 21st century, where this fight would presumably take place (as an aside, young Cable vs Karate Kid would also be badass). Vlad has been around multiple life spans and over the course of such has traveled around the world and become versed in all forms of armed and unarmed fighting. You could argue Cable knows disciplines that Dracula couldn’t possibly have learned yet, but you could also contend that Dracula has had more opportunities to hone his skills; I think in terms of pure repertoire, they cancel one another out.

Moving over to powers, both guys have impressive sets of abilities, but also the potential means to counter one another. Dracula has been known to mesmerize his foes, but Cable is a telepath (or possibly a former telepath, but he’s still got the mental discipline instilled), so he can probably forget that trick; likewise, Nathan may not be able to use his telepathy (provided he has it in this scenario) since Vlad has had years to build up his mental defenses and generally isn’t susceptible to that sort of thing (he got snookered by illusion when he battled MI: 13, but it was mystically generated, and Cable knows jack about magic). It will come down to telepathy and guns against the vampire cocktail of enhanced strength, senses, etc. plus perhaps a sword or two.

What I think it comes down to is that Dracula is primarily a schemer, while Cable is definitively a man of action. Don’t get me wrong, Drac is still a force to be reckoned with if you piss him off, but he’s much rather remain in the shadows and move chess pieces around than actually engage in fisticuffs. He concocted an elaborate campaign in Vampire State but that fell apart when the variables shifted on him; in the recent Hulk Vs. Dracula, he had to rely on sending others to battle The Hulk for him while he sat back in his castle preparing for the worst. Even in Curse of the Mutants, his temporary undoing—and death—at his son Xarus’ hands came about primarily because he was locked into the business of sitting around a big table and doing business rather than getting his hands dirty.

Cable, on the other hand, is all about jumping into the fray when circumstances demand and adapting to the circumstances. He kept himself and Hope alive for years jumping all over the time stream because he remained at least one step ahead of Bishop, but he was also able to engage his enemies when need be and generally has the tools, ruthlessness and cunning to come out on top in a scrap. When he led X-Force, Cable was always front and center, jumping right into the action with his team rather than just directing traffic and letting them wear down the enemy. Nathan knows how to flee and make the circumstances ideal for the battle he wants—see not just his entire last ongoing series but also Messiah Complex as well as Second Coming—but when he’s backed into corner, he’s often at his best.

So my answer would be that Cable has the slight edge if only because the loose definition of “a fight” implies both guys get tossed into a situation and go at it, meaning Dracula doesn’t have time to prepare and create a multi-layered plan. Also, if Drac bites into Nate’s neck, there’s a decent chance he’s getting oil or a techno-organic virus rather than blood, so that’s also a disadvantage.

I’d go with Cable by a plasma grenade. I would like to see Victor Gischler write this clash ASAP.