The Rise and Fall of Prometheus
When the Martial Arts week was suggested/announced, a character by the way of Prometheus was mentioned in the commentary to some amount. To those unaware, Prometheus was a character introduced during the now-legendary JLA run of Grant Morrison, and he was in essence the anti-Batman, both thematically, in appearance and in personality. His criminal parents were shot by the police, causing him to hate justice, after whice he dedicated himself to travel around the world to seek power. Yet unlike Batman, who used that time to rise above his limitations and perfect his methods, Prometheus in turn found a way around using ancient technology, which basically allowed him to download in to his mind different skill sets, say for instance martial arts. Prometheus does not have super powers, but he has several plans for each superhero, as Batman. However, unlike Batman, Prometheus lacks pragmatism, is much more of a showboat, shifts his focus too often and is kind of pathetic, as we are about to see. Even visually they were counterparts, the dark demon of justice in comparison to the bright knight of crime.
Now personally I think he is one of the best creations of Morrison's JLA era and was kind of sad to see him lose status so rapidly after it, but fortuntately they seem to be addressing that in the current stories. I could do a great big post of the character, but unfortuntaly it would break the posting limits, so I'm focusing on his two fights with Batman, as this is the Martial Arts Week.
The first fight took place during Prometheus's first appearance, where he almost single-handedly takes down JLA through the Batman method. During a press conference in the Watchtower, during which new members of the JLA are introduced to the public, Prometheus fakes his way in and sabotages the tower systems while taking out the JLA members one by one. At one point Huntress catches him messing with the system, leading to this.
So the first fight between the two ended with Batman being whooped off-panel. I have to admit that when I first read this I was somewhat perplexed as I assumed the face-off between the two to be nothing short of awesome. Of course at that point I hadn't read their second encounter and understand why this was so important, besides establishing the character of Prometheus. Anyway, continuing with Kyle and Wally.
See, the bright knight of crime.
And that scene shall always be one of the prime reasons why I heart Prometheus. Of course there's a problem.
See, Prometheus was kind of pathetic in that despite his brilliance, he lacked the focus and throughness of Bruce or Lex. Put either of them in that situation, Kyle and Wally would have died, they would have made certain of it. To Prometheus it was just another thing to do while moving to bigger plans, mainly to have Superman kill himself. Which failed, because he took too much time grandstanding and allowing non-essential people to be around to mess his plans.
Prometheus does make his escape to the nothingness where he has his house, leaving his helmet behind and plotting new plans. Finally he comes to the conclusion that he can't do it alone, so gathers the biggest enemies of the JLA he can find.
See, even the other villains think that Prometheus is kind of pathetic. That's what's so awesome about the character. He's one of the most dangerous individuals in the world, but his falling is that he wants everyone to know that and respect him, while everyone respects Luthor and Bruce just because they know exactly how hardcore those two are without them feeling the need to prove it. Prometheus is the kid desperately looking for approval, which also makes it very difficult for others to give it to him.
So the new Injustice League (the three here plus General Eiling) begin a devastating assault on the Watchtower, where people just noticed that Prometheus actually went and got his helmet back before the attack. Not that the warning prepares them for the onslaught as they just realized a doomsday weapon is making its way to Earth. The attack is awesome beyond words, but posting it all would again seriously cross the posting limits, so let's just stick to Prometheus, who has gone to take care of a less-seen member of the League.
Maybe because you're seriously pathetic, but that's just a guess. Posted because Babs is kind of awesome here. Prometheus makes his way back to the Watchtower, knocks Huntress out again and then we get the second fight.
And it's time for round two. And it's awesome.
Notice the scream from Prometheus at the beginning of the fight. I just love the utter patheticness of Prometheus. I know I'm repeating myself, but seriously, this guy is just gold. Also notice how Batman pretty much squashed Prometheus there even with the downloaded data.
And because Batman knows that difference is the reason why he is one of the top fighters in the DCU. Also, it isn't as if Prometheus was fighting fair. Third, shut up Huntress. That was in relation to her tough talk after someone else beat Prometheus. Now some complain that this victory required Batman to be lucky in that Prometheus got the helm back, but Batman went in to the fight knowing that instead of hitting him from behind or something like that, so it is actually Batman following the plan in case Prometheus did that while utterly humiliating him.
Damn I hope we get this Prometheus back, he just makes me all warm and tingly inside, hope you enjoyed the bouts as much as I did.
Now, lastly, I wished to comment on something. Already in the beginning of this week I've seen some commentary on Bruce's status on the Martial Arts list, but the thing is that DC has actually established his position on that matter in canon. The following is a page from Countdown to Infinite Crisis, where Ted Kord reads the files on various superheroes.
First of all, as can be seen they actually differentiate between martial and hand-to-hand combat. Now while that may seem at first a rather superficial decision, there is actually a significant difference between the two and it makes sense, at least to me. Secondly, they gave an explicit example of what it means to be class A2 and A1 in the term speed. Superman's speed was classified as A2, while for Flash it would A1. So according to this, within the DCU, Bruce Wayne is one of the top martial artists, but not one of the best. However, when it goes to a fight, a brutal knockdown where anything goes, at that point he is one of the best in the DCU, something I would also extend to Dick. Now, whetever or not one likes it is again a matter of opinion and the focus of another discussion. One could also easily claim that Superman shouldn't be the strongest hero or Diana shouldn't be as invulnerable, those are just opinions which have merit, but are, as said, the focus of another discussion. Also, considering this is a character in his late thirties, who has spent majority of his life focusing on perfecting his skills and almost nightly faces superior numbers in combat as well as foes of wildly varying skill levels and styles, I don't really consider somehow unreasonably that Batman, no matter who is under the cowl, wouldn't be one of the best hand-to-hand combatants in the DCU. Just my opinion, though, and as such a matter for another discussion.
Hoped you enjoyed the post as I already begin to prepare for another fight fest. which shall have a lot less babbling from me.