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The Setting

A strong, salty breeze whisks over the pre-dawn sandy beaches on the southeastern coast of Madagascar. Two dark figures walk towards each other, both approaching a third dark figure. As the sun breaks over the cloudless horizon, the early morning light reveals Tarzan, draped in a leopard skin, and Aquaman, in his trademark figure-hugging orange and green tights. In between them stands John James Audubon, the referee who's decisions are ultimate and final. Both men must grapple hand-to-hand to the death in the surf, between two and four feet of water at all times (unless thrown or dragged out of this zone in which case they must attempt to return to the zone as quickly as possible as judged by Mr. Audubon). Both men retain their animal communication skills. Who survives and how many animals are slaughtered in this coastal melee?

Tarzan, King of the Jungle Aquaman, Challenge of the Superfriends




The Commentary

STEVE: This certainly is a perplexing match. On one hand, Aquaman can control creatures of the sea, and on the other hand, Tarzan can control creatures of the land. In the surf, both will be equally hindered.

I think the outcome of this match is going to come down to one solitary issue: Godzilla. Certainly any other creatures pale in comparison to him. He who controls Godzilla controls the Earth. So who controls Godzilla: Aquaman or Tarzan? Although there may be disagreements about this, I belive Aquaman has dominion over Godzilla. After all, in the cartoon Godzilla, the great beast comes "up from the depths."

Tarzan will yell out with his battle cry, and scores of animals will be at his side, stretching from horizon to horizon. The gathering is of such a magnitude that scenes from "The Lion King" pale in comparison. They will face Aquaman, who stands alone, the surf lapping at his green legs. Tarzan yells again, and the jungle creatures move forward, all intent on destroying the helpless Aquaman. But Wait! A mighty tremor rocks the Earth, and out of a foaming mass of water behind Aquaman appears Godzilla. Godzilla lets out his characteristic screech, and scorches many of the animals with his fiery breath. Next, Aquaman calls in millions of man-eating pirhanas as well, which eliminate any who may have escaped Godzilla's wrath. In the ensuing panic, the spooked animals trample Tarzan in an effort to escape, killing him in the process. Aquaman is victorious!

BRIAN: I'm usually very tolerant with your elaborate indulgances, Steve, but I'm afraid I have to call the bullshit on this one. First of all, Godzilla's in Japan, not the western Indian Ocean. Second, let's say he somehow makes it to Madagascar, but remember that he's a water-loving reptile, a la crocodiles! Both Aquaman and Tarzan can communicate with crocodiles, so it makes sense that they both can control Godzilla (and Godzookie, but that's a different discussion). Godzilla, getting commands from both men, will stand there, dumbfounded, with his finger up his smoking nostril. (Another possiblity is that getting yelled at by two people pisses him off and he toasts everybody, including Mr. Audubon and the cast of the Lion King, but that makes our discussion less interesting.)

The way I see it, you've got scores of animals coming in from both sides: The whales beach themselves and take out the elephants, hippos, and gorillas; the sharks and giant felines (lions and tigers, etc) eat each other; the snakes and sea snakes slither to a draw; the flying fish take care of any remaining primates, surface to air missile style. That leaves Tarzan and Aquaman one-on-one and, simply put, while Aquaman was a great athlete, he never won a gold medal. End of story. Tarzan in 45 minutes (after a 35 minute delay for flying animals/debris to calm down).

NOTE: Mr. Audubon is unable to make the call as the jungle birds, not used to being stared at, take exception and dive bomb him. He runs to the nearest phone booth, but it's not enough as they break through and peck out his eyes. Results are determined by avain crowd response.

STEVE: Although Godzilla will be the deciding factor, even without him, Aquaman will win. He will call millions of pirhana, barracuda, great white sharks, and Portugese men-o-war. The water will be teeming with them. They will utterly destroy the animal forces from the legs up, while being virtually untouchable themselves due to still being immersed in water themselves. This in itself will cause the great panic and trampling of Tarzan.

When the stampede is beginning, the birds hovering above will see that their hero, Audubon, is in trouble. They will descend in mass numbers and lift him out of danger. Unfortunately, they don't realize that Audubon has a phobia about heights, and he freaks out. In his violent flailing and screaming, they drop him into the surf below, where he and Tarzan spend their remaining minutes.

BRIAN: Sigh. Sometimes you just don't THINK, Steve! First of all, I already pointed out that the sharks would be eaten by the lions and tigers (and vice versa). Pirhana are not salt-water fish (sure Aquaman can talk to them, but he can't talk them out of their habitat!). Tarzan eats barracuda for breakfast. Man-O-War are but a mere annoyance. It should be clear that the animals will cancel each other out, and only Tarzan and Aquaman will remain. And, as I stated before, end of story.

The Results

Tarzan (274)


Aquaman (250)

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Voter Comments

My friends, you forgot one important factor. If we can assume Godzilla can make it to this little luau, what about King Kong? Yes, that's right, King Kong. Though the great lizzard from the sea can breath smoke and fire, he has never seen an ape as big as himself. We all know Godzilla's a nice sort of fella, but he doesn't have much upstairs. Kinda dumb, you know. King Kong, however, is closer to us on the evolutionary ladder. Tarzan will have no problem making King Kong take advantage of Godzilla's momentary dumbfounded state. King Kong will walk into the water and punch 'zilla in the throat (rendering his fire breathing useless) -- then it will be a gimme for Kong. Godzilla, with his stubby little arms will be able to do NOTHING as King Kong tears him to pieces. All the while, Aquaman will be wading into deeper water, where it will mysteriously get warmer (as he realizes his death is impending.)

Tarzan. No question.

- Christopher


I admire your astute observations concerning the animals of the sea and land cancelling each other out, leaving Aquaman and Tarzan mano a mano. I agree with this analysis and will now address my comments to the combatants.

Tarzan, much of an athlete as he is, simply cannot overcome the one aspect of this match which will ensure his demise: the location. You specify that the match must take place in the surf between 2 and 4 feet of water. You do not limit them to having their heads above water at all times or any other limitation other than trying to get back into the water. Now, as we all know, AQUAman gets off on cavorting in the ocean, and, even though it is only 2 to 4 feet of the stuff, it IS still the ocean. Once the match starts, Aquaman darts beneath the surface, pulling Tarzan's feet from under him. Tarzan immediately seeks out his prey, intent on applying his version of Rick Rude's DDT. However, his muscular attributes are better suited to wrestling tigers and swinging on vines, so Aquaman can literally swim circles around him, wearing down Tarzan's stamina. By the 2nd round, Aquaman will be able to strike at will, eventually leading to an exhausted, bleeding Tarzan.

Mr. Audobon, being deathly afraid of the ocean, will only be able to see bursts of bubbles coming up from the bottom until Aquaman drags Tarzan's sorry ass up to the shore, whereupon he proceeds to throw Jane to the sand and give her the Big Moray Eel doggy-style.

And thank yeew fer yoor sapport...

- Greg A Kudlac

Whew! This was a tough one! Actually, as stated in your commentary, NO ONE screws with Godzilla! He wouldn't stand there with a finger up his nose, he'd come a stompin' over there and "atomic breath" the two morons who'd dare to interrupt his slumber! Sheesh! Winner: Godzilla. However, that wan't one of the choices.

Now we'd have to ask ourselves who would win between Tarzan and Aquaman. It is compelling that the land animals may have an edge over the aquatic ones (more of those landlubbers can survive in 4 feet of water), but remember those beaching whales. Also one must remember that Aquaman is part of the Justice League of America so he must be one tough cookie. Okay, so Robin appeared here too... Anyway, he could wimp out and turn on his Super Friends beeper and call his OTHER friends to help him. Now Superman against an elephant? That's more like it!

Okay Tarzan has his blade, but he doesn't have the A man's duds! Also no vines near this shore. Aquaman wins after a tough fight.

Animal carnage will be high. However, in the Godzilla scenario, there would no longer be that coastline.

- Yves Sakai

The way I see it is that aquaman has the ability to call up the most intelligent dolphin in the waters. Yes, that is flipper. They could talk about defense tactics as well as offensive tactics. Then there is JAWS. All jaws has to do is stay out where the water is about 5 feet deep and wait for tarzan to be flung as to him. WHo will save tarzan? Cheetah, not likely. Then there are the many other fun things in the ocean such as electric eels, stinging jellyfish, ink squirting octopi, and the incredible Mr. Limpid with his sonic blasting voice. Tarzan never stood a chance.

- Tim Motoh

Both call their hordes of animals, who fight among themselves. Whilst Tarzan is distracted by the battle for control of Godzilla, Aquaman pulls out his ace - everyone has forgotten that Aquaman can control battle scarred Grudge Match veteran, Flipper. The crazed dolphin barrels into the back of Tarzan's legs, knocking him down. Aquaman then gets a whale to lie on Tarzan - remember, whilst he's underwater, Tarzan can't let out his mighty yell. Soon enough, the jungle animals have forgotten what they came for, and Aquaman wins by a drowning.


You are forgetting a very important factor. Once Aquaman summons Godzilla, Tarzan will just summon King Kong who I'm sure is related to that side-kick chimp he had on the show. After the mandatory destruction of some pathetic model Japanese city, all that is left is the two combatants. Here's how it will go...Aquaman gets two sharks to bite tarzan's legs off, then tarzan gets a small fluffy lap dog to yap repeatedly until Aquaman and Dr. Audoubon kill each other in a suicidal solution.

-- R. Lee

Aquaman is the clear victor here, for the following reason:

1)HOME COURT ADVANTAGE: They're fighting on Madagascar, an island! There are very few secondary and tertiary predators on Madagascar, and the monkeys there are those saucer-eyed squirrel-sized lemurs. All they'd be useful for is for throwing walnuts at Aquaman ala the Smurfs. Aquaman, on the other hand, is definitely in his element. Lots of tasty fish to distract any birds Tarzan might call? Right offshore! School of Tiger Sharks? No problem! (Now, if the battle took place offshore of the Congo, Tarzan would have a chance.)

Tarzan - food for the sharks in five minutes.

- Rob Kazmierczak, University of Wisconsin-Madison

Well, being a major fan of Super Friends I would have to say that neither could control The Wonder Twins as they retain full control of their actions no matter what they become.

- Phillip Jaros

First of all, the male wonder-twin - Jayce? - can only turn into objects based on WATER. I suppose he COULD turn into some sort of ice-fish, but usually he turned into really USEFUL things like waves or puddles of water ...

As to whether the female wonder-twin - Jayna? - would be controllable by Aquaman when she's turned into an animal - I don't think so. I believe - but don't remember the reference - that Aquaman can only control sea animals of EARTHLY origin. Jayce and Jayna are of alien origin, so their minds shouldn't be susceptible to Aquaman's telepathy.

- Bradley Rosser

Aquaman has the SUPER STRENGTH that only someone with Atlantaen Blood (so he's only half, sue me) can have (he gets a little weaker out of water, but he's fighting in the surf!)

My call: Aquaman tears the little Ape a new yodelling hole in five minutes then summons unholy terrors from the deepest darkest ocean chasms and becomes evil, killing the justice league and conquering the entire EARTH! Selling millions in comics too.


- The Man in Black

The way I see it, Aquaman has two main advantages (not including the Godzilla factor). He controls the largest mammals on earth, and he has true superpowers, compared to a simple human who happened to grow up in the jungle and have some animal friends. So all Aquaman has to do is to get a few large whales to do a body slam, and it'll all be over.

-Deep Thought

Tarzan spends the first half hour playing with Aquaman's beached whales while sending dogs to take care of Aquaman's shallow water sharks. Bored, he finally calls up the fiercest animal to ever exist, Wolverine, who makes quick work of Aquaman, who works for Wolverine's archrival, DC Comics.


The animals will not make any difference here because they will cancel each other out or simply be unable to reach the combatants as they duke it out in the surf. No, animals will NOT be the determining factor. Fanboys will.

Let's face it, the only force in the universe that has kept these two characters alive in comics, television, and movies has been the legion of crazed fanboys who are blissfully unaware that 1) They have no lives or social skills or they would not be sitting around relentlessly following the adventures of fictional characters, and 2) Because of their lack of said lives (including sexual or emotional partners of any kind), they are using these guys dressed in skin-tight animal hides or spandex as sources of homoerotic satisfaction. I mean, really, do girls or women watch these movies or follow these cartoons, comic books, etc.? Not really. It's the legions of lonely, emotionally- and sexually-deprived fanboys who keep these things going. Seriously now, does any man go to a Tarzan movie to see if Jane is pretty? In the last Tarzan movie, did you even *care* about the actress who played Jane? Can you even name her?

Having admitted to this essential truth, let's go back and review the encounter. First off, Aquaman is wearing too many clothes for the best homoerotic thrill. I mean, the guy's got a shirt and it's orange! Furthermore, he'd want you to hang out under water. Now that's a turn-on for some of us, but I suspect that most fanboys have not reached a sufficient state of sexual awareness to know about this possibility. Moral: they won't want, consciously or subconsciously, to make it with this aquaguy. Now Tarzan's in a leopardskin brief, and we all know that leopardskin has been a major feature of the Frederick's of Hollywood catalogue (also a major source of pleasure for sexually-deprived men) since lo, these many ages past. Tarzan has no shirt--just rippling chest muscles that the fanboys yearn to possess, in every sense of the word.

Second, Tarzan's track record among the fanboys is far better. He's been in the original series of books by E.R. Burroughs, he's been in the movies, he's been in cartoons, and he's had a tv series, not to mention his own comic book series off and on. Now poor Aquaman has been mainly in the comic books, but only intermittently, and he's mainly been one of an ensemble cast in a cartoon series. He's just not fanboy star quality-- more of a bit player or a supporting character.

Third, fanboys are land animals. That means that Tarzan controls them, not Aquaman. When all the nonhuman animals have ground each other into paste on that beach, the hordes of raging fanboys called up by Tarzan will rend Aquaman limb from scaly limb. Thus, the outcome is completely clear--Tarzan in whatever time is needed for the fanboys to mob the beach, kill Aquaman, and turn their attentions to Tarzan....

- JM Massi, WSU Dept. of English, Pullman, WA

The creators of WWWF Grudge Match would like to make it clear that this battle was picked simply because of its entertainment value. Neither of us are big fans of either participant. We do, however, enjoy an occasional Frederick's of Hollywood catalogue. - Eds.

There's no way Aquaman can beat Tarzan. For one thing, Aquaman was nothing more than a cartoon character, while Tarzan has not only been played by Johnny Weissmuller, an Olympic swimmer, but also by Chistopher Lambert, who was later in Highlander. So all Tarzan really needs to do is arrange to slice off Kurgan's head at the lagoon, utter "There can be only one," and KABOOM the entire lagoon blows up, leaving Aquaman and his fishy friends as Long John Silver platters.

- rich

I think that the control of Godzilla should be conceded to Aquaman, since he spends all of his time in the water when he is not trashing Tokyo. However, you both seem to have forgotten King Kong, who would unquestionably be controlled by Tarzan. If I remember the movie correctly, King Kong defeated Godzilla after a mighty battle.

I agree that all of the lesser animals and fish would probably cancel each other out, but once Kong sends Godzilla to a watery grave, it would be he and Tarzan vs. a lone and defenseless fish-boy.

Tarzan in 2 hours (I think that's how long the King Kong vs. Godzilla movie lasted. . .).

One other scenerio that wasn't mentioned was that Aquaman was buddies with all of the Super Friends, while Tarzan only had Jane. No matter how many animals were called in, I don't think they could stop Superman, Batman, The Flash, etc. While Wonder Woman kept Jane busy, The Super Friends would mop up Tarzan and his beastly minions.

Aquaman in about 2 seconds.

- Daniel Gardner

well guys, i had to vote for tarzan in this case. its not really because i think he's better, but because aquaman is totally pointless. he looks stupid, like robin, still in the tights and ugly color scheme (orange and green!), the new beard doesnt help but most of all... he talks to fish! hes not even cool and surly like the sub-mariner, who for years kept trying to destroy new york. he just talks to the damn fish.

- cpt kangarooski

I believe the decision will be decided on color. The full-color Aquaman has a decided advantage over the B&W Tarzan, as he can see and evaluate a broader spectum of light. This clear, slim advantage will allow him to better evaluate the on-going battle, and use his water-minion more effectively. Tarzan will be stunned and confused by the unanticipated sensory clutter and will be a sitting duck for king of the deep.


See, what you guys failed to realize is that Aquaman, as he is now, has a big whaling spear attached to one of his hands. (Don't believe me, check out any recent issue.) While Tarzan was busy fretting over the deaths of his precious land animals (the new, harder Aquaman wouldn't be bothered by the loss of such a small percentage of the sea life) Aquaman would be dissecting 'Zan limb by limb, slowly feeding him to the aquatic carnivores of the area. Aquaman in 10 minutes, 3 hours if you consider the digestion time involved.

- Bill Williams

Since the physical prowess of Tarzan and Aquaman are both negligible compared to the might of the animals they control, it is on these animals that their fate rests.

Tarzan can summon tigers, elephants, and other such jungle animals. The largest, the elephants, will wade through the two-foot surf as if it wasn't there. If Tarzan is allowed to ride them within this zone, the advantage shifts even more in his favor (Aquaman will have to take down the elephant in order to even reach Tarzan).

Aquaman can summon an even fiercer array of sea life; sharks, squid, whales, jellyfish (laugh if you must! Jellyfish are *dangerous*!) and other nasties. BUT!

there is a huge but here! where the shallow water barely hinders Tarzan's elephants and tigers, it's fatal for Aquaman's big guns! the whales will beach themselves, drawing hundreds of environmentalists down on him. The sharks will be confined to that thin layer of water; bad for the tigers, who must fight them directly, but the elephants are mostly out of reach. The sharks can only attack the elephant's legs, and all the while evading attack from above. Squid would be a definite threat, if it hadn't rushed so quickly to Aquaman's aid and exploded from the pressure differences coming up from the depths. Jellyfish would be a threat, but since Tarzan is riding the elephants (with thick skin, resistant to their poisons), there's not much they can do either.

With his allies fighting a desperate losing holding action against Tarzan's mighty elephants and tigers, Aquaman will be forced to the limit of the fighting area and then gored and trampled to death by Tarzan's mount.

- Bryan Derksen

P.S. Godzilla can't save Aquaman. He's fictional, for goodness sake! be reasonable.

Sure the Godzilla argument is interesting, but the true deciding factor is the Krackon of "Clash of the Titans" fame. A true water beast, the only thing proven to beat him is Medusa and that LA Law guy, neither of which is controlled by Tarzan.

The Krackon will be summoned by Aquaman, and no land animal is going to be able to neutralize him. The Krackon will mangle Tarzan's helpless body and make him a mid-day snack. The result, Aquaman in 15 minutes.

Of course, after Aquaman wins, the sea god Neptune will be so enraged at the way his creature has been abused, he will have the Krackon turn on Aquaman and eat him too. So, Aquaman wins the match, but loses out in the end. The moral, don't piss off the Gods.

- Jon-o

As I see it, Jane is the deciding factor in all of this, ultimately leading to a hands down win by the Jungle Man himself. Just as the two combatants have rallied all the known animals within a hundred miles or so, out walks Jane. She is annoyed at Tarzan, as usual, for paying attention to animals, at her expense.

Enraged, she throws an estrogen-injected tantrum, scaring the hell out of all the animals around, causing them to bolt and flee back to their domains. Aquaman, mistaken by Jane as being one of Tarzan's drunken friends, is suddenly the target of her rantings, and decides that nothing is worth the hassle! Needless to say, Aquaman leaves and gives Tarzan the victory.

Later that night, Tarzan, in an embarassed state, tries to contact Aquaman for a re-match at an undisclosed place. Aquaman simply laughs, says something about Tarzan being pussy-whipped and hangs up the phone.

- Bryon Thur

Geeze! This one is a no-brainer. Tarzan by a mile. First off, look at the combatants: Tarzan is lord of the jungle and he exudes self-confidence. Aquaman? The guy communicates with fish. My uncle used to do that, before his retirement to te happy Dale Sanitarium. Secondly, look at what the combatants are wearing: Tarzan wears a leopard skin loincloth; this shows he's brave enough to take on militant anti-fur fanatics. Aquaman is dressed like a radioactive neoprene leprechaun... Who are the babes from Baywatch more likely to carry off to their orgiastic rituals? Tarzan; you can bet the farm on it.


Tarzan, being a sporting kind of guy tells his animal friends to go have a latte on him, he'll join them when he's done with "fishboy". Tarzan grabs onto the nearest available vine and lunges toward Aquaman with a roundhouse-type kick to the throat. Aquaman is on the ground gasping for breath and flapping like one of his fish buddies out of water. Tarzan manly steps over the injured Aquaman and removes his neoprene mask to reveal the darkest secret of the Superfriends: Aquamna is actually Bernard P. Fife, who myteriously disappeared from Mayberry after the "Jimmy Hoffa" episode aired.


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Tasmanian Devil v. Paul Bunyan
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