Death Battle is a Youtube series put together by the channel Screw Attack. Long have debates of the form "Astronaut versus Caveman" persisted across the internet with no central authority to address them, but no longer! Death Battle pits fictional characters from different settings against each other. It sounds impossible, how can fictional characters be compared fairly when they operate according to entirely different rules? The Death Battle team carefully analyzes (and I really do mean carefully) both contenders, weighing their powers, skills, and gear against each other to determine who has the edge. The show is hosted by the comedic duo of Wiz and Boomstick who narrate everything but the actual fight.

It follows a consistent format: both combatants are introduced, compared to and contrasted with the other, then one of them is reviewed with an explanation of their backstory, powers, and feats that lasts four to eight minutes. The other one gets the same treatment and then IT'S TIME FOR A DEATH BATTLE! Battles are animated affairs employing either 3D CGI or 2D flash animation. The early episodes are pretty ugly but they got better over time averaging somewhere between student project and low end professional work. Battles tend to occur in stages of escalation or testing different attacks and looking for an opening. Narrative causality says both combatants will end up using most of their moves during the course of the fight and the fight doesn't end until someone is dead. Once that happens Wiz and Boomstick summarize the fight and explain the what and why of the outcome. In general their conclusions are as sound as fights between fictional characters can be. Combatants are represented at their strongest and with the maximally effective load out, neither character has any prior knowledge of the other character, and any psychological aversions to killing are ignored though other psychological flaws that could influence the fight remain.

Death battle is currently in its third season with no sign of slowing down or stopping and it's had some pretty fantastic fights and guesses about the results of a fight run rampent in weeks leading up to it. Most if not all fights pit folk with thematic similarities against each other:

  • Batman vs Captain America has two characters lauded as the peak of human fitness and skill face off.
  • Mario vs Sonic the Hedgehog brings old rivals together in a fight decades in the making.
  • Harry Potter vs Luke Skywalker pits the two most iconic chosen ones against each other. There can be only one.
  • Robo Cop vs the Terminator, cybernetic death machines. Nuff said.
  • He-man vs Lion-O, you get the idea.
  • But their most popular/notorious video is without a doubt Goku vs Superman. The internet went nuts over it, in a storm of butthurt that demanded hundreds of response videos to explain exactly how wrong Screw Attack was. It was a real eye opener.

    As far as Youtube series go Death Battle has become a cultural icon with people theorizing about future match ups. While only time will tell I expect the series becoming a cultural fixture among millennial nerds.


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