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Packaged collage of a variety of of characters from video games, TV movies and animated movies

Who Would Win Week

A celebration of classic matchups and ones you’ve never considered

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Did Sonic really lose to Mario?

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The saga of Marvel’s highly debatable power-level cards

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A quixotic quest for the ultimate Dragon Ball power-level answers

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Years of Superman fighting Batman warped a symbol of hope into a villain

Daredevil fought a vacuum cleaner and learned a profound lesson

Behind the Samus-vs.-Master Chief video that spawned a timeless matchup

Meet the winner of our Ultimate Who Would Win Week Tournament

Winnie the Pooh vs. Paddington — who would win in a bear-off?

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Final Fantasy 7’s Tifa-vs.-Aerith war is unwinnable

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‘Who Would Win?’ is a wonderful vice that must be enjoyed responsibly

What if ... the Sailor Senshi went toe to toe with the MCU’s Avengers?

The ‘best Gilmore Girls boyfriend’ was never up for debate

It’s Spock against Riker in a battle of seconds-in-command

Which slime is the king of slimes, according to a scientist

Play

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Watch Tier Pressure, our high-impact ode to ranking stuff

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We drafted Looney Tunes basketball teams to pick the true Space Jam winner

The Dybbuk vs. the Golem, decided by Jewish scholars of every kind

James Bond vs. George Smiley — battle of the great British spies

Professor X vs. Magneto: Who’s the better sex ed teacher?

Who could win in a race, Dominic Toretto or Lightning McQueen?

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Anyone can beat Goku now

Tom Nook or Mayor Lewis — who’s the most ruthless leader?

Which Soulcalibur fighter could really defeat Yoda?

One change turned a longtime X-Men debate into Marvel’s greatest asset

Frickin’ Duke Nukem vs. Scorpion, who kicks more ass!!?!!!

Thanos vs. Darkseid is the story of a clone who surpassed his original

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The creator of Celebrity Deathmatch looks back at the versus show’s weirdest highlights

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The 25 greatest video game losers, ranked

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!