Everyone loves a powerful woman; even better, one that keeps getting stronger and stronger. And today, there's two of them!
Season four's seventh episode offers two heroic blonde brawlers with all manner of energy attacks being pitted against one another. The hosts will pit a near limitless supply of ki against a capacity for massive cosmic power, decades of hardwired experience against years of personal training, for as both Android 18 and Captain Marvel have proven themselves to be world-class protectors and warriors of their home worlds, only the stronger of the two will make it to the end of a death battle.
Wiz and Boomstick kick the episode off with the rundown of Android 18, who, in the world of Dragon Ball, was originally a human girl named Lazuli, living in the Age 763, when the Saiyan Goku led a motley crew of warriors to protect the earth from the genocidal tyrant Freiza, but the peace the world was blessed with was not for long. In three years' time, a figure from the future known as Trunks came with a dire warning; Dr. Gero, lead scientist of the defeated Red Ribbon Army, would seek revenge on Goku for toppling his military force, and would use Lazuli and her brother Lapis as the crux of his operations. The siblings would be reconstructed and given cybernetic implants and became his first human-android creations and his seventeenth and eighteenth projects overall, hence their monikers of Androids 17 and 18. The two androids, both juvenile delinquents when they were human, still retained some of that defiant nature and murdered Gero. After this, both went about embarking on their intended purpose of destroying the world, but an encounter with Goku and the Z-Fighters led them to deviate from their intended course; Android 18 in particular would join the group on their myriad outings.
It remains without doubt that Android 18's presence amidst the Z-Fighters is a welcomed one. Gero's decades of experience working in the Red Ribbon Army were part of the implants and programming instilled into the siblings, and to compound it, she possesses mechanical enhanced senses to help her keep track of her surroundings. Compounding this is other augmentations to her being, physically capable to casually hit foes into solid walls and channeling the quasi-mystical life force known as ki into beams of energy that have been proven as powerful enough to destroy whole continents. Such beams, ranging from the impenetrable Infinity Bullets to the Destructo Disc buzzsaw and the wide area of effect Photon Strike, as well as her flight capabilities, are all powered by Android 18's near-limitless supply of ki; in fact, one of her preferred battle plans is to let her enemy waste their supply of ki and exhaust themselves before defeating them with minimal effort. And yet, the android whom once was Lazuli still has much more to offer, namely in her capacity to absorb the energy of others and amplify her own powers with it.
Between the myriad ki techniques bestowed upon her and her implants courtesy of Gero, Android 18 is quite the challenging foe. With her ki augmenting her body, she has proven herself to be capable of keeping up with Super Saiyans achieving flight at well over 300,000 mph and broken fellow Z-Fighter Vegeta's arm; the latter point is of note in that at that point in the series, Vegeta had undertaken training in gravity 450 times stronger than earth, weighing tens of thousands of pounds in the process. However, Android 18 is not a perfect combatant; Gero, fearing the Android siblings' rebellious nature would lead to them overcoming their programming, also readied a remote device that would shut them down. Though with this weakness in check, facing Android 18 is a much more imposing obstacle that very few have attempted and fewer still have cleared.
- Android 18: I know I'm being hard on you, but it's the only way you'll learn.
From that, the point of conversation shifts to Captain Marvel, one of many to bear the title, and specifically, the Carol Danvers incarnation of the hero. Originally a Bostonian native, Carol was the eldest of three children, and joined the Air Force to pay her way through college, reaching the position of serving Air Force intelligence and being hired by NASA. It would be here that Carol's turn takes a journey towards the fantastic, as she encountered a galactic battle between the Kree aliens and a hero who turned renegade against them, the alien Mar-Vell, who adopted the mantle of Captain Marvel. During the battle between Mar-Vell and the Kree, Carol was caught in the explosion of a Kree device known as the psyche-magnitron, which bestowed the former Air Force colonel with cosmic power. Her genes and Mar-Vell's combined, the NASA employee would take on the life of a superheroine, jumping through numerous alieses before the original Mar-Vell succumbed to cancer, and with his passing, Carol took on the mantle of Captain Marvel in his memory.
Not only did Carol gain Mar-Vell's genes and name, but also many of his Kree powers. Her training in the Air Force and her membership with heroic supergroup the Avengers have both supplied the new Captain Marvel with years of combat training, and after her run-in with the psyche-magnitron, she can absorb any matter of energy to amplify her own skillset, comprised primarily of flight, concussive energy blasts, and forming protective barriers around herself. Combining these traits lends itself to a number of impressive feats; Carol has a striking force recorded as 92 tons of force and has broken the speed of sound 240 times over. That said, Carol has a trump card at her disposal; a long and bizarre turn of events has led her to unlocking the powers of her Binary form, which she can still access by absorbing enough energy. In Binary form, Carol has energy output equivalent to a star and can tap into a white hole in the process.
Although powerful on a cosmic scale, Captain Marvel is not without her faults. It requires an immense amount of energy to reach Binary form and cannot be sustained for long. On another note, Carol is stubborn and headstrong to a fault, rushing into situations without any heed to the consequences that would ensue. But when those flaws are kept in line, Captain Marvel is one of the Marvel universe's premiere heroines, having handled outings on the earthly and cosmic realm, and still able to come out on top.
- Captain Marvel: (repeatedly punches a polycephalic alien in both faces before knocking it skyward with a double uppercut) Anybody else?
The combatants have been given their fair rundowns and analyses. One advertisement for the Blue Apron cooking service later, and now, it's time for a death battle!
A vast barren canyon on the badlands of a desert is the opening shot, a squirrel perched atop a leafless tree. A comet of pure light startles the rodent before the ensuing sonic boom knocks it off its surroundings. The comet leaps and bounds across the plateaus dotting the landscape, as Android 18, Dr. Gero's personal creation, rushes through the desert; her target, another tree, in the distance. As she closes the gap, Carol Danvers, current holder of the Captain Marvel title, eyes an orange sphere with a red star in it, nestled in the tree's branches. While Carol insists the Dragon Ball come with her for safekeeping, the woman once known as Lazuli insists it belongs to her. Captain Marvel ascends to the sky, cosmic energy surrounding her fists, and Android 18 is all too ready to handle the threat that now faces her.
Though Carol lunges at the android and throws a straight jab, only the air is disturbed by her blow, getting kneed in her back in what becomes the first blow of the match. The former Air Force colonel does her best to fight Android 18 on an even ground, but a good punch does little to stop her foe, who hurls Carol skyward and smashes her into solid ground with an overhead slam. A frantic chase ensues as streaks of red and white dart about one another, filling the afternoon sky with flashes of light. Android 18 spirals in front of the cosmic heroine and charges into her with a shoulder tackle, Carol's trajectory halted midflight.
Captain Marvel uses this time to channel more cosmic energy into herself, unleashing it in a beam that Android 18 narrowly dodges; in the process, Lazuli leaves herself open to a plummeting strike that she barely rebounds off of, the pair reflecting kicks and punches off one another. Once the heroines regain their footing, the duel continues, pummels landing as the two travel the landscape faster than any eye could hope to conceive. Android 18 soon tires of the match, grabbing Carol by the hair and flinging her into a plateau, then knocking her into the same tree that started the conflict.
While assured of her victory for a moment, Captain Marvel calls out Android 18 on her underhanded tactics before resuming the fight. A number of Infinity Bullets being dodged later, and the android lets loose a massive beam of energy that engulfs the Avenger. The end result, however, sees the captain absorbing the ray, unleashing her Binary form, and to demonstrate its power, she shatters most of the plateau in a single punch, raining debris the pelts Gero's creation and leaves her open to a flying kick.
As Binary and Android 18 continue to block and dodge blows, a colossal slab of rock left from the plateau begins plummeting, the pair caught in its shadow. Android 18 fires off a Destructo Disc to carve it in half, and behind it waits Carol. Charging up the power she still has, Captain Marvel releases her own pure ray of energy, cackling at her foe's assumed demise. But her mirth gives way to awe, as Android 18 stands in the crater, cloaked in a brilliant aura. Lazuli barrels towards the NASA pilot, launching a kick that knocks the wind out of her, a second to break her arm, a third to make the other match, and a final overhead hook to initiate her descent into the same crater. Out of breath and panting from her wounds, Captain Marvel feels her Binary form fading, but still certain she can turn the match around; any hopes of fulfilling that are cut short with a final kick from the android that caves in her skull, never to hear Android 18's final satisfactiorial comment.
Captain Marvel's blood steadily flows down the Dragon Ball, coating it in a thick red gloss as Android 18 studies her corpse briefly and saunters off. While the Avenger was one of Marvel's premiere cosmic champions, she was horribly outclassed by Android 18's personal expertise. Comparing their speed, Carol's speed of reaching from the heart of New York City to the barest reaches of outer space are clocked at Mach 247, or 200,000 mph, which Lazuli could exceed almost twice over. Likewise, the strongest of Captain Marvel's feats pale in comparison to what Android 18 has proven herself as capable of; even her Binary form was taken down by alien artillery, and that's assuming 18 would be willing to let Carol absorb that much power to enable her transformation, being no stranger herself to enemies who absorb others' energy. Both combatants are indisputably held in high regard, but Captain Marvel is held by all the same things Android 18 surpasses.
- Boomstick: And that's why Captain Marvel lost by T.Ki.O.! God, that one was awful.
Wiz: The winner is Android 18!
Android 18 vs. Captain Marvel contains examples of:
- By the Hair: Used by Android 18 to hurl Captain Marvel into the plateau that started the fight; which she is quickly called on doing.
- Call-Back: The speed calculation of Goku's Snake Way marathon is used to help calculate Android 18's speed.
- Combat Pragmatist: Near the end of the fight, to make sure Captain Marvel doesn't get back up, Android 18 breaks both of her arms before going for the killing blow.
- Designated Girl Fight: The first one of the season as well.
- Energy Absorption: A power shared by both of the combatants and used to No-Sell each other's attacks though Wordof God admits that Android 18 cannot actually do this, it does not make much difference to the overall result.
- Lame Pun Reaction: Even Boomstick himself is appalled by the awful quality of his usual end-of-episode one-liner.
- Non-Indicative Name: Wiz points out that, as Lapis and Lazuli were both humans before Gero's experimentations, they should technically be referred to as cyborgs rather than androids.