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The Handicapper's Guide to the Fall Crown Tournament AS XXXVii
(Actually, AS XXXVIII — but who's counting?)

As the sun rises on Trimaris City, somewhere, deep in his cabin, a king plans. Somehow he will find a hero suitable to replace him upon his Throne Of Trimaris, the very seat of power for the entire kingdom. But how, he ponders? Like a bolt from the azure sky it strikes him — I shall challenge to do battle upon the Field of Tournament. These combatants will discard their secret disguises and fight in their true superhuman forms! Here is how the top 10 will finish:

Superheroes

Captain America (Sir Cadwyd Enwir) Chance of Victory: Unearthly
After years of denying his right to the Throne, Cadwyd has decided to take up the Captain's shield and take his shot at being the Greatest Trimarian Hero. His physique gives away the speed and power he possesses, but his ego does not. Does this Trimarian Mounty have the edge required to take it that final step? I say he does.
Abilities: The Super-Soldier formula that he has metabolized has enhanced all of his bodily functions to the peak of human efficiency.
Weakness: Just as Captain America was defeated on occasion due to his Boy Scout nature, Cadwyd has been known to give away a fight he owns due to his overzealous sense of fair play.

Batman (Duke Solomon Spite) Chance of Victory: Unearthly
OK, so the obvious choice would be Spiderman, go ahead, tell me you wouldn't have taken it. But Batman, or traditionally, The Batman, was never given any super powers, he spent years training his strength and speed to hyper-normal levels. He also has a dark brooding side the chicks always dug, it's why Superman was secretly jealous of him. Solomon, a two-time Champion of Triskele City, has seen and done it all. Will he take back the throne? Just like with The Batman, only if he really wants to.
Abilities: Batman has increased strength and agility and he has developed a unique fighting style that makes full use of his agility, strength, and equilibrium.
Weakness: Solomon has nothing to prove, which wasn't the case for most of his life. Could it possibly dull his edge? Tune in tomorrow, same Bat time, Same Bat channel.

Wolverine (Duke Llywelyn ap Cadwaladr ap Dafydd ap Hewyl)
Chance of Victory: Monstrous
Llewelyn has defied many odds in the past; stronger opponents, mundane distraction, loss of hair pigment, and come out victorious. Like Wolverine he has been counted down before, only to come back and fight harder and longer than men almost half his age. Sometimes the Welshman takes to the field without intent, just content to placate his desire for combat. However, when he has purpose the claws come out and someone is going to pay the penalty, and it may or may not be quick but it will be final.
Abilities: Wolverine possesses heightened senses, making him capable of sensing things at a maximum distance greater than that of a normal human. He can use these enhanced senses to track anyone, with an impressive degree of success. He possesses retractable adamantium claws that are housed in his forearms; they are part of his skeleton system.
Weakness: Llywelyn was a man who above all viewed Kingship as the pinnacle of the SCA, and if he desires it again, few can stand in his way; but, like Wolverine, he has had outside distractions that may do what the contestants could not.

The Punisher (Duke Mittion von Weald) Chance of Victory: Amazing
Frank Castle was just a regular guy who, through a series of events, became a killing machine. At first it seemed against his nature, but after a while it seemed second nature to see him killing someone. Mittion is a quiet man who over the years has become feared on the field for his ability to deal punishment to those who oppose him. If he ever trades in the Mullet for a flattop, look out. Now that he has such reputable inspiration at his side, he could do just what he's honed himself to do: be the last man standing.
Abilities: The Punisher possesses the normal human strength of a man of his age, height, and build who engages in intensive regular exercise. The Punisher has single-handedly incapacitated up to a dozen well-armed and experienced opponents in a single encounter and escaped uninjured.
Weakness: What may stop Mittion in his tracks is simply the incredible quality and depth of the entrants in the tournament. These are warriors who have beaten each other, and today's victor may be tomorrow's runner-up.

Heroes

Bullseye (Sir Kaine Ashburne) Chance of Victory: Incredible
While fighting Kaine sometimes you'll be hit by shots you didn't even know he threw, all you know is part of you is sore, or your head is ringing. Like Bullseye, his shots are quick, and extremely accurate and deadly, and just like Bullseye you'll have to listen to him the entire time you're fighting. Just like the rattan he's hitting you with, he is both sharp and blunt at the same time. He also has the added incentive of Countess Teresa who is both inspirational through love and faith, and will smack him if he doesn't make her Queen.
Abilities: Any object, from a knife to a playing card, becomes a deadly weapon in the skilled hands of the man who could be the world's greatest assassin.
Weakness: A strong field that has gotten used to lefthanders, and won't wait to hear his punchlines to swing.

Daredevil (Sir Kurn O'Farrell) Chance of Victory: Incredible
Kurn believes the philosophy of better fighting through sensitivity, which is almost like having heightened senses. Although not as acrobatic as old hornhead, Kurn moves around pretty well in the field, and though never the victor, has shown a particular affinity for success in Crown.
Abilities: Daredevil possesses the normal human strength of a man his age, height, and build who engages in intensive regular exercise. Daredevil's five sense are heightened to beyond that of even superhumanly enhanced sense.
Weakness: Kurn's weakness is going to be whatever has kept him from winning in the past. Was it a particular match-up? Was it nerves? Was it lack of desire? I don't know, but I think it will apply again, but not until late, as usual.

The Thing (Jarl Stromek Bo Comatan) Chance of Victory: Remarkable
Big, strong, and capable of triggering "Clobberin' Time" at any moment. Like Big Orange, Stromek can tussle with anyone out there, be they strong, fast, agile, whatever. Does the Fantastic Four have a Danger Room to train in, like the X-Men? I guess we'll find out soon. Is he driven to bring home the Crown? I guess we'll find that out too. My guess is there will be some clobbering, but no title this time.
Abilities: The Thing possesses superhuman strength, endurance, and durability.
Weakness: The Thing always seemed to excel when truly inspired. Will that inspiration be there today? It's not for me to say.

Juggernaut (Sir Cedric of Dorchester) Chance of Victory: Excellent
Abilities & Weakness: The Juggernaut possesses untold power, mystical in nature, which enhances his strength to an as yet unknown degree and makes him a seemingly irresistible, unstoppable being. Once he begins to walk in a certain direction, no obstacle or force on Earth has been observed to be able to stop him. Apparently, only he can stop himself.
I put the Abilities first for Cedric, because they were so appropriate. He gets untold power from the inspiration his lady and his land bring him, but just like Juggernaut he can be, and has only been, stopped by himself. Only once he allows himself victory will it come.

The Beast (Knight-Elect Judah ben Issach) Chance of Victory: Excellent
Judah demonstrates great strength and endurance by fighting well after nights, nay days, of legendary partying. He has the extra added motivation of fighting in Crown the day before being knighted, and perhaps will be inspired by another hero of yore, Count Arlof, who took the Crown right before being elevated. Will this hell-hound use his big primate arms to brachiate through the tournament?
Abilities: The Beast has superhuman strength, agility, endurance, speed and dexterity.
Weakness: He has the distraction of his vigil and knighthood staring him dead in the face. This could derail his royal plans.

Sabretooth (Count Treve Morningstar) Chance of Victory: Good
With Sabretooth's superhuman regenerative powers, Treve has proven that little can keep him down for long. Never was another found that fought two weeks after fracturing both ankles. He has returned to the list field after years of dedication to the light weapons, which may have improved his accuracy and patience, two areas that have held him back in the past. He also has a championship in his past.
Abilities: Sabretooth can regenerate damaged or destroyed areas of his cellular structure at a rate far greater than that of an ordinary human being.
Weakness: This is not a field that can be pushed through with raw power. His skills would excel against a different cast of opponents.

Sinister Comics, as a satire publisher, shall be held free from all lawsuits, harassment, and attacks from Marvel Comics, The Quarter, and/or the entrants in Crown. To contact the complaint department, e-mail kissmyass@biteme.com. For other comments or compliments, please give gifts of cash and/or other valuables. And remember, always gamble more than you can afford to lose. Otherwise, it's not really gambling, is it?



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