Last week, we saw the Hulk kicking Gladiator's tushie all over the landscape. Well, the rules of this bout of Friday Night Fights--REPEAT--REHASH--REVENGE require me to re-use one of those two this week.
So, let's travel back in time, to an earlier Gladiator appearance. He's been chasing a band of Skrulls to Earth, and thanks to their skullduggery (Skrullduggery??), he's a might bit confused, and believes that the Fantastic Four are all Skrulls.
Gladiator whoops their butts pretty good, and goes on to get into a tussle with the X-Men, Spider-Man and Captain America (SPOILER ALERT: The X-Men are really the Skrulls!).
While that's going on, Reed has begun to piece together some clues about Gladiator's seemingly unstoppable powers:
So, when things are at their most dire, Reed decides to go strechy-mano-a-mano with Gladiator:
And now, of course, it's time for the explanation of how Reed could take on Gladiator. Answer?
D'oh!! It was really Captain America!!
See, you thought it was Reed vs. Gladiator, didn't you? Didn't you?? Pwned!! Spacebooger probably saw through my charade, though...
This was back in Fantastic Four #250 (1983), by John Byrne, John Byrne and John Byrne. And I'm like to note this: remember how everyone thought it was so cool when Mark Waid posited a psionic rationale for all of Plutonian's powers in Irredeemable? Byrne was there first, 28 years earlier, using Marvel's Superman analogue Gladiator to explain how pre-Crisis Kal-El's powers must have "really" worked. I'm just sayin.'
You certainly don't have to vote for my fight this week. But think about this: I just showed you how Reed Richards could beat Superman using only his mind (with a little help from Cap & Sue). Who else gives you that? S0 go vote!