Wow! That went down to the wire! The compressed voting schedule of our tournament final made for an especially frantic contest, with Swamp Thing jumping out to an early lead, but Ghost Rider gradually reeling him in in the closing hours, thanks in no small part to friend-of-the-Longbox (and Ghost Rider fan) Sam King working Twitter overnight!
So impressed was I with Sam’s ballot-box stuffing that I left the polls open until this morning … but when I closed them just shy of 10:00 AM Pacific, Swamp Thing still took the win. By a single vote!
So there you have it. Swamp Thing triumphs (survives?) by the thinnest of margins, 51/49.
It is a fine time to celebrate Swamp Thing. Halloween is tomorrow, and the 27th of this month would have been the 71st birthday of the late, great, Bernie Wrightson. Go read a Swampy comic to celebrate! The indefatigable Mars Will Send No More showcases a bunch for you if you don’t have an original or reprint close to hand.
Thanks to everyone who voted in the tournament, weighed in through comments, and stumped for their candidates on Twitter. In the end, the favorite won … but we had some twists along the way, and you couldn’t have had a more thrilling final. I don’t know about you, but in the midst of a news cycle more terrifying than any Halloween horror, I appreciated the chance to get worked up about goofy comic book monsters a couple times every week. You guys are the best.
All hail Swamp Thing!
(And Ghost Rider, and Hellboy, and …)
The Final Bracket:
TOMORROW: Happy Halloween!
Our championship final is set! In our Final Four, Swamp Thing easily swatted aside Werewolf By Night, while Dracula recovered from Ghost Rider’s fast start to at least make a fight of it, but Ghost Rider prevailed in the end!
- Swamp Thing over Werewolf By Night 78/23
- Ghost Rider over Dracula 53/47
I felt a little bad for Dracula going down … but defeat is part of his DNA. He’s always getting staked or baked to ash, and always rising again. Dracula is the Comeback King. He’ll return soon enough to call us all “miserable clods” or “cretins” or “dolts.” (On second thought, maybe I don’t feel so bad for him, after all).
On to the title match! Get your votes in EARLY this time … unlike previous rounds, voting is open only through Tuesday night!
Here’s our bracket:
The Title Bout!
Swamp Thing vs. Ghost Rider: Our month-long tournament concludes with a DC vs. Marvel match-up! Swamp Thing has yet to be seriously tested in this tournament … is Ghost Rider the fiend to do it? Or will Ghost Rider’s skid marks terminate unceremoniously at the edge of the swamp?
Who ya got?
Remember to vote early. Polls close TUESDAY NIGHT — we want to get a result before Halloween.
TOMORROW: Marvel Value Stamps!
As wild as our first round was, the second round was all blowouts:
- Swamp Thing over Vampirella 77/23
- Werewolf over Solomon Grundy 70/30
- Ghost Rider over Hellboy 70/30
- Dracula over The Demon 63/37
No tie-breakers were necessary this time. I didn’t even promote the contests on Twitter because the eventual winners all jumped out to such a big lead — the will of the voters was clear!
This leaves us with a tasty, Bronze Age Final Four!
Here’s our bracket:
The Final Four!
Swamp Thing vs. Werewolf (By Night): Here is where we will see if the power of Longbox Graveyard Marvel Nostalgia can carry the day. Swamp Thing has been the tournament favorite from the jump, and among the monsters still standing, he is the most currently relevant character by far. But the Werewolf By Night has been the tourney’s Cinderella, following up his shockingly-easy first round defeat of Blade with an equally easy second-round dispatch of Solomon Grundy.
As a DC/Marvel face-off, I don’t have a legitimate Swamp Thing/Werewolf By Night battle to share, but this Bernie Wrightson/Len Wein image will get us close enough …
Who earns your vote for a trip to the finals?
Ghost Rider vs. Dracula: Ghost Rider (ahem) blazed into the Final Four after defeating critical darling Hellboy last round, while Dracula survived the round’s closest fight by putting down The Demon. I’m sensing a little weakness in Drac … Tomb of Dracula is unquestionably a more distinguished book than Ghost Rider’s many stops-and-starts, but this contest is all about the characters, and there’s no disputing that a flaming skull on a motorcycle has aged better than ol’ fangs-and-cape.
Ghost Rider and Dracula share the same publisher and era, so I’m gobsmacked that I could find no record of a canonical cross-over or battle between the two. (I’m sure the readers will fill me in if I’m wrong). For lack of something better, here’s Ghost Rider fighting Doctor Druid (hey, at least it’s an old dude in a cape!)
But accept no substitutes when you vote! Make your pick, Drac or Ghost Rider!
We really couldn’t ask for a more frightful Final Four. Get those votes in, tell your friends, and sound off for your favorite monster in the comments section, below!
TOMORROW: Marvel Value Stamps!