Okay, I’m a little late with my brackets, but here they are anyway.
Obviously, there are some odd choices and upsets here. First of all, how did Kiri from Beastmaster make it into the women’s tourney?
Pure 80s hotness. One does have to put bums in seats.
(Click on the tumbnail pics for larger images.)
You may ask what James T. Kirk and the Gorn Captain doing in a Sword and Sorcery tournament? Well, Kirk wanted in, so he rewrote the computer program allocating arena space and logistics. He doesn’t like to lose.
Still, Titus Pullo should knock him unconscious in the second round, but I expect Kirk will lose his shirt.
You might accuse me of basing my picks on pure emotion.
If it were that, I’d have Etain and Titus Pullo going all the way, both because 2010’s Centurion deserved better notice than it received, and I’d love to see howling Pictish fury set against the trained brutality of everyone’s favorite drunken, whoremongering Roman legionary.
Those who cry “80s nostalgia” might have a better case, but Dragonslayer‘s Galen does fall to Titus Pullo in the first round…
There are also several assumptions in place. The most important is that Taarna is on a vengeance quest and has her powered-up sword. Otherwise, while I still think she makes a tall blue mess of Neytiri in the first round, she loses to Miho, which sets up an epic physicality vs. skill duel with Xena.
I’m also taking away Queen Salina’s bladed chariot from 1967’s fleshy Hammer epic, The Viking Queen. Though were she at the reins of it in a mass-combat, I think she’d be one of the last ones standing.
Also, I’ll admit to a slight bias in favor of barbarians vs. trained soldiers. I think barbarians would tend to win single combats.
Probably the most controversial pick on the women’s side is Miho beating Selene.
Sure, Miho is a deadly ninja-prostitute, but would even skills honed in the bloody alleys of Basin City be adequate to defeat the inhuman speed of a halfblood vampire?
I’m going to justify it in two ways: first, the corset won’t allow Selene to breathe properly, and second, Miho does have several religious icon-shaped throwing stars. That’ll inflict some punishment on anyone with vampire blood.
The contest I’d be sure to DVR is Valeria versus Xena. That would be an epic duel of muscle and reach.
Over on the men’s side, I know there are a couple of upsets I need to justify.
The first is Einar from 1958’s The Vikings versus The Gladiator’s Maximus. Okay, the Roman general may have a lot of tactical ability and arena experience, but Einar, even with a bad eye, has speed, oar-running balance, and ferocity. Provided Einar doesn’t get distracted by Morgana’s fjord-filling bosom, of course.
I also think that while King Arthur may have Excalibur, Leonidas would so infuriate the Romano-Celt Brit with his laconic wit that Arthur will be taunted into a mistake.
Fire and Ice‘s Darkwolf (aka the Death Dealer) vs. Aragorn needs justification, too. Yes, Darkwolf has Frazettaish barbarian fury, but Aragorn has about forty more years of combat experience, thanks to the blood of Numenor.
If you really think I have to justify Conan going all the way, you’ve not read enough or seen the movies.